Author Topic: CosmicPainter is an image blender and animator for Macintosh OS X  (Read 1595 times)

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Software Santa

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CosmicPainter is an image blender and animator for Macintosh OS X
« on: September 01, 2008, 06:45:35 PM »
CosmicPainter is an image blender and animator for Macintosh OS X

Welcome to CosmicPainter
CosmicPainter is a drawing application where you draw to a moving canvas. As you will see, it  allows you to create complex animated patterns very easily. It is funny to watch the development of the animation and to influence it . In other words, it is a very addictive painting program, so be careful (I already spent far too much time on it myself;-))!

What's new in the V2.0
First of all I'm very glad to release a new version of this little experimental drawing tool. I was very busy working on Modul8 (our real-time video mixing application, be sure to check it out at:, so I was not able to release it sooner. Actually 95% of this application was done for quiet a while, but there was still some nasty little bugs that I never had the time to fix. Finally I took a rainy week-end to finish it.

So what is new? The most requested feature was a function to save the animation to a quicktime movie.I added this feature. Now you can export your animated pattern to a movie. It is exported using the "Animation" codec. It is not the fastest on earth, but it preserves the quality of the images.

This new feature is a very useful functionality but was pretty boring to program. So I started to think about other nice improvements that could be achieved. And my first thought was: why only rotating the canvas ? What about being able to create animated pattern using different kind of motion. Then I tried to add two new motion types: scrolling and zooming in/out.

After experimenting a bit, I saw that it was working pretty well and that it was opening CosmicPainter to a whole new world of animation effects. The only problem was with the border of the image. What to do when the user scrolls out or zoom out of the canvas ? I did not want to use a giant image for performance reasons.  Then I thought about creating a circular pattern of the canvas. And it became one of the best improvement of this new version of the CosmicPainter!

This feature allows the creation of perfectly circular textures that can be tiled so so easily. I also added an "export tile" function to the file menu, so you can get the texture instead of the whole composition. It transforms the CosmicPainter in a circular texture generator that can be pretty useful!

Whatever, the best is to explore these new features by yourself!

I also created a CosmicPainter section in the GarageCUBE forum. If you have suggestions, ideas, bug reports, etc. be sure to post them here:


Changes: V2.0
- Export your animation to a quicktime movie.
- New motion: scroll and zoom in/out.
- Rotate, move, zoom in/out by hand (using the tool icons).
- The canvas is now made of tiled images (perfect for creating circular textures).
- Restructured the user-interface of the palette.
- New user-interface to change the angle/position/zoom of the canvas using numeric fields.
- A function to show the tile (instead of the whole composition).
- Export the tile instead of the whole composition.
- New file format (compatible with older version).
- Added a link to the GarageCUBE forum in the help menu.

The Document
When you start the application a new document is automatically created. In the current version, the size of the window cannot be changed. The document is filled with black. You simply draw by moving the mouse with the left mouse button pressed over the document area. The colour and the brush can be changed using the palette. If you want to keep your work, you can save the document and open it later.

The application can display several documents at the same time.

The Palette

Here is a description of the palette:

When you click on a colour button, the standard colour picker is displayed allowing you to pick the colour you want to use. Please also note that you can change the opacity for both the "Start" and the "End" colours in the colour picker:

Exporting your image
You can export a capture of your work in PNG format. Simply go to the "File->Export" sub menu and select "Capture As Image".
Images are saved in the PNG format.

Exporting a Movie
Since the V2.0 CosmicPainter is able to export a movie of the animation. Go to the "File->Export" sub menu and select "Capture As Movie". A dialog box allows you to select the duration of the movie in seconds and the frame rate. For a perfect frame rate you should select "40". If you want to have a lighter movie file you can select "20". The movie is compressed using the "Animation" codec.

It is also interesting to note that you can continue to draw during the recording. The modifications will be recorded too.

If you zoom out you will see that the canvas is tiled. It means that the same image is repeated. However, internally you always draw to only one image canvas that is used as a source for the tiled composition. This source is the original tile. You can see it by clicking on the "Show Tile" option. When you select this option, the source canvas is displayed at the right bottom of the document. The CosmicPainter works always with a 512x512 internal tile. The good thing about this image is that it is always perfectly tiled whatever you draw. You can export the internal tile using the "File->Export" function in the "File" menu. This is a pretty cool feature when you need to create tiled textures. etc.

This application has been designed and programmed by Yves Schmid.

Current code is maintained at GarageCUBE ( It is open source and can be freely distributed. The source is included in the archive. It is a mixed Open Media Toolkit /Cocoa application developed in Objective C++. The Open Media Toolkit framework can be found on the GarageCUBE web site.

The forum:

For more informations :


Geneva, 4 November 2004, Yves Schmid

« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 03:12:58 PM by Software Santa »


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