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Thread: Small features and fixes suggestions for ArtRage 2.5

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Small features and fixes suggestions for ArtRage 2.5

    Hey team ArtRage, great oeuvre of a program you made. Have a bit of my feedback on it. :) I'll sort the suggestions in order of majority. All of the following concerns the "full" version.

    Small gripes about the current version 2.2:

    1. Setting the layer transparency needs instant feedback.
    Doing it in the current version is a chore because you cannot see what your setting does. You click the transparency button, change the value blindly, click OK. Dammit, wrong value, the tint is too dark. You click the button again, change the value blindly... you get the idea. Compared to the streamlined everything-else this is a stopper.

    2. A key shortcut or button to merge the current layer.
    Would make a lot of neat tricks easier, e.g. approximation of airbrush masks. Airbrush freely on a clear layer, use the eraser to carve the form, merge the layer with one beneath it, repeat.

    3. A double click on the pan/zoom/rotate tools should reset the position/zoom/rotation. Right now the only way to do it is via the menu.

    4. The layers palette should memorize its position between session.
    Right now it always pops up in the middle and I have to drag it back to the upper right corner where I like it to sit, every time I launch ArtRage.

    5. A keyboard+mouse way to zoom the canvas.
    We have right-click to pan and Alt+right-click to rotate, but no zoom.

    6. The brush dab sample in the brush palette might reflect the current color.


    Bigger (but still not so labor-intensive) suggestions:

    7. Brush presets.
    I know it is a can of worms, but the absence of presets is another flow slowdown. Instead of having three sizes of oil brushes, a clear solvent, and a blender at my disposal, which I can just click and pick, I have to tweak little dials all the time. Maybe limit the size of the palette for them, and/or use graphical icons instead of names, so there is little enticement to make a hundred of presets and drown in them. But *some* preset features would be really productive to have. (Even better if they get stored with the painting, too, so you can pick up the work where you left it off.)

    8. Wacom tool ID support.
    Wacom tools have unique IDs and distinguish between their two tips. This data you get along with positional data from the API. (This is a well-documented feature.) Right now ArtRage ignores both IDs and the tip data. It would be great if I could actually use the eraser as eraser - right now the tool stays the same if I flip the stylus. Better yet, ArtRage should memorize which tool I picked with which stylus tip last and switch to it when the data starts to come from that stylus tip. Painter has this feature, and I have three styli - two regular ones and a soft brush tip - which lets me use five drawing tools interchangeably without ever clicking buttons. Just grab another stylus or flip the one you hold, and the brush (or brush preset) switches. I often hold two styli in my hand, one working and another at ready. It is an invaluable productivity feature. Even with one stylus, an ability to switch between two brushes is invaluable - but ArtRage ignores even that! Pretty pretty pleeeze? *bambi eyes*

    9. The color picker... could be better.
    The picker is dominated by the sector, with the slider so tiny it is almost lost next to it. At the very least, the slider should be wider! The sector itself is way too big for values and produces redundant hues. (The way it is calculated now has the brighter saturated colors dominate it entirely - it is very hard to pick muted tones.) But it is too small for hues! The rainbow packs it too tightly and makes the hues hard to pick. I do realize that the picker form reflects its position in the corner and is symmetrical to the brush palette, etc. But aesthetics shouldn't hamper usability, should they? Look how Painter's color picker works. The circle of hues and a S/V equilateral triangle. The circle is really a circle, you can move the color toward cold or warm from any spot with no stop between red and purple. The triangle contains not a single redundant color and gives every tone an equal treatment. That's the best color picker ever invented. No need to reinvent the color wheel.

    10. Splatter!

    You have "glitter". I am a painter, I have no use for glitter of any form, circular or square or little stars (banish them forever). But oh, for a way to do good realistic splatter! Fine or coarse, even or varied, blotches with tiny droplets at their edges! Shouldn't be too hard: use the same particle engine as glitter, but with different form and without hard metallicity. Only a set of a few dozen scanned splatter droplets used for particle shapes would be needed - and there are such brushes for Photoshop already, so the shapes could be easily obtained.


    Potentially major features ( I don't know how hard it would be):

    10. Scrap bits for color mixing
    There already are nifty reference images that can be pinned to the canvas and moved around; the same interface might be used - just allow drawing on these scraps to mix colors on, put dabs of paint on for color picker, etc. That would be way more hands-on than the little color swatches ArtRage has. You could layer some paint on a scrap palette, load the brush, then paint on the canvas with the beautiful multicolor loaded oil.

    11. Paint depth as "paper tooth" for dry media.
    Oil paint on a layer above some deep-textured oil paint already works right, its texture reflects the "dried" paint's ridges on the layer below. But dry media revert to the paper grain again! It would be great if you could "gesso" the canvas coarsely with a brush, then "dry" it (lift another layer) and draw with the pencils and crayons on the resulting texture.

    12. Scrap bits for color mixing
    There already are reference images that can be pinned to the canvas; the same interface might be used - just allow drawing on these scraps to mix colors on, put dabs of paint on for color picker, etc. More hands-on than the little color swatches! You could layer some paint on a scrap palette, load the brush, then paint on the canvas with the beautiful multicolor loaded oil.

    13. Imitation of rules.
    Someone has already suggested French curves. Why stop at that? Straight rules, tone comparison screens, French curves, ellipse guides... mmm...

    14. Paint viscosity, diffusion and resistance.
    Probably really challenging to implement, but I couldn't help mentioning it. ;)


    Keep up the good work!

  2. #2
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    We're definitely listening.
    AndyRage's mantra for graphics engine code:
    "Sure - how hard can it be?"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRage
    We're definitely listening.

    Andy- That's one of the many things I love about you guys.

    arenhaus- You have some good ideas here some of which have been discussed before and some that are new to me. You've picked a good product and company to offer suggestions to. They really do listen.
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM


  4. #4
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    Strange. I've been playing with ArtRage for a couple of days (I found it wonderful), and today I just wanted to write few suggestions on it. What a surprise, arenhaus came with most of them (article 7 and 10) ;-).

    To art. 7: I mostly use markers, so it would be fine if I had an option to select rounded or flat tip (like the two ends of Copic markers for example).

    You didn't use doubleclick or tap'n'hold in any of the tools available, so you have an oportunity to implement some extra functions to the interface, while it can remain very simple (which is very good. If I wanted dozens of menus, docked and floating paletes, tool options hidden deep in the program, I would choose Photoshop, Painter, GIMP, etc ;-) ).

    And one thing arenhaus didn't mention... It would be nice to have an option to choose a texture of paper/canvas. Not just the bumpiness, but also some smalll particles like in hand-made paper or so...

    Thanx for you're listenning to us. ArtRage is wonderful applications of a price of two markers and a book of fine papers ;-)

    Stepaan

  5. #5
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    Aye, it would be great to have flat or round markers, round / flat / fan brushes, etc. Ink would be nice too - marker does not quite reproduce that.

    Textured (as in, speckled) paper - interesting idea, never thought about that. Technically you could use a scanned image of such - would it produce realistic tooth in Art Rage?

    And it's great that the team is listening. :D

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by unions8
    And one thing arenhaus didn't mention... It would be nice to have an option to choose a texture of paper/canvas. Not just the bumpiness, but also some smalll particles like in hand-made paper or so...

    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus
    Textured (as in, speckled) paper - interesting idea, never thought about that. Technically you could use a scanned image of such - would it produce realistic tooth in Art Rage?
    This has been implemented in good order. Here is a tutorial I have written on the subject. Use with CAUTION as the creation of new paper's becomes quite addicting.

    http://fashmir.blogspot.com/2007/02/...-tutorial.html
    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM


  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Yea! The tutorial is pretty good. i know the way how to create new canvas texture... I was talking about colour texture, not a "bump map". ;-) Arenhaus was right, i can use a layer with paper texture, but it would be fine to have an oprion to choose more of the canvas parameters right in the ArtRage interface ;-) But I'm affraid, we§ve stolen arenhaus' thread... :-)

  8. #8
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    Canvas texture effect (other than using presets) is had by loading a grain. You can import any B&W image (not sure of the format it needs to be in. jpg, png?)

    And it will load as bumpyness that corresponds to the image you loaded as grain.

    Size matters because the grain pic tiles if it's smaller than the pic you're painting. So it either needs to be designed for seamless tiling or you have to fill the pic with part or all of it.

    Try the same one as a positive and negative image. That will determine which way the relief of the texture goes.

    It's an unbelievably cool feature.

    Have fun with it. I did.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: Small features and fixes suggestions for ArtRage 2.5

    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus
    8. Wacom tool ID support.
    Right now ArtRage ignores both IDs and the tip data. It would be great if I could actually use the eraser as eraser - right now the tool stays the same if I flip the stylus.
    My Intuos3 eraser works when I flip the stylus.

    C
    Unless otherwise specified, all images I post are released under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/

  10. #10
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    Re: Small features and fixes suggestions for ArtRage 2.5

    Quote Originally Posted by cthorpe
    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus
    8. Wacom tool ID support.
    Right now ArtRage ignores both IDs and the tip data. It would be great if I could actually use the eraser as eraser - right now the tool stays the same if I flip the stylus.
    My Intuos3 eraser works when I flip the stylus.

    C
    I found that too with my mouse, but I considered it further. Please let us know if this is what happens with your setup:

    My eraser works, but it ignores that there's grain. It just erases evenly.

    Would be cool if it only erased the top of the paint/paper ridge and then you have to paint back over it with white or erase at full erasure to get it back to no pigment in the grooves of the grain.

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