Chasys Draw IES Help:

Migration Guide


One of the first things people notice about Chasys Draw IES is how different it is from other editors, in terms of both looks and functionality. This guide has been written specifically to make the transition easy for those who have been using other editing software.


Color Formats and Alpha Channels

By default, all images in Chasys Draw IES have a full alpha channel, and transparency is supported in all operations, by all plug-ins and in all image modes (including animation). This is a deviation from common practice; most image editors don't include an alpha channel unless you specifically ask for one.

Chasys Draw IES doesn't ask the user for a color format (palletized 8-bpp, 16-bpp, 24-bpp, etc.). This is because Chasys Draw IES uses a standard format internally (RGB plus Transparency in the order ARGB). All necesary conversions are handled internally and automatically; thus, the user doesn't need to worry about this.



One of the main differences between Chasys Draw IES and other image editors is that the concept of select-then-work-within-selection technically doesn’t exist; however, the Snip tool is designed to simulated the same user experience using the alpha-protection feature and boundary highlighting via a “walking ants” effect. Work-flows in Chasys Draw IES are centered around transparency and free-style layers, which are very different from the layers you have in other image editors – specifically; a free-style layer can be any size and can be positioned and rendered anywhere within or outside the “canvas”.


Variable and Per-Layer Canvases

Chasys Draw IES now implements the concept of canvases, but they’re a bit more complicated than what you find in other images. First, in addition to the global canvas, Chasys Draw IES has the concept of a per-layer canvas it basically works like the global canvas, but specific to a single layer. Secondly, the global canvas can be variable in some image modes, specifically in multi-resolution images – in such images, the canvas size changes to match the size of the active frame.

Although these differences exist, they don’t affect user experience in any way when you’re working on composite images.


What all this “free-style layering” stuff?

As you already know, layers can be thought of as transparent sheets of transparent plastic with images drawn on them, that can be stacked on top of each other, so that you can see the lower sheets through the transparent parts of the upper sheets. Layers allow an artist to produce his work in pieces that he can move and edit independently.

A free-style layer is one that can be positioned anywhere, including totally removing it from the “canvas” and keeping it aside; in which case it remains visible and fully accessible. Chasys Draw IES Artist provides free-style layering to make it possible for you to work with images the same way they would if the images were photos placed on your desk - you may stack what you need together, while placing pieces that you are not currently using outside the stack but within reach.


Attachments? On layers?

Most image editors provide many “layer properties” that can be edited by the user. As these programs become more complex, more “properties” are added, with some only applicable to specific usage scenarios, leading to a long and complex web of properties for each layer. That's messy.

Chasys Draw IES solves this problem in a very simple way. All layers have a small set of properties that are applicable for most usage scenarios. For more specific use, the layers allow - yes, you guessed it - the addition of an attachment, which is in itself considered part and parcel of the layer and is always saved, copied, moved, etc. with the layer.

Consider, for example, a text layer. Such a layer will have the normal properties like blending modes, plus a TEXT attachment. The TEXT attachment, probably just a few KB of data, will hold all the information relevant for text, including the data needed to regenerate it (e.g. fonts used, angle, the actual text, colors, styles), thus making it fully re-editable.

As a plus, plug-ins are allowed to add, read and edit attachments - basically making layer properties dynamic and extensible. An example of this is the way the Icon and Cursor plug-in uses the mark-up attachment to specify the cursor's hotspot in a way that is directly user-editable within Chasys Draw IES, while the JPEG plug-in uses it to store EXIF data on a per-layer basis.



Copyright © John Paul Chacha, 2001-2019