Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter: FREE

Discussion about Mediachance DAP
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Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter: FREE

Post by Oscar »

Here is an early BETA version of a new sort of experimental Robo Brush application, your own "Vincent Van Robot."
The tool has been released in a FREE version.

This came as an idea when I first saw Rebelle and I thought it would be great if DAP can paint inside external application with that app own brushes. Well, I build a (currently) experimental application that uses a lot of brain from DAP and it tries to do just that.
robobrush1.jpg (182.89 KiB) Viewed 13993 times
What it does is as you would expect any self respected robot should do, it sits on top of an external drawing application, let's say: Rebelle, and it paints with your mouse (instead of you) from an image you load into it.

While DAP is more a start to finish application, RoboBrush is a bit different, more like a painters helper. Painting inside other application, changing colors and brush size is a lengthy process for automatic (or not) painter and while it can paint a full image from start to finish unattended (it will take good few hours to do so) a better idea is to think of it as a digital painters aid with multiple uses for partial jobs and steps: you can let it paint rough background "feel" colors and shadings then add details manually, you can redirect its attention to certain areas - for example auto paint eyes in high details with very small brushes, you can have it paint outlines of photo as a guide, sign your work etc..
Also don't forget, while it is painting by itself you can't do other things ....
robobrush2.jpg (396.2 KiB) Viewed 13993 times
To do all this and more, RoboBrush needs to know few things how to work with the application (called HOST) it paints in, and for that there is the HOST editor, where you show where is the canvas, where are sliders for RGB (currently it uses RGB sliders for colors, so apps that use color wheel are out for now), where is slider for brush size, layer it can click on those things by itself. The RB has also a step by step guide for the HOST with some on screen explanation what you expected to do.
So you need to have that part working well first. You can have many HOST presets for different or even the same applications. Also occasionally programs like to shuffle up their interface or you may do it inadvertently, so there is a Verify function that will quickly show you visually if you are still in the correct position.

Please note that some applications need a bit of shuffling of their interface, for example in Photoshop, the default brush panel is auto hiding and that is not good. You need to dock it to the left panels so it won't close and the brush size slider is always visible... etc. Also while Rebelle brush sizes are linear and go from small to reasonably large, Photoshop can have hugely varying brush sizes - a maximum brush size on some of the presets could be as big as the whole canvas - so obviously you need to think about that. Later I will add different Size slider scales, like logarithmic (corel painter) etc.

The painting itself is done in a template that can have few (or many) steps with different functions. In no way it is necessary or desirable that every template should do a whole painting from start to end. All the host apps have layers so it is easy to be adding, paint little bit of this, little of that in a sort of manually guided incremental steps. Especially important for small brushes is the idea of Area Mask where you actually direct it to paint only certain parts, let's say eyes on portrait.
However there are few templates provided that demonstrate the sort of start-to-finish (and lengthy) process that goes from image processing, through various layers of brush strokes, masking etc...

In general you start with painting large brushes then go down to smaller ones in few steps, but there are a lot of parameters to tweak on the way or in between the steps. There are automatic masks that you can use before each brush layer step that will cut down on the time significantly - and avoid repainting flat areas that don't need to be done with small brushes. There is outline. There is also a manual Area Mask, either as a step inside template or also as an independent "global" area mask that you can use to paint only a small portion of image. Other thing is a build-in tiny vector engine that you can do to create signatures etc, "place and size" them on canvas and let it paint repeatedly... and of course there is plethora of way how to adjust the input image with reactor effects, even between each steps.

A word of advice - the best to get a feel of it is to start with solid brushes such as acrylic or oil in Painter or Rebelle or simply solid opaque brushes with defined edges in Photoshop. Using semi-transparent brushes or various watercolor and blended edge brushes is a much harder thing to master (even for non-robotic painters), especially at this early stage.
The Template step system is very flexible and it uses editable reactor effects for processing. I am sure it invites users to discover some neat combinations and tricks. This app is in BETA stage. It does work mostly as originally imagined, but very little testing or practical use has been done besides few full size "paintings".
Unlike DAP where you can jump right in and get reasonable results with one click, RB does require some time and tweaking by the users to create their preferred workflow.

The tool has its own page now:

Short introduction youtube video:

Let me know how it goes...questions, comments etc...

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by rgalka »

Intriguing... ;O)


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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by Yuma »

Oscar, this looks a bit more complex in use than DAP ar any other apps :-)

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by Oscar »

Yes, it is definitely not for everyone.

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by tartine78 »

Interesting Oscar,

my brother did something like this in python to do some verve experiments,

you could also try your bot on
- verve
- inspirartion
- blender grease pencil

btw Blender GUI is very interesting

and perhaps is it compatible with my idea of neural networks embeding


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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by mjb_nj »

I want this now.

I think it's brilliant and not complicated at all and it opens up a whole host of possibilities. Used the BETA in Photoshop with no issues. Please sell it so I can get a version without the annoying BETA in the corner. Now going to go play with it in Rebelle.

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by The.Great.ESCape »

So, got a special beta buy in deal? Depending on the price I would be interested in purchasing pre-release. You have my email I believe. I think I could do some pretty interesting things with this... I have quite a few paint apps, I switch between them a lot.... liking certain features in some over others. I have DAP 4 as well, and it's cool, but I don't find I use it a lot because well... I actually like manually painting... this would help provide a happy medium without switching applications though... take care of some of the tedious parts and let me focus on some more creative details. would also let me paint variations of my original paintings more quickly. For instance I could do a panel of 4 seasons of one image in different color schemes by adjusting the colors of the the original painting in the same application I painted it in. which would help with the continuity. Maybe you could even make robobrush capable of recording original painting process and allow for variable randomization of some parameters in replay. Would allow for actual unique prints if the random seed is always changing, and rather than it just being the programs analytic in photo reproduction in "natural" it could simply aid in varying the artist's own strokes.
Granted... a lot of people just want to autopaint photos, so I imagine that would be the program's main focus. There's also the possibility of providing lazy nezumi like functions. I don't know I am constantly experimenting in both 2D and 3D seeing what all I can learn and apply in different ways. Forgive my stream of consciousness, but I'd be interested to know if I can buy it early. here's another thought... you could do odd things like robo symmetry. Sure... it wouldn't be live symmetry, but you could give software without live symmetry similar capabilities as it mirrors the stroke and re-paints it for you... even radial symmetry. Liven old MS paint right up... lol Sorry... I just know there's all sorts of possibilities when you are hooking into parts of host applications like that. What is you use transparent PNG's... will you make it so robobrush paints only the opaque parts without masking the canvas it is painting onto? that'd be pretty cool. Would allow the creation of some pretty interesting clip art with natural borders so to speak... not precisely and unnaturally clipped. Food for thought...

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter...

Post by Oscar »

Releasing it for free now. I don't think it is up to my standard as a paid application, but maybe something will come out of this when more people find an use of it.

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter: FRE

Post by arcticfox »

Just had a look at the Robobrush page having been intrigued by the newsletter I just received - and really liked what I saw in your video! Have been a keen user of DAP for a couple of years now and, while I absolutely love it as a tool, the "artist" in me has had a few frustrations that it is almost too automated, while tools like Photoshop are immensely powerful but have huge learning curves and can be time-consuming to use "artistically". Really like how this appears to take some of the best aspects of both - though I guess the timescales me be a bit of a downer.

I'll have to try and play with this a bit when I get a chance (a bit busy at the mo), but on first impressions, it appeals to both the artist and engineering geek in me! I think this will take a bit of trial and error to get results of an "artistically acceptable" standard, but it has some real promise I think.

On another tack - not sure if it something you guys are playing/dabbling with, but I've been experimenting quite a bit with various "Neural painting" tools (Deepstyle, Dreamscope, Deepdream generator etc), and am really loving some of the results. I'd love to see what could be achieved combining both the DAP "multiple brush strokes" and neural "style" approaches. No idea how it could be achieved techincally and I have a basic (but very limited) understanding of the computing challenges in achieving high resolution neural images without huge computing power (not quite such a limitation for the DAP approach, if I understand correctly), but would be intrigues to see what you guys came up with. If you could deliver something that combined those 2 techniques in the way you've created Robobrush, I think you'd be on to a real winner!

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Re: Robo BRUSH - DAP inside Rebelle, Photoshop, Painter: FRE

Post by lylejk »

May try this one later, Oscar. Hopefully I can get it to work with the GIMP. :)

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