Using a Reference image as a Mixing/sampling Palette
I've gotten it into my head that Id rather sample personal colors from a "virtual palette" of my own creation that floats off to the side of my working area, rather than the universal color wheel/picker.
To this end, I tried loading a "Reference Image" of my own mixed pigments to use as a pallette. This actually worked great, except for one thing. Im able to float the pallete and re pin it anywhere I want, resize it to keep it unobtrusive, and sample colors from it easily.
The only obvious problem is, its not dynamic. It is a "fixed" palette in terms of colours, and of course as a painter, you want to be able to mix your own colors intuitively as you go.
It worked so well for the first part though, it seems to me you guys already have the basic foundation in place for adding a mixing palette like this.
There just needs to be some way to make the reference image dynamic, or able to toggle back and forth between interactive and floating mode. When the palette would go "live", you could just use the AR2 tools' already great and intuitive pigment mixing abilities, to add some new blotches of colors to mix out into your own custom colors. I.E. Paint on it like any other flat layer...add a glob with some paint tubes, cut it and spread it down with the knife of a brush...mix in just a little bit of this and that, etc.
The final step would be to make the cursor "auto sample" when clicking on any area of the reference when it was in floating mode, just so you didnt have to hold down ALT to bring up the picker, and you could just touch your pen over to the color in question and then back to the canvas to paint with it..like painting in real life.
Thanks for listening!
P.S. Im not advocating adding something else to the interface to clutter it up. For my purposes, this would actually replace the color wheel /picker from the GUI, except when I was adding colors to my pallette, and probably end up using less space most of the time. If I wanted a really "pure" experience, I could actually eliminate the Picker wheel altogehter in favour of some basic "tube" colors that I kept in the custom color bar, and mix all my hues from those tubes on the palette.
Again, I would just like the option to be there for this, for people who prefer to work more "organically".
A live mixing palette has been mentioned before, but to use a reference image as one would be very interesting ; or at least to use the same functionality of reference images.
And, besides, they're really unobtrusive, no matter how big they are. Most of the time I'm using one, I dont even think of it as part of the gui.
This is how I work when needed!
using the colors of reference image
Hypnomedi, I think they key difference in the original suggestion is that the reference image would not be static. I believe the original poster is already doing something similar to what you are, though with a set of various colors, rather than a range of shades/tones/etc.
I suppose a rather cumbersome and inelegant way to get something like this in the program workflow right now would be:
1)Make a permanent "palette" layer in the document. This layer will always be on the very top.
2)Adjust the "paper properties" of that layer to be 100% opaque. That way, when the layer is visible, nothing underneath will show through, and it will be its own image within the image.
3)Blob your colors on, mix , lay out as desired.
4)Export the image a s a.png or other flattened format, for instance as "palette1.png". This has the effect of only exporting the image as its seen from "on top" as a flattened image, so nothing of the painting will show through...only the palette layer.
5)Toggle the layer visibility off, then select your actual painting underneath. Import the reference image "palette1.png" . There is your palette floating off to the side while you work on your actual painting underneath.
6) To update your palette, select the palette layer, and toggle it on. Add color,mix, etc. Export as .png again, over the old file.
7) Delete the current reference image, and reload it. There is your updated palette.
***NOTE: AR team...something like this makes it apparent that a "dynamic update" aspect to the reference image system would be helpful. I.E. the reference image automatically refreshes itself with any changes to the source file. ****
8)Toggle the layer back off, work on your painting underneath. repeat as desired.
This is , of course, far from ideal. Youd much prefer to be able do this in a more intreractive fashion, where you can see your painting at the same time. It also brings up file size issues, especially when working at print resolution. You wouldnt really want to be carrying around that many extra pixels, essentially a high rez file withing a high rez file, if you didnt have to. You'd really want the palette image to be a much lower rez image than the painting.
But this is just a way to pull off what Im talking about in the program right now, and maybe give the AR team some stuff to think about how to add this functionality without breaking their backs over extensive new code functionality. Even some sort of script that automated the above process would be useful.