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Thread: ArtRage on ARS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    ArtRage on ARS

    http://arstechnica.com/software/revi...1#comments-bar

    ARS has done a review of ArtRage Studio Pro.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    New Zealand
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    Nice that there's a review, but it unfortunately along with the good info it contains a number of factual inaccuracies that it then spins criticisms around.

    We'd like to reassure everyone that you can mix color in ArtRage Studio for example, which we all know but is highly, and disappointingly misleading for potential users. There's more, but that's all I'll say for now.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2011
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    You should contact them and let them know about these inaccuracies, Matt. They would most likely edit the article to include your response.

    Still, there are quite a few people in the comments saying they're interested in ArtRage. I'd say that's a good thing.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    washington, usa
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    lot of misinformation or misdirection showing up in that review.
    the responses were kind of sadly left unanswered or under answered as well.

    seems like he totally left out the chalk tool and the ability of other tools to use for pastel. Also neglected to mention the phenomenal adaptability of stickers to create brushes.

    gaping holes as far as a review is concerned.

    one thing that was awesome was the 3D export image.
    is that the bitmap export?

    how cool was that to see it exported to Maya? wow!
    Last edited by screenpainter; 06-21-2011 at 08:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    New Zealand
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    Our only real concern is that potential Studio users might be put off by the idea that it has no text tool or cannot mix paint which are both implied in the comparison. Hopefully that can be clarified!

    Other items that could be clarified there really relate to the way we structure the application. ArtRage hides a lot of complex technology behind a pretty simple front-end. Our goal has always been to create something that anyone can pick up and get a good result out of, while allowing people who want deeper control to get in to the nuts and bolts of what the technology can actually do. This is both a blessing and a curse: It means we are accessible to a huge range of users, but that it's easy to gloss over some of the details and miss that the complexity is there.

    Take the sticker spray, for example. We've packaged it in such a way that at first glance it appears to be nothing more than a toy for spraying images around. Great for kids and scrapbookers, but useful for professionals? Understanding the innards of the sticker spray however, you start to see that there's an entire painting engine in that one tool - The Art Brushes are a good example, and you can create your own brush effects using the Variants panel (which certainly isn't aimed at kids, hence it only appears in Pro!). Add to that the ability to spray micro-layers for post-editing rather than just flat images and you get a tool that can do way more than just dump a few images on a canvas. Trouble is, you need to go actively looking for that potential to find it, because we try to avoid people who won't be interested in it stumbling in to a mass of dials and feeling like they need to press the right one or ruin everything.

    Rulers are the same in a way. You can see the Stencil system and never realise that as well as giving you childhood flashbacks to drawing stars through a hole in a sheet of plastic you can use the system to create freehand precise curves. Convert the french curve to a ruler and you get a freehand curve tool without changing tool modes or having to use a specific tool. Better yet, you can put multiple rulers down and their edges all work together. It's as close as we could get to putting physical things on a physical canvas so that your physical pen can bump against them as it would in the real world, but again, it's easy to overlook.

    In many ways we are a victim of our own ease of use, but I'd rather have that ease of use than require everyone to have to learn complex systems before being able to produce a good result. This is why we have never accepted reviewers asking us how we compare to other products: We don't, because we're a different type of product and we're set up to work alongside other products as the user finds necessary. We'd rather sit in our natural space than try to build something that's everything to everyone.

    The review is definitely generating some interest though, there's a lot of good stuff in there.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    141
    It was fun to read your strategy, Matt, and recognize all the ways in which I was allowed to feel smart until I became smart. The concept of digital art was so alien to me that I found ArtRage only as a mention in a forum when I was trying to repair my old fountain pen.
    Fascinating, what the ArtRage team has created; that I could first push paint around a canvas like a preschooler and can now create my own "brushes", stencils, and stickers that are far from being toys. I hope ArtRage never loses its friendly accessibility, even as it continues to add more sophisticated features. This is the best use of a computer after search engines.

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