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Quick Reference Guide: Synthetik Studio Artist 2.0

Part 1: Time Particles By Dave Nagel
This is a project I've wanted to start for quite some time: a comprehensive quick reference guide to Synthetik Studio Artist. There never has been a feature by feature outline of this program's capabilities. We begin this week with our first installment: part 1 in our guide to the Studio Artist Paint Synthesizer, focusing on Time Particles.

Over the last few years, we've provided some fairly extensive coverage of this program. And over the last few weeks we've begun to focus specifically on the Studio Artist Paint Synthesizer, the graphics engine that creates so many possibilities for generating artistic, unusual brushes and effects for still and motion graphics. Yet there is a lot of mystery involved in the Paint Synthesizer. Frankly, there are so many parameters that nobody really knows what they all do. And so it seems a valuable undertaking to address the features in this graphics engine one by one.


We begin with just one small set of Paint Synthesizer parameters: Time Particles, which allow you to put individual paint strokes into motion. Over the coming months, we'll continue to add to this reference. For now, enjoy the first installment. And remember, if you have more questions, you can visit DMN's Studio Artist forum here.

Synthetik Studio Artist 2.0 Quick Reference Guide
Time Particles


Parameter Options Effect Affected by Examples
Time Particles On/Off Enables/Disables the Time Particles feature.  

Tutorial 1
Tutorial 2


         
Spacing Numeric value (0-999) Numeric values affect the speed of a particle's motion. (Higher is faster.)    
         
Boundary   Literally the edges of the canvas. Options determine how particles interact with the canvas boundary when in motion.   Tutorial page with QuickTime examples
  Ignore Ignores the boundary. Time Particles: Path Diverge  
  Terminate Terminates a particle when it reaches the boundary.   QuickTime
  Rebirth Causes particles to be reborn at a pre-determined location of the canvas after hitting the boundary.   QuickTime
  Tiling Creates an Asteroids-like effect, with particles reappearing on the opposite side of the canvas after they reach the boundary.   QuickTime
  Elastic Causes particles to bounce off the edges of the canvas.   QuickTime
         
Path Diverge   Sets the conditions for a particle to diverge from its normal path.   Tutorial page with QuickTime example
  Numeric The degree to which the path diverges when it meets the conditions set by the other options.    
  None Path does not diverge from its normal angle.    
  Always Path always diverges from its normal angle.

1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc


 
  Texture Path diverges based on the texture of the source image (sometimes similar to Orient). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Orient Path diverges based on the orientation of the image (sometimes similar to Texture). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Color Path diverges based on the color of the source image at the particle's relative position. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
QuickTime
  Not White Path diverges based on areas of the source image that are not white. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Boundary Path diverges at the boundary of the image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Blanking Path diverges based on the blanking in the image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge: Numeric value
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Path Type   Sets the general shape of the path that the particles will follow as they move around the canvas.   Tutorial with QuickTime examples
  Line A straight line. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Curved A curved shape. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Circle A circular shape. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Spiral A spiral path. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Ellipse An elliptical path. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Spiral Ellipse An elliptical, spiral path. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Triangle A triangular path. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  2Stroke Line Similar to regular Line, but with sudden, hairpin turns. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Path Angle   Determines the basic direction of the path of motion for the particles. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
Tutorial with QuickTime examples
  Orient Adjusts the angle based on the orientation of the image (sometimes similar to Texture and Lum). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Texture Adjusts the angle based on the texture of the source image (sometimes similar to Orient and Lum). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Lum Sets the path angle based on the luminence of the image (sometimes similar to Orient and Texture). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Uniform Random Sends particles off in random directions. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Fixed Moves particles in fixed direction (right/horizontal by default, adjustable with the Angle Offset parameter). 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Polar Moved particles out from center of image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Fixed Hatch Moved particles in a cross-hatch pattern, some horizontal, some vertical. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Fixed Hatch 1 Alternate version of previous option. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Fixed Orient Hatch Creates a hatch pattern modified by the orientation of the image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Fixed Orient Hatch 1 Alternate version of previous option. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Lum Max Follow Sends particles toward bright areas in the source image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Lum Min Follow Sends particles toward darker areas of the source image. 1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
  Autodraw Polar   1. Time Particles: Path Diverge
2. Time Particles: Angle Mult
3. Time Particles: Angle Slew
4. Time Particles: Angle Offset
5. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Angle Mult Numeric Multiplies the angle of the path by the given value whenever the angle is calculated. Number is a percentage. 1. Time Particles: Angle Slew
2. Time Particles: Angle Offset
3. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Angle Offset Numeric Determines the starting angle for the path. Value is in degrees clockwise, with 0/360 representing horizontal movement to the right. 1. Time Particles: Angle Mult
2. Time Particles: Angle Slew
3. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Angle Slew Numeric A percentage value affecting the calculation of the angle of the path. 1. Time Particles: Angle Mult
2. Time Particles: Angle Offset
3. Time Particles: Angle Inc
 
         
Angle Inc Numeric Angle increment detrermines the relative number of steps between the calculation of a path angle. Higher values lead to smoother paths.    
         
Shape Track   Determines how and whether the shape of each particle is tracked (or maintained) over the course of the animation. Works with Autodraw presets only Tutorial page with QuickTime examples
  None No shape tracking    
  Initial Maintains the starting shape of each individual particle. (However, displacement and some random elementscan't be tracked.)    
  Tween Morphthe shapes of the particles between their initial state and subsequent states, providing a smooth transition for varying shapes.    



Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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