FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

The ‘stroke gap’ resembles a lag when using ArtRage but is actually part of the realistic painting process

Many new ArtRage users notice what appears to be lag when they first use the app. While ArtRage can lag when performing demanding operations, the ‘stroke gap’ is a consistent, non-performance related phenomenon. It is the possible area of effect for your next movement.

It exists as an empty gap between the leading edge of a stroke, and your cursor, or the pressure point of the stylus. This gap will stay empty until you move or lift the stylus (or finger).

It is part of ArtRage’s real time stroke calculations; much like painting with a real brush, the stroke on a canvas is not finished, nor visible, until you move the brush on (if you stop and hold a brush in one spot, you won’t be able to see the stroke that has not yet been finished in that spot).

Size of the gap

The size is based on your current tool size, so the gap increases with larger brushes. The gap is literally the ‘largest possible stroke that you could be about to make’. The larger the selected tool, the larger the gap.

It is extremely visible on mobile devices, because they do not have a cursor to indicate brush size. The Outline cursor on the desktop will circle the entire stroke gap, making it clearer that it is part of the brush stroke, and not just a lag in the program. You can see in the images below that the ‘stroke gap’ actually extends in front of your cursor as well as behind. The gap measures the distance between the midpoint of the stroke (i.e. where you are placing pressure with a stylus) and the end of the current stroke.

The stroke gap is a constant size relative to your tool size. It increases with larger brush sizes, and is approximately the size as one 'dot' made at full pressure.

The stroke gap is a constant size relative to your tool size. It increases with larger brush sizes, and is approximately the size as one ‘dot’ made at full pressure.

Why it Happens

The gap is there because ArtRage is waiting to see what you’ll do next. The next part of the stroke will look very different if you lift the stylus away, double back, change pressure, run into and blend with other paint, or just continue exactly as you are. It would be much more confusing to project a stroke that changed after you kept going.

The 'stroke gap' looks different with different tools, sizes and cursors.   It is much harder to spot on a mobile app, such as ArtRage for Android or ArtRage for iPad, as these apps have no visible cursor. It is often confused with lag on these devices.

The ‘stroke gap’ looks different with different tools, sizes and cursors.
It is much harder to spot on a mobile app, such as ArtRage for Android or ArtRage for iPad, as these apps have no visible cursor. It is often confused with lag on these devices.

How can I avoid it? It bugs me.

You can’t ‘turn it off’, as it’s built into the way ArtRage works, but you can reduce the visibility of the gap by zooming out of your canvas view, decreasing the tool size, experimenting with different tools (some display it more clearly than others), or by turning on the Outline cursor in the desktop versions.

It tends not to be noticeable once you become familiar with ArtRage, as you learn what will happen when you make particular strokes.

How can I tell if I’m seeing ‘stroke gap’ or real lag?

Stroke Gaps are constant

A stroke gap will always be a constant size as you draw, and will scale relative to the tool size.

To estimate the size the ‘stroke gap’ should be, make a full pressure ‘dot’ on the canvas with your current tool. The ‘gap’ will be about half the width of this dot.

Note that settings such as Softness (eraser), Hardness (Airbrush), Paper Wetness and Bleed (Watercolor) will affect the apparent size of strokes. For example, in the image below, you can see that the eraser make very different marks at 0% and 100% Softness. The 0% Softness is the closest to the actual tool size.

The appearance of a larger eraser with different levels of softness.<br /><p class=Trying to estimate the 'stroke gap' (area of effect) from the 100% softness eraser will be very inaccurate.[” width=”940″ height=”341″ class=”size-large wp-image-7455″ /> The appearance of a larger eraser with different levels of softness.
Trying to estimate the ‘stroke gap’ (area of effect) from the 100% softness eraser will be very inaccurate.

Lag varies depending on what you do

Lag will cause the stroke to be further behind as you draw longer, faster and bigger strokes, or as your device runs out of memory for other reasons (e.g. multiple apps running, large canvas sizes, little free space). It will not be directly tied to the brush size (though larger brushes use more processing power). There are a few ways to reduce the memory usage.

If you see a very noticeable difference between drawing fast strokes and slow strokes, or between drawing the same stroke at different canvas sizes, that is lag.

Note: Some mobile devices cannot process fast strokes above a certain speed. This isn’t ArtRage lagging, but a built in limitation of the device.

View and Set Keyboard Commands in ArtRage Studio Pro

ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro allow you to set your own keyboard shortcuts for a long list of commands. To view and change keyboard commands in ArtRage 3 go to:

Edit > Set Keyboard Shortcuts…

How To Customise ArtRage Studio Pro Shortcuts

It is easy to view the available shortcuts, and create your own custom keyboard combinations, to suit your personal workflow preferences, accessibility issues or the need for specific commands.

  1. Step 1: Open the Keyboard Shortcuts Panel
  2. Step 2: Find the Shortcuts that you want to change
  3. Step 3: Edit the Shortcuts


You can also save and import custom shortcut sets.

This is especially useful for:

  • Shared computers
  • Sharing specific shortcut set ups with other ArtRage users
  • Creating custom set ups for specific tasks
  • Creating custom set ups for different hardware


Step 1: Open the Keyboard Shortcuts Panel

Open the Keyboard Shortcuts Panel studio pro

You will see a pop up window in the middle of the screen. It lists all the commands that can be customised.

Many of the most common commands come with default shortcuts already set up. You can change these. There are also a lot of blank commands for you to choose from (if you decide that you need them).

Step 2: Find the Shortcuts that you want to change

Keyboard Shortcuts Panel Menu Options studio Pro

The different shortcuts are organised into Groups.

You can expand or collapse each group individually in order to view the available commands. Use the menu button on the top right to expand or collapse all groups at once, as well as to save or open custom shortcut sets.

Step 3: Edit the Shortcut

Keyboard Shortcuts AR4c
    • Click ‘X’ to clear the current shortcut
    • Click ‘…’ to set a new keyboard shortcut for that command
    • Click the ‘+’ symbol to create a new keyboard shortcut for an empty command.
  1. Press the new key combination to set it. If you hit the wrong key, just try again.
  2. Once you have chosen the shortcut that you want, click ‘OK’


Additional Notes

  • You can add more than one shortcut to a command
  • Changes will not be visible on Mac OS X until you restart ArtRage


Also See

Application Preferences

View and Set Keyboard Commands in ArtRage 4.5

ArtRage 4.5 has a long list of available commands for which you can set your own shortcuts, or use the defaults that are already set up.


See the full list of ArtRage 4.5 Keyboard Commands here

How To Customise ArtRage 4.5 Shortcuts

To view existing default shortcuts and change keyboard commands in ArtRage 4.5 go to:

Edit > Set Keyboard Shortcuts…

It is easy to view the available shortcuts, and create your own custom keyboard combinations, to suit your personal workflow preferences, accessibility issues or the need for specific commands.

  1. Step 1: Open the Keyboard Shortcuts Panel
  2. Step 2: Find the Shortcuts that you want to change
  3. Step 3: Edit the Shortcuts


You can also save and import custom shortcut sets.

This is especially useful for:

  • Shared computers
  • Sharing specific shortcut set ups with other ArtRage users
  • Creating custom set ups for specific tasks
  • Creating custom set ups for different hardware


Step 1: Open the Keyboard Shortcuts Panel

Keyboard Shortcuts Panel

You will see a pop up window in the middle of the screen. It lists all the commands that can be customised.

Many of the most common commands come with default shortcuts already set up. You can change these. There are also a lot of blank commands for you to choose from (if you decide that you need them).

Step 2: Find the Shortcuts that you want to change

Keyboard Shortcuts Panel Menu Options

The different shortcuts are organised into Groups.

You can expand or collapse each group individually in order to view the available commands. Use the menu button on the top right to expand or collapse all groups at once, as well as to save or open custom shortcut sets.

Step 3: Edit the Shortcut

Keyboard Shortcuts AR4c
    • Click ‘X’ to clear the current shortcut
    • Click ‘…’ to set a new keyboard shortcut for that command
    • Click the ‘+’ symbol to create a new keyboard shortcut for an empty command.
  1. Press the new key combination to set it. If you hit the wrong key, just try again.
  2. Once you have chosen the shortcut that you want, click ‘OK’


Additional Notes

  • You can add more than one shortcut to a command
  • Changes will not be visible on Mac OS X until you restart ArtRage


Also See

  • Application Preferences / Keyboard Shortcuts
  • See the full list of ArtRage 4.5 Keyboard Commands here
  • ArtRage 2.6 Shortcut Keys

    With ArtRage, most of the control is performed with the mouse or a stylus pen. Tools stay out of the way till you need them, then you can browse what you want to perform. However, keyboard shortcuts can help speed up your work performance even more by gaining access to those tools/features at a click of a key. Remembering a few shortcuts to your most commonly used features can help shave off hours from your work.


    You can view shortcuts for ArtRage 2 by going to:

    Help > Shortcut Keys

    ArtRage 2 shortcuts cannot be customised.

    View our online manual for a full listing:

    ArtRage 2 Keyboard Commands

    The iOS editions of ArtRage are compatible with multitouch swipe and tap gestures

    iPhone and iPad Gestures

    Three finger zoom can be turned off in the Settings App by going to Accessibility > Zoom

    • Tap and Hold : Color picker (This is turned off by default on the iPad. Turn on again via Settings > ArtRage > Tap and Hold Color Sampler)
    • Two Finger Drag: move
    • Two Finger Pinch/push: zoom in or out
    • Two Finger Tap: reset to original zoom
    • Three Finger Swipe up/down: tool size increase/decrease
    • Three Finger Swipe left/right: undo/redo
    • Triple Finger Tap: hide/show menu bar


    iPad Only Shortcuts

    • Hold and drag on the selected Tool icon to quickly select a new tool (when the tool menu is hidden)
    • Tap and drag on Color Pod stores current color sample
    • Tap and hold opens Color Picker menu


    iPhone Only Shortcuts

    • Tap on background to set color
    • Hold and drag on the Tool or Color icons to quickly select from the menu options without interrupting your workflow


    You can purchase and download the iPhone and iPad apps through the iTunes App Store.

    How do I reduce the amount of memory my paintings use while painting?

    ArtRage is a very memory intensive program, due to the number of calculations involved in creating realistic paint, and the many options you can turn on while painting. If you find that ArtRage is slowing down significantly at larger sizes, there are a few things you can do to free up memory and speed up the painting process.

    • Paint at a smaller canvas size
    • Reduce the number of layers (for example, by merging layers once you have finished with them)
    • Remove unused References, Scraps, Tracing images
    • Use smaller files for the References and Tracing images
    • Avoid memory intensive tools, such as Transform and the largest sizes of certain tools (Soft Blend palette knife, Watercolors).
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