View Full Version : A Virtual Brush

07-31-2002, 12:18 AM
Dear Digital Painters,

I have been working on a virtual brush project and current we have some sample videos and images that can be shown to the art community. Please check out this page:

Basically, it is a brush working in 3D with spreading bristles. The main goal is to provide digital artists with new expresive tool which captures the stroke rhythm. Your comments are most welcome.

Greetings from Hong Kong,
Nelson :)

07-31-2002, 12:46 AM
Very impressive work! ... thanks for sharing.

I have used chinese brushes for my chinese ink and watercolour paintings on paper but I am currently using flat wide watercolour brushes for my ink lines.

Is there some more text information about this? It looks like in some cases a chinese brush is used with sendors but other images show what looks to be something like an intuos tablet with pen (maybe it's a special pen?)

It would be neat if this could be used in the program Expression2 ( www.creaturehouse.com ) to produce vector-based lines which could be altered afterwards. I have used this program much for coming up with ideas for my ink and watercolour on paper work with my graphire and pen.

07-31-2002, 12:55 AM
Just wondering if there were settings for viscosity of ink and how fast the ink stops flowing from the brush. I noticed on one video the whole page was covered with lines without barely lifting the brush.

What software have you been using this with ... would also be great to use with Painter

07-31-2002, 01:32 AM
Hey Nelson , if I were you I'd submit this to http://www.graphicsnews.com/ ...sounds like a unique bit of news to me

07-31-2002, 05:20 AM
Hi David,

Thanks for your comments and questions. Yes, I know Expression; I'm on the Topica Expression list too. ;)

Now, my program works with either a 3D device or a tablet. To work truly in 3D, we do need a 3D sensor. However, such a sensor is not avaliable on the consumer market, or at least it's not "affordable" now. To make our program more accessible, I added tablet support. The brush is not controlled as intuitively, but at least others can use it, and maybe with more convenience.

Currently, my program runs as a standalone PC application. An OpenGL acceleration graphics card is required, and a fast CPU - maybe 1GHz Pentium 3.

At present, not much is done on the ink yet. No viscosity, like in the real Chinese ink, but of course having viscosity is good for mimicking other paint materials. Also, I still haven't incoporate ink diffusion yet.

Thanks for the graphicsnews.com link. I'm trying to find suitable forums, but posting there seems a bit too "official"; maybe not so suitable for our current status: my project is not yet officially announced and I think I still need to work on it before releasing for people to try. I post here, because I'd like to get some feedback from users. In particular, I'd like to know if people like to use a 3D brush with spreading bristles that captures the rhythm of the brush movement. Brush manipulation is particularly important in oriental painting or calligraphy and that's why I came up with the idea of making such a brush in the first place. In addition to posting in English-based forums, I'm also trying to find some suitable digital art community in China or Japan too... would like to hear what they think too.


07-31-2002, 05:29 AM
Hey Nelson,

Looks like a piece of genius ! I love the fact that such an ancient art is now digital too.

If I knew how to write Chinese or Japanese characters I'd love to help you out....

Cool !!


Nelson Chu
08-01-2002, 05:49 AM
Hi Katja,

Thanks for your compliments. :) For years, Painter has provided digital versions of various Western media.... and my main goal is to bring the Chinese brush to the digital domain too.

I forgot to mention that in the video, the brush has unlimited ink supply - it can be made such that reloading is needed and is done by dipping the brush into some ink/color containers, but that would be implemented later. And, thanks for spreading the news in other forums. :)

p.s. I'd glad that I finally found a few Chinese digital art forums; with one thread just being the topic "digital Chinese painting". :p

08-01-2002, 07:30 PM
I'd like to try that brush!