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.
The undo works by storing a snapshot of the screen after each brushstroke, so for now it is limited to 8 levels. It is also possible to undo accidentally clearing the canvas.
The brushes now offer extensive ability to tune their appearance, including color, texture, size, softness, and so on. Different types of brushes (texture, plain color, gradient) offer different parameters.
Whenever a brush is customized by changing its parameters, and used more than once, it is stored in a list of recent brushes. This handy feature allows easy reuse of the exact same configuration as used earlier, without the need for manually storing brushes. As the list fills up, the oldest configurations are discarded, but whenever a brush is re-used, it is moved to the front of the list.
The rendering engine was rewritten, fixing several rendering bugs and speeding up the drawing. It now compiles the currently selected brush to low level bytecode on the fly. This makes especially the simpler brushes such as color and gradient very fast, although large textured brushes can still lag behind the cursor. The rewrite unfortunately made the brush edges more jagged and uneven. This will be addressed in future versions.
New default brushes
A new set of default brushes were added, including a varied set of brushes for working with black and white art (hatching for example), as well as colorization and texture effects (various noise brushes).
Tablet support in webstart version
Now the Java Web Start version also supports pressure input from graphic tablets. Tablet support still doesn't work in 64 bit Windows environments though (should work in 64 bit Linux, but not tested).
What is missing
Layers are still missing, as well as zooming and panning. Resizing the work area is also painfully slow at the moment (it will re-draw every brush stroke if the window is resized, so it can take up to minutes). There is also no native file format yet, so it's not possible to resume a picture started earlier.
Other features that are planned for future versions are an easy way to handle multiple open pictures, possibility to create custom brushes from basic operations, libraries of brushes shared over the Internet, and a zone feature that allow creating wrapping textures and textured brushes.
All in all Flowpaint is still in beta phase development, so use it with care. There are bugs that may cause it to lock up, so save often (fortunately this is easy and quick).
List of changes
The ChangeLog contains the full list of the implemented features, fixed bugs, and known open bugs (note that this released version is actually 0.2.1, as a last minute bug was discovered and fixed).
Flowpaint 0.2 requires Java version 6 or newer (also known as Java 1.6).
Launch Flowpaint 0.2 with Java Web Start
Download Flowpaint 0.2
Flowpaint will freeze up for a long time (several minutes) if its window is resized after many pen strokes have been drawn (it will re-render each pen stroke). Undo history may also be lost after a resize. The workaround is to resize the window to the desired size before starting to draw. This issue will be fixed in a future version.
Your feedback helps drive the Flowpaint development. Take half a minute to answer the poll in the sidebar, or a few minutes to file a feature request if you have some cool feature idea you'd like to see in Flowpaint, or drop in at #flowpaint on irc.freenode.net if you want to chat directly with the developer.
I've been to a comics festival in Tampere to demonstrate Flowpaint 0.2 (and promote the Finnish Pirate Party).
I'm working on the final touches for the Flowpaint 0.2 release at the moment, I should get it out in a few hours, stay tuned.
We are proud to present Flowpaint version 0.1!
This first version introduces a fixed set of procedural brushes and a quicksave feature.
The brushes contain several that are useful for black and white sketching - a gentle pencil, a thin black line, a few dark inking pens, large shading brushes in grey, black, and white, as well as a white eraser type of brush - there is no undo functionality yet (coming in version 0.2).
There's also a set of translucent colored brushes, but color selection is not introduced until the next version, so for now the available colors and sizes are fixed.
Finally there is a set of more fancy procedural brushes, showing off some of the possibilities of the core rendering engine. In future versions, it will be possible for users to build their own procedural brushes from various noise components, mathematical functions, and pictures they have created. The rendering engine still has some rough edges, for example the endpoints and sharp corners of brush strokes are currently chopped - in future versions they will be rounded out smoothly.
The quicksave allows you to save the current picture as a png in your working directory or home directory with one button press. The picture gets a standard name plus an increasing number. No need to come up with a name for each sketch you want to save, or wade through a save dialog - instead you can quickly move on to the next sketch. There's even a button that lets you both save the current picture and clear the canvas with one click.
Some other planned features for future versions include layers with arbitrary data channels, infinite and wrapping canvas layouts, parametrized picture templates, and built-in support for downloading and sharing new brushes and templates. The Release Backlog contains a full list of planned and potential features.
Flowpaint can be downloaded in two ways - with Java Web Start, or as a conventional zip archive with the program.
First make sure you have a recent (1.5 or newer) version of the Java platform installed. You can download it for free from Java.com.
To launch Flowpaint with Java Web Start, just click on the Flowpaint Web Start download link here or in the sidebar. Provided you have Java properly installed, your browser will suggest opening the jnlp file with Java. Java will ask you to accept the certificate for Flowpaint (signed by zzorn), then start the application.
Note that pressure sensitivity doesn't work with the Webstart version at the moment - if you have a graphics tablet with a pen, and want pressure sensitivity and smoother lines, download the zipped pacakge instead.
Installation of the zipped package is straightforward - just download, unzip in a location of your choice, and run the flowpaint.bat (on Windows) or flowpaint.sh (on Linux and OSX) file inside.
If you have any trouble, you can ask for help on our irc channel, discussion group, or refer to the documentation.
You can also report bugs or request features - note that these require a Google account (for example Gmail) to use, as we are using the Google Code issue tracker to manage them.