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Thread: Stencils (Frisket), and other questions...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    16

    Stencils (Frisket), and other questions...

    Hi guys,

    New to the forum here, first post!

    I've long been interested in digital painting (having worked in traditional gouache, graphite, and airbrush in another lifetime), but have always found something still "computery" looking about most digital paintings I've seen...

    ...revisited this recently, and downloaded a demo verison of ArtRage Studio Pro. I'm also waiting on to see what the deal will be with Corel Painter 12; the price for Painter 11 seems to keep dropping, which makes me think a new version is imminent. (Hopefully it's okay to mention the "other guys" on the forum!)

    Anyway, back to ArtRage. Thus far very impressed, with the natural look I'm getting out of it -- digital painting has finally achieved what I want out of these programs, that the paint behaves in such a way / canvas textures look as though they've been done traditionally, and then scanned in (or photographed.) So, the technology is there.

    My intended usage for ArtRage (if I pick it over Corel Painter, or use both) will be for Fantasy and Sci-Fi pieces, in the vein of Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan, and assorted comic book / paperback cover artists.

    That being said, some comments and questions:

    1) Love the realistic way in which the ArtRage watercolors behave, bleed, mix, etc. Got the hang of it quickly. Would love to have a virtual water spray bottle though! Maybe in the next version.

    2) Have to experiment more with the oils, blending them for smooth gradations, etc.

    3) Pencil. I don't yet have a Wacom tablet, but looking forward to see if I can REALLY emulate what I used to do with graphite on drawing paper. I'd love to see a virtual graphite pencil set in ArtRage: 2A, A, AB, B, 2B. (Those of you who've worked in traditional graphite know what I'm talking about.) Also, would like to see accompanying graphite tools, like blenders, kneaded erasers, etc.

    4) Stencils (for Airbrushing). Here's the big one for me, in that I really want something that looks like a sheet of transparent film (frisket used in traditional airbrushing) that covers the entire canvas, and then a virtual Exacto knife to cut shapes out of it.

    I still need to experiment more with the ArtRage stencils (and creating custom stencils), but confused as to why there isn't the option to have the masking area cover the rest of the entire canvas, and not just a little bit past the cut-out shape. (Or is there a way to change this?) I have come up with some workarounds, but would really like the masking part of stencils to reach out to the corners of the canvas, to prevent airbrush "overspray" that I'd then need to erase out. Please let me know if that makes sense, or if I need to better explain!

    Thanks guys!

    D

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,867
    Welcome to the forums Digger,

    I think you'll find that ArtRage will accommodate your needs quit a bit, once you really dig in and start exploring the program. It's really a matter of learning what the program can do, and thinking out of the box for those that might not seem currently available. For example, you mention kneaded erasers, blenders and spray bottle. While you may not find a tool named after them, you may find that adjusting the settings of the tools that are available may give you the desired look you're going for. Adjusting either the current eraser or spiking out some of the settings in the palette knife can result in effects that look as though a stub tool or kneaded eraser was used on an area, or even as though water was sprayed along the edge. I'm not sure how far you will be able to test things with the trial version of the program, but I encourage you to try changing and testing the settings for as many of the tools as possible.

    I'm not sure if you'll be able to utilize them with the trial or not, but I've uploaded my presets for the Pencil, and Palette Knife, along with a canvas grain I like to use with them in this thread: LINK

    Here's an example of what I did with them (I had put the yellow lined paper there for fun, the paper grain I used was different):

    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    16
    Hey, thanks for your quick response!

    Yes, been playing around quite a bit with the settings on each tool, and how they interact with the different canvas types; this is how I've been getting the swing of how well the watercolors work...

    ...figured out pretty quick that cranking up the "thinners" to 100% on the watercolor brush gives me a brush full of (virtual) water, which I can then lay down on the canvas (or paper) first and then add colors, let them bleed and blend, emulating how I used to do watercolor backgrounds traditionally. Of course, the only challenge is that I can't "see" whee the canvas is already wet with transparent "water" versus in the real world, where I can literally see where the paper is already pre-saturated. But that's okay.

    I'll most likely purchase ArtRage Studio Pro in the months to come, but really, the dealbreaker could be in the stencils (friskets), as I'm planning on doing a lot of airbrushing.

    Again with the question: Is there any setting that auto extends the masking part of stencils to the canvas edges, or do I have to resort to laying down additional (solid) rectangular masks to cover the entire canvas? (Does my question make sense? I can make some jpeg mock-ups to illusrate.)

    Also, I need to learn the ability of creating stencils within ArtRage, so I don't have to resort to creating PNGs of shapes in say Photoshop, then importing and converting. I really want to just accurate select areas within ArtRage, and convert into stencils.

    Thanks again!

    D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,137
    There's no way to automatically extend the area of a stencil or frisket, but they do work side by side with Selections. If you select the general area you want to be able to paint in you can then move stencils/friskets around inside that area to provide additional flexible masking.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    16
    Hey, thanks Matt! Yes, there's def some reasonable alternative ways to mask the rest of the canvas.

    Re: creating stencils within ArtRage, I still need to experiment with it more, but please confirm yes / no if there's the ability to convert selections (of shapes, irregular areas, etc.) into stencils(?) Really what I'm saying is wanna make sure I can mask (stencil out) any area or shape I want within ArtRage, as I do within Photoshop.

    Thanks!

    D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
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    You can't directly convert a selection into a stencil, but you can create one from them. You just use an empty layer, fill the selection in with the fill tool and then make a stencil from the layer. Here is a video I made back before ArtRage Studio Pro was released, that shows how to create stencils with ArtRage 2.5 (LINK). The same methods can be applied in the newer ArtRages. In some cases it might even be easier now that we have user defined shortcuts and the selection tool.

    As for covering the entire area of the canvas with the stencil, I think using the selection tool would be a better choice for something like that, because it will only allow you to fill that which is selected. But if you want a larger area around a specific stencil, there's a couple things you could do...

    For best results:

    1. Import the stencil as an image using File > Import Image File and browsing to the image.
      • Note: If you're looking to do this to a default stencil, you'll need to locate your computers Programs folder and then go to the following area: Ambient Design\ArtRage Studio Pro\Resources\Stencils

    2. With the image opened, go to Edit > Crop/Expand the Canvas
    3. Locate the Width and Height percentage boxes and increase the value of one of them and hit Enter on your keyboard to enter the value and preview it in the box at the bottom of the panel.

      • ArtRage sets the Preserver Original aspect setting to "On" by default, so you should be able to just increase one value and hit enter for both sizes to increase proportionately.
      • Once you've entered a new value, you should see the change in the preview box at the bottom of the panel. The canvas should increase around the center by default, but if it didn't, just click and drag the image into the center.

    4. Click OK to accept the changes made.
    5. If the outside of the image is black (white center), then select pure black and use the fill tool to fill the empty space around the image. If the outside of the image is white (black center), then use pure white to fill the empty space.
    6. Export the image as a PNG file type, by going to File > Export Image File.
      • NOTE: If you didn't save the image into the stencil folder located in your program files folder, or the stencil folder located in your Users Resources folder, then you'll need to use the stencil panels "Import Stencil" feature to bring it in.


    The Quick and Dirty Method:

    1. Pull out the stencil you want to have a larger border for.
    2. Create a new layer for your current drawing.
    3. Place the stencil at the dead center of the canvas and use the Fill tool to fill it in with a solid color.
      • You may now hide or remove the current stencil from the screen.

    4. Select the pen tool, set it's size to 1% and it's opacity to 1%
    5. Using the Pen tool with the above setting, click once in the upper left corner of your canvas, and again in the lower right corner of your canvas.
      • NOTE: this step is important, because ArtRage must detect some sort of mark on the layer, in order to include that part of the layer in the stencil.

    6. Open the Layer Panel (if it isn't already opened) and click on the highlighted layers menu tab, and select New Stencil From Layer Contents.

    (EDIT) - I forgot to mention, that you can select a layers contents with the selection tool, as well. So, you could make a layer, mask certain areas with one of the tools, make a selection out of it (Edit > Select Layer contents) and then use the selection as a mask.
    Last edited by Someonesane; 10-17-2010 at 03:19 PM.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    16
    Hey, thanks again for your response!

    I'll be further expermenting with / learning hot to stencil / mask / virtual frisket within ArtRage. The goal being how to make a selection and turn it into a stencil, with the program, without having to resort to importing.

    Thanks again, best,

    D

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