Hi John,

Please i'm using SA 4 and i would want to know how to manual draw enclosed shapes with sharp or straight edges. Thanks

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Please can someone help me out. Really need it.

Ok, since you are in V4, we will ignore all of the fabulous V5 features one could use for this.

Goto Bezier Operation Mode. Make sure you are in the Editor. Set the main Bezier Editor control panel to Bezier Draw.

Set the DrawType to LineTo Region.

Then draw out your manual region using a series of straight lines. To start a new line segment in the shape, while you are drawing the line using the mouse or pen, press the command key to end the previous straight segment and start a new one.  Don't lift the mouse or pen until you finish drawing the entire region.

When you mouse up at the end of drawing, it automatically finishes off the region with a straight line from the start point to the end point of the bezier path you just created. So it's now a bezier region in the Bezier Path Frame for the current layer.

Switch the operation mode to the Paint Synthesizer. Select an appropriate preset to draw your regions. Then use the Path : paint Paths : Full Layer menu command to automatically paint in all of the shapes you made while in Bezier operation mode that are stored in the current layer's bezier path frame.

If you need more help, point out what you are having a problem with and i'll go into more detail.

Hi John,

Please thanks for the reply.Please I can't see the PChain, Bus and the other tab list in the msg advanced editor. Please could you help me out.

Again please is there a way to have a collection of images (not built from msg presets but your own images) within the msg evolver and set up the paint synthesizer to use these images as brushes for pain

Please does v4  movie brush indexing uses the whole movie frame of brush or just a localised area that best suits the region its filling or painting.

Finally can you explain msg database. The information on msg contained in the user guide is very technical. Please is there a video that explains the msg evolver in detail.



If you are on windows, it's possible to pull the contents of the msg advanced editor list display all the way to the right, hiding it from view. It's easy to fix, just mouse down in the far right side of the palette where there is a vertical splitter control, and then pull it to the left. The contents should pop into view. Then mouse up.

You can't load a set of images directly into msg presets. 

You could use msg processing in a paint preset, and run the current source brush into the msg processing there. 

V4 movie indexing for things like rgb coloring does use the entire contents of the brush image.

here's a tip onevolving and editing msg presets.

there are also a ton of msg related articles in our blog.

There is a msg tutorial video in our training videos (use the msg filter at the top to filter the listed videos to the tip topic).

Hi John,

Please can you explain in detail how the 1D and 2D index modulation works and how to use it bulid photo mosaic effects. Read the user guide but didn't understand it.

Again please can you expound on how to simulate the art mapper effect of the old msg effects using 2D index mapping in a movie brush or if possible image folder brush.


1D refers to 1 dimension. 2D refers to 2 dimensions.

A movie is a series of frames in order. So frame indexing is just using some modulator to derive the current frame in the movie to be used as a brush.

So this is 1 dimensional.

2D can be simulated in a single loaded movie brush by passing multiple movies of the same # of frames end by end in a new longer movie file. So even though it's just sone sequential movie, you can think of it as 2 dimensional. the first dimension is the indexing into a single sub movie's frames. the second is indexing into which sub movie.

so let's say you have 4 movies each 10 frames long.

and you paste them back to back in a new movie that is now 40 frames long.

so if you are using 2D modulation in the Brush Source control panel.

you have 2 modulators, the A and the B modulators.

And you also need to define the A frame length.

So, in our simple example, A would correspond to indexing inside of one of the individual movies, and B would be indexing into a specific movie file to be used for the A indexing.

The A dimension is 10 frames.

So A indexing indexes into a 10 frame movie.

B indexing indexes into which of the 4 movies will be used for A indexing.

This lets you have 2 different modulators.

So you could index using pressure and orientation for example.

You could generate 4 different oriented brush shapes, 10 sizes for each oriented brush shape.

And build a movie brush that contains all of that as described above.

If you just used 1 modulator, you could index by pressure or orientation, but not both. With 2D modulation you can index  using both,

So this is a simple example of why 2D modulation can be useful.

What you can do with it is really only limited by your imagination.

there's an old discussion on the user forum with Thor where he asked how you could make a movie brush that played back different movies, and build a movie mosaic out of it. So like a photo mosaic, but individual movie files play back inside of the individual mosaic tiles as opposed to just static images displayed there. i described in detail how to do it and posted an example i think. Thor figured it out reading that.

This is what the old ArtMapper let you do automatically. generate a movie mosaic. one of many different things you could do with it.

here's a tip on simulating the artmapper section of msg evolver in SA 4.

Everything in the tip is available in SA5, but there are way more path start regionization options in V5.

Painter had this notion of 2D modulation where you used it to 2 dimensionally index into sub regions of a larger single image. studio artist lets you do it using a single movie file. Easier to generate and work with i think.

so what about image folder brushes. SA looks at the images in the folder and thinks of them as a single movie file. N images in the folder, N images in the simulated movie file. They are organized sequentially by alphabetical order. So name things accordingly in the individual images in the folder.

SA 5 has some features that make it fairly easy to get going simulating the old MSG Evolver ArtMapper. The SA5 paint synthesizer is very flexible, and can emulate what the old ArtMapper did. 

First, you want to make a path start regionize paint preset.

So, there is a paint synth macro edit command that allows you to create a default path start regionization preset in one click.

Running the Default Fill Regionize Edit macro edit command (click the arrow to run the command) edits the paint synthesizer settings to use a default path start regionize effect. It fills the individual regions with solid color.

And another one that lets you build a MSG brush off of the current MSG preset in one click.

So, clicking the Make MSG Preset macro edit command edits the current paint synthesizer so that the fill is coming from the MSG Brush Load.

This default msg brush load is going to use whatever the current msg preset is for the MSG effect. So if it's a black and white msg output texture, then every path start region will be painted with the MSG effect (which is a bw texture that might have no relationship to the source image.

SA 5 has an additional Algorithm 2 option at the bottom of the MSG Brush Load control panel. You can use that to bring up different colorization or other effects that get run on the MSG output prior to using it as a paint fill.

In the screen shot above, i have the Algorithm 2 option set to the PaintColor MeanShift effect algorithm. this performs a colorization effect based on the local source image statistics for the region being painted.

Here's a simple example.

The current MSG preset is a simple bw texture generator.

Running the Default Fill Regionize edit gives the following output.

Note that the MSG effect is not being used.

If you then run the Make MSG Paint macro edit, you get the following result.

Note how the BW texture MSG effect is now being used for each region fill.

Algorithm 2 in the MSG Brush Load control panel is set to None in this example. If i then set it to the PaintColor MeanShift option i get the following result.

Note how the individual MSG generated regions are now colorized.

There are lots of different colorization options available for Algorithm2. they all look different. Experimentation is the best way to figure out how they look.

To use a different path start regionize generator with a different visual appearance, just got the Path Start control panel and change the generator to a different regionize option. The default macro edit is using the AdvWatershed generator as seen below.

If you change that generator setting to a different regionize option ( i used Adaptive Block Regionize below), then you can generate a different visual appearence for the generated MSG filled regions.

Here's the output for generator edit shown above.

Note how the visual appearance of the individual path start regions has changed.

If you don't know how to get to the paint synth macro edit commands, they are located in the integrated help browser. Open the Help window if it's not already up in your main workspace.

Then click on the Index button at the top help toolbar to bring up the index.

Then click on the Paint Synth macro Edit link. That will bring up the paint synth macro edit commands. Clicking on any of the active link edit commands will run that macro edit.

Thanks much really appreciate it.


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