"A Graphician's Tip Book - Part 11"


    Shaithis / Psychic Monks, Immortal Coil
      Last time we left off with dpain't anti-aliasing, and a brief look at
      selection methods.  This article is going to deal with the various sections
      of the "Tool Options" window.  Don't expect me to get to every single little
      check box and slide-meter.  I'll leave that to the photoshop hand-book and to
      your playing around with the program, but I will at least cover the basics of
      the tool options.
      _____The Wizard's Touch
      Alright, for now, double click on the "Magic Wand" icon.  A small window
      should pop up.  In that window are a variety of adjustable options.  Let's
      take a look at them one by one (remember, these are options solely for the
      magic wand, and won't effect any other tool).
      Here's a really Crappy Ascii Diagram:
         |                                        | - | X | <--- Top Line
         | |Navigat|In|Magic Wand Options     \       | > | <--- Flags
         | Tolerance : 32                #  Anti Aliased  | <--- Options
         | # Sample Merged                                | <--- More Options
         |                                                | <--- Even More Options
         |------------------------------------------------|       (unused)
         |                                                | <--- Yet More Options
         `------------------------------------------------'       (unused)
      1. Top line -  This simply has the standard Win95 "Minimize/maximize" and
                     "close" buttons. Nothing new here, I hope.
      2. Tabs     -  These are various windows you can switch to.  Personally, I
                     rarely use anything other than the options, but feel free to
                     play around with the other two.
      3. Options  -  This is your first line of options.  Here we have the
                     Tolerance setting, and the Anti-alias option. Tolerance
                     determines how much is selected when you use the magic wand
                     option.  When a tolerance of 0 is set, the magic wand will
                     select the pixel you are clicking on, and any that _Directly
                     Touch It_ that are the _Exact_ same color. As you increase the
                     tolerance, the wand becomes more forgiving about the
                     similarity of color.  At maximum tolerance of 255, the wand
                     will select anything marginally close to the same color within
                     the drawing.
                     Anti-aliasing has already been explained. That switch just
                     turns it off an on.  If the box is empty, it's off.  If the
                     box has a check in it, it's on.
      4. Options2  - These are more options that are available (For this particular
                     tool, the last one).  To be fully honest, and expose myself as
                     not the master of all graphics programs (which if you thought
                     I was you really haven't been paying attention ;)  I will say
                     that I have absolutely no idea what "Sample merged" even does.
                     So I guess it's safe to say I still have quite a bit of
                     playing around left to do.
      I think just by looking at that window, you'll probably get a good idea of
      how to use the Tool Options.
      Still, let's move to a more complicated tool. I'll spare you the horrible
      ascii picture and just go by the same numbers I used above.  Let's look at
      the "paintbrush" tool.
      1. Top line - Same old Same old. Min/Max and Close.
      2. Tabs     - Again, same tabs as the magic wand
      3. Options  - Here we have some differences:
                    *The little window that says "normal" can be clicked on to find
                     a variety of new options, such as making the paintbrush change
                     only the hue, or the saturation of what it's painting on,
                     "spattering" the paint with dissolve, and many others. With
                     these I give you my standard advice: Play with them, they're
                     neat. ;)
                    *The opacity slide is exactly what it says.  Lower it to lower
                     the opacity of your "paint".  Raise it to raise the opacity.
      4. Options2 - *Fading can create some nice effects.  What this command lets
                     you do, is force the paintbrush to fade your paint stroke. You
                     can define how many "steps" (I'm assuming this means
                     vertical/horizontal pixels), and whether to fade to
                     transparent or the background color.  Then, as soon as you
                     click on your drawing and drag the paintbrush, your stroke
                     will fade.  Once it has faded, you have to let go of the mouse
                     button and re-click to start a nice line. I'd recommend trying
                     this as seeing it visually makes it a lot easier to
                     understand. ;)
      5. Options3 - *Stylus pressure I believe is for people who have those
                     wonderful art pads that I can't afford.  It lets you choose
                     whether an increase in pressure alters the size, color depth,
                     opacity, or any combination thereof.
      6. Options4 - *Wet Edges makes your brush stroke darken towards the edges,
                     giving it a "wet" look.
      Now that you've read all this, I'd suggest going and playing with the various
      tool options.  There's a lot to be learned, most of it very useful. I'm going
      to wrap this article up here, as the next one goes directly into filters, and
      this kind of creates a nice divide.  A few words on my upcoming articles: The
      next one will be, of course, on filters.  Following that I plan to do an
      article on Kai's power tools, and then I'm going to deviate for a few
      I want to discuss some subjects that have cropped up recently, spurred by a
      few discussions over email, and my recent letter to TraxWeekly.  I'll not
      give you the entire gist of the articles now (what would be the fun in that?
      ;)  But I will leave you with a few things to hopefully think over:
      Dpaint      Composition          "Art"                My views
      Photoshop   The Rule of Thirds   "Pictures"           Others Views
      Theme       Color Theory         The Demoscene        Your personal Views
      Color       Pixelation           Structure            And probably a whole
      Contrast    Rendering            The Learning Curve   bunch of other topics
      (Most of which may get me some hate mail, but also hopefully some support
      mail :)  It's my hope that, at very least, the next few articles will be
      informative for us graphicians, and the ones after that may be worth reading
      even to those of us who don't spend all of their time drawing. :)
      (Oooh...a cliffhanger ending)
    go to part 12

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