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Thread: Canvases, and how they work?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601

    Canvases, and how they work?

    I've been trying to understand how canvases function. I'd love some pointers.

    To me, a canvas seems like just another type of texture, except it also has a visual "layer" to it that I can see in the background. It can create texture if I leave it alone, but if I want, I can clearly have different types of textures on different layers and still have the old "canvas" visual layer on the bottom, which is no longer the template for my textures on the other layers. Does this sound right?

    Also, can a canvas be changed after you've started a painting? Or am I stuck with it forever, once I start going?

    Also, are there certain benefits/problems with painting on the canvas layer? It occurred to me that if you wanted to later make your canvas transparent, you might not be able to do this if you've painted on the canvas. Or, perhaps if you painted on the canvas layer you'd get different textural qualities? If I have a paper I've scanned that I'd like to import, are there benefits to making it a canvas? Or would I be just as well served by importing it as an image on a background layer, since I'm always changing the layer textures anyways?

    Mostly, as it is right now, the canvas layer seems mostly like an imported image to add a sense of reality to the image, that also happens to have textural qualities you can use, if you want to keep them on those "canvas" settings, but you can clearly paint with other textures if you just change the Layer Texture settings.

    Does all of this sound right? Or am I misunderstanding what the canvas settings can do for me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    What you've mentioned, is pretty much what they're about. As you suggested, it is possible to import an image and use it as a canvas grain, as well as import it as a layer. This allows you to retain the visual appearance of the canvas/paper, and gain the benefit of having the tools react with the unique textures, which that specific image has (a feature that seems unique to ArtRage, from the programs I've used).

    You shouldn't run into any issues by working directly on the first layer (which I believe is the one you have referred to as the "Canvas" layer). The canvas (the tiled texture we see in the background of a painting) is actually independent from any of the layers. Well... In the Studio versions of AR, at least. AR2.6 is a bit different, because each layer acts as a canvas (where its opacity would matter). But in the Studios, the grain can be changed at any time, by selecting "View > Canvas Settings" and making the changes on the Canvas Panel (the "Canvas Settings" option is also available on the layers main Menu tab). There is no opacity for the layers in the Studios, but the Canvas texture color may be made transparent at any time, as well (again, using the Canvas Settings panel). Personally, I'd stick to changing the layer textures, for the most part, because if you change the Canvas texture, any layer set to use that texture will automatically switch over to using that texture instead. In some cases this might be beneficial, but for me it's pretty rare.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Ok, that sounds similar to what I thought. I've just not really been using the canvas to real effect, besides as a visual representation of paper-- I'm always changing up the layer textures. As such, I've been wondering if I'd be just as well served importing an image to a lower layer, for example. Or, given my described usage above, am I getting benefits from using a canvas that I'm unaware of?

    Re: importing images and using them as textures. I can't quite figure out how what Artrage does is different from Painter, given my usage. I mean, in Painter you can build paper textures, right? You can also change the paper texture layer by layer, as you do in Artrage-- atleast I think that's the case in Painter 11. Now, Artrage is pretty dang seemless about how easy it is to import textures compared to Painter, but the function seemed the same. You can also do something similar in Paint Tool Sai, using textures for bmp maps, I think. It's also a pain to do, but the results seem similar.

    Am I misunderstanding what you were suggesting? Thanks for the helpful reply, btw.

  4. #4
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    Wow, Someonesane! That's one visceral Avatar you've adopted (I hope the change is for the Halloween season and not due to a recent change of unlife status!).

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B View Post
    Ok, that sounds similar to what I thought. I've just not really been using the canvas to real effect, besides as a visual representation of paper-- I'm always changing up the layer textures. As such, I've been wondering if I'd be just as well served importing an image to a lower layer, for example. Or, given my described usage above, am I getting benefits from using a canvas that I'm unaware of?

    Re: importing images and using them as textures. I can't quite figure out how what Artrage does is different from Painter, given my usage. I mean, in Painter you can build paper textures, right? You can also change the paper texture layer by layer, as you do in Artrage-- atleast I think that's the case in Painter 11. Now, Artrage is pretty dang seemless about how easy it is to import textures compared to Painter, but the function seemed the same. You can also do something similar in Paint Tool Sai, using textures for bmp maps, I think. It's also a pain to do, but the results seem similar.

    Am I misunderstanding what you were suggesting? Thanks for the helpful reply, btw.
    I wasn't aware that Sai allowed for it. I mostly use Sai for it's Ink Layer. I've only had limited access to Painter, and wasn't aware the personal textures could be added. So, not as unique as I thought, but still a notable feature, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn View Post
    Wow, Someonesane! That's one visceral Avatar you've adopted (I hope the change is for the Halloween season and not due to a recent change of unlife status!).
    lol, no worries Robyn. It's an image I created after I watched The Walking Dead TV series the other day, and have adopted it as my Avatar for Halloween. Here's a link to a larger version, if you'd care to see it.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Well, as is commonly the case with Artrage-- it's all very easy to do compared to other programs. The others do it, but its an amazing pain to learn and implement, IMO.

    I do wish Artrage had some of the more sophisticated tools Painter has, but perhaps that'll come in Artrage 4.0.

    Thanks for the input!

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