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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It's available in the paint synthesizer in the Path Start control panel. In the Inhibitor options. Also, some path start regionization generators (like Adv Watershed) have Smart Start controls that include face, facial feature, and interest point options.

The Vectorizer has a number of generators that include the Smart Start controls. There are also interest point options for some of the Shape Scan settings when using the Shape techniques.

Smart Scan options are also available for a number of ip op 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.

There are a ton of new path start regionize options available in the Studio Artist 5 paint synthesizer. This includes new path start generators that regionize, additional controls to sort and reindex the drawing order of regions, intelligent feature detection options, as well as many new Region Pattern Type options in Path Shape for controlling how regions are painted in, or stylistically reshaped prior to being painted.

Many of our users were looking for easier ways to generate sub-nested tiling patterns for use in building photo mosaic effects, and included in the new path start regionize generators are several new options that make it easy to achieve that kind of sub-nested tiling effect in a single auto-paint step.

As mentioned previously in this post, you can also now embed vectorizer or image operation effects directly into a single paint preset, where the vectorizer or image operation effects directly generate the set of regions used for path start regionization painting effects. This essentially provides an unlimited number of new stylistic regionization options for painting, due to the extremely wide range of possible stylistic looks the new vectorizer and vector generating ip ops are capable of creating.

New Paint Synthesizer Macro Edit commands in the integrated Help Browser make it easy to get started with using path start regionize paint effects, incorporate vectorizer or ip op effects into the paint synthesizer, or to generate randomized path start regionize mutations.


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