[Gimp-developer] Motivations/Scopes of the my GIMP 2.10 Brush Set

Hi All, is a long document... but is necessary :(
Yesterday I have talked with Jehan Pagés, via IRC, and I have posted on bugzilla report |Improve default set 
of resources  (https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=589371) the attachment of the new default brush set 
to GIMP 2.10: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/attachment.cgi?id=370341

This a big picture of my considerations around choices and other reasons...

I have been working in the last 10 years on GIMP and my preoccupation and efforts are focused on brush 
Since 2011 I am collaborating with other artists to understand how is possible improve the painting 
performing on GIMP through brushes and after GIMP 2.8 studying the paint dynamics.
I have written some articles about these topics in past and if someone is interested to know a bit more the 
background of current ideas about the future brush set is possible to read here: 

Criteria to organize the GIMP 2.10 Brush Set
I have thought and commented some of my ideas and concepts about brush design on GIMP during the last LGM a 
Rio with Han Ahryeom, Jehan Pagés and João Bueno, the points that follow are some of my conclusions about and 
I am trying or tried to use to future brush set of GIMP 2.10:

    # The brushes need to have good sharpness within… is impossible to increase this quality… only lost it.
    # To have a median stain opacity over 70%, if you need soft brush is easy to control this via Tool 
Options settings or with Paint Dynamics.
    # To have a good stain quality with a ‘comfortable’ dimension is important to brush scaling during 
painting sessions. I have thought the standardization for the sizes: 64, 128, 256 and 512 pixels (but in many 
cases I have adopted the multiple of 16), each dimension is thought for a kind task, e.g., 64 pixels for the 
pen, pencils, crayon, color pencils, etc.
    # To improve or suggest the use of parametric brushes as some classic brushes, mainly round and flat 
kinds. Is possible to increase the performance using parametric brushes with specific paint dynamics.
    # To promote also an equilibrium between the two kinds of raster brushes, the .gbr, and .gih formats.
    # To select static stains as .gbr capable to resolve or to mimic efficiently brushstrokes utilizing the 
default spacing or greater (default is 10%).
    # To select animated brushes, the .gih, with good and well-formed brushstrokes using the default spacing 
or more greater when is possible (default is 20%).
    # To identify the kind of stains more adequate to different scopes (based on the criteria of the last 
point), for instance, and mainly on paint or drawing, to generic effects or faux effects to mimic some 
textures of nature or material or yet to decorative or ornament scopes. In this way, is possible help the 
user identify the possibilities and usage of each stain.
Brushes based on generic stains are very ductile but also very metamorphic with tool options settings and 
paint dynamics curves. In theory, any kind of stain is possible to use to paint, to draw, as stamping, as 
texture or decorative scopes.This flexibility sometimes can be a problem or a limitation, mainly if the user 
does not know as these skills could or might be used on digital painting.
    # To reorganize more specifically the brushes for scopes and families, (e.g., draw, paint,..., pencil, 
crayon, pen).
    # To organize the sets on different folders thought for permanent tags. To think a new tag named 
‘Default’ to filter the gimp default set of others installed by the user.
    # To organize a normative to call the assets in general. The scope has good ways to sort and identify 
each asset (with an ID unique followed by a name with a progressive number and a general scope of the asset).
To justify many of these criteria, exposed above, were made many tests around spacing, hardness and other issues on dynamics related to brushes. But, in general, the spacing is the more critical factor to painting performing, if we have the default spacing to the brushes is possible to improve the performance of the painting (more comfortable and agile).

During all process of creation of the new set I have discussed with many artists: Mozart Couto, Gustavo 
Deveze, Aryeom Han, Elias da Silva.
I have published all my in progress on my g+ account with many posts shared on GIMP official channels. My 
impression was that the paths are correct and always harmonized with feelings of many users and tastes :-)
Also, I have published a post on Pixls.us to discuss the choices around 'real brushes' that also help me 
define better what do in relation the default set defining the additional sets as 'Extras' and 'Jag' (my 
personal vision around real brushes).

Finally, is obvious that choosing or organizing with these criteria the brushes we have not only an increase 
in performance but also, a better knowledge how is possible use the stains as brushes. In short, 
introduce/define new approaches how the brushes or stains could be used in fast and a creative way on GIMP.
Brushes to paint and tools to draw

Is possible deduce that we have essentially two kinds of 'brushes'... those based in the generic stains that 
have some properties of real brushes when they are configured in precise conditions and settings... and other 
based on real brushes as is, in general, the parametric or raster brushes based in simple shapes and without 
exotic effects. So, is interesting improve the usage of the second type, of the real brushes on GIMP. In this 
sense, I have prepared some concepts of *real brushes* that can emulate reasonable the bristle quality with a 
good compromise with the current features of GIMP.
With these brushes is possible to paint in a similar way of real brush with different techniques supported by 
good and specific paint dynamics, tool presets, or based on user knows how to use the tool options settings 
with specific or not paint dynamics (in some cases and with limitations, obviously).
The real brushes concept on GIMP actually can be resolved with all kind brush formats, as round, flat, 
filbert, liner, etc... but ideally with raster brushes and specifically with the .gih. In general, the 
brushes are used to paint but is possible to use them to other scopes as the calligraphy or also to the 
drawing, for instance, with washed inking technique.
I have thought to add some 'brushes' to draw (pencil, color pencil, charcoal, pastel/crayon, pen, etc)... 
they are not brushes really but are tools to draw... the categorization is good to help the users select more 
easily the tools to these tasks.

Generic Stains
The generic stains that are not possible to use as 'brush', following the 'Criteria to organize the GIMP 2.10 
Brush Set' will be considered as generic 'effects' and classified along nature, dirt, grunge, spatter, etc.
The idea to categorize the stains in this way is only to simplify and help the user understand which are the 
stain categories more easy to use to mimic the classic aspects of painting on digital, but, is clear that 
each mark could or might be used with different ideas, scopes and methods... but this must be made with 
proficiency and mastering and not all are prepared to have this vision or skills... so, the categorization is 
path to give more indications how is possible to use the stains in another way.
Recently I have discussed this with Vasco Alexander and this an excerpt of our correspondence that I think 
clarify a bit my issue about generic stains and usage difficulties around painting on digital.

"Brushes based on generic stains are like the pencils of the digital art world. They are available 
everywhere, everyone has some experience using them and of course one can make beautiful drawings with it. It 
might be also true that not much more is needed for learning. But, because of our predetermination of thinking how 
a pencil has to be used, it is hard to break out of this habit and to develop a broad spectrum of own marks.

I think with generic brushes, especially the most commonly used hard round brush, it is very much the same 
thing. In my eyes, there is a misconception in digital painting that is not grounded in the tools, but in the 
I can't say how often I heard something like: 'The hard round brush is all you need' or 'I do 95% of my work 
with a hard round brush'. It's almost like an unwritten rule. But of course, artistic development needs 

On the other side of the extreme, there are people that install 1000 brushes and never get along with one of 
them - in the end falling back to the default brushes and eventually start following the 'you need only one 
brush' thing.

As someone who made brush sets, I tried to think about the selection of tools to be included in an art supply 
store - demand, quality, variety. The decision, what to use, has to be made by the 'customer', artists and 
teachers, not by me. I think, that this is even more evident when we talk about the creation of defaults for an 
app. We have to take a step back from our own opinions and preferences and provide the highest quality, but taking 
the demands of the users into account. For sure this is no easy task."

To known better what is possible to use is much important to improve the painting experience/performing and 
not only think that we need more and more features... and mainly we must think that many of discussions about 
improvement could be related to insufficient info about how to use the tools and basic knowledge about the 
tools to painting/drawing on digital.

Brush Set Categorization, Naming, and Tagging
To organize the future 2.10 GIMP release and futures pre-releases along I have thought a specific 
organization of folders (as automatic tags) for the brush set.
The idea is become more easy and usable the brushes through tags to specify brush type, for that is more 
usable. So, in this manner will be possible, for instance, select all round brushes to paint or to draw.
Each brush will have an ID unique to become easier the sorting and avoid confusion with exotic names or 
without any rule or criteria.
It was recovered and rethought the previous classification and names with some changes and improvements, 
Basic, Media (now called 'Medium') and Textures (now called 'Effects') yet are present but with some 
variations on the previous concepts.

The organization proposed is:

*Basic* - contains 3 folders dedicated to this category, B0, B1, and B2.
The 'BO' folder contains the .vbr basic brushes, round and block (hard and soft versions). They are the 
Classic brushes that the user to any task to painting or drawing. The idea to put in evidence these brushes 
is motivated for my ideas and concepts around the real possibilities of parametric brushes on GIMP with paint 
dynamics to solve many issues of pictorial techniques for the traditional digital painting based in the 
current mainstream and tastes around finishing of the works.
Another idea is to promote the .vbr and his editor a the rule more effective for the concept artists and not 
My set could appear a bit large, but I have verified with my friends and artists that are in generally 
accustomed pick the variation brushes directly from brush palette instead to customize them via his editor... 
probably this is a gap of our documentation or we need to write tutorials about how effectively to use all 
instances around the brush on GIMP.
The 'B1' folder contains some versions of concept brushes dedicated to emulating the 'real brushes' or 
brushes with bristles.
The 'B2' folder contains the essential set to dry media (pencil, charcoal, chalk) and a new version of hatch 

*Effects* - contains raster brushes thought to make texture effects in general. I have thought that the term 
'effects' is more general and could be used also to aggregate brushes based on raster images dedicated to 
faux or other exotic effects.

*Medium* - is the attempt to conserve the previous and *media* term classification with some interesting 
stain brushes (static and dynamics). In fact, the criteria for the stains and how we are building this set 
was modified in function of something more near of real behavior of brushes and tools to draw/paint. In this 
set, we have some brushes that can emulate some media or techniques but in general the settings on tool 
options need be more specific... because the generic stains to emulate techniques are much dependent how are 
configured our settings on Tool Options.

*Smudge* - with the new features of smudge tool I have thought necessary create a set specific to use with 
this tool, normally we can use any brush, but talking with artist as Mozart Couto, Elias da Silva and Gustavo 
Deveze, I have discovered that each artist has brushes more specific for this usage. So, I have identified 
the modal behavior of these brushes and I selected brushes of previous set and some new to this scope.

The *Legacy* category now is added in a separated category called 'Extras' to implement the default series. 
In my opinion, the 'Extras' concept is more adequate to solve not only 'legacy' but other additional brushes 
to complement in future the default set when the artists are interested or when they think necessary.
I think useful to create a GitHub account to solve this set.

To ordering the brushes on the natural GIMP lists in the system file manager I have adopted a coded 
alphanumeric. An example the Media stain brushes will be organized:
*ID*   *Folder* *Tag1*  *Tag2*  *Alias Name on GIMP Lists*  *Name of archive on file manager*

M1.    Medium   Paint
M1.01    Medium   Paint   Round    M1.01 Oil. Viscous O1      m1.01-oil-viscous-01.gbr
M1.02    Medium   Paint   Round    M1.02 Oil. Viscous 02      m1.02-oil-viscous-02.gbr
M1.03    Medium   Paint   Round    M1.03 Oil. Viscous 03      m2.03-oil-viscous-03.gbr
M1.04    Medium   Paint   Round    M1.04 Bristle.             m1.04-bristle.gbr
M2.05    Medium   Paint   Effect   M1.05 Acryl. Bristle       m1.05-acryl-bristle.gih

Alias Name is formed by = [ID] + [*Alias Name* '.' (dot) to .gbr or .vbr brushes and '+' to the .gih brushes].
For instance: 'M1.04 Bristle. 04

The *Alias Name* and *Archive Name* follow the same schema with a difference that the archive has *Folder* 
name, for instance, the named archive of the last example is: 'm1.04-medium-charcoal-01.gbr'. This schema is 
adopted because on the file manager is not possible to have the tag feature :-).

The 'tags' of the brushes are formed by 'Folder Category' as folder tag, 'Tag1' and 'Tag2' as normal tags, 
directly saved on the Tags.xml GIMP system archive.

The reasons to adopt this codification are many: is more easy to administrate the brushes, is more easy 
identify unequivocally the brush, is more easy to design brush and verify them during the process.
Ideally, we must think a categorization more transparent or hidden for the assets on GIMP... and not only 
based on the alphabetic ordering. Is natural for all users have criteria more personal, like as favorites... 
if we think a spreadsheet is possible to have also ordering things based on our tastes and needs. At this 
moment is not possible to have this feature and I have thought a way to solve this in the GIMP default set 
and also a manner to harmonize the future additional sets of other authors.
In my opinion is necessary to have an order on default GIMP set, this is a good way also to exemplify how is 
possible to collect and organize assets in an efficient way. This is not a rule for all users, but I think 
that GIMP must have rules to organize their default assets. The users could be adopted or not these rules as 
is more natural to them.

Brush Asset Authors Reference
Yet is not possible to add info about author and license of each brush, but I have thought that is a good 
idea, in this moment, add this info directly to the layer of brush. Therefore each brush set of the GIMP 2.10 
will be rewritten adding the info of authors in the own brushes, in my opinion, this avoids the necessity of 
a document with reference of authors to each brush. Until this moment the authors of brush set are:

David Revoy
Elle Stone
GIMP (when was not possible identify the original author).
Gustavo Deveze
Jag (Americo Gobbo)
Johannes Engelhardt
Justin W (Akisu-sama)
L'ubomir Zabadal
Mathias Jonathan
Mozart Couto
Ramon Miranda
Rene Jensen
Ulf Worsoe
Vallie (valliegurl)
Vasco Alexander

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