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View Full Version : Losing my mind (Re: Opacity)


planetaaron
05-10-2009, 11:34 PM
So either I don't understand the point of opacity or Painter is trying to make me insane. :) If I:

- Pick a color, any color
- Set my brush to 25% opacity
- lay down a stroke on the canvas that is full pressure on my tablet

I would expect to have to make 4 strokes on top of each other at full pressure in order to get the color I picked. Instead, the first stroke lays down 100% of the color. So I ask, what is the point of the opacity setting if it doesn't appear to actually lower the opacity of the stroke?

Jinbrown
05-11-2009, 02:26 AM
Hi planetaaron,

Try setting Opacity Expression to None (in the Brush Controls' General palette).



Jinny


#

planetaaron
05-11-2009, 03:08 AM
Hi planetaaron,

Try setting Opacity Expression to None (in the Brush Controls' General palette).



Jinny


#

Hi Jinny,

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately that didn't help :( It just made the stroke not fade out on either end. This brush is a custom variant I made that is:

Dab type: Circular
Stroke Type: Single
Method: Cover
Subcategory: Flat Cover

Opacity 25%
Expression: Pressure

Resaturation: 50%
Bleed 20%

That's about it. I should mention that I'm using Painter X.1.052 which should be the latest (only?) patch they released.

Jinbrown
05-11-2009, 05:31 AM
Yep, there was only one patch released for Painter X.

Sorry, I don't have any solutions other than to try this rather cumbersome (at least setting it up) workaround:

Create a color set from colors at various values to match the values you'd get painting with a range of Opacities. Then paint with these colors at 100% opacity with Opacity Expression, Resaturation Expression, and Bleed Expression set to None.

This subject has come up so often and usually from Photoshop users who are used to a different brush technology. You may not be able to solve this one easily or the way you'd like.

Still, you can try what I described above and add to that, the option to paint on a Layer and adjust the Layer Opacity as needed.

Again, sorry I can't offer a better answer.

Good luck!


Jinny


#

Hecartha
05-11-2009, 08:09 AM
this image may explain everything
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p76/hecartha/Opacity-System-1.png

Painter is not really good with opacity because the opacity is "linked" to the spacing for all image based brushes. It is unable to produce hard edged low opacity brush stroke excepted with the rendered dab type like the scratchboard tool. If you reduce the opacity, your stroke become too smooth.
In my opinion, this is a complete lack especially when you ever tested some other programs which works like painter. These other programs (in this case ArtRage (http://www.ambientdesign.com/) and PaintTool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)) introduced something like the dilution which preserves hard edged stroke with low opacity.

Lunatique
05-11-2009, 08:44 PM
Mickael - Awesome example! That demonstrates very clearly why Painter users have been asking for a Photoshop-like brush all these years.

planetaaron
05-13-2009, 01:40 AM
Thanks all for the info. The funny thing is that I've barely used photoshop for trying to paint really, well, ever. It just makes sense to me logically that opacity should work the way I described in my first post.

Anyway, thanks again everybody.

theanswer07
05-13-2009, 05:01 AM
Its a shame Painter doesn't have the same opacity functions as Photoshop, opacity in Painter feels to me like flow in photoshop, more or less.

It'd be great to be able to paint in both styles in the same application.

JohnMalcolm1970
05-15-2009, 07:29 AM
Painter is not really good with opacity because the opacity is "linked" to the spacing for all image based brushes. It is unable to produce hard edged low opacity brush stroke excepted with the rendered dab type like the scratchboard tool. If you reduce the opacity, your stroke become too smooth.
In my opinion, this is a complete lack especially when you ever tested some other programs which works like painter. These other programs (in this case ArtRage (http://www.ambientdesign.com/) and PaintTool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)) introduced something like the dilution which preserves hard edged stroke with low opacity.

I suppose this also might explain why some people don't have a problem with Painter's opacity... I paint in Photoshop with an irregular brush tip with opacity at 100% (though modified by tablet pressure) and Flow set at around 10-25%.

Hecartha
05-15-2009, 11:01 AM
I suppose this also might explain why some people don't have a problem with Painter's opacity...Where did you see I wrote "any people will have problem with Painter's opacity"? There is a limitation with opacity, nothing else.
I paint in Photoshop with an irregular brush tip with opacity at 100% (though modified by tablet pressure) and Flow set at around 10-25%.First, the Photoshop's flow= Painter's opacity. There is no equivalent of the Photoshop's opacity in Painter (I am still talking about image based brush, Photoshop use only this kind of brush)
So, there is no way to use your settings in Painter (opacity set to pressure) you can only set the flow to pressure and if you do that, more you will reduce the flow and smoother will be the edge of your brush stroke.

In OpenCanvas (http://www.portalgraphics.net/en/), the pencil brush is really closed of the Photoshop brushes, it can limit opacity per brush stroke to the percentage you want and opacity can be controlled by the stylus pressure.
In PaintTool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/), as there is no spacing, the opacity you set is the opacity you get. And there is also two kind of brush which are able to make things really precise:
-the marker which is able to make a brush stroke limited to the opacity you set. This one is different of anything else I have seen since if you set 30% opacity (named density in SAI), even if you make multiple brush strokes, you will obtain only 30% opacity on your layer so if you paint with 30% opacity brush over 50% opacity area, you will only modify the color.
-the standard brush which has a dilution setting. If you set the density to 100% (to preserve the hard edge) and you increase the dilution, your brush will react as if you thined down the paint. So you obtain truly transparent brush stroke you can combine to increase opacity on the layer (with the dilution set to 85%, you need a lot brush strokes to reach 100% opacity on your layer)
If you combine that with blending and persistence settings, you can push transparent area of a layer to thin down the paint. And if you add the fringe effect on your layer you have pretty good watercolor engine.

JohnMalcolm1970
05-15-2009, 05:46 PM
Where did you see I wrote "any people will have problem with Painter's opacity"? There is a limitation with opacity, nothing else.

I think you misunderstand my point. I replied to your post because you posted an excellent explanation of the differences between the brush engines. I didn't mean to imply either that you had a problem, or that you said people had a problem. I meant that if one uses flow at a low setting and opacity at 100% in PS, then one will have less of an issue with Painter's brush engine. The main problem I see is people constantly wanting to have something that works exactly like Photoshop's default hard round brush in every way.... in Painter.

I have no problem painting semi-opaquely or transparently in Painter.... or in Photoshop with opacity set to 100%... with or without hard edges... it's just a case of controlling pressure properly with your pen and tablet.

Hecartha
05-16-2009, 03:42 PM
I think you misunderstand my point.I think also :D
Shame on me, your message meant exactly what you wrote. I suspected irony there, I was wrong, sorry.
The main problem I see is people constantly wanting to have something that works exactly like Photoshop's default hard round brush in every way.... in Painter.People don't want a Photoshop's feature, people want something that is possible with natural media and as they know photoshop, they use it as example to show a working system. The last time I used natural media with acrylic+brushes and airbrush, I was able to thin down the paint to work with transparency...I can't do that in Painter in a simple way, so I need to cheat.
Now, because I know some people are sensitive when we are talking about Photoshop, I mentionned 3 other programs, ArtRage (http://www.ambientdesign.com/), openCanvas (http://www.portalgraphics.net/en/) and PaintTool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)...that are painting programs and not image editing programs. All these programs can do in their way what we are requesting in Painter.
The reason why a decent system is not inside Painter is in my opinion because it was badly designed (or it wasn't possible in a old time) before Corel buys it. So I am not with all the people complaining about Corel, I mean the "it was better before" thing. The guys from Corel are not perfect, ok, but most of the historical issues in Painter were there when it was metacreation or maybe before...(damn old opacity bug and the non transparent system). Now it seems to be impossible to fix that or maybe it needs a big investment.
If you know well Painter, you probably know that everything has to do with transparency use the crappy gel layer which is a nightmare when you need to merge with a non opaque standard layer.
I have no problem painting semi-opaquely or transparently in Painter.... or in Photoshop with opacity set to 100%... with or without hard edges... it's just a case of controlling pressure properly with your pen and tablet.See this video
http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/FdAX5l7s0Wg/2.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdAX5l7s0Wg)
it is not too long (4'21) and it shows precisely what I mean by true opacity control and you will see the poor control you think having with any settings possible in Painter is just...well, I will leave to you the choice of the adjective.
-0'00, PaintTool SAI
-1'20, Painter
-2'04, PaintTool SAI
-4'01, Painter
Compare by yourself

Now another video to show you why I am saying Painter is not really good with transparency, it concerns now the blending engine. The video explain everything (2'12)
http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/paDpjW2CukQ/1.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paDpjW2CukQ)

*EDIT* added this video about opacity bug on layer in any Painter version since at least version 6 to current version 11.0.017
http://i2.ytimg.com/vi/E-O8qcZMtwg/2.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-O8qcZMtwg)
Another example of limitation using transparency and layers...

JohnMalcolm1970
05-16-2009, 04:54 PM
I think also :D
Shame on me, your message meant exactly what you wrote. I suspected irony there, I was wrong, sorry.
People don't want a Photoshop's feature, people want something that is possible with natural media and as they know photoshop, they use it as example to show a working system. The last time I used natural media with acrylic+brushes and airbrush, I was able to thin down the paint to work with transparency...I can't do that in Painter in a simple way, so I need to cheat.
Now, because I know some people are sensitive when we are talking about Photoshop, I mentionned 3 other programs, ArtRage (http://www.ambientdesign.com/), openCanvas (http://www.portalgraphics.net/en/) and PaintTool SAI (http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/)...that are painting programs and not image editing programs. All these programs can do in their way what we are requesting in Painter.
The reason why a decent system is not inside Painter is in my opinion because it was badly designed (or it wasn't possible in a old time) before Corel buys it. So I am not with all the people complaining about Corel, I mean the "it was better before" thing. The guys from Corel are not perfect, ok, but most of the historical issues in Painter were there when it was metacreation or maybe before...(damn old opacity bug and the non transparent system). Now it seems to be impossible to fix that or maybe it needs a big investment.
If you know well Painter, you probably know that everything has to do with transparency use the crappy gel layer which is a nightmare when you need to merge with a non opaque standard layer.
See this video
http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/FdAX5l7s0Wg/2.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdAX5l7s0Wg)
it is not too long (4'21) and it shows precisely what I mean by true opacity control and you will see the poor control you think having with any settings possible in Painter is just...well, I will leave to you the choice of the adjective.
-0'00, PaintTool SAI
-1'20, Painter
-2'04, PaintTool SAI
-4'01, Painter
Compare by yourself

Now another video to show you why I am saying Painter is not really good with transparency, it concerns now the blending engine. The video explain everything (2'12)
http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/paDpjW2CukQ/1.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paDpjW2CukQ)

Thanks.... that was a good explantion of the issue. I use Photoshop way more than Painter... but when I do use Painter I try and switch my way of thinking towards more traditional techniques. I tend to try working on one layer preferably, or if I do create a new layer to try things out I flatten it as soon as possible. Working on one layer means you can use things like the tinting brushes that are reasonably good at laying down washes of colour. Working on two layers with oil type brushes can represent working with wet paint on top of already dried paint.

In an ideal world Corel would fix this issue - But in that ideal world perhaps Adobe would add Painter like blending to their brush engine? It's been a while since they've made any significant changes to the way one can paint in Photoshop.... CS5 maybe?

workbench
05-16-2009, 05:18 PM
In CS5 there will probably be a color wheel, blending maybe in CS6 then Adobe closes doors since there's nothing to add anymore.

theanswer07
05-17-2009, 03:27 AM
In CS5 there will probably be a color wheel, blending maybe in CS6 then Adobe closes doors since there's nothing to add anymore.

Sorry to go off topic, but where is the logic behind that?

workbench
05-17-2009, 05:14 AM
That's how Adobe works in Photoshop, one worthwhile feature at a time.

Hecartha
05-17-2009, 10:34 AM
Thanks.... that was a good explantion of the issue. I use Photoshop way more than Painter... but when I do use Painter I try and switch my way of thinking towards more traditional techniques. I tend to try working on one layer preferably, or if I do create a new layer to try things out I flatten it as soon as possible. Working on one layer means you can use things like the tinting brushes that are reasonably good at laying down washes of colour. Working on two layers with oil type brushes can represent working with wet paint on top of already dried paint.Yes, I tried before to use Painter in a more traditional way, but it was a waste of time to not use what computer can do when I need to make big adjustment on my image or just adding details behind characters hair. In the past using natural media, I used a lot stencil with airbrush (natural media) and layers now are much more powerful. Finally I don't care anymore about using Painter traditionnally.
What I hate now, it is when software try to emulate natural media even when it is just stupid and unproductive. I hate the way ArtRage developers integrated rulers trying to emulate a tool you normally use with two hands but with the limitation now of using only one hand with your stylus. So it makes the use of ruler much more complicated than using a natural media method. Other developers have made a much more efficient use of what computer can do using a smart way to help user in that task (videos of Manga Studio rulers (http://hecartha.free.fr/Videos/Manga%20Studio%20EX/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers.html)) and finally it makes the use of ruler easier and faster than using natural media (those lovely perspective rulers). Even the sketchbook pro developers integrated in their last version a poor system...(workflow comparison (http://area.autodesk.com/themes/site_themes/area/misc/sktch10prv/videos/straight_edge_ruler_elliptical_ruler.html))...

So now I am one of these irritating guys who is saying, please, stop to emulate things at any price!! I don't want to be able to sharpen my digital pencil! (forgive the caricature).
In an ideal world Corel would fix this issue - But in that ideal world perhaps Adobe would add Painter like blending to their brush engine? It's been a while since they've made any significant changes to the way one can paint in Photoshop.... CS5 maybe?As Adobe is not doing a digital painting program, I can forgive them to not add more features in this area. But Adobe is trying to make Photoshop more and more a non-destrutive program with complete non-linear system and it is a really difficult task I thing even if digital painting users don't care about that.

About Painter, it is mainly a digital painting program and if they want to force any of their users to use only workflow with just a little use of layers (like the new transform tool that can manipulate...only one layer), they will lose any of us who are just tired to not use a much more efficient system. I know lot of people are considering than a better layer system has nothing to do inside digital painting program (in fact a natural media emulation program which is not Painter), I have read some of us would like a more realistic brush engine. The question now, are the pure natural media customers will be enough to make Painter financially viable?

In my opinion, instead of adding more emulation that does not necessary emulate really well all these natural media things, they may integrate more and more tools helping user to make things in a easier way like all these amazing Manga Studio rulers (http://hecartha.free.fr/Videos/Manga%20Studio%20EX/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers.html). This kind of feature we will surely never see in Photoshop may be a top feature that will force Photoshop users to use also Painter... I can also add the instant mirror thing (http://hecartha.free.fr/Painter%20X/Painter_X.1_-_Instant_Mirror/Painter_X.1_-_Instant_Mirror.html) inside PaintTool SAI, a thumb view system to not be forced to zoom out to see how detailing is changing our image and so on....lot of useful stuff could be added that can make our life easier because finally, when I am in front of two programs, I prefer the stress less program instead of the "one thousand ways program to do the same things"...
Now we are not in an ideal world and I will be happy to see a true transparent blending system in Painter 12 and a perfect opacity system in Painter 13... not sure I will wait for these versions anyway, Painter is not anymore our only choice.

I am hoping I am not too annoying about my opinion.

theanswer07
05-17-2009, 02:51 PM
Hey Hecartha, While I appreciate your strong opinions about ALL of todays digital programs, I am starting to realise you are really picky, it isn't an ideal world, and like everything there are pros and cons, you must come to accept this, it is becoming more and more evident that an ideal and streamlined workflow doesn't consist of just one software package anymore, because Painter can only do so much, and the same applies to every other software package.

I like Art Rages rulers, they are light weight (no OpenGL shit) intuitive, and really easy to use, I prefer them over sketchbook pro's rulers, but have not tried Manga Studio's.

It is a software companies soul purpose to develop software that improves a users workflow, and in general just makes things easier, and if the company fails to deliver this, users simply more on. Painter, with the release of 11, is notorious for their shit customer support, and lack of community relations in terms of taking on board user feedback and suggestions, so most of the things we want, or need, will not make it into Painter because of this fact.

I agree about wanting a streamlined workflow and having less ways to do things is probably an easier way to go about designing a application, however each to their own, because I'm sure some people enjoy have options when creating.

I think at the end of the day, once you realise what your package of choice can, and cannot do you make it work for yourself, sure theres a compromise there for certain features (photoshops opacity system, manga studios rulers) but at the end of the day, each application has their work arounds and like you said, using a computer is to be unrestricted, digital painting software is no different, when theres a will, theres a way.

Your not annoying anyone with your opinion mate :)

Lunatique
05-17-2009, 09:34 PM
Mickael's sentiments are exactly the same as mine. I have been using Painter for years, but I've never pulled any punches when it comes to discussing its shortcomings because I think being a blind cheerleader is counter-productive to the growth of a product. In order to help shape a product, we must be totally honest about how we feel.

I absolutely agree that emulating traditional medium to the point of throwing all the benefits of digital workflow out the window is a bad idea. The less well-known painting softwares out there are proving that you can have your cake and eat it too, but to be fair, their brush engines aren't as elaborate or wide-ranging as Painter's, so it's easier for them to implement certain features. Smaller developing teams are always more agile, and often they are the ones that come up with innovative features, while the larger developers will eventually adopt them into their products.

While I agree that often we have to accept how thing are and use combination of different softwares to achieve our goals, it is a necessary evil, and whenever a product achieve the goal of doing it all (and doing them well instead of badly implemented), I immediately ditched all the others because using just one software makes life that much easier.

BaronImpossible
05-17-2009, 10:25 PM
The point about going too far in emulating natural media is a valid one, to an extent. Look at Moxi - an incredible brush engine but I doubt anybody could paint anything worthwhile using the features demo'd in the video. However, the oil brush in ArtRage demonstrates that there is a happy medium (pun indended) between digital and slavish traditional emulation. Yes, certain functions such as smoothing are more difficult to achieve but the effect - and the feel of "actually" painting - more than makes up for it. Not to mention that the brush engine is significantly ahead of the Painter one, not in scope but in function.

I'm afraid I've never fathomed why workflow needs to consist of a single application. I don't even see it as being a benefit. Specialisation is always a better solution IMO. If every function anyone can ever want is shoe-horned into one product you end up with a bloated, slow, buggy, prohibitively complex, massively expensive piece of software that's essentially a jack of all trades and a master of none. Which is what Painter is rapidly becoming. I don't want to end up paying £1000 for a package that suits my needs less well than my £20 software.

Of course, one option would be to provide a s/w package that acts more like corporate packages. You want a function, you buy the module and bolt it on. I don't know why this isn't done.

Hellfire, people are evening asking for animation in ArtRage now and it's not even on v3! IF YOU WANT ANIMATION BUY A F***ING ANIMATION PACKAGE! What next, a link to Twitter and a LOLcat generator? Sorry, but jeez.

Lunatique
05-17-2009, 10:41 PM
I'm afraid I've never fathomed why workflow needs to consist of a single application. I don't even see it as being a benefit. Specialisation is always a better solution IMO. If every function anyone can ever want is shoe-horned into one product you end up with a bloated, slow, buggy, prohibitively complex, massively expensive piece of software that's essentially a jack of all trades and a master of none. Which is what Painter is rapidly becoming. I don't want to end up paying £1000 for a package that suits my needs less well than my £20 software.

Of course, one option would be to provide a s/w package that acts more like corporate packages. You want a function, you buy the module and bolt it on. I don't know why this isn't done.


There's actually a very good reason for it--interactivity. When importing/exporting between different packages, you will lose interactivity because the features of one software is not supported in the other, and going back and forth between them will end up in you losing all the specialized features of all of them. For example, Painter's watercolor or ink layers cannot be imported in other painting softwares, and Photoshop's adjustment layers cannot be exported to other softwares...etc. If a software can do it all and do it well (the key word is to doing it "well"), then that's always the best solution. It may be possible to come up with a workflow that can utilize different softwares with minimum loss of idiosycratic features/behaviors, but if at anytime you do need to break the workflow due to a mistake or revision and jump to another software in unforeseen ways, you run into trouble again.

BaronImpossible
05-17-2009, 11:46 PM
Compatibility could be - and is being - overcome simply by developers making adjustments to their code to support other formats. Sure, there will always be certain features that aren't currently portable and have to be worked around but IMO that pales into insignificance at the effort needed to use an unwieldy piece of software that allows all operations.

That said, even if such software were feasible (and I don't believe it is - not even close) I doubt anybody would produce it. PhotoShop is already split into heck knows how many different flavours and look what happened to Painter 11 when Corel decided they'd chase the market rather than develop the original vision. I don't criticise them for that, after all it needs to be commercially viable, but I do criticise them for ignoring the core functions and usability at the expense of glitz and fluff.

And there's still the price for a piece of software that virtually nobody would use to its full potential. No pro artist I'm aware of would use the full gamut of photography tools, natural media, digital effects, animation, CAD tools, vectors, magic paintovers, etc. and the amateur artists wouldn't want to pay the £1K+ price tag a piece of software like this would cost, assuming it really did justice to each area.

I think whilst it's a fair stance to want a single piece of software to do everything (although I don't agree on it's practical benefits) it's easy to miss that if you factor in the needs of every artist it quickly becomes unworkable.

Lunatique
05-18-2009, 01:16 AM
In that case then the modular approach would be best. You only pay for the module you need. I don't know why software developers don't do that--maybe it's hard to program clean codes that allow the modules to separate efficiently?

theanswer07
05-18-2009, 09:55 AM
In that case then the modular approach would be best. You only pay for the module you need. I don't know why software developers don't do that--maybe it's hard to program clean codes that allow the modules to separate efficiently?

From my knowledge, some 3D apps have optional modules in their releases (Cinema 4D, Cloth Module, Bodypaint etc.) it only seems practical that software package with a code line as deep as that of Painter and Photoshop would go with a modular approach, I mean, there are so many more markets they can target, Corel can dance around their 'hey lets paint a photo' idealogy and Photoshop can target a digital painting market, without obstructing photographers and other markets.

Great idea Baron.

theanswer07
05-18-2009, 11:48 AM
The base costs would be higher, to pay for the added development, but ultimately the vast majority of users would save money because they're not paying for functions they don't use.

I agree, I would be happy to pay a higher price if the package had the functions and features I needed.

Modules just sounds so practical, and it really makes the package your own. From a developer point of view, developing small modules or small add-ons for current modules would bring in some revenew inbetween software releases anyway.. I don't really see a whole lot of negatives with this idea.. haha

BaronImpossible
05-18-2009, 11:48 AM
(^ EDIT: How did that happen - time warp? :) )

Yeah, as I say corporate software is very modular and it's common to bolt on specific modules, and 3D too as you say. The initial development overhead is greater but I think there are so many disparate needs from the user-base that it would make sense for the s/w companies to look at this. It needn't be very granular but I could see it working if the modules were divided up at a high level into, say, Photography, Painting, Animation, CAD, Tracing Tools, etc. The base costs would be higher, to pay for the added development, but ultimately the vast majority of users would save money because they're not paying for functions they don't use.

Hecartha
05-18-2009, 03:52 PM
Hey Hecartha, While I appreciate your strong opinions about ALL of todays digital programs, I am starting to realise you are really picky, it isn't an ideal world, and like everything there are pros and cons, you must come to accept this, it is becoming more and more evident that an ideal and streamlined workflow doesn't consist of just one software package anymore, because Painter can only do so much, and the same applies to every other software package.You know Luke, I am trying lot of programs so I have no problem in using them if I really need them. I have seen lot of different UI in 2D or 3D programs, so it is not really a problem. I Have no problem using two or more programs, if only it is justified. I mean, if I want adjustment layer, Photoshop will be the solution, I see no reason having this feature in Painter. But Painter is a painting and drawing program, I don’t think I am picky (I can understand for any other reason) because I am asking for a simple decent ruler system, especially because we have more advanced tool with the ‘align to path’ feature. What is incredible, it is this tool is used only few times where a good ruler system would do the job for any basic operation.
I like Art Rages rulers, they are light weight (no OpenGL shit) intuitive, and really easy to use, I prefer them over sketchbook pro's rulers, but have not tried Manga Studio's. Maybe you should click on the videos (http://hecartha.free.fr/Videos/Manga%20Studio%20EX/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers.html) (6 videos and 1 minute max per video) I posted in my previous post (reposted here). It will allow you to see what these rulers can do without trying the program.

Now, it isn’t fair from me bashing about ArtRage’s rulers. In fact there is a little story behind that. In last September, I tried to think about rulers, especially about perspective ruler. I have seen here many threads talking about the needs of good tools to do this task. Lot of trick was described using different programs. So I tried to find myself all the tools in many programs to do just a simple straight line… and wow! Almost none of them has a dedicated tool (I am meaning a direct tool where you can control pressure)!
At this time, ArtRage was the only one which allows doing that with true rulers.
Painter has the ‘align to path’ button but after trying it doing parallel lines it wasn’t a satisfying solution taking many time for nothing.
In Photoshop we can use the shift key which constrains the line and it is easy to make multiple parallel lines, we just need once it is done to use the transform tool (also possible in Painter anyway without the perspective transformation before Painter 11) to orient them…again, not really a direct and satisfying solution…
Now I tested the ArtRage tool…wonderful, at last, someone thought it can be useful to us! BUT, once I tried them, my parallel lines were really difficult to draw. With real ruler, I use one hand to move the ruler and my other hand to make my brush stroke. In CG one, I need to use the same hand to move and make my brush stroke. So it is slower!
Damn, what is the problem with them, if there is a domain where computer is good, it is especially in doing precision and now, none of the software solution were able to give a simple straight line ruler!! That is just crazy!

So, if I am really disappointed, it is because when I am seeing ArtRage’s rulers, they thought about the tools, the real one, instead about the needs! What is most important? Emulating real tools or doing cg tools which meet the needs?
So it is a perfect example of why it is stupid and unproductive to emulate at any price real media tools.

So I thought about a working tool…what is a straight line ruler? A straight line ruler is a tool which is able to constrain my line using a user defined angle. Is it really necessary to move the ruler (the slowest operation)? No, it isn’t, as the position of the ruler is always where I will make my brush stroke. So the ruler I needed was already inside most of program using the shift key. It is just needed to create a system which gives a user interface which allows changing the angle. As it is needed to make a straight line from point A to point B, it is necessary to use a ghosting system which allows orienting a line on the screen. Once it is done I can move the view of my canvas and make any brush strokes I want in a simpler way I can ever dream using natural media. I wrote many notes about perspective and radial rulers also… Everything was made considering concept art workflow because if the tool is able to be used in speed painting (the fastest workflow) it will be perfect for anything else….ouch, I will cut the story as it isn’t the point. So...

Months later I could try Manga Studio 4 rulers and it was magic, it was almost exactly what was inside my notes and a lot more with concentric and radial curve ruler. The tool is not adapted to speed painting workflow but it is the most efficient tool ever created for this task (it is mainly the difference with my notes which used a lot temporary key and a system to position and orient the ruler with brush strokes).
So yes, the ArtRage’s rulers are just poor one, they have the same unjustified issue like the real one (hiding my canvas) and with an added issue as we need to use the same hand to position the ruler and make the brush strokes. Anyway, they are colored and sweet (~irony there) but I feel so disappointed they wasted so many times doing this kind of tools…

And I am even more disappointed because the only program which is able to give what I need is not a digital painting program, it is a program made for creating comic book. I will never use this program because it is not made for this task, it is like I needed to buy Autodesk studio tools (a nurbs modeling solution) to use only the sketching tools… So it is why I am a bit angry about sketchbook pro developers, because their program has been released many months later Manga Studio, because they created a new ruler system which is already outdated.
Dear developers open your window and see what is possible around you before wasting time (and money) doing outdated stuff! You can see the last video posted here (http://hecartha.free.fr/Videos/Manga%20Studio%20EX/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers/Manga%20Studio%20EX%204%20Rulers.html) named ‘workflow’ and you can compare with the sketchbook pro workflow video (http://area.autodesk.com/themes/site_themes/area/misc/sktch10prv/videos/straight_edge_ruler_elliptical_ruler.html)…you will laugh…or maybe cry.
It is a software companies soul purpose to develop software that improves a users workflow, and in general just makes things easier, and if the company fails to deliver this, users simply more on. Painter, with the release of 11, is notorious for their shit customer support, and lack of community relations in terms of taking on board user feedback and suggestions, so most of the things we want, or need, will not make it into Painter because of this fact.About Painter and lack of community relations I agree with you. But I think there is something schizophrenic with Corel. There are the developers which try to do a decent program and the business men with short vision (yeah, everywhere but especially with Painter development), those who are responsible of early unworking release. This last category doesn’t know anything about reputation which is really important. I have seen many time that I can show an excellent program to someone, explaining it is enough or also better for the stuff this artist needs to do, but it is a useless cause, most of people will prefer to use the program known by everyone. And these business men are killing meticulously the priceless Painter reputation like a cancer.
In my opinion, I have also the feeling there is a lack of strong vision about Painter future when I am seeing the features of the latest release. But maybe I am wrong and it is just because I am not seeing the whole picture.
I absolutely agree that emulating traditional medium to the point of throwing all the benefits of digital workflow out the window is a bad idea. The less well-known painting softwares out there are proving that you can have your cake and eat it too, but to be fair, their brush engines aren't as elaborate or wide-ranging as Painter's, so it's easier for them to implement certain features. Smaller developing teams are always more agile, and often they are the ones that come up with innovative features, while the larger developers will eventually adopt them into their products.I read many times your opinion and everytime it was really close or identical to what I was thinking.
Yes, the Painter brush engine is far more elaborate and feature like instant mirror may be a lot more difficult to implement when you can control precisely brush orientation.

But it is also its weak point. IMO, there are two problems with the actual system :
-too many brushes !!
As I thought also about this issue, I wrote some notes how to simplify that. A solution could be in a filtering system based on attributes (inspired by search engine inside latest operating sytem). What happen when user is looking for a brush? Well, I can only talk about my own case, but I am more looking for a brush which is able to play with grain than for a brush inside a category like oil, gouache… And I would like to filter all the buildup brush because I want to use a cover method. And I would like the software avoid me to choose impasto brushes easily because when the impasto is on my canvas, I haven’t found any solution to remove it from the file even when the impasto is deleted (the size of my file is increased a lot). I will like also to be able to filter true bristle brush when I need them or filter image based brushes.
Now the filtering can make my life easier hiding brushes I don’t want, an icon and color system could be added. An icon could show in a quick view which brush is using impasto, bristle, grain and so on… and a overlay color should show you which brush is using buildup method, cover and so on… With a smart system, you could activate the filter system just clicking on the icon (and maybe using a click+modifier key to activate/deactivate impasto state, grain…). I think it will make our life a lot easier and we could explore without fear new preset brushes. About image based brushes, I am tired to use my imagination trying to find a smart name for what is in most of case a random shape. Anyway it is needed to give a name if I want to be able to find where this damn brush is. A good solution should be what we can see in file manager or image manager with floating preview of the dab using 256x256 pixels.

-Second issue is about too many settings with some brushes!
I am one of these guys who like multiple choices, multiple settings, but with Painter it became too extreme. If you take the latest real bristle you can move 3 sliders and nothing will change or just 2 or 3 pixels will be a little different for the same brush stroke. In fact you need to move a 4th slider to see that the change happen when this last one is at special position… And when you know real bristle are controlled by all real bristle sliders but also by artist’s oil sliders, you finally have something like 10 sliders or more for just the bristle brushes, that’s crazy ! So I would like to see a change when I am moving a slider, even if there is a good explanation why the change actually are imperceptible, I would like same system with less sliders.

There is also the brush tracking panel, everyone seems to love this thing, I hate it. In PaintTool SAI there is a little slider which allows setting the pressure per tool, and finally, I have a better control over pressure with SAI than with Painter with this big panel…and it is also accessible in an easier way. Anyway everyone else seems to have no problem with this feature so why not…
but I am sure everyone here would be agree that no one uses the same pressure control with oil brush and pencil. So a control per tool is needed, or maybe something close than this idea because there are now too many settings per brush.
To be able to use multiple pressure inside Painter, I am using multiple stylus. This system works pretty good and I have access to Wacom tool ID which allows Painter to keep in memory the tool and color set to main tip and also to eraser tip (resumed in this table (http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p76/hecartha/Concepts%20and%20Ideas%20about%20Software/Pen_Info_Stored_Memory_Before.png) and the requested one here (http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p76/hecartha/Concepts%20and%20Ideas%20about%20Software/Pen_Info_Stored_Memory_Expected.png)). So this system allows to have per pen two tools and two colors registered. In practice you can use one grip pen with the main tip set to a black pencil and a smooth eraser set to the other tip and you can use the second pen to set a blue watercolor brush with a watercolor eraser, so two tools with different eraser per tool. This system is possible actually using two physical stylus but it could be easily made using virtual stylus. Imagine you have 4 boxes as 4 virtual stylus. You could set the brush tracking per box like this
http://i125.photobucket.com/albums/p76/hecartha/Concepts%20and%20Ideas%20about%20Software/Virtual_Pen_Palette_4.png
(it is one of the image sent to Painter team last year)
So you could use one box for a pencil, one other for a brush, a marker or anything you like. And you could create predefined combined tools like black pencil+soft eraser, smeary wet sponge+an eraser sponge and so on...

I can add also a better system to capture dab type and............but I wrote too many things here.

I am happy Simon Dominic has joined the discussion because he is one of us who is trying something else and I have lot of pleasure reading his opinion at conceptart.org about ArtRage. I have the same opinion about PaintTool SAI considering my needs than him who is using ArtRage.

workbench
05-18-2009, 08:58 PM
About your first issue with Painter, Custom Palettes take care of that, I imagine the point is to load an empty file, try every single brush and move the ones you like to the custom palette. I agree that there are way too many brushes, totally unecessary too, why put the same brush in different sizes: 10px, 20px, 30px? Pointless.
Most brushes are also nothing more than brush engines showcase and impractical in real use, what Corel should do is a new category in which it would include the very best of each brush category, basically you would have a few good watercolor brushes, a watercolor eraser, a pencil, an ink pen, oils, airbrush, etc... This is a complain I often hear that there's way too many brushes and it's hard to track down a brush you want for a given task.

Good luck trying to explain it to Corel, I gave up on them after Painter 9.5, a developer that doesn't listen to the userbase is shooting their own feet, specially in this day and age with the internet, it's essential, I guess Corel's just trying to get rid of Painter.

Lunatique
05-18-2009, 10:16 PM
I'm making this thread a sticky, since it's one of the most thoughtful and informative threads we're had around here in a while. I'm also hoping the Corel team will read this thread and really take it to heart--that Painter needs to improve and progress in order to remain relevant in the years to come, as smaller forward-thinking developers are coming up with intuitive and useful tools that artists really need, and some have superior approaches to how transparency and opacity is handled--in ways that are actually helpful towards an artist's workflow instead of limiting it. That ruler in Manga Studio is also a real eye-opener as well. Even my other thread about the blur brush in Sai and Open Canvas--that's another thing I wish Painter had. And those vector/spline-based inking tools--so flexible and fluid. I wonder if it's even possible for Corel to implement their version of all these awesome tools into Painter.

theanswer07
05-19-2009, 11:22 AM
Hecartha, your bringing up a lot of issues I have known about with Painter, but have sub consiously gone, 'meh, won't try that again then' you know?

Theres a fine line between wanting great functionality and balanced features and wanting an 'all-in-one' package, which is unrealistic by any stretch.

Sure, in a perfect world there would be a package that takes Painters robust brush system, Photoshop and SAI's Transparency and opacity functionalities, and Manga Studios rulers, among other things, but realistically it's a far fetched idea to even hint at wanting that from a developer, as each developer has an individual goal, and idealogy, that may not necessarily reside around creating traditional based tools, or by creating digital tools, this is another thing, as consumers, that we must come to accept, it's a pain in the ass, but that's life! :)

I feel like I'm repeating myself a little bit here, so will finish by thanking Lunatique for stickying it, hopefully this'll give Corel the boot in the ass they need to turn around Painter before it falls into an abyss of failed software.

Cheers.

BaronImpossible
05-19-2009, 02:42 PM
I'm making this thread a sticky, since it's one of the most thoughtful and informative threads we're had around here in a while. I'm also hoping the Corel team will read this thread and really take it to heart--that Painter needs to improve and progress in order to remain relevant in the years to come, as smaller forward-thinking developers are coming up with intuitive and useful tools that artists really need, and some have superior approaches to how transparency and opacity is handled--in ways that are actually helpful towards an artist's workflow instead of limiting it.

Good call. On another forum someone asked, How come there's so much talk of other software products in a Painter forum? I think Corel needs to ask themselves the same question.

Hecartha
05-19-2009, 11:41 PM
About your first issue with Painter, Custom Palettes take care of that, I imagine the point is to load an empty file, try every single brush and move the ones you like to the custom palette.Sorry, I meant there is an issue when we are looking for a new brush. So even if we have a custom palette, we need to try again all of them (in fact, as I know about the engine, I don't waste my time trying preset brush, I just create the one I want...but if you don't know the brush engine you will be lost as I was before)
I'm also hoping the Corel team will read this thread and really take it to heart--that Painter needs to improve and progress in order to remain relevant in the years to come, as smaller forward-thinking developers are coming up with intuitive and useful tools that artists really need, and some have superior approaches to how transparency and opacity is handled--in ways that are actually helpful towards an artist's workflow instead of limiting it. That ruler in Manga Studio is also a real eye-opener as well. Even my other thread about the blur brush in Sai and Open Canvas--that's another thing I wish Painter had. And those vector/spline-based inking tools--so flexible and fluid. I wonder if it's even possible for Corel to implement their version of all these awesome tools into Painter.I don't know if this kind of thread can change their mind about painter, but I know trying to describe precisely an issue will not help so much. Now, if we could share knowledge about software limitation or feature using just video comparison which seems to be the simplest way to communicate with others, lot of people could know about that and they could ask to Corel also, "why your program is not able to do what this cheap other program can do?"...just trying something else as a request list doesn't help~

Now I am not expecting finding everything in one package. The issue with opacity and transparency is also the reason why we have this gel layer, because they seems to be unable to integrate the effect inside the brush, so they use a cheap method changing the layer composite method which limits more the use of layer.
Hecartha, your bringing up a lot of issues I have known about with Painter, but have sub consiously gone, 'meh, won't try that again then' you know?I know, I am finishing finding my workflow using SAI and I am feeling so good now. I will use Painter for last step when it will be needed (really few time)
Theres a fine line between wanting great functionality and balanced features and wanting an 'all-in-one' package, which is unrealistic by any stretch.It was mostly a christmas wish list showing there are many area where Painter needs to be enhanced before adding more and more...brush?.
But about ruler do you really think it is just a dream to see one day a simple straight line ruler and radial line ruler in a drawing/painting program (not necessarily Painter)? It is not like if it was complicated.
Sure, in a perfect world there would be a package that takes Painters robust brush system, Photoshop and SAI's Transparency and opacity functionalities, and Manga Studios rulers, among other thingas, but realistically it's a far fetched idea to even hint at wanting that from a developer, as each developer has an individual goal, and idealogy, that may not necessarily reside around creating traditional based tools, or by creating digital tools, this is another thing, as consumers, that we must come to accept, it's a pain in the ass, but that's life! :)The consumers who don't accept that buy something else and when too many consumers go away, developers think about changing things...if it is not late anyway

theanswer07
05-20-2009, 04:13 AM
But about ruler do you really think it is just a dream to see one day a simple straight line ruler and radial line ruler in a drawing/painting program (not necessarily Painter)? It is not like if it was complicated.

It's not a dream, what I was trying to say was, that if the developers don't see their software benefiting significantly from a new straight ruler or whatever, then at the end of the day they just won't implement it, we can't do a whole lot about that.

The consumers who don't accept that buy something else and when too many consumers go away, developers think about changing things...if it is not late anyway

That's true, and Painter seems to have more hindering features then benefiting ones as of late, so I hope Corel comes to realise the damage they are doing before it is too late, because if they keep trying to please hobbyists with their photo-painting systems, then the Professional artists who are there for the long haul will leave, simple as that, and that's something they can't afford to lose.

workbench
05-20-2009, 06:57 AM
Drawing aids in digital programs have been tremendously neglected, Manga Studio has a great ruler engine but if you don't do comics it's hard to include the program in your setup.

Hecartha
05-20-2009, 03:26 PM
@theanswer07
ok Luke, I am still thinking we have a little power about forcing them to change their priority :)
Drawing aids in digital programs have been tremendously neglected, Manga Studio has a great ruler engine but if you don't do comics it's hard to include the program in your setup.Yeah, and it should be a priority with a great brush engine

ooh, and I need to post with all the other videos the one describing this old never fixed bug (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=469864)

ArshesNei
05-21-2009, 12:17 AM
This is a very nice thread indeed. Customer support seems to be lacking with Corel these days.

Also in regards to Sai, I think another issue is cross compatibility. Simple programs like this are made and windows users are definitely getting the benefit but Mac users are left out.

Thanks for pointing out the rulers in Manga Studio, I was pointed to it for its inking capabilities but those rulers are amazing. I've also become more of a fan of ArtRage now as they have a good community and better support. I agree the oils are really nice. If it weren't for a certain Imagine FX article I would have never known how well it is for such a low cost.

You can also turn off what brushes you don't need and save it as a workspace in Painter. That's one thing I like in Painter because I can switch workspaces as needed. The problem is now though, this is a slow process. I don't know if you've tried it, but it will lag and you think it's done and it should have something simple like "Switching Workspaces ...please wait" instead of thinking it acted up. In addition...stability issues again.

I'm also really disappointed with the treatment of Corel Sketchpad. Not only is it expensive, but if you got it as part of the package with the intuos4 and tried the download previously, there still isn't a working solution (for windows users, you can't instal the program because it's detecting the trial install). Wacom and Corel are both pointing fingers at each other, and the customer is left in the middle.

I think Baron can tell you how frustrated I am when I'm at the Painter Factory forums awaiting a response from Corel. It's like you're told to go there as a customer, receive no service and people who don't understand the issue and its seriousness if you got a deadline to make.

I also asked if Corel would make a side app so you can browse your various paper and pattern libraries. It's sometimes a pain to have to keep swapping library groups just to find a paper that's stuck in one. Your collection can get quite large so trying to find where you stuck your "Silk paper" can get to become more of a task so a side app to just browse them would be a great help.

theanswer07
05-21-2009, 03:07 PM
I think Baron can tell you how frustrated I am when I'm at the Painter Factory forums awaiting a response from Corel. It's like you're told to go there as a customer, receive no service and people who don't understand the issue and its seriousness if you got a deadline to make.

I think the whole idea of redirecting customers to an independent forum for support on their own product is a joke in itself.. it's laughable, Corel's business tactics and customer support, or there lack of, is severely outdated and primitive, especially when a vast majority of users have the internet, making customer support easier than ever, yet they seem to fail so badly at it.

I'm also really disappointed with the treatment of Corel Sketchpad. Not only is it expensive, but if you got it as part of the package with the intuos4 and tried the download previously, there still isn't a working solution (for windows users, you can't instal the program because it's detecting the trial install). Wacom and Corel are both pointing fingers at each other, and the customer is left in the middle.

Sketchpad is a joke, Corel have just tried to cash in on an increasingly popular sketching software trend (if you will) with the likes of Sketchbook Pro and Art Rage increasing in popularity.

In comparison with the aforementioned packages, Sketchpad is slow, heavy and for a 'hey get your ideas out quick!' idealogy completely unusable because it is so laggy. Although, the GUI is quite attractive, shame P11 didn't have such an attractive one, could have balanced out with the shit they did wrong.

But yeah, Sketchpad just doesn't offer the same streamlined and simplistic approach to sketching while programs like Art Rage and Sketchbook Pro do.

BaronImpossible
05-21-2009, 03:54 PM
I think Baron can tell you how frustrated I am when I'm at the Painter Factory forums awaiting a response from Corel.

You mostly hide it pretty well by my standards ;) but yeah, I see it and share it.

It's a liberty to fail to offer a key service and shunt support responsibility onto the very users who are experiencing the problems. There's a thread going on at Painter Factory (as most will know) where people are spending literally days of their time trying to figure out a major bug that stops Painter from loading. And Corel's input? Nothing whatsoever. And that's one thread from many.

Corel either don't realise or don't care what's happening to their user-base. I doubt there was anyone as pro-Painter as I was but the fiasco with P11 made me realise that Painter as a product was not bullet-proof and that relying on it - especially for a career - was no longer viable.

This was quite scary because at the time I didn't know of anything that could replace Painter. Of course, now I do, but I know some people still need Painter and it's sad to see them receiving no support from Corel. I think the situation is so grave that if Corel release P12 to the same shoddy standards as P11 then that will be the end of Painter. And if the bugs aren't sorted in 11 then 12 will need to be a rewrite.

When I type something like that I'm always tempted to list the bugs and enhancements that Corel need to address in order to sort this out, otherwise it appears I'm just finding fault without making suggestions. Then I remind myself, what's the point? I've posted them for years and not one has been implemented or specifically acknowledged.

ArshesNei
05-21-2009, 07:36 PM
I think the whole idea of redirecting customers to an independent forum for support on their own product is a joke in itself.. it's laughable, Corel's business tactics and customer support, or there lack of, is severely outdated and primitive, especially when a vast majority of users have the internet, making customer support easier than ever, yet they seem to fail so badly at it.

I don't mind them using the forum for support, but if you're going to direct us to it. USE IT. Don't tell us it's the best place for support and feedback and let tumbleweeds ravage the posts.

Baron, indeed, like I said if it weren't for that ImagineFX dvd tutorial and even your posts in CA's Painter 11 thread, I wouldn't have thought much of Art rage as it seemed too limited at first. Sai Paint is part of my arsenal still giving Manga Studio a few attempts here and there, and Open Canvas has been something I've used for a while for sketching things out. I do have Sketchbook though.

Also if you're looking for the patch online: http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite/us/en/Content/1153321224268?pid=1234450613802

Hecartha
05-29-2009, 09:34 AM
added this video in this post (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5869620#post5869620) about opacity bug on layer in any Painter version since at least version 6 to current version 11.0.017
http://i2.ytimg.com/vi/E-O8qcZMtwg/2.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-O8qcZMtwg)
Another example of limitation using transparency and layers...
Also in regards to Sai, I think another issue is cross compatibility. Simple programs like this are made and windows users are definitely getting the benefit but Mac users are left out.First, nice to see you here because I forgot mentioning again SAI is Windows only. (and sorry for the late reply)

Few words about cross compatibility. My opinion about that is, it is more important the program is able to save a cross compatible file than the program is able to run on only one OS. Mac users (MacIntel) are not left out, MacOS users are.
In a workflow using Photoshop (MacOS workstation) and SAI (Windows workstation), as SAI uses the same powerful layer system than Photoshop (layer mask, clipping mask, groups and composite methods), when you will open your file in SAI or in Photoshop, your file will remain the same. So you don't need to stop using features available in Photoshop because of limitation inside the program as it is the case using Painter (no clipping mask) or ArtRage (no layer mask, no group, no clipping mask). That's especially true for people who are using Painter as blending program.
You can also turn off what brushes you don't need and save it as a workspace in Painter. That's one thing I like in Painter because I can switch workspaces as needed. The problem is now though, this is a slow process. I don't know if you've tried it, but it will lag and you think it's done and it should have something simple like "Switching Workspaces ...please wait" instead of thinking it acted up. In addition...stability issues again.Thanks for the feedback, I just tested enough to see it is a slow process as you said.
Adding more complexity (so more nice stuff to accomplish what we need) must be balanced by an easy way to deal with this complexity and advanced file managers have done a pretty good job in managing many files using flat view (merge temporary all the brushes categories to only one) and real time filter based on tag name.

theanswer07
05-29-2009, 10:56 AM
Hey Hecartha,

After watching a few lynda.com vids it was brought to my attention that in Corel Painter 9? (not quite sure) when the Artist Oils were introduced Corel developers coded the brush to deal with transparency more efficiently, the same was as SAI and as Photoshop, instead of blending with the white, or any other colour infact, of the canvas below the artist oils lay opaque strokes down initially and then graduate into transparency, without canvas interaction :)

Just thought I'd bring this to your attention, because I didn't know it either :)

Hecartha
05-29-2009, 11:47 AM
Yes, artist's oils work exactly like rendered dab type (scratchboard tool uses this dab type) and that's not what I am pointing. The issue is concerning "only" image based brushes like static bristle, circular, captured (lot of brushes...any brush which can use grain and spacing). It is why I used the scratchboard tool with this paintover (http://hecartha.free.fr/PaintOver/Fat_Ogre/Fat%20Ogre.html) in this JPerry's wip thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5295141#post5295141)

About blending with transparency that is not correct (or almost). Painter is only able to blend color on current layer. But yes, the issue with the white is not anymore an issue. Now if you want to blend color with bottom layer you need to check the 'Pick Up Underlaying Color' box which pastes pixels from bottom layer to current layer for blending them. In fact Painter needs a system which is able to blend with transparency as if it was a color.

But thanks for pointing that :)

Lunatique
05-29-2009, 03:19 PM
Mikael - Thanks for another informative video. Often when it comes to graphics issues, pictures and videos are worth a thousand words.

I was wondering if you could do a video on one of the most annoying problems with Painter, which is the dreaded transparent pixel treated as white pixels during blending on another layer without checking the "pick up underlying colors" box?

IMO, that check box is not a solution and Corel will have to address this issue sooner or later, or else Painter will never be a flexible production tool for demanding professionals that are often asked by clients and employers to keep their images in as many separate layers as possible. With the way Painter works now, I can't even do something as simple as paint a character and keep the hair on a separate layer in case I need to change the color quickly later. Hair very often requires bristle brushes with some Bleed turned up in order to be feathered to look silky and soft--ESPECAILLY against the background, and as soon as we do that, we run into a brick wall with Painter's implementation of treating transparent pixels as white pixels. Forcing us to blend with the colors of the underlying layers just doesn't work--what good is having separate layers for ease and flexibility of a digital workflow if I can't even keep something like hair cleanly on a separate layer for easy editing later? It is for this very reason that I must rely on Photoshop for serious and demanding production work for clients or projects that require a lot of iterations and changes. Painter only really gets used when I really need to emulate the look of traditional mediums or after specific types of brushwork outside of Photoshop's capabilities.

ArshesNei
05-29-2009, 11:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback, I just tested enough to see it is a slow process as you said.
Adding more complexity (so more nice stuff to accomplish what we need) must be balanced by an easy way to deal with this complexity and advanced file managers have done a pretty good job in managing many files using flat view (merge temporary all the brushes categories to only one) and real time filter based on tag name.

Fair point, it's just that I show Mac users Sai and they are broken hearted, it's not that you can't send them the PSD files but they do want to use the program.

Regarding switching workspaces and library... I don't know if you've done this or had fun one with the brush tracker but one of the more fun bugs that was definitely present in X was that "this brush cannot be built" because you forgot to clear the tracker. I don't mind clearing the tracker but why can't we disable the tracker in the first place? If I want the option I'll turn it on, but the brush tracking seems to hurt me more than help.

Also I don't know if anyone gets this one present in X and 11 switching libraries doesn't happen. Sometimes you have to tell it to switch up to 3 or more times - that's also where you get the stupid error with the Tracker that crashes Painter X.

theanswer07
05-30-2009, 04:37 AM
Mikael - Thanks for another informative video. Often when it comes to graphics issues, pictures and videos are worth a thousand words.

I was wondering if you could do a video on one of the most annoying problems with Painter, which is the dreaded transparent pixel treated as white pixels during blending on another layer without checking the "pick up underlying colors" box?

IMO, that check box is not a solution and Corel will have to address this issue sooner or later, or else Painter will never be a flexible production tool for demanding professionals that are often asked by clients and employers to keep their images in as many separate layers as possible. With the way Painter works now, I can't even do something as simple as paint a character and keep the hair on a separate layer in case I need to change the color quickly later. Hair very often requires bristle brushes with some Bleed turned up in order to be feathered to look silky and soft--ESPECAILLY against the background, and as soon as we do that, we run into a brick wall with Painter's implementation of treating transparent pixels as white pixels. Forcing us to blend with the colors of the underlying layers just doesn't work--what good is having separate layers for ease and flexibility of a digital workflow if I can't even keep something like hair cleanly on a separate layer for easy editing later? It is for this very reason that I must rely on Photoshop for serious and demanding production work for clients or projects that require a lot of iterations and changes. Painter only really gets used when I really need to emulate the look of traditional mediums or after specific types of brushwork outside of Photoshop's capabilities.

Now that is something Corel should be worrying about, your one of the most well-known Painter illustrators and if you need to go back to Photoshop to do your work, there is something seriously wrong, but once again, Corel doesn't seem to mind as long as the photo painting pool of customers is happy, needn't worry about the ones who really use the program.

Lunatique
05-30-2009, 05:56 AM
Well, to be fair, hobbyists and photographers who need to fake the painted look are paying customers too, and if they outnumber the professionals working in the entertainment industry, it makes business sense to please them.

My wife is in the food industry, and based on her experience, you often make a lot more money if you cater to the lower-end customers by making cheap yet tasty food, as opposed to making gourmet food that is expensive and harder to make. Cheap food sells volumes more and a much larger portion of the population can afford it, translating into a lot more foot traffic and cash flow. I'm not saying Painter is like cheap food--I'm just saying that the lower-end customer often are the real money-makers for companies. They aren't nearly as demanding, and the feature sets needed to please them are far easier to design and produce.

theanswer07
05-30-2009, 05:15 PM
Well, to be fair, hobbyists and photographers who need to fake the painted look are paying customers too, and if they outnumber the professionals working in the entertainment industry, it makes business sense to please them.

This is true, sorry if I came off as if to say the opposite.

I just think, that professionals testimonies and images is what makes people buy a product, I mean, if every professional was working in MSPaint I'm sure not only other professionals, but hobbyists as well would run to MSPaint to emulate the success others have had in it. Just think it's a slap in the face to loyal professional users to abandon the professional market in-exchange for a perhaps far less loyal hobbyist community, who are just trying to fake what professionals are creating.

*sigh* I really need to find another word for professional, haha.

My wife is in the food industry, and based on her experience, you often make a lot more money if you cater to the lower-end customers by making cheap yet tasty food, as opposed to making gourmet food that is expensive and harder to make. Cheap food sells volumes more and a much larger portion of the population can afford it, translating into a lot more foot traffic and cash flow. I'm not saying Painter is like cheap food--I'm just saying that the lower-end customer often are the real money-makers for companies. They aren't nearly as demanding, and the feature sets needed to please them are far easier to design and produce.

This is also true, catering to the middle-man is the way to go financially, but if it wasn't for the best food critics, and the high-paying customers that visit the high-end restaurant, the restaurant wouldn't have as good a name as what it would otherwise.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, sure, hobbyists may make up a strong majority of Corel's consumer base, but they aren't the ones who are giving Painter the name it has, and they aren't the ones showcasing the amazing imagery that can *originally* come out of Painter, it's the professionals who are in magazines, who are in books, who are on CGCommunities writing tutorials, and the ones that are in interviews that people read and say 'wow, painter hey'.

This is subjective, not trying to write off hobbyists as complete creative baboons.

Lunatique
05-30-2009, 07:59 PM
I agree with everything you said, and have voiced the same thoughts before in this forum. Testimonials from the high profile professional clients is one of the main strategies of any company, and once a company takes that approach, it must keep the pros satisfied, or eventually the good press will turn into bad press. That in of itself isn't dangerous if there are no competing products, but as soon as there are competitors and they are going out of their way to satisfy the high profile customers, and those customers are making their switch known publicly, it could all go downhill from there.

You know, I hate to sound negative about Painter because it did/does bring me a lot of joy when it works the way I want it to, and it did play a part in my growth as a digital artist. I mean, I'm the forum leader of Painter forum for a reason, and Corel has appreciated the fact that I produced artworks they are a fan of with Painter and have interviewed me for their official magazine and showcased my work in the splash pages of Painter X. I want to see Painter become what we hope it could one day become, and I try to be fair when I voice my opinions here.

It was painful for me to realize there are glaring problems in Painter that has become a showstopper for me when working on demanding and critical projects, and I've voiced those concerns to Corel and also here to other Painter users. The only thing left for me to do is wait and see.

ArshesNei
05-31-2009, 05:37 AM
Ok since Hecartha is posting video links, I got my friend's vid because we got the same problem and are in agreement after I mentioned artrage.


http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/oa_WCnZ4yb8/default.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa_WCnZ4yb8)

Is anyone else getting this behavior with the Palette knives in Painter 11? It seems they got worse, not better :/

theanswer07
05-31-2009, 06:38 AM
Painter treating the white of a canvas as a colour is evident with almost every tool in Painter, oils, knives, and its really irritating, its often impossible to get the colour you've picked onto your canvas layer without it picking up a lot of white and polluting the original colour.

I have similar issues, but what is also annoying is when using 'preserve transperancy' if you were to brush with light pressure around the perimeter of your pixels it picks up either white or black, despite there being no trace of that colour, this is also true when painting at the edge of the canvas when brushes often pick up a black or white colour when dragging outside to the inside of the canvas. Just general inefficiencies in the brush behaviour I guess.. there are workarounds but it is awkward.

ArtRage's paint functionalities are unmatched, with it's ability to spread and smudge depending on paint thickness and quantity, its amazing, even moreso when you see the price tag.

workbench
05-31-2009, 11:26 AM
The problem with Artrage 2.5 is that it's very backwards in compatability with other programs, you can't simply load your layered file with masks and clipping masks and start using the oil brush, before you get to that you have to import (and later export) the PSD, the shortcuts are completely bananas, there's no live resize brush shortcut, I couldn't find a shortcut to restore the page rotation, the list goes on, there's a reason it costs 25 EUR. I would rate AR2.5 as a brush technology showcase rather than a pro orientated graphics program, I do hope they fix this issues for AR3 and make the program what Painter's wishes to be.

ArshesNei
05-31-2009, 05:52 PM
Well, I do understand the problem and limitations with Art Rage, but I'm showing that something broke between Painter X and Painter 11 and not only that, a 25 dollar program is doing something I never thought was possible because Painter was so heavily marketed as the natural media emulator.

I didn't think it was possible because I just believed Painter crew did it's best and this type of engine wasn't possible. When you see a cheap program doing it, either for free or in it's 25 dollar incarnation, I suppose as a consumer you feel a bit betrayed by Painter's advertising.

That doesn't mean I hate Painter, there is still a bit I use it for, though it has become less and less admittedly because I'm finding other programs that either do it right - ie ArtRage's oil engine, Sai Paint's blending engine, or do it with more stability. Sai Paint is fast, doesn't crash...etc...

But back to the palette knives. I am glad I got that video because it does demonstrate that something went wrong. While Painter X did have a bit of the "white" coming in, both settings in Painter X and 11 are the same. Why is one making horrendously ugly white streaky chunks that actually end up erasing the paint. When I move it around it no longer made sense. I could have lived with the Painter X kind of palette knife though I think ArtRage made a lot of sense, but the Painter 11 one is totally useless now.

Hecartha
06-02-2009, 02:48 PM
I was wondering if you could do a video on one of the most annoying problems with Painter, which is the dreaded transparent pixel treated as white pixels during blending on another layer without checking the "pick up underlying colors" box?This problem is already covered with the video "Blending Engine - PaintTool SAI and Painter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paDpjW2CukQ)".
Are you thinking about something more precise?

I am planing anyway to post another video showing the benefit of a good transparent blending engine using color adjustment, scale/move opposed to the actual limited system because I totally agree with you about your example.
Is anyone else getting this behavior with the Palette knives in Painter 11? It seems they got worse, not better :/It looks like your friend forgot to configure the brush tracking in Painter 11 because the brush seems to be unable to use the pressure. The palette knife works the same way in my Painter IX.5. I didn't noticed a difference.

Now here a video about Artist's Oils
http://i4.ytimg.com/vi/odgZ87FaFrs/default.jpg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odgZ87FaFrs)
If you want a palette knife close from the one in ArtRage, use those inside Artist's Oils category.
This kind of Palette knife are Artist's Oils brush with amount of paint set to o%. Use a flat brush profile with bristling set to O%, it should be better.

Your friend is wrong about the grain also. Hope this video could help

I think an expression control is needed for the 'amount' setting anyway.
Painter treating the white of a canvas as a colour is evident with almost every tool in Painter, oils, knives, and its really irritating, its often impossible to get the colour you've picked onto your canvas layer without it picking up a lot of white and polluting the original colour.I hope they will not fix that using a non-standard system like in ArtRage because if you painted directly on canvas and you need to send your image to Photoshop(or anything else) and send back to ArtRage, you can say goodbye to the recognition of your unpainted pixels. All of them will be considered as white paint...

A standard system is just a simple layer and fortunately, ArtRage works as good on layer than on canvas...hum, in fact considering Artist's Oils only, Painter works exactly like ArtRage with the exception you can also check the box "Pick Up Underlying Color"...huh, what is the need of a canvas layer?
ArtRage's paint functionalities are unmatched, with it's ability to spread and smudge depending on paint thickness and quantity, its amazing, even moreso when you see the price tag.They have done a good job with thick paint. About the rest, I am really reserved.

theanswer07
06-02-2009, 04:37 PM
Wow Hecartha, a lot of things in that demo I didn't know.. still tryna figure out how you got those seemless blends in your colours, cool stuff!

Shame there isn't a specific palette knife that blends according to the thickness of the paint at hand, the closest to that is the Impasto Palette Knife that seems to add depth with more pressure instead of smearing it.

Is there a reason paint doesn't blend as well on layers compared to the blending capable on the canvas layer, it seems that when painting on a layer once you've used the paint on the brush, that's it, you can't smear or blend the paint any further. Also blending seems to be only avaliable at it's fullest when on the canvas layer.

ArshesNei
06-02-2009, 06:42 PM
If you want a palette knife close from the one in ArtRage, use those inside Artist's Oils category.
This kind of Palette knife are Artist's Oils brush with amount of paint set to o%. Use a flat brush profile with bristling set to O%, it should be better.

Your friend is wrong about the grain also. Hope this video could help


Hi Hecartha, I actually knew about creating a blending/knife in the Artist's oils category, but I'm saying the palette knives that come in standard are rather..well broken they're worse than the previous versions I've had. I also tried them in 6, 7, 8, and X. I also did the brush tracking thing and I believe you outlined the problem or someone else did. Changing the brush tracking settings for the palette knives are actually messing up the tracking for the other brushes. It may work better, but now the other brushes are acting up, and it becomes a painn and tedious task to have to redo the tracking since it doesn't keep tracking for each specific brush.

That is no diss to the demo, you've outlined why I actually like the artist's oils and now that the stray dabs seem to be kept under control, I'll be using them more....but to a person learning the program, you have do "make" a palette knife (at least one that works like an actual traditional counterpart...as much as you can in Painter), which is counter-intuitive to having the palette knife category in the first place.

It also goes into streamlining the program - why offer brushes that become out of date if you create an engine that does it better? I see palette knives on the drop down menu, that's exactly what I think they'll do. If this has been replaced, why even keep the category or keep them around?

Corel should just create a category of "Legacy Brushes" that don't come in installed automatically but offered as a side. I would also say don't even drop or slip them into other categories either. For example, finding the Real or Hard media brushes in older legacy categories.

Rather than having to go to the workspace manager, it could also be "Greyed out" and then you click a checkbox on the side to activate- then the arrow on the brush manager can have a "Collapse inactive brushes".

You guys already talked about the system of smearing paint in Art Rage too, which is why I wish they'd make a "real media" palette knife, grey the rest of the old ones out as legacy.

I hope I'm making sense.

Lunatique
06-02-2009, 09:56 PM
Mickael - Yeah, I meant an example of a real life situation such as feathering hair against the background but needing to keep the hair a clean and separate layer. I find that real life situation examples are always a lot more easier for people to relate to because they drive the point home much better.

Hecartha
06-03-2009, 12:23 AM
Is there a reason paint doesn't blend as well on layers compared to the blending capable on the canvas layer, it seems that when painting on a layer once you've used the paint on the brush, that's it, you can't smear or blend the paint any further. Also blending seems to be only avaliable at it's fullest when on the canvas layer.Thanks, I did not notice the difference before. The wetness and the viscosity seems to work differently if you are painting on layer or on canvas.
Hi Hecartha, I actually knew about creating a blending/knife in the Artist's oils category, but I'm saying the palette knives that come in standard are rather..well broken they're worse than the previous versions I've had. I also tried them in 6, 7, 8, and X. I also did the brush tracking thing and I believe you outlined the problem or someone else did. Changing the brush tracking settings for the palette knives are actually messing up the tracking for the other brushes. It may work better, but now the other brushes are acting up, and it becomes a painn and tedious task to have to redo the tracking since it doesn't keep tracking for each specific brush.After all the issue with Painter 11, I imagined you had reset Painter 11 to its factory settings for the 44 times and you had forgotten to set again the brush tracking lol...or maybe it was because your new intuos 4
Now, as I said at CA, I didn't see anything different (like in the video) between the palette knife in painter IX.5 and the one in Painter 11. That's weird there is only this dab type which seems to be different.
That is no diss to the demo, you've outlined why I actually like the artist's oils and now that the stray dabs seem to be kept under control, I'll be using them more....but to a person learning the program, you have do "make" a palette knife (at least one that works like an actual traditional counterpart...as much as you can in Painter), which is counter-intuitive to having the palette knife category in the first place. I understand that. If Painter was a building, it will be born as a cabin and the architect added brick on the wood to build new floors, more and more luxurious; sometimes a door giving access to nothing, sometimes architect just forgot any windows or any door.
It also goes into streamlining the program - why offer brushes that become out of date if you create an engine that does it better? I see palette knives on the drop down menu, that's exactly what I think they'll do. If this has been replaced, why even keep the category or keep them around?

Corel should just create a category of "Legacy Brushes" that don't come in installed automatically but offered as a side. I would also say don't even drop or slip them into other categories either. For example, finding the Real or Hard media brushes in older legacy categories.

Rather than having to go to the workspace manager, it could also be "Greyed out" and then you click a checkbox on the side to activate- then the arrow on the brush manager can have a "Collapse inactive brushes".

You guys already talked about the system of smearing paint in Art Rage too, which is why I wish they'd make a "real media" palette knife, grey the rest of the old ones out as legacy.

I hope I'm making sense.When i see this PDF (Painter_11_Family_Product_Matrix.pdf) (http://www.corel.com/content/painter11/compare/Painter_11_Family_Product_Matrix.pdf), I can read Painter 11 has 873 brushes and Painter X has just 833 brushes....no comparison, Painter 11 is much better!!! :D

Now I am with you about removing useless stuff. Painter team most of time seems to add more and more, they rarely enhance. I still don't understand why they kept the flat and camel hair dab type, since they added the blend camel hair and blend flat dab type. It just add more complexity.
The brush engine is a total mess; I tried one time to think about a schematic view but it is so full of dependencies everywhere that it couldn't be a simple schematic view that someone could understand quickly.

I didn't like actually how the brushes are arranged with oils, acrylic, gouache which does not mean anything considering the brush engine. I know they are in those kind of categories because of people who are coming from natural media but that's definitely hurting my mind lol

I think like you about a live management of the brushes instead of using the workspace manager.
Mickael - Yeah, I meant an example of a real life situation such as feathering hair against the background but needing to keep the hair a clean and separate layer. I find that real life situation examples are always a lot more easier for people to relate to because they drive the point home much better.I planned to use a real example with hair (resizing the head, color change of the background) but also fire and atmospheric effect done using trasnparent details over painted hazy sky.

Bloodwraith
01-15-2010, 02:36 AM
Hecartha, thank you for the detailed instructions, I have Photoshop, Corel Paint XI and Corel Paintshop Pro and other than the opacity problems paint is still my favorite to do detailed painting with, and that info helped alot!
DK'sDestny