"A Graphician's Tip Book - Part 3"
Shaithis / Psychic Monks, Immortal Coil
I can't list any bug-fixes in this article because the issue preceding this
one has yet to go out at the time I'm sitting here writing. At any rate,
I've decided I'll have a one issue delay. For example, an error is pointed
out to me from article 2. I'll point it out for all of you in article 4.
Same thing goes for tips. If you send me a tip right after article say, 6,
comes out, it won't be in until article 8.
Enough on that, let's get to the main point of this article:
DeluxePaint (which will forever after be called "Dpaint"), is old. I'll not
lie to you. It's an old program. However, it is also still the best 256
color drawing program I've seen (Perhaps some 32-bit apps are better even in
256 color mode, but they don't count, because they can draw in more colors).
Dpaint has a variety of commands, shortcuts, and secrets. Today we'll be
focusing on the basic commands. Next issue will deal with more involved
commands, and the issue following that will handle the shortcuts and secrets
(Not quite tricky enough to be "tips -n- tricks").
Dpaint offers a variety of drawing tools. At this point, I'm going to assume
that those reading this have at least opened up a drawing program before and
therefore don't need to have the basic tools explained to them. Dpaint's
basic tools include: the pencil, the line, the curved line, the circle, the
square, the fill bucket, the ruled fill tool, the freehand fill tool, the
eyedropper, the hand, the undo button, the highlight tool, and the spraypaint
Dpaint's other tools are the font tool, the CAR tool, the 3d tool, the
pattern tool, the gradient tool, and the rose tool. These tools are grouped
in this section because they are either too advanced to fall in the basic
tools section, or are native to Dpaint. For example, I have yet to see the
rose tool in any other paint program. It is these tools we will discuss
_____The Font Tool
Similar to the font tools in most other art applications, it allows you to
bring up one of Dpaint's predefined fonts and write with it. However,
because Dpaint is an older program, the font tool has many limitations. You
cannot use standard True-type fonts. You must use the fonts that are already
included in Dpaint. There are probably ways to create your own but I have
not been able to discover them. You must also realize that, due to Dpaint's
lack of layers, you have only one chance to undo a font.
If you put it down, colorize it, and then decided you don't like it, too bad,
'cause it's there for good. (Unless you saved before adding the font, which
brings up a quick point...SAVE! Save whenever you make any significant
changes to your work. Trust me, someday you'll be happy you did).
_____The CAR Tool
CAR stands for Constrained Aspect Ratio. This means that when you have the
CAR tool on, your spheroids will always be circles and your rectangles will
always be squares (or as close as possible, due to the fact that in some
resolutions, at some sizes, it is not possible to for Dpaint to achieve a
perfect circle). This is a tool I rarely use as I have been working with the
program for so long that, in relatively low res, I can pretty much eyeball my
circles and squares.
However, for a novice, the C-AR tool is extremely useful, and I recommend
toying with it to help obtain the ability _not_ to use it. :)
_____The 3d Tool
The 3d tool allows you to take a flat object and manipulate it along the x,
y, and z planes. In common english, it allows you to change your view of the
object. Take a piece of paper and hold it flat in front of you. You'll see
a long, wide white section. Now turn it in space until it becomes nothing
more than a thin white line. This is the essence of the 3d tool. It allows
you to turn, rotate, and move your objects on a 3d plane.
_____The Pattern Tool
This tool is found in quite a few other paint programs. It simply allows you
to paint or fill using a pattern as opposed to a single color. Common
patterns include patchwork, bricks, dots, etc. This is a fun tool to play
with, and at times can be useful, but most experienced artists rarely touch
_____The Gradient Command
The most powerful, useful, misused, and overused tool in Dpaint. This
command simply takes an initial color of the pallette, and ending color, and
alters whatever colors fall between them to create as smooth a blend as
possible. For example, if you set the 33rd palette color as red, and the
64th as black, and used the `spread' command, Dpaint will take up palette
colors 34-63 blending the two. This is a gradient. These can then be linked
to create multiple gradients.
Well, that brings me to my word limit. :) I'll finish up with gradients and
the rose tool at the start of the next column, and then move onto commands
like translucent, smooth, shade, smear, etc. (as well as tell you how to
ensure that these effects work at their absolute best). I have a sneaking
suspicion this Dpaint section is going to run into 4 articles, instead of the
initially planned three, but please bear with me. I'm new to journalism. :)
Until next time.
go to part 4