Author Topic: Flowpaint is a next generation paint program that focuses on usability and power  (Read 2269 times)

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Flowpaint is a next generation paint program that focuses on usability and power

Flowpaint is a next generation paint program that focuses on usability and power. It's open source, cross platform, and supports pressure sensitive graphics tablets.

Flowpaint version 0.2 is now released! It adds undo, detailed parameters for brushes, a 'recent brushes' - feature, dramatical speedup by dynamically compiling code, and a new set of default brushes. In addition tablets with pressure are now supported also with the Java Webstart version. Flowpaint is still in Beta phase, use with care.


The undo works by storing a snapshot of the screen after each brushstroke, so for now it is limited to 8 levels. It is also possible to undo accidentally clearing the canvas.

Brush parameters

The brushes now offer extensive ability to tune their appearance, including color, texture, size, softness, and so on. Different types of brushes (texture, plain color, gradient) offer different parameters.

Recent brushes

Whenever a brush is customized by changing its parameters, and used more than once, it is stored in a list of recent brushes. This handy feature allows easy reuse of the exact same configuration as used earlier, without the need for manually storing brushes. As the list fills up, the oldest configurations are discarded, but whenever a brush is re-used, it is moved to the front of the list.

Drawing speedup

The rendering engine was rewritten, fixing several rendering bugs and speeding up the drawing. It now compiles the currently selected brush to low level bytecode on the fly. This makes especially the simpler brushes such as color and gradient very fast, although large textured brushes can still lag behind the cursor. The rewrite unfortunately made the brush edges more jagged and uneven. This will be addressed in future versions.

New default brushes

A new set of default brushes were added, including a varied set of brushes for working with black and white art (hatching for example), as well as colorization and texture effects (various noise brushes).

Tablet support in webstart version

Now the Java Web Start version also supports pressure input from graphic tablets. Tablet support still doesn't work in 64 bit Windows environments though (should work in 64 bit Linux, but not tested).

What is missing

Layers are still missing, as well as zooming and panning. Resizing the work area is also painfully slow at the moment (it will re-draw every brush stroke if the window is resized, so it can take up to minutes). There is also no native file format yet, so it's not possible to resume a picture started earlier.

Other features that are planned for future versions are an easy way to handle multiple open pictures, possibility to create custom brushes from basic operations, libraries of brushes shared over the Internet, and a zone feature that allow creating wrapping textures and textured brushes.

All in all Flowpaint is still in beta phase development, so use it with care. There are bugs that may cause it to lock up, so save often (fortunately this is easy and quick).

List of changes

The ChangeLog contains the full list of the implemented features, fixed bugs, and known open bugs (note that this released version is actually 0.2.1, as a last minute bug was discovered and fixed).


Flowpaint 0.2 requires Java version 6 or newer (also known as Java 1.6).

Launch Flowpaint 0.2 with Java Web Start here:

Download Flowpaint 0.2.1

Known Bugs

Flowpaint will freeze up for a long time (several minutes) if its window is resized after many pen strokes have been drawn (it will re-render each pen stroke). Undo history may also be lost after a resize. The workaround is to resize the window to the desired size before starting to draw. This issue will be fixed in a future version.


Your feedback helps drive the Flowpaint development. Take half a minute to answer the poll in the sidebar, or a few minutes to file a feature request if you have some cool feature idea you'd like to see in Flowpaint, or drop in at #flowpaint on if you want to chat directly with the developer.

Happy painting!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 05:31:43 PM by Software Santa »


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