tutorial APRIL 25, 2001 • page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Complete, Home

Working with Source Images in Studio Artist
Using multiple sources to create a range of original pieces

by Jean Detheux
Special to Digital Media Designer
http://www.vudici.net

For the visitors of this page who are already familiar with Studio Artist, this tutorial may be a bit too simplistic. However, for those who come to this fabulous application for the first time, I hope the tutorial will help them enter an exciting environment.

I will work strictly on one canvas, no added layers, but will open and use several Source Images.

Studio Artist requires the opening of a Source Image in order to get started, and this Source Image can already be greatly modified right at that initial stage, simply by setting a canvas size that might be radically different from the original image size/resolution/proportions.

In this tutorial, we will use a 320 x 240 pixels canvas size because we will eventually use the resulting images as material with which to look at "Morphing" (the subject of another tutorial to be published soon).

This tutorial on Multiple Source Images will attempt to show how Studio Artist enables the artist to "use" just about any combination of source images in order to come up with unique images that are truly his or her own, and doing so in ways that are radically different from what, for example, could be done in Photoshop, or Painter.

Yet, I remember from my many years of working with natural media, that it was already quite common for artists to build a library of images borrowed from all sorts of sources, magazines, newspapers, photos, etc. Those personal libraries of images, often only fragments of images, were/are the source of much inspiration, sometimes a simple "spot on a wall" captured in a photo can become the spark that will trigger a whole series of new images, all born from it, yet often not showing any obvious connection to it.

Studio Artist makes this time tested process a lot easier, those sources of inspiration can now be easily integrated into the work itself. So let us start.


At first, I prepared 8 images to be used as Source Images (pulled out of my "personal library"):

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

These images are there in no particular order, they are gathered as raw material for the creation of one or several images I know nothing about as of yet. Some of these images may be used a lot, others may be ignored (almost) totally.

I find that Studio Artist is an exceptional tool for exploring almost without a goal, my favorite way to work.

First, I will launch Studio Artist 1.5 and select "image 1" above as the Source Image, at 320 x 240 pixels. As soon as you launch it, the application asks you to select a Source Image and then brings up this dialog box:

If you want to change the proportions of the image you are opening as Source Image, make sure you deselect the "Constrain Aspect Ratio" box. If you want the Source Image to appear on the canvas, select "Source Image" in the pop up menu at the top of the work window:


Here's what that first 320 x 240 canvas image looks like:


Then, I open a second Source Image ("Command-O"), with which I will modify the first one (Note:: in Studio Artist, if you do not modify the canvas size initially defined when opening the first Source Image, all the subsequent Source Images will open at that size and resolution):

Here's a thumbnail of the image I selected:


I did not render it to the Canvas, just kept it selected as a Source Image.

I select a Category in the Preset, and a Patch with which I paint on the canvas image, either manually, or by triggering the "Action" (simply pressing "Command-Spacebar") and stopping the action ( by pressing the spacebar alone). The intelligence behind Studio Artist is remarkable, I have tested, several times, its automatic actions against what I would choose to do manually, and there often are amazing similarities!

Here's the Fast Edge Sketch patch in the Auto Sketch category


Letting the Action proceed for just a few quick seconds, then stopping it by pressing the spacebar, here's what I get:


Keeping the same Source Image active, I choose another Patch and apply a few strokes, this time with my drawing pen (Wacom Intuos).


Selecting another Source Image (image 7 ), and again not rendering it to the canvas, I use several other Paint Patches to modify my canvas image:
Selecting the next Source Image (#5), not rendering it to the canvas, and working with a variety of Patches:
Opened another Source Image (#3), did more work with a variety of Patches, I also brought back the original Source Image (#1) and again made a few strokes with several Patches:
You likely get by now the idea of how to modify the canvas image by using successive Source Images as sources for strokes, colors, and more.

Before we move on to looking at more images done using Multiple Source Images, here are a few tips that can be very useful: Even though Studio Artist requires one to select a Source Image to start working, one is not "limited" to using only that Source Image. It is quite possible to switch from Source Image to Source Color and paint using one's selected colors.

Let's open the image above and set the source to Source Color:

Notice I also switched to another Category, and to another Patch. Also, I do not render the Source Image to the canvas, instead I select to use a White canvas:


Let's make a few marks selecting different colors in the palette:

A few more things worth noticing: in Studio Artist, the range of colors available in the color palette window extends beyond the edges of the palette itself. If one clicks and drags beyond an edge, the color will continue to shift in relation to the position the cursor is at, even well beyond the (visible) palette edges.

Also, it is possible to select a color on the fly right off the canvas image itself, simply by pressing the "c" key and mousing down (just like a color picker in so many other graphics applications).

Finally, one can modify the brush/tool stroke width by pressing the "b" key and mousing down on the canvas, setting a new stroke width size by dragging horizontally:


Here are 10 images that were made by using the same Source Images presented above, with a few side trips into "Source Color" and stroke width size setting:

image 1

image 2

image 3

image 4

image 5

image 6

image 7

image 8

image 9

image 10

I hope this brief look at a few of the ways with which we can enter Studio Artist will be of help to some of you. This concludes the presentation of a very simple process, but one that can really help us begin to make the most of this amazing tool. Now, imagine approaching this work by also adding layers, and then entering animation, the "time" dimension!

I am preparing another tutorial, this time on "Morphing in Studio Artist," a far more complex process, but a very rewarding one!

 

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Jean Detheux studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et Institut Supérieur d'Architecture in Liège, Belgium, where he graduated twice with two different majors—mural and decorative painting and easel painting. He's taught in Belgium, Canada and the United States, including The Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Alberta; Concordia University, Montréal, Québec; Algonquin College, Ottawa, Ontario; New York University; Parsons School of Design, New York; and The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. He can be reached at [email protected] or at [email protected]. Examples of Jean's work are available at http://www.vudici.net.

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