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  1.    #1  
    Paintr Lite is a new app available in the App Catalog designed by Codeslaw.

    As someone who likes to casually draw/paint, I've been really yearning for a good paint app on the Pre. Based off of the description, screenshots, and the reviews left by those who had purchased other paint apps, I have held off on getting such an app until now.

    According to the developer, Paintr Lite is the "first physics-based painting program that allows users to create images that look far more realistic than one would expect from a mobile device." As far as I can tell, the "first physics-based" part seems to be entirely correct (please let me know if I am wrong). As for the realism... if there is an paint app that can make more realistic looking "paintings" on the Pre, I have not seen it!

    Upon opening Paintr Lite, you are presented with two buttons: "New Blank Canvas" and "Instructions" (there is also the Paintr Lite logo, but it isn't really a button). I would suggest everyone read the instructions before they begin painting; they are extremely detailed and very helpful.

    The "New Blank Canvas" opens up a white screen with a thin, light gray border. Initially, there you will see no tool or color selection. In order to to select your brush or color you have to do a forward swipe in the gesture area (left to right). Doing so will bring up three small buttons: a color selector, brush selector, and a trash button.

    The color selector is very straightforward: when you press it, a tray of 16 colors appear. All of your basic colors are represented, but you have no option to customize colors. That said, ultimately your "painting" will not be limited to just those colors (more on that in a bit). Once you select a color, your paint/brush/trash buttons will disappear once more (but you can always bring it back with the forward gesture).

    The brush button brings up a little menu that allows you to select a brush type, the brush size, the paint opacity, and also the ability to turn on and off speed sensitivity (you can also adjust how sensitive it is to speed).

    There are three brush types: hard, soft, and dry. In my opinion, the hard brush is similar to using a marker with a flat, round head. The soft brush is akin to one of those air brushes. The dry brush is more similar to an actual paint brush (generally, this is my most used brush). Brush size allows you to determine the size of the brush stroke, ranging from 1 to 64 (I'm assuming that size is in pixels).

    Paint opacity does just what it says. You can adjust the opacity to be anywhere from 0 to 100%, 0 being perfectly transparent and 100 being perfectly opaque. Remember how I said the painting wouldn't be limited to just the sixteen colors in your color palette? By making your paint more transparent, you can blend colors together! This will greatly expand your range of colors that are represented in your painting, and it will help to give your painting more character.

    Speed sensitivity is another great feature, and it can also be turned on and off. When you enable speed sensitivity, the size of the brush stroke will actually be larger the faster you stroke the digital canvass (and conversely, smaller the slower you stoke). By adjusting the sensitivity, you can make the difference in size more extreme, or less so if you prefer. In my test paintings I had kept this feature off most of the time, as I like the brush size to be more consistent, though I can see myself using this feature more in the future as I get more adjusted to it.

    The third button (trash) does exactly what you would expect it to: it deletes your painting. If you are someone like me who would accidentally push the wrong button, you do not have to worry about accidentally deleting your painting however. When you press this button, a menu pops up asking for your confirmation.

    While we are on the topics of accidents, if you accidentally do the back gesture instead of forward (and I've done this a number of times too), though you will return to the start menu, a third button will now be available: "Back to Canvas." This will bring you back to the canvas you were just working on.

    In practice, the brush strokes look great, and blending colors together works well (as long as you set your brush to be transparent). I find it easier to start with a 100% opaque brush for the base coat, and from there will generally keep my brush opacity around 50% and adjust only when needed. Using this technique, I find it very easy to blend colors. Using the dry brush, it is really easy to give your painting nice texture, while the soft brush works great (with transparency) to soften edges. The hard brush works great for creating full, non-textured colors.

    I found that just touching the digital canvas does not produce color, except when speed sensitivity is enabled. Rather, you have to actually swipe your finger across the screen to create a brush stroke. I find this to be useful, in that I won't accidentally add spots to my painting, unless it is my intention to do so.

    EDIT: Codeslaw noted that you can create dots without speed sensitivity enabled by pressing and holding on a spot. This will definitely be useful!

    Though overall I found this to be a terrific painting app, I found there to be a few issues. First off, you cannot load and paint over an existing picture. So that means you can't take a picture of your friend and then draw all over his/her face. Disappointing, I know.

    Secondly, there is no save feature. In order to keep your painting you have to do a screen capture (orange + sym + p I believe... I've done this plenty of times before, I should know this!). That, coupled with the fact that you can't edit existing pictures, means that you cannot reopen an old painting to edit it. Also, one closing the app, it closes whatever painting you are working on, so you cannot return to that painting as well.

    Lastly, there is no "undo" button. This may not be a big deal to some, but it is definitely a feature I'd like to see. I realize when you are actually painting there is no undo button, but this paint app does not have to strive for complete realism .

    Despite this flaws, this really is a great paint app and one I intend to keep. I understand that the developer intends to address the current issues, as well as add more features in the paid version once it is released, such as more color customization options, and a wider selection of brushes. And also, the price just can't be beat (it's free!). Even though it is a "lite" version, it really is a full featured app and I can't wait for the full, paid version to be released. I would definitely recommend this app to anyone who enjoys drawing/painting, either as a serious artist or someone who just likes to casually draw. On the five star rating system in the App Catalog, I'd give this a 4.5!
    Last edited by distrait; 02/01/2010 at 11:36 AM.
  2.    #2  
    Also, here are a couple of paintings I made with this app (took me a little over half an hour for both of them). I did a number of test paintings, but these are the only two that actually look like something (the other ones were just to play around with the brush features).

    Edit: Also, the first one is meant to be viewed in landscape, as it is... um... a landscape. Also, another score for Pre multitasking: I had a picture of the Joker from the web opened in another card and would look at it for reference and then go back to my Paintr card! I don't care how good your iPad's Brushes app is, let's see you do that! Ooooh!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images
  3. #3  
    Thanks so much for the review! I was very excited to see this the morning the app was approved to the catalog, and even more excited to know that you enjoy using the app itself.

    One thing to note is that you don't need to turn on speed sensitivity to draw dots on the screen. Just press and hold in one spot, and the paint will begin to flow there after a second.

    Undo -- I hear ya! This is actually a feature I am currently developing, however it wasn't wasn't ready to push live quite yet, so I disabled for the release. It is a top priority for the first update.

    Image loading -- I went back and forth on this, and decided to save that functionality for a pro version, though you are correct in that the experience is less complete when you can't open up a drawing you have been working on and continue to add to it. That being said, I think it is safe to expect this feature in a coming update =D

    I gave a few details in the Introduction of the instructions page as to what to expect in the Pro version. I have high hopes for it, though I will say I am reluctant to release it until Palm opens up a few API's that would allow me to save images directly from the canvas. Without being able to do so, the only image size you can save is the screen size, which isn't quite as useful beyond displaying on your phone. With scrollable/zoomable canvas in the Pro version, the real value is in being able to create full-size works of art, where you can get in real close and add levels of detail that would be lost if you couldn't save out a large version of the image. This is the reason why all current painting apps have no option for saving images beyond a screenshot -- it's not possible yet.

    Again, thanks for the review, enjoy the app, and look for more to come.
  4.    #4  
    Thanks Codeslaw! Definitely an excellent app and I can't wait to see your pro version!
  5. #5  
    This is quite an amazing app, especially for a "lite" version. Way better than any paid version I've seen.

    /start rant

    I'm VERY disappointed in Brush Stroke Pro by CTL Advance CSAT. I purchased it, and was okay with it because they INSISTED it would be updated with many features etc... It was I believe the first app of this type to come out on the pre. They STILL haven't updated with many features. They don't even respond to the postings in the thread for that app. I really wish I hadn't wasted my time with them, or my money.

    /end rant

    I WILL be purchasing Paintr Pro or whatever more advanced version you come out with. I hope you keep up with this app, it has TONS of potential!
  6. #6  
    Checked this app out last night. It truly is looking to be the most professional painting app on webOS compared to the other ones (I mean, just compare the screen shots!).

    It has a simple, yet effective interface, and I assume with time, I can end up drawing some really nice stuff. The paintings that the OP made are beautiful! As are the screenshots of the app in the catalog.

    Also, I think this is the first app I've used (besides the web browser) that actually uses the forward gesture. Really a smart and intuitive way to give you the full canvas, but still access a menu without obstructing your art.

    I don't know how good of a "painter" I will be, but I'm really looking forward to the Pro app now. Great job Codeslaw! Love the painted Pre in your screenshots btw.

    It would be probably a good idea to leave the feature of saving and uploading pictures for the Pro version.

    Also, when do you expect that Palm will give you the API for creating truly full-size art? Perhaps you can't talk about it, but I hope Palm helps you out soon.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by distrait View Post
    Also, here are a couple of paintings I made with this app (took me a little over half an hour for both of them). I did a number of test paintings, but these are the only two that actually look like something (the other ones were just to play around with the brush features).

    Edit: Also, the first one is meant to be viewed in landscape, as it is... um... a landscape. Also, another score for Pre multitasking: I had a picture of the Joker from the web opened in another card and would look at it for reference and then go back to my Paintr card! I don't care how good your iPad's Brushes app is, let's see you do that! Ooooh!!!
    Amazing job on the Joker portrait! I could tell what it was straight away.
  8. #8  
    Amazing job on your Paints Distrait! Go you!
  9. #9  
    Seriously, that joker would make a great wallpaper.
  10.    #10  
    Hey, thanks guys. And xome, if you would like to use it as your wallpaper, go for it!
  11. #11  
    Fantastic app CodeSlaw. Palm needs to hire you so you can develop for them in house. The Pre should have come preloaded with something like this.

    Do you have an idea what you're going to charge for the pro version?
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by xfrdxdvoko View Post
    Do you have an idea what you're going to charge for the pro version?
    Yeah, I'm curious as well.
  13. #13  
    That review made me check out the app and it's nice. What features will the Pro have?
  14. #14  
    I have yet to decide on a final price for the Pro version.

    Deciding on a price is actually very difficult, as the Palm App ecosystem is still wildly fluctuating in terms of value for your dollar.

    I'd like to offer it at a price that is both widely affordable, and profitable. Hard to tell.

    Expect it to be between 2 and 4 dollars. If anyone would like to offer suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. I've attempted to set up a developer forum that would be more suited to this discussion, but haven't heard back form Pre Central yet.

    On another note, my most immediate plan is to get people to upload their artwork to Flickr, and tag it with the word 'Paintr'. I'd like to streamline the process of getting peoples artwork from their phones onto the web, so that they can share it with other Paintr users, and even begin collaborating. If anyone knows a good way to organize people on Flickr (not sure if a group is allowable for a commercial product) than I am all ears.



    It's a somewhat large undertaking, so expect it in phases, but for now, start uploading work to Flickr with the 'Paintr' tag, so everyone can see it.

    I'll be keeping things up to date on codeslaw.net, so check in for news/updates/plans, etc. Thanks for the support!
    Last edited by CodeSlaw; 02/03/2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: changing flickr info
  15. #15  
    sweet app, cant wait for the paid app to be released for full version, AND paid apps to come to canada.... ill stop complaining now, we all know it.
  16. #16  
    I was stuck at wal mart for an hour getting some new tires, so I messed around with this app for a good while. It's pretty sweet, good work CodeSlaw!

    It is pretty limited, but for a free version, it works.
    I'm sure you're working on many updates.
    I look forward to it!
  17. #17  
    I love this app have have cash ready to pay for the Pro version!!

    Superb work codeslaw!!

    Here are a few "paintings" I've made to show off the program:


    Last edited by sveilien; 02/04/2010 at 11:51 AM. Reason: typo
    Always pimpin' PunnyShirts.com
  18. #18  
    Very nice sveilien
  19. #19  
    Can't wait to buy it. It's amazing.

  20. #20  
    BTW, as to the price: For me, personally, 2.99 is the upper limit of what I'd spend on a "fun" app, while I might go as high as 5 dollars for something truly useful, ie. something that improves my productivity.

    Just my $.02.
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