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Thread: The Future of ArtRAge ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7

    The Future of ArtRAge ?

    Hello Artrage Team!

    This is my first post to your forum after using ArtRage for the past 3 years so please bear with me

    Background......
    First of all THANK YOU for this WONDERFUL creative tool which has inspired and rekindled my love of image making. I am a professional commercial illustrator who is attempting to shift gears back to the world of fine art and ArtRage was the tool which allowed me to create what I was feeling and envisioning ! I create abstract expressionist and figurative work. I have worked with and have access to pretty much any and all painting software considered "high end" but I chose ArtRage because it is the ONLY tool which allows me to produce truly ORGANIC and UNEXPECTED results which feel very natural and intuitive. This is very conducive to the kinds of images I want to make. The interaction of the canvas or paper and smearing built up material in particular produces spectacular surprises for abstracts and the watercolours can produce stunning fluid and nuanced effects for figurative work. My first gallery show took place 2 years ago and consisted of 10 large abstracts ( 3' x 5' ) printed on paper using an epson large format inkjet. The results were breathe taking and I have since produced about 20 series of works using ArtRage exclusively. Along the way I was fortunate enough to land a massive Corporate Gift commission for a major retailer using one of those images! So from the bottom of my heart I thank you for your creativity and hard work! ( Galleries are viewable at www.stavros.ca )

    Praise.....
    The simplicity and elegance of ArtRage is a refreshing and welcome change to the bloated and confusing interfaces of most of the dominant digital painting software which is currently available. And while many "professional artists" do not take it seriously for various reasons, I am aware of the fact that there is some very sophisticated technology being used underneath the unassuming interface.
    Most of the tools are incredible simulations of their real world counter parts and the ability to mix them freely in a single layer is BRILLIANT! I love that ArtRage tries to keep things simple and remains focused on a few powerful tools instead of trying to be all things to all people.....I believe this is what makes it so beautiful.

    Suggestions......
    There are really only a few things that I would ask of the development team beyond what you already have to take ArtRage to the NEXT level.....but THEY ARE BIG......and necessary.
    1 - ArtRage NEEDS a VIRTUAL BRUSH system ( for both oil and water) which can emulate the subtlety and nuance of a real brush with the ability to control bristles , length and stiffness. The current brush system is too rigid, predictable and mechanical and does not do justice to the possibilities of the paint system. Photoshop has a wonderful implementation of such a brush and is able to produce an incredible array of uniques marks with a single brush.....but it lacks the depth and volume of ArtRage.
    2 - The watercolour brush, while beautiful...does not behave in a very natural way. It would benefit from some real time fluid dynamics, bleeding and buildup.
    3 - Resolution and Speed is still an issue on even a fast modern machine with lots of ram. Anything over a few thousand pixel slow things down dramatically. Professional artists require high resolution which can retain fine detail for large prints. Brush size limitations are also frustrating when working at higher resolutions.

    Considerations......
    I understand that part of the problem is to have ArtRage function acceptably well on most peoples machines and across multiple devices and platforms....but catering to the lowest common denominator limits the potential of the software. I say this with great respect for your efforts because I honestly think that ArtRage could be THE BEST NATURAL MEDIA SOFTWARE available! Hands down!

    Frustrations.........
    I waited with bated breath for version 4 to come along almost a year and a half ago thinking that a virtual brush was inevitable since you had already nailed pretty much everything else with such elegance.....but it was not to be. Instead we got a re arranged interface and the much flaunted mirror and symmetry tool...which while cute, I would argue is of little use to most users. I have been visiting your site and reading the forum almost daily since then and I have to admit that I cringe every time I see that dated, mirrored illustration on your splash page! It is old and stale and does not do an ounce of justice to the beauty and brilliance of ArtRage. I would urge you to replace it with rotating series of fresh stunning paintings produced by users...of which there are plenty. Your website in general leaves much to be desired. I have sent many many people to your site but most are left scratching their heads wondering what all my fuss is about because your site does not effectively convey the beauty and potential of your software. Same goes for the forum....I would appreciate some kind of updates about what you guys are working on and where you plan to take things. It makes for a vibrant excited community. Why the silence? WHAT IS HAPPENING?

    Hopes.......
    I will continue to visit your site daily in the hope that one day I will see a big 5 there and that I will read on about how you have implemented a wonderful new brush system with real world physics and watercolour with fluid dynamics and that brush sizes are unrestricted and that speed and resolution issues have been improved ! Until then I will continue to work in version 3 because I prefer the playful arched dials and shelf free, symmetry free interface

    The Future......
    I hope ArtRage finds its way to the next level soon with the addition of a few much needed but challenging features.
    I will continue to recommend this wonderful creative tool to friends and students because I believe it is the best and most elegant solution for people hoping to make fine art on their computers......and for that I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart

    All the best and much gratitude to the ArtRAge development team for your vision, passion and efforts!
    I am excited to see what the future holds!
    Now where do I sign up for Beta testing
    LOL


    Regards

    www.stavros.ca

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    599
    Quote Originally Posted by Stavros View Post
    and I have to admit that I cringe every time I see that dated, mirrored illustration on your splash page! It is old and stale and does not do an ounce of justice to the beauty and brilliance of ArtRage. I would urge you to replace it with rotating series of fresh stunning paintings produced by users.
    Have to agree with you here. It is outdated and needs something a great deal more painterly.

    Agree re brushes too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    1,855
    Hi Stavros - thank you for the mega-post and the feedback! Some of these are definitely issues we are aware of, but it is always useful to hear from users, and you raise some valid (and interesting) points.

    Unfortunately, there often isn't a lot to announce from behind the scenes, as we can't confirm new features until we are sure they will work (at which point, we are generally announcing their release - as opposed to holding everything back while we promote them). But we definitely pay attention to suggestions.

    We're also working on improving the website (the main site was completely updated last November and is being continually improved, but the more feedback the better) and on communication with users (which is basically my job description). Hopefully you should be seeing steady improvements over the next year or so.

    (This is also more of a Suggestions section post, so I'll just move it down there to keep the forum organised).
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

    This is not my signature.

    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    21
    HannahRage,

    I find myself checking the forum often for updates. I absolutely love ArtRage's oil paint simulation. I'm able to paint very similar to how I would with oils without all the mess (and expense... oils are expensive!) and avoid the sterility that digital illustrations often have. It's by far the most realistic oil paint simulation I've seen. I think some of us are just wondering what's going on, as it's been 8 months since any update.

    I'm concerned as well as to what's going on. The desktop app hasn't seen any updates or bug fixes since October. I'm not having any of the speed issues Stavros is having in ArtRage 4 (and I work in canvases of 10000 pixels in a single dimension or more so I can print at large sizes at 300dpi), but because of my large canvas size I run into the 4GB memory cap on 32-bit applications (although I have 32GB and a 64-bit computer). ArtRage has absolutely no protection when this limit is reached, so bizarre errors occur and then a nice crash follows, causing me to lose work. It can also crash on saving in this situation as well and cause corrupted files. This is documented on the forums (but I stupidly can't post links here, or I would gladly point you to it). It would be nice to get a simple out of memory error when reaching this point, but what would be really nice is 64-bit support so I can access the full extent of the memory on my system rather than eighth of my total RAM. To me 64-bit is a must. It's 2014, not 2004.

    Being able to construct brush shapes and whatnot would be nice, but a killer feature for me would be for swatches to have properties of their own like real paints do. They also don't blend and behave mathematically. Take alizarin crimson for an example. It doesn't blend into a perfect red. It goes into a really rose pink when blended. Cadmium yellow when straight out of the tube is almost orange, but when mixed with a bit of thinner it's a bright yellow. Those differences in value are something real media painters rely upon. ArtRage has this alternate color blending thing you can turn on which is amazing in what it does, but with something like this that can be simulated more accurately.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    The Great Northwest
    Posts
    17

    Just bought Artrage - Thank you Stavros!

    Stavros,

    Great post! Interesting to hear what you are doing with the program.

    Wishing you much success in your work and in the creative process!
    Last edited by Suz; 06-08-2014 at 02:08 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    I can't say much right now but rest assured we've been working hard. More information will come as soon as we're ready!
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    39
    Many thanks for your questions, suggestions and feedback. We really appreciate your support!

    Silences is just the eye of the storm? We where bound to secret, but can finally announce it...

    ArtRage 4.5 is coming as a freebee update for all the loyal ArtRage 4 Users:
    http://forums.artrage.com/showthread...-5-Coming-Soon!

    Hopefully this should also cover some of your concerns?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    1,855
    Quote Originally Posted by dustinwilson View Post
    I'm concerned as well as to what's going on. The desktop app hasn't seen any updates or bug fixes since October. I'm not having any of the speed issues Stavros is having in ArtRage 4 (and I work in canvases of 10000 pixels in a single dimension or more so I can print at large sizes at 300dpi), but because of my large canvas size I run into the 4GB memory cap on 32-bit applications (although I have 32GB and a 64-bit computer). ArtRage has absolutely no protection when this limit is reached, so bizarre errors occur and then a nice crash follows, causing me to lose work. It can also crash on saving in this situation as well and cause corrupted files. This is documented on the forums (but I stupidly can't post links here, or I would gladly point you to it). It would be nice to get a simple out of memory error when reaching this point, but what would be really nice is 64-bit support so I can access the full extent of the memory on my system rather than eighth of my total RAM. To me 64-bit is a must. It's 2014, not 2004.
    I had to sit on my hands so hard not to answer this before that I still can't feel my fingers But I think you will be very, very happy with 64 bit support.
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

    This is not my signature.

    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Varadinum -Transylvania
    Posts
    321

    good news indeed.... aaand a question :-)

    Will this update be available for AR Steam users, as a direct update or we will have to acces it independently?
    Many thanks (my 64 bit machine is already roaring with happines)
    I'm the happiest man in the world. I just don't know this, yet.


    my gallery: http://members.artrage.com/gallery/32810

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,140
    Our current plan is to implement a launcher in the Steam version so that the correct executable will launch automatically. You would still be able to manually launch the 32 bit version on a 64 bit system if you needed to. Final plans aren't in place yet, we're waiting on some feedback from the store handlers, but it will be part of the same ArtRage 4 product so you'll get it automatically.
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

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