Tools and Presets

User Guides > ArtRage 4 > Tools and Presets

Tools and Presets

On the left side of the ArtRage window are controls for your painting tools. These include the Tool Picker for selecting tools, the Settings Pod for adjusting the settings associated with your current tool, and the Presets Pod for selecting presets for the current tool.

This section tells you everything you need to know about working with tools, and includes a detailed list of all of the settings and properties of the tools included in the application.

Pods

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The Tool Pod: When the Tool Pod is visible click it to open the Tool Picker where you can select the tool you want to use. Click and hold it to bring up a menu of available tools for easy selection. Click and drag left and right on it to change the size of the current tool, which is indicated at the top left of the Pod. The icon displayed on the Pod indicates which tool is currently selected.

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The Settings Pod: When the Settings Pod is visible click it to open the Settings Panel where you can adjust the settings of the current tool. Click and hold it for a ‘Reset Tool’ menu option.

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The Presets Pod: When the Presets Pod is visible click it to open the Presets Panel for your current tool. Click and hold for a menu of available Presets.

The Tool Picker

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The Tool Picker on the left hand side of the ArtRage window is used for selecting which tool will be active when you click and drag to paint a stroke on your Canvas.

Each tool has its own icon in the Picker and the currently selected tool is lit up so that you can see what it is.

To select a tool, click its icon and it will light up to show you that it has been selected. If you want to know what a tool is, just hover the mouse pointer over it and after a short time a Tooltip will appear to tell you.

At the bottom left corner of the Tool Picker is a preview of the paint stroke that will be generated by the current tool, and an indication of how large it will be. You can change the size of the tool by left clicking and dragging in this area. If you want to enter the size manually, left click in the size area without dragging and you will be prompted for a percentage size.

You can change the size of the current tool by holding down Shift and clicking and dragging on the Canvas. You can also make your tool larger than 100% size either when Shift click dragging on the Canvas or by typing a value up to 500% in to the size prompt when you click the size area of the Tool Picker.

The Settings Panel

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Each tool has a collection of settings that can be adjusted to alter the appearance of the stroke made when the tool is used. If you want to edit the settings of the current tool click the Settings Pod and the Settings Panel appears.

The appearance of this panel changes depending on which tool you have selected. When you select a tool the contents of the Settings Panel change to display the settings available for that tool.

A detailed description of the settings for each tool can be found in the ‘Tools’ section below.

The Preset Block

At the top of the Settings Pane is a control that indicates which Preset (if any) you currently have selected. Presets are combinations of settings that are applied to the tool to make it behave in a specific manner. For example you might have a ‘drybrush’ preset that causes the Oil Brush tool to reduce loading and thinners to dry its paint out.

The Preset Block at the top of the panel allows you to quickly select presets for the currently selected tool. To select a preset, click the Preset Block and a menu will appear containing options:

  1. Reset Current Tool: If you ever need to reset the tool to its default settings, select this option.
  2. Stylus Controls: Options that allow you to change how a stylus input device works with the current tool. For more information see Stylus Controls.
  3. Preset Options: Items that allow you to open the Preset Collection panel to select presets, or add new presets.
  4. A List of Presets: The final items in the menu are a list of presets currently available for the tool you have selected. These are divided in to groups. Select an item from one of the groups and those settings will be applied to the current tool.
Presets are an easy way to recall settings you have used previously. For more information see the section on Presets.

Pressure

The Pressure Setting is available to most tools and does the same thing for each one. Pressure indicates how hard you are pressing the tool down as you work. If you are using a mouse or graphics tablet with no pressure sensitivity this sets the level of pressure the tool applies. If you are using a pointing device that is pressure sensitive this value adjusts the pressure of your stroke, allowing you to increase or decrease the effect of the pressure you are applying manually.

Oil Brush

The Oil Brush lets you paint with a variety of styles of oil or acrylic paint. The Oil Brush is great for putting down strokes of paint for blending. It can also be good for creating texture because the bristles of the brush leave trails in the stroke.

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Features of the Oil Brush include:

  1. Smearing: Wet oils will smear and blend as you paint over them. If you paint a stroke over a previous oil stroke the colors will blend and the strokes merge. You can also smear oil strokes with the Palette Knife.
  2. Texturing: The bristles of the brush leave a trail in the oil stroke giving it the appearance of depth and texture.
  3. Runout: If you have a lightly loaded brush the color will run out as you paint, thinning down until it leaves a dry stroke on the surface of the Canvas.
  4. Cleaning: If you turn off Auto-Clean, your brush head will remain dirty after each stroke so the last color you had on it will be applied when you next paint.
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The Oil Brush interacts with the texture of your Canvas. As the paint thins and dries out at the end of a stroke you will see that it sticks to only the high points of the Canvas.

Settings

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Thinners: Allows you to add Thinners to your paint. As you increase this value the paint you are applying gets thinner so the stroke will go further before running out. Thinner paint is also more transparent and the bristles of the brush leave fewer marks as the paint gets thinner. Thinner paint is harder to smear because there isn’t much volume to spread around, but you can still smudge a thin stroke with the Palette Knife.

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Loading: Indicates how much paint has been picked up by the brush head before the stroke begins. The higher the value the more paint there is so your paint will spread further if you turn Loading up high. If you set Loading to 100% the paint will never run out in a single stroke.

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Insta-Dry: If this is turned on your paint will dry as soon as it touches the Canvas.

Dry paint does not blend with other paint on the canvas so color and texture will be unaffected as you paint over it.

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Auto Clean: If this is turned on your brush will be cleaned automatically between strokes. If it is turned off you will need to clean the brush manually using the Water Glass that pops up next to the Color Picker. For more information see the Colors section.

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Aspect: This controls how round or square the brush head is.

If the brush is using a Round head and the value is 100%, the brush head will be a perfect circle, reduce the value and the brush head ‘squashes’, becoming more elliptical.

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Rotation: Controls the default rotation angle of the brush head.

This is more visible if you have a narrow aspect brush. Rotation is also controlled dynamically as you paint, this setting just assigns the default value.

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Stiffness: This controls how stiff the bristles of the brush head are.

The stiffer the bristles, the less flexible the brush head is and the less the pigment will be ‘pushed’ in to the dents in the canvas.

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Square Head: The Oil Brush usually uses a rounded brush head but if you turn this on the brush head becomes square, giving a more blocky start and end to the stroke.

Watercolor

The Watercolor tool lets you paint with a variety of watercolor styles using a soft bristled brush on wet or dry paper. Because it is a wet medium the Watercolor tool is ideal for creating subtle, blended color washes and detail. The control you have over the amount of wetness of your brush and the Canvas beneath it lets you produce a wide variety of results.

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Features of the Watercolor tool include:

  1. Soft Blending: Strokes of watercolor merge as they get close and their wet edges touch. This creates smooth blended colors with soft edged transitions. The feel of the stroke is organic, spreading slightly as wet areas of the Canvas interact.
  2. Internal Blending: As you create areas of color the brush will pick up and move around pigment that is already on the Canvas, creating areas of darker or lighter transparency.
  3. Wetness and Dryness: Watercolor strokes vary in appearance greatly depending on the wetness of the area they are entering and the wetness of the brush head. This allows you to create firm edged areas of color then apply soft blended strokes inside those areas where the Canvas is already wet.
  4. Run Out: Lightly loading the Watercolor tool can give short dagger-like strokes that dry rapidly and darken towards the end as the water dries up and the pigment is applied more thickly.
  5. Cleaning: If you turn off Auto-Clean, your brush head will remain dirty after each stroke so the last color you had on it will be applied when you next paint.


Watercolor is a complex medium and there are a large number of settings that can be used to control the results you see when you paint. ArtRage understands both the color of the pigment you are applying and how much water is on your brush, and simulates these two things as you work with the tool. A basic understanding of what is happening when you paint with this medium can help explain how its settings work. There are some golden rules that should help explain what is happening:

  1. The water on the brush allows the pigment to spread, so a dry brush (one with less Thinner) applies paint more thickly because there is less water to spread it around.
  2. Because the pigment spreads in water, a wet Canvas will draw pigment out beyond the area of the stroke. This is why strokes of watercolor merge and blend smoothly as they meet.
  3. If the Canvas is not wet, the edge of the wet stroke where it meets dry Canvas generates a slightly darker rim as pigment gathers there, unable to go further.
  4. Highly thinned watercolor is really just water, so you can use it to thin out paint that has already been applied.
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Watercolor strokes interact with the texture of your Canvas, flowing more readily in to the dips in the surface and gathering there. The rougher your Canvas, the more obvious this effect will be.

Settings

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Thinners: Allows you to add water to the brush to thin the paint that is applied. The higher the value the more water there is and the further the stroke will paint. High Thinners also decrease the density of the pigment giving you a more transparent stroke. 100% Thinners removes all pigment from the stroke and lets you apply pure water to the Canvas to thin previous paint down.

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Loading: Indicates how much paint has been picked up by the brush head before the stroke begins. The higher the value the more paint there is so your paint will spread further if you turn Loading up high. If loading is low the end of the brush will start to dry out as you paint, and the pigment will be applied more densely until finally the stroke breaks up and no more is applied. If you set Loading to 100% the paint will never run out in a single stroke.

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Color Bleed: This setting is only available if Insta-Dry is turned off. It controls how fast the paint on the brush spreads in to paint that is already on the Canvas as you work, so high values mean that your current paint stroke will blend deeply in to previous strokes while lower values will prevent the color on your brush blending too heavily in to the color on the Canvas.

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Paper Wet: If this is turned on the Canvas will be treated as if it is wet when you paint and your strokes will expand beyond the area of the brush, and have softer edges. If this is turned off the Canvas is treated as if it was dry so your strokes are not softened.

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Insta-Dry: If this is turned on your strokes are dried as soon as they touch the Canvas. This means they will not blend in to other strokes as you paint. They will still blend into their own area.

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Auto Clean: If this is turned on your brush will be cleaned automatically between strokes. If it is turned off you will need to clean the brush manually using the Water Glass that pops up next to the Color Picker. For more information see the Colors section.

Palette Knife

The Palette Knife provides a blending and smearing tool that takes a number of different forms to produce a variety of effects. In its simplest form, the tool is a flat bladed knife that can be used to smear around paint that has been applied to the Canvas. If you want to soften the edge between two paint strokes or create an entirely new color using existing paint then the Palette Knife is the right tool to use.

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The Palette Knife does not apply paint to your Canvas, so if you have nothing to smear the tool will do nothing.

The Palette Knife has the following features:

  1. Smear & Smudge: The Palette Knife will smear paint where there is lots on the surface, spreading it out as it goes. If there is not much paint on the surface the Palette Knife smudges what is there, like a finger on a pencil line.
  2. Blade Types: The Palette Knife can be used as a flat blade or along its edge to create a different shape of smear.
  3. Blending Types: The Palette Knife can be used to blur paint or apply wet droplets to blend and break down paint already on the Canvas.


The Palette Knife interacts with the texture of your Canvas. As the paint thins during smearing you will see that it sticks to only the high points of the Canvas.

Settings

The Type of knife you have selected controls any other settings that are available. Types are selected from the Tab Control at the top of the Settings Panel.

Types

There are five types of Palette Knife available: Two different blade types, and three special effect types. These are:

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Flat Blade: Uses the flat of a knife blade to smear paint on the canvas.

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Edge Blade: Uses the edge of a knife blade to smear fine lines in paint on the canvas.

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Soft: A digital effect that draws paint along the canvas around the cursor.

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Blur: A digital effect that blurs the paint underneath the cursor.

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Wet: A digital effect that simulates sprinkles of water dispersing the paint on the canvas.

The settings for each type are listed below:

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Flat and Edge Types: Flat and Edge types control how the blade of the knife is positioned as you use it. Flat blades create wider profile strokes that are even across their width. Edge blades create sharper strokes that have more effect at one side of the stroke.

The following settings are available when using the Flat and Edge types…

Loading: Indicates how much paint has been picked up by the knife before the stroke begins. The higher the value the more paint there is so your paint will spread further if you turn Loading up high. If you set Loading to 100% the paint will never run out in a single stroke.

Auto Clean: This setting is only relevant if Loading is set higher than 0%. If this is turned on your knife will be cleaned automatically between strokes. If it is turned off you will need to clean the knife manually using the Water Glass that pops up next to the Color Picker. For more information see the Colors section.

Lock Rotation: If this is turned on, the angle of the knife head will not change as you paint. If it is turned off, the knife will rotate the follow the direction of your stroke.

Rotation: If Lock Rotation is turned on this slider appears and allows you to define the angle of the knife during painting.

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Soft Type: The Soft Type turns the Knife in to a smoother stump type blending tool that can be used to drag paint around smoothly on the surface of the Canvas.

The following settings are available when using the Soft type…

Smudge: Controls how much the paint on the Canvas is moved around as you apply a stroke. The higher this value goes the further the paint is moved by your stroke.

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Blur Type: The Blur Type makes the Knife blur paint that is on the Canvas rather than spread it around. You can hold the cursor over an area and the blur will continue to apply without the cursor moving.

The following settings are available when using the Blur type…

Softness: Controls how much blur is applied to the paint on the Canvas. The higher this value goes the more the paint blurs.

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Wet Type: The Wet Type turns the Palette Knife in to a water sprinkler that sprinkles droplets on to the Canvas causing the paint to spread and expand, thinning as it goes. The droplets sprinkle automatically as you hold down the mouse button so you do not need to move the cursor to continue applying more.

The following settings are available when using the Wet type…

Falloff: Controls how far the droplets can fall from the center of the stroke as you paint with the tool. The higher this value, the further they can spread from the center point, affecting a wider area of paint.

Drip Size: Controls the size of the individual droplets that are applied by the tool. The higher this value, the larger each droplet will be. Tiny droplets created a more speckled effect on the Canvas.

Drip Spike: Controls how spiky the droplets are when they hit the surface of the Canvas. The higher this value the more ragged the droplets appear as they strike and the more ragged the paint appears when it spreads.

Drip Spread: Controls how much the paint is spread through the area of each droplet. The higher this value the further the paint travels and the harder the edge of the droplet becomes. Low values cause very little spread of the paint so the result is a smoother droplet.

Color Drag: Controls how far the paint color on the Canvas is dragged with the droplets as you move. If this value is high, the color will move with your stroke for a distance before running out. If this value is low, the color will not spread far from its original point as you drag around.

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You can make great clouds with the Wet Blender. Lay down some lines of white with the Paint Tube and see how the blender smoothes them out!

Airbrush

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The Airbrush allows you to spray a fine mist of paint. The spray coats the surface of the Canvas, tinting it without flattening any paint that was already there and without blending with any color beneath.

The Airbrush has the following features:

  1. Dryness: The spray from this tool is thin and dries really quickly. This means that if you run the Palette Knife over it after spraying you won’t get smearing and blending, the paint on the Canvas will be smudged instead.
  2. Shape: The Airbrush provides control over the shape of your stroke, supporting tilt information from tilt sensitive input devices to create conical sprays, and allowing you to create dagger strokes by tapering the stroke over its length.
  3. Flow: The Airbrush can be set to keep spraying as you hold the tool still, so you can make it really transparent and remain in one area to get subtle tints that vary over the length of the stroke. Pressure also adjusts flow speed, allowing you to manually adjust the density of the mist that is sprayed while you paint.


Settings

Blend Mode: The Airbrush allows you to adjust the color of the spray by applying a blend mode as the paint is sprayed on the Canvas. Unlike Layer Blend Modes, the blend mode used by the Airbrush is applied to the paint as it lands on other paint, it does not change the color of the paint if it is landing on a blank area of Canvas. The Blend Mode will also only apply to paint on the current Layer, it does not change the color of the paint as it passes over paint on a different layer. For more general information on what Blend Modes look like when they are used, see the section on Layers.

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Tilt Angle: This setting controls the default angle the Airbrush is considered to be tilted at when you use it. Tilting the airbrush changes the shape of the spray and the higher this value is set the more conical the spray becomes.

Setting Tilt to 0% creates a circular ‘direct down’ spray. If you are using a stylus that provides tilt information this value can be set to increase the amount of tilt your stylus will apply as you work.

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Taper Length: This setting allows you to tell the Airbrush to taper its stroke over time. If the value is set to 0% the stroke will not be tapered at all. If the value is set higher than 0% the stroke will taper. The higher the value the longer the time before the stroke tapers.

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Opacity: Controls the basic opacity of the spray and indicates the maximum opacity each stroke can be. If you want to create subtle tints, set this value below 100% and you will not be able to apply a fully opaque spray no matter how long you spray each individual stroke. Strokes can still become more opaque as they overlap each other.

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Hardness: Controls how sharp the edge of the Airbrush spray is. The higher the value, the sharper the edge of the spray area becomes.

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Drip Spread: Controls how much spatter there is from the Airbrush. Set this value above 0% to cause the tip of the Airbrush to create droplets. The higher the value, the wider the droplets spray through the area of the stroke.

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Autoflow: If this setting is on the Airbrush will continue to spray paint while the cursor is held still. If this setting is off the Airbrush will only spray when you move.

When the spray continues on its own it can build up to form a larger patch of paint if you hover over a single spot on the canvas. Turning Autoflow off prevents this and allows you to make more consistent strokes.

Ink Pen

The Ink Pen is a precise, solid line pen that can be used for illustration or detailing without blending with other paint on your Canvas. The Ink Pen comes in round or chisel-tip forms and also allows you to automatically smooth your lines, removing some of the irregularities that can appear when using a mouse or stylus.

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The Ink Pen has the following features:

  1. Dryness: Inked lines dry immediately so they do not interact with other paint on your Canvas. They will not blend or change their shape as you use them over other paint.
  2. Shape: The shape of the pen head can be adjusted, changing from square to round and adjusting how much of a chisel tip it has. This changes the thickness of the stroke depending on direction as you draw, rather like a calligraphy pen.
  3. Smoothing: The ink pen can adjust your strokes after you paint them to make them smoother. This helps reduce the wobbles that can occur when using a mouse or stylus.


Settings

Blend Mode: The Ink Pen allows you to adjust the color of the ink you are drawing with by applying a blend mode as it is applied to the Canvas. Unlike Layer Blend Modes, the blend mode used by the ink is applied as it lands on other colors already on the Canvas, it does not change the color of the ink if it is landing on a blank area of Canvas. The Blend Mode will also only apply to ink that overlaps color on the current Layer, it does not change the color of the ink as it passes over color on a different layer. For more general information on what Blend Modes look like when they are used, see the section on Layers.

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Aspect: Controls how flat the tip of the pen is. A 100% aspect means that the tip is entirely circular or square depending on other settings. A 50% aspect creates an elliptical or rectangular tip. A 0% aspect means that the tip has been flattened down to a single line.

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Rotation: Allows you to change the default rotation of the pen tip. If you have 0% rotation the pen tip lies horizontally by default. As you change the value the default position rotates. So a low aspect circular tip with 50% rotation would look like a vertical ellipse.

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Opacity: Controls the basic opacity of the ink and indicates the maximum opacity each stroke can be. If you want to create subtle lines, set this value below 100% and you will not be able to apply a fully opaque ink no matter how many times you drag over an area in an individual stroke. Strokes can still become more opaque as they overlap each other.

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Smoothing: Controls how much smoothing is applied to your stroke after it is complete. Smoothing can be used to make strokes flow more smoothly or remove small irregularities in their shape. Higher values apply more smoothing to your stroke and can significantly change its basic shape and size as ArtRage calculates a smoothed version of the path you took.

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Taper Length: Controls how much the ink stroke tapers along its length. If this slider is set above 0%, when you finish a stroke it will be reconstructed with a taper starting at both end and finishing part way along the stroke depending on the slider value.

A value of 100% means that the taper will meet in the middle.

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Taper Bias: If Taper Length is set above 0% this controls where the widest point of the taper will appear. If the value is 50%, the widest point will be in the middle of the stroke. If the value is 100% the widest point will be at the end of the stroke. If the value is 0% the widest point will be at the start of the stroke.

The effect of changing this slider varies heavily depending on how much the Taper Length slider is set to.

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Square Head: If this is on the pen tip is square. If it is off the pen tip is circular.

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Antialias Edge: If this setting is turned off the edges of the stroke will not be antialiased. This removes partially transparent pixels from the edge of the stroke and can create a jagged look but can be useful if you are inking for a print medium that is high resolution and has problems when printing partially transparent areas.

Pencil

The Pencil Tool gives you a range of difference pencil types including soft and hard, and precise mechanical pencils. The pencil tool is good for detailed line work and soft shading when you sketch using the side of the lead. If you have a pressure sensitive stylus the darkness of the lines you make can also be adjusted while you draw.

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The Pencil Tool has the following features:

  1. Dryness: Pencil strokes apply dry color to the Canvas so they do not smear, but they can be smudged using the Palette Knife.
  2. Hardness: The tip of the pencil is hard so the lighter you press with a pressure sensitive stylus the lighter the stroke you will make. In addition, if you draw with the pencil over an area of thick paint the tip of the pencil will cut through the paint and leave a flat trail.
  3. Shape: The head of the pencil is conical so if you increase the Tilt value setting you can draw with the flatter, wider side of the lead.
  4. Smoothing: Precise Pencils can adjust your strokes after you draw them to make them smoother. This helps reduce the wobbles that can occur when using a mouse or stylus.


The Pencil interacts with the texture of your Canvas. If you draw lightly on a rough Canvas you will see the texture of the Canvas show through as the Pencil touches only the higher parts of its surface.

Settings

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Softness: Controls how soft the lead of the pencil is. Higher value, softer lead breaks up more easily so leaves more on the Canvas as you draw, leading to a darker line and a more powdery look. Harder leads break up less so create lighter, more precise lines.

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Tilt Angle: If the Pencil’s ‘Precise’ setting is turned off you can adjust the Tilt Angle. The higher this value, the more the pencil is considered to be tilted when you draw, giving softer, wider strokes as you sketch with the side of the lead rather than the tip.

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Smoothing: This setting is only available when the Pencil’s ‘Precise’ setting is turned on. It controls how much smoothing is applied to your stroke after it is complete. Smoothing can be used to make strokes flow more smoothly or remove small irregularities in their shape. Higher values apply more smoothing to your stroke and can significantly change its basic shape and size as ArtRage calculates a smoothed version of the path you took.

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Precise: If turned on this setting switches the pencil to a precise mode that simulates mechanical pencils. Precise pencils ignore the texture of the Canvas and create smooth, accurate lines that can be smoothed. Precise Pencil lines still vary in their opacity based on pressure as they are drawn.

Paint Roller

The Paint Roller lets you paint solid block strokes of flat paint on to the Canvas. This tool is great for filling in large areas with a flat color without it looking fake, as it takes into account the texture of the Canvas and can blend colors as it applies paint to the surface.

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The Paint Roller has the following features:

  1. Smearing: As the roller applies paint it smears other paint on the Canvas beneath it to blend and spread paint around.
  2. Runout: If you have a lightly loaded roller the color will run out as you paint, thinning down until it leaves a dry stroke on the surface of the Canvas.
  3. Cleaning: If you turn off Auto-Clean, your roller head will remain dirty after each stroke so the last color you had on it will be applied when you next paint.
  4. Size: The roller can go much larger than the other tools in ArtRage so it’s great for applying large areas of color either to use as a background or to blend with more detailed tools.


The Paint Roller interacts with the texture of your Canvas. The harder you press when you use the Roller (or the higher your Pressure slider is set if you do not have a pressure sensitive stylus) the more paint is lifted off the surface as the roller passes and the texture of the Canvas below will show through.

Settings

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Thinners: Allows you to add Thinners to the paint that is applied. As you increase this value the paint you are applying gets thinner so the stroke will go further before running out. Thinner paint is also more transparent and is harder to smear because there isn’t much volume to spread around, but you can still smudge a thin stroke with the Palette Knife.

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Loading: Indicates how much paint has been picked up by the roller before the stroke begins. The higher the value the more paint there is so your paint will spread further if you turn Loading up high. If you set Loading to 100% the paint will never run out in a single stroke.

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Auto Clean: If this is turned on your roller will be cleaned automatically between strokes. If it is turned off you will need to clean the roller manually using the Water Glass that pops up next to the Color Picker. For more information see the Colors section.

Felt Pen

The Felt Pen tool lets you draw with a range of marker pens of varying wetness and qualities, creating a number of different effects. From cheap, dry markers and highlighters through to expensive art pens that have wet brushtips, the Felt Pen is a great tool for applying color while sketching without applying texture such as the bristle strokes in the oil brush.

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The Felt Pen has the following features:

  1. Smudging: Even a wet felt pen doesn’t leave much actual paint on the Canvas so it won’t leave lumps and won’t smear. It can, however, be smudged using the Palette Knife.
  2. Blending: Wet felt pen tips can blend with other colors as they pass over them, lifting some of the existing color off the Canvas and blending it in to the color of the pen.
  3. Build Up: Dry felt pens like highlighters don’t blend very well so as you use them to draw back and forth over other colors, or even their own stroke, they tend to build up and darken.
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Using a white felt tip pen is like using a water soaked felt nib. It will blend and thin existing color but it won’t apply white to the surface. Solid white requires a thicker paint such as Oil, or Chalk/Crayon if you want a dry medium.

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The Felt Pen interacts with the texture of your Canvas. If you draw lightly on a rough Canvas you will see the texture of the Canvas show through as the tip touches only the higher parts of its surface. Because it is really a wet medium the stroke sinks deeper in to the Canvas than something like Chalk or Pencil.

Settings

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Softness: Controls how soft the tip of the pen is. Softer pens will vary the size of their stroke more with pressure. If you are not using a pressure sensitive input device this setting won’t appear to do much unless you change the pressure slider.

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Wetness: Controls how wet the tip of the pen is and how much ink is deposited as you move.

Lower values create dry pens that break up around the edges where the texture of the Canvas is lumpy and the tip is not in full contact.

Higher values cause the edges of the stroke to smooth out as the ink flows in to the dents of the Canvas Texture. Higher values also cause the felt pen to drag existing color from the Canvas as the pen moves over it.

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Art Pen: If this is turned on the felt pen is given a much higher quality stroke as the tip quality is improved. Art Pens produce a bolder stroke that doesn’t build up over itself because the tip deposits more color on the Canvas as it moves around. Art Pens also blend with other colors smoothly.

Gloop Pen

The Gloop Pen is a special effect pen that produces expanding blobs of ink on the Canvas as you use it. Each stroke of the Gloop Pen expands wetly from the nib and ‘gloops’ in to itself as you draw, and there are settings that control exactly how it looks as it gloops.

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Because it is a special effect tool, there are many different uses for the Gloop Pen. You can use it for everything from painting thought bubbles and organic outlines to making clouds and leaky ink pens.

The Gloop Pen has the following features:

  1. Dryness: The Gloop Pen is wet while you draw a stroke, but as soon as the stroke ends it becomes dry. This means that it cannot be smeared, but you can still smudge it with the Palette Knife.
  2. Flow: The Gloop Pen continues to produce ink as you hold the tool still so you can build up larger strokes by dragging slowly or holding over one spot.
  3. Glooping: While you work the ink that is produced will flow together with other ink from the same stroke to produce different results.
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The Gloop Pen is special because the inside and edge area of its stroke can be independently controlled. As you draw, the settings you have applied to the inside and edge areas change the appearance of the stroke. If your settings create a very wide edge on the stroke you may not see the inside area until the area you have filled with ink is large enough.The Gloop Pen interacts with the texture of your Canvas, breaking up at the edges based on the roughness beneath.

The Gloop Pen looks great without any roughness at the edges too, try turning off the Canvas Texture for the Layer you are drawing on. See the section on Layers. Trying out Presets is a great way to explore the complex features of the Gloop Pen.

Settings

Blend Mode: The Gloop Pen allows you to adjust the color of the ink you are drawing with by applying a blend mode as it is applied to the Canvas. Unlike Layer Blend Modes, the blend mode used by the ink is applied as it lands on other colors already on the Canvas, it does not change the color of the ink if it is landing on a blank area of Canvas. The Blend Mode will also only apply to ink that overlaps color on the current Layer, it does not change the color of the ink as it passes over color on a different layer. For more general information on what Blend Modes look like when they are used, see the section on Layers.

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Opacity: Controls the overall opacity of the stroke as it is applied. Lower values produce more subtle tints on the Canvas.

Outer Blur, Edge Width, Inner Blur: These three settings control the appearance of the stroke at its edge. The Gloop Pen creates a stroke that has an inner fill and editable rim that expands to surround the area you draw.

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Outer Blur: This controls how soft the outer edge of the rim is. The higher this value the softer the outer edge of the rim becomes.

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Edge Width: This controls how thick the solid rim is as it forms around the stroke area. The higher this value the thicker the line produced around the edge of the stroke.

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Inner Blur: This controls how soft the inner edge of the rim is. The higher this value the softer the inner edge of the rim becomes.

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Fill Opacity: Controls the opacity of the ink that fills the area of the stroke. The higher this value the more opaque the ink becomes. If you set this value to 0% only the stroke rim will be visible as you draw.

Sticker Spray

The Sticker Spray takes sheets of Stickers and lets you spray them directly on to your Canvas rather than having to place each one manually. The range of effects that can be created with this tool are limited only by the range of stickers you have available. It can create masses of leaves for trees, flocks of birds, beaches full of pebbles, and even special effect strokes that mimic other painting tools.

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The section on Stickers explains in detail the variation settings of the Sticker Spray and how Stickers are used. This section covers the basic settings of the Sticker Spray and how you can use it.

The Sticker Spray has the following features:

  1. Sticker Placement: Rather than create a single stroke when used, the Sticker Spray places numerous stickers down on the Canvas as it is used.
  2. Flow: The Sticker Spray can be adjusted to spray constantly while in use, or to spray only as you move.
The easiest way to start using the Sticker Spray is to explore the various presets provided with ArtRage.

Settings

Sheet: Allows you to select which sticker sheet to use for the spray. Sticker sheets can be selected from your Sticker Collection. See the section on Stickers for more information.

Spray Rate: Controls how fast new stickers are sprayed on to the Canvas as you work with the sticker spray. The higher the settings, the more stickers will be sprayed for a denser result.

Autoflow: Sets whether the spray of stickers is continuous or only occurs when you move. If turned on, stickers will be sprayed constantly while the mouse button is held down. If turned off, stickers will only be released on to the Canvas as you drag, like sticky tape from a dispenser roll.

Shadow: If turned on, each sticker will be given its own shadow as it is sprayed. If turned off, the stickers will not have shadows. For more information on this panel see the section on Stickers.

Auto-Flatten: If turned on, stickers will be sprayed to the surface as simple images, each sticker will be sprayed on to the layer as paint. This preserves the volume, gloss, and other properties of the sticker but it will not be editable after spraying. If turned off, every sticker that is sprayed is an individual, floating sticker object that can be scaled, rotated, moved, and edited in other ways post spraying.

If you don’t think you will want to edit your stickers after spraying, consider turning Auto-Flatten on, spraying thousands of stickers can take up quite a lot of memory if they are all editable!

Variation Symmetry: When the Sticker Spray is used with paint Symmetry turned on, you can either have this setting turned on, in which case all variable properties of the spray are affected by symmetry, or turned off in which case on the path of your stroke is affected by symmetry.

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In the example above, the Sticker Spray is set to vary the size of the dominoes based on their Y Position: The higher the domino is placed up teh canvas, the smaller it gets.

The left hand image was created by making a single stroke from the middle to the top left with Variation Symmetry turned off: The mirrored strokes in the other segments all respect the absolute value of the Variation.

The right hand image was created in exactly the same way, but with Variation Symmetry turned on. The Variation is applied to the stroke we painted, and the automatically mirrored strokes copy the variation that was applied to it.

Spray Variation: Click this to access the Spray Variation Panel which allows you to control a large number of properties of the spray. For more information on this panel see he section on Sticker Spray Variation.

Shadow Settings: Allows you to set the properties of the shadow that will be applied to stickers as they are sprayed. For more information on this panel see the section on Stickers.

Pastel

The Pastel Tool lets you draw with wax or chalk pastels of varying softness, producing strokes of varying boldness depending on the pressure of the stroke and interacting with the grain of the Canvas to produce textured results.

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The Pastel Tool has the following features:

  1. Waxiness: Strokes of Wax Pastel are almost dry, but not quite. This means that as you draw over them small amounts of color can be picked up from previous strokes and the wax can build up slightly on the surface of the Canvas.
  2. Dryness: Chalk Pastel strokes are dry so they do not smear, but they will smudge if you use the Palette Knife.
  3. Hardness: The tip of the Pastel is hard so the harder you press the bolder the stroke becomes. Light strokes will only apply to the high parts of the Canvas, because the tip doesn’t deform to push in to the dents.


The Pastel interacts with the texture of your Canvas. If you draw lightly on a rough Canvas you will see the Canvas Texture show through as the tip touches only the higher parts of its surface.

Settings

Type: The Pastel can be set to use Wax or Chalk. The two are very similar but Wax Pastels will blend and smear slightly as you work with them. Chalk Pastels are dry and blur slightly but do not smear.

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Softness: Controls how soft the pastel is. Softer wax will apply more easily to the Canvas. The higher the softness, the bolder the stroke will be at light pressures.

Cloner

The Cloner is a special effect tool that allows you to replicate paint already on your canvas by setting a Source point then painting in to a new area. The Cloner can be used to repeat existing detail on the canvas such as flowers in a field, or duplicate patterns and colour blends that you have already applied.

The Cloner has the following features:

  1. Replication: The Cloner precisely recreates paint from its source area at the cursor. This means that it will replace any paint already on the canvas at that point without blending. It also means that the Cloner will replicate any paint wetness or texture from its source area.
  2. Head Control: The Cloner allows you to soften the edges of its brush head to help blend the replicated paint in with paint already on the canvas. It also allows flow control like the Airbrush.
  3. Clone Source: All Cloner operations need a source, which is the point from which the Cloner takes paint to replicate.


Settings

Blend Mode: The Cloner allows you to adjust the color of the paint you are drawing with by applying a blend mode as it is applied to the Canvas. Unlike Layer Blend Modes, the blend mode used by the Cloner is applied as it lands on other colors already on the Canvas, it does not change the color of the paint if it is landing on a blank area of Canvas. The Blend Mode will also only apply to paint that overlaps color on the current Layer, it does not change the color of the ink as it passes over color on a different layer. For more general information on what Blend Modes look like when they are used, see the section on Layers.

Opacity: Controls the overall opacity of the cloned paint as it is applied.

Hardness: Controls how hard the edge of the Cloner brush head is. The higher this value the sharper the edge line of the cloned stroke. Lower values cause cloned paint at the edge of the stroke to blend with the paint behind it.

Autoflow: Sets whether the flow of cloned paint is continuous or only occurs when you move. If turned on, paint will be applied constantly while the mouse button is held down. If turned off, paint will only be applied as you drag.

Relative Offset: This defines how the Cloner Source Point behaves. When you paint with the Cloner paint is duplicated from the Source and applied under the cursor. As you paint, the Source Point moves to mirror the motion of the cursor.

If this option is turned on the Source Point stays at the same relative distance from the cursor between paint strokes so that every time you start painting it will be the same offset distance that it was when you defined it. This option is useful if you are duplicating a large area of paint.

If the option is turned off, every time you start painting the Source Point returns to the original location it was when you defined it, regardless of how much the cursor has moved. This option is useful if you want to repeatedly duplicate an area of existing paint in different locations on the canvas, because each time you start a stroke, the Source Point returns to its original, defined location.

Current Layer Only: Sets whether the Cloner replicates paint only from the current layer, or from every layer on the canvas. If turned on, paint from any layer the Source Point passes over will be replicated.

If this option is turned off, the following additional settings become available:

Include Canvas Color: If turned on, this option causes the Cloner to treat the Canvas color as paint and replicate it along with paint from any layers. If turned off, only actual paint is replicated.

Include Current Layer: If turned on, this option causes the Cloner to replicate paint from the layer it is painting on. If turned off, the Cloner will ignore any paint that it finds on the current layer.

Setting Clone Source

All Cloner operations need a Source for the paint to replicate. You can define the Clone Source in one of two ways:

  1. If you have not already defined a Source, the first time you click with the Cloner on the Canvas your Source point will be defined.
  2. At any point when using the Cloner, hold down Alt (Windows) / Option (OS X) and click on the canvas to define the Source point.
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A small crosshair will be left behind on the Canvas to indicate where the Source point is.

How the Cloner Source Point Moves

As you paint, the Cloner Source Point moves in exactly the same way the cursor moves. For example, if you move to the right, the Source Point will move to the right. Understanding the relationship between the Source Point and the Cursor is important when you are trying to clone large areas.

If Relative Offset is turned on, you can make as many paint strokes as you like to clone an area of paint, because the motion you make with the cursor is mirrored by the Source Point even when you are not actually painting:

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Stroke 1 replicates part of the source area.

In this case the clone source is at the top left, and a single stroke has been made to clone part of the watercolor dots at the bottom right.

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Stroke 2 starts in a different spot but replicates the correct part of the source area relative to the motion of the cursor.

So the second stroke continues to recreate the watercolor dots in the bottom right corner.

If Relative Offset is turned off, you must replicate the entire area of paint that you want to clone in a single stroke because the Source Point will reset every time a stroke ends.

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Stroke 1 replicates part of the source area.

This looks the same as a Relative stroke because the Relative Offset toggle is only relevant between strokes, the tool behaves the same way during a single stroke regardless of the Relative value.

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Stroke 2 clones form the same source as stroke 1 even though my cursor is in a different position, so the Source Point is not in the same position relative to the cursor and I cannot complete replication of the source.

Instead, the watercolor dots are repeated again at the new stroke point.

This can be useful if you want to create multiple clones of a smaller object.

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Stroke 1 replicates the entire object you want to clone.

Remember that you need to make sure that you complete the clone in a single stroke.

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Stroke 2 resets the Source Point to the original spot and you can just paint a new stroke to replicate the entire object again.

You can repeat this as often as you like.

Eraser

The Eraser lets you remove paint from the surface of the Canvas. It doesn’t just erase color, it will erase the texture of paint as well so you can use it to shape large volumes of paint that you have previously applied.

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The Eraser has the following features:

  1. Hardness: Even a soft eraser is hard enough that you can vary how much is erased by varying the pressure of your stroke. Light strokes only erase small amounts of paint, harder strokes erase more.
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If the Eraser is used on a stroke of paint it will remove the physical mass of the paint before it removes the color. This can be useful if you have a very thick area of paint and want to thin it down a bit. Carving dents in to paint strokes with a light pressure eraser can produce some very interesting effects.

If you want to instantly erase everything under the eraser as you work, set its Pressure slider to 100% and its Softness slider to 0%, that will give a hard edged, instant eraser.

Settings

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Softness: Controls how soft the edge of the erased area is. The softer the eraser, the more blurred the edge of the line it erases. To get a solid, hard edged eraser take softness all the way down to 0%.

Paint Tube

The Paint Tube can be used to lay down lines of thick paint on the Canvas for blending or adding texture. It adds a large amount of physical material so it is the ideal tool to use when preparing to smear paint with the Palette Knife.

The Paint Tube has the following features:

  1. Wetness: The paint laid down by the Paint Tube is thick and wet so it can be easily smeared around.
  2. Never Runs Out: The Paint Tube never runs out so you can make as long a line of paint as you like.
  3. Thick: The paint applied by the Paint Tube is thick enough that it covers over the texture of the Canvas.
  4. Shape: Single splotches of paint on the Canvas look different to the strokes you make, and can be used to make for interesting textures.


The Paint Tube has no settings of its own.

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Single clicking with the Paint Tube causes it to leave only a spot of paint on the Canvas. The harder the pressure, the larger the amount left behind.

Glitter Tube

The Glitter Tube lets you sprinkle colored particles of various shapes on to the Canvas. This can be used to build up textures, add some sparkle to a painting, or even recreate images if used with a Tracing Image. Glitter is particularly good to use when you want a metallic look, as the many particles reflect the light in different ways.

The Glitter Tube has the following features:

  1. Dryness: Particles of glitter are dry as they hit the Canvas so they cannot be smeared, but they can be smudged with the Palette Knife.
  2. Flow: The tube continues to sprinkle without you needing to move it around, so you can build up large piles of glitter in a single spot if you wish.
  3. Shape: There are five different options for the type of glitter you want to sprinkle.


Settings

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Glitter Size: Controls the size of the particles of glitter that are sprinkled. The higher the value the larger the particles.

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Multicolor: Allows you to make the glitter particles change color as they sprinkle. The higher this value, the further the color of the particles will be from your currently selected paint color.

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Glitter Shape: Sets the shape of the particles that are sprinkled. The options are: Square, Circle, Ball, Grit, and Random.

Each option creates a slightly different texture when used on the canvas.

If you have a Tracing Image loaded and color is set to automatically sample from beneath each particle of glitter will adopt the color it is landing on. This allows you to easily build up an image using glitter.

Selection Tool

The Selection Tool does not create strokes of paint on the Canvas, it is used to mark areas for other operations such as copy and paste, or transformation. If you want to prevent paint being applied outside a specific area of the Canvas you can use a selection as a mask and it is active paint can only be applied inside its area.

Full information on selections and what you can do with them can be found in the section on Selections. This section explains the settings of the Selection Tool and how to use it to make selections.

Settings

Type: There are six types of Selection Tool available:

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Rectangle: Creates rectangular selections by clicking and dragging on the canvas. Hold down Shift to create perfect square selections.

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Ellipse: Creates elliptical selections by clicking and dragging on the canvas. Hold down shift to create perfect circle selections.

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Polygon: Creates multi-sided polygonal selections. Click to place a corner point, then release the mouse button and click to place the next point.

To end the process and create the polygonal selection either double click on the last corner you want to create and a final edge will be linked back to the first point, or click on the first point again to close the line.

Press Escape on the keyboard or select another tool to cancel polygon construction.

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Freehand: Creates freehand selected areas. Click and drag to draw an outline around the area to be selected. When you release the mouse button the end of your line will be automatically connected to the start and the area closed.

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Magic Wand: Creates automatic selection areas using the color on the canvas as a guide. Click in an area to select the surrounding area of color similar to the point clicked. This mode has additional settings that are used to change how ArtRage identifies the area to select.

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Paint Area: Allows you to paint an area that will be turned into a selection. As you paint, the area you want to protect from changes is filled in with red, you are painting a Mask. You can always use Invert Selection in the Edit Menu to turn the selection around after you are finished.

When you have finished painting your selected area, select another tool or selection mode to convert the ink you applied in to a real selection.

This mode has additional settings that are used to change the shape of the paint stroke.

Unique settings for each type are listed below:

Magic Wand Type

Spread: Controls how far the area to select will spread from the point you click. To select the area, ArtRage looks at the color of the point you clicked and expands outwards until it finds a different color, at which point it stops. The Spread value controls how different that color can be before the spread ends. The higher the Spread value, the more different it can be. So a low Spread value means that if you click a blue spot on the Canvas, even a lighter blue could stop the selection spreading. A higher Spread value means that the selection will expand further through the light blues but might stop when it hits green.

Antialias Edge: If this is on the edge of the selected area will be antialiased, selecting partial pixels to soften the selection. If you do not want to work with partial transparencies, turn this setting off.

Current Layer Only: When you click a point to make a magic wand selection ArtRage can either look at color only on the layer you clicked, or on all layers to find where it should stop expanding. If Single Layer is turned on, other layers will be ignored. If it is turned off, color on other layers is also taken into account as the selection spreads.

Paint Area Type

Opacity: Adjusts the opacity of the selection. The higher this value the more the area will be selected. Lower values can create transparent selections. For more information see the section on Selections.

Hardness: Controls the hardness of the edge of the strokes made with the Paint Area selection tool. The higher this value the sharper the edge of the stroke. The lower the value goes, the more blurring you will see at the edge of the stroke.

Autoflow: If this is turned on the tool will automatically place ‘selection ink’ down on the surface of the Canvas as you hold the pointer still. This causes the selected area to build up over time and is particularly visible if you turn Hardness down to 0%. If this is turned off, ink will only be applied as the pointer is moved.

If you want to paint a detailed selection make sure to set Mode to Add, or every stroke you paint will remove the last one you painted.

These settings are available for all types:

Mode: Controls how the next selection will be added to any current selection already on the Canvas. Available modes include:

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Replace: Replaces the current selection with the new one.

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Add: Adds the new selection to any current selection to create a new result.

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Subtract: Subtracts the area of the new selection from any current selection to create a new result.

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Difference: Makes a new selection from any area of selection that is in either the current or new selection, but not in both.

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Intersection: Makes a new selection from areas that are in both the current and the new selection.

For more information see the section on Selections.

Feather: Controls how soft the edge of the selection is. Feather creates a blur at the edge of your selected area. The higher the value the softer the blur will be. This setting is not available to the Paint Area type.

Clear Selection: Removes the current selection from the Canvas.

Invert Selection: Inverts the current selection.

Transform Tool

The Transform Tool is used to adjust the shape, size, and position of paint and other objects that have already been placed on the Canvas.

The Transform Tool is used to select an item to transform. When you have this tool selected, clicking on an object on the Canvas will trigger a transformation overlay so that you can change its position, size, and rotation. For example, if you have a paint stroke on the Canvas you can click it with the Transform Tool and it will become available for transformation.

If you have a Selection active, clicking inside the selection with the Transform Tool will affect only the paint in its area.

More information on how to perform transformations can be found in the section on Transformation. This section explains the settings and use of the Transform Tool itself.

Settings

Type: There are three types of Transform available:

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Normal: Allows adjustment of scale and rotation using the handles and edges of the transform area.

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Non Uniform: Allows non uniform transformations that can be used to skew the transform area.

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Perspective: Allows perspective transforms that can be used to skew the transform area and apply perspective distortion.

A full description of each type can be found in the section on Transformation.

Select Layer: If this is turned off, the Transform Tool will only select items on the current layer when you click. If it is turned on, the Transform Tool will select the first item it finds underneath the point you clicked, regardless of which layer you have selected.

In complex paintings the Single Layer option can be turned on to give you more control over what you are selecting when you click in the Canvas.

Color Sampler

The Color Sampler allows you to sample colors from the Canvas and make them your current color. For more information on colors see the section on Colors.

To use the Color Sampler simply click on the Canvas. The color underneath the point you click is selected as the current color.

Settings

Single Layer: If this is turned on the Color Sampler will only sample color from the current layer you have selected. If there is no paint on the layer where you click, nothing is sampled. If this is turned off the Color Sampler will sample whatever is under the pointer regardless of what layer it is on, and if there is no paint it will sample the Canvas color.

With Lighting: ArtRage has a light that creates the illusion of dents and lumps in paint strokes. If this option is turned on the Color Sampler will sample the color you see on the screen, so a red paint stroke that has a bristle dent might give you a dark red where there is a dent or a light red where there is a peak. If this option is turned off the Color Sampler will only sample the actual color of the pigment used to create a stroke, so your red paint stroke would produce red regardless of whether you click on the dark or light parts made by the bristles.

Fill

The Fill Tool is used to pour large areas of paint on to the Canvas that expand until they find a border they cannot flow over. If you want to create large areas of solid color, gradients, or patterns the Fill Tool is the tool to use.

The Fill Tool has the following features:

  1. Dryness: Although the Fill Tool pours paint in to an area, that paint dries as soon as it touches the Canvas. This means it cannot be smeared, but it can still be smudged using the Palette Knife.
  2. Automatic Fill: The Fill Tool automatically fills in areas on the Canvas, you do not need to manually define the area it will fill.


Settings

Type: There are three types of Fill Tool available:

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Solid: Fills areas of the canvas with solid color. Click to start ‘flooding’ the canvas with color and the fill will spread outwards based on the tool settings listed below.

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Gradient: Fills areas of the canvas with gradations of color. Click and drag to define the direction and size of the gradient based on the tool settings listed below.

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Pattern: Fills areas of the canvas with a predefined pattern. Click and drag to define the direction and size of the tiles based on the tool settings listed below.

Each Type of Fill works in a different way. You can find explanations of how to apply them below.

Blend Mode: The Fill Tool allows you to adjust the color of the poured paint by applying a blend mode as it spreads on the Canvas. Unlike Layer Blend Modes, the blend mode used by the Fill Tool is applied to the paint as it lands on other paint, it does not change the color of the paint if it is landing on a blank area of Canvas. The Blend Mode will also only apply to paint on the current Layer, it does not change the color of the paint as it passes over paint on a different layer. For more general information on what Blend Modes look like when they are used, see the section on Layers.

Opacity: Controls the opacity of the paint that is poured on to the Canvas. The lower this value the more transparent the paint.

The following settings are unique to certain Fill Types. You can also find detailed information on how to create different types of fills in the next sections.

Solid Type

Spread: Controls how far the area to select will spread from the point you click. To select the area, ArtRage looks at the color of the point you clicked and expands outwards until it finds a different color, at which point it stops. The Spread value controls how different that color can be before the spread ends. The higher the Spread value, the more different it can be.

Antialias Edge: If this is on the edge of the filled area will be antialiased, selecting partial pixels to soften the selection. If you do not want to work with partial transparencies, turn this setting off.

Single Layer: When you click a point to fill an area ArtRage can either look at color only on the layer you clicked, or on all layers to find where it should stop expanding. If Single Layer is turned on, other layers will be ignored. If it is turned off, color on other layers is also taken into account as the paint spreads.

Gradient Type

Gradient: The Gradient Type allows you to select a gradient to use when applying the Fill. Click this control to open the gradient editor, or click the menu for options that allow the loading of gradients from disk or your collection. For more information on designing your own gradients see the Gradients section.

Gradient Type: The Type of Gradient that will be applied. Different types cause the gradient to be generated with a different shape on the canvas. For information on how each type works and how to apply it see Creating Gradient Fills.

Smoothing: Controls how smooth the steps between points in the gradient area. The higher this value the smoother sharp transitions in the gradient will appear.

Reverse Gradient: Turn this on to flip the start and end points of the gradient. This does not edit the gradient, it just adjusts the direction applied by the Fill tool.

Pattern Type

Pattern: The Pattern Type allows you to select a color image to be applied as a tiled pattern within the fill area. Click this control for pattern selection options including loading from disk and selecting from your collection.

Lock Scale: If this option is turned on the scale of the image you use in the pattern fill will not change, every tile will be the size of the actual image.If you turn this off the scale of the tile will be defined by the distance you drag when creating the fill area. For more information on how this works see Creating Pattern Fills.

Scale: Controls the scale of the pattern image when the fill is generated. If Lock Scale is turned on, this value is used regardless of whether you drag to create the fill. If Lock Scale is turned off, this value will be used only if you single click to create the fill.

Flip Horizontal: When turned on, this option flips the pattern horizontally.

Flip Vertical: When turned on, this option flips the pattern vertically.

Creating Solid Fills

The Solid Fill Type creates areas of solid color that spread outward from the point at which you click. The spread of the color is limited by the colors already on the canvas. The Spread slider indicates how different a color on the canvas must be before the Fill stops spreading.

The example below shows spread from the center of the dark blue circle, first with the Spread value at 0%, then with the Spread Value at 60%.

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A 0% Spread means that as soon as the fill hits a color different to the one you clicked, it stops spreading. Here, the light blue has created a border it cannot spread past. A 60% Spread means that the fill will continue expanding over colors that are quite different to the one you clicked (here, the light blue) but will stop at colors that are significantly different. This is why the fill stops at the red border.

Fills and Antialiasing
Antialiasing is the process by which a digital line is made to appear smooth by varying the opacity of pixels along the edge. This makes angled lines and curves appear smooth despite the fact that your display is made up of discreet blocks (pixels). This also means that a Flood Fill operation can have problems where the fill area meets the edge of another line, because the antialiased pixels of the edge of your line are not the same color as the pixels inside the line itself. As a result you may see some fringing around the edge of the fill area where it met these partially opaque pixels.

Increasing Spread can help to counteract this problem: If the Spread is slightly higher the fill area will extend further in to the line. In cases where this does not help, turning off the Antialiasing option in the Fill tool may help.

One trick if you find that you’re seeing fringes when doing a Flood Fill on to black line work is to set the Fill Tool Blend Mode to Multiply and increasing Spread: Where the fill area meets the line, it will vanish, so even if the fill area overflows the line slightly you should get a smooth edge!

Creating Gradient Fills

Gradient Type Fills fill the entire available area with a color gradation, replacing any colors already on the Layer.

There are two ways to create them:

  1. Click and drag on the canvas: The gradient will be created with its starting color at the point you clicked, and its ending color at the point at which you release. The direction of the gradient (see below) is defined by the direction of your drag. Note that all space in the canvas before your starting point will be filled with the starting color, and all space after the point of release will be filled with the ending color. Hold down Shift to constrain the angle of the line to 15 degree increments.
  2. Single click on the canvas: The entire available area will be filled with the gradient you have selected, its direction will be treated as if you had clicked and dragged downwards.


If you create a Gradient inside a Selection, the gradient will not apply outside the area of that Selection. If there are Stencils on the canvas, the Gradient will not apply beneath them.

Gradient Types
There are five types of gradient. Each type defines the shape the gradation of color will take when it is applied, and how click and drag works to adjust this.

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Linear: The Gradient is created in a straight line. If you click and drag the starting color of the gradient is placed where you click, and the ending color is placed where you release.

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Radial: The Gradient is created in a circular shape projecting outwards. The centre of the circle is the starting color of the gradient and is placed where you click, and the ending color is placed where you release.

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Angle: The Gradient is created around a circular path like a clock face. The starting and ending colors of the gradient meet at the same point and the angle of that point is defined by the angle you drag.

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Reflect: The Gradient is created in a straight line but repeats itself. The starting point and ending point of your drag will both be the starting color of the gradient, the ending color of the gradient will be placed half way between the two.

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Diamond: The Gradient is created in a diamong shape projecting outwards. The centre of the diamond is the starting color of the gradient and is placed where you click, and the point at which you release defines the tip of the diamond and is made the ending color of the gradient.

Creating Pattern Fills

Pattern fills replace the contents of the available area with a predefined pattern that is tiled repeatedly to fill the space provided. The size of the pattern tiles and the angle at which they are placed is defined by how you use the fill tool on the canvas. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Click and drag on the canvas: The pattern will be created with its tiles aligned along the line you define. Hold down shift to constrain the angle of the line to 15 degree increments. If Lock Scale is turned off, the length of the line you drag defines the size of the tile: The starting point of the line is where the top center point of the tile will be placed, and the ending point is where the bottom center point will be placed.
  2. Single click on the canvas: The pattern will be created with tiles at the size defined by the Scale slider and oriented normally.


If you create a Pattern Fill inside a Selection, the Pattern will not apply outside the area of that Selection. If there are Stencils on the canvas, the Pattern will not apply beneath them.

Text Tool

The Text Tool allows you to place editable text on your Canvas using standard fonts and formatting. For detailed information on how to work with text in ArtRage see the Text section. This section explains how to use the settings available in the Text Tool.

To add text with the Text Tool, just click where you want it to begin and start typing. If you click where there is already text, that text will be made active for editing.

When you have finished typing you can press Enter on your numeric keypad if you have one or select a different tool and text editing will be completed. If you press Escape while editing, the edit will be cancelled.

When you click to add new text to the Canvas a new layer is added specifically for the text item.

The Text Tool has the following features:

  1. Editable: Text is not paint in the standard sense of the word. When you enter text on the Canvas it occupies its own special layer type and cannot be adjusted using tools like the Palette Knife until you flatten it. Until it is flattened, text can be freely edited and transformed so you can change your mind and adjust it after creation if you wish.


Settings

Most of these settings will change either the next text you type in to a text layer, or any text that is currently selected. For more information see the Text section.

Text Size: The point size of the text. Point size is valid for 72dpi images, note that higher DPI will not adjust the font size accordingly.

Font: Allows you to select the font you want to use for the text.

Bold, Italic, Underline: These items turn on or off the indicated formatting for text.

Align: Controls the alignment of the text when you have more than one line, aligning it to either the Left, Right, or Center of its body.

Flattening Text

As mentioned above, Text does not act like normal paint. In order to be able to edit it with other paint tools you need to ‘Flatten’ it. This can be done by locating the Text Layer you wish to flatten in the Layer Panel and using the Flatten option in its Text Menu.

For more information, see Layer Thumbnails.

When you flatten text the live text content is converted to paint on a standard paint layer. You will not be able to edit it after you have done this so make sure you either have a copy of the layer to work on later, or that you are done with all your editing.

Tool Presets

Most of the tools in ArtRage have a large number of settings that allow them to be used in a wide number of different ways. For example, the single Oil Brush tool can create thick oil strokes, delicate thin washes, rough drybrushed smudges, and many more effects. This means that each tool is actually a collection of hundreds of other potential specific tools, each defined by what can be a very narrow range of settings from the available controls.

Tool Presets are used to avoid you having to remember the exact settings that go to make a specific type of tool, and allow you to set up all of those settings with a single click. Presets store all of the settings of the tool they are created for, and can optionally also store the paint color and brush size at the time of creation.

The Presets Panel

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The Presets Panel is opened by clicking the Presets Pod. It gives you functions for selecting, storing and sorting presets for the current tool. When you select a tool the contents of the Presets Panel update to show you what you have available.

Presets are sorted in to groups for ease of use. You can select which group of presets you wish to display using the Group control at the top of the panel. The presets that are in the current group are displayed below in the main list.

Selecting Presets

To select a preset from the list, click it. This will apply all of its settings to the current tool and the preset will light up. If you change any of the properties the highlight will disappear because the preset’s settings are no longer active.

Presets that are listed with a dot next to them on the right hand side cannot be edited as they come installed with ArtRage. Presets without a dot are ones that you have added and you can edit them by right clicking on them.

So why does a preset lose its highlight when you change settings? Presets are exact combinations of settings, so if you change anything, the tool settings no longer reflect the content of that preset. That’s why the highlight vanishes.

Creating Presets

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If you want to create a preset, set up your tool in the state you want to store then click the New Preset button. When you click this button the New Preset Panel appears and you can set up details.

At the top of the panel is a menu containing options for setting up groups, and the option to add the preset to the Toolbox when it is created. For information on the Toolbox see the Toolbox and Workbench section later in this manual.

The next section of the panel allows you to select the Group that the preset will be added to. Click the control to choose from a list of available groups. You can also set the name of the preset here.

If you want to set the icon for your preset click the icon button to the left of the name entry. This will produce a menu that allows you to use the default tool image for the current tool, load an image from disk, or sample an image from the Canvas.

If you want your preset icon to show what its tool strokes will look like and you have a sample on the Canvas select the Sample Preview Image option. When you select this a small panel will appear and the rest of the interface will fade out. Drag the small panel until its central preview area is over the part of the Canvas you want to sample and click the tick button. This will sample from the Canvas and assign that image to your preset.

Finally you are given the option to store Tool Size and Paint Color with the preset. If you store these properties, they will be set when the preset is selected. If they are not stored, the tool size and paint color will remain unchanged when the preset is selected.

When you are ready to create the preset click OK and ArtRage will generate the file for you. If you have selected a name that has already been used or there is a problem of another kind you will be notified and can choose how to resolve the problem.

Once you create a preset it is added to the User Preset Collection and you will find it in the appropriate Group of the presets panel.

Storing Size and Color

The option to store Size and Color with your preset allows you to use presets in two different ways:

  1. As tool types: If you do not store Size and Color, your preset represents a generic type of tool that you may use in different ways in different projects. For example, a stiff bristle brush, or a leaky airbrush. Selecting the preset sets the basic type of tool you are using and you can then apply that tool to various different jobs in the painting.
  2. As specific tools for defined purposes: If you store Size and Color your preset represents a specific tool for a specific task. For example, if you are painting a portrait and working on the eyes you might want a specific soft brush at 10% size with a precise blue-green color. This is still just an Oil Brush, but it is for a defined task rather than for general use.


You may want to split your presets in to groups that reflect these different types of functionality. You may also find if you are using lots of specific tool presets that the Toolbox is useful. For information on the Toolbox see the Toolbox and Workbench section later in this manual.

Managing Presets

Any presets you add to ArtRage can be accessed from the User Preset Collection folder. The easiest way to get to this folder is by selecting Open User Tool Presets Folder in the Preset Panel menu.

Each preset is a file on disk so you can change their names and move them around in that folder if you like. Each Group is a folder stored inside that folder, so if you add new folders you are adding new categories.

If you want to import a preset that someone else has sent you, you can use the Import Preset To Collection option in the Preset Panel menu. This allows you to select a preset to load and ArtRage imports it to the correct disk location for the currently selected Group.

Right click an item in the panel to delete or rename.