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part 7 - Mandala brush animation with animated multi-frame brushes and the timeline editor for main image buffer or for custom brush
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intro  -  in the beginning, there was nothing but a blank sheet of pixels
part 1 - getting started with Twisted Brush Pro Studio
part 2 - Saving the image and alpha channel in a single file
part 3 - Loading an image file straight to PD's Custom Brush (w/Alpha)
part 4 - Loading an image and its Alpha Mask from two files 
part 5 - Discovering new brushes: Kaleidoscope!
part 6 - Painting with Mandala brushes into AVI file to record as animation
part 7 - Mandala brush animation with animated multi-frame brushes
part 8 - The animated Brush Timeline edtor

 Mandala Custom brush and animations
Now that we've identified a whole universe of new brushes, the Mandala collections, let's create a few and see you to take them further by way of animation. In Project Dogwaffle, you can load an image and replicated it in a frame sequence to then turn it into an animation by modifying the frames through filters along the entire timeline (post FX). Or you can transfer an image or image sequence into the custom brush as a multi-frame animated brush, and modify that through it's own timeline editor in ways similar to the regular Timeline editor which acts on the main image bufer's frames. Once you've created an animated brush, you can use it to paint on a single image or across all frames of a new animation by holding down the ALT key while painting!

Creating a few Mandalas
Here are a few creations made easily possible with Twistedbrush's Mandala brushes.

Before painting them, you may want to set the image size to a square aspect ratio and dimension you want to use in the brushes once they're inside Dogwaffle.

Select the menu:

Page > Set Page Size...

For example, set the Width and the Weight to 512 each

Here are a few examples, shown in 150x150 thumbnails as Jpeg images but they were saved as PNG files with their transparency masks in the alpha channel. You can click any of these to see their respective original image at 512x512 - feel fre to save these PNG files to experiment with them in your own Dogwaffle session.

Animated brushes? Got that covered too. This tutorial's part will show how to make an animated brush from a single static image like those shown above, but you could also start from an AVI file that was created by capturing a few seconds of Mandala brush evolution in action. That will be presented in a subsequent tutorial example.

Loading the image in Project Dogwaffle
This is the easy, straight forward way - into the main image buffer (in PD Pro 4 it could also load into a stored image place holder for use later)

Open the file containing the Mandala image. Be sure to set the filetype to Automatic so it can list and let you select the PNG file. (default only shows Targa images)

If you use Windows Explorer in Thumbs view mode while looking for the PNG images, it will make it easy to see which one it is you're about to load.

If the image you opened is 32-bit deep because it also has the alpha channel, you'll want to make sure that the Alpha channel is set to enabled (i.e. visible). Indeed, you could otherwise be in the presence of an alpha mask but without seeing it that makes it difficult to understand what your dealing with.

from the Alpha menu, turn the alpha on:

Alpha > Alpha on/off

After that there should be a checkmark on the left side of that menu item if you've successfully turned it on.

Note that turning it off doesn't clear the alpha channel content, it merely hides the effect of it, and thus also the marching ants.

Picking up the image through the alpha mask as Custom Brush

Perhaps the fastest way to pick up the portion of the image which is confined within the selection as shown in the alpha channel, is to use this option:

Brush > Use selected as brush

Note that in this manner it picks up only the area which is inside the bounding box of the alpha selection mask. If the mask reaches to the edge it's the same size as the image you loaded. But if the alpha is of smaller dimensions, then the image in the brush will be smaller. It will have the dimensions defined by the bounding box of the selection.

Of course you don't have to depend on a selection mask being there. You can pick the entire image into the brush in this manner if you don't have an alpha mask, e.g. if you first clear alpha (Ctrl-D). Or you could in fact define a selection, in hundreds of different ways, including by painting a selection mask over the underlying image, or by using the lasso cursor and magic wand and more tools.

Store your Custom Brush

We can't emphasize this often enough: always store your newly created custom brush, before you start using this and other brushes and accidentally have it replaced with another custom brush image.

Brush > Store / manage...

use keyboard shortcut:   "  (the double-quote)

Storing it also lets you manage it for what's coming next.

Once you've stored the image, you can simply click the thumbview image even after using other custom or build-in image based brushes which also happen to use a custom image.

You can alsograb the corners of the floating window of the stored brush manager, and resize it to better see the details

Making the window wider also helps in enhancing granularity and fine control of the slider's values. This is particularly useful when you're trying to get it into a particular angle. Of course thre are other ways to transform a brush image, from the Brush menu directly. But that would not transform the stored image, just the actively loaded custom brush currently in use. You'd always want to store that  one too if you mean to keep using it.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut which is at the very heart of Dogwaffle's custom brush philosophy:

'b' for brush

 and use therefore the custom brush pickup tool in order to pick up a rectangular portion of your choosing, or all of the image. The transparency eying for the brush is normally done based on the secondary color, but if there's a selection mask found present in the alpha channel, then it will use Alpha for keying transparency.

Turning the Image into a Custom Animated Brush

We'll assume that the original image which was loaded from the PNG file is still present, and with its alpha selection mask present and enabled. You can use this as s starting point to turn it into a simple animation:

Select 'Create' from the animation menu:

Animation > Create

Select the desired number of frames, and make sure that it doesn't initialize to the simple, plain background colro (Secondary color). Instead, it needs to initialize it from the current image. That's actually the default. So just set the frame quantity and click OK to create the animation.

This will create an image sequence of identical frames containing your image. Of course, not much of an animation to see there yet, as all frames contain the same identical image at this point. The alpha channel is not crucial so far for this but in the next phase it is: You're no going to pick up the entire frame sequence (the animation) into a new custom brush, i.e. an animated brush.

use the Custom brush pickup tool (or press 'b')

Make sure you're looking at the first frame (or whichever frame you want to tart from). The tool will be used to pick up all frames from the current to the last. The alpha mask, if enabled, will be used for kying.

You can either set your pickup rubberband box to contain a portion or all of the image. If you want to make sure you grab it all, you should first make the image's window larger soas to reveal the grey area around it. You can then select around the whole image buffer size, and pick it up.

How to pick up all frames: (IMPORTANT!)
There is only one trick left: by default, the custom brush pickup tool would use just the current image in which you pick up the rectangular region. Instead:

Use the ALT key to pick all frames

You don't need to have the Alt key down whenn you start your rectangular selection, but you need it down when you release the mouse button at the end of your selection once the rectangular rubberband box has the desired dimention. If Dogwaffle sees that Alt is down at that moment, then it will pick up all frames from the current to the end ofthe animation and transfer the selected ones into the custom animated brush.

You should see the frame counter at the top of the window bar go through all frames per your selection.

As soon as it's done, you should store this new custom brush:

Verify that it picked up all desired frames:

Click the Show FIlmstrip button

Here's an example of the filmstrip, showing thumbnails of the captured and stored custom animated brush. In this example, there's no change yet between frames so you don't see an animation progress really. That's about to change though as we'll do some things to change the images in these frames.

Next:  part 8 - The animated Brush Timeline editor

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