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Though there were lots of Improvements to the fourth version of Deluxe Paint, the biggest thrill for most users was the inclusion of HAM painting. This is because HAM (Hold and Modify) mode allows you to use any of the Amiga's 4096 dis playable colours on screen at once. Electronic Arts weren't the first to master this tricky obstacle - but by managing to cleverly absorb HAM into their existing Dpaint structure they were guaranteed to maintain the loyalty of users who cut their teeth on this legendary graphics software. HAM T Dpaint 4 provided many new useful features. Perhaps the most important, though, was the introduction of HAM mode. Now you can display 4096 colours on screen at once. But it's one thing to have HAM. And another to make it work to your advantage. Tins isn't a problem with Dpaint; HAM drawing rivals such as the excellent PhotonPaint or gifted SpectaColour were there first, and being dedicated to this mother of all modes they managed to work miracles. But the shortcomings are all too apparent. Speed is one drawback. On a regular Amiga, shifting over 4.000 colours around in 6 bit planes makes a Post Office queue seem fast. And then there’s the (ringing. Sure, you can try to minimise the problem of stray edge colours forming a pattern on the picture. But if you're drawing a subtle work of art on your Amiga, the Jast thing you need is a Rave show of psychedelic co ours. So who needs HAM with all this pain? Anyone interested in the subtleties and challenge offered by such a vast palette, but par Ocularly when you are working with digitised images. Colour digitisers can capture images in HAM mode, and often you will want to incorporate them into your own work, or edit them. In either case HAM. With all its shortcomings, is better than nothing. The difference between images captured in any other regular Amiga mode and HAM are all too apparent.
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DPAiNT - THE DIRECTOR’S CUT Ovtr the last year, CU Amiga ha* been running a series of Dpaint tutorials by Peter Lee. Now that the series Is drawing (aheml) to a close, we thought we'd present the rat tsn months worth as a mlni-booklet in ease any readers have missed out on a particular installment. What's more, we've also Included some additional material which couldn't be squeezed In the first time around, so even if you’ve read each and every installment, you'll still find some useful hints and tips you've not come across before.
Hope you enjoy It.
Dan Sllngsby, Editor. November 1993.
THE DPAINT STORY Let's face H, almost every Amiga owner possesses a copy of Electronic Arts' Dpaint program. Acknowledged as the leading paint'n'create package on the Amiga, the pro* gram ha* been bundled with successive generations of the computer for many years now. Although the manual that comes with Dpaint is a fairly comprehensive tome, there's no way It can hope to detail every function of the program, let alone give examples and step-by-step walkthroughs. That's where we come in, or rather our resident graphics and animation expert, Peter Lee.
Acknowledged a* one of the leading experts on Dpaint in the country.
Pet* knows more about the program than almost anyone else. And we've commissioned him to write this special booklet to help YOU get more out of one of the finest graphics tools ever published. Take it away... CONTENTS PAINTING MODES ....page 01 BRUSHES AND FILLS ....page 07 A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ....page 11 A SPLASH OF COLOUR ....page 16 THE WRITE STUFF ....page 21 HAM IT UP ....page 25 ANIMATED ANTICS ....page 30 ON THE MOVE! ....page 34 ...AND ACTION! ....page 38 POT POURRI ....page 43 PAINTING MODES Whether you own a copy of the original Deluxe Paint or one of the later revisions, you'll
soon want to explore the program in greater depth than the manual allows. Fortunately help is at hand as we present the CU Amiga guide to getting the most from Dpaint.
PART A Choos
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decisions. Do you want lots of colour or pin-sharp piKols? It's
mnko your mind up tlmo as soon as Dpaint begins.
Rules are a sad fact of life and you meet the major Dpaint rule when you first start the program. It's the mode colour tradeoff. You can have a hgh resolution mode with fewer colours, or a low res mode with 64. Which to choose? It dearly depends what you have in mind for the finished work. The only tune I use high res is for video titling or for creating logos which will be either photographed or gen locked onto video.
Most people gladly trade off resolution for a larger number of colours: and the lower your resolution and fewer your colours, the more memory you have for any animations you might be contemplating. The interlace option is best left to sight impaired users ...they soon will be...) or those with monitors which don't display the irritating flicker. Overscan is only really useful if you are working with video m mind (it extends the boundaries of the pic lure beyond the screen limits so there isn't a border around it). If you have less than l b of RAM. It's best to click on the Swap button so
that the program loads the information it needs when it needs it rather man loading it all in at one go. We'll be covering HAM (4096 colour Hold And Modify mode) later.
Right now let's think positive. After selecting your screen type you get that familiar, un-nerv- ing blank screen and tool icon strip that has challenged Amiga artists since the dawn of time (or at least, since 1985 if you're being picky).
¦dlll'MWr You may find it useful to remove this toolbox from lime to time to reach parts of your image which it covers up. Pressing F10 toggles the icons on and off . Right from version one. Dpaint has had this irritating quirk; if you draw out a shape which goes 'under1 the tool box. The area of screen hidden by the tools will remain blank. This holds good for fills, too, so get into the habit of removing it when needed.
QUICK ON THE DRAW Using ordinary tools to draw with is a doddle (or doodle...), but computers are a lot smarter than pencils and paintbrushes.
Always bear in mind that the opportunities offered by Dpaint actually raise your artistic skill level. For instance, how many people do you know who can draw a straight line (or curve for that matter) freehand? You can probably count them on Hook’s bad hand.
And this is the simplest example of how using computer software can give you a real head start. But drawing lines is just the tip of the iceberg. What happens to the image under neath as you draw is one of the great thrills of computer graphics. This brings us to the Mode menu, where a click of the mouse button can help unlcck the doors of your imagination.
UNDERCOVER WORK Dpaint IV offers ten very powerful painting modes. Most mode selections only take effect if you have some artwork on screen (they need source colours to work with) and they can use either one of the default brush shapes (the pens), or sometimes the shape of a custom brush (one you've cut out yourself). The matching commands m Dpaint ill work in identical ways. Here's a brief outline of what each does and an example which shows off the technique, plus a peppering of useful tips:
1. Matte This uses any custom brush you decide to pick up or load
in as the painting pen. Any background colours present when
you picked up the brush are transparent.
This is the default mode when you cut out a brush, and you use it for repositioning parts of your image, or cutting and pasting in different locations.
Cj yjLT The last brush you used is always Pis available (even after you've been drawing with other tools such as pens or shapes) by right button clicking with the point er on the brush selector tool. If you've got an animbrush in memory, too. This can also be called back on screen in the same way.
2. Colour Creates a solid shape of your brush m the current
Extremely useful for placing a brush's shadow before stamping down the brush as a matte.
While drawing with an in-built '( )p brush, or a custom brush using ’IS the matte mode, you can quickly cycle through the palette's available foreground colours by hitting the open and close square bracket keys [ . So your brush is the right colour.
3. Replc - Very similar to Matte, except there are no transparent
Remember that using Dpaint's Y jlJ quick key shortcuts cuts down on ’Is time. Pressing FI will make the brush into a Matte form, and F3 will bring it back to Replc mode. You can see the difference on screen and decide which mode suits your needs before having to commit the brush to the screen.
4. Smear - This blathers pixels around like so many grains of
sand. It's great too for adding granular texture to objects,
but lacks finesse.
The bigger your brush, the ’ fly rougher the smear gets, and I Is unless you're careful too much smearing can destroy the shape of your original object. Incidentally, if you want to enlarge one of the program's inbuilt brushes, to smear large areas at a time, click on an in-built brush with the right button, then move onto the drawing area and drag out a new sized brush to suit your needs.
5. Shade - For this mode to work, a range of colours should have
been previously defined.
It allows you to pass a brush over a colour in the range, press the left button and replace it with the next highest colour. Pressing the right button as you draw changes the underlying colour to the next darker colour.
9rfjj2) greater the number of colours in the range, the better. This U s mode is wonderful for adding highlights to metallic objects: but don't be too heavy- handed or else the colours tend to move to the extremes of light and dark too Quickly. If you choose a palette colour not in a defined range. Dpaint will use the whole palette, which serves no useful purpose!
6. Blend - The program will try to soften the edges where colours
meet by adding a third, averaged colour. Ideal for making
smooth transitions - as in light to dark skies, or where
clouds are drawn, to soften the edges.
Dpaint does its best, but if there 'fsjJ is no real average colour in the ’Is palette, results can be unpredictable.
Ma e sure your palette reflects the mid tones of any colour sequences to give the software a cnance,
7. Cycle - This mode only works with a colour from a previously
defined cycle range, and as you draw the colours are cycled
through in turn. A big help in drawing objects which will need
smoothing and smearing later; rocks or din for instance. By
defining a range of five or so different greys or browns, then
cycling through them as you paint, you add light and dark
elements automatically. Smearing ihe result to mix up the
pixels, then smoothing in places cuts down on the creation
Cycling is iceal for single screen Y JI animation effects. Try defining a 'is range of 10 colours, making one white and nil the rest black. Cycle draw on screen after pressing the TAB key to activate display Cycling, and watch the flickering fun.
Pressing TAB again switches off cycling.
8. Smooth - This is a kind of on the-fly anti- alias mode. It
cuts down on jogged edges which sometimes plague
low-resolution images by adding an intermediate colour to fool
the eye into thinking there is a seamless join between two
colours. Again, the greater the range of similar colojrs. The
better the smoothing will appear.
If you smooth an image on a 'fyjl black background, intending to 'Is P‘Ck it up as a brush, be warned that the edges between colour and back ground will have had extra pixels added (the smoothing edge). So now when you come to paste the brush down onto another scene, you may get an unwanted dark outline. This can be remedied in part by stripping the outer edge of the brush (Shift 0) as an emergency measure.
9. Mix - Using the current brush palette you can mix and blend
underlying colours. This is useful in HAM mode, but you may
prefer to mix your colours systematically in the palette
requester, where you have total control over them. It can be a
flaky mode at best, but if weirc is what you want, give it a
10. Hbrrte - This feature uses the 64 colour mode's alternate
colour set to darken the original 32 colour palette. Great
for shadows and highlights.
If you have a HAM picture and jyjl want 10 v‘ork on in a more regu s lar resolution, you can change screen formats while the picture is being displayed in HAM, and choose 64-colour halfbrile. This way. Though you will obviously loose thou sands of colours (you would anyway), you maximise the colours available for the transition. It depends on your original of course, but a lot of times the conversion works very well.
SMOOTH Examples of some of the effects available in Deluxe Paint.
DRAWING ATTENTION Dptimt's toolbox is the starting point for any work It contains basic drawing tools and 10 in built brushes, and also accesses many user delmable options.The standa'd tools freehand draw ng. Straight line and curve - work with whatever brush you have currently selected: so too do the outline tools circle, rectangle, ellipse and polygon. But by clicking the right button on some tools opens up requesters which perform little pieces of com puter magic- $ $ $ &&«*» . £ ,;ji |;:i m f:| H:i a KJ13 ki b[U :«J;: W PART ONE THE WRITING'S OH THE WALL ] Ever had the urge to pick up a can
of paint and spray something on a wall? No. I'm not admitting to it either, but Dpalnt lots you express yourself in the comfort and safety of your own room. This example calls on many of the techniques discussed in the main article, and gives a visual guide to exactly how each mode can be used to best advantage.
Take the wall. There's just one brick there - no labour of love: the image of that brick is flipped in the X and Y planes every so often to give an appearance of randomness. (To do this, pick up a brush and simply press the X or Y keys). The brick starts out as a small red rectangle.
Using cycle, with throo shades ol red selected. It's possible to give a random grninlness to the rectangle. Depending on tho results, you can either settle for that, or uso Smear to mix up the red pixels.
To add authenticity to the brick, we need to knock it about a bit. So using black as your brush colour, and the spray brush, eat away around the edges of the rectangle to create a lifelike (or brick like) brick. Pick this up as a brush now. And using the filled rectangle tool, colour the area of your wall in grey, for the mortar. I like to cycle a number of greys around the area now for added realism, but really, one grey will do. Don't worry about losing your brush - right mouso click on the brush window, and your last brush will always re-appear. To add depth to the brick, we have to
outline it: so with black selected as your pen colour, and the brush active, press the o key on the keyboard. You can now lay your bricks In the regular pattern, with bricks on top overlapping the edges of adjoining bricks below.
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Remember to flip the brick frequently in either X or Y plane for bettor realism. The gold plaque usos the cycle, smear and smooth techniques discussed earlier. What Is new. However, Is tho white spray paint. You can see the wall and mortar underneath the paint; this Is a clever feature of both Dpaint III and IV (although available In the Mode menu of DPIII, it is hidden In the Process menu on the later version). Although you will be painting with one colour. Dpalnt needs a range of that colour if it's to match up what you're painting on; if your bricks have three reds, then there needs to be
three different whites to match the change in intensity as you paint. So along with tho reds, you need to define a similar range of whites, from dark to light. With tint selected, as you paint, tho background colours change whilst leaving tho drawing structure intact. This way the spray palnt effect looks realistic. This technique can also be used for creating shadows, and also for mimicking glass objects, where the colours showing through are affected by the glass itself (though not as much as artists tend to go for; but you're creating an impression on screen, not taking a photograph).
Y i Take the spacing requester for example. Right click the straight line tool, and Dpaint will ask for input into a Spacing definition requester.
You have the option of telling the program how often along your line to paint the brush. If you select the N total and input a figure, then every outline shape you draw (including line, circle and rectangle), will have just that number of brushes painted on screen. For example. If you had the large round in built brush selected, and chose 20 as the N total, when you drew a straight line - of whatever length - it would look like a series of dots instead of the usual continuous line. By selecting instead the option Every' Nth dot. And entering a figure, you maintain the distance at which the
brjsh is painted: this means that however short or long your line, the brushes are the same distance apart. Choosing the airbrush option on the requester uses the airbrush tool, with your input defining the number of airbrush sprays to be used to each pixel along the path.
GENERAL PATTERN The toolbox also contains a pretty clever Symmetry tool, which is used for duplicating brush-strokes around the screen. However, it's not the easiest tool to set up. But the results are instantly pleasing, and time-saving. By right clicking on the symmetry tool.
You are presented with a requester to control the way Dpaint draws. You will find it useful to decide where the point of symmetry is. And to do this select Point from the box, and move the large crosshairs on screen so tney centre on the spot you need to be the centre of drawing, then click the left button. This doesn’t always have to be the cent'e of the screen - try off setting the centre for some unusual effects. There are two moces of symmetry available and two forms of painting.
POINT mode works on the point you have defined for your central point (using Place). By entering a value in the Order box. That number of brush strokes will be made around the central point as you paint. TILE, on the other hand, notionally splits the screen in rectangu lor areas (whose size you can define in a sep arate requestor which automatically opens up once Tile is clicked). Now when you draw, your painting actions are mimicked over the entire screen in the tile sizes you have defined. Be warned though that this destroys your original artwork. Choosing MIRROR as the method of painting
will duplicate everything you do. Around the point of symmetry (imagine drawing half the profile of a vase - the other half will be drawn for you under this mode if 1 is the Order figure): CYCLIC on the other hand duplicates your brushwork at each symmetrical point (set by Order).
I BRUSHES AND FILLS Shedding some light on the shadowy world of fills and brush- work, our Michaelangelo of the mouse, Peter Lee, continues to help you squeeze the most out of Deluxe Paint r a • i In some ways, computer artwork is looked on as a poor relation by traditional art sts - pat it on the head and forget about it. Sheer snobbery of course. There's room for all skills in the Art world, and in a number of ways, computer art beats traditional methods hands down. For instance, unag me having to paint Wordsworth's 'host of golden daffodils' by normal methods! But for Amiga artists it's
a doddle, down to clever brush work - and good ol' Deluxe Paint!
Dpaint comes equipped with the basic drawing brushes, from pixel-sized ones to airbrushes and, although each can be resized, this only skim the surface. Anything you draw on screen can become your brush! Draw one daffodil. Paint a thousand copies. Want a reflection -just flip the original. We'll be examining these brush techniques, and many more, in detail in this chapter, together with a closely linked subject, fills.
By clever manipulation of a single daffodil, you can generate an entire field's worth.
CUT IT OUT Once something is on screen you can cut it out as a brush in two ways: as a rectangle or as a polygon shape. One mouse click on the brush tool (the one which looks like four corners) and you can copy what's under the rubber banded rectangle you drag out on screen as a brush. Provided you have the background colour in the palette set to the background of your screen image, just the shape you want will be copied as a brush. Clicking twice on the brush tool gives you the chance to cut out irregular shapes too. Not just boxed areas.
Tins is not a true lasso cut (which allows you to define a brush bv drawing a freehand line on screen) hut is almost as good. You nave to define the area of the brush you want by moving the rubber band line around, then repeatedly clicking where you want to fix a cut. By moving the mouse slowly and clicking often, you can easily cut around complex shapes.
Sometimes you may want to cut 7'Sltf something out of an on screen ’If image instead of just copying it. By using the right-hand mouse button after selecting the brush tool, you will leave a hole where the image used to be. In the current background coiour. This is useful for removing additions to a Fixed Background, where cut ting out anywhere on the new images will expose what's underneath; you cannot destroy the background while it is fixed.
If you're using the polygon y£l brush option and can’t see 'IS where the first point is to complete the cut, simply press the Space bar and Dpaint will automatically find it.
TWO REPEAT AFTER ME Once you have your brush copied, the possibilities are virtually endless. For repetitive work - our daffs for instance to simply draw and cut one flower and then use it hosts of times would look too artificial. In this case there are a number of subtle effects which can be used to make a bunch of them look different. The simplest is to flip the brush by pressing the 'x‘ key. Point this down near the original daff. You can re-size custom brushes such as this very quickly; to increase the size press the '+' key. And to reduce it press (the minus key). Stamp each different
sized image down near the first two. Brushes can be rotated either in steps of 90 degrees (not useful for this subject), or to any angle you need. It would be nice if a few daffs were leaning in opposite directions, so let's bend a few stems. You can call up the rotate brush option from the b’ush rotate arbifrary (.any angle) menu item. Your brush now switches to a rectangular outline, and you can press the left mouse button and rotate the ghost ed box on screen to any angle you need.
Once you're happy, just let go of the mouse button, and paste the new brush on screen.
Cut this out. Plant a few more on screen, and flip it horizontally again, and paste down a few more.
Dpaint gives you the wondertut rsiy opportunity to add a 2-dimension ty al perspective to your scenes with just one keypress, tf you have a brush selected, pressing the minus key will reduce the brush's size. By using the same brush and decreasing the size, you can create a feeling of depth as you paint down into the background. With our daff getting smaller and smaller the further back it goes. For reference. Pressing the plus key (+) increases the size of the brush too.
SHEAR MAGIC Once you've cut or loaded a brush, you can work wonders with it. You can bend it in two LOCKING Closely linked with the Background Fix function Is Lock FG. Available from Dpaint I Vs Background menu. Provided you have already fixed the background, this function will allow you to make a stencil of the screen image which has been added since the background was fixed. What this means In simple terms Is that instead of protecting sets of colours by using the Stencil, you can protect areas of any shape. If. Say. You had added a lake to a fixed background of mountains. Using soveral
blues, then locking the foreground would protect the entire shape and colours of the lake, so you could then add shrubbery around It without worrying about painting over the water.
Directions to make it look like a can label, or shear it. Why shear? The most elegant use of shear is to let you create a long shadow of an object. Say you had an outdoor scene with a tree in the mid foreground, and the setting sun behind. Here's how to cast a realistic shadow of the tree. Cut out the tree as a brush, and flip it vertically by pressing the V key. We'll use plain black as the shadow for simplicity, so select that as your foreground colour. Now turn the tree brush into a solid colour by pressing the F2 key. So now you have a totally black upside down tree. Choose
Brush rotate shear from the menu bar. And while the top of the brush is anchored, you will be able to shear the lower portion enough to create a long, angled shadow, which can now be pasted on screen relative to the ongi nal tree and direction of light CU AMIGA to m:W®P*h1 *y;: part two Wl FILL fER UP Again, when a brush is active. Dpaint can use it as the basis for some really clever fill wizardry. If you call up the fill requester (right click the fill tool), you will see a number of options which we can use with the current brush: Brush. Wrap and Perspective. Brush fills the selected area
with an image of the current custom brush - re sizing it as necessary. Wrap does a similar trick, but it takes account of the shape to be filled and mimics a 3D wrap around' the object. This is a sneaky way of trying to copy what happens in programs which use genuine surface map ping, and most of the lime it gives excellent The fill requester is capable of a variety of effects.
BACKGROUND FIXES Everyone makes mistakes; peol the pnint oM many an old master (or even his paintings!)
And you'll see a blunder. When someone like Leonardo made a mistake, they'd often paint over It. When Picasso made one. He sold It. But Amiga artists can preserve their work from errors by n process called Background fixing. Tho feature is avallablo from the Effect pull down menu; by choosing Background fix, whatever Is on screen at the time Is safe from any mistakes. You can paint In all the normal modes, edit the picture. And generally try things out. And the beauty of it is that if you don't like what you’ve done, you can Just erase any part of your work added after the fixing operation.
Even clearing the screen will only remove the Inter brushwork. Another useful feature of background fixing allows you to add an item to the screen, and then cut Just that object out as a brush ignoring the fixed background as if it wasn't there. By Fixing, drawing and editing, then rc-Fixing. You can complete tricky stagos of your artwork piece by piece, without having to save too often to safeguard against mistakes.
If you are making major alterations to work you're already happy with, you could consider making a series of Anlmframes of the good Imago, then go to different anim frames to try out your ideas. Provided you leave frame one alone, you will always have a good copy, and plenty of scope to experiment to try 'what ifs' on the remaining frames.
It's also good working prac- Itlco to use tho spare page as a clipboard, copying good work thore before any alterations are made. This saves the hassle of constantly saving or loading.
Results. Perspective will fill an area with the brush using any settings you may have set in the Ef'eci Perspective Do menu requester.
We’ll be covering perspective in greater depth (sorry!) In a later chapter. Another avenue open to us from the fill requester is to use our brush as a sort of tile for major area filling. If you have a brush active and click in the From Brush box. A copy of your brush will be seen in the small display screen on the right ’ COLOUR The colour palette was one of the re-vamps which Electronic Arts made when they upgraded Dpaint from version III to IV; and while the on-screen displays are radically different, for our current needs, the operation is identical. To access the control panel, right
click the mouse button In the area of the toolbox showing the current foreground and background colours. In both versions, when you need to copy a colour, firstly click on the colour you intend duplicating, click on the word Copy, then click on the colour you will replace. The same Is true of Exchanging colours. Dpaint lirs palette control has HSV (Hue. Saturation and Value) continually shown as slider controls, but on Dpaint Ivs colour mixing palette, you will have to click the pointer over the words RGB to change from Rod Green Blue editing to HSV. This sounds complicated, but once you can
control Value, It's a simple matter to darken or lighten a colour. So by altering the value of a copy of a colour, you can make a darker clone of It for hand made shadows.
If you intend having realistic shadows on your screen on top of a pattern effect, then using a brush as the fill pattern is a quick and effective way of doing It. Here's how: Firstly, arrange your palette with as many colours as you need for your original tile design - we'll use six for this example. Now copy those six colours In the palette requester Into six other colour boxes. Using of the requester. By clicking on Pattern, you've now selected that image as the fill pat tern. This is a very useful and powerful ability, and at its simplest level saves you the hassle of pasting multiple
copies of ihe same brush on the screen. Take a 3Deffect tile for instance - you only need to draw it once, copy it as a brush then fill any area with perfectly aligned copies of it using the brush pattern option.
SWOPPING * the V (value) slider In the palette box, darken each of the six copies In turn - these will be our shadow colours.
Next, draw your tile using the original colours, and copy your finished work as a brush, pasting It down on the spare page In exactly the same spot as the original is on the main screen. Working on this copy, recolour the image using the darker set of colours. Pick up the original as a brush, making sure there is no extra background around the image and, from the fill requestor, choose pattern, and now you can fill the area you wish to tile using any of the fill tools. To add shadows, pick up the darker version of the image from the spare page, and make that the pattern fill. Now you can
use any fill tool - even the Jasso fill, to draw out the shadowed area.
Lf y°u Intend having text on screen, you can give it a realistic shadow over a patterned background using this quick and effective method. Copy your original text as a brush, and fill the lettering with the darker version of your brush pattern. Now position this ‘shadow' to fit in with the tiled background, then paste your original text on screen In an appropriate place. Of course, using halfbrite mode is an easy way of creating shadows, but often you will need to be able to do it In standard modes too.
As our journey into the heart of Deluxe Paint progresses, we re bound to hit a stumbling block. And for a lot of people, this is Perspective. The actual nuts and bolts of Dpaint's Perspective commands are so immensely powerful it's no wonder they can be a barrier. So for this chap ter we're devoting the whole of the tutorial to 3D. Taking in its powerful effects on fills and brushes.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE PART Space may be the final frontier, but sometimes it is the last obstacle Dpaint artists have to overcome.
Life’s too short to learn all about horizons and spatial relationships. So why bother when Deluxe Paint does all the hard work?!
Perspective mode works with your own brushes - artwork you've clipped out from the screen. These images can then be rotated along the three planes which define our 3D world - height, width and depth A lot of you will be familiar with the concept of the X and Y axis, horizontal and vertical planes on screen which are very- simitar to the way we use a sheet of graph paper. And the Z. or depth plane, is not so hard to understand either. If you use the surface of your screen as mea surement 0, then any distance apparently moving hack into the screen will be a minus value, and everything seemingly
nearer will have a positive value.
This is. Of course, a major con. Like Emstein said, it's all relative - just believe it and it's true! Thanks to evolution and education. The brain allows itself to be fooled into thinking what's drawn on a flat surface has depth if the illustration follows the rules we've come to expect. If you look at ilusirations of cave paintings, you'll see that tne animals, hunters anc landscapes are all flat laid above and below each other as in a child's drawing. Even the Bayeux tapestry has no depth cueing. But we've come a long way s nce then, and we can let the computer do a I the hard work with
depth which escaped painters before the 15th century.
ILuiiiuerifiM' now1 PITT Purs, X V 0,-m: m fruit brut.li 2 Ansrlr S ri»; til Brush | Carver! I J 1 An 11 -At i * 1 Lrv 1 II i srli | Here's the perspective requester on Dpaint IV.
Which is almost identical to the one in DPIU. The only difference is that you select anti alias from here in III (see small cutaway) and have to call up a special pull-down menu in IV.
IN DEPTH Dpaint uses one-point perspective to display real depth, and you can place the centre of this 3D v.orld anywhere on screen. This allows you to experiment with different viewpoints: for instance if you were painting a 3D wall, placing the perspective centre at different places on screen would give the effect of standing nearer or closer to the wall and pro v;de a wide-angle or close-up view. The pro- gram default is to have the perspective cen tre bang in the middle of the screen, but you can alter it using the Perspective centre pulldown menu option and re positioning the crosshair
anywhere on screen. You can even do this after giving a brush perspective to try out fresh ideas.
Tf you are filling a screen with a ’f )U perspective option, pressing the 'f SPACE bar will stop and undo the operation, and pressing ESCAPE will finish the fill at the current position.
Even when you have given your jf brush perspective, you can still
• f edit the Perspective settmgs box without cancelling any
PAD IT OUT Once you have an image os a brush, you can manipulate it in 3D space with simple key presses. Selecting the Do option from the Perspective menu (or Enter on the keypad) presents you with your brush on screen, outlined Py a ghost of its rectangular boundary, and a crosshair which marks the centre of the perspective world.
The brush’s apparent perspective is changed by using the numeric keypad. Once you begin to alter the brush, the three figures printed on the menu strip begin to show the degree to w'hich The brush is being rotated in X. Y and Z space.
As you edit any of the Perspective angles.
Your ghosted brush will move accorcmgly on screen. At any time you can move your brush ghost around the screen with the mouse, and see in outline how it will be printed relative to the centre point - it will be different wherever you place it.
QfpJtD The most under used feature of Perspective I've found is viewpoint
* f change. Pressing Shift and or Shift and keys . Or Shift ' *
and Shift ¦ '.
Effectively moves you closer or further away from youf brush in 3D space. This is great for effectively re sizing heavily angled brushes which tend to have parts of themselves hanging off the actual screen.
ALIAS - PRO OR ANTI?
It is possible, and sometimes vital, lo control how the brush is painted on screen during perspective draw, in Dpaint III the Perspective's settings requester has three options for anti-aliasing: none, low and high.
Okay, but who needs it. And what's in it for you? Anti aliasing is a computer technique tor fooling the eye (another one!) By trying to mask the jagged edges which are bound to occur when lines are drawn at an angle on low res screens. It does this by finding an intermediate colour between the edge of our brush and the background, and filling in the saw tooth jagglies. So who needs it? Anyone who cares about the look of their finished work’ The cne problem rs speed. Having the anti alias setting on high (the preferred option) results in the processor taking up much more time to calculate the
new image. But it is worth it. In Dpaint IV, the anti alias function is independent of perspective, but is still as useful (access it via the Effect menu).
L!i I li I:' !:11C! K i :i i ig ;.j-l ™ ?r three Anti-aliasing produces the finest T flU results when there is a good range of colours tor it to work with. If you get poor results the first time, try treeing up three colours, and giving them a range Slightly lighter and darker than the main brush edge colour ana the background.
FILLING IN THE GAPS One of the in built effects offered by Dpaint is the ability to fill the screen with the current brush using your perspective settings. This is an ideal way of creating that other great 3D artistic cor. The vanishing point - thiis mimics the way straight lines look as though they meet somewhere off into the distance (like a long, straight road, or railway lines). In fact, the perspective centre in Dpaint is the vanish ing point.
Provided you have selected an X rotation (that is. Leaned the brush back into the screen) and your centre point is roughly in the centre of the screen, then filling the screen will force the brush to be painted repeatedly os if it went on endlessly into infinity.
To avoid any unwanted back- ground colours acting as spacers in your symmetrical brush fills, when clipping them out make sure the brush crosshairs are actually on the edge pixels, and not outside them.
Pill screen isn't the only option open to you with perspective defined. Dpaint allows any shape regular or custom - to be filled with the current brush in the chosen perspective setting This feature is accessed through the Fill requester, and although not massively PICTURE A DIMENSION Getting a real-life object looking anything near believable In a 30 environment Is one of the great stumbling blocks for any kind of artist. But Dpaint gives you the edge over ordinary methods with its ability to tame perspective.
Take a simple object such as a tumbler.
Normally you would draw two ellipses for the mouth and base, then join them. But how do you get the right position for them?
What does a glass really look like from above? You don't really need to know. Seen directly from above, both top and base are circles, and by holding down SHIFT and drawing an open circle in Dpaint. A perfectly proportioned circle can be drawn.
By cutting this out as a brush we can view It from any angle after selecting Perspective Do from the pull-down menu.
By rotating the circle 60 degrees in the X plane (tilting It backwards In effect) you turn it Into an ellipse, and you know It's bound to be graphically correct. Creating the base is a simple matter of adding distance between you and the brush in space by pressing the Shift ' 8‘ key combination. The top and bottom of the tumbler are joined by straight lines, and the liquid is added using different values of blue. If you look at the straw, you'll notice that after it enters the liquid its image is refracted - bent out of true by the cffocts of light passing through the densor liquid. It's a
little touch, but after going to the trouble of getting the glass right, you don't want to spoil the Illusion.
Finally the shadow: the whole image - glass, liquid and straw - were picked up as a brush and changed to black by selecting Colour from tho Modo monu (key F2); by calling on Perspective again and tilting the X piano back to 135 degroes. The foreshortened shadow effect was created and pasted down.
Useful, it gives you the chance to localise areas of depth filling without having to wait for the entire screen to be drawn (which can take several minutes if high anti aliasing is selected).
GRID LOCK When you’re working with a number of differ ent brushes, each having its own rotation val ues, it can be a real pom to try to position them accurately m relation to each other.
Help is at hand with the Perspective grid requester (not to be confused with Dpaint's general grid function, which is accessed either from the tool menu or by Dressing G).
When you select PerspectiveXsettings in Dpaint III, you have the option ot entering val ues in X. Y and Z spacing boxes.
Once set. Your brush will snap to this invisible 3D grid regardless of the rotation you specify on the keypad. And as scon as Perspective keys made simple. It really is worth working out what they do to speed your work along.
PERSPECTIVE KEYPAD INFO NUMERIC KEYPAD Enter • toggles Perspective mode on or off Keys 7 and B - Rotate around the X axis 9 resets X) Keys 4 and 5 * Rotate around the Y axis (6 resets Y) Keys 1 and 2 - Rotate around the Z axis (3 resets ZJ Key 0 ¦ Reset all angles to zero Key . (full stop) - Reset centre point Key * (minus) - nil screen (Escape halts. Space aborts) Shift 9 - fix X axis Shift 6 - Fix Y axis Shift 3 Fix Z axis ENTER - enter or leavo perspective mode OTHER KEYS Shift and any rotation key will rotate the brush by the angle specified In Angle Set In the Perspective requester box.
Keys ; (semi colon) and - Moves the brush along Its fixed axis In a direction perpendicular to Its plane.
Shift @ and Shift Increase the fixed axis movement In large Increments.
Ctrl * Fixes the Y axis to let you move tho brush In the Z and X directions.
(backslash) - Acts as a toggle for the Angle position display on the menu bar.
Shift and Shift move your viewpoint nearer or further from the brush.
R! : Ir! F3 i-.S 1.1 l-i part three you pick up a brush, the program sets these co-ordinates to the coordinates of the brush until you change them.
Another useful feature of the Perspective requester is Angle Step: the value you enter in here defines the pre set amount of rotation which will be applied to your brush when you use the keypad Shift key option Pressing Shift and a keypad figure responsible for rotating your brush in space will tilt the brush by the angle step - default is 90 degrees).
IN USE Perspective effects take all the mystery out of getting the real world right. When used with digitised images they provide almost profes sional effects, letting you spin and rotate easily recognisable images in space. But as an aid to hand drawn Images. Dpaint'$ perspective takes a lot of the pom away. Simple everyday objects such as tumblers or box- shapes (TVs. Computers and so on) can be drawn pe'fectly by taking advantage of 3D tools. What could take on ordinary artist ages to create can be drawn in minutes.
And while Dpaint doesn't pretend to do all the work - after all. M's not a dedicated 3D modeller - it gives you the power to create real objects from many angles with just a littie effort. Take the Interior of a room for instance. All you need do for a three-wall view is create a rectangle with the wallpaper of your choice, and use this as a brush for the basis of each of the walls, tilling the view to Getting a real-life object looking nnywhero near believable in a 3D environment U a tricky buat- nuss, but Dpaint can give you tho edge.
Represent the real world. The lloor. Loo. Can be drawn as a rectangle, with any kind of tile or carpet pattern you care for. Then foreshortened using Perspective so it saves you hours of guesswork - and probably ultimate dissatisfaction.
Simple text, when anti aliased, can be given a dramatic impact by positioning it in 3D space: from Star Wars recession, where the words disappear into the screen, to acute perspective which emphasises the massiveness of the letters, these techniques will give your work a leal edge over standard techniques.
Given that the most-Lsed mode in Deluxe Paint is low resolution, it's a miracle what can he achieved with just 32 colours. It may sound a lot - until you try to create something using shades and shadows when the palette disappears faster than gatecrashers at a Mike Tyson party. But colour is what visual impact is all about: it creates moods and realism in artwork, so A SPLASH OF COLOUR Peter Lee gets ready to paint the town red as he takes a look at Dpainf s confounding colour capabilities.
VI being able to control it in Dpaint is one of the essen ""I tial stepping stones to get A L m tin the mosl 0ul of Ihe pro jfl gram. It may seem blindingly obvious, but pinning down just how to manage and master the palette is another big stepping stone towards making your work more professional.
IN LIVING COLOUR Low resolution mode is a feature of the Amiga, not of Deluxe Paint. Memory and display limitations mean that the maximum colours on screen at any one time is 32. A special exception to this is Halfbrite mode, where your original palette of 32 is doubled by some clever display dodges. Clever yes - but don't be fooled into thinking you have G*1 colours to change and edit as you like, because the second half of the palette is merely a dimmer reflection of the first 32 colours. So if you edit one of the original colours in the palette, its dull twin in the sec ond bank of 32 co
ours will change too.
Sounds like a good idea gone wrong I know, but really Halfbrite comes into its own when you need realistic shadows in your work. By using Halfbrite as the fill option it's possible to create terrific lighting effects in your work.
And the orograrn takes care of everything for you - when the halfbrite fill option is active, it will replace the existing palette with the hall brite values of the colour underneath to give a realistic display of light and shade.
To un nalfbrite an area, simply use a '"ill tool in halfbrite fill mode with the right mouse button clicked.
PART This won't affect any of the stardard 32 colours on screen, so your work keeos its integrity.
Iii w HI HI H13! :i l.i l:i I:: i.:il MM
r. .} W'BTO'v-v: PART FOUR ' .
(DPaint Wonly} If you have a Y jy HAM image which you want to 'Is convert to a more standard format, then by changing the screen format to 64 colours rather than the standard 32. Dpaint will have a wider range to work with, and make a much better stab at interpreting the HAM palette.
HIGHER AND HIGHER The higher the resolution, the fewer the colours available in Dpaint. This is not a problem at times when colour isn't important. For instance, it you are designing video titles you want the crispest display possible, and will probably need to use only half a dozen colours or so. You can either set the screen mode and number of colours at the start up screen, or do it once the program is running by accessing the Screen Format pull down menu. If you have a drawing already on screen and you change to another mode, the program will re-compute the pa ette. And even try to fit
the current image into the new screen size if you agree. But beware - you will lose any custom brush or animation you might have in memory once the mode has changed.
PAINT IT Editing colours is simplicity itself in Dpaint III.
But more irregular in Dpaint IV where a special colour requester appears based on a HAM palette. (No, it's not based on your current screen format). This has the advantage of giving access to all the HAM mode's 4096 colours for mixing, but is slow at times and a little disconcerting to anyone familiar with the Dpaint ill requester. To call up the colour con trol, either press P on the keyboard, or right click the light mouse button in the area on the tool palette which shows the current pen and background colours. Taking Dpaint III first, colour selection can be made in any of two ways:
click on the colour in the requester or click on an existing colour on screen. Now by altering the slider controls under the head irg RGB. You can increase or decrease the amount of Red, Blue or Green in the selected colour. Similarly alter ng sliders under HSV controls Hue, Saturation and Value settings.
And while RGB editing is intuitive for the most part. HSV can be hard to understand. Hue cnanges the colour, ranging through the avail able palette: Saturation decreases the strength of colour - from. Say. Dark green to pale lime, and Value alters the luminosity - effectively, the brightness - of the colour.
Palette & mixer.
Dpxlnt IV ¦ fill inAjilt ¦ ' -i attUIN ? | M'J Hixincr a»«a , At*or I frun a rtvrv up narktt UisylAV.
Thv vhief lilff crciiuv thp noluiir vpque*t*«rs la that DPIV has niHinx .ire.x in Ktnch you can hi end go Lam** H3 Interactively.
More sophisticated than its Dpaint III counterpart. The Dpaint IV palette requester also sports a mixing area to the right, where colours from the palette can bo blended.
HOME ON THE RANGE Perhaps the most potent control on the palette requester is Range. The reason for this is that for almost all applications a sequence of similar colours will be of terrific benefit. Take something simple like a leaf; to realistically represent one you will need at least four versions of green - for shadows, highlights and detail. And the way to get just the right shades is to define the lightest high light, and four cells away on the palette box.
The darkest green shadow. In Dpaint III.
Here's what to do next: with either colour of ?ne currently active cell, click on Range; when the pomter changes to the word to', click on the other extreme of green. In DP,lint IV colour ranges have beer separated from the colour requester, and can be accessed via the colour menu. Colour selection is handled differently, and you can create ranges much more intuitively by clicking on a palette colour, then positioning the bead of colour you pick up somewhere on the range bar (the top dotted row). Up to eight ranges can be created in this way. And are numbered by a sliding counter at top left
of the requester.
To save time, you can select YS}U colours from Dpaint Ivs palette 'Is by pressing the square bracket keys when a bead of colour is active on the pointer This cycles through all available colours.
Shift and a square bracket toggles the back ground colour too.
To quickly define a range of shadows and highlights define either the lightest or darkest value of your mam colour from the palette requester, then use the Copy command to place a duplicate m a cell some distance away. Now by editing the Value slider you can either darken or lighten the colour without having to go all through the colour definition process again.
BELLS AND WHISTLES Dpaint Ivs ability to save and load individual palettes is very useful, but users of the older version can just as easily mimic this function I find trie quickest way to 'save' palette information in Dpamt III is to cut out and save a small finish from the screen whose palette I want to keep. Then when you want to revert to that palette, you simply re load the brush iwhich takes up very little disk space) and use 'he Picture Change Colour Use Brush palette menu option. Dpaint Ivs colour sourc trg is more sophisticated than this, because of the Arrange Palette function.
This is accessed through the Colour Palette Arrange menu, and allows you to create row upon row of alternative palettes (again through HAM trickery - you can still only have 32 colours for drawing in a low resolution palette). There are 256 colours in a colour set. And you can define ranges here, and swap or delete colours. This is particularly useful in HAM.
And can help you get just the right shade in more limited palette environments. In effect you can organise colours into several ranges to hit on the right colour, then copy that one colour into the current working palette. An alternative in Dpaint IV is to use the colour mixer, which is the wide grey area to the right of the palette requester. Painting in this doo dling area with one colour then adding another produces interesting mixes and blends, areas of which can be chosen as a current colour. You may find this very haphazard, but it does duplicate a function found on very expensive
computer graphic workstations, and it is a pretty clever way of giving you instant access to all 4096 colours at once.
Some other IFF paint and display ?programs hit problems with 'Is Dpaint IV images which have Colour Set information saved along with them. The only solution - until third-party programmers upgrade their software - is to ensure that if you are using other art packages with your Dpaint Ivimages, the colour sets are not defined.
ON YER BIKE!
Colour cycling is a cheap and cheedul way to give some semblance of movement to other wise static single screens. Dpaint achieves this by allowing you to define a range of colours - from two to the whole palette if needs be - which it will then cycle through at whatever speed you choose. Cycling simply means replacing one colour with the next one m the palette; if. For example, you had just two colours in a range, say black and white, and had anything drawn on screen n black, with colour cycl ng enabled the object would T3*WW« | :| I :i 13 p3 ni r:i Ei hit:; I lit tyUri ISWHKv: PART FOUR
COLOUR CYCLING Colour cycling In both Dpaint III and Dpaint IV Is activated by pressing the TAB key. And once running, the program will cycle throu i any colours already defined as a range. Although each version of the program handles range definitions in a different way. As far as cycling goes things are Identical. The speed of colour cycling is vital to realistic motion, though you may find some compromises have to be made because there is a limit to how fast Dpaint can shunt colours around. One often neglected aspect of cycling Is the ability to make a colour ’Invisible'. By making a
colour (or several for that matter) in the palette the same colour as the background, then the object which uses that colour will disappear from the screen for part of the cycle. This is important for objects wfth dynamic movement; take a falling bail for instance.
Here's a simple example to show you the potential; Use black as the background colour, and define a range of six colours. Make the first the colour of your ball, and the remaining five black. Using the largest irvbuitt round brush, and starting with the first of the six colours in the range, paint one brush stroke on screen. Paint the next 'ball' some way below the first using the second colour in the range. As it's black, you won't be able to see anything - but it IS there, as you'll find out; continue until you have a vertical line of balls, ending wfth the final colour of the range.
Pressing TAB will now set the hall on Its downward path; pretty sad as Amiga art goes - but it can be the building block to some wonderfully inventive cycling effects. Imagine defining a range of 12 colours and having the ball bounce back up again. In- between the downwardcycling brushes.
More often than not you will find the whole palette starts to cycle like a mad hatter when all you want is your range of colours to do the business. In this case you have to define dummy ranges, each of Just one colour, so only the colours you want are cycled. Simply define the extra unwanted ranges in the same way as the real one. But use the same colour (outside your range) as both the To and From colour. Not content wtth the wonders of Dpaint Ilfs cycling effects, Dpaint IV has its own superior version - one which allows you to cycle any ONE colour in the palette. If this were the Middle
Ages the programmers would probably be burnt as witches, because this feature Is a piece of artistic wizardry second to none.
To get the single colour cycle to work you first of all open up the Ranges requester and choose a colour from your current palette as the starting point, placing it on the left of the range definition bar.
Selecting another colour and placing it to the right, then activating Show creates the familiar spread of colours which wo came across in our Fill tutorial. And although the Shown range doesn't reflect the current palette - it Is a best option' gradient showing all available colours In the palette It does allow us to pick a displayed colour which is NOT In the current palette. Sounds a little confusing I know, but the little palette window which opens up in Dpaint Ivgives you what amounts to a window onto ail the Amiga's colours, regardless of your screen resolution, and the constraints that
puts on the available palette. Pressing the comma key on the keyboard changes the cursor to the eye-dropper cursor, which picks any colour on screen and makes that the current colour. By picking up a colour in the gradient display (which shows ALL available Amiga colours, remember), and placing it over the second colour you put on the range definition bar. You have defined a range which will cycle on Just one colour, leaving your original paiette unaffected. And if any part of the new range is the same colour as the background, then the single colour will be invisible for a portion of the
cycle. This lends Itself to some excellent neon stroboscopic effects.
You can tell which colours on the range bar are currently in the paiette. Because they have black dot under them.
Colour j cycl insr on the water fifi ues the i11usion that it is falling :Wider- spaced neap the botton, it also gives a f eel insf of nonontun.
Alternate between being coloured black and white.
Not only is colour cycling cute, it's a doddle to set uo and gives some terrific single-screen effects. From bouncing balls to running water, colour cycling can bring an added touch of realism to your work. In an earlier article on fills, we covered the range requester, which allows you to define any number of colours as a range: and as well as being the fill range, they also automatically become a coiourcycle range too. Cycling is rather like a train and carriages on an endless load, always in the same order, but in different locations. You can use colour cycling in two main ways - for
dynamic movement, such as a ball falling, or subtle suggestions of animation, like water shimme'ing or flames flickering.
When cycling ik activated in this image, the water plummets into the pool. This is achieved by drawing the water In colour cycle mode (key F7) using a water-shaped brush (!). The effects of gravity are simulated by having brush strokes further apart near the bottom of the fall, where the water has lost some of its liveliness. The place whore the water hits the pool was created using the snmo cycled colours as the fall, but with a simple round brush; afterwards Smoothing created the misty apppearance, which billows when cycling is turned on.
It may seem odd to focus on Text in a series about what is possibly the world s hottest home graphics package. But look around - as far computer art in the nineties is concerned, a picture may be worth a thou sand words, but you sure as hell need the words ol some point... In almost any application where you would use Deluxe Paint to create screen images, there's bound to be an opening for skilfully used text. Even if your sole aim in life is to construct a slideshow demo of your computer art. Who gets the credit if you don't include a title or end credit screen? If you look at any kind
of demo, the creators fall over themselves to say who did what, and usually in the brightest and loudest way possible. One interesting use of Dpaint you may not have considered is as a kind of quick and easy graphic word-processor; its ability to d splay hundreds of type-styles in many sizes alongside graphic images means you can create handbills, invitations and adverts. Okay, it may sound like Blue Peter’s version of desktop publishing, but if you don't have copies of Page stream or Wordsworth or whatever, you make do with what's to hand, right? Text handling in Dpaint is probably one of the
easiest functions in the program, so after a brief summary of what requester lives where, we’ll be concentrating on how to get the most out of text once it's written.
THE WRITE STUFF PART Is it a word processor, a database or a DTP program?
Nope it’s just Deluxe Paint which can imitate all this expensive software. How? Easy, says penny-pinching Peter Lee, who takes a look at staying on the write side of Text ... INSERTING TEXT You can't miss the text requester on the Dpaint toolbox: it's a big letter A (bit of a giveaway that): Clicking on the icon with the left mouse button changes the cursor to a text insertion bar. So that you can begin to type anywhere on screen where you click the cursor. Using the right button to click on the A icon opens up a requester which lists all the currently available fonts, the sizes they come
in. And a Show button. Activating Show will display the currently selected font and size; the font can be bolded, italicised or underlined by activating the appropriately labelled buttons. There - said it was easy! There is an upbeat side to font loading, and that's ColorText fonts. These are specially designed typefaces which include colour information in their definition. They are usually highly stylised - for instance wooden blocks, stained glass and chrome fonts are available - and demand their own palette changes to work.
Before Dpaint can load one of these forts, a small program called ColorText, which comes with Dpaint IV, has to be run (NOTE - Workbench 2 users already have access to ColorText).
While ColorText fonts are very useful, it can be a bind to load them in after you’ve started a drawing and then find the palette needs to be altered to accommodate their true colours. In this case, switch to the spare screen, load the ColorText font with its own pafette and type your text. Now cut cut the text as a brush, swap to your drawing screen and restore its palette (it will have been altered when you BILLS OF FARE T* " 37a TTY2 yrrpjrlTiiVa loaded the text colours). Obviously your coloured text will look strange now, but by using Dpainis Remap colour option, the pro gram will try' and
match the brush’s colour to the current palette. If this isn’t an overwhelming success, try and frnd a few spare colours which you can use in the palette to simulate the colour of me ColorTexi, and try the procedure again. In HAM mode, ihis won't be a problem. And as always the answer is to plan your work and needs before hand as much as possible so you don't gel caught in the trap to begin with.
The lext tutorial is an ideal way of recapping previous tips and examples, because let's face it. Raw text on screen is pretty grizzly: we need to use the power of Dpamt's graphics abilities to make it eye-catching.
"background fixes" Everyone makes mistakes: peet the paint off many an old master (or even his paintings!)
And you'll see a blunder. When someone like Leonardo made a mistake, they'd often paint ovor it. When Picasso made one. He sold it.
But Amiga artists can preserve their work from errors by a process called Background fixing. The feature is available from the Effect pull down menu: by choosing Background fix.
Whatever is on screen at the time is safe from any mistakes. You can paint In all the normal modes, edit the picture, and generally try things out. And the beauty of it is that if you don't iike what you've done, you can just erase any part of your work added after the fixing operation. Even clearing the screen will only remove the later brush work. Another useful feature of background fixing allows you to add an item to the screen, and then cut just that object out as a brush Ignoring the fixed background as If it wasn't there. By Fixing, drawing and editing, then re-Flxing, you can complete
tricky stages of your artwork piece by piece, without having to save too often to safeguard against mistakes.
Sending out Invitations has never been simpler (unless you profor boring hand-written things).
You can either send your Amiga pals a disk containing the invite or, using our tips, shanghai Dpaint as a DTP package and print out your work to incorporate the text and graphics.
Until I mentioned it at the start of this chap ter. It may never have crossed your mind to use Dpaint as a DTP simulator. It still may not - Out believe me it's possible to do some really neat handbills using nothing Cut Dpaint.
A few sketchy lines, and the humblest of dot matrix printouts. I've had plenty of success with letterheads, address labels, invitations and the like. I've even used Dpaint to draw up holiday schedules, calendars, and line graphs to illustrate manuals.
There are countless clip art disks available, both commercially and ic public domain. Clip art is the term given to drawings or images someone else has done, and has made available to a wider audience - like you and me. These are usually tn black and white so are ideally suit ed to DTP needs, and they can liven up the saddest ad or invitation. As far as letterheads go. I'm not saying you should write a whole fetter to someone using Dpaint - I'm a fan of the program, but I know a sore thumb when I hit it with a hammer; it's just not worth the aggravation. But putting your address on the top of
a few dozen sheets of good quality (maybe coloured) A4 paper is a different matter. Look at it this way - you can have your name printed in grand style in the centre at Ml 'EJ3 $ 9 g Mg lil M!:! Vi hi I:; t:» i: J -U 'WTTTWJW “ part five ..'MilMiM TRICKS WITH TEXT ] the top of the page, with perhaps a graphic or company logo. Then after printing it out. You can re feed it into the printer after you've composed a regular letter using a normal, basic word processor which uses the printer's standard typeface, Address labels for parcels are another quick and effective way of using Dpamt's
More of a warning really.... I have on pson clo! Malfl* ar,d a Canon bubble jet printer. The Epson does a lovely job using the old ribbon method, but by its nature the Canon ink looks like mascara on a crying woman once its wet. And as we get more than our share of ramfoll I quickly discovered that sending packages addressed with bubble jet labels was to be avoided... Using Dpaint and text as an information provide' shouldn't seeni so far fetched now.
But wait - there's more. DTP and video work are my main preoccupations, and this has probably shown in the emphasis I've been giving to simple, powerful images. But there's more to life than this; you can use Dpaint for any kind of presentation - from school projects to business applications.You can create book covers of your own by having a wide MORE IDEAS St one found tho missmg girt alright.. ... found her DeAbi Striking visuals but boring text? Not on the Amiga - If you can call on some clover tricks of the trade. Tako this as an example
- hollow text in which a large picture is held.
In its own right it's striking enough, but once you know how to do it. You can Incorporate the tochnlque into animations, or use different Images inside each letter. Creating it is simplo: First of all. Load in the Image you intend to use. So that it's readily available, and tho colour palette is set. Now switch to the spare screen (keyboard j) and enter your text. You either need a large font slzo to begin with, or enlarge a text brush.
Using a dlfforent colour from the actual text colour, outline the text brush (keyboard o).
Call up the Stencil requester now, and make the text colour the only unprotected one.
And activate the stencil. Switch to the picture screen, and cut out the image as a brush, and move back to the text screen.
You will sec that the picture only peeps through tho text colour which Is unprotected by the still-active stoncil. You can position the picture 'behind' the hollow text to suit yourself now. De-activate the stencil and the job's done.
Page, and then printing out horizontally. I've made a good stab at creating cartoons in Dpaint too: initially as a screen display book.
THE AMIGA FRINGE When using text brushes - or any other hind for that matter - In Hold and Modify mode, one of the bugbears Is fringing. This can occur when you move a brush around, and you see multi-coloured streaks down the edges. This Is a feature of HAM. And not Dpaint. Which does its level best to get the most out of this quirky mode. The problem occurs If your brush uses colours other than those In the main palette of 16 (tho set labelled ’a' In the colour menu}: one way around this - but one which tends to slow brush movement around - is to activate FastAdjust from the Prefs menu. This
makes Dpaint try and adjust adjacent colours so that fringing Is minimised.
NOTE If you load in a previously saved 32 colour or 64 colour brush into an existing HAM screen, the brush's colours will be automatically remapped to avoid fringing problems. You can over ride this, though, because the brush's palette is remembered, and can be Invoked using the Use Brush Palette menu option found under Palette.
But then as hard copy by printing out the images. Here again, text figures prominently - with speech bubbles, sound effects used to maximum effect. Creating maps in Dpaint is really straightforward, with the small in built Topaz fort ideal for labelling places of interest (or not. If you live near me...), Graphs and charts all need textual information, and while Dpaint is capable of some superb special effects, as I've hopefully demonstrated, in a business environment it's best to go for clean cut grey-suited simplicity.
While Dpaint will never replace ‘Tflfllj dedicated DTP packages, you can Vis still create workmanlike newsletters or illustrated indexes of your collections - a sort of graphic database which would normal ly cost loadsamoney; remember that Dpaint III and Whas an animation facility (which, you'll be glad to know, we'll be covering in microscopic depth later), consisting of frames. There is absolutely no reason why you should simply save animations in an Anim file. Provided your disk storage and memory allowed, you could create an illustrated record, stamp or coin catalogue ot any number of
frames, and look at each one to update it whenever you loaded in the Arum file. You can print out frames individually too ' STRAIGHT TALKING * The number of fonts available to users is over whelming; and sometimes you'll buy a disk full only to find that 801- are useless - Klingon script, knitted yoghurt boldface or the like. But remember that once text Is entered you can Impose all the clever brush manipulation tools on It. Your lines of text, once cut out as a brush, can be stretched, sheared, bent and used to fill alt kinds of weird shapes.
Imagine a lazy cat snoozing along the wall of text You can't get a font which fits like that - so basically, you create ft. I loaded in the largest font I hod. Then cut out tho text as a brush: using the Stretch brush option I placed the ghosted brush under the cat's image, and stretched it so it fitted perfectly. You could also draw tho shape you want to fin. And use the nil requester's BRUSH option to have the program spread the text brush out to the area you've defined. This sometimes works okay, but I prefer the interactive nature of the brush stretch, because you can actually see how
the text will look as It's being pulled and pushed.
The palette for the cat left no scope at ad tor antialiasing the , which through stretching had the annoying jagglies around the edges. The answer was a compromise - but it fools the eye sufficiently. I picked intermediate colours to outline the stretched text brush manually (keyboard o).
And this diverts the eye from the problem.
Though there were lots of Improvements to the fourth version of Deluxe Paint, the biggest thrill for most users was the inclusion of HAM painting. This is because HAM (Hold and Modify) mode allows you to use any of the Amiga's 4096 dis playable colours on screen at once. Electronic Arts weren't the first to master this tricky obstacle - but by managing to cleverly absorb HAM into their existing Dpaint structure they were guaranteed to maintain the loyalty of users who cut their teeth on this legendary graphics software.
HAM T Dpaint 4 provided many new useful features. Perhaps the most important, though, was the introduction of HAM mode. Now you can display 4096 colours on screen at once.
Bui it's one thing to have HAM. And another to make it work to your advantage. Tins isn't a problem with Dpaint; HAM drawing rivals such as the excellent PhotonPaint or gifted SpectaColour were there first, and being dedicated to this mother of all modes they managed to work miracles. But the shortcomings are all too apparent.
Speed is one drawback. On a regular Amiga, shifting over 4.000 colours around in 6 bit planes makes a Post Office queue seem fast.
And then there’s the (ringing. Sure, you can try to minimise the problem of stray edge colours forming a pattern on the picture. But if you're drawing a subtle work of art on your Amiga, the Jast thing you need is a Rave show of psychedelic co ours.
So who needs HAM with all this pain?
Anyone interested in the subtleties and challenge offered by such a vast palette, but par Ocularly when you are working with digitised images. Colour digitisers can capture images in HAM mode, and often you will want to incorporate them into your own work, or edit them.
In either case HAM. With all its shortcomings, is better than nothing. The difference between images captured in any other regular Amiga mode and HAM are all too apparent. Try converting a 4096 colour picture to 32 colours, or even hallbnte mode (with its 64 colours), and see the degradation of it all... IN PRACTICE Despite the vast range of colours at your disposal. The most important are the first 16. Os shown in the palette toolbox labelled a , These are the master hues, and are the most flexible. Vou lJ already be familiar with preplanning and how it s important to get your palette
right before you start and nowhere is this more important than in HAM mode. If you intend to do any precision editing, pixel by pixel, then you must think ahead and give the FEEL THE POWER Attention ah you power-users out there: If you have enough memory then this tip's for you. I have fitted out my A2G00 with loadsa RAM. And like to make the best use of it by multi-tasking several programs at once.
There is absolutely no reason why you can't have Dpaint IV running concurrently with itself. What's the point. I can hear you ask?
Well as f mentioned HAM mode is sloooow.
Even when it comes to easy-peasy jobs such as text printing, or simple image rotation.
But if you run Dpaint in low resolution at the same time as Dpaint In HAM mode, you can easily switch between the programs and, for Instance, write your text in 32 colour mode, performing any outlining or rotation there.
Save the image as a brush to either RAM (if you have plenty) or disk, then (oad it back Into the HAM version of Dpaint. It may sound convoluted, but I've found that It Is quicker than having the HAM mode do the work from scratch, and it gives you something to do instead of waiting around.
a palette the colours you will be concern bating on. Tali order, but one which will save a lot of f'inging pain later on.
Editing the palette in HAM mode is similar to other Dpaint IV modes, except there are more colours you can access. Pressing P on the keyboard, or right-clicking the foreground colour box in the toolbox brings up the colour requester at tne bottom of the screen.
Selecting any of the colours *n the squares activates it. And edits can be made by sliding the control panel to the left. Initially this allows changes in the Red. Green and Blue components of the chosen colour. But by clicking on the word RGB you change the emphasis to Hue Saturation and Value. We covered the functions of these controls in our tutorial on Colour. The condensed Readers’ Digest definition is that RGB alters the van ous colour combinations which go to make up the colour, while HSV alter tiie actual colour, its concentration and brightness.
The reason why the first 16 colours are so vital is that they are the only ones which car be painted on screen without affecting any other adjacent colours; all other 4080 colours are displayed on screen by the Amiga copying the colour of the pixel to the left of it and modifying its RGB content. One snag is that HAM can only change one of the RGB attributes per pixel, so it could take up to three pixels lor the colour you want to be displayed correctly. And the wicked light show which sometimes happens in between start and end pixels is what sometimes causes fringing. Not a pretty sight,
but one which can be minimised by either going for a more suitable colour |one which doesn't take 3 pixels for the transformation) or using one of the first 16 colours. Another little snag with this mode is that if you are painting on screen with a non a palette colour, then you stand a good (or bad!) Chance of affecting the colour to the right of where you're painting as well as to the left. This is because the program has to recompute the colour to the right from the colour you've just put down on top.
You may find that when using cjfcllC tools which display lines on screen l*l (brush, rectangle draw etc.) that the actual tool lines cause irritating fnngirg (or ramping as the techies call it); in this case you can often cut down on the effect by activating Fast Feedback from the Preferences pull down menu. This disregards whatever brush you have selected, and instead works with pixel-thick lines. Even so. Some fringing may occur, but it will not be as grotesque as if you were using a custom or in built brush.
PAIN BARRIER Enough pain, now for some gain. The inherent glory of using Dpaint's HAM mode is in the drawing manipulation the program offers.
From stunning brush effects and perspective control. Dpaint actually makes HAM worthwhile in spite of its annoyances. You can do everything in HAM which you can in standard modes, which is a hell of a lot. OK. It's slower
- even a screen clear lakes seconds - but you gain the kind of
subt eties which just aren't available on any other home
computer at this kind of price.
This does is to tell Dpaint to select your chosen colour, plus any other colours whose RGB attributes lay within the tolerance level you set. In this way you can hope to hit a range of EDIT AND BE DAMNED Y- While translucency works after a fashion in other modes, it can only come into its own m HAM. .vhere the palette gives the program the chance to find the optimum palette for the transparency value selected. The same is true for tinting existing images, and using either facility it's possible to colourise grey scale images. In practical terms this gives owners of cheap and cheerful black
and white digitis ers the benefits of capturing a crisp 16 colour grey scale image, then adding lifelike colour via Dpaint.
CUT IT OUT One of the few areas where Dpaint has to handle graphic manipulation differently is in Stencilling. In less fraught modes this is hart died with sophistication; point to a colour in the palette or on screen and protect it. Life in HAM is not that easy, though the Stencil requester is greatly simpliFiea. The main control you now have is to give a tolerance value based on the currently selected colour. What Editing colours in HAM mode can make Nightmare on Elm Street took like a fairy tale. And for once Dpaint IV doesn't givo you the kind of finesse you find in other drawing modes.
Take the example ot wanting to change a particular colour In your image - say from dark green to light green.
In any other mode you can simply call up the palette requester and amend the RGB values to suit. But. Unless you'ro dealing with the first 16 colours of the HAM palette, this just won't work in HAM because the remainder of the colours aren’t fixed by the palette. There is a way around this - slow and pedantic, but It's a way... In the Colour menu there is an option labelled BG- FG.
Simply, when activated, this will swap whatever your current foreground colour is with the current background colour overywhoro on screen. Similarly the adjacent colour menu option BG - FG will work a similar trick, but in addition will make every instance of the background colour chango into the foreground colour as well - a straight swap, if you like.
Colours you need to either protect or remove.
This is great in theory, but in practice you will have to strike a balance between the tolerance level, and the number of colours you protect. Take a range of blues making up a sky scene. Move the tolerance too far and you could include some other colours which you don’t want to select. In this case the best option is trial and error. You can always see which colours are selected for the stencil by clicking on the Show button. This dims the screen image and highlights the colours stencilled. It you have missed out part of your range, you can lock more colours until the ones you needed to
be chosen are all mciud ed. To lock a colour, simply select it from your screen image by left clicking the mouse button while the pointer is on it. Be warned though that this process takes time! In a bid to try and make this shotgun type approach more subtle, Dpntnt offers a fine-tune function in the HAM stencil requester. This useful addition allows you to use the mouse to man ually select colours within your image either to protect or free, regardless of the tolerance level. In this way the process, combining pro tecting and treeing based on tolerances and fine tuning gives you complete
control over the HAM stencil.
REFLECT ON THIS I mentioned reflections earlier - piece of cake for HAM mode. These can be simple mirror surface images, or more complex contouied shapes which then take on some of the mystery of ray traced objects. By now you should be familiar with brush manipulation, and that’s all you need to know to get a perfect reflection of an object. Take a glass-topped coffee table as an example. There may be fruit, a vase and book on the top. And we need to see their reflection on the surface.
Cut out the objects as they stand, and flip the brush vertically (keyboard y); the colours, however, are too bright for a realistic impression, so we can on Translucency again. By giving the brush a setting of around 60%. When we paste down the image it will have less than half the original intensity, which is about right for an image on smoked glass. You may find your brusn is too large for the amount of table you have drawn. In this case you could make the glass surface an inverted stencil (that means all other colours are protected except the glass colour}, and then paste clown the brush,
leaving the rest of the image untouched.
U i( HBEi 1:1 im iU v'& ..: : :i-.! Mi:!:i‘vv: PART SIX -r.
For more professional reflec tions, try shearing the inverted 'tish slightly before painting it down under the original objects.
PROCESS YOUR IDEAS The process menu gives you access to a wonderful Tint option, which like Translucency will colonse what’s under the colour you are painting with. Tinting colours in HAM mode is mde pendent of your chosen palette: in standard modes you had to be really clever in creating ranges of colours for the program to use when colourising an image. But m HAM any of the 4096 colours is readily available. So as well as effortlessly prnking skintones on a grey digitised image, you can also simulate trans parent things such as liquid or glass. The Process Tint options allow some
startling effects to be created; take mist on a mountain peak for instance, or any reflective object. The mist can be as thick as you like, depending on your translucency settings, it can be a light haze (translucency high) or a thick cloud bank (translucency low), and all you need do is use a filled drawing tool over your image with white selected as your foreground colour. Hue can perform a similar transformation: it doesn’t work at all with greyscale images because they lack any colour saturation at all. The final Process option is Value, which is purpose made for making dark areas
light, and light areas dark, depending on your brush colour.
ANIMATED ANTICS At the heart of Dpaint is one of the most powerful animation systems on a home computer. Peter Lee tells you how to get moving... PUT It's often said that Deluxe Paint is the yardstick by which Amiga art packages are measured. But Dan Silva's visionary graphics program really is in a class of its Own for completeness. This didn't happen overnight. Electronic Arts had - still has - its rivals, but Dpaint only hit top spot with version III. And the reason was the inclusion of animation. It s hard for people who weren’t into Amiga art at the time to realise the great impact
this had - it was like the Berlin wall coming down, opening up vast new areas to be explored. Dpaint has evolved to version IV now (with version V ready for release next year), and has much more animation control than before. But the basics remain intact, and although initially we'll be concentrating on gel ting things moving in Dpaint III, it's all stilt rel evant to DPIV users.
Dpaint needs computer RAM to store its images in as you work on tnem. Your chosen drawing mode dictates how much memory the program needs to store a picture - the higher the resolution, the more memory is needed.
Likewise for the number of colours - the greater the number, the more RAM needed.
When crawing single images this rarely becomes a problem on machines with the minimum of RAM. But for animation work you realty do need as much memory as you can get. Anything less than 1 megabyte of RAM will prevent you from creating lengthy or com plex an mations. And even then you may find a meg just too restricting. So once again you have to balance your artistic hopes with the harsh realities of life right from the word go: do you want a high resolution animation with fewer frames, or will tow res do the job? It's a vital question because you can t switch resolutions after you ve done
an animation - all your work will be lost. Another factor in determining the number of frames is how complex your screen animations are. If lots of things are moving then Dpaint will have to store more information, which leads to bigger RAM overheads. This is because the program saves the differences between animation frames rather than the whole frame.
To minimise storage overheads on an animation, try to keep the background static.
There is a trick to effectively change the number of colours 'IS used in an animation. Usually this will be because you will get halfway through a project and find your spinning, whizzing masterpiece doesn't have enough frames left to finish off your movement. If you save your cur rent animation frames as an aninvbrush. Then switch to a mode with fewer colours so you can load in your aninvbrush into the new screen. It may take a few tweaks to get the colours looking right, but it's a dodge to bear in mind for those tight corners. If in the process you decide to change resolutions as
well, that will work too - but your anim brushes will be either condensed or expanded, depending on whether you've increased or lowered resolution.
DOWN TO BUSINESS When you start Dpaint, it defaults to a single drawing screen. To create an animation you need to tell the program how many frames you mtena using, and the way to do this is to pull down the Arum menu, and from the Frames item select Set tt (which is American for set number!). Actually you have an earlier choice which affects the way your animations are stored by the program. When I wrote that Dpaint stores the differences between each frame n its Anim file. 1 was only giving half the picture. If you want, you can have the frames stored in a file of complete screens.
This can take up vast amounts of memory' and disk storage space - it's like saving as many single screens of artwork as you have frames in your animation. So why bother?
Simply because Dpaint doesn't have to do any decompaction as it plays through your sequence it can play them more fluidly. If you want to take advantage of this, access the Amm Method menu option; you will firscJ Compressed and Expanded are the alternatives. Compressed will give you longer animations in memory at the cost of slower play back, increased loading and saving times and the risk of fragmenting your computer's mem ory (which isn't serious; it just means that you could run out of memory sooner than you anticipated). Expanded is the option to go for if you have sufficient RAM for
your animation and want smooth playback.
If you choose expanded, there's T ltf no need to guess how many Is frames your animation will hold. The program calculates how much free RAM you have, and offers the total number of frames you can use in the Frame requester.
FIRST STEPS Dpaint's Move requester can be off-putting at first - it's chock lull ot options. But once you know- what each feature does, you will find it easy to control complex movement. We'll be moving onto that later, but first we need to understand the basic procedures. First things first - you need a custom brush to move SPINNING TOPS From oxperlenco I've found that the three buttons to the right of the main requester
• cause most confusion. People tend to Ignore the two Brush boxes
and the one labelled Cyclic. In practice if you leave them in
their default state you'll still get an animation, but it's
worth taking the time to find out just what they do; one day
you'll need them. Here's how they affect what’s happening on
screen; The two Brush boxes control whether Dpaint rotates the
current brush along the screen axis (which Is the default), or
along the brush's own axis. A tick in either box shows that
it's the brush axis which is being used, and each box refers to
the Distance or Angle settings alongside it.
You can have one. Both, or no boxes ticked. If your brush is a straightforward screen clip, then the boxes will have no effect. The clever stuff starts if you have a brush which you have rotated in perspective. In this case the brush will have its own co-ordinates, and it is these which Dpaint will use to calculate any movements you request. By clicking on the Cyclic box, you tell Dpaint to seamlessly end the brush animation in relation to the brush's starting position; this function means that If you spin a brush around 360 degrees, the final frame is not actually drawn with a 360 degree
turn. If It were, it would be Identical to frame one, and you would have a momentary pause during playback as Identical images were shown.
Instead Dpaint cleverly compensates for the starting position.
Dpaint works out the path of J )U your brush based on its last posi- 'Is tion, which is initially where you clipped it from. You can create a new position quite simply by stamping the image down on screen in the location you want. If there's something on screen already n the place you want the brush to be animated, click Undo immediately after stamping down the brush. If the area is just background colour, stamp the brush down by using the right mouse button.
MOVING THINGS The first row of figures in the Move requester is headed Dist:. And typing values here affect the way your brush moves on the screen. X and Y refer to horizontal and vertical movement respectively, 2 is more complicated, but if you followed our earlier tutorial on perspec live you should remember that’s the imaginary plane which stretches backward’ and forward' from the front of the screen. Giving a minus value in any of tfie Distance options will make your brush move in the opposite direction. To recap: a value of 100 in the X Distance box will move your brush 100 pixels
horizontally across the screen; The same value in the V box moves the brush up. And entering 100 in the 2 box will appear to diminish the brush by moving it hack from your point of view. The identical measurement boxes labelled Angle work similar magic, but they give the X and Y plane depth by allowing 3D rotations to be made. Imagine the effect of using the Y angle as a coin spinning in one spot on its edge on a table, the X angle is like a com being flipped in the air, and the Z angle is like the com rolling along the floor.
You can use any ol these six boxes individual ly or rn conjunction with each other. In this way you can define complex movement paths to rotate brushes as they move across the screen.
UwHTrr- The Dpaint Move requester allows you to choose to animate using tho screen or brush co-ordinates.
The difference is apparent here. If you have altered (he perspective of your brush (lower right) and choose Brush co-ordinates, Dpaint will animate in perspective.
Dpaint lacks a true paih function J jlf for defining complex routes for Is objects. But by building up your ani mation 10 or so frames at a time, then starting the next step where the first one left off, you can create complicated direction changes j r i! Ni l: ! M m !=:! L-:i [-:= [Ju =d PART SEVEN ¦ , '
- (or instance a ball bouncing across all four corners of the
screen. The program will do this automatically for you. As long
as you leave the Go Back button alone (i.e. off).
Dpaint uses as its starting point the screen position where the last orush draw took place.
It takes some fiddly testing to get the position exactly where you want it. But thanks to the Preview option you can watch the projected movement being played out before committing the program to stamping down the animation by clicking on the Draw button.
Ifs sometimes hard to envisage how Dpaint ¦imagines' a 3D world. Here I've represented the effects available in the Move requester's ?ist(ance) and Angle boxes.
QUICK KEYS A QUICK KEYS FOR CONTROLLING ANIMATION.
Note - these keys are on the main keyboard, not the numeric keypad 1 • Move to previous frame 2 • Move to next frame 3 • Go to frame (enter number In requester) 4 ¦ Play animation continuously 5 - Play animation once 6 ¦ Play animation In ping-pong mode (Forward ¦ Back) 7 • Move to previous Anim Brush cell (if anlmbrush defined) 8 - Move to next Anim Brush cell (if animbrush defined) SHIFT AND THE FOLLOWING 1 - Go to first frame 2 - Go to last frame 3 - Go to the frame you last did a 'go to' to 4 - Play animation continuously backwards 5 - Play animation once In reverse order 7 * Go to first
Anim Brush cell (if anlmbrush defined) 8 - Go to last Anim Brush cell (If animbrush defined) OTHER KEYS M - Move requester R * Reverses animation while It Is playing Space bar - Stops animation playing Left arrow - Slows down animation as it plays flight arrow - Speeds up animation as it plays ALT - When used while painting, turns on animpainting.
Mm CU AMIGA ON THE MOVE!
Getting a bit more animated than usual, Peter Lee keeps things moving with his no'frills fills approach, and builds up momentum with ease. The metaphors keep rolling like rock slides too... PART The sheer size of Dpaint's animation options means the road to success is a long one. And if you've kept up so far - nice one! If not. Why not? In our last chapter we looked at simple effects using the move requester. This is Mission Control for automatic animation, and once you're really familiar with it, it'll save you hours of work, and make you look brilliant into the bargain.
Let's pick up from last time, still examining that small, but perfectly formed requester.
Unfortunately. Dpaint lacks a true path function for defining complex routes for objects.
You can't draw a squiggly line, and expect an animated object to follow it (maybe Dpaint V guys?). But by building up your animation 10 or so frames at a lime, then starting the next step where the first one left off, you can create complicated direction changes: for instance a ball bouncing across all four cor ners of the screen. The program will do this semi-automatically lor you, As long as you leave the Go Back button alone (i.e. off).
Dpaini uses as its starting point the screen position where the last brush draw took place. It takes some fiddly testing to get the position exactly where you want it. But thanks to the Preview option you con watch the pro jected movement being played out before committing the program to stamping down the animation by clicking on the Draw button.
Easy does it - the Move requestor allows you to effectively vary the speed of an object at the start and end of its movement. This gives a truer sonso of momentum.
EASY DOES IT Boring physics lesson number one: in the real world objects don't just start moving and keep going at a constant rate. A car. For example, slows down after hitting something, ana likewise a ball loses some of its momentum after colliding with another object. You can actually simulate changes in the speed of an object in two ways with Dpaint - the clumsy way is to create an animation of several sections where the moving object travels different distances in a given number of frames.
For example, an object which ‘falls' -100 Y units in 10 frames will appear to move more quickly than one which travels only 50 units in the same number of frames. But instead of having to work out momentum on a hit and miss basis, Dpaint has a built-in function on the Move requester which calculates all this for you. It's called Ease Out and Ease In. Any number of frames you enter in the Ease box will be used by Dpaint to calculate momen turn at either the beginning of the sequence (Ease IN) or end (Ease OUT). For any animation smaller than 20 frames the effects are minimal, but for longer
stuff they can add real ism to movement.
PART EIGHT 2W“ HAPPY TRAILS The animation requester also offers a superb function called Trails. Activating this box will set Dpainl animating your brush according to the figures you've put into the Angle and Distance boxes, but instead of drawing a new brush position for every frame, it 'remembers' the earlier positions, and includes them too.
Sounds like a recipe for a total mess; but you can make it work to your advantage. In my example I've used a deck of cards fanning out: as the card brush is rotated in the Z angle the previous cards stay put. And the new brushes ore drawn over them at increasing angles throughout the 20 frames of animation. So by frame 20, what began as one brush has built up to a whole pack, which has been fanned out on top of •tseff. This effect is excellent for titling, where text can be made to come out of the screen at the viewer (by use ol the zooming Z plane move control as outlined in the previous
chapter) as it rotates To a standstill.
FILLS The final tool on the Move requester is Fill.
Which is just what it does. If you had a brush, and left all the Move parameters to zero, clicking on fill would be idenl cal to using the main Fill tool from Dpaint s drawing screen with From Brush selected, only over as many animation frames as you requested. The real power of the function is that it can use Angle and Distance Figures too, and the real gem is that if you have previously altered the perspective readings of your brush (see chapter three), it will base the (ill animation on those.
Here's a walk through of a simple flying ducks wallpaper animation 1 created as the background for a title sequence.
Once you've drawn your design, cut it out as a brush, and register it in your chosen starting position by clicking the left mouse button and then Undo mg it from the tool menu. Set The number of animation frames you'd like - 20 is always a good starting point. In my case I wanted the ducks to fly upwards, so I set tne position in the lower right of the screen. Now call up the Move requester (capital M). The figures you enter in the X and V distance boxes (on the top row) to a large extent depend on how big your brush is. You need to alter the figures and Preview the animation several limes to
make sure your brush just goes off the top left of the screen to create a seamless loop as the sequence is played back. In our direction, we need to decrease both the X and Y measure meets by at least 200, so I started with a p;;; ---- rv--T(. ... • • 200 value in the X distance field, and 200 in the Y, until I hit on the right figure. Once you’re happy with the preview, just click on the Fill box, and watch Dpaint work its magic by filling successive screens with multiple versions of your single brush, all moving in unison across the screen. Another use for the Fill option is scrolling
landscapes or cloud scenes. Using the same technique I've been able to simulate a plane flying over the ground as clouds streak by. Why not try it now you know how? To have two screen fills work mg after each other (sky and land) you will have to use the Stencil function to protect the already drawn sequence as Dpami fills in the other. Or flip to the next chapter in this booklet where we'll be unwrapping the secrets and uses of Animbrushes.
ONE FINGERED TYPISTS Sometimes the animation is more complex than the Dpaint Move requester can handle. Even something simple as this example is best done manually. This sequence is from a 30 frame animation which has an animated finger pressing the relevant keys to spell out a message on the display screen. Here’s how I did it: The first Job was to animate the finger. I drew the finger extended In frame 1 of a 2 frame animation, then copied the finished drawing to frame 2. A few minor alterations to tho top Joint and nail gave the impression that tho finger had flexed. I copied both
drawings of the finger to the spare screen, ready for cutting and pasting onto the animation. I deleted the two frames I’d used as my finger scratchpad (ouch!), and drew the keyboard screen, I added the text at this point too.
Once this was finished I created 20 new frames based on this screen, which woufd remain virtually unchanged throughout the animation. So now I had 30 identical frames, each showing the computer keyboard, screen and all the text, but with no movement at alt. But by switching to the spare screen and picking up either the straight or crooked finger as needed, J placed the brush on the relevant key. The method I chose was to work backwards from Iramc 22.
This left eight static frames at the end of the animation, showing the keyboard and text for an extended period as the animation ended. On frame 22 I used the crooked finger brush, positioned over the N on the keyboard. Pressing key 1 took mo backwards to frame 21 and I placed the extended finger brush over key N and erased tho display screen N, If you look at this routine in forward mode - the way it will be played - you have a finger poised over a letter In frame 21 and no letter N on screen; then on frame 22 the finger flexes and presto, the N appears. You have to do this methodically
right back to frame one, remembering to erase more displayed letters as you go until frame 1 has an extended finger over the letter C. with a totally blank display screen. Remember to check things out often, by moving forward and backward through frames by pressing keys 1 or 2.
:‘-H:&l':il;!Ir--1-: PART EIGHT 'y This animation effect allows you to scroll around a background much larger than your current screen - so. For instance, you could have a detailed map of the British Isles two screens wide, and pan around rt during the animation. Getting the effect is easy, if repetitive work, but it’s effective and can be used to recreate parallax perspective scrolling using multiple images. Here arc the nuts and bolts: The image you want to use for scrolling should be drawn in Dpaint's High Resolution mode, which has 16 colours and a screen size of 640 by 400. You can
simply draw a regular pattern, map of the locality, or an abstract scene.
In my example I've used a satellite Image of the Middle East. If you're drawing from scratch, save this high res image to disk for safety, then change Screen Modes to Low resolution. When Dpaint asks if you want to shrink the image to fit the new screen size (320 by
200) . Say no. You will then see part of your original high res
image on screen, seemingly magnified (but actually just
displayed in the wrong resolution). If you use the cursor
keys you will be able to scroll around the picture to give
you an idea of Just how large this screen page is. It's this
ability to show on the physical screen of your monitor a
portion of a bigger picture that is the key to the effect.
V If you move to the Spare screen now (keyboard j), you will find the page size is as large as your alternate image, but as Dpaint cannot animate with a page bigger than the screen, go to Screen Mode menu option and set the size to Standard (320 by 200). This won't affect your spare page, which still contains the whole original Image. Now create a number of frames -15 or so is a good starting point. The repetitive stuff begins now... Switch back to the spare page (with your big Image on) and scroll around with the cursor koys until you get to an Image you want as your first frame. Now Copy the
screen onto tho Sparc screen (remember, tho spare screen is now the first frame of your animation). Use the pull-down menu option for this process. What you've done Is copy a screenful of image from your big picture into a screervsize frame of animation. Even with the spare screen showing portions of your big image, you can advance the animation on the alternate screen: press hey 2 to move to frame 2. Next, use the cursor keys to move your big image slightly in the desired directions (not too far else the animation will be jerky; two key presses in any direction are enough). Now Copy this
screen image to the animation in the some way as the first, and it becomes the Image lor frame 2 and so on... press key 2 to advance to the next animation frame, scroll in the appropriate direction, copy the screenful of the large image into the frame... until you have reached the last animation frame. Switch back to the animation sequence and save the animation for safety, press key 6 and watch the fun. Now you can add text, an nnimbrush or other image on top of the scrolling background to suit your needs. It's a really clever effect, but not too difficult once you grab the hang of It. The
only snag is that sometimes things got a little too much for the Amiga, and you can get corruption on the display - so the motto 'Save Often' has never been more relevant. In my example you can see five frames taken from a 30-frame animation which has static text and a scrolling background image (the world): the animation ends with a target sight drifting in to the Gulf region.
Wij cia tiAH miMiH h m « , -Ji ¦ pa ?t iv vf .AND ACTION!
If animation features are the superstars of Deluxe Paint, then Anim brushes are the supporting cast; they don't get the praise they deserve, but they can make or break your Amiga movie. This month Peter Lee puts them in the spotlight and shows how to PART get them dancing to your tune.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of Dpaint's animation features, you'll find both your abilities - and hopes - begin to stretch. Because it ever a program made dreams come true, it’s Deluxe Paint: the dream continues as vve unearth more of its secrets by focusing on Animated Brushes.
Hopefully over the past few chapters you've grown familiar, and friendly, with Dpaint's general animation control. While this is the keystone of any animated sequence. Anim Brushes offer the kind of fancy footwork which can turn an OK' sequence in to something that’ll make you go 'Wow'.
BASICS An Anim Brush is a totally different breed from a standard Dpaint brush. Look on it as a mini animation which can be painted on screen just like a normal brush. Although you can only see one image at n time as you move the brush around the screen, as soon as you begin to paint, the different cells' which make up the Anim Brush are painted in turn. But how do they get there in the first place? Read on... PICKING IT UP As an Anim brush is a sequence of multiple images, held in the computer's memory, you first of all have to create a range of images which, when played back, will give the
impression of movement. This is done by animating a series of frames, as we've been dong lor full-screen animations. It may help to magine an Anim brush as a small window 'cut' out from a complete animation sequence.
The way you create your full frame sequence in the first place can be by using the Move requester on an object over a number of frames (text spinning around, for example). Or by copying and amending an image by hand - in the style of cartoons. We've covered the use of the Move requester fully, but there are differences in technique for hand- createc animations depending on whether you are using Dpaint III or IV. Here's how you would draw a multi-frame animation based on editing a single drawing. First of all, create the number of blank frames the sequence will span. Use the Spare screen
as your scratchpad for creating the first image, then cut it out as a brush and paste this into frame 1 of your animation, and move to frame 2 (which is blank). Switch back to your spare screen, and prepare to add movement by subtly altering your original drawing.
In Dpaint III you will find it easier to call on the wide range of protective functions offered by the program - for example Background Fix or Stencil will allow you to safely amend origi nal drawings, preserving the original until you free it. In any event, if you make a real hash of it. Remember you always have the starting image in frame 1 as a safety net.
PENCIL TESTING For a quick 'pencil test' (that's tech speak for a dummy flip through ol the work in progress) go to the animation sequence and hit key 2 to cycle through the frames as fast as you like: by pressing 2 and 1 you can move forward and backward to get a feeling of how things are going In Dpaint IV life is simplified in some ways by the inclusion of the Light Table.
This is a feature which mimics a technique professional cell animators call onion skinning; a buzz word which describes the ability to see through a number of consecutive frames as if they were transparent.This allows for real control of object placing and editing.
BRUSH WORK Time to join the main stream of the article now. You have your animation sequence doing just what you want so now's the time to clip out that all-important Anim brush which you'll be using as pan of a bigger and better sequence. Nothing is simpler: Go to the Anim pull down menu, highlight Anim Brush Pick up. And your cursor will turn into a full-screen One of the professional touches included with DcluxcPaint IV was the inclusion of an animation light table. This effectively allows you to make a series of anim frames transparent'; you can see earlier and later frames ghosted on
the same screen as If you were working on clear celluloid, the traditional movie animator’s final medium. Once you have set up a series of animation frames, the best way to access the light table is through Dpaint Ivs Anim Control Panel. This is another Innovation with this ve* slon, nnd Is accessed with an Alt a joint keypress or directly from tho Effects pull-down menu. You activate the light table by clicking on the light bulb icon, and It immediately ghosts the previous frame behind your currently displayed frame. Clicking on the N icon shows the next frame In the sequence, so depending
on bow much Information you can cope with on screen at once, you can have either or both selected. While In the Light Table, ail normal drawing tools are available, which makes It easy to draw the in between frames on a start and end animation. If you can see where an object was on a previous screen, you can posk tion It on the current screen very accurately.
NOTE: Even though you havo so much information on screen when using the Ught Table, Dpaint is always aware of which is your current screen. Try picking up a brush - no matter how many ghosts are on there, all you'll end up wtth is the image from your currently active screen.
Brilliant or what?
Crosshair Position me crosshair at the top left of the area you want to pick up as an Anim brush, click the left mouse button and drag out a rectangle to encompass the whole sequence.
Remember - your chosen portion of animation might take up more screen area on subsequent frames than the one you're currently cutting from. Allow enough area around the edges to catch all the movement you want, otherwise you'll miss bits off. The Anim brush is not too bright because it will pick up the selected area from every frame in the current animation. So. For example, if you had created five frames of movement on a 20 frame sequence, it would pick up clips from all 20 frames, leaving you with an Anim brush of five images and 15 black holes, Not clever.
So always make sure the number of frames is correct before you pick up an Anim brush - delete the redundant ones beforehand.
Dpaint's only real control over an Anim brush is the handy Anim brush settings reouester. Which allows vou to brush, the starting cell number, and the direction the brush should ’play' when it’s painted down, As far as Anim crush duration is concerned, this is effectively a speed control: if you have- a duration figure larger than (he number of actual animation frames, the Anim brush will appear to slow down. To speed it up, just make the duration smaller than the number of frames. The three direction buttons allow you to pamt your Anim brush for wards, backwards or in a ping pong
Once you have captured your Anim brush, you can see just what's in it by keeping your finger on the 7 key. This cycles through the images of the brush.
You are allowed one ammbrush nfkjjz AND one static brush in memory at once. If you have an active Anim brush, and then clip out a normal piece of artwork, you can access either by right licking on the toolbar’s brush icon.
USH UP ON SOME KS hes are treated by Dpaint just as ; static brushes - with the added f movement. If you have an Anim ? And s mply paint on screen with s of images which make up the ion will be pamted in sequence, s true with all the drawing tools - . To rectangles.
Ie most out of this feature you'll able to control the spacing
* hich we covered in an earlier s is called up by right clicking
on n in the toolbox menu. Activating N use as many Anim brushes
on an ani- ition as you need. Small effects are metimes the
nicest. Here a static picture of the world's grossest family
is brought to life with the addition of three Anim brushes,
each allowing the character to move.
BRUSHING UP ON BEES Here's a neat flight of fancy which pulls together several techniques anti brings them to life with the addition of an Anim brush. The nee is a hve cell Anim brush, where the wings arc in different positions In each cell. To make the Animbrush. First o' all I drew the plump body and head on frame 1 of a five frame animation, and copied this to the oiher four frames, Working on tne spare screen, I drew a chequerboard fill pattern of white and blank dots; because every alternate dot was of the background colour and invisible', this would give the appearance of transparency
when painted on top of an existing image. Usmg the From Brush option in the hi! Requester allowed me to select the filled freehand tool, and draw wings of varying states of'beatmg which would be filled with this checked pattern. Using cut and pasfe from the spare screen to consecutive ceils, it was simply a matter of placing the wings in the right order onto the bee's body in the animation sequence.
Being able to see through the wings adds a neat touch of realism. I added a background wing in a slightly different way: first of all I darkened the original transparent fill colour to a mid grey, and drew the filed shapes directly onto the animation frames. Using the Anim trush Pick up pull-down menu option, I picked up the bee and deleted the five original frames. Remember to save your Anim brush ot this point for future use or editing.
I wanted a mini swarm of the insects bu??ing across screen, so I created a 20 frame blank animation as a starting pornt. By right clicking on the line tool I accessed the spacing requester, and changed the N total to 20. The same as the animation frame count, and activated the selection by clicking in the N total box. This would use the length of a line to space out 20 images taken from successive cells in the Anim brush. So with my finger pressing the left Amiga key, and the line tool selected, I dragged out various paths across tne length of the screen and watched Dpaint Anim paint the
Anim brush along the direction I'd drawn, I changed the angle periodically to give a sense of randomness, and also flipped the Anim brush in the X plane (key x) so I could have bees flying from right to left too. Six bees seemed plenty.
Now to add the background. Switching to the spare page I drew a simple hexagon and designed a backdrop. Adding this to the 20 frame animation should be second nature to you now,.. Go to the animation sequence, and from the Spare pull down menu, select Merge Behind, and select all frames. Your design from the spare page now becomes the background to the flying bees animation. I wanted some foreground interest too. So by using the transparent chequerPoard fill in the hexagons and placing them m d.fferent locations I was able to use the spare Merge in front option to overprint the existing
animation. Now the bees ffy over the solid patterns, and behind the trans parent ones.
Total ar Nth dot fields allows you to paint your Anim trusties at specific irtervals. So. For instance, if you have a 10 cell Anim brush and set the N total field to 10. Every line you draw on screen with the Anim brush active would have your whole Ammbrush sequence pamted along its path, regardless of whether the line was short or long. Now in itself this gives some amusing effects, but nothing too practical in terms of animation.
To get the most out of the Ammbrush and Spacing combination you need to be able to paint an Anim brush over multiple animation frames. And there's a simple way to do this.
CARVE UP If you have an Anim brush active, a number of animation frames ready and waiting and a drawing function selected (line, circle or whatever), then by keeping the left Amiga (A) key pressed as you draw, Dpaint will advance a frame of animation and a cell from the Anim brush automatically, and paint it down. Using this technique you can give paths to Anim brushes. A man walking on the spot in an Amm brush can be made to cross the screen during an animation, or a plane with a revolving propeller can fly by. Anim brushes give you the chance to place movement within a moving sequence,
and used imaginatively they will bring your work to life.
- :T:* hi i i: j :i i:[ M 1; POT POUR Throwing various Deluxe
Paint ingredients into the melting pot, Peter Lee comes up with
a moveable feast for Amiga artists* Like various pieces ol a
puzzle, we've been examining every facet of Deluxe Paint over
the course of this booklet.
Once you know how to control the basic func tions. You can link them together to increase the program's power tenfold - and at the same time make your artistic dreams spring to life.
In this final chapter we'll be continuing our tutorial, featuring animation control, both from within the program and using the Arum Player which came with the software, and the real animator s delight in Dpaint IV. The brush morphing feature. We ll also be gluing effects together with tactics we've uncovered as the booklet has progressed, to show how one fea ture can be effectively used with another for excellent results.
WsesasB* MORPHING In a similar way to Tony Hart's little Plasticine pal Morph, Dpainl Ivs morphing capabilities lets you change one thing into another. Dpaini takes one brush, and over a number ol uscr- Heres a neat and nasty trick using the Brush Metamorph option in which a handsome, debonair and, er, hirsute chap is turned into...me!
Specified frames, converts it to another brush image stored in memory. Sometimes it works brilliantly, other times not. But it's always worth experimenting because the effect is so powerful and packs such impact in an animation. Morphing creates an Anim brush, so make sure your current Anim brush is saved if you need it again, otherwise it will be replaced.
To execute a morph, you first of all have to have a custom brush. There is a limit on the size resoluuon coiours of your brush; it's annoying to keep getting Brush Too Big1 error messages, so try' not to be too ambitious.
Remember. Dpaint has to keep both brushes in memory, as well as any animation frames you may have, and it also needs some work space AND room to keep however many new Anim brush frames it will create. Once you have selected a brush, you can access The Brush Spare Brush Spare option. This makes the current brush the spare one. With this safely tucked away in memory, you can now clip out a different brush image. As a rule of thumb, this should be around ihe same size as your first brush, and not be too wildly dissimilar in colour usage, otherwise the smooth transition you're striving for won't
Once you tell Dpaint to create your transi'keyboard controls' KEY EFFECT Tab Colour cycling on off L arrow Slows playback R arrow Speeds playback r Reverse direction of play Esc (or space) Stops playback 1 Go to previous frame 2 Go to next frame A Play animation 5 Play once 6 Play ping pong (backwards and forwards) tion by clicking on the Brush metamorph option, it asks you for a number of Anim brush frames to make the transformation.
Like most other things to do with Amiga ani mation, this has to be based an your minimum requirements measured against your memory resources. It's no good having a massive 30-cell Ammbrush created if your set-up will only allow you 20 frames of amma tion. Plan ahead and avoid disappointments.
Once Dpaint gets dug in to converting tne brushes, you may as well find something interesting to read. It can develop into a lengthy process, because there is a lot of maths to work out. And a lot of data to adjust. But once completed, you are present cd with on Anim brush, hopefully of stunning cleverness. You can use this new brush as you would any other Anim brush.
Qsnjp) Keep copies of your start and end brushes before metamorphosis, as Dparnf has a habit of 'los ing' these, and just presenting you wit'i in- between stages in the Anim brush. You will find it invaluable to add two extra frames to your Anim brush, the original brush at cell one, and the secondary brush as the final cell. To do this, create an animation with two more frames than the number of your Anim brush, and Anim paint your Anim brush down from frame 2. Position the original brusli in frame one. And the secondary brush in the final frame. Now pick up the Anim brusli again.
ANIMATION EDITING Last month we looked at DP Vs Light Table, which can be accessed from the program's animation control panel, as well as from a pull down menu. The control panel is much more than a cosmetic graphic interface for controlling your Dpaint movies; it provides editing and play-testing features to help f«ne- tune your work. It's easy to move backward and forward through an animation, and the oeauty is that the pane! Will stay on screen HOT STUFF!
R a Ever wondered why long-shots of desert roods in movies always shimmer and blur? It's because ot a phenomenon known as heat haze - the hot air rises off the surface and distorts what you see beyond. The same thing makes car exhaust fumes shimmer too. You can simulate this quick* ly in Dpaint - here's an example using a smoking gun. The trick is to have a reasonably-sized brush - an inch round is fine - and use Dpaint"s Smear option from the Mode menu. Having copied your main image to 10 or so frames, you should then activate the Spacing requester right dick the line tool) and set the N
total to 10, and activate that function. Now when you draw a Itno, the brush will be printed 10 times along the length. Using the technique of Anim painting we featured last month (reminder - press the left Amiga key as you draw out a line - or the ALT key for Workbench 2 users), wo can aim the shimmer from the gun barrel across the line of text. You need to do this three or four times to emphasise the effect, otherwise It will be too subtle: choose different directions too for the line of haze. Using this technique you can create realistically hot scenes, from Mediterranean islands to F16
FLAMING GOOD This 20-frame sequence uses similar techniques to the smoking gun effect, but in a much more dynamic way. It combines several features we've covered and gives you the type of stunning photo-realistic image which carries a lot of impact. The heart of the animation Is the flame effect. This began life as a static image of a fire. I copied It to 20 frames, and using tho line tool with spacing set at an N total of 20. Anim painted a randomly shaped brush upwards a dozen times using the Mode smear option. Remember. Anim painting is a way of spreading your brushwork throughout the
length of an animation; Dpaint II users should press the left Amiga key. And DPIV users the left Alt key as they drag out their brush to paint on an animation.
To ensure that when I picked up the rosulting flame effect, all I got were the flames. I made a stencil of the fire colours, then cleared the rest of the animations screens using black as the background colour. After freeing the stencil, and using the Animbrush pickup command I was able to pick up only the leaping flames. This Anim brush is now part of my library, to be used whenever it’s needed (for instance in burning buildings, wrecks and the like). In the case of our example I typed in the text and placed it on a neat-looking screen, then stencilled every colour except the background.
After positioning the flames and stamping them down, I called up the Animation Move requester, cleared all the settings and told Dpaint to paint the Anim brush down. The results are enough to warm the cockles of your heart... . ;i I!! I ]Ui! Ili 1.11 :i: i! :H :; ii Wvt *«:B WJWsv5 PART TEN ' while you make edits to particuar frames, Apart from me Light Table controls, it's a tool menu which duplicates the keyboard animation controls, giving fluid mouse control to an otherwise awkward method. Check out the panel schematic for full details of all the controls.
ANIMPLAY Provided witn versions III and IV of DpaiM is a utility called Player. This is what's called a stand alone utility - which means it doesn't need Dpaint lo play an animation. It's like a projector which will show your Anim files on an Amiga. The real benefit of this is twofold: people without Dpaint can still see your magnificent work from disk, and auto-running animations car be made which will start automatically if the disk is in the Amiga drive at start-up.
You can run Player in several ways: Simply: from Workbench by clicking on its icon. You will then have to load in an animation using the pull down menu options. Don't be put off by the blank screen which appears
- there is a menu bar hidden at the top, and you access it by
moving your pointer to the top of the screen and pressing die
right mouse button.
Interestingly: again from Workbench, but using the extended selection mode. II you have an Anim icon on screen (an icon representing one of your saved animations), you can press the Shift key. Click on that icon, and with your finger still on Shift, click on the Player icon twice. This will run Player, with your selected animation already loaded.
Automatically: from a bootable disk, which has an S directory and which contains the file 'startup-sequence*. All this file need contain is the command 'player anim.name’ where 'anim.name’ is the name of your animation file. But one really useful option is the ability tc run a script, containing several sequences one after the other.
You will need to write your script in plain text, using either a word-processor which can save work in ASCII format (which is standard text), or use the Amiga's Ed editor. To run one sequence after another, you simply create a script file, and on each line write the filename of the Anim sequence you want played. In addition you can add what are called 'switch es' after the filename. These control the length of the playback and the number of times the animation is played before stop p ng. For example a script could look like this: TrekOl.anim 10 Trek02.anim 20 loops This plays TrekOl.anim for
10 seconds, then pfays TrekQ2.anim 20 times. One thing to remember is that your filename should have its complete path in the script if it is different from the Player location (e.g. c:Anims Trek01.anim). In addition, the Player can also display single pictures, so for example you could have a title screen as your first image, then go through a script automatically.
Using Player is just like controlling your anima tion from within Dpaint.
Cleverly: If you arc happy using the CL! (com mand line interface), then you can run the player by changing to the directory where it lives (cd disk:directory). And typing Player.
CU AMIGA CHEAP'N' CHEERFUL Earlier in this booklet wo looked at brushes, and one of the commands we covered then becomes a truly wonderful special effects generator with only a little more know-how. If you have a custom brush active, and press the 0 on the keyboard (that's capital 0), Dpaint will strip the outer edges of pixels from the brush. Keep your finger on the 0, and you soon end up with nothing. Imagine this spread over an animation - your brush would be just eaten away as you watched.
There are two different ways of achieving an effect this way. The first is to have some background colour in your brush - line drawings, digitised pictures and so on are good for this. When you pick up your brush, the colours (n It which are the same as the background will be transparent. So now. If you press the 0 key, as well as pixels being eaten away from the edges, where you'd expect, they arc nlso dissolved from any background areas - in other words, your Image begins to melt ad over the place.
This can $ ve some really useful effects over something small like a 10 frame animation.
The second way of using this nibble effect is to pick up your brush with NO background colour In it.
In the case of digitised pictures, which tend to have a fot of black In them, the best way to leave this Intact is to select as a background colour one which isn't in the image at all. You can check which cofours are in the image by calling up the palette requester and playing around with colours at the lower end of the scale - more often than not you’ll hit on a colour not being used. With a norvbrush colour as your background, your entire image can be picked up. If you now press tho O key. The brush will be uniformly cut down. In the case of rectangular images this gives a brilliant keyhole
effect, where more of the image is revealed as the animation progresses. Until the final frame when the entire picture is smoothly revealed.
Whichever method you choose, actually completing the animation should be second nature now. Here's a 5 step guide: 1 Set up your blank frames, 2 With your chosen brush active, place it on screen on frame 1.
3 Press capital 0.
4 Press the 2 key to advance to the next frame and click down your diminishing brush.
5 Goto 3, and repeat until all frames are painted.
An image of Cher is gradually revealed. The effect is simply a matter of using one brush command repeatedly, but when it's played back it looks ns stunning as Cher horsoif.
If your brush is targe, then pressing 0 two or three times between painting gets the job done quicker. If you need an animation to play the other way, then start at your last frame with the whole brush, and manually work backwards using keyboard 2 to go to the previous frante. And paint the brush with the mouse button.
T. .. T... T... THAT’S NOTAli FOLKS If you've enjoyed reading
this booklet you might be interested to know that each issue
of CU Amiga magazine contains a complete Dpaint tutorial.
Written by graphics expert, Peter Lee, each installment is
selfcontained and gives plenty of step-by-step guides to
creating some amazing graphics as well as presenting lots of
ideas to help you get the most out of Electronic Arts' bril
liant graphics and animation package. What’s more, starting in
our February 1994 issue, we'll be concentrating exclusively on
Dpaint 4 and its enhanced graphics capabilities thanks to the
Amiga’s new AGA chipset.
Watch out for it.
ON SALE THE 19th OF EACH MONTH Add a splash of colour to your artwork with this comprehensive guide to Electronic Arts’ Deluxe Paint graphics program. This free 52-page guide covers just about everything you could possibly want to know about Dpaint, plus a whole host of hints and tips to help you exploit its powerful drawing tools more successfully and with the minimum of fuss. So stop reading this and get stuck in to our authoritative guide to the world’s number one paint’n’create program.