I have a little challenge I would like to propose.
I am looking for a kind of effect I get with a specific kind or pencil: Koh-I-Noor Magic FX Pencils. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sV510d64ikThese pencils have in the lead a variety of colors - sometimes in the same family - sometimes complementary or in cases opposing colors.
Some reasons why I like these pencils and why I would like to find a way to get some of their effects into SA as a digital tool:
I find these multicolor pencils enormously liberating in several ways. For me - drawing with these pencils and their multi colored result foils a tendency toward being overly precise or cautious when drawing. The lines the pencils produce have very unpredictable emphasis. This means that the position and action of the line is of much more importance than clarity or precision of line. Drawing with these keeps me in a constant state of something like preproduction visualization. Essentially I can only create “comps” with these pencils. What I draw is always about intent rather than results.
The multi color look is also a lot of fun. There is a vibrancy in the line that adds a little more to the effect than the actual line. It creates an added depth to what is drawn that a single color of line can’t. I have noted comic book artists mentioning this same subtlety when using a blue pencil in an under drawing and then clean grey pencil over the top of the blue. The combination has a depth that a single color doesn’t convey.
Coming from a traditional animation background - I also see multiple colors used in pre-production work - particularly storyboard and rough layout and animation work where using multiple colors of pencil line to distinguish overlapping forms (that will need to be complete distinct things) is an old technique: http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/splog/wp-content/R/color222sm.jpg
Using different colors for different elements allows the artist to draw forms out completely especially where they overlap. The effect of multiple colors and overlapping shapes is very energetic.
I was surprised (some time back) to discover that Quentin Blake uses Magic Pencils for reasons I assume are similar - for the rule breaking and random energy they provide. He indicates this around the 10 minute mark in this vid: https://vimeo.com/33434067. I had assumed that these pencils were a novelty item that really had little value other than being oddities in the world of art materials.
I am attaching an example of how some lines look when I drew them out on some medium quality drawing paper. The sample are from five different pencils with different combinations of colors in the lead.
The pencils color changes aren’t just random. Sections of the lead are different colors and those areas can be focused on by drawing with those sides that have more of a color. Depending on how the pencil is rotated - a majority of the line can stay mostly in one color - with only a little of other colors slipping in. A more dramatic rotation (barrel roll with a stylus) of the pencil can jump thru several colors or tones.
What I would like to have is something similar in Studio Artist. It seems to me that something could be done with the Paint Synth Multi line options and or drawing with a palette or color cycling. However - I have not been able to get an effect that comes close to the actual pencils. I can get some of this kind of effect in other applications by applying a custom gradient to a line. But am not sure how this could also be accomplished with SA. This idea opens up a lot of thoughts about how color can be applied to a line. How breaks in color might also be applied. How color might be assigned to a stroke and more. Any ideas or examples or hints or pointers about how this might be accomplished would be very appreciated.
The Wacom Artpen supported barrel rotation, and Studio Artist has some modulation options in the Paint Synthesizer for 180 or 360 degree barrel rotation that work if you have an Artpen. We tried to get them to make that standard for all Intuos pens when they first released the feature, but they didn't go for it. Because it's an expensive accessary device, it never really took off.
Regarding modulating a color palette over a path. If you are drawing with the source set to color palette, then the source color palette will index modulate over the paint stroke path length. There is the issue of how the paint synthesizer determines the 'max length' of the path for different pen modes.
If you are drawing manually, if you are using one of the freestyle pen modes, then the max length for modulation is the complete length of the paint stroke. This can be done because the user draws a freestyle paint stroke first, and then the freestyle stroke is filled in all at once after the pen is raised.
If you are using interactive pen and manual drawing, then the paint is being filled in as you draw. So the paint synthesizer obviously has no way of knowing how long the paint stroke will ultimately be. So the max path length setting in the Path Shape control panel is used as the default mac path length for the purposed of path length modulation. The Modulo setting determines what happens when you continue drawing past the max path length. If it's off, then the path length modulation stays at 100%. If it's on, then the modulation resets to 0 and then continues ascending as the manually drawn paint path gets longer.
Another approach to path length color modulation would be the settings in the paint color modulate control panel. By adjusting the settings in that control panel, you can introduce color modulation over time as a paint path is drawn. So you could use the control panel and it's editable parameters to introduce color modulation that looks like a color gradient transforming over time.
Here are 2 other ideas to think about. Both of these approaches load 2 different colors into the paint brush. Depending on how the paint nib is rotated, either one of the other would be predominate (or both would draw side by side).
Another totally different approach would be to use a color image brush that has 2 or more dabs of color in it as the paint brush. There are new options in V5 that let you export the selected part of the canvas as an image. So you could use a secondary layer to lay down adjacent dabs of color, and then select an area surrounding them, export them as an external image (just the selected area), and then load that image as a new color image brush (file : paint synthesizer : new image brush).
Another totally different approach would be to use the Gradient Generator Type option in the Paint Brush Load control panel. You can select gradient options based on Fixed Color 1 and Fixed Color 2. You can manually set those 2 fixed colors to specific colors you select. You would then have a paint brush composed of those 2 colors that you could rotate.