More paint apps
In my last about this subject I said I’d discovered a few more paint apps for Windows. These were:
- Ambient Design: Art Rage
- RightHemisphere :Deep Paint
- Nature Painter: Nature Painter Digital Canvas
- Eusoftware: Wizardbrush
Add to that: e-Paint and the experimental and academic Chinese Painting on Phantom by Jeng-Sheng Yeh, Pei-Ken Chang and Ting-Yu Lien. Furthermore, there’s Gsumi, which does a nice liquid ink stroke, and Wet, which run on Linux.
Of course, by the time I was ready to investigate this crop of Windows apps, I was too late. Wizardbrush had already expired, but that application wasn’t very interesting anyway, with an unbelievably garish interface and few really impressive tools. Wizard Brush is cheap at $30,-.
You know, I think I’m missing something here. Why does this app exist? At first blush e-paint is about as capable as Microsoft Paint, with perhaps the added option of making paint strokes half transparent. Strokes aren’t anti-aliased, or not very well, colour options are thoroughly hidden and there are no fun art features.
E-paint is $29.99 and apparently you get a free book thrown in as well…
Nature Painter is a bit posh, a bit pretentious. It presumes to present the user with a sort of training wheels for real art materials. What it is is a nice hand-holding 2d paint app with a gradient brush… Not as much fun to use as Art Rage, TwistedBrush or Smoothdraw, but worth trying out.
Art Rage is quite a lot of fun. For starters, it’s free (as in lunch, not as in speech, which is a pity), and it uses OpenGL to good effect to show a quite convincing paint effect. It’s easy to use, has an interface reminiscent of Alias Sketchbook. You have brushes, pencils, chalks, felt pens and a knife. Cool stuff. I wish I could peek at their source code. Oh, and they have implemented bidirectional paint transfer — hence the glass of water to clean your brush. This also mixes your paint, but the results are quite wrong. I think they are just mixing RG and B.
This is clearly an experimental application merely meant to show off the results of some very interesting academic research. That means that you cannot do much useful with it, or even that it produces great results — unless you have the phantom input thingy. I’m grateful to the authors for at least making their work available as software instead of a mere paper: not many researchers do that. And it’s quite probably that I didn’t install it right.