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Thread: inaccurate color sampling in gradient fill

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    inaccurate color sampling in gradient fill

    Hello! I'm using ArtRage 4.5.9 on a Macbook Air, OS X 10.8.5.

    My problem is that when I try to sample an existing color in my painting while constructing a gradient, the color choice is inaccurate. The eyedropper tool seems to work accurately during other operations.

    When I begin constructing a gradient, the color that I used most recently accurately transfers to the gradient editor as the main color. But when I try to set the secondary color by clicking in my painting, I get a color that is close but not quite. This happens whether I click on the painting itself (as you can see from the inaccurate aqua in the left-hand gradient) or whether I click on a saved sample in the sample pod (the inaccurate aqua on the right-hand gradient).

    If I leave the gradient fill tool, use the eyedropper to make the aqua the current color and start my gradient construction over again, you can see that the aqua is now accurate (because it was the main color) and the royal blue sampled from the painting is now wrong. (The middle gradient.)

    Got any work-arounds for this? Am I missing something?
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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    The most likely cause of colour picker discrepancies is the canvas lighting (the lights and shadows affect the perceived colour). Can you try turning it off entirely (F5, or Canvas Settings) to see if that affects the colours you're getting? (You can ignore canvas lighting with the colour picker tool, but it may not be carrying over to the gradient fill).
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2015
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    Turning off Canvas Lighting definitely helped -- the aqua is now very close to accurate. But the royal blue is still way off. I turned off the lighting using the menu (left-hand gradients) and then using the F5 key (right-hand gradients) just in case that made a difference, but you can see the results are the same.

    Anything else I can try?

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  4. #4
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    BTW, in case it's helpful, here's the problem illustrated with some other color combos. The issue shows up with all of them, although it's nearly invisible with the yellow.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Okay, I can't get the same inaccurate colours, mine always match perfectly, but there is one more very sneaky thing that might be catching you out.

    When you click on the screen to pick the secondary colour, it's not picking it from the saved sample, it's picking it from the screen itself. So if you're clicking the edge of the menu, you'll get the white menu colour. If you click towards the edge of the sample 'box', you'll pick up the slightly darker shadow around the edge.

    Can you try:

    - picking from the exact centre
    - creating some sample blobs on the canvas with a flat tool like the ink pen (or leave canvas lighting off) and pick directly from those
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  6. #6
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    More testing: for a given color, the color picker in the gradient editor always comes up with the exact same wrong color, no matter where in the rectangle of color I pick it from, or whether I pick it from a separate blob of ink. Some wrong colors are closer to right than others (the pale blue in the third gradient came very close), but within one painting, the wrong color is always consistent no matter where it's sampled from (see the pink in the two gradients on the left).

    If I manually edit the HLS/RGB numbers in the gradient editor, I can get the right color (see the correct pink in the gradient on the far right). So now I at least have a solution that works, even if it's a bit clumsier than pointing and clicking. Is there anything else you can think of that might help?

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  7. #7
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    Hmm. What settings do you have for the Gradient Fill (you can reset to defaults using the little arrow up in the top right of the settings panel)? I absolutely cannot get it to vary.

    My steps:

    1. Grab colours from your screenshot and save them to samples/set up background
    (with canvas lighting off for the colour picker settings, or for everything - canvas lighting on causes definite changes if I grab colour from the canvas. It won't affect the saved colour samples though).

    2. Gradient fill > pick main or secondary colour from colour sample
    3. Get perfect match

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Is there anything you're doing differently?
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

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  8. #8
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    Dec 2015
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    I had a crazy week at work so it took me a while to get back to this.

    Here is exactly what I did:

    - Save blue & pink samples from previous painting.
    - Open new painting, turn off canvas lighting in canvas settings, pick "reset current tool" on the fill tool. My settings still look like yours.
    - Make two rectangles and fill them with pink and blue from the samples.
    - Open gradient editor. I was surprised that it already had a gradient running from the correct blue to the correct pink, but that was probably left over from the last test painting where I manually entered the correct values. You can see that gradient on the left.

    Then I went back to the gradient editor, clicked the Main Color square and clicked in several different location in my painting and on the sample chip. It always gave me the exact same incorrect pink. In fact, it is the same incorrect pink as in the previous painting, so each color seems to deform the same way each time. Then I clicked in the secondary color square, then clicked in my painting (or on the sample chip) and got the exact same incorrect blue as last time. This is the gradient on the right.

    Other things that I tried that made no difference: (1) I uninstalled ArtRage Lite and rebooted my computer. (I upgraded from the free version largely so that I could use gradients, so that's why I'm being so dogged about this.) (2) I also changed my order of operations; instead of selecting my fill area and then defining the gradient, I tried defining my gradient and then selecting the fill area.

    At this point should I just re-download the program and install it again?
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  9. #9
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    Okay, can you save that painting (or any where you get the same result) and email the PTG file to us at support@artrage.com so we can take a look?

    Reinstalling shouldn't make any difference, something else is going on.

    ( for future reference, you upgraded to ArtRage 4 from ArtRage Lite. Telling us you have ArtRage Lite will be a bit confusing!).
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Hello Morchello, Hannah,
    Having read through this topic I thought to try this out too and see what happens. And yes I too get a slight change in colours as well. Though I would say it is only very slight and not as pronounced perhaps as in Morchella's screenshots. But it is there.
    I also note Morchello and I have more or less the same Mac setup.
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