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Thread: Question about layers

  1. #1

    Question about layers

    I don't know if this is technical as such, but I wasn't sure where else to put this. Looking through the forums, I see mentions from time to time that all the work in a given painting was done on a single layer, but I don't think I understand fully why...is it just a stylistic choice, or does it actually impact the performance of Artrage in some way? I can see how it might make blending colors easier, but it's so nice to be able to separate background and foreground...if this has been discussed elsewhere in the forums, I apologize for missing it.

  2. #2
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    To me, it's nothing more then a personal working method. Depending on the type of image I'm creating, I may use just a single layer, or I might go as high as twenty, or more.

    You may hear people say that a person should use a single layer, if one is trying to keep to a "traditional" approach. The reason being, that a person wouldn't have multiple layers to work with, were one to paint an oil painting, watercolor, or something similar. But it's also worth noting that digital programs (even one as good as ArtRage) do not mimic everything that traditional mediums do. Drying paint for instance. Whether I created an Oil Painting or Watercolor image today or a year ago (in ArtRage), if I open that file again, the "wet" paint is still going to smear or blend like it were still wet. In cases such as this, one simply must create a new layer to work on, so that the new wet paint, won't react with the old wet paint, as though it were just applied.

    In terms of performance, having a lot of layers may tend to slow down certain computers a bit. Though, that's probably not the reason why someone would specifically point out that they only used one layer on an image.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Like Someonesane said, I believe it is just a personal preference at the time the painting is created. I have done both one layers and several layer paintings and the only thing I noticed was that if I had ALOT of layers it would take a bit more time to load, and do the tool type things, undo, redo, cut paste, move, ect.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the insight. I'm still getting the hang of all the tools and features of Artrage and wanted to be sure I wasn't missing something that might be helpful. Considering the end result is the same, I'll probably stick with using multiple layers in my work.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by munkletumskin View Post
    Considering the end result is the same, I'll probably stick with using multiple layers in my work.

    Hmmm. Perhaps I misunderstood your reason for this post...

    Layers are meant to separate areas of work for various reasons. For example, if I were to paint an ocean scene, I may use one layer for the sky, another for the ocean, another for the beach, and a single layer each for any people, animals, or plants I may add. This way, should I decide I need another wave, I could change that aspect of the image, without interfering with the rest of the image. This is something one doesn't really have the luxury of with traditional mediums. A shortcoming to this, is that it also means the paint on one layer will not blend with that of another. So depending on the style you're trying to achieve, using, or not using, layers will make a difference on the end result.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  6. #6
    I was a bit unclear there, just an over-generalization; I see the possibilities of blending and such, and how it might be affected by more or less (or one) layer, so it wouldn't always be the same. What I was really wondering was why some people made a point of specifying that they had used only one layer, and me not being able to tell the difference between a work made with a single layer or many by looking; from your response, I gather it's just stating what stylistic approach they used, similar to saying "I used the watercolor brush".

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