Frequently Asked Questions

This page includes a list of commonly asked questions about working with Satori along with answers, hints and tips. Answers are designed to help you with Satori features.  It is possible that some answers will be rendered out-of-date by future updates and developments to the program. If you have any questions which are not answered here, please contact Satori technical support.

Questions and answers

Q: What is resolution independence ?

A:  Satori uses in house developed resolution independent graphics algorithms to provide very fast performance on large image. This means that a picture has no resolution as such, but is stored as a set of operations. These operation can be rendered at ANY resolution with no loss of detail. The only time an image in Satori will pixelate is when an imported image (i.e. a scan) reaches the limit of its resolution. Any Satori added information such as brush strokes or geometric object will NOT pixelate even though the imported image may do.

Drop Shadows

Q: I cannot see how to apply drop shadows automatically to layers. How do I apply drop shadow layer?

A: If the shadow is required at layer level then you should:

1. Copy the layer for which the shadow is required.

2. Move the object.

3. Change the color, opacity and Z-order of the layer.

4. Use Blur object on the copied layer to get a soft edged drop shadow and other effects.

You can create shadows automatically for objects, by using the drop shadow option in Geometry Actions.

Emboss effect

Q: I would like to apply an emboss effect to an imported image? I have found the emboss object but this feature works well but only where an alpha channel information is present. How can I apply this effect?

A: You can use CanvasFX filters to apply a color emboss to a layer or follow the steps below: 

Layers may be given an embossed look by use of the following technique:

1. Copy the layer, then select the top layer as the current layer and change its opacity to 50%.

2. Move this layer diagonally by a small amount (the amount of offset will determine the depth of the emboss).

3. Use the Invert and Apply buttons in the Color Correction Dialog to transform all the colors on this layer to their negative values to obtain the embossed effect.

Using multiple masks

Q: How can I work with multiple masks to apply effects to both the foreground and background of a single image? If I use the regular layer controls then I cannot see how it is possible to re-order the layers correctly.

A: Creating masks for both foreground and background within a single image is a common problem. For example, to edit a chessboard image so that different brushing or bitmaps are applied to the white and black squares respectively:

1. Select the layer with the chessboard and copy the layer.

2. Use the luma key feature to create a mask on the top layer which masks the black squares only.

3. Apply the new brushing or bitmap to the layer (i.e. to the black squares).

4. Next select the lower layer and use luma key again to mask for the white squares only.

5. Apply the other new brushing or bitmap to the layer and the result will be a multi textured/colored chessboard.

Should the layer contain areas not to be included in either mask then a third layer (lowest of all) will be required.

Cut, copy and paste commands

Q: How can I complete cut, copy and paste image operations? I can see how to apply mapping effects to objects but there is no menu option for these controls.

A. Use the cut / paste or copy / paste operations in the Satori edit menu.  Alternatively, you can apply user mask to remove any unwanted parts of the layer.

See help documentation for more information on how to use these features.

Inverting layers

Q: I can move, scale, rotate and transform layers but there is no option for inverting a layer.

A: You can use CanvasFX filters to invert or flip a layer or follow the steps below:

To invert a layer (that is, mirror or flip image):

1. Click the Scale button on the Transformations tab on the Layer menu.

2. Select Set Values from the cursor menu.

3. Enter a value of -1 (minus one) in the direction required.

4. Choose Apply Settings from the cursor menu.

Textured brushes

Q: How can I apply textured ‘canvas or paper style’ effects to images? I cannot find any texture brushes in the brush library.

A: Use texture brushing to apply an externally derived texture (or clone) to any layer. The source for the texture is a separate RIR file. Alternatively, textures effects can also be applied using the user mask. Using the load to layer dialog load a single channel file, alpha channel file or grayscale file into the user mask channel (user mask selected in load to layer dialog) of a layer and then drawing onto the layer to see the effect.

Solid shapes with outlines

Q: I can select solid or outline for objects but how can I produce a solid shape with an outline?

A: To create a solid shape with an outline:

1. Use the Edit Toolbar to select the shape for editing.

2. Click Copy Edit icon and copy the current shape to layer.

3. Click the Outline button and pick a color for the outline shape.

4. Click the Finish Edit icon or choose Finish from the right button click pop up menu.

Filling a masked area

Q: I would like to fill a user mask area with color but there is no color fill option.  How can I quickly apply a fill?

A: To fill a user mask area with color:

1. Choose the required color.

2. Select keying actions in the Mask tab, select Visible Mask and click down and hold to place the color in the color box next to this option. N.B. The mask color will be saved in the bitmap if the mask is displayed at the time of saving.

Editing objects outside the image area

Q: It is possible to move objects off the display. How can I edit objects where the object is not visible in the view?

A: Objects can become hidden from view as a result of moved layers or layer transformations.

However, they can still be edited. To edit objects on a moved layer, cancel the Layer Move with the Reset Origin button in Layer Actions. Objects that are beneath a layer transformation such as scale (that is, they have been scaled out of view) report the following warning when edited.

The current edit object is below a layer transformation or Warp. Therefore the preview may appear incorrect. However it will be rendered correctly on finishing the edit.

Applying effects

Q: How can I apply highlights or effects to objects without having to create a mask for the object?

A: Effects such as a highlight can be applied to an object with, for example, an airbrush by using the Replace brush with a Lighten brush style. Shading can be added by use of Replace and Darken brush style.

Flattening multiple layers

Q: I would like to apply effects in a single operation to multiple layers. How can multiple layers be merged or flattened into a single layer?

A: To copy more than one layer to a single destination layer you should display only the layers you want to copy and save the canvas under a different name. Then use the Load To Layer command from the File menu to load the previously saved canvas file to a single layer.

Note: you will have load a multi-layer file into a single layer but this is only for convenience since all the layers and objects that exist in this file remain ‘floating’ and can still be edited by loading the file normally. You can edit the Canvas file normally and any changes will be automatically updated in version of the file loaded as a single layer.

Invisible brushing

Q: I have selected a brush and have started to draw but no brushing appears in the selected layer.

A: If you have an active user mask on the layer then this could explain why your brushing may be invisible. If no user mask exists then you should review the following instructions:

Create a new layer and try applying brushing to that layer.

It is possible that you may be using a brush object style that requires color information e.g. Tint or that the opacity for the brush is set too low and may appear to have no effect in transparent areas of a layer. If you are still unable to draw then you may be encountering a fault with Satori or the pen system. Try drawing a geometric shape object into a new layer. If this fails then you should save your work and re-start Satori. Alternatively, you will need to investigate the pen system, as this may not be working correctly.

There are several reasons why brushing may not be visible. Some of them are:

The layer display is turned off: turn the layer display on using the Layer list palette.

You may be brushing with a modify brush such as Lighten, Darken, Tint, Shade, Replace, Clone, Push, Smudge or Burn over the infinite background where nothing exists to modify. Select another brush style such as Solid or Airbrush.

You may be drawing into a masked area.  Use the Clear Mask control in the mask tab of the Keying Actions Palette.

You have set the maximum pen pressure to be zero. In the Response tab of the Brush Setup Dialog, reset the Max Pressure to 255.

Changes to saved canvas files

Q: I have saved my work as a Canvas (.CVS) but when I re-load the Canvas file the image has changed.

A: The Canvas (.CVS) file includes references to all source images used but does not include the bitmap images. If you have moved, deleted or updated source images then this will be reflected on re-loading the previously stored Canvas (.CVS) file. Some images or paths may have changed since the creation of your CVS file.

Caution: It is important to use the correct compression settings when saving Canvas (.CVS) files. See help documentation for more information.

Changes not displayed

Q: I am editing an object but sometimes the adjustments have no effect on the display.

A: It is not always possible to update the display during object editing. Moving the object may sometimes be necessary to update the view. For example, an opacity change to an object cannot be previewed unless the object is re-positioned. All objects are correctly displayed by clicking the Finish Edit icon on the Edit Toolbar. This re-renders the display.

Repositioning mapped images

Q: I have applied a mapping to an object and would like to re-position the mapping. How can the mapping be moved?

A: Once an object is mapped, that mapping can be scaled or re-positioned by using the edit object features. See help documentation for more information on object mapping and editing.

Alternatively, use texture brush to clone the area you require onto a layer and set source area / move layer to re-position your texture as desired.

Increasing resolution

Q: If imported bitmap images cannot be rendered at a resolution higher than the source image files then I do not understand how Satori is able to increase the resolution.

A. When Satori needs to increase the pixel size of source image files, it will scale up the image as in other image processingapplications. If a large amount of scaling is required then undesirable pixel effectsmay be present in the renderer output.

For best results, it is always better forSatori to work on images that exceed the resolution of the output file. When this isn’t possible then the appearance of an imported image can be improved by the use of Satori sub-pixel brushes.

Use the sub-pixel clone brush to re-sample the image at below pixel level to remove the pixel boundaries. See help documentation for more information.

Pixelated zoom views

Q: When I am drawing in a zoom view the result is sometimes pixelated or blocky. What is this effect and how can this be avoided?

A: Zooming the main (or base) view generates by default a fast low-resolution preview. Selecting Hi-Rez in the Zoom Controls Palette re-renders maximum detail possible for the zoom view level selected. Selecting Hi-Rez before drawing will ensure that all work can be completed accurately in zoom views.

Slow brushing

Q: I have started to draw but the brushing slows down in some areas of the screen, but not others. It is also taking an increased time to apply effects.

A: It is possible that you have a number of zoom views open for that canvas. Where you have zoom views these will also require updating. If you have a Hi-Rez zoom view then you will notice that drawing in the area of the zoom view on the main view is slower, as the drawing is being applied simultaneously to both the main view and the Hi-Rez zoom view. It is recommended that all zoom views that are no longer required are closed to optimize performance for all operations.

Pen problems

Q: I have setup my WinTab tablet but I am having problems drawing. It is not possible to draw smoothly as the brushing is not responsive or the brush application build up is not consistent. 

A: It is important that all possible systems processing resources are available during normal operation of Satori. If you have any other applications running (for example, 3D rendering) then it is possible that these could be reducing the performance of Satori.

Tips for working with resolution independence

Slow rendering of layers

Q: I have applied layer (or object) transformations and numerous filters and effects. When I zoom in and select Hi-Rez I have to wait an increased time for the view to be re-rendered.

A: If you have to complete transformations on source images, it may be advisable to render these images/layers as RIR files and import these files. Once the new files are imported, it will no longer be necessary for the system to re-render any transformations and view-rendering speeds will be increased.

Multiple copies of files

Q: I have to pre-process single and multiple image files. I am using the Satori automatic batch convert facility (PREP) as I have found this to be more convenient than having to wait for these to be converted on loading into Satori.

How do I avoid having to manage multiple copies of image files?

A: Once images have been converted to RIR format then the original images can be removed from your work disks as they are no longer required. The original data is preserved in the RIR file and can be easily extracted (convert from RIR) at any time in any number of standard image file formats.

Rendering canvas files

Q: How long does it take to render Canvas (.CVS) files?

A: The image render time will depend on many factors. If you are using a high specification workstation then you may be able to render while you work. Alternatively, you may prefer to batch render your work (using RIP) when you have finished using Satori. If you are rendering very large images (above 100Mbyte) then you may need to update your current virtual swap file settings. It is also important to verify that you have space available on disk for storing the rendered image(s). As a guide, virtual swap files should be set to at least two times the final rendered image (uncompressed) file on disk. 

For example, rendering a 4K x 4K (4 channel – RGB alpha images) file generates a 64Mbyte (uncompressed) file and will therefore require a 128Mbyte (minimum) swap file for processing.

64-bit color

Q: I have started a new canvas and selected 64-bit color processing. I find that some operations take an increased time. On rendering, the program asks for the system swap file to be increased and the final rendered file required more disk space than I had expected. What are the benefits in working in 64-bit color?

A: If you are producing work for high resolution output to film or print then the vastly increased color range and accuracy offered by 64-bit color processing will produce the best output results.

In addition, the increased accuracy of transparency and anti-aliasing provides seamless image and graphics compositing. Ultra-smooth gradients and color corrections are also free from color banding. In lower color processing applications, 64-bit can help minimize processing and color banding errors in the design stage, before rendering the output in 24-bit or 32-bit color formats. Operating in 64-bit color processing will increase the system requirements.

A reduction in performance may be observed but this will depend on the system processor and memory configuration. If required, the system may ask you to increase the size of your current swap file. 64-bit processing requires more system memory and disk space. A 64-bit render of a 4K x 4K will generate a 124Mbyte (uncompressed) file but the same file rendered in 32 bit color Generates a file of 62Mbytes. 64 bit = 4 x (16 bit) channels, including Alpha 48 bit = 3 x (16 bit) channels, no Alpha 32 bit = 4 x (8 bit) channels, including Alpha 24 bit = 3 x (8 bit) channels, no Alpha

Sub-Pixel Filters

Q. I’m using a digital camcorder. If I were to import an image sequence into Satori, convert all frames to RIR’s, blow up the images, re-render them, then reduce each image back to the original frame size and save them to a different directory. Would the image quality be greatly improved?

A. Blowing an image up then shrinking it down doesn’t add detail to an image.  Unless you add to or change the image at the new, higher resolution of course.  An easier solution might be found by adding a sub-pixel filter to the original image, for example SHARPEN or BLUR. You can use any fraction (E.G. 0.5 is half of one pixel).  For a softer result try adding a BLUR filter at 0.4 pixels in X and Y followed by a SHARPEN with value 0.1


Q. I’ve got 1500 frames of NTSCD1 video at 720 x 486 as TGA files and I want to go to HDTV at 1920 x 1296 and I’ve heard that Satori can up-rez with sub-pixel filters. How do I do this?

A. Up-Rezzing video clips for HDTV or film can be achieved by following these steps.

1. LOAD TO LAYER xxx0000.tga -xxx1499. tga (Where each bitmap is 720 x 486). Set FILENAME ANIMATION parameters as appropriate.

2. From the CANVAS ACTIONS PALETTE select CHANGE SIZE and set the values for the new canvas size (1920 x 1296). Ensure STRETCH TO FIT BUT KEEP ORIGINAL ASPECT is checked then click OK.

3. From the GEOMETRY ACTIONS PALETTE select RECTANGLE and from the FX-1 tab select BLUR and set a value of 0.5 (or whatever fraction of a pixel you decide). Pen/mouse right button click inside the image window and click FILL CANVAS from the POP UP MENU.

4. Now Rotoscope Render the sequence to whatever file type and destination is appropriate. The result will be 1500 frames at 1920 x 1296.