The complete ProArtisan2 manual
7. The Sprite menu
Click on the Sprite icon on the Tool pane to enter Sprite mode and then press MENU with the pointer on the canvas. This brings up the Sprite menu which deals with areas which are cut from the screen or imported into the sprite pool.
A sprite is an area of the screen and it can vary from one pixel to full screen size.
This item enables you to cut a piece of the canvas for use in other options. It has a sub menu with two items.
This is an extremely powerful option for automatically cutting out sprites by tracing around a boundary which is defined by closeness of grey scale or colour to the starting pixel colour. When a boundary has been followed everything inside the boundary is transferred to the Sprite Pool. The outcome is that it is possible to click on an object and have it transferred to the sprite pool.
However, there are some limitations and you may have to experiment a little. It is easiest to use on objects with clearly defined borders and experience shows that clicking just inside the right hand edge of the area required produces the best results. This option becomes more predictable with use. Sometimes it may be necessary to slightly alter an image in order to pick up the correct object. For example a circular object with a few missing pixels may not be correctly picked up unless you close the circle by adding a few strategically placed pixels. Slight changes in the start position can have dramatic effects on the results as the colour of the start pixel might be very different.
An easy thing to try it on is some large text placed using the Text option.
Frisket - This is the only item in the Sprite menu that works when creating a frisket. All the other items are greyed out.
There are two methods for defining the range of colours or intensities acceptable when comparing pixels for the boundary follow.
This item lets you paint using the currently selected sprite. See Sprite pool later for information on selecting a sprite. This option provides an unlimited number of brushes because you can draw what you want, grab it as a sprite and then use it as a brush.
The Sprite fill item allows you to fill an area with the current sprite in a similar way as filling with a plain colour except that the sprite fills the area at the size of the original sprite, tiling the sprite to fill the area if required.
The Sprite distort item is very powerful although extremely simple to use. Again it works with the current sprite. You can band a box on the screen by clicking on a point with SELECT and dragging the box out before releasing it. This leaves a box on screen with four square blocks, one at each comer. If you click SELECT now on the canvas the sprite is plotted at its original size.
To move the box to another position click and drag with SELECT on any of the four blocks. Release SELECT to drop the box at the new position.
To distort the box drag any of the four blocks with .^.d: -st. When you have designed the required shape click with SELECT at any point on the canvas. The clever thing about this item is that the points can cross over each other to create different effects such as a curl at the edge of a page. It is very easy to get perspective effects with this feature.
This item enables you to rotate the sprite through any angle. By default the scale of the original sprite is preserved but if you hold down Shift you can also alter the scale of the sprite by dragging it out. Keep Shift held down until you have fixed the sprite otherwise it will revert to its original size. The centre of rotation is the bottom left of the sprite.
This item. Scale sprite, lets you scale the current sprite. To do this just click with SELECT to position the bottom left comer of the sprite and drag the sprite to the required size and release SELECT. By default the aspect ratio of the sprite is retained but if you hold down Shift you can alter the aspect ratio whilst scaling.
This is yet another very powerful feature that, once understood is simple to use. It allows you to distort the current sprite into a sphere. However, there is a lot more control than this and you can tile the sprite to fill the sphere with more than one sprite.
The Distance parameter governs how many copies of the sprite are pasted onto the surface of the sphere. The size of the sphere does not matter as the program always attempts to paste the same number of sprites irrespective of the size. See Planets in the Appendix 1, Examples for an idea of how to use this feature.
This item lets you set colours as transparent when they are included in a sprite that you cut out from the canvas. Like Magic brush you can put the Picker colours from the palette into the Transparent palette by clicking on the Picker icon with SELECT. You can also transfer the current Blend set colours by clicking on the Blend icon. Click on the X icon to remove all transparent colours. You cannot put colours into columns 2 and 4.
Show Sprite Pool
The sprite pool window is always shown on screen when you are in the Sprite menu, unless you click on the close icon. If you do close it or it is obscured you can display it again by clicking on the Sprite icon in the Tool Pane. The Sprite pool window is shown below. The current sprite is shown in the window with its name in the box below, Cello in this case. The name can be changed at any time by clicking into the box and editing it before pressing Return. The default name used for a sprite when you cut it out is temp and if you want to retain the sprite you should rename it otherwise next time you grab a sprite it will be overwritten because the new sprite will default to the name temp. Try to make a habit of always naming your sprites - you can always delete them later if you do not want them.
The left and right bump arrows are used to move through the sprite pool if you have more than one sprite.
This size. in pixels, of the current sprite is shown.
You can delete a sprite by clicking on the X icon when the sprite is visible. Note that you cannot delete all sprites as there must always be one sprite present.
Click on the icon with up and down pointing arrows to flip a sprite horizontally.
Click on the icon with right and left pointing arrows to flip a sprite vertically.
At the bottom left is shown the total number of sprites in the pool, and on the right the total memory used by the sprites in the pool.
The black outline box icon indicates that the soft paste option is available. In this mode the slider and associated percentage indicator control the amount of transparency for the whole sprite. A value of 100 means no transparency.
To auto blend the current sprite select the required blend from those shown below and click on the sprite in the sprite pool window. The sprite is attached to your pointer and when you click Select the sprite is blended into the canvas using the blend template. The slider and related percentage indicator has no effect as the blends are pre programmed.
The auto blend templates are selected by clicking on the black box in the bottom left of the sprite pool window to show the icons below.
This icon pastes the sprite in with a solid centre feathering out in a circular pattern.
This icon pastes the sprite in with a solid centre feathering out in a rectangular pattern.
This icon fades the sprite from left to right.
This icon fades the sprite from right to left.
This icon fades the sprite from the centre to the right edge. In other words the left half is solid and the right half gradually fades.
This is the same as above except from right to left.
This icon fades the sprite from top to bottom.
This one fades the sprite from bottom to top.
This one fades from the centre to the bottom.
This one fades from the centre to the top.
This one is solid in the centre but fades to each side.
This one is solid in the centre but fades to the top and bottom.
All of the above features are extremely powerful and it is worth getting to know how they work.
Sprites can be loaded into ProArtisan 2 as full images provided that there is only one sprite in the file. Alternatively they can be loaded into the Sprite Pool by dropping them onto the Sprite Pool window.
Due to technical restrictions compressed sprite files replace all existing sprites in the pool whereas uncompressed sprite files merge with those already present. So if you want to merge your sprite files you must decompress them first.
If you do merge sprites and the new sprites have the same internal sprite name as one already in the pool then the old one is overwritten.