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Thread: Couple wishlist features

  1. #1
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    Couple wishlist features

    I would love to be able to set a hotkey to pick the color directly under my pointer without having to hold Alt and tap down with my stylus or mouse button to pick it. Just hover, tap hotkey = color picked and ready to paint with.

    It is a feature I've never seen in any program as of yet and so subtle and simple a thing that will save more time for me than any other possible thing. (number of times I load a brush with a new color while painting X the fractions of a second to do 3 actions to pick the color I want instead of 1)

    A couple other interesting features I'd love to see would be a Gradient Mapping feature where the Gradient scale is applied to the information in the layer or selection based on it's value scale from black to white/transparent = to colors chosen in the gradient bucket, preferably with the ability to have it on a separate layer for adjusting it to different modes . Lastly I'd love to have a Histogram and Curves adjustment tool (for multiple channels) Those 2 tools would make me almost not ever need any other program, currently have to open images in other programs to check this kind of information, which I don't need often so I don't want it up front but I'd love it be something I could set up to be usable if I should need it. Both these features could be buried in a Filters folder or something as I rarely if ever need them for the kind of work that I do.

    As I think of more things I'd like to see I'll list them in thread.

    - Delo

  2. #2
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    Custom brush shapes for Oil and Watercolor brushes

    I'm certain many people have requested the same thing but basically being able to apply the Oil or Watercolor engine to Sticker Spray brushes to provide for a larger range of brush types would push the entire brush engine package over the top. I would suggest putting an option in the brush settings to choose from a shape of one's own choosing preferably placed in the fly out when you click on the icon in the settings box that way it's not clogging up the very clean tidy UI for the settings box (don't want to clutter that too much and overwhelm the user), especially given that this would be an advanced option that doesn't do anything with how the brush acts just what it's basic shape is.

    Adding a toggle in the Sticker Spray, on the other hand, to make the spray have the Oil or Watercolor brush settings options could be amazing as well. Being able to turn a custom sticker sheet spray into a brush that lays on impasto oils for blending with a palette knife would be beyond the strongest of painting capabilities of any other software on the market at the moment (In my opinion of course).

    The engines as they are right now are MORE than adequate for my general painting though and all of that stuff would just increase my productivity as a painter further while maintaining a realistic feel. (because I know I use the tilt, rotation, and pressure of brushes quite extensively with painting traditionally)

    One last suggestion might be having toggles to reverse the general effect of Pressure or Stiffness responsiveness in the current Oil settings. . . because when I think pressure I think of how hard I am pushing the paint into the canvas and when I increase this it ends up making the paint thicker but when I push harder in traditional media it actually scrubs that paint deeper into the canvas and makes it less thick normally. Same for stiffness I kept trying to figure out why it was reacting backwards for me, then I have stiff bristles they tend to push the impasto effects on my canvas around heavily and soft bristles apply the paint without affecting the texture of impasto effects on the canvas nearly as much. I'd much prefer it reversed but I can see how it might have been this way for awhile and might negatively affect the user base to change it now, but given an option I think it'd feel much more intuitive for me to reverse this (a toggle to reverse it that is).

    - Delo

  3. #3
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    Another one I just thought of, though it might have already been suggested is a dry paint button, where the thickness of the paint becomes set and the colors not movable with palette knife or wet blending methods as the layer is now "dried". Of course I can just work on a new layer which is basically the same effect, but I like to keep my layer stack to one or two at most and treat it as I would traditionally giving time to let areas dry before coming to work on them, some sort of toggle for a paint drying over time where we could set the amount of time that passes before paint dries based on it's thickness and perhaps type of paint (oil vs watercolor) linked to the approriate tools under advanced options (when you click on the settings icon and get the fly out list of options). That would make the process feel even more authentic I think and allow for training traditional media to people with ArtRage using the same techniques based around how quickly or slowly paint dries.

  4. #4
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    A point of origin choice toggle for selection tools, start shape from corner or middle. Also, as others may have noted a way to transform empty selections, not just move them around but actually put them into perspective and such before working on them. In fact, a wide range of selection tools are the only thing I feel are lacking in ArtRage, even if I don't use them often in the way I paint having access to them could be quite useful.

    Filter library having an online resource for us to download from would be nice too, having no filters at base doesn't bother me, but I'd love to be able to look for specific filters and download them as needed.

    I'll think of more as the days go by I'm sure.

    Edit: Found some of the hotkey toggles for the selection for making the corner or center based selections, still think it'd be nice to have a toggle in the tools selection as for toggling the mode prior to starting a selection.
    Last edited by Delofasht; 04-09-2015 at 05:19 PM.

  5. #5
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    A new thought I had would be the capability to double load a brush or palette knife so I get color transitions from the left side to the right side of the brush different based on how I loaded them. Also a way to load or scrape paint with a palette knife from the canvas or a reference scrap. Often in traditional media I will use the palette knife to scrape away paint on the canvas, currently all I can do it smudge it or smear it but I feel like unloaded I should also be able to scrape back to the surface with this tool.

    Loading a brush from a palette would be my most wished for attribute and would take the realistic feel even further, with perhaps a variety of different thinners off to the side to dilute my mixes on my palette down with. Once again these are by no means needed, just really wishes. Often people ask why I would want all this, why not just do it traditionally. . . well I like to paint in public places from time to time, carrying all my easel and other stuffs out and setting up and cleaning up is a very lengthy process and often requires me be in a place that will allow for smells and such. Do it all on a laptop exactly how I would traditionally without the smell, clean up, setup and breakdown? Yes that's my dream, all the benefits of traditional without all the drawbacks (or limitations). Controlling loading and thinning in an analog manner feels much faster and can be nearly as accurate (possibly more so) as pulling sliders around (did I mention faster?).
    Last edited by Delofasht; 04-21-2015 at 03:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Brush edge based on tilt, where I could paint with the corners of my square brushes or flat and twist in my stroke while applying a bit of pressure to make it fatter and use more of the bristles. It is a very minor thing but further pushes the idea of traditional feel. Every step this program takes towards traditional feel just makes the workflow more fun and interesting and, for me, easier. Also think I should be able to control the amount of edge of a palette knife touching the canvas. Paint thickness on the palette knife being considered could be quite good too, allowing us to graze the surface with a heavily loaded knife to catch on various impasto elements on the surface for creating interesting broken color effects.

    I feel like it is so close now, just tiny tweaks to how a dry brush interacts with wet paint on the surface for pushing paint around or scumbling a bit more realistically and things like that could push it even further. Would also really like to see advanced options for the paint thickness levels to allow for even higher impasto effects and lighting controls to allow us to move the lighting position or even color of the light on the canvas. There are so many things I would love to see in software, I wish I could be of more help but all I know is how things feel and what I consider with each stroke. Is there a place to write with detailed feedback regarding tactile response in ArtRage? Seems kind of like what you all might have beta testers for but I don't really have any idea of your development process either.

    Also, I saw 16 bit color mode and CMYK color gamut correction mentioned in other threads that I think could be quite good as well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delofasht View Post
    Is there a place to write with detailed feedback regarding tactile response in ArtRage? Seems kind of like what you all might have beta testers for but I don't really have any idea of your development process either.
    .

    Here is good. Here, or send us an email. We read all of it, and collect it, and then - depending on the feature, of course - try and implement it, or stick it in a list of stuff to try and do someday. But you won't actually see the results until we're confident it works, and are ready to roll out it out to live people to play with (the feature has to actually *work* before people can try it, after all). Any major features will be coming out in the next edition, but that's a fair way off still. But we are definitely paying attention.
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    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  8. #8
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    Okay Hannah, well with that said I guess I will try to give some information as to what I've noticed about digital versus traditional and propose a balance between the two. Before I start I should note that I'm only covering a portion here, and that I am no expert, only a very long winded observer.

    Feel. . . So when I'm painting traditionally I have my paints on a separate palette and need to mix my colors by hand, loading the brush as needed for what I need to do. In Digital media we don't load the brush manually, sure we can adjust the slider but it doesn't have the same response as intentionally adjusting it upon going back to the palette, the process of thinking is different in a large amount, we aren't looking at a glob and determining how much of that glob needs to be on the brush versus how much is on the palette. We are thinking of it in volumes and not percentages, and the rate that the loading correlates to is separately defined in an another unusual and non intuitive way. This is more about the psychology of the way the human brain interprets the information, the balance between digital and analog response is vast, the more control we as creators have over our medium, this is why everyone has different settings they like to paint with. The disconnect here is what causes a struggle to get the look we are often intending, and my major reason for not liking digital painting for years (though I only recently realized why).

    To create a more authentic and intuitive response I think perhaps a disconnection of the brushes load and paint properties could be an alternative mode of painting for the program. This is to say separating brush from paint, thereby allowing the paint options to be controlled separately and the brush options separate. This might solve the inverse response I was getting from pressure and stiffness, those sliders may have been referring to the paints' response to the canvas and not the brushes. The difference is subtle, but when we consider what attributes a brush individually brings versus what differences the paints provide we start to get varying responses from our medium that are difficult to reliable achieve in any program currently (ArtRage does this better than any other I've found, while requiring a bit of thinking to achieve some of the effects). Then there are mediums used to change the viscosity, opacity, thinness and other properties of the paint.

    So if the brush attributes can be separated from the paints, then we have to consider what brush attributes are needed to be represented, and just reading through an art catalog we can often find many of the attributes listed that artists crave. Shape, handle length, bristle length, spring, load capacity, durability, stroke consistency. Several of these overlap, affecting various attributes. I propose a brush editor allowing controls on various aspects that affect our stroke and the responsiveness of the brush as a separate entity from the consistency of the paint and it's attributes. Being able to control the rate at which the brush regains it's original shape is an important and slightly odd and difficult to understand why someone might like a brush that doesn't quite return to it's normal shape but it can be something that is actually useful to some artists. The more options a person has with regards to how their brushes respond in digital the more likely they can set it to emulate what they use traditionally (provided of course they are actually aware of the attributes they like).

    Then there is the paint's attributes, once again that look through the artists' catalog reveals the key terms and their meanings for what traditional artists care about, pigment quality, saturation, opacity (versus transparency), reaction to dilution and other mediums, body, durability, drying time. (Oh and toxicity, though luckily for digital representation we don't have to consider that) Allowing control of the paints viscosity is one thing (via thinners currently), but we have no real control over the opacity of the paint, how long it will take to try and remain workable (outside of just instant dry or layers), many of the other attributes aren't extremely important. . . dilution of oils too far results in a loss of adhesion to the surface, which actually could be done intentionally and so having the option to push the control too far might actually be useful. These differences allow us to control how our medium responds to different brushes and application, many of these are debatable as to their worth but the more of them that are put in and controllable the more likely we can get the feel we like.

    Currently the way the Oil and Watercolor are designed allows for a representation of traditional media that is closer than any other software I have found, as such I have decided to provide as much feedback as I can regarding improvements. I have, up to this point, not cared to give advice to other software designers as I've seen their development and know they have not responded to their clients with the tools and features that have been most sought after, instead giving tools and controls that were merely different versions of what they already had. Giving the power to the artists and the creative community to develop the tools might instead provide a much better way of improving the software, without assumption of what the community needs or wants, and allowing them to shape it themselves. Anytime we have an accessible way to develop our tools in a much more intuitive manner, the innovations that occur are vast and interesting.

    I say all this with an understanding that providing all of these kinds of controls requires some intensive coding and could not be hoped for anytime soon at all, but they are something I'd not seen listed anywhere else. Up to this point I'd merely wanted to hint at all the various aspects of attributes, and this is far from a completed list of all the thoughts I have. Once again, I would like to remind everyone that I am not an expert, merely an observer that is trying very hard to communicate those observations and suggestions as friendly and eloquently as possible. (I fail at eloquence. . . my wife on the other hand could probably say every I did in 100 words or less).

    Also, I might have missed some attributes for brush or paint, those were the only keywords that popped out at me while reading my catalog though. Lastly, I do not believe there is a consensus on the exact meaning of many of the keywords or their usages, so some developmental polls might want to be taken regarding what each might mean, spring for instance might mean how quickly the bristles return to their base shape or it might mean how responsive the brush is to angle twists and turns. . . who knows!?

    Oh good wifey came home and I was able to refer to her for a short version.

    Wifey: Separate brush from the paint, provide controls for each individually, loading brushes from palette to emulate traditional, create community resource access in the software, Delo fails at providing eloquent feedback, terms need clarification with community.

  9. #9
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    Expanding on the ideas presented in the last post, drying time controls for speeding or slowing drying times and "open" work times on various media would further represent the way traditional works. Also control over the tilt of the canvas would be quite useful to water media users, provided the viscosity engine allows for UV map reactivity (how the liquid will spread when encountering a high or low point on the surface or canvas). Lastly is getting the other mediums involved with the software, I've seen Autodesk get Copic involved in Sketchbook, perhaps a similar idea could be done with some of the larger paint developers to create a digital media version of their products for teaching purposes.

    This last point is probably one of the more variable and legally difficult to achieve propositions I could offer, but it could provide a way for them to get more sales and be promoted to try painting traditionally after learning digitally. This could make ArtRage the learning tool for various different mediums at the same time and possibly boost sales for their respective companies, while getting exposure from them and also perhaps backing in developmental processes without exposing any of your technology to competitors. The benefits for both companies could be expansive, I've always wished I could buy a program that had synchronized properties to my colored pencils that I use, for testing colors I might want to buy for how they would layer and blending, how they would respond to various thinners (I use Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils which are oil soluble and can be blended easily with mineral oils or otherwise, I like to use walnut oil). Currently no software mimics their or other companies specific individual product properties at all, and therefore I can only learn one aspect of drawing or painting from digital versus learning both.

    I'm pretty sure I have laid out every possible idea and suggestion I could think of for an art program now, good luck and I hope this helps. Also, is there anything else I could do to help see some of these wishes achieved? I feel like just writing it down is all well and good, but I'd love to be to help more in any way I can if possible.

  10. #10
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    Just realized something about loading of a brush or palette knife that kept bugging me. One of the reasons I like loading a brush or knife myself is that I know exactly how much is on that brush or knife and how far it will go, in some ways we have this in ArtRage with loading, but the major failing is that as soon as i stop my stroke it's completely reloaded. This is completely unlike reality, where unless I go back to load the brush what I have on there is reduced significantly from the stroke but not always completely gone, so if I load my brush 25% then make a stroke that only uses up half that paint I end with a possibly dirty brush (depending on whether I used a thinner or not and how thick the paint that I have on the surface is) that has somewhere between 12.5% to 20% (depending on the amount of paint I picked up with my stroke, which is again controlled by thinners and thickness or thinness of the paint on the surface). This is where I've noticed that I have to go back over to my loading control adjust the load and hope that I've gotten the right amount, I've begun to understand how far a stroke will go depending on the size of the brush and if I use half that stroke that I should adjust my loading accordingly for the next stroke. The reason for this, at least for me, is that I very often load a brush with enough to drop in a highlight but know that I'm going to pick up some of the color on the surface while doing it with the intention of taking that color I'm picking up with a much lighter load over to another area and drop that in there to make some reflected light on the another object. I believe that this is an unconscious painting technique we as artists use quite often and currently is not reflected in any software that I've found thus far.

    There are two solutions that I can think up, one is to make auto loading a toggle and then have a hotkey for loading (like cleaning), the other is to be able to load the brush from a palette directly and with purpose. The first solution is as simple as the toggle and for loading you would just alt click your color you want to load to pick it up, this keeps everything pretty much where it is currently with the difference of a dynamic shift in the brushes load based on your usage at a given time. The second solution is a bit more elegant in my opinion and allows the loading to be done without cleaning the brush which can end up like in traditional colors where you pick up some new color but get little bleeds of the color on your brush into your new color.

    The most difficult thing with the latter of these solutions would be the paint tracking on the bristles (especially if some of the other suggestions I have made are implemented as well), this would require the engine tracking both the paint density and viscosity on the surface as well as the brush. The benefits of this are massive and in my opinion worth the time spent developing (especially if the suggestion of involving popular paint and brush makers is feasible) as it allows massive amounts of controls for the way the brushes and paints behave. This kind of control would be far beyond anything that currently exists, and while subtle is probably one of the defining differences between traditional and digital that I have noticed.

    Having said this the solutions I'm providing all become much easier if the individual systems are in fact separate and built to interact with each other (much like our traditional tools, paints, thinners, and so forth are separate). With each system figured out separately and working as intended, combining them into mimics of various existing traditional tools then just becomes about calibrating the feel to that which is expected under a given circumstance and can be calculated and controlled with more accurate sliders. The benefit to brush and paint developers is that they can reach an untapped market of new age digital painters that have never tried traditional oils because it reacts so differently from the digital experience.

    One of the other biggest differences I've noticed is that a dry brush in ArtRage will only very slightly push or pull colors as opposed to in traditional where if I use a completely dry brush on a canvas or paper (oils or watercolor) then I get an entirely different response than the digital equivalent. This difference is noticeable anytime one goes to just spread the paint that's on the surface, with watercolor a dry brush would soak up water on the surface picking up color and then allow you to drag that to drier areas of the paper where some of the color would likely be picked up by the paper (hungry to absorb any liquid on the brush). In oils this is very noticeable anytime you use a dry brush method for applying paint, it's coming off in clumps and then you spread that a tiny bit further with that less loaded brush (once again why I think autoloading needs a toggle) to pull the color further out as the oil is picked up by the dry bristles and deposited into valleys of the surface.

    I am extremely excited by the prospects that are possible in this regard as I believe that the programming is finally able to be done, never before has this kind of technology been within reach. If there are any questions about what I'm referring in any of this feel free to ask, I'd be more than happy to expand in further detail or being unable to do that at least find someone who could.

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