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Postby DRaff210 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:52 am

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Subject title: Digital Painting: "Transfer" On or Off? Opacity Settings?

Digital painting, essentially, feels like a chore to me. I suspect one reason this might be the case is that I typically paint with the "Transfer" setting on my brush, with 100% Opacity and Flow. My typical painting settings look something like this:

1.jpg


I turn Transfer on because it feels intuitive to me that pressing harder on the stylus should produce more paint, and pressing lighter should produce less. But, as I said, this pressure-based style of painting is physically taxing, and often results in blurriness that I have to go back and painstakingly correct.

I'm under the impression, however, that other artists more often paint like this:

2.jpg


I feel like it's more common practice to turn the opacity down and keep Transfer off, so that more strokes are used to apply the paint and pen pressure doesn't affect opacity. I do think this style of painting could result in better edge control; however, it feels very awkward to me, and I find it frustrating having to use several strokes of the brush to apply a thick, opaque "coat" of paint, as it were.

I'm tired of dreading the very act of painting itself. I want to enjoy digital painting, but I'm constantly frustrated by feeling as though the tools are fighting against me, and I just want to be able to paint comfortably. I hope what I'm talking about makes sense; any sort of advice or guidance would be immensely appreciated.

 

Postby Ambiguity » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:44 am

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I've seen it done both ways, the second way you're describing is more like how wet mediums work in traditional. Only dry mediums get darker in trad when you push down harder, I think that's why a lot of people find it easier, because everyone has used a pencil, but most people have never touched things like oil and acrylic.

I think if you want to continue to do it the way you do it(I do it that way as well), then you just have to start commiting more to your values and colors as you build them up, completely fill areas in with full color.

 

Postby Josephcow » Fri Dec 01, 2017 6:42 pm

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I use the second method because I have a cheap tablet and the pressure sensitivity requires me to press REALLY hard in order to get an opaque stroke. Or like you said, several strokes which is no good at all. So for the beginning of a painting I paint with opaque paint, then later I either turn down opacity to do gradients or use the mixer brush which is pretty fun to do.

I often have transfer ON, but turn the minimum opacity up to about 50 percent. This way I can get a little bit of control of opacity, but don't have to press hard. And then I turn the opacity itself down to about 80 or 90 if I want a more traditional effect (not perfectly flat blocks of color). Then I continue to turn the opacity down to get subtler changes in color after I have a layer of solid 'paint' established. Digital paintings tend to get murky really easily because of soft brushes and too much transparency.

This really doesn't bother me because If I were painting traditionally it would be like this. When using oil or acrylic paint you don't really get a transparent stroke by pressing lightly. You add medium. In water color you don't get an opaque mark by pressing really hard. You layer the paint.


So if I were you I would tweak the settings a bit to favor opacity when most of what you paint needs to be opaque, and change opacity when you want to be transparent. So try raising the Minimum opacity to a point where you are pressing comfortably and still getting an almost full brushstroke. But just to be clear, I do keep transfer on unless I want perfectly flat areas of color.

 

Postby DRaff210 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:31 pm

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Thanks so much for the responses, guys!

Ambiguity wrote:I've seen it done both ways, the second way you're describing is more like how wet mediums work in traditional. Only dry mediums get darker in trad when you push down harder, I think that's why a lot of people find it easier, because everyone has used a pencil, but most people have never touched things like oil and acrylic.

I think if you want to continue to do it the way you do it(I do it that way as well), then you just have to start commiting more to your values and colors as you build them up, completely fill areas in with full color.

This is an excellent point, and it's completely changing the way I think about painting. I've never considered how the two styles reflect the differences in actual, physical mediums, and it's totally true that I'm far more familiar with pencils than I am with paint (which I've basically never touched).

I'm not quite certain what you mean by committing more to my colors and values; do you mean I should try blocking them in, and then focus on blending them after they're blocked in?

Josephcow wrote:I use the second method because I have a cheap tablet and the pressure sensitivity requires me to press REALLY hard in order to get an opaque stroke. Or like you said, several strokes which is no good at all. So for the beginning of a painting I paint with opaque paint, then later I either turn down opacity to do gradients or use the mixer brush which is pretty fun to do.

I often have transfer ON, but turn the minimum opacity up to about 50 percent. This way I can get a little bit of control of opacity, but don't have to press hard. And then I turn the opacity itself down to about 80 or 90 if I want a more traditional effect (not perfectly flat blocks of color). Then I continue to turn the opacity down to get subtler changes in color after I have a layer of solid 'paint' established. Digital paintings tend to get murky really easily because of soft brushes and too much transparency.

This really doesn't bother me because If I were painting traditionally it would be like this. When using oil or acrylic paint you don't really get a transparent stroke by pressing lightly. You add medium. In water color you don't get an opaque mark by pressing really hard. You layer the paint.


So if I were you I would tweak the settings a bit to favor opacity when most of what you paint needs to be opaque, and change opacity when you want to be transparent. So try raising the Minimum opacity to a point where you are pressing comfortably and still getting an almost full brushstroke. But just to be clear, I do keep transfer on unless I want perfectly flat areas of color.

This is another thing I wish I'd thought of sooner. I've been playing around with raising the minimum opacity, as you've said, and I can already tell that there's a huge difference in how comfortable it is. I do still feel like it's annoying having to constantly open the Brush panel to change the settings - even when I have a keyboard shortcut to open it - but maybe I just need to be more patient. :lol:

 

Postby Josephcow » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:29 am

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Yeah you'll probably have to mess around a lot until you figure out what works. But basically anything is better than having to push so hard you practically etch the lines into your tablet lol. After painting for a while I stopped thinking about the transfer settings.

It also helps that I paint almost completely opaque at first to block things in, so I'm not going back and forth between transparent paint and opaque very often.

 

Postby Ambiguity » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:58 am

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DRaff210 wrote:I'm not quite certain what you mean by committing more to my colors and values; do you mean I should try blocking them in, and then focus on blending them after they're blocked in?

I mean don't leave areas ambiguous with a bunch of translucent strokes all over the place, pick a color and fill that area once you've decided.

Example:
Image


Josephcow wrote: But basically anything is better than having to push so hard you practically etch the lines into your tablet lol.

If this is a problem for you, you might consider halfing the total amount of pressure levels your tablet can produce. I did and it helped me with that:
https://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/100-br ... ss-fatigue

 

Postby Josephcow » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:03 am

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Ambiguity wrote:If this is a problem for you, you might consider halfing the total amount of pressure levels your tablet can produce. I did and it helped me with that:
https://www.ctrlpaint.com/videos/100-br ... ss-fatigue


I tried, but I think this only works on PC. I have a Mac unfortunately, so it doesn't seem to be an option. It isn't so much of a problem for me now, though. I saw a comment that had a solution for Mac though so maybe I will look into this.


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