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

On 03/30/2018 09:42 AM, Americo Gobbo wrote:

Americo, thank you! for the hard work and long hours to improve GIMP painting assets. I like your overall organization quite a lot. I made some comments below on this and that:

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.

This topic of painting and drawing has come up before in a somewhat different context in which various people argued that GIMP's "pencil" tool is not very useful. To me the name of the tools "paint brush tool" and "pencil tool" are simply misleading. For example:

* I set up a "sketching pencil" tool preset, for which I use GIMP's "paint brush" tool along with one of the smaller current default GIMP's brushes labeled "oil" - for this tool preset the "brush size" is dialed to be considerably smaller than the actual brush size of somewhere around 80px.

* Many of the brushes work very well to emulate painting with various media, when paired with the "pencil" tool, and many don't. The issue is anti-aliasing, not "use of tool as indicated by the tool's label in the toolbox". The first time I paired the various acrylic brushes with the pencil tool (per Americo's excellent suggestion), my actual goal was emulating the brush strokes in a specific oil painting, for which IMHO the pencil tool worked far better than the paint brush tool.

Which brings up the related topic of possibly specifying default dynamics for the various brushes? so that people who've never used GIMP to paint might have a head start on figuring out the possibilities?

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.

Americo's suggested categories below for drawing and painting tools of course aren't going to fit everyone's personal categories as this is a highly individual thing. But it seems to me his categories are well-suited for "learning to think about what can be done with the available tools", which I think is one of his major goals - and then of course individuals hopefully procede to tailor the categories to fit their own needs.

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 only. 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.

Americo's examples of what can be done using a parametric brush are very illuminating. But I somewhat wonder whether a basic brush set needs quite so many versions of the parametric brush, as modifying the vbr brush is incredibly easy.

Instead of having 25 "preset parametric brushes" in the basic brush collection, it might be useful to put examples of all the possibilities into a GIMP tutorial, along with a downloadable set customized vbr brushes. And then maybe have only five parametric brushes in the basic brush collection.

For my own brush collection, I deleted all except one vbr brush, and just change the softness/size/etc for that one brush as required for the task at hand.

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 pen.

*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.

. . .

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

I don't think I'm the author of any of the brushes :) . I did send Americo an LCH palette and a couple of tool presets including "dynamics/gradient/brush/tool options settings", but the actual brushes were current default GIMP brushes. One preset was for a sketching pencil, and one (which I think I sent) was for a "crayon/chalk pastel" preset, to emulate drawing with the tip (narrow marks) of a crayon/oil pastel/chalk pastel. But I don't have a clue whether these painting assets would be something anyone besides me would find useful.

Regarding tagging brushes, here are some suggestions:

** Tagging by size (largest dimension) of brush, which hopefully could be easily generated by GIMP code, broken into convenient groupings such as:

extra small approx. 32px or smaller
small       approx. 64px
medium      approx. 128px
large       approx. 256px
extra large approx. 512px or larger

** Tagging by type of brush: It would also be convenient to have the type of brush - vbr, gbr, gih - be made into an automatic tag. This way the user could choose to, for example, see "all gbr brushes", or "all brushes of a given size", or even "see all gbr brushes of a given size".

** Tagging by the name of the person who generated the brush:

Americo brought up the topic of adding the name of the person who made the brush to the metadata embedded in the brush, which is an awesomely excellent thing to do.

Currently I manage "tag by author of brush" by grouping all brushes by any given brush-maker into top-level folders by a "short version" of the name of the person who made the brush, eg "jag" for Americo, "gimp" for default GIMP brushes, and so on.

Personally I find "tagging by brushmaker's name" very useful for locating a specific brush, and also it's a nice way to remind myself of who's brushes I'm actually using. There are some very talented brush-makers out there (of which I am not one - making a good brush sounds easy but it's not), and it seems to me that the people who make brushes for GIMP deserve all possible credit and recognition.

I did tag all my brushes using the above tags: size, type of brush, author of brush, and find these tags very useful.

One topic that hasn't been mentioned, that I think might be nice to consider, is a way to hide unwanted default-supplied painting assets.

Currently I delete *all* of the default GIMP brushes every time I recompile and install GIMP, as I just don't want to see the default brushes that I've already eliminated as "I don't ever use that brush so I don't even want it in the list of available brushes". Instead in my config folder I have copies of the default GIMP brushes that I actually do use (which is to say quite a few but not nearly all such default-supplied painting assets).

And similarly for other default painting assets - if I don't use a default palette/gradient/etc, it's more convenient, less visually confusing, if those assets aren't shown. Right now the only way I know to "hide" the unwanted default assets is to delete them from the install folder.

Is this a consideration ("hide unwanted default assets") shared by other people who paint using GIMP?


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