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Thread: watercolor antialiasing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5

    watercolor antialiasing

    Hi:

    When the watercolor brush gets very small, around 2-3 %, it seems that it doesn't have any antialiasing. The edges gets very ragged.
    Is that a wellknown problem? Or is it a feature, that just doesn't suits my style?
    The other brushtypes like artpen doesn't have this problem, they are antialiased even when 2%, so I have to use artpen (or other brushes) for details in my watercolorpaintings.

    Stig

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,070
    same problem here, even with the watercolour brush at default size (which is around 30% if I remember right) ... see this thread.

    so it seems to rather be a (wellknown) problem than a feature ...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5
    Yes it is also noticeable in larger brushsizes, though not so much I think.
    The reply in the other thread doesn't solve the issue, as I don't get any antialiasing no matter how I make thin strokes in watercolor.
    Anyway, I hope it wil be solved.

    Stig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    I agree. It's most noticeable in smaller-sized brushes, and doesn't seem to have anything to do with the pressure exerted. It's there in the bigger sized brushes too, but less so. It definitely doesn't seem to have anything to do with the paper type either. I use the watercolor paper frequently, and I have the same problems described by others. What's strange is that it doesn't really appear in the other brush types.

    Would love to have this fixed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    The watercolor strokes are antialiased, the effect you're seeing relates to the generation of the wetness maps that are used to calculate the spread of pigment on the canvas and which, when small size brushes or small size granularity in the canvas is present, can create tiny spots which reduce the amount of water diffusion (tiny droplets don't spread as far). This creates steeper full->transparent pigment gradations. As a result, it will look more pixelated (a full pigment -> no pigment transition of one pixel in size will always be a pixel). Doing a second antialiasing pass after the diffusion of the pigment has been calculated would put a large overhead on the brush and slow it down too far.

    The grain you're using with affect this to some extent. With 0% roughness you get almost no pixelation, and none of the tiny falloff spots because there's no grain defining small spots of high contrast wetness gradations.

    Bumping your Thinners up can help reduce dark spotting because the pigment is more diluted. Changing grains and reducing roughness can also smooth out the strokes.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10
    firstly, i want to say that i just picked up the artrage sp 3.5 demo after working with the ipad version for a few hours. i'm very impressed with both, great job! nothing else approaches artrage on the ipad for natural media tools, and i feel like i even get more enjoyment out working in artrage than in painter (!)

    i have to admit that i was unhappy at first with the watercolor results in the desktop version. trying matt's suggestions, however, i am getting much better results. that said, there indeed seems to be some aliasing/stepping going on with some edges. i'm going to link to some screenshots showing my brush/surface settings and the results -- i thought it would be helpful for a the dev to see the aliasing presence (i've circled the "steppiest" areas), and for other users to see the improved results from adjusting the settings. all are done with solid black on paper.

    (screenshot links to come)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10
    4 of 8 attached...

    a note on looking at these for devs and users alike -- the edge results and the highlighted issues are more clear when you view the full-size images. seems you need to click thumbnail, then click the popup image that appears against black to actually see the full-size pic (just uploaded jpg against white)?. otherwise the stepping is dithered down in the thumbnail and doesn't seem as problematic.
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    Last edited by muchachotron; 09-01-2011 at 02:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10
    5-8...

    i hope these are helpful, as even though there are still some undesirable steps going on, it should be clear that you can get some great results with proper settings dialed in.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    10
    taking a hint from that thumbnail behavior, i guess one workaround would be to render out at a larger file size and then reduce the output file to improve the appearance of the aliasing.

    matt, in regard to this:

    "Doing a second antialiasing pass after the diffusion of the pigment has been calculated would put a large overhead on the brush and slow it down too far."

    maybe there can be some sort of command that applies this second pass after hitting a button, sort of like "baking" the first pass onto the layer (painting a bunch of strokes, then hit the button)? then the brush laying down the initial strokes wouldn't be impeded by the multiple AA passes during painting. or, this could even be done during the final render out (export at a multiple of the intended resolution, then shrink to desired resolution automatically? i dunno). i think if it could be done during the working process that would be best, so blending and interaction with other media on the layer would be predictable.

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