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Thread: Anyone else Disappointed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Down a hole
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    945

    Anyone else Disappointed?

    Hi Artragers,
    I haven't been around on the forums in ages, too much work, So a great big Hi to all my old friends & new ones.

    Although I haven't been painting much but I was quite excited when I heard about Artrage 5 & upgraded my 4.5 to 5 on the first day.
    I've pottered about a few hours, no serious painting, just trying out 'new' things and sadly I felt...disappointed.

    Didn't find any new great improvements in existing tools. I was hoping for additions to the capabilities of the existing tools.
    The custom brush tool was nice..to a certain extent...I found it a bit... limiting.
    Except for the changes to the UI, doesn't seem to like a major upgrade.
    I mean when I upgraded to 4 from 3, There were so many new toys to play with that I was a wee bit euphoric for a few days.
    You all who have shifted to 5 from 4.5, do you all see any vast imrpovements?
    Am I missing something here? Did I overlook anything in my rush to get that 'Artjuice' flowing? (I seriously hope so, I want a great software)
    Or has the software reached it's limit?
    Or is it that the development of all the 'other' versions (iphone,ipad, android) has diminished the scope of the desktop?

    As I said, I can't help but feel disappointed.

    Flyashy
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,874
    They've added the custom brush that allows for custom brushes with color blending options that the Sticker Spray doesn't allow (but I'm thankful to have both tools still, for their own unique qualities). They've added guide lines that can be customized, which is nice for making precise layouts for printing purposes. There's the perspective grid, that's been on many people's wish list for as long as I've been on the forums and they also added the option to snap the transformations to it. Then there's the new noise features on the Pencil and Pastel tools that add a bit more realism/character to them. There's the new options on the Color Sample panel that not only allow you to select an area blend, but also to focus your selection based on Hue, Luminance, Saturation and Metallic aspects. There's the new Layer Effect options (another one people have asked about for a while). They added the Warp option and, one that many many people have asked about for ages, the Remove Color Matte filter, so we can toss out the white paper and keep our pencil lines alone from our image scans (among other uses). The Fill tool has been given an update to close gaps and have a progression fill to find areas that need attention. along with an option to help account for the border color to help bleed the color fill under it (so no pesky white lines to clean up).

    While I'm sure there's always going to be more to wish for, I personally don't feel as though I have anything to feel disappointed about...
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Hi Flyashy! Long time.

    I think part of not seeing the benefits is because you have yet to use those features -- they just didn't factor in to your workflow. If the features are off one's radar, it may seem like there's nothing different. It may also be because of that the features are a step or two below the surface of traditional media where it's not just press the button and start pushing paint. It seems to be now moving into areas that are more focused on things that only digital painting can do. We're spoiled and may have forgotten what a pain in the ass traditional media could be. But digital took all that aggravation away and we forget the things that got solved, and continue to be.

    So if you come to ArtRage to do a charcoal drawing or oils or palette knife or any of the Bob Ross kinds of moves, you still can. Before it all revolved around providing tools that imitated the old school media ways. They did that pretty well. And new abilities in those areas were more how the upgrades looked in the past. One saw an icon, pressed it and started painting. Now it's a bit more evolved than that and not so instantaneous.

    Now the program's getting deeper and what features are become more if one has a reason to learn it. Similar thing happened for me with Photoshop. I got comfortable with certain features and many of the newer features I never even looked at because I was set in my ways. You may be having a similar experience with AR. You liked doing certain things and in your mind that's what AR was about and not more than that.

    There is a finite number of traditional mediums, so once you have that if one wants to grow, you have to start exploring other things that aren't old school. But if one is strictly about the old school stuff, it's okay to be disappointed because most of your stuff is already in the program. But for many artists, they already plateaued but have further needs in their production pipeline. That's a side effect of computers. One can expand into lots of specialties, whereas in traditional media the specialties were comparatively narrow. So working artists often need to be able to do more than draw and paint pretty pictures. We need to know what use is to be made of the art we do and be flexible to accommodate those needs which are often moving targets. So we need tools with flexibility.

    I certainly don't know everything that the program can do. Far from it. But I discover stuff as I have a use for it, whether now or later down the road, sometimes even never. And that's okay. But once the tool's been assimilated into my work flow, I don't have to think about it and have no idea how I got along without it.

    Hope the experience serves you at whatever pace you take it in. Hope you find the fun and satisfaction even if not the euphoria. To get high, you still can go to traditional materials. A tube of glue? Very old school. Hahah. No DON'T! only kidding.
    Last edited by D Akey; 02-18-2017 at 06:49 PM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
    Posts
    1,851
    There are definitely a lot more 'new digital toys' in this update, rather than expansions to existing features (although as pencil artist, I could use the new pencil forever and definitely spent far too much time "testing" it during development - e.g. the kestrel in my icon ). However, even if you never need the new toys, the interface redesign (+docking options), multiple documents, and improved speed/stability* should benefit everyone (and required an enormous amount of work, so would definitely not have been worth doing just as an AR4 update). Those aren't as flashy and noticeable, but the backbone of the program is improved.

    *For example, not only should you see fewer crashes in general, but the saving process has changed so you shouldn't get those annoying lost/damaged files when your save gets interrupted. And, uh, I don't want to tell how you big a canvas certain testers managed to create because then everyone will do it, but it was definitely well over 20,000 pixels across.
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Down a hole
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    945

    New flashy toys!

    Hi Someonesane, D'Akey & HannaRage,
    Thanks for the replies.
    I do understand the enormity of all those backend improvements and augmentations/supplementary aids that have been included in this upgrade, it's just that in my perception ArtRage has always been a real media simulator, and a great one at that. That, to me, an end user, was the USP of ArtRage. Esp. the way the paint behaved in respect to volume. It wasn't ideal, but it came pretty damn close. There are enough programs in the market that do all the layers & stuff, but no one can do volumetric paint like ArtRage (At least to my knowledge).

    The custom brushes, tho, giving a lot more versatility to the concept of Sticker Spray, are still like Photoshop dual brushes, that don't touch the volume.
    There are no new flashy toys! and, the older tools, oils, watercolour, ink, etc are pretty much the same. In lieu of flashy toys I'd even felt gratified if there had been improvements in the existing tools. No tweaks even. (Yes, the pencil has grain & can shade if stylus is tilted)

    For me ( and I can only speak for myself) ArtRage was my go to Painting Program, all those production tools were, secondary, and so, I feel that now the focus seems to be shifting from ArtRage being a primarily being a 'Painting' program to a Photoshop (or something similar) wannabe.

    I'm sure there are enough users who want/need those, but for someone who just wants to paint, with anything that'll make a mark on blank canvas I could've stuck with 4.5 and not felt any different. Even with v4 I'd painted & printed on canvas a painting that was 6' W X 3' H @ 300 dpi that'd make it 20k PX.

    Hence my disappointment.

    At least two people, to whom I'd recommended ArtRage 4, asked me about 5 & said, 'So what's new in it?'
    I had no concrete answer.

    End of rant.
    Cheers,
    Fly
    The more hair I lose, the more head I get.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Perhaps it's time that the AR folks should actually hire somebody to really show off the features in a professional way, even if you're aiming at the amateur artist. Presentation should be above that. I mean the tools are there, and if word of mouth is going to sound like this it's going to undermine any of the advances being made. You might do well to show it ain't so and it's merely a quirky rant (when it is).

    I mean somebody put out the money expecting one thing that wasn't there for them. Either it's not there, or they just don't know what they can do with AR. "Photoshop wannabe" is pretty negative mouthing and connotes some bad stuff. And if they're going to spread that around, you have to have something that shows others what they CAN do, the ones without their expectations already dictating what they want.

    Would be good to run a new feature list for potential buyers/upgraders too. Then if they don't get what they expected, it's on them for assuming and for not looking.

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by D Akey; 02-19-2017 at 08:46 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  7. #7
    I have tried the demo here and there through the years but have never really liked AR because of its lagginess and big icons GUI. Since I'm new to AR, starting with version 5, I have no expectations so there isn't any disappointment for me. But I'm beginning to like AR because the speed has improved and also the nice looking GUI—still not perfect but it's getting better. I am fully aware that AR is a painting program that seeks to imitate real life and that's where it excels. With that in mind, I don't really have any expectation that one day it will be a Photoshop clone or anything like that.

    I don't see any harm in having a few good features found in other softwares that digital painters and concept/sketch artists are using to help them create art that aren't found in AR.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    142
    You are so cool. D Akey, I love the way you think and write. This is a beautifully organized explanation. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey View Post
    Hi Flyashy! Long time.

    I think part of not seeing the benefits is because you have yet to use those features -- they just didn't factor in to your workflow. If the features are off one's radar, it may seem like there's nothing different. It may also be because of that the features are a step or two below the surface of traditional media where it's not just press the button and start pushing paint. It seems to be now moving into areas that are more focused on things that only digital painting can do. We're spoiled and may have forgotten what a pain in the ass traditional media could be. But digital took all that aggravation away and we forget the things that got solved, and continue to be.

    So if you come to ArtRage to do a charcoal drawing or oils or palette knife or any of the Bob Ross kinds of moves, you still can. Before it all revolved around providing tools that imitated the old school media ways. They did that pretty well. And new abilities in those areas were more how the upgrades looked in the past. One saw an icon, pressed it and started painting. Now it's a bit more evolved than that and not so instantaneous.

    Now the program's getting deeper and what features are become more if one has a reason to learn it. Similar thing happened for me with Photoshop. I got comfortable with certain features and many of the newer features I never even looked at because I was set in my ways. You may be having a similar experience with AR. You liked doing certain things and in your mind that's what AR was about and not more than that.

    There is a finite number of traditional mediums, so once you have that if one wants to grow, you have to start exploring other things that aren't old school. But if one is strictly about the old school stuff, it's okay to be disappointed because most of your stuff is already in the program. But for many artists, they already plateaued but have further needs in their production pipeline. That's a side effect of computers. One can expand into lots of specialties, whereas in traditional media the specialties were comparatively narrow. So working artists often need to be able to do more than draw and paint pretty pictures. We need to know what use is to be made of the art we do and be flexible to accommodate those needs which are often moving targets. So we need tools with flexibility.

    I certainly don't know everything that the program can do. Far from it. But I discover stuff as I have a use for it, whether now or later down the road, sometimes even never. And that's okay. But once the tool's been assimilated into my work flow, I don't have to think about it and have no idea how I got along without it.

    Hope the experience serves you at whatever pace you take it in. Hope you find the fun and satisfaction even if not the euphoria. To get high, you still can go to traditional materials. A tube of glue? Very old school. Hahah. No DON'T! only kidding.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    22,517
    Thanks. Writing it out also helps me pull it out of the fog to know what the heck I'm thinking too.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    538

    As far as I am concerned, I like it.

    I have made my own set of custom brushes with good result. Custom Brushes is the big benefit of version 5 over version 4. Still I have to explore some more about AR 5 to understand it all... I am glad everything from version4 is still there and that everything works just fine, stable and smooth like it did before. AR5 is a very good paint and illustration program. Very good from my point of view. The illustration is made using ArtRage 5, all of it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Henry Stahle; 03-01-2017 at 10:36 PM.
    My Art Blog : Pennstreck
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