Synthetik Studio Artist 1.5

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The second thing you'll notice is that the program looks a bit complex. It's not, really, once you know where to look for things. It's just that the interface in Studio Artist has not yet been Adobefied. Brushes don't appear as little icons in a floating tool box. You don't have a bunch of palettes floating around. Etc.

What you do have is an incredibly sophisticated piece of software based on the metaphor of an audio synthesizer. (Actually, John Dalton, the guy who created Studio Artist, also happens to have written several very popular audio programs, including Deck and Deck II, Pro Tools—the first version—and the original audio engine for Avid.) What this metaphor means to you and me is that we get a bunch of functions presented to us that can be tweaked in hundreds of ways for each individual parameter we want to set. These parameters then produce something you might call a brush, only it's a lot more sophisticated than a color being connected to the canvas via artificial bristles. It is, in fact, a paint synthesizer. Let's take a look at what it does.

The Paint Synthesizer
When you think of paint applications, you think, no doubt, of Painter. Maybe PhotoPaint. Maybe Photoshop, if you've installed a paint module. All of them are fine programs in their own rights. But Studio Artist is very different.

Studio Artist's paint capabilities are based on a concept of Paint Patches. Essentially this is a collection of parameters that come together to form a paint style, including, but in no way limited to, a brush shape and size, paint color, color modulation, lighting, application modes, texture, interaction with the canvas, pressure, tilt and a couple hundred other parameters.

It's not as complicated as it sounds. The program actually ships with 1,000 presets ready to go. You just click a button that looks like something you want to draw with and start painting. There are presets like rayon, chalk, charcoal, watercolor, liquids splattering and a whole host of other useful ones. If one of the 1,000 presets doesn't satisfy you, it's a simple matter to modify the preset using the Paint Synthesizer controls and then save the resulting Paint Patch for future use.

Here are just two of the 16 panels from which you can customize the parameters of your Paint Patches. Each one of these panels has dozens of options for changing the way the brush interacts with the canvas.


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