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Thread: ArtRage and young children

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    ArtRage and young children

    Hi

    I've used ArtRage1 with a tablet for quite a while, especially with my young children, aged four and six. I have just bought ArtRage2 and registered on the forum. I would like to say thanks to everyone at Ambient Design for producing a great program. I especially like the reference images.

    Anyway, I was curious to find out if anybody had any experiences with ArtRage and their children. My six year old daughter can easily control the tablet and pick tools and colours but she needs fairly close supervision in case she gets stuck or switches back to windows. On the other hand, my son aged four needs even closer supervision and needs help picking colours and so on.

    Although it may beyond the scope of ArtRage I am curious to find out if Ambient have any plans for producing an even simpler version aimed at young children or adding perhaps adding a kids mode.

    Thanks

    Charlie

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    i haven't tried yet, but in a few weeks i'm going to be taking a small art class at a local public school probably kids around 8-10 years old and teaching them to use artrage 2 free, as i think it's a wonderful thing that should be in every classroom (i wish i had artrage when i was at school), i'll let you know how it goes
    i never knew i was so empty that i could be so full...

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Hi Charlie.
    Thanks for the praise. We have talked about doing a 'kids' version of ArtRage. It depends what our development schedule is like for the next 12 months.
    AndyRage's mantra for graphics engine code:
    "Sure - how hard can it be?"

  4. #4
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    @andy

    your're rigth there artrage has the pontenzial to be also a childrens toy! I see a lot of young great artists in the future

    Greez

    maror (everytime a child when i use artrage 8) )

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRage
    Hi Charlie.
    Thanks for the praise. We have talked about doing a 'kids' version of ArtRage. It depends what our development schedule is like for the next 12 months.
    would that be necessary, as it's really the most easy thing to use. Even MS Paint is more difficult... :lol:

  6. #6
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    I agree that ArtRage is already very easy but for young children like mine it requires that I supervise them closely, ideally I would like to let them use it all by themselves. I don't think a great deal would need to be changed.

    Here are some suggestions:

    + lock the application so that they can't access other programs or quit ArtRage

    + lock the keyboard so that only a few keys such as space and enter work

    + create a simpler tool selection, perhaps like the cheap art cases with felts, pencils, paints. eraser, chalk and glitter of course. Press spacebar and all the tools are available. Press again to go back to the drawing.

    + simple way to save and start new drawings


    They both love drawing on the computer because of the vivid colours.

  7. #7
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    Belgium
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    Good opinion Charlie, maybe you can raise this a bit further... Why not dealing with a customazible plugin that makes you deal with the tools yourself? eg. Lock menu's and doesn't make AR2 quit. Some kind of Parental Control let us say...

    The keyboard can just go away, you get enough with a mouse or a volito for children... That's my opinion, not to let AR2 get to childish (not ment in a bad way).

  8. #8
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    Sydney, Australia
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    careful not to underestimate children, kids are great with new technology, they'll pick it up a lot faster than you will, there's no need for locks, if they don't want to use the programme then they shouldn't be forced to, if you force art upon them they'll probably end up hating art,
    i started using Dr. Genius when i was 4 or 5 back in 1989-90, a primitive graphics application comparable to MS Paint these days (but it was much cooler!) and i was happily using that unsupervised, no one showed me how to use it, it was just on the menu of applications to run, so i ran it and explored it,

    i'd suggest you create a new windows account for your child so they have their own environment to play in that won't affect yours, install artrage on it and leave an icon on the desktop and then leave them to play and they'll find it soon enough
    i never knew i was so empty that i could be so full...

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Location
    UK
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    Update on ArtRage and young children. I certainly don't underestimate their abilities but frustration can often beat perseverance!

    I spent a couple of hours with my children using ArtRage to pinpoint any problems they had. They both enjoyed using ArtRage. My 4yr old found it a little frustrating and needed help to select the different colours.

    I have an Intuos 2 tablet with the grip pen. A few of the problems were related to the tablet.

    - [Tablet] Both my children kept accidentally pressing the button on the pen. This can be fixed by changing the settings in the driver.

    - My 4yr old boy couldn't select colours easily since this involves hovering the pen over the tablet which is more tricky than you think for a 4yr old. My 6yr old girl found it tricky but she soon managed to work it out. Adding a simpler custom colour picker could help here. They were both quite happy sticking to the oil paint, but with the loading set to 100%.

    - {Tablet/Artrage] Tapping the undo button with the pen was tricky because the button is very small. The other problem was that the function buttons on the tablet are very close. The buttons on the tablet can be disabled on the driver.

    - [Simpler short cut keys] It would be good to have simpler shortcut keys so that Undo for instance could be pressed without requiring the use of Ctrl.

    - [ArtRage] Saving pictures or clearing the paper to start a new picture was too tricky for either of my children to do unaided. One work around could be sessions with perhaps ten slots for different pages. Clicking on a new slot creates a new picture. The old picture remains in the first slot. If the child quits ArtRage then all of the slots are automatically saved. Only when all the slots are full would mum or dad need to intervene.

    - [Layers] Quite often, my children would click on the new layer button. This was very confusing.

    I do hope that Ambient find time to do a 'kids' version since I feel the quality of the tools is something that I don't want to compromise.

    Alternative software I tried for comparison.
    Tuxpaint is specifically designed for young children and is very good too but obviously does not have the real paint quality. It also does not work well with the tablet but I have yet to try fixing that. It is definitely worth looking at if you have young children. http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/


    Thanks

    Charlie

  10. #10
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    The sleepless said; "careful not to underestimate children, kids are great with new technology, they'll pick it up a lot faster than you will, there's no need for locks, if they don't want to use the programme then they shouldn't be forced to, if you force art upon them they'll probably end up hating art,"
    I was a public school art teacher for 34 years with experience from Kindergarten to High School. I agree with sleepless. The key is experienced adult supervision followed by shortundirected sessions. all this leading to the child asking for time on the computer.
    You'll know when you get there!

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