Paint Guide > Design and Drawing Tools > Drawing Tasks > Drawing with Bitmap Brushes

Drawing with Bitmap Brushes

Drawing with Bitmap Brushes

With Harmony, you have the choice to draw with vector or bitmap brushes. When adding a new drawing layer in Harmony Stage, Harmony Sketch or Harmony Draw, you can set your art layers (Line, Art, Colour Art) to vector or bitmap. This way, you can draw in bitmap and paint in vector, draw everything in bitmap, or whatever other combination suits you.

Not all drawing tools are available when working on a bitmap layer. You can use the following tools:

Brush
Cutter
Dropper
Ellipse
Eraser
Line
Paint
Paint Unpainted
Pivot
Rectangle
Repaint
Reposition All Drawings
Select
Text
Unpaint

If you selected the incorrect art mode for your layers, you can open the Layer Properties view and modify them there directly. If you switch the art mode for a layer that already has strokes on it, the artwork will NOT be converted. You will be able to add new strokes. A drawing with bitmap strokes will be converted to a vector layer but the bitmap artwork will remain as bitmap. You will be able to use vector drawing tools to continue drawing on it. A drawing with vector lines switched to a bitmap layer will allow you to draw new bitmap strokes and move the vector strokes with the Select tool, but you will not be able to edit the vector art further. You need to convert the drawings in order to pass the artwork from one mode to the other.

To always reuse the same art mode settings, you can adjust them in the Preferences dialog box.

Before you start drawing in bitmap, it is important to understand that your artwork will now be resolution dependent. If you zoom in your scene, you artwork will be enlarged. It is important to plan ahead and decide how high of a resolution you need your artwork to be. If you plan to zoom in your scene, the smallest section of the image that the camera will frame must be 100% the size of your scene resolution. For example, if your scene resolution is set to 1920 x 1080 and you zoom in at 300%, then the resolution of the bitmap also has to be set to 300%. It is important to change the bitmap layer resolution before you start drawing.

Calculate Bitmap Size

The bitmap resolution can be set at the scene level or drawing level. The setting at the scene level affects newly created bitmap art layers.

Note that even if your drawing resolution is set to be very large, it doesn't mean that your file will be very heavy. It depends on the amount of artwork your draw in it.

There is a function to change the resolution of bitmap art for individual drawings. You can reduce the resolution of your bitmap file as well as increase it. Be careful because enlarging the bitmap resolution on an existing drawing will result in a loss of quality.Harmony will perform a pixel smoothing pass (resampling) and create additional pixels to avoid losing too much quality, but only to a certain extent. For example, you used the default scene’s resolution for bitmap art but then discover you are zooming quite close into the lines. If you do not want to see the pixels appear too much when you are zoomed in, you can set the bitmap resolution to 200% and the bitmap art will have a higher resolution with smaller pixels, but will NOT retain 100% of its quality. You can use this function on multiple drawings using the Apply to All Drawings option. Changing this option will affect existing and selected bitmap art layers.

If you drew an outline drawing on a bitmap layer, you can vectorize your artwork. Using a vector drawing layer, you can simply select your bitmap drawing and the vector cell on which you want your new vector layer to be, and use the Vectorize Line Art in Selected Drawing function.

You should avoid scaling up your bitmap strokes using the Select tool. If you do, keep in mind that when you continue drawing, your image will be resampled and your new strokes will be at the original resolution and not the scaled up size.

Your drawing should be scaled up using the Transform tool instead of the Select tool to avoid creating very large bitmap layers.