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Thread: Troubles dealing with Brush

  1. #1
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    Troubles dealing with Brush

    Hi all,

    I am a veteran in Computer Arts. I have a good experience of Photoshop oc, but also Corel Painter (not suited for real work IMO), SAI, Illuststudio / Clip Studio Paint for the main ones. The later being my go to setup where I have all my settings adjusted.
    Working on a Cintiq 27 QHD and an SP4.

    I had my sight on Artrage since the first release. I appreciate the brush tech, which seems to do what Painted aimed at but with proficient coding skill (ie it works, performance wise) and a slick UI. When my 9 yo son was starting to get frustrated with other apps on his Surface 3 (Krita being a bug fest there...) I remembered ArtRage and when I found about the discount, I bought it. I am glad to say he's a much happier camper than he's ever been so far on the digital art front.

    That being said I tried to give it a go on the cintiq and I am a bit puzzled by some "very much in your face" issues.

    - brush sizes : some are way too small. Standard pro format for print will be something like A4, 600 dpi. Even Artrage offer A3 300 dpi. In those mode, aerographe could use up to 3000% (!) size to be useful. Also not tying Brush size to preset seems a bit crazy. Puzzled by the design decisions!
    - no flat brush? That's the main "natural painting" brush. Usually you don't need art pen to be able to have your flat brush working fine (ie you make a large line, take a 90 angle without rotating to a fine line, then another one, still with barrel rotation untouched, to use the largest bit of the brush again, as seen here) but I've been unable to get that to work in Artrage, even /w my Wacom Art Pen that I read is supposed to be supported. I can see square brush but square brush aren't a thing IRL and they kind of defeat the point of what's good about flat brushes. Puzzled by the design decision!
    - touch (let alone multi touch) support is terrible ATM. I have read a post where it's blamed on Wacom doing their own "multi touch" being annoying from an app dev standpoint (which I get) but the thing is, multi touch wacom gesture are disabled on my rig and yet it works like a charm every where else but on Artrage. I can use Clip Studio delighful pan, rotate, zoom, undo and redo without using my (not working BTW, this thing is crap) EK Remote or keyboard. Needless to say, no zoom, rotate and pan on touch is kind of a deal breaker here

    Any thing here I got wrong as a user ? Or are those real flaws in Artrage ? I hope I am wrong. The brushes are of interest for sure.
    Last edited by Red_Force; 01-09-2018 at 10:02 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm glad to hear that your son is enjoying ArtRage! Let's see if we can get you enjoying it too


    Brush size can go up to 500% - click and type, or press SHIFT and drag left/right on the canvas. Larger brushes aren't possible at the moment due to the paint mixing and texture (which were never designed to go that large) and memory usage. It's something we're looking into for future editions, but will require rewriting a lot of the underlying code. Some tools run larger than others and you can work around size limitations somewhat by recording a script of your painting and playing it back at a larger resolution (AR5 only, not Lite).

    You can choose to save the size as part of a preset. It isn't always linked in the defaults because those are more about offering a range of settings, and having the brush constantly change size would be annoying, but if you choose one and then save a new preset, you will have the option to save the size as well.

    The oil brush and ink pen can be flattened by adjusting 'Aspect'. 0% aspect is flat, 100% is square/round. A square flattish brush is a common paintbrush shape, and you should be able to recreate almost any type of brush in ArtRage. (note: some of the more advanced settings are only in AR5, not Lite, I'm not sure what you have). Rotation, pressure, tilt angle, and stroke direction will let you further control the width of brush strokes.

    The Wacom artpen rotation will usually act like the tilt setting, because tilt is used in ArtRage to mimic rotation (because most people do not have rotation-capable styluses). You can adjust the behaviour a bit by opening Settings and then the menu button in the top right and choosing Set Stylus Properties (again, not in Lite).

    Touch should work automatically for panning, zooming, etc. If it's misbehaving, go to Edit > ArtRage Preferences and take a look at the Input Settings. Make sure that multitouch is on, and try turning off either Wintab or Realtime Stylus in case they are conflicting.

    You can also open the 'Canvas Positioner' (the doubleheaded arrow in the upper right menu bar) and click/drag on it to adjust the canvas view onscreen, instead of shortcuts or touch input.

  3. #3
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    Hello Hannah,

    First thanks for the swift reply. It's appreciated!

    Got AR5

    Brush size can go up to 500%
    Got that. Tested. Found out why the "accurate" setting in the input pref mattered at high scales

    The oil brush and ink pen can be flattened by adjusting 'Aspect'
    Thank you, this helps a lot. My first idea is : this should be the basic setting for oil brush, especially considering what the icon looks like (with a 25% angle btw).
    That being said I still can't use it the way I need as it's surprising doing a "brush size" morph. Compare the previous exemple (from Clip Studio, but i really could be Sai, Paint, etc.) to what I've got now. The thing is those bulgy corners means accuracy loss when I sometimes need it. Not the way a real brush behaves either. Is there another setting I missed?

    The Wacom artpen rotation will usually act like the tilt setting, because tilt is used in ArtRage to mimic rotation (because most people do not have rotation-capable styluses). You can adjust the behaviour a bit by opening Settings and then the menu button in the top right and choosing Set Stylus Properties (again, not in Lite).
    Yup, I had seen that although I find the lack of matrice and response curve frustrating. I perfectly get the app design impulse to keep thinks simple and how those things feels like too much access under the hood. I've been here myself designing audio fx so I sympathise. Still... as a user, I feel I need those. This level of control are a good part of the reasons why I can't see myself going back to PS as my main app (or for anything really). My interest for Artrage isn't exactly for the same use and to a point, I do dig the simplicity of the front end, but I believe once you create and "under the hood" menu, it's better to go full geek. All (all !) of my Clip Studio custom brushes use non linear, multiple response curves for pressure, tilt, velocity applied on custom ranges. My estimate at that point is that you need that to create brushes that support 1:1 pixel ratio display without showing their "digital" origin by keeeping the texture interesting and lively. Which you need once you print, especially for all things inking (painting's a bit more forgiving, but not too much either).

    Touch should work automatically for panning, zooming, etc.
    I am sorry to confirm it doesn't (yep, I had searched in the pref first and I just triple checked).
    I did manage to get a minor improvement that may provide a lead on the issue.
    If I shut down "real time stylus" AND "multi touch" I get Art Rage to know when I am using two fingers (one still count as a pen...)... but only zoom works. Pan and rotate doesn't. I can have win tab and accuracy setting on or off with no difference that I can see.

    You can also open the 'Canvas Positioner' (the doubleheaded arrow in the upper right menu bar) and click/drag on it to adjust the canvas view onscreen, instead of shortcuts or touch input.


    Yup I know but... no thanks. This stuff is better than nothing but had gone very old instantly now that we have proper multi touch. It's a big no no to me.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    Thank you, this helps a lot. My first idea is : this should be the basic setting for oil brush, especially considering what the icon looks like (with a 25% angle btw).
    That being said I still can't use it the way I need as it's surprising doing a "brush size" morph. Compare the previous exemple (from Clip Studio, but i really could be Sai, Paint, etc.) to what I've got now. The thing is those bulgy corners means accuracy loss when I sometimes need it. Not the way a real brush behaves either. Is there another setting I missed?
    Aspect isn't available in all editions, and was a fairly recent addition, which is why it isn't a default.

    The rounded curve is unavoidable, it's the brush stroke turning to make a narrower stroke (the alternative a disjointed corner with overlapping edges). It's a side effect of the way the oil brush simulation works, as it's not just a straight digital brush head. You can get sharp turns like that with the Ink Pen, which is much closer to the type of brush you would find in other programs, or if you play around with the Custom Brush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    Yup, I had seen that although I find the lack of matrice and response curve frustrating. I perfectly get the app design impulse to keep thinks simple and how those things feels like too much access under the hood. I've been here myself designing audio fx so I sympathise. Still... as a user, I feel I need those.
    This might be something that expands in future, but we honestly have very few users who would benefit, so it's definitely not a priority for programmer time (for example, we have few people with the Art Pen stylus, and even fewer who would want to adjust it in fine detail).

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    I am sorry to confirm it doesn't (yep, I had searched in the pref first and I just triple checked).
    I did manage to get a minor improvement that may provide a lead on the issue.
    If I shut down "real time stylus" AND "multi touch" I get Art Rage to know when I am using two fingers (one still count as a pen...)... but only zoom works. Pan and rotate doesn't. I can have win tab and accuracy setting on or off with no difference that I can see.

    Okay, next thing to check is if the 'Ctrl + Mousewheel = Zoom' setting is on or off and switch it. On Win10 I can only rotate and pan when it is turned on, you might need it off (tablet drivers are weird).

    You should have:

    Ctrl + Mousewheel = Zoom on (try off if it fails)
    Realtime Stylus (try Wintab if this fails)
    Precise Tablet on (off for troubleshooting)
    Multitouch Gestures on (for obvious reasons!).



    Disable Right Click Helpers tends to be more important on Win 7 and 8, but it stops background Windows settings messing with your tablet input, so it usually helps to have it on.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    - brush sizes : some are way too small. Standard pro format for print will be something like A4, 600 dpi.
    this....is not a standard printing format, far from it. you're doing extra painting work that won't be noticed at this resolution. there's no way you'll see difference between a 200 DPI and a 600 DPI print with the same grade ink and paper involved, even more so if you're printing on textured papers.
    that being said, if you primarily use artrage for the oil brushes, familiarize yourself with "pressure" brush setting. an oil brush at 500 % size will still be tiny if pressure is under 20 %; increasing pressure parameter will upscale the brush size quite a bit.

    your other points are pretty much already tended to by Hannah.

    if you want a decent replacement for painter that has more sophisticated brushes than clip studio, you can try paintstorm as well.
    it's cheaper than c*rel's abortion, but still a little bit too raw for my taste.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nekomata View Post
    this....is not a standard printing format, far from it. you're doing extra painting work that won't be noticed at this resolution. there's no way you'll see difference between a 200 DPI and a 600 DPI print with the same grade ink and paper involved, even more so if you're printing on textured papers.
    Another thing worth noting is that you also have a bit more leeway for printing quality in ArtRage if you are using the oils or something fuzzy and traditionally textured. The guidelines for DPI are based on photographic prints and matter most if you have very fine detail and sharp edges (so graphic design, very 'digital' looking art, photos). If you have a mess of blended and textured paint, you will be able to print at a larger size before any quality loss shows up.

    This is going to be personal and depend a lot on your images, but it's definitely possible to scale up an ArtRage painting beyond the 'recommended' DPI and have it print out just fine. I used to do this a lot back before I worked for ArtRage and printed my work out to sell in the days of very slow computers and an ArtRage 2 that couldn't handle canvases above 2,000 pixels easily. Now I work at larger sizes just because I can and it's much easier, but there is a lot more leeway than you might think.

    Also the Custom Brush is probably going to be useful to anyone coming from Photoshop: https://www.artrage.com/manuals/cust.../custom-brush/

  7. #7
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    The rounded curve is unavoidable, it's the brush stroke turning to make a narrower stroke (the alternative a disjointed corner with overlapping edges). It's a side effect of the way the oil brush simulation works, as it's not just a straight digital brush head. You can get sharp turns like that with the Ink Pen, which is much closer to the type of brush you would find in other programs, or if you play around with the Custom Brush.
    Yes, but it's an issue since IRL the brush didn't turn, it translated without turning (think sidestep). That's what you do with a real brush all the time to switch from large stroke to fine stroke. That's why other apps (including Paintstorm quoted by Nekomata here) also handles it this way - like the Clip Studio Exemples, not like ArtRage. Which is a shame because on a fundamental level I can see the brush emulation are based on simplistic mechanics compared to what ArtRage does. Yet accurate simulation can get in the way of actual responsiveness. I understand different apps have different focus but even then ArtRage should IMO consider a real Brush actually don't do that. It only turns if you turn it. If you don't it really shouldn't do it anyway.

    This might be something that expands in future, but we honestly have very few users who would benefit, so it's definitely not a priority for programmer time (for example, we have few people with the Art Pen stylus, and even fewer who would want to adjust it in fine detail).
    Again, I've been there in term of app design and indeed that's not something user think to ask. I am quite the geek with digital art tool and even I wasn't asking for it. But now it's something I can't live without. Especially it allows me to replace multiple brushes to one or two /w expression. It's both faster and better work.

    Okay, next thing to check is if the 'Ctrl + Mousewheel = Zoom' setting is on or off and switch it. On Win10 I can only rotate and pan when it is turned on, you might need it off (tablet drivers are weird).
    I am certainly shocked by the low quality of all things Wacom, whether it's on the hard or the soft side those days...
    Unfortunately non of those suggestions worked here. I suspect that if I run it on my SP4 all things will be fine but at least on the Cintiq it doesn't

    To recap what I think I have here (I may have some wrong, lotsa combination tested):
    Wacom Cintiq driver => latest, setup to Windows gesture in the multitouch settings.

    Ctrl + Mousewheel = Zoom regardless of whether this is on or off. No other impact.
    Realtime Stylus = remove pinching zoom if activated. Finger acts like mouse click.
    Precise Tablet = works without interfering to other setting
    Multitouch Gestures = remove pinching zoom if activated. Finger acts like mouse click.
    Wintab = needed for expression parameters from stylus
    No rotate or pan /w multitouch in any combination.


    On the same computer things are working well /w Clip Studio

    this....is not a standard printing format, far from it.
    I do graphic novel for a living. A few years ago the standard was 300 dpi for CMJ printing and black at 1200 dpi bitmap or 300dpi /w shades. It's been quite a few years that this has been ramped up to 450 dpi in my area, up to 600 dpi in some cases. And a good hobbyist photo printer support way more dpi than that. Now there's a reason to go that far. You think painting but in comic book it's all about inking. Draw a balloon /w a basic ink pen in an app. At 350dpi, even with some antialiasing on the brush, you'll be able to see the "staircase" on the balloon. Each and ever balloon of you 120 page graphic novel. Now do we want that to happen ? No we don't

    if you want a decent replacement for painter that has more sophisticated brushes than clip studio, you can try paintstorm as well.
    Paintstorm is interesting but it's not mature (note that it already fully supports response cuvres though :P) . Clip Studio with proper setting is still IMO a better option for "live paint" rendering, or at least equivalent, but with way more tools under the hood for other stuff. On the top of it I've got weeks on works on custome brushes in CSP so starting again elsewhere would require the perspective of a significant gain. It's not there yet in Paintstorm as far as I can see.

    OTOH Art Rage has some stuff it doesn't have and isn't getting close to have, as things seem. So maybe I could use Art Rage as an alternative tool, especially for painting.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    I am certainly shocked by the low quality of all things Wacom, whether it's on the hard or the soft side those days...
    Unfortunately non of those suggestions worked here. I suspect that if I run it on my SP4 all things will be fine but at least on the Cintiq it doesn't

    To recap what I think I have here (I may have some wrong, lotsa combination tested):
    Wacom Cintiq driver => latest, setup to Windows gesture in the multitouch settings.

    Ctrl + Mousewheel = Zoom regardless of whether this is on or off. No other impact.
    Realtime Stylus = remove pinching zoom if activated. Finger acts like mouse click.
    Precise Tablet = works without interfering to other setting
    Multitouch Gestures = [COLOR=#333333]remove pinching zoom if activated. Finger acts like mouse click.
    Wintab = [B]needed for expression parameters from stylus
    No rotate or pan /w multitouch in any combination.
    Okay, fun driver troubleshooting time. Can you visit https://www.artrage.com/faqs/tablet-...es-on-windows/ and check you have tried everything there? (Windows Ink can cause issues, for example).

    A clean reinstall of the driver might magically fix everything (with a reboot inbetween), as might deleting your current Wacom preferences (if something is corrupted then nothing will fix it except starting over). Unfortunately there is no way to tell if it's a corrupted install or a Mysterious Background Settings issue without trying everything.

    I'm also checking with the programmers to see if they have any other ideas. If you want to pick this up by email, just contact us at support@artrage.com.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Force View Post
    I do graphic novel for a living. A few years ago the standard was 300 dpi for CMJ printing and black at 1200 dpi bitmap or 300dpi /w shades. It's been quite a few years that this has been ramped up to 450 dpi in my area, up to 600 dpi in some cases. And a good hobbyist photo printer support way more dpi than that. Now there's a reason to go that far. You think painting but in comic book it's all about inking. Draw a balloon /w a basic ink pen in an app. At 350dpi, even with some antialiasing on the brush, you'll be able to see the "staircase" on the balloon. Each and ever balloon of you 120 page graphic novel. Now do we want that to happen ? No we don't
    this is what Hannah describes in a post directly above yours... high resolution print is useful for clean, vector (and vector-like elements) and inks, yes;

    however, this is not what artrage primarily is created for.
    for expressive painting simulation its current performance is actually very much fine (keeping in mind it actually was noticeably improved between artrage 4.5 and 5.0);

    however, if you are planning on using it for painting in 450/600 DPI, don't complain about program being too slow - it really is a matter of improper, non-efficient pipeline on your side.

    Paintstorm is interesting but it's not mature (note that it already fully supports response cuvres though :P)

    yes, it does support them from day 1; I'm not sure the entire curve concept is really transferrable to artrage in comparison with an app that built its tools around native curve support.

    I do agree that clip studio is a more mature option out of two, however, I mentioned paintstorm since you're coming from painter background, and some features (i.e. blenders or brushes that blend across layers) are not present in clip.

  10. #10
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    @HannahRage

    Tested all this... it's a bit too much time now. Goodwill exhausted. Mail me if you have something solid to suggest as I won't follow this thread anymore

    @Nekomata

    I am sorry, I really can't stand your mix of arrogance and ignorance. Good thing is that I don't have to. Have a good day.

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