Drawing with Bitmap Brushes on Bitmap Drawing Layers
With Harmony, you have the choice to draw with vector or bitmap brushes. This is decided by what modes you select for your layer. When adding a new drawing layer in Harmony, 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 any other combination that suits your needs. If you are using the Overlay and Underlay layers, you can also set them to either bitmap or vector.
Not all drawing tools are available when working on a bitmap layer. You can use the following tools:
|•||Reposition All Drawings|
Any tool that is unavailable for use will be greyed out.
On a bitmap layer, a temporary vector layer is created when painting with a gradient. Until a modification is made on your layer with a bitmap drawing tool, you can edit your last painted zone—by either editing the gradient swatch, which is dynamically linked to the painted zone or with the Edit Gradient texture tool. The moment a bitmap drawing tool or action is used, a vector-to-bitmap conversion occurs. If there are vector elements on the layer (such as if you switched your art mode from vector to bitmap after having created vector artwork), they too will be converted to bitmap.
Here is a list of tools and actions that will trigger a vector-to-bitmap conversion:
|•||Performing a paste with the Select tool selected|
|•||Performing a paste with the Cutter tool selected|
This means that certain tools, such as the Text tool or the Cutter tool, will not trigger a conversion.
If you selected the incorrect art modes for your layer, you can open the Layer Properties view and change them. If you switch the art mode for a layer that already has strokes on it, the artwork will NOT be converted for bitmap artwork, but will be for vector artwork, though not immediately. A drawing with bitmap strokes on a newly converted vector layer will remain bitmap. This means that the bitmap artwork will not be editable by some tools, such as the Eraser tool, but will be editable by other tools, such as the Cutter tool. However, a drawing with vector lines on a newly converted bitmap layer will remain vector temporarily, until a bitmap drawing tool or action is used. Then the vector-to-bitmap conversion will occur.
To always reuse the same art mode settings, you can adjust them in the Preferences dialog box.
If you want to be able to edit the artwork in the new mode, you need to convert the drawings
Vector-to-bitmap conversion includes flattening individual drawings into a single image. Flattening means that it will not be possible to select non-overlapping or overlapping elements as individual objects with the Select tool. Instead, the selection of one drawing will initiate the selection of all elements, with a single vector frame surrounding them.
Resampling is also triggered on bitmap layers with the use of a bitmap drawing tool. For example, if you draw the outline of a circle, scale it down and then zoom into it, you will see tiny square pixels along the edge of the line. If you then draw a line right next to it, you will notice two things: first that the square pixels of the new line are gigantic by comparison and that the pixels in the line of your circle suddenly become the same size. This is because the circle was resampled. It was not resampled when you scaled it down. It was resampled when you used a bitmap drawing tool. It is resampled so that all the drawn objects are scaled to the same bitmap grid, in other words that their basic unit, the pixel, is the same size. The grid is defined by the bitmap layer's resolution.
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 300% with your camera, then the resolution of the bitmap layer also has to be set to 300%, otherwise its elements will look pixelated in the final render. It is important to change the bitmap layer resolution before you start drawing.
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 you 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, what if you used the default scene’s resolution for some bitmap art, but then discover you are zooming-in quite close? 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 draw an outline on a bitmap layer, you can still vectorize it. Using a vector drawing layer, simply select your bitmap drawing and the vector cell of where you want your vectorized line 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 scaled to the scene resolution.
- In the Timeline view, click the Add Drawing Layer button,
The Add Drawing Layer window opens.
If you are using the Overlay and Underlay layers, those art layers are also displayed.
- For each art layer, select the Vector or Bitmap option.
- Click OK.
- Open the Layer Properties view.
- In the Timeline view, select the layer you want to edit.
- In the Layer Properties view, select the Drawing tab.
- In the Art Layers section, select the art mode for each art layer.
- From the top menu, select Edit > Preferences ( Windows/Linux ) or Stage > Preferences ( Mac OS X ).
- Select the Node View tab.
- In the Layer Drawing Options section, set the art layers to the desired art mode. Once this option is enabled, all new layers will follow these settings. It will not affect any existing layers.
- Click OK.
- In the Timeline view, select the layer that contains the drawings you want to convert.
- From the Timeline view menu, select Layers > Convert Drawings to Match Art Layer Type.
You can also right-click on the selected layer and select Convert Drawings to Match Art Layer Type.
All drawings in the layer are converted to the selected art mode. Note that bitmap strokes are not vectorized when converted to a vector art layer. They are simply inserted in a square vector frame containing a bitmap texture.
- From the top menu, select Scene > Scene Settings.
The Scene Settings dialog box opens.
- Select the Bitmap Resolution tab.
- Change the bitmap resolution settings and click OK.
The bitmap resolution settings at the scene level affects newly created bitmap art layers.
- In the Timeline view, select the drawing whose resolution you want to change.
- From the top menu, select Drawing > Change Bitmap Drawing Resolution.
The Change Bitmap Drawing Resolution window opens.
When this option is selected, the existing bitmap image is modified to match the new resolution. If the width and height are increased, more pixels will be created to enlarge the image. Visually, the existing artwork will look the same, maybe a little bit smoothed out, but the size will look the same. When this option is deselected, the artwork is not modified. Only the reference grid is resized. If the scene resolution is 1920 x 1080 and you reduce the bitmap resolution to 960 x 540, the image will be scaled up to twice the size of the scene.
|Apply to All Drawings||The modified settings are applied to all drawings in the drawing layer for a given art layer. If the Apply to Line Art and Colour Art option is enabled, it will then be applied to all bitmap art layers.|
- Change the bitmap resolution.
- Click OK.
- In the Timeline view, add a bitmap drawing layer—see How to add a bitmap layer.
- In the Tools toolbar, select the Brush tool or press Alt + B.
- In the Colour view, select a colour.
|‣||To switch the bitmap colour picker from HSV to RGB, in the Colour view menu, select Colour > Bitmap Colour Sliders > HSV Sliders or RGB Sliders. You can also right-click on the colour sliders and select RGB Sliders or HSV Sliders.|
When using bitmap colours, there is no longer a link between the painted zones and selected colour. You can edit the colour as much as you want, but your drawing will not be affected. You can still select colours from your vector colour palette to use the same tint, but you will not create links between your drawing and the swatches.
- In the Camera or Drawing view, start drawing.
- In the Timeline view, add a vector drawing layer BELOW the bitmap drawing layer containing the drawing to vectorize. In your bitmap drawing, the artwork to vectorize must be placed on the Line Art layer (default drawing layer).
If you place the vector drawing on top of the bitmap layer, you will not be able to perform the operation. A warning dialog box will display.
- On the right side of the Timeline view, select the bitmap drawing and corresponding cell in the vector drawing layer.
- Right-click and select Drawings > Vectorize Line Art in Selected Drawing.
The Convert to Vector Drawing dialog box opens.
- In the Vectorization section, select a vectorization preset. You can customize your own preset using the Add or Edit buttons
—see Custom Vectorization Parameters.
- Click OK.
Your vectorized drawing is created in the vector drawing layer. Your bitmap drawing remains intact.