Friday 13 May 2011

ArtRage 3 - 1st steps

(Blogger had a a small problem and deleted the most recent post - this was originally posted on May 11 2011, two days ago.  Still love ya Blogger!  Best Blogging platform out there. )

Received a very cool gift yesterday - ArtRage 3!

Readers of this blog know I like to use a digital painting program called ArtRage.  The main feature that first attracted me to it was the interface. When I saw all the tool menus arrayed on the screen in ImagineFX's Fantasy Workshop book, in a tutorial by Francis Tsai, I was smitten. 

Like most artists, I'm a visual person.  For almost two decades, I've painted in oils.  I'm used to a quick mix, grabbing and dabbing my colour onto my brush and painting.  I usually do it while listening to fast big beat or goth industrial music to keep up my speed. Back and forth to the palette. And as much as I love and appreciate Photoshop and Gimp, reading drop-down menus to find my tools interrupts the flow. 

Enter ArtRage.  I bought version 2.5 a couple of years back, and you can see the interface below. 

Example of the ArtRage 2.5 interface.  Image © Glendon Mellow 2010.

It's all right there: the colours, the lights and darks, the tool kit of digital oil brushes and markers. I bought it, and it was easy to use. My Trilobite Boy and gargoyles painting that headlined the io9 article about my work recently was done using ArtRage 2.5. I even used the glitter tool to create some tarry grit on the building rooftop. 

ArtRage is relatively inexpensive compared to some programs like Photoshop or Corel Painter. In Canadian $ (about on par at the moment with USA) it's $82 for the full ArtRage 3 Studio Pro. However, while my freelancing has been busy-and-low-income, it's beyond my means at the moment and for the foreseeable future. So this gift was amazing and timely. My jaw literally dropped. 

One of the tools I was most excited to try, is the new watercolour brush.  It turns out, there's not just one, there's many (and more oil settings too). Here's my first attempt at monkeying around with ArtRage 3 (click to enlarge):

Done with ArtRage 3.  ©  Glendon Mellow 2011
New interface in ArtRage 3.  Image ©  Glendon Mellow 2011

I'm ecstatic. I woke early to play with it again today. Our 9-year old nephew came over to try it too (he has 2.5 as well.) With 2.5 there were a couple of things I was always frustrated I couldn't do, and I had to import it into Photoshop to do (you can import back and forth to Photoshop without flattening layers). Those included the selection brush and text. ArtRage 3 has 'em.

Okay, I'll post more process stuff later.

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Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow


Joseph Hewitt said...

Looks like a great program, and a very nice gift!

I wish there were a Linux graphics program with better painting tools. I mean The Gimp satisfies most of my illustration needs, but it's not so good for simulating physical media.

Glendon Mellow said...

I like Gimp - the fact that it's shareware is pretty amazing. I demo-ed it at ScienceOnline10 to a small group, and brought a couple of tablets with me. Talked about ArtRage too, and showed some of my nephew's work.

What do you use mostly Joseph? Gimp?

Joseph Hewitt said...

Yes, these days I use the Gimp for pretty much everything. I've been meaning to try out InkScape sometime but haven't gotten around to it,

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Posts over 14 days old have their comments held in moderation - I've been getting an unusual amount of spam for a guy who paints trilobites. I'll release it lickety-split though.

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