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Open Canvas 4.5 As anyone who has been following along with my art can tell you – I’m a big fan of Open Canvas. Sure – there are much heavier hitting applications when you want to do some hard core photo editing, manipulation, and even just good ol’ fashioned painting. Here’s the thing though – OC is lightweight, it works, and it stores every brush stroke in an event file that you can play back as an animation.

If you’ve seen one of my illustration videos, you’ve seen this aspect of the software in action. I use OC to create the animation, and then CamStudio to record that animation in a file that YouTube can use. (I touch it up and add credits / soundtrack in Windows Movie Maker.) Yeah – I guess you could say I’m a fan of inexpensive – or better – free software. I’m a believer in the philosophy of KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. When things get complicated it’s just too easy for them to break down.

The problem with the newest version of Open Canvas (4.5) is simple enough. They’re a Japanese company and they’re struggling to get the English help files in place. The software is set up / designed in such a way that even a clueless gaijin like myself can muddle their way through it, but the help files really would be nice to have. If only for the hot key combinations.

What’s that? You’re looking for the keyboard shortcuts / hotkeys for Open Canvas 4.5 too? It’s you’re lucky day. I just went through and dug out all that I could the old fashioned way – I tried them and watched what happened. I’m sure to have missed some and/or managed to screw up the definitions for what some of them do, so feel free to correct me in the comments. I’ll edit the post to make the corrections and that way we’re all on the same page.

I’ll put these behind a cut to save your RSS feeds from getting bloated:

When you see a / between options for a key – hitting that key repeatedly rotates through those selections.

w = magic wand
t = text / text mask
i = eye dropper
p = fill rectangle / ellipse / polygon / lasso
a = pencil / pencil former
s = eraser / eraser former / magic eraser
d = paintbrush / paintbrush former
f = airbrush / airbrush former
g = fingertip / fingertip former / spread / blur / blur former
h = dodge / burn
j = fill / gradient
k = fill / gradient (?)
l = select rectangle / ellipse / polygon / lasso
c = crop
v = move layer / move layer with selection
m = mask (select rectangle / ellipse / polygon / lasso)
F1 = Help (doesn’t work!)
F5 = Zoom In
F6 = Zoom Out
F7 = Zoom to 100%
F8 = Zoom to Fit Window
F9 = Antialias View
Insert = Fill Layer with Foreground Color
Tab Key = Hide All Tool Boxes
Cntrl Key While Selecting = -Selection
shift Key While Selecting = +Selection
Space Bar = Hand / Pan / Zoom Tools
Cntrl + N = New Image
Cntrl + Shift + V = New Image Via Clipboard
Cntrl + O = Open
Cntrl + Alt + O = Open Event Image
Cntrl + W = Close Window
Cntrl + S = Save
Cntrl + Shift + S = Save Event
Cntrl + Shift + P = Page Setup
Cntrl + P = Print with Preview
Cntrl + Alt + P = Print
Cntrl + Q = Quit
Cntrl + Z = Undo
Cntrl + Y = Redo
Cntrl + X = Cut
Cntrl + C = Copy
Cntrl + Shift + C = Copy Image
Cntrl + V = Paste
Cntrl + K = Preferences
Cntrl + Alt + C = Canvas Size
Cntrl + Alt + I = Image Size
Cntrl + R = Flip Horizontal
Cntrl + Shift + N = New Layer
Cntrl + J = New Layer via Copy
Cntrl + Shift + J = New Layer via Cut
Cntrl + G = Link Down
Cntrl + Shift + G = Unlink
Cntrl + E = Merge Down
Cntrl + Shift + E = Merge Visible
Cntrl + A = Select All
Cntrl + D = Deselect All (Select None)
Cntrl + Shift + I = Select Inverse
Cntrl + F = Repeat Last Filter Used
Cntrl + + = Zoom In
Cntrl + – = Zoom Out
Cntrl + H = Show / Hide Grid
Enter = Pause
Cntrl + Enter = Step
Cntrl + Shift + Enter = Stop
Cntrl + 0 = Tools
Cntrl + 1 = Options
Cntrl + 2 = Navigator
Cntrl + 3 = Info
Cntrl + 4 = Event Logs
Cntrl + 5 = Color
Cntrl + 6 = Swatches
Cntrl + 7 = Brushes
Cntrl + 8 = Layers
Cntrl + 9 = Masks
Cntrl + F4 = Close
Cntrl + F6 = Next (?)

Open Canvas Online Community One last thing – if you’re also a fan of Open Canvas (or even if you don’t know if you are) – take a minute or 17 to check out their growing community of artists online.

Navigation can be a bit tricky as this portion of their site is only in Japanese. (Unless you’re using Google Chrome which will automatically ask if you’d like the page translated to English.)

Click on one of the images as they’re presented in the slideshow you see when you first get there. Click on it one more time in the page that loads. You’ll see the process just like in one of my videos right on their site.

Are you an artist that uses OC? Join the community and you can upload your event files for folks to see!


Edited to add: I just stumble on another great resource for folks looking to learn about Open Canvas. There’s a wikibook about Open Canvas you should check out if you’re looking for more information.