• jan@cosmigo.com

Randomisation options for brushes/animated brushes


#1

I’m loving Pro Motion, it has taken me a little while to get used to the interface, but it is a wonderful program that is very well thought out.

I’ve been enjoying using the animated brushes but I just wondered if it might be possible to get a few randomisation options in there. Maybe they are there already I’m not sure.

It would be nice to be able to be able to have fine control over the rotation of the brushes eg a hotkey that rotates them forwards in x degree increments and another that rotates them backwards. I know that rotation and pixel art don’t really go well together but I think for organic things like grass or certain patterns it can still work quite nicely - I know there is a free rotate, but I don’t find it fast for my workflow.

It would also be nice if there was an option to randomise the frame order when placing down animated brushes rather than having them appear in order.

Also nice to have randomised scale by placing an upper and lower limit.

Apologies if these features are already in. It is very nice software, just takes a while to wrap my head around.


#2

The current free rotation mode is sometimes pretty hard to use because you must rotate “real time” having no way to re-adjust.
There are not keys to help with this, yet.
On my (huge) to-do list there is a point where I will make the brush to be modified (scaled/rotated) while it’s pinned to the canvas. This will come along with general floating selection modification which is not available today (rotate/scale…) the pixel selection.
These things are programmatically very close to each other so I’ll address them both I guess and this is planned to be the next big feature set. Because it is pretty big (from the programming task) it will still take a while. At the moment I’m still working on tile map engine improvements. Hope to finish this with June. I am far behind any time plans :sob:

Random scale or frame order is not possible atm, can you describe the use case for this? This helps me to understand the background and maybe there is a way to get close to this.

BTW, you can use menu Animation/Create Animation… to work with rotation and scale. Maybe this helps a bit for the things you want to do.

I’m loving Pro Motion, it has taken me a little while to get used to the interface, but it is a wonderful program that is very well thought out.
Thank you! Can you tell me about the problems you had learning the UI? This could help me to make this or that more obvious.


#3

Thanks for your response Jan! At the moment I’m working on fairly detailed game backgrounds in 640x320 resolution, before using Pro Motion I was hand drawing every detail which was taking a very long time. With your excellent brush system I am finding I can get some very nice results if I put in effort making some animated brushes and using them to fill large areas of the screen with grass/vegetation. Because of the order of frames though, there is a noticeable pattern - that is the reason I was enquiring about the randomisation options. But to be honest, I’ve played around some more and if I just draw a few more frames or place things a little more strategically then it’s not really an issue :slight_smile: It would be a nice little option to have, but is by no means necessary, I can get by just fine without it, so probably focus more on what’s important for Pro Motion at the moment :slight_smile:

With the UI, I think it’s very good - my difficulties in learning it are likely due to me being very used to the Adobe style design paradigm - so having to ‘unlearn’ some of that has been a bit hard - most difficult being the lack of a conventional copy/paste. But the more I use the brush system the more I warm to it.

One thing I am having a bit of trouble understanding though, is how palettes and brushes work. I would like to build up a big library of custom animated brushes, which I can then use in multiple artworks. If they all share the same palette it seems fine, but if they have different palettes when I use my brush it of course takes the slots from whichever palette I’m in - is there a way that I can add the brush colours to an existing palette so that they can be modified to suit?

Thanks again for a prompt response and keep up the great work!


#4

The “conventional copy/paste” is what I meant with floating selection, too. So you will be able to copy/paste/move/rotate/scale/free transform a selection soon (or later :), will add it step by step). If all works as I hope then this will also be possible including multiple frames/layers. Let’s see.

When using the animbrush to play back while drawing to e.g. create grass based on different portions stored in the AnimBrush frames you can play with the “Animation Step” that can be set up in the anim brush settings (hit “a”). If the step is not a divider of your anim brush frame count then it still repeats the frames in a sequence somehow, but the sequence gets longer.

As for the brushes and different palettes. You can import colors of a brush by menu Colors/Import Colors from Brush.
If you know that you have the colors of the brush in your palette already (more or less exactly or just at different places) then use Colors/Remap Colors/Brush. This will re-align the brush pixels to the closest match in the current palette.


#5

And one more thing. When using the single dot paint tool then you can define the minimal dot distance:
image
Increasing this value could also make it less “sequenced”.


#6

Thank you! Very helpful :slight_smile:


#7

Jan, a “randomize brush frame” would also help with flames, clouds, rocks, almost anything organic. As I have mentioned before.


#8

Sure. Actually it’s not hard to code :slight_smile:


#9

Thanks Jan I feel that this is a great improvement on PMNG and will allow nice fx for anything organic including textures with smaller animated brushes…


#10

The random AnimBrush playback is available with upcoming release (7.2)


#11

Thanks Jan, this is great news indeed!