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Thread: Locking Paint and the inverse of Lock Transparency

  1. #1
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    Locking Paint and the inverse of Lock Transparency

    I've been wondering how to make use of 'lock paint'. I use 'lock transparency' all the time. But I haven't incorporated lock paint functionality into the work flow.

    Would anyone be kind enough to share with me how you are making use of this functionality? Is it designed for those who prefer to work on just one or two layers? Or is it simply a safe guard, to stop you from accidentally painting onto the wrong layer?

    On a related topic, there might be some other functionality I'm failing to find: The ability to add paint only to alpha without adding to any painted areas of a layer. This would come in useful when, for example, spraying textures, in which case you might not want a build up of texture on the edges of each sticker, if that makes sense. The inverse of 'lock transparency', in other words.

    Is there a way to do that, and I simply haven't discovered it yet?

  2. #2
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    Hi Slap Happy Larry
    Yes Lock Paint is primarily to stop you from painting on layers you shouldn't!
    The opposite of Lock Transparency that you are looking for is a Layer Mask. Unfortunately AR dose not have this option built in as some other paint programs do. However…
    You can do it "manually".
    If you want to only paint on the Alpha areas of a layer that already has some painted areas you can go to Edit > Select Layer Contents. Once the doted line has appeared around all the layer's contents go to Edit again and now choose 'Invert Selection'.
    Now any paint you apply will be confined to just the empty "alpha" areas.
    It may be that you might wish to come back to those same areas again later after painting them, when selecting them in a similar way is not possible. If you think this likely, then while those areas are selected open a new layer and then flood fill the areas with a solid colour, say pure black, and then hide this layer.
    Now if you want those areas again later you need only unhide the black mask layer, select the painted areas and then hide the mask layer again. The selected area will still be active and will now prevent you painting outside it on the layer you actually wish to paint on.
    Another alternative is to make a Stencil from a layer and use this in much the same manner as above. However Stencils can be, for want of a better term "porous" sometimes as they also capture the "thinness" of the paint in the area they were made from. I also find that their colouring can sometimes be distracting in this scenario and may unduly influence colour choices while painting.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Hi Slap Happy Larry

    The opposite of Lock Transparency that you are looking for is a Layer Mask.
    Thank you on several counts -- I had never worked out what 'layer mask' really meant in my dabblings with other software, but now I'm clear.

    I'll try out your workaround. Unfortunately I can't see a workaround for the sticker spray -- I guess I'd have to place each sticker individually -- but no doubt I'll find some other use for what I'll now call the 'Hack Mask'.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy Larry View Post
    Unfortunately I can't see a workaround for the sticker spray -- I guess I'd have to place each sticker individually.
    I'm not sure what you're trying to do with stickers. Is there some kind of visual example you could provide for what you're trying to achieve? Even if it's from a different program, it might help us figure out a similar method, if not the very same method.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  5. #5
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    Yes as someonesane says if you could give more details that would be good.
    One thing that dose occur to me though that you may be trying to do with the masking, as outlined above, is use that method with un-flattened sticker sprays.
    If that is the case, then yes it seems it will fail and you will still be able to paint over any previously applied stickers on that layer. Any restrictions that should have been imposed by the selected areas seem to be ignored by un-flattened stickers.
    Is this a bug? Perhaps someone from Ambient could comment.
    Last edited by markw; 03-27-2015 at 11:02 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Any restrictions that should have been imposed by the selected areas seem to be ignored by un-flattened stickers.
    Is this a bug? Perhaps someone from Ambient could comment.
    That's intended behavior for the non-flattened stickers. Each sticker is an independent object, holding more than just pixel information. It's why un-flattend stickers don't lose their crispness when constantly picked up and rotated multiple times and why stickers, with multiple maps applied, can shine light off of themselves when the ArtRage light rendering is on. In order to make a cut into the sticker object, it'd need to be made into pixels, for the selection to edit it.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  7. #7
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    Name:  Concrete Texture Spray.jpeg
Views: 354
Size:  109.1 KB

    Say you want to cover a selected area in a concrete texture and you have a concrete brush (A) in your arsenal.

    You'd like to cover the area in concrete using a 'stamping style' of painting. So click, click, click you go with the pen on the tablet, gradually covering the area, and the reason you don't want to spray it on willy-nilly is because you want that exact level of graininess and transparency. If you were to spray it on you get (B), even on the lowest spray rate. And before you know it, your texture is way too concretey. Even when you're stamping really carefully, you end up overlapping at the edges, and you can tell I've used a stamp. Not so much for this particular brush, but for others that are more regular in shape.

    Concrete is one thing -- I get around the too-concreteyness by lowering the opacity of the layer or changing the blend mode, but when covering a wall in bricks, in which you definitely don't want any overlap, I often think it would be nice if there were some box I could click before I stamp which would allow me to automatically lock the paint (ie create a mask) as I go about my stamping. In other words, the mask is created as soon as the paint is laid down. That way, I could cover a wall in bricks without getting bricks upon bricks upon bricks. This is really only an issue when the sticker has transparent parts in it, I guess, in which you want to retain the transparency.

    Or perhaps the sticker experts among you can give me the settings I need in order to cover a wall in bricks in a systematic fashion via spray. I can get straight lines of bricks by spraying with a finger on the command key, and that does a nice job of spraying bricks evenly across a straight line, but the tricky bit comes when I want to spray the horizontal line of bricks below, in which case it's slightly difficult to not overlap them. Though not impossible, true.

    I realise what I'm asking doesn't mimic real world painting and that it's a small and fussy thing. Just wondering if anyone has wondered the same, and overcome it in some way I haven't thought of.
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  8. #8
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    Hmm... Okay. I get what you're trying to do, but ArtRage doesn't have a feature for the Sticker Spray, that controls the alpha of stroke in that manner (or that patterns the texture, like that). The best options would be to use the pattern fill tool or the grain of the canvas/layer itself. In both cases, you'd select the area you want to texture and then either apply a blanket pattern fill over the selected area or use a tool like the Pastel tool to coat the top of a grainy layer or canvas texture.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  9. #9
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    Yes, there are indeed ways around this limitation, as you've suggested. Especially if you already have the texture. I'm thinking of the scenarios in which you're creating the very texture you're wanting to use in the aforementioned pattern fill etc.

    I wasn't hopeful that it's possible, but I've considered a few new workflows anyhow from the discussion. And most of the time there's a certain painterly charm that comes from being unable to place paint exact where you thought you wanted it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Someonesane View Post
    That's intended behavior for the non-flattened stickers. Each sticker is an independent object, holding more than just pixel information. It's why un-flattend stickers don't lose their crispness when constantly picked up and rotated multiple times and why stickers, with multiple maps applied, can shine light off of themselves when the ArtRage light rendering is on. In order to make a cut into the sticker object, it'd need to be made into pixels, for the selection to edit it.
    Thanks for the clarification there SOS.
    That's one less mystery in the world now to keep me awake at night!


    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Happy Larry View Post
    ...And most of the time there's a certain painterly charm that comes from being unable to place paint exact where you thought you wanted it.
    Ah, that's the spirit SHL, see the positive in the imperfect and embrace it!
    Personally I quite like to see these little signs of the artist at work. It helps reinforce the fact that it is not all being done by a soulless computer!
    Still I do like your idea of having the option to "invert" the Lock Transparency function, it would indeed be a most useful feature I think. And at times serve better than using a Layer Mask.
    Perhaps you should post a request for it in the Suggestions forum.
    Last edited by markw; 03-28-2015 at 10:31 PM.
    Maker Of Replica Macoys

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