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Download: MSG Filters for Studio Artist 3, Series 1

33 dynamic abstract and sketch effect filters By Dave Nagel
The latest release of Synthetik Studio Artist introduced support for a new filter format called "MSG." They provide an alternative to other types of rotoscoping and image-based effects, expanding the program's capabilities and, in the process, offering a higher degree of performance.

The filters
This is my first concerted effort at making MSG filters for Studio Artist. (I previously offered some paint patch presets that incorporated MSG filters into the painting process, but there wasn't anything terribly new there in terms of the filters themselves. If you're interested in these brush presets--Nagel Series 13--that use MSG filters, you can find them by clicking here.) Since this is my first proper collection of filters for Studio Artist, there was a lot of experimentation involved in the creation of the effects, but, in the end, I found a few different types of effects that I liked and made several variations of these basic effects.

There are 33 individual MSG filters in this collection. Twenty of these fall into the category of "abstract" effects. That is, they take information from your source image (or source footage), and then abstract that information in various ways. For some of these filters, the resulting effect isn't so far removed from the source material that it's unidentifiable. Here's an example of this sort of abstract filter processed over footage of a woman walking on a beach.

Then there are some that are highly abstract. They blow away the image entirely. However, when processed over video, the motion of the source footage is still identifiable. Here's an example of this second variety processed over a short clip of a skydiver.

And here are some still images illustrating the default effects produced by several of the abstract filters.

Beyond these, there are also filters in the categories of sketch effects and emboss effects. Most of these are designed to be used in conjunction with other operations in Studio Artist, and not as stand-alone effects, though, of course, you can use them as you see fit. Here's an example of a sketch filter used in conjunction with a couple of image operations to create a soft colored pencil effect.

And here's one using a similar technique to create a watercolor effect.

These are further examples of the raw sketch filters on still images.

In addition to these, there are also various other effects thrown in for good measure.

Each of these MSG filters is customizable, with sliders for adjusting parameters for each one (up to six parameters for each filter). These parameters are fully dynamic, so you can animate them to change the effect over time when processing movie files.

I've also included a few Paint Action Sequences that illustrate the use of these filters in conjunction with Studio Artist image operations.

Download, installation and usage
This collection of filters is designed for Synthetik Studio Artist, a Macintosh-only program that runs on Mac OS X and Mac OS 9. These filters will function properly in version 3.0 or higher.

The collection is compressed in a .zip archive. Click the download link below, then expand the archive (, and you'll be left with a folder called NagelSeries1, which contains the 33 MSG filters and a folder called "PASeq," which contains seven Paint Action Sequence files.

Download: Nagel Series 1 MSG Filters (452 KB)

To install the MSG filters, move the NagelSeries1 folder to the following directory: /Studio Artist 3.0/MSG/Default/.

Now launch Studio Artist. In the panel on the left of the interface, select the MSG category of presets. Within the Default directory, you'll now see the NagelSeries1 collection.

You can apply these filters just by selecting one and hitting the "Action" button.

To adjust the parameters for these MSG filters, select "MSG" from the top pull-down menu near the "Action" button. You will then see sliders representing various values that are modifiable for these filters. (Parameters vary by filter.) By adjusting the sliders or entering new numeric values in the input fields, you can alter the appearance of the filter and receive visual feedback on the changes you're making in the preview square at the bottom of the panel.

And that's it. If you have any questions about Studio Artist, be sure to visit me in the Synthetik Studio Artist forum here at DMN Forums by clicking here.

And remember, as always, that we have tons of downloads available for Studio Artist, as well as programs like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter and many others. You can find those by clicking here.

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