Tag Archives: MyPaint

Making a 5 point perspective grid


From the department for weird stuff you never learned in school comes this monstrosity. A 5 point perspective is basically a fisheye-lens type view. I was curious if I could accurately construct one (most people seem to just wing it with the curved lines). Turns out it’s not really possible on paper because the radii get too big but in Mypaint or Gimp, it’s quite possible to do it with the ellipse tools pretty accurately.

You can actually see the five vanishing points here because so many lines cross there 🙂

In reality, this is really just a 1 point perspective (the center vanishing point) with curved verticals / horizontals. This is apparently pretty close to how the human eye sees things.

What’s it good for? Use as an overlay in a drawing software to create fisheye-lens effects in your (concept) art.


New Mypaint checkout


I pulled the latest mypaint from git today and did a build, just to see what was new.

The flood fill tool is very good now, with variable sensitivity and option to sample from all layers, as you can see it produces nice results. There is also a tool to draw clean lines and directly manipulate them afterwards similar to a Path tool or bezier curves. For those obsessive compulsive people, probably (I hear there are a few of those among artists), if you want 100% control of your lines! This is for you. Another thing I noticed was a new (to me) history tab showing recent colours and brushes. Nifty. Finally, there is a fullscreen mode that hides all controls, in case someone wants to only use hotkeys and maximize screen space.

I got into perspective construction again for a bit (still have to finish that Scott Robertson book) and mypaint has everything you need for that, too: Fine control over line angles (snapping at 15 degree increments) and ellipse shapes (also snapping.)

Together with the proven solid and flexible brush engine, the awesome brush sets available, many layer related functions and a lot of usability features this makes for a hell of a digital drawing package. I’m still impressed with the software.

Mypaint doesn’t do selections or snap-to-grid, nor does it provide effect brushes and image filters. It’s just the basics, everything needed for e.g. concept art or comics, no bullshit and nothing in the way. It exchanges .ora format with the GIMP seamlessly if you want to use that for postprocessing. The “one-two punch” of free and open source image editing.

Excellent work by the authors.

Stream of Artciousness


I currently like to paint more massive, value heavy stuff such as rocks and landscapes. I did this slightly Tolkienesque Mt. Doom while doodling around in GIMP. It makes me think of the fifth level of Scout’s Journey, the only one of which no geometry exists yet. I always wanted to go for a lava/basalt theme there, but the original design called for huge underground chambers. Now I think it would be kinda cool to have volcanoes. Terrain is pretty easy to make, and not so much else would be required. Perhaps I could just mock up a volcano landscape like this and do a camera pan before Scout enters… well, Mount Doom.

All levels have gained outdoor setpieces since the transition from “Remake Quake” except the last one. Hm, why NOT have a giant volcano in there. I’m seriously tempted.


I did those edgy basalt-splinter (hm, looks more like obsidian) rocks recently too. I have a bunch of other rock studies. I guess I could use those as a reference for sculpting environment props.

Well. I just kinda wanted to post some art stuff again after all the wall-of-text earlier. I’m getting more into GIMP Paint Studio, I really like the ability to have textured brushes which Mypaint unfortunately lacks (perhaps by design.) The black-and-white rocks were done in Mypaint, anyway. They’re not really finished, but I’m not sure I will go back to them. It’s just doodling anyway.

I’m reading “The Painter in Oil” by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst. I got the tip from someone on Polycount, I forget who. The book has pretty much anything you ever need to know about oil painting, despite being over 100 years old. I guess some things don’t change, not very much anyway, and that is nice to know. Anyway, the book inspired me to pay more attention to composition in the future. It does make such a difference.

Thanks again to the person who gifted me the nice art books.

Bladed stuff? OK, admitted.


Another of the recently redesigned Order weapons. Between this, the Scorpio, the Redeemer (hoverturret) and some other changes, I realize the Order are becoming pretty sci-fi pretty fast, and I need to watch it with the fancy glowing stuff… I don’t want them to start to look like the Herd, so they’ll have to make use of steel armour plate, leather patches, ornaments, cloaks and two-handed swords to maintain their own faction appearance. The Herd don’t use glowing yellow stuff, anyway.

Still, this is better than the faux-medieval weaponry I had in mind for them in the beginning – closing the gap between the factions a little and making the Order look more fearsome in comparison to the guys with the laser guns and the goat heads! Just need to try and not close it too far.

Welp, spellcasting is still Order-only so there’s that.

Not quite nonviolent, admittedly.

Mypaint git checkout


Still using mypaint. I recommend checking out the Concept Design brush set. It’s got some outstanding markers and liners as well as a great penbrush. The git version has some nice goodies such as tabs and vector layers. I also spotted a new Ink tool in there that lets you edit the line flow with control points. It also seems the nice Kerhon brush pack was integrated as a new default brush group. Git log also shows a lot of activity recently.

Git mypaint can live-interact with other applications such as Inkscape and Gimp now.

Still no selections, but if you need those you probably also need diapers.



I’ve been checking out the recent git version of MyPaint (the free digital painting app.) There’s a bunch of new stuff – a dark theme, new icons, and the layer etc. windows now automatically dock into a neat sidebar. There’s a new panel at the bottom of the window that relates some additional information, including possible keyboard shortcuts (zoom, rotate canvas, pick colour etc.) The colour swatches on the bottom left are kinda useful – you can use the left swatch to pick a different value of your current colour (lighter/darker) with the stylus which is nice. Of course there are also various colour pickers and a scratchpad.

MyPaint currently has an experimental branch with support for layer groups and, finally, layer masks. So these features are coming. There is also a new bucket fill tool, and I spotted a lock-transparent-pixels feature which is implemented as a blend mode on the brushes. Very handy for masking operations. There are also many new layer blend modes – the list seems to be nearly complete now.

The line/curve/ellipse tools are more visible in the toolbar and related keyboard shortcuts (turn a line into a curve, rotate an ellipse etc) are better explained. The brush settings window has been redesigned, so creating your own brushes should be simpler. A pretty nice new brush package has been included.


The major thing MyPaint is missing are selections. So I’m not sure why there is a bucket fill tool now, which would typically be used to fill a selection. Oh well. They aren’t indispensable for concept art with a plain background anyway, since it’s possible to just paint yourself a mask like I did here (the white) and there is also alpha lock for quick “masking.” Or you could just use temporary layers.

I believe I mentioned the HCY colour wheel (hue chroma luma), the support for loading and creating Gimp palettes, and the very cool gamut mask feature in an earlier post. This is pro stuff and a joy to work with. The colour picker that displays a realtime preview swatch while you move the stylus over the image is pretty cool as well. And last but not least, the git version now supports vector layers(!) which a lot of people will like.

Current git version is still a bit crashy, but I hope for a stable version 1.2 soon.

Ubuntu (and Arch) users have it easy – they can just install the mypaint-testing package to get a very stable git version; Windows users will have to jump through a few hoops unfortunately. The stable Windows version is ancient.

I did a comparison between MyPaint and Krita as well, and while the latter does bring selections and a text tool (which will please comic artists) there is no doubt in my mind that MyPaint still takes the cake for concept art and illustration because it’s smaller, leaner, faster and more user friendly. MyPaint seems to put more of a focus on its core drawing/painting/brush engine functionality.

Krita failed to support pressure sensitivity with my Ubuntu and Wacom tablet, while MyPaint does this out of the box. Krita’s UI is comparatively cluttered and seems overloaded with features. I’m not sure why e.g. special effects filters are necessary at all for digital painting. Something that really bugged me about Krita was having to go through a fullscreen “New file” dialog after every lengthy startup. By comparison, MyPaint simply displays its default endless canvas after an instantaneous startup.

For open source digital painting, the combination of MyPaint and GIMP Paint Studio still looks unbeatable – for what MyPaint can’t do (marquee selections, copy merged, free transform, text, gradients), you can depend on the heavy artillery of GIMP. The two apps interact perfectly via the Open Raster format (meaning layers etc. stay intact) and GIMP can read/export PSD files.

Still, options are great – I’m glad to see the Krita kickstarter was very successful. Free digital painting has come a long way. The only major Photoshop features still missing from GIMP/MyPaint, as far as I’m aware, are clipping masks (though Krita has those), adjustment layers, and an easy way to record macros (Krita does those, I think.) The various dev teams are also talking to each other – for example, MyPaint’s (excellent) brush engine can be loaded into Krita and is scheduled for inclusion in future GIMP versions. 16 bit colour support is also coming to GIMP.

Good times for free painting.

Bonus: I was recently made aware of this outstanding digital painting tutorial playlist. I can’t recommend this enough. Best of all, it is free.