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Thread: AR Pen Only Toolbar-- tester results and ideas

  1. #21
    Ooops............the toolbar is on the left side...........

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    I think this toolbar does a few separate things-- 1) it gives you quick and ergonomic access to your tools no matter if you're left handed or right handed, 2) it gives you quick access to most necessary keyboard shortcuts without needing a keyboard, and 3) it allows you full access to your pods in a small mobile UI that's always available. The iPad version of Artrage definitely gives quicker access to tools, but it's not accomplishing the other two things I've been trying achieve with this piece of software. I'd love. Work with the Artrage guys, but they haven't approached me about that. They're we're of what I'm doing though, as I asked for permission to house this discussion here, etc.

    As for having the toolbar be compatible with future version, I'm not so concerned, as the Pen-Only Toolbar runs independently of Artrage and speaks to it through keystrokes. As long as the keyboard shortcuts and pen interaction remain the same in future versions of Artrage, the Pen-Only Toolbar should continue to work fine.

    Btw, if youre interested in testing, please PM me. We're looking for interested testers with different setups. I should sa now that it only works on Windows and not on the iPad. Beyond that though, it should run fine. we're still bumping into occasional issues though on different setups-- that's what we're testing for.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  3. #23
    OK - I am back in the fold now. I will try to post some more tomorrow.

    Can I add additional tools to the toolbar or am I limited to the number you have picked?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Yeah! You made it.

    Currently, only the 7 tools are available at one time. However,all 7 tools are customizable, and can be changed whenever you want. Of course, that's a mildly cumbersome process, and is probably the sort of thing you'd only do once in each painting session. So far, testing has said that 7 tools is generally enough to allow for all the flexibility most people need, though I'm curious to hear back on that.

    Additionally, its worth using the toolbar in conjunction with the Hover Icons-- then you can have super fast access to all the presets for each tool. Then, I hope one can see how you'll really have access to the 7 tools you choose in a heart beat, plus ALL of their presets as well, without ever leaving the Clear Canvas Mode. That's the idea of the thing anyways.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  5. #25
    OK - I finally got all of the basic stuff working so now I will be off to watch video #2. Somewhere in video #1 I missed the need to right-click (use the upper button). To get the zoom tool to work.

    BTW: There is no setting for the delay in the Toolbar Options screens.

    I still have a concern about the like of visual feedback for some tools while resizing them (i.e. the pencil). That is why my current preference is to use the toolbar in the native mode of the drawing tool but with the tool selector and color selectors reduced. I feel I get better visual feedback that way and all of the pods are visible and accessable as well without additional clicks.

    I also have some concern that I do not have access to all of the tools on the toolbar. After watching video #2 I will better undestand how to modify the toolbar so I may change my mind. However, I have a concern that I first have to go modify the toolbar before using it from one session to another. Since I have not watched video#2 yet, I should not comment but I am also concerned that a button/icon in one session may represent a different tool in another session. I am not a seasoned artist and am not producing "products" with the software but sometime I am all over the place with the tools before I finish. So that may put me outside the normal and seasoned user.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    It's worth noting that the toolbar is quite flexible in terms of its functionality, and thus can fit a lot of different user's needs. The toolbar does three basic things- 1) saves space on small mobile monitors, 2) provides small onscreen buttons for keyboard shortcuts, and 3) provides additional pen and space saving functionality (middle click options and Hover Icons). That doesn't mean that each user needs all three usage options. If that's true (and it may be so for you dcahall), you can easily change the toolbar around.

    For example, the choice to have only 7 tools available on such a small UI is because of the fact that some people work on tablet pc's where your screen might be only 6.5" x 11", so all available space is absolutely essential. However, if you're at a desktop you may find that you want to view all your tools and don't really want (or need) to work in Clear Canvas mode. If so, you can click Menu> Quick Settings> Show/Hide Tools Toolbar to hide the Tools Toolbar from the Pen-Only Toolbar UI. You could then work in Full Canvas mode, and yet have quick ergonomic access to all of your most common keyboard shortcuts still. You'd also still have the ability to quickly zoom and resize through your Middle-Click button (more on that later).

    Additionally, you can go to Menu> Minimize to Tray and completely hide the Pen-Only Toolbar to your Windows Icon Tray, and yet the toolbar will still run and provide functionality. This is great if you don't really need the keyboard shortcuts, but still want to have the Middle Click functions and the usage of the Hover Icons. Just set up the icons and other customizations and minimize the toolbar. Voila'.

    Heck, you might just want to have the Middle Click functions available, which is fine too. Open the toolbar up (assuming you've done the one time set up of your 2nd pen-button functions in the Pen Tablet Properties as shown in the video), minimize it, and you're off to the races. Middle-click functions are set up to be automatically activated unless you change them in the Toolbar Settings.

    So, it might be that you have a usage pattern that works best with only some of the functionality of the toolbar activated, instead of all of it. This might be something for me to better highlight when I redo the videos, because having you use this toolbar is showing me that people with different usage pattens may only find parts of the toolbar very useful to them.

    *******
    Specifically, dcahall, it's worth double checking so you know-- the new Zoom and Resize tools are set to your Middle-click button, not your Right-click (which is natively set in Artrage to Pan). That's why you have to set your second pen button to Middle Click in the Pen Tablet Properties. IF, HOWEVER, you don't have a 2 button pen, THEN things change. Then you tap the Resize button physically, put your pen to the screen somewhere else and scroll left or righ to resize. You can even do this in Full Canvas mode and see the numbers of the tool change for you (an issue you were having). Additionally, if you don't have a 2-button pen, you hit the Zoom button and then hit hover-right-click and hover-scroll right and left while hovering to zoom.

    I can see now that that all might sound complicated, because you can have more than one way to do Resize and Zoom depending on the tools you have. Perhaps there's a way for us to turn some functionality off and let a person turn it on if they want. Perhaps, later on, I need to make a little set of mini-videos where we show what we're talking about when we say things like Hover-Right-Click or Hover-Drag. Your input on this has been quite helpful dcahall. I hope this explanation also clears things up for you.
    Last edited by Steve B; 09-05-2012 at 06:47 AM.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  7. #27
    Just started watching video #2 and ran into a problem. I tried to replace the Sticker Spay tool with the Airbrush tool but it did not work. I made the change and it shows the Airbrush in the Current column. I clicked the Save Changes and Relaunch now button button. See the screen capture below......Notice the the Current column does not match what is on the toolbar. I tried this several times with the same results. I will assume I am doing something wrong.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once again, I would like to reslove this before I move on.

    BTW: I noticed that if I open the ArtRage Help file and have the toolbar running, it conflicts with attempting to use the search facility in the Help window. Not a big problem since I set up a shortcut to launch the toolbar. Just thougt I woud pass it along. Would still like to have a way to launch your toolbar from withing ArtRage Studio.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Great job on the bug find dcahall. I don't think you're doing anything wrong there. I see the "Current Layout" and it has the Airbrush tool there. Clearly, you're current setup does not. I'll pass this along to Luc. I'll touch base with him about the delay as well on the Middle-click stuff. We have some delay questions on setting up the Hover Icons as well, so we're making a list.

    He's checking these forums a bit as well, but I'm sort of the front man on this.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

  9. #29
    I have not gotten to the Hover icons yet but will get there. Maybe not until tomorrow though. Will try to do screen captures when I can to show exactly what is happening.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Re: Tools toolbar- Are you customizing the small toolbar but using the large one when you reopen? This can occur if you're working in Small, customize in Small, but have not set Small as the toolbar to open when the toolbar is reloaded. Large is the default. You can change that in the Toolbar Options.

    If so, that's how you fix it, but we'll probably look into how to make it easier to navigate.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

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