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Thread: Smoothing for All Tools

  1. #1

    Smoothing for All Tools

    I was wondering if it was possible to implement a Smoothing option into all the tools. Right now, the Inking tool has it and it is fantastic.

    It would be great if the other tools had it, especially for those long strokes that get twitchy in the middle, or for when working on extremely zoomed out pieces (that's when the slightest offset ruins the entire stroke). I realize it uses a lot of CPU when it is enabled, but it could be checked off as standard and we could enable it when needed.

    If it's too complicated to do this with all the tools, maybe at least the Sticker Spray could have it, as it looks like it uses different algorithms.

    Thanks for listening!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,818
    I agree!!!! I would love that to happen.

  3. #3
    This image is an example of a situation when a smoothing option would be a life saver:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The grey line behind is made with the Inking Tool with smoothing enabled to 100%. The black line above is made with the Sticker Spray Tool (hair and fur preset - hair 2). I was tracing over the grey line, all the way through, as close as I could. You can see the twitches that are circled in red. And that after a while the brush just went "I know a shortcut" and did those straight lines.

    This is a typical scenario of attempting to do long strokes in big files. The processor falls behind the movement and then it approximates what it can remember, and it usually breaks the smooth curve into straight lines. I am not sure what exactly happens but the result is definitely not what i meant. And if I slow down enough for the computer to keep up, I ruin the smoothness of the line, by lingering too much and accidentally changing direction, thus twitching the stroke. And this happens with all the tools, Oil Brush included.

    I hope this sheds some light on what I meant with my request.
    If anyone knows any solution, besides implementing smoothness control in all the tools, please tell me!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,070
    hy alexart,
    I also noticed that using the sticker spray at 100% spray rate, the strokes are getting "twitchy" - but I found out that reducing the spray rate to 99% will improve the behaviour while not changing the look of the sticker spray.
    also setting the "autoflow" option to ON helps a lot when using sticker spray at high spray variation rates (95%-100%) - please see examples below!
    (canvas was 2000x2000 px at 300 dpi)

    I hope this helps

    1. sticker spray "Hair Brush 2" at default settings:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. the same sticker spray "Hair Brush 2" with custom settings:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I did not see any quirks using the oil brush though ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Thanks MSIE! Lowering the spray rate does improve performance. Another improvement is setting Canvas Lighting to OFF. Canvas size is also important - the bigger the file, the slower and twitchier the brushes.

    The twitches appear when the program can't keep up with the hand and it tries to discard information and it approximates the movement. It happens in all the tools, as you can see below:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    For some tools (Oil Brush, for example) it takes a lot to get them to fail, but others (Airbrush) go "snap" very fast. I admit I used a big file size for the tests (60x40cm, 300dpi), so I could show this behavior in real life simulations or for print.
    I still think a Smoothing option would work miracles for big strokes.
    Another solution would be to somehow force the program to retain more detail in the strokes, and make it stick to the trajectory, rather than approximating with big straight lines. But this might slow down the program entirely.
    Last edited by alexart; 04-08-2013 at 11:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    My experience has been this occurs most on larger canvases while working with big brushes, as you pointed out. It's definitely a limitation of AR, as it doesn't work with very large files sizes (larger than 6000 x 6000) as well as, say, PS or Painter.

    However, I've also found this also often occurs because of a certain method of digitizer input-- basically, if I'm zoomed out quite far and move quickly then the computer is actually moving a great distance in terms of pixels and computational needs, whereas my hand is only moving a few inches. This can also often lead to these kinds of "jaggies" that you're experiencing.

    Finally, there are a few different settings under Edit> Artrage Preferences> Input Device> Tablet Options which the AR guys always tell people to work with, depending on the kind of input issues they have. I would suggest reposting this issue in the technical area to see if you can get any help on it from the actual AR team, if you haven't already done so.

    Of course, a smoothing option is interesting, and is already part of the Ink Pen tool, so I hear you there. It's not for me, personally, but then, I don't get these little jaggies almost ever. I paint around 3000 x 3000 usually, and don't generally zoom way out. I'm not sure what your work flow is though. Still, smoothing isn't a bad idea necessarily.
    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. #7
    Thanks for the useful info Steve B! I try to work around the limitations of the programs I am using, but sometimes it just isn't enough. I tried to find other solutions, but my workflow requires big files. I am already struggling with how slow the program moves for these big drawings, and I thought the smooth strokes would be nice to have as an alternative to undoing every other stroke, in hopes of getting it right next time.

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