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Impressionist plugin: Troubleshooting

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  #1  
Old 06-16-2004, 10:55 AM
Cheryl H's Avatar
Cheryl H Cheryl H is offline
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Location: California
Posts: 321
The Impressionist plugin is PC only. It doesn't work with native Mac applications.

It will work on one of the newer Macs that runs Windows or a Mac outfitted with Virtual PC. In either case a Windows version of an image editing program such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Painter, etc. is needed to host this plugin.

- - - - - - -

Symptoms:
* When you click the Style buttom, the only category displayed in the dropdown menu is Charcoal whose only style is Default.

POSSIBILITY 1 (see below for POSSIBILITY 2)

This is the most common problem first time Impressionist users experience and is due to improperly named folders. If folder names are not spelled correctly as shown in the attached diagram, Impressionist will not work properly.

Corrective action:
* Open the attachment and verify folder spelling and organization

Notes:
* mscreate.dir is a junk file and not needed.
* The top level folder (the one inside the plugins folder containing all of Impressionist's files) can be named anything.
* The remaining folder names MUST be spelled correctly (as shown) or Charcoal > Default will be the only stting available.

For additional detail on file structure:
* Open the Impressionist plugin
* Click the Help button
* Search on topic Impressionist File Organization

- - - - - - -

POSSIBILITY 2

Symptoms: "I've verified the folder structure is correct and the folders are named correctly. But Charcoal > Default is still the only style available.

Try this...

Use Windows Start > Seach (file/folders) to see if by chance there's a duplicate of Impressionist's 8bf file "somewhere else" within the folder structure of your image editing program. If a duplicate exists, your editing program is most likely finding it first and does not bother looking for the .8bf located in the properly configured folders.

Delete extraneous files/folders if you find any and then shutdown and restart your imaging program.
Attached Images
File Type: gif folder settings.gif (8.1 KB, 493 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 11-02-2006 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Update content
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  #2  
Old 06-16-2004, 07:47 PM
Cheryl H's Avatar
Cheryl H Cheryl H is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: California
Posts: 321
Other Errors

1. Error Message:"[brush file name] An image required by the current style could not be loaded." This message is displayed when you click the Apply button.

Most likely cause: A missing custom brush file.
(See Symptom 2 below, too.)

Besides all the brushes that come with Impressionist, those into creating custom styles can create custom brushes, too, and specify them in custom styles they create.

If you attempt to use a custom style that requires a custom brush and the custom brush has not been included in \Brushes, Impressionist will display the above error message.

Corrective action:
* Contact the creator of the custom style/custom brush and request he/she send you the custom brush file.

Workaround if contacting the author of the custom brush is unsuccessful:
* Take note of the name of missing file. (You may need to try the custom style again.)
* Engage any other style, e.g., Charcoal > Default
* Press the More Controls button
* Choose Brush from the dropdown menu
* Click the Custom button
* At the top right of the Load Brushes dialog click the 3rd icon and choose Details from the menu
* Click the gray bar with Name in it so sort the brush files alphabetically by file name
* Scroll down the list until you find a file that's "close" in file name to the one that is missing. If nothing is even close, then any file will do.
* IMPORTANT: Note the file name you click on (write it down -- exactly).
* Right-click on the file name and choose Rename
* Rename the selected file with the exact name of the missing file
* After renaming the file click on ANY OTHER file name
* Click Cancel in the Load Brushes dialog
* From the Style menu, choose the (formerly) broken custom style. Since you created the missing file by renaming a different file, the style will be loaded.

At this time choose click the Custom button again and select among the other brushes. Experiment until you find one you like and then Save the custom style, replacing the previous one.

Finally click the Custom button again, navigate the the brush file you renamed and rename it back to its original file name.

After all this I hope the custom style was worth all this hassle!

= = = = = = = =

2. Error Message:"[brush file name] An image required by the current style could not be loaded." This message is displayed when you click the Apply button.

Symptom: Not all files in the \Brushes folder show up in the Brushes dialog. But if you look in \Brushes, the "missing" brush file is there.

Cause:
There is a limit to the number of brushes Impressionist will display and find.

Workaround:
The desired brush can be specified by clicking the Custom button in the Brushes dialog.

Corrective action:
* Shutdown the image editing program.
* Go to Impressionist's \Brushes
* Move one or more *.tif brush file another folder.
* Start the image editing program again.

Additional information:

I've spent most of the day making new brushes and ran across something interesting. Only the first (approx) 370 brush files will show in the brush menu. After that, you have to click the Custom button to load the brushes. This is fine except the option to choose brush family isn't available this way. The list seems to be sorted alphabetically rather than by date.

Solution found:
1. Move some brushes to a temp folder
2. Define styles using the brushes at the end of the alphabet using brush family
3. Move brushes back to \Brushes (you can still access the ones at the end via the preset.

Also note that you can get to them via the custom button--you just can't make the selection of "use brush family."

You only have to worry about this if you want to create custom presets yourself and the brushes you want to use have names at the end of the alphabet.


= = = = = =

3. Error Message:"An error occurred while trying to display the parameters dialog."

Cause: Insufficient memory.
Corrective action:
* Close some windows and try again
* If that doesn't work, shutdown/restart Photoshop
* If that doesn't work, reboot your computer.

= = = = = =

4. Error Message:"Bad data prevented completion of this operation."

When you open a Style submenu, the name of a custom brush is blank. (There's a placeholder for it in the menu, just no letters.) If you try to select the brush, the above error message is displayed. The custom style cannot be deleted.

Cause:
A custom style was saved with a name of more than 30 characters. This corrupts the offending .set file.

Note:
Impressionist will allow you to save custom styles having names longer than 30 characters (this is a flaw in the plugin), but if you do this "blank" entry in the menu problem occurs.

Corrective action:
Since the blank menu entry cannot be deleted, you can either resave the custom style with a name of 30 characters or less and ignore the blank entry -or- resave all the custom styles in a new .set file (with a different name) and resave the offending custom style with a name of 30 characters or less. Then (physically) delete the corrupted .set file from \User Settings.

Another option if you're handy with a Hex editor: Modify the corrupted .set file by locating the offending "too long" style name. Then shorten it and update the corresponding field length value.

= = = = = =

5. Error Message:"[file name] The direction image size is different from the original."

Cause: File size mismatch.

When you create a file to be used with stroke direction, it MUST be the same size as the file to which the style is being applied.

Corrective action:
Recreate the direction file.

Generally speaking it's usually a good idea to duplicate the target image (ensuring sizes will be equal) and create the direction file from it.

= = = = = =

6. Error Message:"The System cannot find the file specified."

Cause 1: Missing direction file.

A direction file was specified when the custom style was saved. Between now and then the direction file was deleted or moved.

Corrective action:
Recreate the direction file.

- - - -

Cause 2: Folder \User Settings does not exist.

This error message will be displayed when you attempt to save a custom style, but the above folder has not been created.

Corrective action:
Create folder \User Settings inside folder \Impressionist accessories and then Save the custom style again.


= = = = = =

Symptom: Clicking the Style button does not display the menu.

Cause: Too many custom settings have been defined or insufficient RAM available.

Corrective action:
* Closing some windows, then try again.

If that does not work:
* Shutdown the image editing program.
* Go to Impressionist's \User Settings folder
* Move one or more *.set files to another folder
* Start the image editing program again.

= = = = = = = =

Symptom: Too many style categories. Existing styles need to be removed or overridden.

Cause: The custom style limit is 47. You cannot exceed 47 .set files in \User Settings

Corrective action options:
* Save the new custom setting in an existing category
* Consolidate existing styles into fewer categories

Commentary:

There is a maximum number of custom categories allowed (47).

Suggestions:
* To keep "your" custom categories separate from the default ones installed with Impressionist, preceed category names with digits and/or special characters so they will "sort to the top" of the categories menu choices.
* As you collect .set files, consolidate custom styles into existing categories.

= = = = = = = =

7. Error Message:"[file name]." The system cannot find the path specified."

Cause:
* Impressionist cannot locate "[file name]" that was specified in the Orientation > Orient the strokes > By file... setting.

Corrective action:

There are two options:
* Create a stroke orientation file
* Apply the style without a stroke orientation file

1. Create a stroke orientation file
* Cancel out of Impressionist
* Duplicate the subject image
* Save the duplicate image in either .tif or .bmp format. The location and file name assigned are up to you.
* Close the duplicate file

* Open the Impressionist dialog
* Select the style
* Click on "More Controls"
* From the dropdown menu choose "Orientation"
* From the Orient the strokes dropdown menu, choose By file...
* Navigate to the .bmp or .tif file just saved

You will now be able to apply the style.

2. Apply the style without a stroke orientation file
* Open the Impressionist dialog
* Select the style
* Click on "More Controls"
* From the dropdown menu choose "Orientation"
* From the Orient the strokes dropdown menu, choose any option except By file...

You will now be able to apply the style.

Additional information:
* Open Impressionist HELP
* Search on "By file"

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-30-2006 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Add a new error message and corrective actions.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2005, 11:33 AM
Diane Diane is offline
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Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 93
mike's set

I can't get Mike's set to show up in Impressionist. I have everyone else but his won't show up.
Diane
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2005, 02:55 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Is it not here? (see attachment)

If not, you put the .set file in \User Settings
...right?

If the .set file is in the right folder, you may have exceeded the number of Styles Impressionist can display. Try removing some .set files from \User Settings.

Keep me posted...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Imp_Mike Finn.jpg (39.8 KB, 171 views)

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 03-02-2005 at 03:03 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2005, 03:18 PM
Diane Diane is offline
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it does not show up in the menu. It is in the right place , same as the other ones.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2005, 07:53 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyRaphael
If the .set file is in the right folder, you may have exceeded the number of Styles Impressionist can display. Try removing some .set files from \User Settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diane
it does not show up in the menu. It is in the right place , same as the other ones.
OK...

Since you didn't mention it I'll assume you overlooked the last suggestion.

The following steps will isolate Mike's setting so you'll be able to determine its location:
1. Move all .set files except the Mike Finn set file from \User Settings into another folder.

2. Move file default.set in \Factory Settings also to another folder.

3. Bring up Photoshop and open the Impressionist dialog.

4. Click the Style button:

a. If the menu contains Charcoal and a custom category (something like "MikeF Painter," that means you had previously exceeded Impressionist's custom style threshold.

Corrective action: Delete some individual custom styles you are not using and/or move .set files you're not using out of \User Settings.

b. The menu will contain Charcoal and probably some other category. Mike's style (named "Painter1") will be in one or the other.

Corrective action:

Either remember in which category you found "Painter 1"

-or-

* Select "Painter 1"
* Click the Save button
* In the box labeled
.....Category Name, type: #Mike Finn
.....Variant Name, type: Painter 1
.....File name, type: #Mike Finn
* Cancel out of Impressionist
* Close Photoshop
* Delete the "old" Mike Finn.set file

Don't forget to restore Default.set and any other .set files you want to use. When you open Photoshop again, category #Mike Finn will be listed above the default categories.

This ought to do it. Keep me posted on your results.

~Danny~
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2005, 08:38 PM
Diane Diane is offline
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Posts: 93
thanks Danny, I followed your instructions to move the set files to another folder etc. That helped , I am able to see and use Mike's set file.
Diane
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2005, 06:08 PM
Sean2 Sean2 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 95
Hi,

I recently downloaded the Impressionist plug-in, but seem unable to get it to load in the filters.

I dragged it to the Plug-ins in Ps CS and even went so far as to copy the two dll files and 8.bf file to the system - still not registering.

Any suggestions or help ? Is Impressionist compatible with CS?

Sean
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2005, 06:25 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean2
Hi,

I recently downloaded the Impressionist plug-in, but seem unable to get it to load in the filters.

I dragged it to the Plug-ins in Ps CS and even went so far as to copy the two dll files and 8.bf file to the system - still not registering.

Any suggestions or help ? Is Impressionist compatible with CS?

Sean
Hi Sean:

Impressionist is CS-compatible. Send me an e-mail (via my profile above) and I'll attach some info in the reply that should get you squared away.

~Danny~
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2005, 05:40 AM
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TylerRB TylerRB is offline
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Location: Landstuhl, Germany
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Are you by any chance using a Mac? I have experience problems with .8bf files before.

T
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