Frequently Asked Questions
The ‘stroke gap’ resembles a lag when using ArtRage but is actually part of the realistic painting process
Many new ArtRage users notice what appears to be lag when they first use the app. While ArtRage can lag when performing demanding operations, the ‘stroke gap’ is a consistent, non-performance related phenomenon. It is the possible area of effect for your next movement.
It exists as an empty gap between the leading edge of a stroke, and your cursor, or the pressure point of the stylus. This gap will stay empty until you move or lift the stylus (or finger).
It is part of ArtRage’s real time stroke calculations; much like painting with a real brush, the stroke on a canvas is not finished, nor visible, until you move the brush on (if you stop and hold a brush in one spot, you won’t be able to see the stroke that has not yet been finished in that spot).
Size of the gap
The size is based on your current tool size, so the gap increases with larger brushes. The gap is literally the ‘largest possible stroke that you could be about to make’. The larger the selected tool, the larger the gap.
It is extremely visible on mobile devices, because they do not have a cursor to indicate brush size. The Outline cursor on the desktop will circle the entire stroke gap, making it clearer that it is part of the brush stroke, and not just a lag in the program. You can see in the images below that the ‘stroke gap’ actually extends in front of your cursor as well as behind. The gap measures the distance between the midpoint of the stroke (i.e. where you are placing pressure with a stylus) and the end of the current stroke.
Why it Happens
The gap is there because ArtRage is waiting to see what you’ll do next. The next part of the stroke will look very different if you lift the stylus away, double back, change pressure, run into and blend with other paint, or just continue exactly as you are. It would be much more confusing to project a stroke that changed after you kept going.
How can I avoid it? It bugs me.
You can’t ‘turn it off’, as it’s built into the way ArtRage works, but you can reduce the visibility of the gap by zooming out of your canvas view, decreasing the tool size, experimenting with different tools (some display it more clearly than others), or by turning on the Outline cursor in the desktop versions.
It tends not to be noticeable once you become familiar with ArtRage, as you learn what will happen when you make particular strokes.
How can I tell if I’m seeing ‘stroke gap’ or real lag?
Stroke Gaps are constant
A stroke gap will always be a constant size as you draw, and will scale relative to the tool size.
To estimate the size the ‘stroke gap’ should be, make a full pressure ‘dot’ on the canvas with your current tool. The ‘gap’ will be about half the width of this dot.
Note that settings such as Softness (eraser), Hardness (Airbrush), Paper Wetness and Bleed (Watercolor) will affect the apparent size of strokes. For example, in the image below, you can see that the eraser make very different marks at 0% and 100% Softness. The 0% Softness is the closest to the actual tool size.
Lag varies depending on what you do
Lag will cause the stroke to be further behind as you draw longer, faster and bigger strokes, or as your device runs out of memory for other reasons (e.g. multiple apps running, large canvas sizes, little free space). It will not be directly tied to the brush size (though larger brushes use more processing power). There are a few ways to reduce the memory usage.
If you see a very noticeable difference between drawing fast strokes and slow strokes, or between drawing the same stroke at different canvas sizes, that is lag.
Note: Some mobile devices cannot process fast strokes above a certain speed. This isn’t ArtRage lagging, but a built in limitation of the device.
How can I find my ArtRage manual?
Find the manual in the Desktop Editions
You can find your ArtRage manual under the application itself by going to Help > ArtRage Manual or by pressing F1 In ArtRage 3 or 4. Press Ctrl + F1 in ArtRage 2.
Find the manual in the ArtRage for iPad App
Tap the ? symbol in ArtRage for iPad to access the iPad manual. You can find this in the bottom centre of your screen, in the canvas view. The help section is hidden under the menu button in the top right corner in the Gallery view.
We also have the ArtRage manuals online.
Why can’t I upload painting files to the internet or open it in other programs?
If you wish to upload an ArtRage painting to Facebook, DeviantART, Flickr, or any other website, or open it with other programs like Photoshop, Gimp or MSPaint, then you need to export your painting.
ArtRage uses the proprietary PTG format. This cannot be read by any other program. To create a JPEG, PSD, BMP, TIFF, GIF or PNG file, you need to go to:
File > Export As Image
If you are using an iPad, see: How to share paintings from the iPad
Why Does ArtRage Do This?
ArtRage does not give you the option to save in different formats because the ArtRage PTG file is the only one capable of saving all of the media information for your painting. If you were to accidentally “save” your painting as a JPEG (for example), then you would lose layers, transparency, paint wetness, paint thickness, lighting direction, and canvas texture, as well as any attached References, Tracing Images, Color Samples or other ArtRage specific features.
However, because you still need to use your paintings in other programs, it gives you a choice of formats to use to export a copy of your painting.
How do I reduce the amount of memory my paintings use while painting?
ArtRage is a very memory intensive program, due to the number of calculations involved in creating realistic paint, and the many options you can turn on while painting. If you find that ArtRage is slowing down significantly at larger sizes, there are a few things you can do to free up memory and speed up the painting process.
- Paint at a smaller canvas size
- Reduce the number of layers (for example, by merging layers once you have finished with them)
- Remove unused References, Scraps, Tracing images
- Use smaller files for the References and Tracing images
- Avoid memory intensive tools, such as Transform and the largest sizes of certain tools (Soft Blend palette knife, Watercolors).
Opening PTG files in a different version of ArtRage
Yes. All versions of ArtRage, including the iPad and the Demo, create PTG files and can open and edit these. So any paintings you create in one version (e.g. the Demo) can be continued with another version (e.g. the iPad or ArtRage 4).
Note: If you import an extremely large painting to the iPad, then you may run out of memory.