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Thread: Artrage Oil Blending Problem - Colors are Changing

  1. Artrage Oil Blending Problem - Colors are Changing

    I'm using Wacom Cintiq Companion (1st version) and Windows 8.1. I love, love, love Artrage for oil painting, but when it comes to blending, it becomes very frustrating. Some colors when blended together, produce undesired results. For example I'll try to blend blue and grayish blue, and Artrage starts to create cayan, spreading it to other parts of the image where I'm blending. I understand that if I blend yellow and blue together I get green in real life. That's understood. However I'd love to have a blender that does not create new colors when blending two together, while still maintaining that brush-stroke look. I have tried selecting and deselecting "real color blending", but that didn't make a difference. If I blend light brown and dark brown together, the colors start to turn very reddish, nothing like I intended.

    In the next version of ArtRage (and I hope that's soon!), I'd love to have oil brush blenders that just blend two colors together without creating new colors, if that makes sense. Anyone else have a problem with this? Corel Painter does a good job blending like this, but it's missing those great ArtRage brush strokes and textures. If I could combine ArtRage oils and Corel Painter blending into one, it would make the perfect pair.

    When is ArtRage 5 coming? I can't wait to see what improvements it brings. Love 4, but this blending thing (and maybe better watercolors) would be just awesome.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamSourceStudio View Post
    I'm using Wacom Cintiq Companion (1st version) and Windows 8.1. I love, love, love Artrage for oil painting, but when it comes to blending, it becomes very frustrating. Some colors when blended together, produce undesired results. For example I'll try to blend blue and grayish blue, and Artrage starts to create cayan, spreading it to other parts of the image where I'm blending. I understand that if I blend yellow and blue together I get green in real life. That's understood. However I'd love to have a blender that does not create new colors when blending two together, while still maintaining that brush-stroke look. I have tried selecting and deselecting "real color blending", but that didn't make a difference. If I blend light brown and dark brown together, the colors start to turn very reddish, nothing like I intended.

    In the next version of ArtRage (and I hope that's soon!), I'd love to have oil brush blenders that just blend two colors together without creating new colors, if that makes sense. Anyone else have a problem with this? Corel Painter does a good job blending like this, but it's missing those great ArtRage brush strokes and textures. If I could combine ArtRage oils and Corel Painter blending into one, it would make the perfect pair.

    When is ArtRage 5 coming? I can't wait to see what improvements it brings. Love 4, but this blending thing (and maybe better watercolors) would be just awesome.

    What you are noticing are essentially oversaturation artifacts of the ArtRage blending engine. I have asked that this be addressed and fixed but apparently they do not believe it is important enough to fix, or they cant figure out how to fix it given their current paint volume mixing algorithms. They've also implied that even current computer platforms would be too slow to implement a blending engine that actually works. That seems to be the excuse anyway.

    Bottom line, don't hold your breath. Having a top notch blending engine is apparently not one of ArtRage's priorities and you likely will not see any improvements. Why not you ask? Isn't real media and how paint behaves on the canvas the central selling point and strength of ArtRage? No idea, and YES it is.


    If you ask me, they should spend time on improving on the strengths of the package... the look, feel, performance, and accuracy of real media simulation. Other programs offer many tools for digital manipulation, often very sophisticated, powerful, and offering snazzy effects. ArtRage does not, could not, and should not try to compete in that market... those parts of PhotoShop and Corel Painter are not what ArtRage is about. Mind you those extra features should be added to teh extent they are convenient for its core consumers who cherish ArtRage for it's focus on real media as long as the resources required to do so does not result in neglect of the improvements to the core strengths of ArtRage. ArtRage would falter if other developers catch up and provide real media simulation which trumps that of ArtRage... if that ever happens you could guarantee sales would plummet, the program needs to bolster its differentiator, continually improve and perfect it. Its the reason why people buy the program.

    The blending engine is connected so intimately with its greatest selling points, one of which is how simulated paint behaves... so it should be a high priority... at least one would have thought.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamSourceStudio View Post
    I'm using Wacom Cintiq Companion (1st version) and Windows 8.1. I love, love, love Artrage for oil painting, but when it comes to blending, it becomes very frustrating. Some colors when blended together, produce undesired results. For example I'll try to blend blue and grayish blue, and Artrage starts to create cayan, spreading it to other parts of the image where I'm blending. I understand that if I blend yellow and blue together I get green in real life. That's understood. However I'd love to have a blender that does not create new colors when blending two together, while still maintaining that brush-stroke look. I have tried selecting and deselecting "real color blending", but that didn't make a difference. If I blend light brown and dark brown together, the colors start to turn very reddish, nothing like I intended.
    The problem of stray colours getting introduced to blending is something we're continuing to look in to. Basically, small rounding errors in colour calculations which occur because of the limited range of available values can become more visible when colour blending operations are repeated hundreds upon hundreds of times - small errors compound and become bigger ones. Because Artrage handles its physical media in an unusual manner (which is what gives us the brush texturing and other natural effects) we're more susceptible to this than many other packages.

    We've been working on various approaches to solving this for some time and have introduced various tweaks in different versions to improve it. We're definitely going to will continue working on it because it's something we want to hammer out of the blending algorithm, but in the meantime you might find that Real Blending turned off reduces the instances of Cyan specifically (there's a point of the real blending curve that is tending towards Cyan and we're looking in to that).

    If you've got a specific set of colours that's causing issues feel free to drop a PTG file with a sample of them to support@artrage.com and we can use that to help as we go through adjustments to the system. Sorry I couldn't give an immediate solution, it's a hugely complicated system and the process of ironing out issues tends to work like a seesaw, swinging one way then the other, until hopefully we can balance it out fully!
    Matt
    ArtRage UI
    Ambient Design.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkOwnt View Post
    What you are noticing are essentially oversaturation artifacts of the ArtRage blending engine. I have asked that this be addressed and fixed but apparently they do not believe it is important enough to fix, or they cant figure out how to fix it given their current paint volume mixing algorithms. They've also implied that even current computer platforms would be too slow to implement a blending engine that actually works. That seems to be the excuse anyway.

    [cropped for space/to avoid this getting too sidetracked]

    Hey, you're getting pretty aggressive here, and that's not nice forum behaviour. You're also sidetracking the thread and the question you're answering isn't actually the same as the original user posted - the thing you're talking about relates to a different, very specific aspect of the colour mixing - and this isn't the first time, so you're getting awfully close to getting your posts deleted or a temporary ban. And I'm saying that as a forum mod, not as a 'you're being awfully mean and calling us a bunch of cynical liars' representative of ArtRage.


    *swaps forum hat to artist hat*

    As an artist, I literally never notice this issue, or work around it by repainting within seconds, or go 'yes, awesome colours!' and would actually be sad if it went away. As a tech support person, I acknowledge it's a valid issue that bugs some people, and I'm aware that the programmers are aware of it and care about it far more I do.


    Now, *swaps hat to tech support*:

    We're always open to hearing about issues that bug people, and we don't require a specific number of complaints before we look into something, but that doesn't automatically translate into instant fixes, for a very long list of reasons - including the fact that in this specific example, it's not technically possible to perfectly fix it, only to adjust it back and forth with a series of tweaks (get back to us when computers have at least a dozen times the working memory, and making this change wouldn't break ArtRage for everyone with an older computer), and that we're actually a really tiny company.

    Things that are a problem for some users are not a problem for everyone, or people would miss out on other features while time was spent endlessly tweaking one minor issue, which means that we have to prioritise changes based on an entire userbase, not just one person who really doesn't like the current behaviour. There physically isn't enough time to implement everything we, and users, would like to implement. What our priorities and general goal for our software are isn't always going to match everything that every user wants, or actually be possible.

    Now, you've already talked to us about it, we've explained why we can't fix it yet, and deciding we're lying and cynically handicapping our own software to spite you isn't... helpful. To anyone. This is a highly technical issue that is very specific to ArtRage. If another software shows up that does the same thing as us, they're going to have exactly the same problem (or they're going to be alien geniuses who are cheating by using galactic space code).


    *swaps back to forum mod hat*

    Whether or not you believe us doesn't actually matter - you don't get to sidetrack threads with rants that contain inaccurate information (especially as you have already been told that it's not accurate) and are actively hostile. It makes the forum unpleasant, it makes it hard for us to actually help people, and it confuses users. If you don't rein it in, I'll be removing your most unhelpful posts and temporarily banning you. That's a standing warning, whether the next post is next week or next year.



    ( @DreamSourceStudio: If you have any further questions about your original issue that you'll like to discuss based on Matt's answer, go ahead - I'll leave this thread open for you to do that. You can also drop us an email at support@artrage.com if you want).
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

    This is not my signature.

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

  5. #5
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    HannaRage


    I have reviewed my latest posting; my criticisms and views of ArtRage and how they were expressed. I regret certain aspects of that post and apologize for them.

    I admit my remarks strayed into the emotional, and my conclusions (explicit or implicit) regarding the motives, priorities, and attitudes of the ArtRage team are not valid or objective because they are baseless. Factually, I cannot know them, hence they are pure arbitrary emotionalism, and I should know better. For this error I apologize. It is the worst affront to justice, for the good to be erroneously maligned as the bad, and those who have been so wronged are right to take offense. For this unfairness on my part and for offending you and your team I do apologize.


    My criticisms of the ArtRage software (which if objectively presented are likely permitted on the forum) and my views of what the ArtRage software's strengths are, and what its focus should be, stand as my honest opinion, and are directly related to the blending errors the OP raised. To that extent, i.e. minus the emotionalism and the unfounded and unjust characterization of the ArtRage team's position, attitude, etc., I stand by my post. In future my posts will be restricted to such banter with other members with respect to the ArtRage software, including yes my gripes and also my praise but avoiding any statements about the ArtRage team.


    Notwithstanding my negativity surrounding this particular issue, EDIT: Matt's [[your]] response to the OP serves to buoy some optimism for the future of the ArtRage software and its blending engine.


    Sincerely,
    DO
    Last edited by DarkOwnt; 06-25-2016 at 01:51 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattRage View Post
    The problem of stray colours getting introduced to blending is something we're continuing to look in to. Basically, small rounding errors in colour calculations which occur because of the limited range of available values can become more visible when colour blending operations are repeated hundreds upon hundreds of times - small errors compound and become bigger ones. Because Artrage handles its physical media in an unusual manner (which is what gives us the brush texturing and other natural effects) we're more susceptible to this than many other packages.
    It is good to know that the color mixing engine is being worked on. As an interesting note, I started really digging in with this study of color blending some time back. I believe the issues we see are due to the color space in digital being an equal balance of red, blue, and green for mixing. The spectral analyses I'd been learning to interpret show a different arrangement of color space, how that lines up with pigments in traditional media is interesting to say the least. While a huge gamut of colors can be made using RGB models, color mixing in a natural manner is extremely difficult because it doesn't represent what we see in actual life. Short of writing a new color space. . . I'm not certain there is a way to effectively program color mixes.

    Currently in "Real" color blend mode, blues mixing into reds will often push magenta to 100 saturation with any mix starting >50 saturation to start. Reds leaning orange mixing into cyan should nearly perfectly neutralize, but instead push to green on the edge of the red side mix consistently, with saturation scattering hard. Green plus a blue (cyan leaning toward magenta) should result in a darker green but instead goes into Cyan.

    In natural media there are 3 colors we cannot mix to: cyan, magenta, and yellow, this should be reflected digitally as well. This is not to say that a CYMK color space is better by any means, just that we can't get to higher saturations of those colors by mixing less saturated versions of colors next to them, blue + green shouldn't get me even near a higher saturation cyan, likewise an red orange + cyan shouldn't end anywhere near a green regardless of saturation starting points, and red orange + blue (cyan leaning toward magenta) shouldn't actually go to magenta, when mixed with natural media paints I end up with a very muddy brown color. Pigments have various degrees of transparency as well that further adjusts how they interact, opaque pigments will mix more neutrally in a slightly more lateral fashion (where value doesn't shift as much) where transparent pigments tend to work almost multiplicatively, darkening expontentially. This is an aspect of color mixing we do not see at all in digital, where color mixes are generally somewhere between the two. This is a side of painting and paint control I'd love to see, basically being able to adjust these color mixing curves ourselves, even if it's through a secondary tool. Someone out there somewhere given the right interface would make these as near perfect as possible (could be me), currently in order to adjust these settings I would likely have to learn a lot of programming language, and while I do find it interesting, I'm not particularly interested in expanding my studies to include that while I'm still working on perfecting my artistry.

    Levers for paint controls would benefit from controls on transparency versus opacity, "pigment" particle size (allowing creating granular paint for both oils and watercolor, that reacts to further paints added to the surface), and controls for the "binder" more or less of various modifiers to affect rate of application of the paint (rheological handling simulation, stiff paint vs fluid). These in turn would be adjusted by color curve blending based on an external addon or something that could allow us to fine tune the color space to represent the colors we would expect when mixing in natural media (expectations of some artists can vary, some expect to mix red-orange plus blue and get a purple. . . but that's not how color space works as I understand it in practice with natural media). By hopefully keeping the settings separated from the basic tools, the UI can remain relatively simple but allow the user to greatly impact how the tools react to better simulate a personal expectation. Similar tools for brush settings could be wonderful as well. . . (shape, number of bristles, length of the bristles. . . for stabilizing brush strokes, and so on).

    Sorry to have gotten off topic there, a bit hopeful and excited by the possibilities that a color gamut curve adjustment tool might yield. . . especially one that allowed for simulation of transparent or opaque paints (since they react differently on the color curve in terms of variation in saturation, value, and hue even).

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