ArtRage is a painting and drawing package that simulates real world tools on your computer. Ever wanted to try oil painting but not had the equipment and been worried about the mess? Or perhaps you're an artist with a computer but no desire to learn complex new tools in a digital environment or a digital artist wanting a touch of real media? By providing a set of painting and drawing tools that simulate familiar, real world tools ArtRage lets you try out a wide range of different artistic styles in a single, easy to use application. Read on for more information...
Who can use ArtRage?
Because ArtRage is designed to work like real painting and drawing tools, it can be used by almost anyone. The interface is easy to understand and gets out of the way while you are working so you don't spend time configuring panels when you could be painting. What's more, it's fun to smoosh around paint and blend colors right there on the canvas.
Beginners: If you're new to painting and drawing, you can take advantage of the Tracing Image system to import a photo as a guide while painting. Let ArtRage pick colors from the image for you and you can focus on your brushwork and developing your skills. Tools like Glitter or ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro's Stickers make creating craft projects on your computer easy and fun.
Teachers: If you're an art teacher, ArtRage can be a great bridge between working on paper and working on a computer. Take the skills you've taught on paper and see how those work on the computer before branching out and exploring more technical features like layers. The focus on natural creativity in ArtRage frees students from fiddling with pixels and lets them develop their art.
Traditional Artists: If you're a traditional artist who has avoided digital art tools, you'll find ArtRage pleasantly familiar. Rather than spending time learning a whole new set of tools and methods, you can take many of your familiar techniques and work with them inside the software. Lay down blobs of color and blend them with a palette knife, and work with settings that reflect how you work with real pigment. You can even pin reference images to your canvas while you work.
Prototype your paintings in ArtRage without needing to spend money on canvas or pigment, and use your computer as a companion to your traditional work rather than a replacement.
Digital Artists: If you're a digital artist who wants to add some natural paint to your images, you can still work with layers, blend modes and other digital tools. ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro offer selection tools, flood fills, and text to make the workflow easier. Support for PSD images imported and exported with their layers, groups, blend modes, and text layers intact makes it easy to use ArtRage alongside your other applications.
What kind of computer do I need?
ArtRage runs on most computers. You don't need a high powered machine or fast graphics card to use it either.
Because the interface gets out of the way as you work, the size of your screen isn't as important. You can dismiss the entire interface with a single mouse tap if you want even more room. ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro have been additionally optimized to give you access to as many important features as possible in a very small area of the screen.
While using a graphics tablet with ArtRage makes painting feel that much more natural, you can paint happily with a mouse and let the software simulate some of the dynamics of natural strokes.
If you have a touch screen you can work directly on the canvas to further heighten the experience. If you have a Multitouch screen you can use familiar shortcuts to navigate your canvas and control the interface.
Natural Painting Tools
Get painting without having to learn complex digital tools. ArtRage provides painting tools that behave like real world tools so you can use familiar techniques as you work.
The Oil Brush and Paint Roller place strokes of paint which can be blended with other colors under the brush.
The Paint Tube lays down blobs or stripes of thick paint that can be spread out with the Palette Knife.
The Watercolor Brush paints delicate, translucent strokes that work with canvas wetness to flow together and create wet color gradations.
The Airbrush sprays a fine mist of paint to create subtle tints without affecting the texture of your brush strokes.
ArtRage tracks more than just the color of the paint on your canvas. The application understands the thickness of the paint, how wet it is, and how reflective your metallic paint is. This allows the tools to work more like real tools than digital tools.
ArtRage knows how much paint is on your canvas so as you smear thick oils to flatten and spread them they thin down until they won't spread any more. When thick paints meet their colors mix together until they dry out, so you can create natural looking blends. The texture of the bristles shows up in the stroke while you paint, but you can smooth it out with a Palette Knife if you want a flat result.
Sometimes you want the unpredictable, chaotic look of a stroke made with a dirty brush. ArtRage remembers what paint you have on your brush head, even if you've been mixing on the canvas, so you can turn off automatic cleaning and have your brush head remain dirty until you dip it in the handy Water Glass.
The Watercolor Brush monitors the wetness of both the canvas and other paint it comes in to contact with, this lets strokes expand to blend realistically, forming soft, translucent washes or thicker, dried edges where it makes sense so you don't have to keep changing settings to get a variety of natural behaviors.
Sketching & Drawing Tools
Take advantage of the texture of your canvas with freehand sketching and precise drawing tools.
The Pencil Tool has adjustable softeness so you can do everything from subtle shading that picks up the paper grain, to bold line work. The Chalk and Crayon tools are great for block coloring.
The Inking Pen and Felt Pen create solid ink strokes or highlights that interact with color already on the canvas.
The Flood Fill tool makes filling in areas of color easy, so when you've placed down your inked lines you can fill them in with a single click.
The Inking Pen and the Precise Pencil have an Auto-Smoothing option that can smooth out the wobbles caused by an unsteady hand to make every stroke look crisp.
Special Effect Tools
Add a touch of the unusual to your artwork, or create complex scenes easily using the special effects tools in ArtRage.
The Sticker Spray can create complex scenes in seconds. Create flocks of birds, piles of gold, dense forests and more using images from Sticker Sheets.
You can post-edit every element of the scene after it has been sprayed, taking the guesswork out of the process of using an image spray. Delete that one tree that was out of place, scale and rotate the bird that doesn't look quite right, you don't need to undo the entire stroke to correct that one stray element.
The Gloop Pen spreads expanding, wet strokes with a wide range of properties that let you create different effects like thought bubbles, spreading pools of ink, or fuzzy clouds in a single operation.
The Glitter Tube lets you sprinkle sparkly, metallic particles with a variety of settings to adjust the final result.
A set of utilities work alongside the natural tools in the product to add a touch of digital convenience to your workflow.
The Transformation Tool can pick up any object to resize, position, and rotate it directly so you don't need to worry about getting it exactly right when you start.
The Selection Tool creates masked areas for limiting where paint can be applied, or for copy and paste.
In ArtRage Studio Pro the Selection Tool can create rectangular, eliptical, freehand, polygonal, magic wand, and manually painted regions with options for building up selected areas from multiple operations.
The Text Tool places rich text that can be positioned, scaled and rotated to fit your image without losing the ability to edit it later.
Presets & Settings
Want to load your brush with more paint, thin your watercolor, or use a softer pencil? Each Tool has a range of options that can be adjusted to create many different variants.
Tool Settings that reflect the natural properties of the tool can be adjusted to create a wide range of different, realistic effects.
ArtRage Studio Pro includes advanced tool settings for use in a production environment. Control antialiasing on the Inking Pen, use additional options for blending and selection modes, and more.
Store as many different sets of Tool Settings as you want using the Tool Presets system. Presets can be organised in to categories for easy location.
How you pick colors is central to the process of painting and the best way to do it can vary from person to person, or even painting to painting. Do you blend color on the canvas and sample it, do you use an artistic color picker, or do you store samples of your favorites for later use?
The Color Picker supports variants of HLS and RGB color picking in its corner-wheel configuration. ArtRage Studio Pro also provides a Tint/Tone picker that gives you a gradation between the pure selected hue and black, white, and gray for a more natural approach.
If you prefer to work with color on the canvas you can place down different blobs of paint with the Paint Tube and blend them with the Palette Knife for sampling as you need them later.
Store Color Samples for your favorite colors, and create Custom Color Pickers for when you have a set of colors you want to work with.
Add Metallic Tinting to your pigments to add some reflectivity to the pigment. Metallic paint blends smoothly in to non metallic paint.
Digital color blending usually follows the RGB color model which is familiar to computer users but doesn't reflect the way colors work in the real world. ArtRage Studio Pro's optional Real Color Blending system is designed to simulate the way pigments blend on a real canvas, creating a much closer approximation of what you might expect to see when painting.
Stencils & Rulers
Rather than requiring you to change tool modes or define selected areas to create straight lines and masks, ArtRage gives you a freeform, flexible Stencil and Ruler system that lets you work precisely using any tool, without needing to change settings.
With a Ruler on the canvas, you can paint a freehand stroke that snaps to the edge as soon as you get close, then you can draw along the edge as if you were using a real ruler, and away from it back in to a freehand stroke without lifting the stylus.
Any shape can be turned in to a Ruler, so you can create crisp curved edges or geometric rulers that give you a precision edge to draw against.
Rulers are physical objects on your canvas so you can put down as many as you like and they work together. Do perspective construction or create complex shapes by placing multiple items then drawing along their edges.
Stencils work like plastic slates that prevent paint passing through to the canvas. Like Rulers, Stencils work together so you can lay down as many as you like for a wider range of effects.
If you want to add preconstructed elements like trees or pebbles to your paintings, or if you want to construct craft-projects using scrapbook images, the Sticker system is just what you need.
Stickers are predefined images that can be peeled off sheets and stuck to your canvas. Each Sticker carries its own color, texture, gloss, and metallic settings so you can add complex objects to your images in one operation.
Stickers are stored in Sticker Sheets that gather together images of a similar type in to a single pane for ease of access. ArtRage Studio Pro allows you to create your own Sticker Sheets.
Individual Stickers can be fully edited after they have been stuck to the canvas. Change their tint and shadow settings, or rotate, scale, and move them without damaging their quality. In ArtRage Studio Pro, you have the option of post-editing every Sticker sprayed by the Sticker Spray, not just individually placed stickers.
The Sticker Spray lets you place multiple Stickers ins a single stroke. Draw a chain link fence in one operation, create clouds or flocks of birds. Any Sticker Sheet can be used by the Sticker Spray to automate the creation of complex scenes.
In ArtRage Studio Pro, the Sticker Spray provides an array of settings that can be tweaked to vary how Stickers are applied as you paint. Vary the size, shape, color, and other properties of the Stickers as you spray to automate processes like adding perspective to a scene.
Canvas / Paper
The type of surface you paint on can add a lot to the final feel of a piece of art. ArtRage lets you define the properties of your canvas including texture and color to create a huge range of different surfaces.
Choose from a range of Canvas Presets, store your own, or just tweak properties on the fly. Personalising your Canvas can turn it from a blank background window in to an integral part of the artwork.
Canvas Properties such as texture and roughness exist independent of any paint you have applied. Change the Canvas underneath your artwork at any point and new paint strokes will react to the changes. While you paint, you'll see your Canvas in the window beneath, it's not just applied as a post process to the image.
Canvas Texture can be removed and the surface made transparent for exporting images with transparency masks.
If you want to use an existing photo as a guide while painting, you can import one as a Tracing Image and use it to help you work.
Import photos as Tracing Images. Images are overlaid on to the canvas and remain visible while you paint.
Automatic Color Selection makes ArtRage sample color for you from the Tracing Image as you paint so that you can focus on your brush work. This is great for beginners who are just getting used to painting.
Sometimes you want to use a photo as a reference while you paint. Rather than forcing you to open another file, or worse shrink your working window down so you can see another application, you can pin photos directly on to your canvas.
Import photos as Reference Images that are pinned to your canvas to be visible while you work.
Scale, rotate and position the Reference Image, and zoom in to its contents to get the perfect area for reference while you're painting.
Layers & Blend Modes
ArtRage supports industry standard Layers and Layer Groups, transparent overlays that allow you to paint in to your image without damaging paint that was previously applied. Using Layers, you can paint elements of your image and edit them independently of other elements, allowing you to make changes without disturbing the rest of your work.
Add as many Layers and Layer Groups as you like to your painting.
Layer controls include Opacity Adjustment and Transparency Preservation, and Layer contents can be scaled, rotated, and moved independently.
ArtRage supports Photoshop standard Blend Modes that change the way paint interacts with items beneath. In ArtRage Studio Pro the Watercolor Blend Mode simulates the variable properties of watercolor pigment based on the density of the paint on the layer.
Image Editing & Filters
ArtRage Studio Pro contains a set of tools for applying tweaks to color values and supporting other production requirements.
Built in Color Adjustment and Blur filters let you manipulate the final look of your image.
ArtRage Studio Pro supports a wide range of Photoshop compatible Filters that can be used to process the contents of your Layers without leaving the product.
The Interface is designed to let you focus on your creativity and get out of the way while you work so that you can spend your time painting rather than navigating panels.
Important functions such as tool and color selection are presented in a first tier of the interface, while deeper functions that requires less common use are kept aside in Pods to avoid taking up too much space. The interface is organised to maximize the space you have for painting, without requiring you to hunt for functions when you need them.
The interface is entirely customisable. Panels can be torn off the canvas and moved to other monitors, interface tint can be changed, and you can scale and rotate any of the floating panels in the application. Shrink down a panel you're just using occasionally, and expand one that you need to get quick access to if you want.
While you paint, interface elements get out of the way as the brush approaches so that you can keep painting underneath panels without having to stop and hide them before continuing.
If you prefer a completely blank canvas, a right click dismisses the entire interface and you can paint on a clear screen. Shortcuts for sizing the brush and picking colors directly on the canvas mean you don't need to see any interface at all if you're focused on painting.
If you have a Multitouch screen you can use gestures to control the interface and the canvas, making it easy to move objects such as Stencils, Stickers, and Panels around.
File Formats, Import & Export
In order to maintain paint volume, wetness, and other features unique to the application, ArtRage uses its own file format to store your paintings. However, you can import and export a number of different formats if you want to work with images from other applications, or export copies of your paintings to display.
Import and Export standard image formats including PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, and others depending on your operating system.
Import and export Photoshop PSD format files, maintaining your Layer and Group structures, Text Layers and Blend Modes as you pass information between the two applications.