The user guide for Studio 5 doesn't seem to have been updated very thoroughly. There's all sorts of references to the "new stuff" for version 4. The descriptions and pictures of the editing menus don't match up. Just as an example, the "Pen Mode" menu on p. 73 has 8 parameters shown, only 3 of which (Region Fill Type, Region Spacing, Region Effect) show up in the Pen Mode menu of Studio Artist 5 which has 5 parameters. Am I confused? Is there a manual that matches and I'm looking at the wrong one (though it's the one SA sends me to in help and it says it's the SA 5 Guide)? Is there something in the program that I don't understand that will make things match? Will there be a guide that matches properly eventually? SA is hard enough to learn without a guide that seems to mislead rather than to lead.
Okay, I now understand that different pen modes give different parameters, but this goes unmentioned in the guide and the parameters for "Interactive Multipen" don't match those in the guide in spite of the fact that it shows the menu for that mode. The first parameter in the product's "Interactive Pen" menu is "Start Delay" which takes on values "Off", "On 1" and "On 2". I can't see any difference between these and a search through the guide shows no occurence of "Start Delay" in the entire guide. It's all very confusing and like I said, with a program as complicated as this, it REALLY needs a good and accurate guide!
The Start Delay allows you to set a delay from when the mouse or pen down occurs until the paint path actually starts drawing. By delay i mean a delay based on the pen path length, not a set time delay. So when the delay is turned on, you have to move the pen or mouse before the paint path starts drawing in.
So why would you want this. Some interactive multipen settings use the path orientation to orient the directional spread of the multipen nibs. The problem with this and instantaneous drawing is that you have to move the pen a little bit on the canvas to get a reasonable sense of the direction the path orientation is taking. With a Start Delay set to None (which was the only option before V5), the paint synthesizer just assumed an initial path orientation of 0. This lead to paint drawing artifacts when using path orientation modulation and not drawing a path with a 0 degree angular orientation at the beginning of the path. Turning on the Start Delay solves this problem. The tradeoff is that you have to move the pen a little bit before drawing starts.
I also wanted to point out that if you hold the mouse still over a parameter name in any of the Editor control panels, you get a short help tip at the bottom left of the workspace in the status display area there.
So that's a way to get some information on what a particular control does interactively while using the program without having to hunt it down in an external user guide or tips tutorial post.
Yes, V5 makes much greater use of hiding parameters in the paint synthesizer if they aren't currently active. You see this all over the various control panels of the paint synthesizer. V4 did this as well, but not nearly as extensively. So in V5 we tried to make it more consistent.
The thinking behind this is that while it might be informative to see all of the potential editing parameters displayed in the control panel, showing ones that weren't actively influencing the appearance of the paint confused people. Because they would try to adjust them and then wonder why nothing was happening.
We're planning on filling in gaps to the User Guide over time. If there's anything specific you want an explanation for, just mention it and we'll try to post an explanation or get a new tip blog post up on it.
I appreciate your detailed answer and will be happy when those gaps are filled. Thanks also for the info on "Start Delay". I'm the kind of guy that feels like if they don't know everything, they know nothing - a failing of mine. Love the product though and am really anxious to start experimenting around with it.
Also - the start delay is a great idea. Sometimes though, things need a bit of explanation behind the motivation just as you've given here as well as just a bare "delays the ink flow". I love explanations like this. Thanks again.
Oh - one last thing - if there is effort to hide unused parameters, how come all the shape stuff is on the Pen Mode menu even when your pen mode doesn't allow for a shape? When I see stuff like this I feel like I must be missing something (which is probably true in this case).
The Region Fill Type you are referring to (shape) is used in other places in the paint synthesizer (like in Path Shape for some of the Path Shape options). So that is why that is always on. Same for the other parameters in Pen Mode that are always on, side they relate to the Region Fill Type and how it fills.
That option and how it is used in multiple places has been around since V1. If we are starting over, we'd put a separate control that just came up in Path Shape control panel when those options were used. But we want to maintain compatibility with all of the old presets, so old idiosyncrasies end up staying around.