LGM painting tools

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our point

  • 4 sub modes
  • complete the brush functions palette
  • blobs of paint

argumentation chain

  • we evaluated the brush system, and found:
    • 4 main modes only available for color painting, we found those modes also useful for other painting modes
    • iwarp implemented as a plugin, from our scenario (make people pretty, tool no.1 for photogs, from observation) we conclude it needs to be a brush
    • you can paint with color, you can paint with brightness (dodge+burn) but not with saturation
    • we need to keep under control the number of tools in the toolbox
    • modes (multiply, overlay, etc): abstract + powerful, should not be an excuse for not providing a straightforward stand-alone brush tool.
  • we recognised that the four painting modes are about how you apply it (depends on picture content), and the painting function is about what you are applying
  • we want to make the 4 modes sub-modes of every brush tool: color, brightness, saturation, erase, smudge, blur, warp, clone (heal), etc. this would create room for further optimisation of the algorithm, and specialisation of their UI
  • warp and saturation as new brush tools, heal a mode of clone
  • modes: the mathematical ones can stay there, and the ones the that have an understandable graphics meaning (saturation, burn soft light) can be taken out and implemented as or integrated with a brush tool.
  • we evaluated wild brushwork for creating original art, and found no equivalents of the physical: having a palette in you hand with paint you work with; smearing it on, and painting with something else then paint
  • new concept file palette (code name: blobs of paint) on the edge of the image: put and delete colors, mixing?
  • dip your paintbrush in a blob of paint and smear it on
  • we see that most graphics operations, including most plugins, can be painted with. the Ui changes for GEGL will allow us to drag a filter result (like noise) to a blob of paint, and simply paint with it.

Raw notes that concern the issue more or less.

Adding noise

There could be possibility to use brush for noise adjustments.


should be done with a tool.


  1. users want to adjust their brushes on the fly, just by pressing keys, user should be able to change the parameters.
  2. Brushes need shortcut for: color picker, opacity (not sure about the steps, that should be applied- it should be measured with usability methods), radius/size of brush.
  3. User could also ‘cycle’ through all 4 main paint 'modes' (airbrush, ink, pencil, brush). But opacity and scale of the brush has the absolute priority.
  4. It is important that for these 2 comments that the user would keep his hand on the keyboard in the same position.
  5. When changing paint modes we need to think whether to take care about the continuity of the size/opacity, or not, because the second tool might be a complementary tool.

Fragments of Analysis

the brush tools

  • make the four main brush modes (airbrush, nib, pencil, paintbrush) sub-modes of every type of brush tool, not just of color painting;
  • create the opportunity to move the four main brush modes to be more algorithm based for further refinement. Bitmaps for brush shapes will play a more secondary role (for special jobs) in the future;
  • complete the palette of type of adjustments that can be made with a brush:
    • saturation
    • distortion
  • merge cloning and healing;
  • take a less generic approach for what options are available for a certain brush type;
  • discuss the historic significance of the modes parameter, and its future;
  • introduce a way of painting with the effects of plugins. Probably via the blobs-of-paint concept;
  • review of the shortcut actions to change brush parameters.

other points

  • it should be possible to apply unsharp mask with 4 basic brushes (sharpen tool)