Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

My wife got sneaky and wrapped all the presents last night so I took the day off from work and got up early to wrap presents for nothing. I did manage to workout for a bit, but then she went and got McDonald's for breakfast so I totally wiped out my exercising. Oh well...

Speaking of my wife, my wife makes glass and sculptures. If you're into that sort of thing check out her glass here and her sculptures here.

Anyway, I wanted to wish anyone who stumbles by a Happy Holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

MyPaint and Gogh Linux natural paint applications

Last December I played around with Gogh and MyPaint, you can read that here if you like. There are screen shots there also. Both programs are natural paint programs for Linux that take advantage of drawing tablets using pressure to simulate real world medium. I really liked MyPaint at the time, but I wanted to take another look at them both since it's been a year.

MyPaint now has a version compiled for Windows, but seems to have not changed much in it's features. Gogh seems to be stagnant. I still like the brushes in MyPaint and the overall program better than Gogh. In all honesty I can get similar effects in Gimp and have speed painted a couple of things in Gimp before ever finding these programs so give that a try as Gimp really has a lot of nice features, including tablet support and layers. Here is one that I painted in The Gimp on Kubuntu using a Wacom Graphire II as an example of what can be achieved:

I originally built MyPaint on Ubuntu and the link to my older post gives details, library names, etc., but there is now a deb package so it isn't necessary. There isn't one for Mandriva 2009 though so I built it.

If you want to try the rpm there is one here created for Fedora, it might work on Mandriva. Building MyPaint on Mandriva 2009 is very straight forward - this should work on any distro...

Make sure you have the following installed. If not install the following in software management.




Download the source from MyPaint web-site and extract to your home drive; i.e. /home/*username*/mypaint-*version*

Open the terminal and cd, change directory "cd mypaint-*version*"

Now simply type:

./configure && make && ./mypaint

./configure && make will compile the program and && ./mypaint will run it once it's compiled. You can fire it up from the terminal with ./mypaint any time after

Or you can also have make install the program for you:

./configure && make install

Hope this helps anyone interested in natural painting who is new to Linux.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photoshop plug-ins in Gimp

If you need to run Adobe Photoshop plug-ins only and you're using Gimp in Linux I have pretty good luck using PSPI . Here's a screenshot .

Install Wine, should be in the package manager that came with your distribution, apt-get, urmpi, adept, etc... You can find Wine settings in the KDE settings, which will get you setup and working easily. I typically leave everything as is for plug-ins.

Next look for your Gimp directory under home eg, /home/*yourusername*/.gimp2/, will most likely be hidden so in you file manager under View select "show hidden". In this folder there will be the /plug-ins folder. If not make it. Note, you Gimp folder may look different, especially version number.

Once you locate the plug-in folder copy pspi and pspi.exe and your Photoshop plug-ins there. If you need to install the plug-in just point to that folder when the setup asks for the plug-in directory. When you fire up Gimp your plug-ins should be ready for use.

Keep in mind not everything will work, but my favs like Flood, Eye candy, Nik, and KPT work fine.

Using these plug-ins in Gimp on Windows works much better because they don't need to run in Wine and can run on Windows natively. Same basic idea as in Linux and I think Gimp for Windows still has the PSPI file you need included. Just copy your plug-ins into the Gimp plug-in folder and you should be all set.

Download PSPI

Open or Free tools for the digital artist.

Here are, in my opinion, the best free graphics applications available for Windows and a few for OS X. These tools effectively replace the need for expensive tools, like Adobe products. I use these along side some commercial applications and they integrate very well with little effort.

There are a lot of lists that consist of free Windows graphics software out here, but I actually use these products unlike many of the people listing tons of programs, and these are my personal favorites for there stability, power, and of course their licenses (open or free). If you're also wanting some nice plug-ins for Photoshop, there are some really nice ones here. I will post a "how to" to get Photoshop plug-ins working in Gimp on Linux and Windows shortly.


MyPaint (Similar to Corel Painter) Natural painting application. Also see Pixia
Paint.Net (Similar to Adobe Photoshop) Image editor. Also see The Gimp
IcoFX Icon/Pixel editor
InkScape (Similar to Adobe Illustrator) Vector editor
Pencil 2-D Vector and bitmap cartooning and animation. Also see Synfig
Scribus (Similar to Adobe Pagemaker) Desktop Publishing.
Blender3D (Similar to Lightwave 3-D) 3-D modeling, rendering, and animation. Also see 3DCanvas
FontForge (Similar to Fontographer) Create true type fonts. Also see Win XP built in editor, type eudcedit in a run dialog.

Fyre Computational artwork based on histograms of iterated chaotic functions. Uh, yea, it makes cool images...
Fractal Explorer 2D, 3D, and Land fractals.

For a complete all in one graphics suite check out FreeSerif. Not my personal favorite, but you might like them and they integrate with each other well.

Mac OS X...

ArtRage2 Natural painting application. Free version and commercial version available. Also runs on Windows.
LiveQuartz Image editor. Also see Seashore
Pixen Icon/Pixel editor

Xaos Fractals

Saturday, December 20, 2008

First post

This is a new blog for me to post some of my art that I create using open source tools. I also hope I can give you some good tips and information when it comes to open source art tools. I will focus not only on Linux, but OS X and Windows as well. I run all three systems, Linux being my favorite and OS X a close second. I may be cross posting some things from my web-site, Dark Artistry just as an FYI.

I have been running Linux since 1994, give or take, and started using open art tools seriously in the late nineties. I am a Python programmer doing administrative, network, and systems programming as well as some web development in my career, but doing digital art is really what I enjoy most. I am lucky to be working in an area where I can utilize open source software on a daily basis and being in a Windows shop makes it even better. I have been running Mandriva 2009 lately and absolutely love it, KDE 4 is simply amazing.

I haven't really had a lot of time to create art. I think the the last real piece of art I created was last year. Mainly this is because I have a young son who demands much of my time when I am not working. The rest of my time, at least lately, is spent exercising. After quitting a smoking habit of almost twenty years I found that I gained a bit of weight after a year. Now that I am feeling healthy and the best I have felt in years and my son is becoming more independent, he is four, I feel the time is right to focus on my art once again. It may be a slow start, but it's a start...