I'm a newbie user of ArtRage, but rather an old duck in computer graphics, more on the technical side than on the artistic one (actually I'm an faculty senior researcher in computer graphics) even if I've always found digital media very cool even for unskilled users like me. My first impression is that ArtRage is a totally-bluffing-you-can't-do-better perfect blend between a very realistic natural media simulation program and an unbelievable ergonomic user interface. Excellent job, you guys !!! Even if there are only few tools available yet, I consider that the software already outperforms Corel Painter, both on the ergonomics (well, that's not too hard to achieve ) and on the simulation quality.
In the feature list of ArtRage 2.5, there is an unofficial one called "Export of Channels". I've tried it and I consider that it is a potentially extremely interesting tool, as it clearly exposes the underlying magic of ArtRage and should allow outstanding special effects on the resulting image. However, I've got a bunch of questions about the feature:
* Is there an equivalent "Import of Channels" feature? I would like to test the effect of some tweaking of individual channels and blend them together in ArtRage.
* While the role of the color, the bumpiness and the reflectivity channels are quite intuitive, I am not so sure about the shininess. Any hint on that point?
* I don't think that exporting the individual channels on PNG files is the easiest way to use them (ok, I know... the feature is unofficial so I should not be too demanding). Why not propose a "Split channels as a layer group" and "Merge channels", which would offer straightforward manipulations within the program.
Well, that's my two cents on the question...