Just a quick note that you may notice some down time in the very near future as Studio|chris moves to a more reliable dedicated server. The full move should be complete within a week.
Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on the next version of the Studio|chris Brush Installer. The 0.6 beta branch will bring a lot of changes and increased functionality. A release date hasn’t been set, but here’s what to look forward to!
A New Interface
The first thing you’ll probably notice is a new interface that is customized especially for the application. Things are still as simple as the original as far as installing brushes – simply drag and drop your brush ZIP file on your OS box and the installer takes care of the rest.
The new interface is standardized over all operating systems, so Windows and OS X users will see the exact same interface. The screenshot below isn’t complete, but is a working prototype of the new interface.
A New Name
With the next release, the Studio|chris Brush Installer will become the Studio|chris Brush Manager. The Brush Installer name is going away in the next version for two very good reasons:
- Documentation Confusion: “Have you installed the installer correctly using the install button on the website?” Yeah, I’m scratching my head too and I wrote the thing! The new Brush Manager name will help avoid this type of confusion.
- New Features: The new feature set for the application really expands the application to be more than just an installer, so the new name encompasses those new features and also future improvements.
The new name is set in stone for the foreseen future of the application.
A New Feature Set
I mentioned some new features in the previous section. Here are some of them:
- Settings panel accessed by clicking the new Settings button (wrench icon) in the title bar. That messy Vista UAC checkbox is going in there with a lot of other options.
- Install brushes to Painter 7 through Painter X.1, even if you’ve customized the location of the Painter Brushes folder (ie. “I install all of my applications to D drive instead of C drive.”). This will also bring support to Windows Vista 64-bit. Thanks Les and Sue.
- Automated updates, not to be confused with automatic updates. Updates will no longer require visiting the website to install the new version. For updates to 0.6 and beyond, just open the settings panel and click the update tab to check for and install updates.
- The new Manage Brushes tab (will not be active in 0.6) contains functions to backup, delete, deactivate and reactivate brush categories. The Manage Brushes tab will become active in version 0.7 for users who wish to purchase an upgrade package. The Install Brushes tab will always remain free.
- In the background, and included as part of the new settings, you may choose to activate “logging” to log where files are being placed while using the Install Brushes tab. This will be useful in troubleshooting.
Painter Lab is the only “built as we go” class at Digital Art Academy where the course develops as a direct result of what students are creating and what the students want to learn about. We start with a set of resources and create! Along the way, tutorials and videos are created based totally on what is happening organically in the classroom.
Along with the normal classroom stuff, we have weekly challenges where students are given a specific task to perform. So far, we’ve drawn and painted sketches in the challenges this session. All of the created pieces from the challenges are added into the pool of resources to create even more!
The apple painting above started as a sketch from a student. Using different resources, and while creating a tutorial for the class on using photographic texture, the painting sprang from the canvas!
What else is being produced in the lab?
Here is a selection of images from students currently enrolled in the lab:
Artwork used with students’ permission.
How do I get in on the fun?
Digital Art Academy registration for Session 5, the Fall Session opened today! Join DAA and enroll in the next session of Painter Lab. The next class begins on August 30th.
How do I sign up for a course?
- First register at DAA to create your general user account. Your information is private and will not be sold or shared with anyone. DAA takes your privacy very seriously.
- After you have registered, sign in and find the class you are interested in joining.
- If the class is open for registration you will see a PayPal icon located towards the bottom of the page. Simply click on it to enroll into that class.
Take some time to read the Student Fact sheet located on the front page. It will get you off to a great start at DAA. You may also register and enroll in more than one class at a time. DAA’s website will keep track of all of your class information for you!
The Studio|chris Brush Installer version 0.5.2b introduces another compatibility fix for Microsoft Windows Vista (all versions). Vista users should upgrade immediately. Windows XP and Mac OS X users are unaffected by this update.
If installing this update, please uninstall previous versions using Add/Remove Programs in the Windows XP Control Panel or Programs and Features in Windows Vista. Mac users may uninstall by dragging the application in /Applications/Studio-Chris to the trash.
Barring other compatibility issues, the next version will include the settings panel as well as an automated update procedure.
How do I know which version is installed?
The version number is located in the user interface of the Brush Installer, below the application’s name.
The Studio|chris Support Forum has just launched! With a growing product line of services, downloadable goods and software, a centralized place for support, help, questions and FAQs was really needed. At the moment, it is very bare-bones, but it works! Of course, at some point, it will receive a shiny new skin (in charcoal) to match the rest of the site.
The forum is provided free of charge to all users. Registration is not required to read posts, but is required to enable posting and replying. If you’d like an avatar to show with your posts, head on over to Gravatar (if you haven’t already) and register an avatar with the email address used to register for the forum.
Marilyn’s new book is fast approaching! The Art of Digital Photo Painting, available for pre-order at Amazon.com, combines Corel Painter with other digital painting software and plugins to guide its readers through creating paintings from digital photos. By adding other software and tools into the mix, your photo painting process can be tuned to perfection and with great style!
As an aside, Marilyn gave me a peek at the inside of the book, and it looks amazing! If you order this book, or have already ordered it, take a look at pages 98 and 99 for my gallery and a small tutorial on portrait painting and learn what I use to embellish my portraits!