I thought i'd start a new discussion thread that focuses on some of the new or enhanced features in Studio Artist 5. Rather than dump a ton of information here all at once, i'll be posting information over time in this thread about new features that might be of interest to people. And of course, feel free to ask questions, and i'll be happy to answer them.

One heavily used feature in previous versions of Studio Artist was movie brushes. They have been around since SA V1, and were the basis for all of the wonderful photo mosaic imagery made by Studio Artist users like Charis Tsevis.

A movie brush is a Brush Source type in the paint synthesizer that allows painting to be done with a quicktime movie file. So, the movie provided a way to encapsulate a series of different images into a single paint brush tool. While photo mosaic imagery is an extremely popular usage of movie brushes within Studio Artist, they can be used for all kinds of other things.

1D or 2D index modulation within the individual frames of a movie brush allows for interactive modulators like pen pressure or tilt to interactively access different frame images in the movie brush. So you could simulate a stylized pen tip that changes size and orientation based on how you interactively worked with a Wacom Intuos pen tool.

Of course there are all kinds of other ways to simulate dynamically shaped pen tools without resorting to using a movie brush in Studio Artist. The point i wanted to get across is that how you can use something like a movie brush within the paint synthesizer is extremely flexible. Charis is of course very famous for how he combined the paint synthesizers tiling capabilities along with the ability to embed a collection of individual mosaic images in a movie brush to create his interleaved tiling photo mosaic stylings.

Studio Artist 5 extends what you can do creatively with movie brushes by introducing a new brush type called an image folder brush. An image folder brush allows one to paint with a collection of images stored inside of a folder on your hard disk. So, you are no longer restricted to having to build a movie file of your individual images to create photo mosaic effects, or other paint stylings that are based on working with collections of individual images in a paint tool.

Many beginning Studio Artist users seemed to experienced difficulty getting over the hump of converting an folder of images into a movie file for use as a movie brush. It's not hard to do, but in V5 they can get started with photo mosaic effects without having to learn how to do that additional step. They can just work with a folder of images directly. 

Making a new image folder brush is easy. And we provide a large set of factory paint synthesizer presets to show off some of the things you can do with them.

In later posts here, i'll continue to discuss more individual new features available in Studio Artist 5.

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Actually, there are a few paint synth macro edits in V5 that do what you want. Look at Color Brush Radius Focus and Color Range PathEnd Radius Focus.

We can add some more.

Alos, check out the Smart Coverage ones, and the AutoMask Nib ones for other tightness effects.

One exciting new feature option in V5 is the new dynamic brush option now available for use with path start regionization paint effects in the paint synthesizer. Dynamic brush means that the Brush Source can be dynamically adjusted on the fly by the paint synthesizer based on the size of the individual regions generated by the path start regionization process. This allows for paint effects in a single auto-paint preset that would have required multiple passes using different brush sizes and manual selective masking in previous versions of Studio Artist.

This painting was generated with a single auto-paint action step. Note how the brush has been dynamically resized based on the particular region (generated by the path start regionization process) that is being painted in. Detailed areas are using a small brush size, while larger background regions are painted in using a much larger dynamically sized brush.

The path start regionization process is also using another new V5 feature, which allows for the complete Vectorizer with all of it's associated processing capabilities to be embedded directly into a single paint preset. So the Vectorizer is being used to generate the path start regionization of the source image, which is then painted in with the dynamic brush turned on. All of the Vectorizer settings used in the regionization process are recorded in a single paint synthesizer preset.

Studio Artist V5 has a ton of new Vectorizer features, including lots of Delaunay trianglization options.

While you could fudge Delaunay trianglizaiton before, the new Vectorizer options make it easy to do. As well as Voronoi cells and other cool new regionization effects. And since you can embed Vectorizer setting directly into a paint synthesizer preset in V5, you have all of those new regionization options available for painting directly within the paint synthesizer.

Here's a brief overview of some of the other new Vectorizer features, in addition to what has already been discussed here.

There are 2 new Main Technique options in the V5 vectorizer, Image Triangle, and Image Shape. Image Triangle is oriented towards the trianglization options briefly described above. Image Shape reworks the traditional Shape technique so that it works like the Image technique, allowing all of the new vector shadow options that are available with it to be used with Shape technique style patterning.

Both the Image and Shape techniques have many more Generator options available in them now. A RGA Effect option is now available in the Generation control panel, which allows for effects that modify region shapes to be applied prior to vectorization, which allows for complete coverage canvas fills (the older Drawing control panel Region Effects could lead to partial coverage). You can also now choose the colorspace the technique is being generated in, which gives a lot more control over the look of the different Image technique generators. Both RGA and Region effects have many new options available for stylizing the appearance of generated vectorizer regions. Pre-filtering options have also been expanded quite a bit.

The Drawing control panel has a huge number of new editable controls associated with vector fill and vector shadow options. These controls can be used to create conventional cast or extrusion shadow effects, raised shadow lips, as well as more elaborate soft fill and diffusion options. New vector fill options include patterns, shapes, quilting tiles, bars, diffuse extrusion fills, banded fills, random jitter options, etc, etc. Modulation and coloring options are available for shadows and extruded or banded fills.

A new Smart Edge option is also available in the Composite control panel, for integral outlining or edging effects.

Studio Artist 5 has all kinds of new self-tiling quilt pattern effects. These include quad blocks, nine blocks, sub-nesting quilit blocks, odd ratio tilings, and hexagonal tiling effects.

And they are available in all kinds of different parts of the program, including stand along MSG processors, Vectorizer region fill options, and paint synthesizer vector paint fill effects.

Built in new Shadow lighting effect options are also now available all throughout various Studio Artist 5 operation modes. Including MSG processors, the Vectorizer, and vector and raster paint effects in the paint synthesizer.

The procedural generative image above was created by stacking several new MSG quilt tiling processors in a single MSG preset, and turning on built in shadow lighting effects within the MSG processors.

Gallery Show features have been significantly enhanced in new Studio Artist 5.

The new range of Gallery Show features allow for an unbelievable range of new programable preset mutation and procedural generative art effects.

There are a number of new Technique options that allow for specific random generative effect style, like self-randomizing vectorizer or Vector paint synthesizer effects. Two new Paint Transform and Draw options allow for programable control of paint synthesizer mutation in a gallery show technique. Source options have been expanded to include purely generative options that are not based on a source image (MSG, Vectorizer, or current canvas as source image). Color palette and compositing options are now available, as well as an extensive set of intelligent adaptive auto masking options. An additional Process Folder option allows for a greater range of gallery show effects customization effects based on specific folders of preset you put together to work to build the gallery show processing of your dreams.

Processing options for a single gallery show cycle now includes programable technique, start and end cycle processing, as well as adaptive masking and fully procedural source image generation.

The abstract procedural example above was generated from self-mutating MSG processes based on quilt pattern self-tiling effects (stored in a favorites folder) that were adaptively masked by random source images and then overlaid onto the existing previous gallery show output canvas, and then processed with an additional set of effect presets designed and inserted into a custom Process folder.

What you can do with gallery show in Studio Artist V5 is really only limited by your imagination. You can preview preset effects on a set of source images, automatically mutate new processing effects, control the kind of randomized mutation occurring when generating new paint effects, generate totally self automating pure procedural art effects not derived from source images, use folders of custom source images instead of movies for input to temporal image processing effects, etc.

Could be a useful thread. I have just downloaded the demo to look at and other than 10 billion new presets I don't see much different. I was going to ask if you had a change log. Thanks.

We have an engineering change log we use to track all of our code changes, but it's so huge and technical it's not something we would post here for general consumption. I'll be continuing to post more highlights of the new features in V5 here. Once the technical documentation part of our new website comes back on line, i'll be posting more in-depth tips there.

Many of the image operation effects in Studio Artist 5 now have vector output options. Previously they only generated raster output.

If you are confused about whether a particular image operation effects can output vector, you can look at the Path : Generate Paths : from Ip Op menu. It will be turned off if the particular ip op you are using cannot generate vector output.

Ip Op vector output can be used in several different ways. First, it allows for things like anti-aliased vector drawing of the effects output directly into the Studio Artist canvas. So things like edge effects can now be generated with smooth anti-aliased vector lines. Second, you can use the above mentioned generate paths menu command to generate bezier paths from the effects output into the currently layer's bezier path frame. Third, there are now new options in the paint synthesizer that let you directly embed an ip op effect into a single paint synthesizer preset. So, you could use the ip op effect's vector drawing to control paint synthesizer painting, or to generate regions for path start regionization effects. All in a single paint action step that can be exported as a paint preset.

The Studio Artist 5 preset browser now has a Search option.

You can search based on the preset name, tip contents, or category name.

The first time you do a search, it's going to take longer than normal, because it first indexes all of the presets in your current operation mode. After that, searches will run faster, because the index is already built.

Presets can have an editable textural tip associated with them. The tip now displays directly in the preset browser to the right of the current preset icon. The tip for the current preset shown above says 'Uses Grid Scan in Path Start'.

You can use preset tips to add keywords for searching to your presets if you so desire.

Clicking on the '?' icon in the preset browser (as shown above) will bring up a get Info dialog for the current preset. The info dialog tries to provide some helpful information about what is going on in a particular preset, so that you can get a quick overview without having to manually hunt through every control panel and it's associated editable controls in the Editor.

You can of course access the Get Info dialog for a given preset by using the appropriate Edit menu,

or by using the appropriate context shortcut menu ( control click on the the preset browser or Editor panel on mac, right click on windows).

Studio Artist 5 has integrated face, facial feature, and interest point detection built into some of it's effects. The example below is using facial feature detection in the Vectorizer to enhance the rendition of the eyes and mouth in the abstracted vectorizer effect.

Face and facial feature and interest point detection is available inside of the paint synthesizer, vectorizer, selection op mode, and some image operation effects.

Studio Artist 5 incorporates some subtle interface feature improvements suggested by users. So in lists (like the PASeq Editor as show below), things like Mutes are now directly implemented as checkboxes rather than the old popup menus used in V4.

Interactive knobs are now available for quickly editing numeric fields in lists, in addition to the old up-down buttons or manually typing in a numeric value. Sweeping the knob quickly moves the numeric entry from the default min to default max values.

The MSG preview, as well as the Evolution Editor previews can now be set to multiple default sizes in the MSG preferences (located in the MSG tab inside of the main preferences dialog). This gives people working with the MSG Advanced Editor or the Evolution Editor more control over how they setup their workspace, and allows access to larger previews of MSG effects.

You can also now preview specific frame times for MSG effects that use temporal generators (TG) to procedurally modulate editable parameters.


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