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Thread: Beginner's ArtRage Basics?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Beginner's ArtRage Basics?

    Hi, I'm new to using art software and would like to know if there's a forum section for beginner dunces like me who's still struggling to figure out why the background layer disappears when I'm trying to drag down and merge it with my imported picture layer or how to move the stencil to the desired location on my canvas screen. It took hours of trial and error for me to get the hang of the masking tool too. I love the potential of ArtRage, but it's really frustrating when I can't even perform these basic functions. I've read through the user's tutorial, but it would help me more if someone could explain my issues in a different way or if there were clearer, visual examples maybe...? Please help!

  2. #2
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    I don't use the masking tool so can't help you on that, but not so long ago I was the 'dunce' who asked about moving the stencils. Bottom left, hit the Transform Tool, go click on the stencil, and enlarge, reduce or move it at will!

    Keep working at it! There's plenty of help to be had as we all once been learners, and continue to do so.

  3. #3
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    The Transform tool, that's it to moving the stencils?? Geez, I had assumed I could simply click on the stencil, hold it, and drag it wherever... Thanks for the lesson, copespeak!

    Can someone explain to me about the layering process? I'm using the masking tool to compensate because my foreground and background pictures aren't merging properly. When I drag the foreground layer into the background layer, all I end up seeing is the foreground picture. Same thing happens when I import a foreground layer pic onto my background picture. This function should be simple too, but for me, it's not. It almost makes me want to give up and change over to a different art software program or else, just save up for Adobe Photoshop. :/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry_Eve View Post
    The Transform tool, that's it to moving the stencils?? Geez, I had assumed I could simply click on the stencil, hold it, and drag it wherever... Thanks for the lesson, copespeak!

    Can someone explain to me about the layering process? I'm using the masking tool to compensate because my foreground and background pictures aren't merging properly. When I drag the foreground layer into the background layer, all I end up seeing is the foreground picture. Same thing happens when I import a foreground layer pic onto my background picture. This function should be simple too, but for me, it's not. It almost makes me want to give up and change over to a different art software program or else, just save up for Adobe Photoshop. :/
    The best way of looking at layers is to imagine them as sheets of clear glass so looking down from the top you will see the various elements on the layers below giving the effect of a composite image.
    However the background of each layer generally has to be clear, not a white background like a jpg file will give you. Obviously if you have a white background then it will block the view for any layer underneath.
    Having said that each layer can have a blend mode which is accessed by clicking on the icon on the lower right of the layer.
    Under certain conditions depending whats on the layers and the blend mode selected it is possible to let a lower layer show through.
    Hope this helps a little.
    Geoff

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry_Eve View Post
    The Transform tool, that's it to moving the stencils?? Geez, I had assumed I could simply click on the stencil, hold it, and drag it wherever...

    When you have a stencil on the work space, all you have to do to move it is hold down the space bar and drag it around, hold down the alt key (option on mac) to change the size and hold down crtl (command on mac) to rotate. There is no need to use the transform tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starry_Eve View Post
    Can someone explain to me about the layering process? I'm using the masking tool to compensate because my foreground and background pictures aren't merging properly. When I drag the foreground layer into the background layer, all I end up seeing is the foreground picture. Same thing happens when I import a foreground layer pic onto my background picture. This function should be simple too, but for me, it's not. It almost makes me want to give up and change over to a different art software program or else, just save up for Adobe Photoshop. :/
    Don't despair too soon. There are a good many tutorials and resources in the tips and tricks section. It is going to take effort to learn and for the work flow to become second nature for you. Be patient with yourself and with the tools, it will come. Layer functionality is very much the same in Photoshop as it is in ArtRage. I have been using both programs for years and my advice is to take a good look at what you want to accomplish with digital art. If it is about photo-composite or photo-manipulation then Photoshop may be your best option if money is not a barrier. If you are more interested in creating artwork by hand using tools that resemble traditional media, then you are already using a very powerful tool for that endeavor. Switching to something else when you run into frustration and struggles with understanding is just going to cost you money and delay your progress toward the achievement of skill.

    It will help forum members to help you if and when you can post example images of what you are trying to do and describe the problems you are trying to solve. I wish you well and look forward to being helpful to you as you explore digital art.
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by limey-g View Post
    However the background of each layer generally has to be clear, not a white background like a jpg file will give you. Obviously if you have a white background then it will block the view for any layer underneath.
    Geoff
    Well, that would certainly explain why my jpg file import ended up obscuring my background layer! What's the solution then if I already have an image created by a traditional tool like markers and I want to insert that illustration into a background layer created digitally through the ArtRage program? My thanks for your piece of helpful knowledge, limey-g!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fashmir View Post

    When you have a stencil on the work space, all you have to do to move it is hold down the space bar and drag it around, hold down the alt key (option on mac) to change the size and hold down crtl (command on mac) to rotate. There is no need to use the transform tool.


    Don't despair too soon. There are a good many tutorials and resources in the tips and tricks section. It is going to take effort to learn and for the work flow to become second nature for you. Be patient with yourself and with the tools, it will come. Layer functionality is very much the same in Photoshop as it is in ArtRage. I have been using both programs for years and my advice is to take a good look at what you want to accomplish with digital art. If it is about photo-composite or photo-manipulation then Photoshop may be your best option if money is not a barrier. If you are more interested in creating artwork by hand using tools that resemble traditional media, then you are already using a very powerful tool for that endeavor. Switching to something else when you run into frustration and struggles with understanding is just going to cost you money and delay your progress toward the achievement of skill.

    It will help forum members to help you if and when you can post example images of what you are trying to do and describe the problems you are trying to solve. I wish you well and look forward to being helpful to you as you explore digital art.
    Fashmir, I truly appreciate your words of support and encouragement. Thank you so much! I'm currently using a stylus on a PC tablet to practice my digital art painting. I'm not sure how much difference there is between using a 'pen' vs a mouse. Since I don't use a mouse, I think I would need to use the Transform tool?

    I finally found a beginner's ArtRage 2.5 tutorial on this forum
    (I have ArtRage 3.0) and I'll probably re-watch it on my iPad while trying to follow the instructions on my tablet. Please feel free to offer any other useful link recommendations.

    You're right that Adobe Photoshope is overly expensive for my simple needs at the moment. I'm a mixed media artist with limited traditional skills and obviously even more limited digital skills. I was hoping to learn how to combine both in order to improve my pictures to the best they can be.

    How can I post example images of me failing to overlay a foreground pic onto a background layer though? If I can just figure out this one 'simple' technique first, I think learning the rest of the tricks won't feel as intimidating...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starry_Eve View Post
    Well, that would certainly explain why my jpg file import ended up obscuring my background layer! What's the solution then if I already have an image created by a traditional tool like markers and I want to insert that illustration into a background layer created digitally through the ArtRage program?
    It's rare to have a one button solution for this sort of thing. How you get by will depends on how clean of a scan it is, and how white the paper is. Your first option could be importing the image to its own layer, and then changing the layers Blend Mode, via the layer menu option. Multiply is normally my go to blend type. However, you mention you've already colored your piece, so this may not be a viable option for you. Another option is using a filter designed to remove a specific color (this case being white). This requires ArtRage Studio Pro. Since you mentioned having ArtRage 3, but didn't specify which version of three, I'm not sure this will be available to you, and since I'm currently on my iPad, watching the news before work, I won't get into the details of this yet. Your next option would probably fall to removing the area by hand, either by the eraser, or using the selection features.

    When I get home this afternoon, I'll post some links to my YouTube tutorials in ArtRage, for you. I may even make a new one about working around white area, since there seems to be a of people asking about it (If you do a search a the forums, you'll find other threads about how to use the filters in the meantime).
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2012
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    To "Someonesane":

    I have Art Rage 3.5.5 Studio Pro, and that's tremendously nice of you to take the extra time to help digital newbies like me! I'd love to be able to show off a personal ArtRage-enhanced painting and give heaps of credit to people like you for the invaluable instruction! Thank you! <dances the happy-happy-joy-joy dance>

    Erasing seems like using the Masking function, and it's difficult to erase around the contours of the foreground picture. I would be grateful for any assistance towards understanding the Blend and Filtering modes too. I think I've seen them on the menu screen but was afraid to touch them. :/

    My foreground pictures are usually already colored, yes,...I mainly wanted the art software to help me fill in background work that I'm unable to do with the traditional art tools.
    Last edited by Starry_Eve; 12-21-2012 at 02:28 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    I was also baffled that everything else disappears when I move a jpeg to an upper layer of my ArtRage painting. Like you, I like to combine my "real life" art with digital art. SomeoneSane mentions using a filter that can remove all of a specific color (in my case it's always white). There are many free plug-ins that do that, like Mike's KillWhite. (I am grateful to generous Ragers who provided that info.)

    I had assumed I needed to put off buying Studio Pro because I hadn't learned everything that 2.5 or 3 can offer. Once I discovered that it wasn't like high school, having to graduate from one level to rise to the next, I was very pleased with my upgrade to Studio Pro-- I'm a SLOW learner, but I discovered it's fine to learn slowly from a wider choice of tools. Being able to acquire a filter to Remove White was one of the wonderful benefits.

    I hope you will play with ArtRage every day. When I get "stuck" because I've discovered something I can't do, I cruise the forums and the tutorials until I find the answer; or if I can't, I can always ask (as you have wisely done). I can learn only one sticking-place at a time, because I'm a kinetic-learner and can't absorb all the information from a tutorial at once. I read a bit of a tutorial, incorporate that into what I'm doing, then read a bit more when I'm ready. The effort pays off handsomely. As Fashmir has said, it can become second nature.

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