New Basic Brushes to GIMP 2.10 - Draft

10-set
Small sketch with a Charcoal brush of Basic Set to test.

Hi All,
in the last LGM a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during my first participation, I have had the opportunity to talk extensively about brushes on GIMP.
Along 2017 I am preparing the new set of GIMP 2.10 with some new concepts in the organization ways (names, categories, tags) and main concepts.

I have identified manners to organize new and old brushes and to understand how could be possible create categories more affined with skill and tasks on digital painting and not only.
I have thought to begin this path talking about the new Basic brush set.

The Basic set now is contemplated with 4 sub-categories, B1, B2, B3, and B4. The set contains basic brushes are known as pixel, round, flat, tools to draw and informal and block. The brushes that the user can use for any task to painting or drawing.

The ‘Basic Brush Set 2.10 r1’ have many brushes that I have already deprecated, but for me is interesting to know the opinions and comments of all brushes because is necessary to purge brushes to build a very essential basic and universal set.

The Basic Set r1 is only a part of the entire set that is not complete yet (medium, textures, etc…).

The draft repository of GIMP 2.10 is on my GitHub account:


The archive is downloaded directly in https://github.com/americogobbo/forks-and-drills/raw/GIMP-2.10-brushes/basic-2.10-draft-r1.zip

In this set, we have many new entries, for instance, flat and round brushes with bristle effects. To understand the reasons why, a bit more these brushes, I recommend read my short post on my g+ account, https://goo.gl/dbHxd3.

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Yesterday, I have had a hangout with Aryeom and Jeha of LILA about this brush set.


Note: my English is not so good, sorry…

The basic brushes are fundamental for many tasks on GIMP and my focus on this initial set was only to resolve some aspects of ‘real brushes’, for instance, the necessity or the ability to emulate good bristles.
But is important to have also a set more linked with the actuality of the users and tasks on GIMP, the brush is not only used in digital painting :wink:
So, I am preparing a more extense concept around the basic brushes, e.g., including a series of round brushes based on the parametric kind.

The archive link works. But when I click on the “draft repository” link, it goes to github’s “page not found”.

Quoting from the link to your g+ post:

BlockquoteThe problem with classic points schema is the low rate spacing and the brush becomes a very weight to work on high formats.
So, my idea was used in another manner the .gih brush parameters, for instance, the ‘pressure’ to resolve this issue.

Some of the gih brushes in the “Basic” set do have different size layers. And increasing/decreasing pressure with the pen makes the brush marks increase/decrease in size. This doesn’t work at all with the mouse, instead all the marks stay the same size.

Is this “pen pressure determines which mark is made, out of the stack of marks in the gih brush” part of the gih spec? Something that is set while making the brush? How does this work?

Yes, some brushes are using this method to resolve the issue do not degrade the bristles while the brush is grown with the pressure parameter.
To use with mouse device we can use the bristle brushes based on the points.
To use this kind brush is necessary to have a simple paint dynamics with ‘on’ ‘pressure x size’ and ‘angle x direction’.
If you use in ‘pressure x size’ a curve a bit hard is better.

10-brush-palette-r2
I have almost ready the first release of complete brush set of the GIMP 2.10. I prepared an image with the brush palette to explain better each group.

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Codification and naming of the brushes
For many users is important to have a visualization of the brush set more organized by tasks and types. I have thought a classification based on alphanumeric code… the first word of name set is followed a number to categorize sub-categories on the same group… for instance:
‘b0.’ is the first group of the ‘basic’ brushes where ‘0’ is the first sub-category of the ‘b’ group.
In this way is very easy to classify and order the categories and sub-categories… and at the same time add new sub-categories in the same category.
Not officially I want to create an ‘Extras’ category and also my personal sets to integrate the current set of GIMP 2.10 in a harmonious way using this codification.
In future, maybe, would be possible to have this ‘sort code’ and ID, within the asset and that will be added when we create each asset.
Another idea is to hide from the visualization the ‘sort code’ in all GIMP dialog lists.

For anyone who is trying out the brushes in @Americo 's brush pack, based on watching part of the video:

  • It seems these brushes are designed (are sized) for painting on canvases that are in the general neighborhood of 3500x3500 pixels, which fits well with the range of sizes I’ve been experimenting with using for painting. But if you normally paint on much smaller or larger canvases, then the brushes might be the wrong size for their envisioned uses.

  • The appropriate dynamics is to use a stylus and tablet, and select Pressure to modify the Size, and also select “Tilt” or “Direction” for the Angle.

I find I’m not really capable of saying “these are good, those aren’t so good”. I like all the brushes in the proposed Basic brush pack. If it helps and for comparison, of the current approx. 98 brushes that come with GIMP, I’ve removed about half of them. These are the brushes that are left:

gimp-brushes-still-under-consideration

I can’t say as I use all of these current default GIMP brushes, for example I don’t think I’ve ever used the vegetation brushes or the brushes with the diagonal lines for an actual completed or in-progress painting. But they seem interesting enough - can be used to make interesting enough textures - that I haven’t yet deleted them.

I keep trying to reduce the number of brushes in my collection of brushes. But including the brushes in Americo’s Basic brush pack, I’m still “considering” around 320 brushes. Sigh. Right now I’m working to somewhat emulate the sort of textured stains that I make on real paper using pastels, pencils, crayons and such, copying my own style, so to speak, and all of Americo’s non-parametric brushes work really well for making these kinds of marks, though with a different set of dynamics, lower spacings, and such.

I had deleted all but one of GIMP’s current default parametric brushes, because any given parametric brush can be modified to be any other parametric brush. But Americo’s parametric brushes are really nice, with parameters I never would have thought to put together.

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Yes, the major part of these brushes is thought to painting in wide formats as A4 and A3 with 300ppi.
Is obvious when you try scaling a 128 px brush, via tool options, the immediate effect is to have a brush more closed or darker.
I think that is possible to find a correct equilibrium via paint dynamics to resolve this aspect… but at this moment I think that is necessary to have good brushes to digital painting in big formats.
I have a discussion opened with Mozart Couto about how much big must be a brush to have good textures in digital painting works. I am discussing the effective measures of brushes, for instance, with bristle effect… the commonplace is think that bigger brushes are ever good, not always… Is necessary to have compatible brushes to each media, in future I will propose a series of brushes to ‘video’ and to ‘print’… maybe that is a possible path to resolving this gap.

In certain cases, is interesting to have a ‘pressure x size’ curve a bit hard.

Many of brushes that I am working… and the revision of old brushes present already on GIMP Brushset, they are thought with spacing a bit large, for instance, the .gbr are as default, in the major part, a spacing equal 10% instead, the .gih brushes normally have 20%.
But, if we scaling the image brush, is possible to use shorter spacing, for instance, if you have a 256 px brush and you scaling the image brush to 64 px, is possible to work with good performances with spacing around 5%. Is obvious that if you scaling the image, the tendency is to close the stain and the brush could be resulting more darker… so we need to proceed with adjustments and revisions on :slight_smile:

I don’t know but in the current zip basic archive, I don’t have new parametric brushes… only already existent on default set. In the new set, I have included many parametric brushes in the ‘b0’ category. In the next days, I will share this here…

I don’t use brushes but what @Elle said about brush design wrt canvas size occurred to me as well. I wonder if they could be done like how fonts are done; e.g. optical and more recently variable fonts.

PS If I wanted to learn more about brushes in general (I find them a little daunting ATM), where would be a good place to start? I.e., tutorials, etc.

In theory, the parametric brushes (.vbr) are a behavior similar with the modern digital fonts.

PS If I wanted to learn more about brushes in general (I find them a little daunting ATM), where would be a good place to start? I.e., tutorials, etc.

So, I am not sure what exactly you are interested to know… if they are the aspects theorics of the theme or you are interested the how-tos of the mechanics to build them on GIMP.
If the interest is the second aspect, more practical and mechanics, you can search for the ‘gbr’ or ‘gih’ brushes directly on search engines.
The more simple brushes are the ‘.vbr’ (parametric brush) and the ‘.gbr’ (raster brush with the only stain).
The ‘gih’ brushes or also called ‘animated brushes’, is a brush more complex and they can be used to emulate many aspects on digital painting, but they are complex if you use more than one dimension. About them, you can find some documentation on GIMP Manual… but is a bit old and not current for painting usage.
If the interest is the theoretical aspects… then, is a bit difficult to find documentation about… sorry.

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I asked Gustavo Deveze do proofs with the basic set that I had proposed.

This the image a bit detailed …

Of those 320 brushes, 130 are brushes that @Americo made, again not counting the ones in the Basic pack. I really like Americo’s brushes!

Let’s say someone wants to make a square-format digital painting that eventually will be printed. Let’s say they want the print size to be 15" by 15". A common recommendation for printing is 300 dpi (“dots per inch”). “15 inches” by “300 dots per inch” equals 4500 dots. Screens have pixels instead of dots. So a 15-inch square print will require a digital file of 4500px by 4500px.

Here is a question that I think is critically important when setting up for making digital painting: What zoom factor should be used for evaluating the marks made by brushes, in particular when evaluating the micro-tonality that our eyes interpret as texture?

The answer probably somewhat depends on what kinds of texture one wants to create. Personally I’m interested in creating textures and colors that resemble the marks that pencils, crayons, charcoal, oil and chalk pastels, and also “watercolor and ink” make on various types of paper.

It doesn’t matter how nice digital “texture” might look at 100% zoom on the screen. What counts is what the texture looks like when sized on the screen to match the size of the final print.

My screen dpi is 100px/inch. So if the final print has 300dpi, on my screen the correct zoom factor for evaluating texture (the zoom that makes the print on the screen have the same number of pixels per inch, as the final print will have dots per inch) is 100/300, or 33.333% zoom.

Having settled on dpi/ppi and a final print/digital file size, and a zoom level for evaluating brush marks and resulting images, the next question is “What sizes and styles of brushes are required to make marks that emulate the desired textures?” Consider using a pencil to make a quick sketch for establishing composition:

sketching-pencil

The left side of the above image shows “pencil sketching” marks at 100% zoom, and the right side shows a quick sketch, showing the size of the marks relative to the actual canvas size.

OK, the brush that I used to make the pencil marks in the image above is the 16px by 16px “Pencil Sketch” brush from the current default GIMP brushes (one of the brushes I said I didn’t think I’d ever use :slight_smile: ). I created a preset for the brush+brush settings+dynamics, that sets the “brush size as painted” to 8px - half the size of the actual brush. The five lines in the upper left corner show the default marks from the preset, and the remaining lines show variations from small changes in various parameters.

So what does all this have to do with making a new set of default brushes for GIMP? I think designing a general purpose brush set is an extremely difficult task. We already mentioned that one parameter is how approximately large the canvas will be. @Americo’s decision to base the brushes around a 3500px by 3500px canvas seems to be a nice “average” canvas size.

Another parameter is the user’s personal style - style hugely dictates what counts as a “basic brush”, it seems to me.

I know @Americo is actively revising the Basic brush pack, and so there will eventually be different/additional brushes. So this is a suggestion that there be a brush or two for pencil sketching. Right now the smallest brushes in the Basic brush pack are 24px by 64px, and the marks made by these smallest brushes are a bit “gritty, inky” - not sure what the right word is, but definitely not the sort of smooth crumbly marks that are made with a pencil.

So I would request the addition of one or more brushes for making pencil marks, including a “pencil sketching” brush.

The problem here is that is not possible to understand perfectly the recommendations about digital painting when it is destined to print… in some cases 300 ppi is not sufficient, for instance, to certain comic arts in many cases we talk resolutions as 600 ppi or 1200 ppi… but is, important to have in mind also… that the format in these cases maybe inferior to A4 or max …
When I have chosen 3500 x 3500 pixels format I have thought in an intermediate ISO format among A4 and A3.
We must think also that the brushes have a certain elasticity to respond the increases or decreases grades (+/- 70%).

Here is a question that I think is critically important when setting up for making digital painting: What zoom factor should be used for evaluating the marks made by brushes, in particular when evaluating the micro-tonality that our eyes interpret as texture?

The answer probably somewhat depends on what kinds of texture one wants to create. Personally I’m interested in creating textures and colors that resemble the marks that pencils, crayons, charcoal, oil and chalk pastels, and also “watercolor and ink” make on various types of paper.

It doesn’t matter how nice digital “texture” might look at 100% zoom on the screen. What counts is what the texture looks like when sized on the screen to match the size of the final print.

My screen dpi is 100px/inch. So if the final print has 300dpi, on my screen the correct zoom factor for evaluating texture (the zoom that makes the print on the screen have the same number of pixels per inch, as the final print will have dots per inch) is 100/300, or 33.333% zoom.

Yes, is correct the approach and is so that I do normally to verify if the brush is good or rather bad or it must some changes.

Having settled on dpi/ppi and a final print/digital file size, and a zoom level for evaluating brush marks and resulting images, the next question is “What sizes and styles of brushes are required to make marks that emulate the desired textures?” Consider using a pencil to make a quick sketch for establishing composition:

The left side of the above image shows “pencil sketching” marks at 100% zoom, and the right side shows a quick sketch, showing the size of the marks relative to the actual canvas size.

OK, the brush that I used to make the pencil marks in the image above is the 16px by 16px “Pencil Sketch” brush from the current default GIMP brushes (one of the brushes I said I didn’t think I’d ever use :slight_smile: ). I created a preset for the brush+brush settings+dynamics, that sets the “brush size as painted” to 8px - half the size of the actual brush. The five lines in the upper left corner show the default marks from the preset, and the remaining lines show variations from small changes in various parameters.

The method that you have used is correct and is used for many digital artists but many times via unconscious way or dictated by the empiric experiences :wink:
When you have used 8 px instead than default size brush (32 px), you are calibrating the line stroke for the situation and the intention that you prefix obtain as the final result.
The default Pencil brushes are an old design that I made circa 8 years ago… and then I have thought other usages as pencil line stroke and as to shading too… the real pencil can be used in different ways, not only to hashing but also to create large strokes to shading and not only.
To understand my motifs is useful to see this short video about “How to Sharpen a Pencil For Drawing

So what does all this have to do with making a new set of default brushes for GIMP? I think designing a general purpose brush set is an extremely difficult task. We already mentioned that one parameter is how approximately large the canvas will be. @Americo’s decision to base the brushes around a 3500px by 3500px canvas seems to be a nice “average” canvas size.

Yes, is a good format to begin… but is important also discuss the methods and approaches how the brushes are effectively used in digital painting nowadays for the mainstreaming and of the other tendencies and usages, for instance how the artist’s style is influenced by certain effects that the brush is emulating … mainly that we have complex brushes based on .gih format.

Another parameter is the user’s personal style - style hugely dictates what counts as a “basic brush”, it seems to me.

Certainly, this is the more important aspect… the confidence/skill that some artists could have with their tools are in reality the more important thing… for instance, Alberto Breccia, a drawer, and cartoonist artist Uruguayan/Argentinian has used the Gillette to drawing with ink.

I know @Americo is actively revising the Basic brush pack, and so there will eventually be different/additional brushes. So this is a suggestion that there be a brush or two for pencil sketching. Right now the smallest brushes in the Basic brush pack are 24px by 64px, and the marks made by these smallest brushes are a bit “gritty, inky” - not sure what the right word is, but definitely not the sort of smooth crumbly marks that are made with a pencil.

In effect, the Pencil brushes are a bit ‘gritty’… but the pencil aspect when seeing very near is also a bit ‘gritty’… so, is important the setup of the pencil to create an aspect more near of real tool. For me, many brushes could be used also to emulate pencil, for instance, the crayon or charcoal tips in certain setup conditions have good results.
My suggestion… when we drawing or painting is to have a second view, but in the real size to understand how our brushes are working effectively.
Another suggestion is proofing also these brushes without ‘angle x direction’ enabled.

So I would request the addition of one or more brushes for making pencil marks, including a “pencil sketching” brush.

Perhaps, we need to discuss also the useful presets to emulate certain texture tools… but this a next chapter.

I have verified in my old projects and I found an interesting set dedicated called ‘Doodles’ thought to emulate many pencil textures aspects. Perhaps is useful see what you think about this set:
https://github.com/americogobbo/forks-and-drills/raw/Brushes/pencils-complete.zip

In this set, we have the current pencils on my current draft ‘Basic’ and those named ‘doodle’ brushes too.
In 2013 I have made a series of tests to compare the .vbr and .gbr (parametric brush x raster brush), you can see these post on my g+ account with this string search: https://goo.gl/AUb2AX

Yes, even when printing photographs, the dpi depends on the printer.

That link doesn’t seem to work. But I found this link:

which links to this:
https://github.com/americogobbo/forks-and-drills/blob/Brushes/pencils

The brushes in the above collection are nice! Most of them are already in my collection of brushes - they make marks that look very much like color pencil marks. But they don’t have the smoother, less gritty type of mark that I want for sketching. But maybe my personal preference is not particularly reflective of what really should be in a general, basic set of brushes.

A major reason why my collection of brushes grew to 300+ brushes was because I was looking for a brush for sketching. I found two such brushes (well, two collections, with two or three brushes in each collection) on deviantart. But the licenses weren’t clearly stated as free licenses, which to my mind makes the brushes not useable. Then I realized the little 16x16 “Pencil Sketch” brush (that I think you said is also one of your brushes?) works really well when paired with the right dynamic.

Yes, you have the reason… the pencil brushes are very gritty… perhaps we must add something more classical :wink:

A major reason why my collection of brushes grew to 300+ brushes was because I was looking for a brush for sketching. I found two such brushes (well, two collections, with two or three brushes in each collection) on deviantart. But the licenses weren’t clearly stated as free licenses, which to my mind makes the brushes not useable. Then I realized the little 16x16 “Pencil Sketch” brush (that I think you said is also one of your brushes?) works really well when paired with the right dynamic.

Perhaps, I did a mistake… can you send me this brush via email?
I think that is possible to use also parametric type to build a good and smooth pencil brush… see the tests in https://goo.gl/AUb2AX
The correct link for the zip of complete pencil set is:
https://github.com/americogobbo/forks-and-drills/raw/Brushes/pencils-complete.zip

Sent!

Yesterday, 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.
Also, in the GIMP devel mailing list was posted a long document around my motivations.
All comments are welcome, thanks!

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