Flowpaint 0.2 released


Last weekend I released version 0.2 of Flowpaint, my open source paint program project.

Here's the short summary:
Flowpaint version 0.2 is now released! It adds undo, detailed parameters for brushes, a 'recent brushes' - feature, dramatical speedup by dynamically compiling code, and a new set of default brushes. In addition tablets with pressure are now supported also with the Java Webstart version. Flowpaint is still in Beta phase, use with care.
And here's the full release announcement and download links.

I was demonstrating it live at a comics festival in Tampere on the weekend, in between manning the Pirate Party table there. It was a nice event, with a quite good match between the target audience of Flowpaint and the people there (our table was in the room for independent and self-publishing comic artists).

There's several features I'd like to add that I think could be useful for editing comics in Flowpaint. One such is the ability to compose one picture with several frames that show other pictures that are updated when the original pictures are updated. This concept could also be used for things like brush strokes textured with a picture. In addition, tools like procedural brushes or images could be utilized for creating picture components once and re-rendering them with different parameters to quickly create unique detailed backgrounds (simple examples would be a forest or city composed of randomly placed tree / house outline images).

First I have to get more of the basic features implemented and working though. Layers and picture loading are being requested in the poll on the Flowpaint homepage (the results from the previous poll are archived in the wiki). The rendering quality is also lacking, brush strokes look a bit jagged, and there's some artifacts when a brush stroke turns. I'm going to extract the rendering logic into a separate library, Rasterfun. It will allow loading and displaying Flowpaint images also in other (Java/Scala) applications. One other usage for it could be to render fractal / procedural landscape heightmaps for games (such as my Skycastle project) - in this case Flowpaint could be used as a map editor. This requires defining a good file format to represent Flowpaint images in.

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