One of my favorite perks of running this site is encountering dedicated and creative developers like Henning Tegen. I hadn't come across his paint application Leonardo until last week but I was immediately impressed by its clean design and smooth operation.
Rebelle is a one-of-a-kind real watercolor and acrylic painting program created by Escape Motions. Its watercolor simulation is based on a real-world color mixing, blending, wet-diffusion, and drying.
Rebelle convincingly mimics the way natural media interacts with the canvas and itself. Users can paint, smear, re-wet dried colors, blow wet washes across the paper, tilt the paper to create water drops and runs and create countless fantastic watercolor effects. Moreover, its various wet tools - watercolors, acrylics or ink pen can be combined with pastels, pencils or any other dry media tools, in wonderfully intuitive ways. It’s the closest a digital tool has ever come to the flow, spontaneity, and feel of traditional materials. With its unparalleled organic feel, it is a one of the must-have's for every artist’s digital toolbox.
Rebelle is available for Windows and Mac OS for $59.99 from May 28th 2015 on Escape Motions website. Mac App Store edition will be available soon.
• Unique watercolor algorithm - Watercolor has some of the most complex paint effects and it is tough to simulate these effects in a digital world, but the physics created by Peter Blaškovič, with the help of Michal Fapšo, handles these fluid characteristics beautifully.
• Basic tools that work extraordinarily - Wet tools - watercolors, acrylics or ink pen can be seamlessly combined with pastels, pencils, airbrush many other dry-media tools and effects.
• Intuitive easy-to-use interface – Painting in Rebelle is intuitive and uncomplicated, making it ideal for both the professional artist and the beginner alike. There’s a simple interface, with the powerful tools every artist needs.
About Escape Motions and Peter Blaškovič
Escape Motions is a digital tools, design and animation company. We experiment with new media, code and interactive art to find a new expression and create innovative visual tools for artists and designers.
How did it all begin? What’s the story behind Escape Motions?
A few years ago, Peter Blaškovič, a young designer from Slovak Republic, developed a painting application within his "I am an artist" experimental project, which became one of the top procedural painting applications in the world. He called it Flame Painter, and it's unique flame brushes allow the artist to easily create original artworks, light effects or unconventional designs. The third version Flame Painter 3 offers many advanced features for CG artists and professionals, whereas Flame Painter for iOS is specially designed for children and enthusiast artists, and features an intuitive and playful user interface.
In December 2013, we launched a new art program - Amberlight, an equally unique and groundbreaking graphics tool that creates abstract computer-generated images.
We have been working on Rebelle for more than two years to achieve the most realistic painting tools possible. After two months of open beta testing, during which we implemented the most requested features, Rebelle is now ready to bring an unsurpassed watercolor and dry-media experience to digital painting world.
Peter believes that everyone can be an artist and his vision is to motivate people to be creative. "Many people think they cannot draw or paint at all. Therefore I want to keep creating tools that encourage and liberate people to express themselves." he says.
Ambient Design has announced the release of ArtRage Touch for Windows 8.1 tablets, available immediately in the Windows Store.
ArtRage 4 for Windows already features one of the cleaner UI designs among desktop paint programs, but the new Touch edition has adopted Windows Modern design language, making it easier to navigate with pen and touch.
While it doesn't offer the full feature set of the desktop version, ArtRage Touch features the key core set:
- Designed specifically for touch and stylus screen input devices.
- Natural painting tools including Oil Paint, Watercolor, Pencils, Palette Knives, Paint Tubes, Rollers, Pens and more.
- Tool settings to adjust the properties of each tool, and presets for storing your favorites.
- Transparent Layers with basic blend modes and opacity control.
- Reference and Tracing Images for importing photographs as a reference during painting.
- Configurable canvas textures with control over color, depth, and grain type.
- Undo and Redo.
ArtRage Touch is $9.99 to purchase and offers a 7-day free trial (NOTE: The ArtRage website claims it's a 14-day trial, but the Windows Store states only 7). Learn more about the app here.
Mischief 2.0 price reduced to $25; feature-limited free version also released
High-end graphics software developer The Foundry yesterday surprised industry observers with the announcement of the acquisition of the tiny hobbyist software startup Made With Mischief. The latter's Mischief paint and sketch software was introduced last year.
Along with the acquisition, the companies announced the immediate release of Version 2.0 of the software with new UI, additional brushes and --most significantly for Surface Pro and Windows tablet users-- multitouch gesture support with palm rejection. The retail price of Mischief 2.0 was also cut dramatically to $25 and a free feature-limited version is available to download. The software runs on Windows and OS X and is also available through the Mac App Store.
I tested the paid version on the Surface Pro 2 and 3. In previous incarnations, Mischief required a Wintab driver for pen pressure. But on the SP3, I actually had to remove the N-Trig Wintab driver in order for the paid software to work properly. With the driver installed, many of my pen strokes exhibited an odd glitch: a small spike that would appear randomly, usually at the beginning of a stroke. Uninstalling the driver took care of the issue.
I'd ordinarily chalk the problem up to N-Trig, but my Surface Pro 2 has the same issue (see above). I haven't tried removing the Wacom pen driver because it's more critical to the calibration and pen settings on the SP2.
Several Twitter followers have corroborated the issue, while others have claimed they're not seeing the problem. It could of course be a conflict with other software or one of the many utilities I have installed to test over time. Made with Mischief is looking into the problem.
Performance is also somewhat erratic on the SP3. Multitouch gestures sometimes stop working or are difficult to trigger. It's also easy to lose sight of your work if you zoom in or out too far. If this happens to you, select Edit/View All Strokes to frame up your work.
Besides these early performance issues, Mischief 2.0 is simply a lot of fun to use. I can't wait until the developers introduce flipbook capability so that you can animate the pans, tilts and zooms. There is a sample file available for separate download called Sleepy Story that is absolutely breathtaking.
Although Mischief has a very limited core feature set at the moment, it features a revolutionary technology that enables an almost infinite canvas. "Our infinite zoom is 50 trillion:1!" crowed the @GetMischief Twitter feed."It's like sitting on the moon and zooming down to the wing of a bug (on Earth)!"
The Foundry's blog announcement went into further detail on the technology powering Mischief's zooming capability:
Mischief is powered by a revolutionary patented shape representation, known as Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields (ADFs), co-invented by (company founder Sarah) Frisken. ADFs have several advantages for creative applications: they provide high-quality stroke rendering; they are amenable to hardware-based rendering so drawing is extremely responsive; they are very compact, resulting in small file sizes; they can be scaled without introducing pixelation artifacts; and they can accurately represent much richer and more complex shapes than traditional vector-based stroke representations. For Frisken, the acquisition of Made With Mischief by The Foundry enables her to retain her core vision of providing high-quality software tools for a wide range of artists and to preserve an accessible price point, while bringing future versions of the platform to an even broader audience.
“The Foundry has a proven record of taking exciting, innovative concepts and commercializing them for a broader market,” said Sarah Frisken. “By becoming a part of The Foundry, we now have the ability to grow our team, to be more responsive to our users, and to further our vision... With our talent and technology, we will create new and exciting products that in turn create new possibilities and experiences for our customers.”
The entire announcement video is available to view here.
Although Mischief is an exciting application, its user base is tiny: about 4,000, according to one source I read yesterday. The Foundry specializes in high end applications like Nuke, which begins at £2,534 per seat. Its Mari paint software is a mere £1,221 plus an annual license. Why would they want to sell a $25 program to hobbyists?
FXGuide yesterday published a deep look at the ADF technology that The Foundry is acquiring alongside Made with Mischief and it's definitely worth a look. "The software that is the backbone of Mischief right now is absolutely able to do 3D," Frisken told the site. "All that is exposed right now is 2D but the underlying engine could do 3D. We have imagined sketching in 3D or sketching on a 2D canvas at any orientation or rotation to the camera.”
The article also features a demonstration video of a test ADF sculpting application written by Tomas Pettersson, of Sculptris for The Foundry's Luxology Modo team. If you're into 3d sculpting, it's definitely worth a look.
To purchase Mischief 2.0 or download the free version, go to MadewithMischief.com Registered owners of version 1.x can upgrade to 2.0 for free.
Always on the lookout for new graphics tools, I ran across an interesting entrant from 61 Solutions named Mischief.
With its clean, uncluttered interface, Mischief is a good alternative for the Surface Pro's small screen. Although at first glance, the software appears to have limited functionality, it has one distinguishing feature: what its developers call an "infinite canvas." The effect is like a fractal image that can be zoomed to reveal increasing levels of detail. In fact, it is very easy to draw items so small they cannot be perceived when the image is zoomed to its beginning size.
Mischief uses Adaptively Sampled Distance Fields (ADFs), originally invented and developed at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) and further enhanced at 61 Solutions. ADFs are a new digital representation of shape which provide numerous advantages including high-quality anti-aliasing, very fast rendering, very small file sizes, multi-scale rendering, support for massive parallelism, and the ability to succinctly represent variable-width, scalable, textured strokes. This technology is protected by over 50 patents.
Similar effects may be achieved with vectors in other programs, but in Mischief functions are performed with standard paint or raster tools.
Although it's relatively inexpensive at $65, I really can't recommend Mischief due to its relatively limited toolset, but if you're looking for a program that can produce extremely high resolution work, Mischief might be for you.