Start a new topic
Answered

Future of TwistedBrush Pro

Long time users of TwistedBrush, not active in the community or anything though. I just venture around time to time to see if there are any major updates.


With the major new website and forum I'm kind of wondering if there's not going to be a big/noticeable update to TwistedBrush itself?


Seems kind of odd to give a super modern facelift to a program that screams old school as much as TwistedBrush dose. I'd go as far as to say that it feels rather disjointed. The new site is nice, but it sets expectations of a modern feeling outcome very high. Which is just not the case of the current TwistedBrush Pro which feels straight out of the 90s. Which I think is especially going to be bad considering the new website seems to go out of it's way to not show the current state of the interface which will only make it an even bigger shock and turn off when people download it.


The other major thing that has me concerned is that TwistedBrush Pro is an awesome program, however it still has a lot that could/should be done with it and yet it feels like all the recent development time is being spent on offshoot side projects.


I've found myself wondering the last couple years is it that the developer(s) [I've never figured out if TwistedBrush is made by a small group or just one person.] are having a hard time figuring out what to improve or new directions to go, or if they are simply not interested in it due to TwistedBrush being more of a hobby then a major business.


No matter the answer to any of this I plan on personally using TwistedBrush for at least a couple more years easy as to me there isn't really a great replacement for it now. Though in the future PaintStorm has a high chance as long as it keeps evolving at it's current rate. At it's current development rate I could see it becoming quite tempting to switch over to in the next few years if TwistedBrush keeps it's status quo.


Best Answer

Hi Rolan,


All very thoughtful questions, comments and concerns. Thank you for your long term support of TwistedBrush!  


TwistedBrush is developed by a single person (myself), however, from time to time Pixarra employs contractors to aid in some support / admin efforts, but at the moment I take care of all things. Of course this includes levering services and capabilities of other companies to efficiently handle things such as forums, payments and other administrative tasks.


The update of the Pixarra website was sorely overdue. Various things were broken, updates such as product information for the focused TwistedBrush Studio product information was put off awaiting website rework as well updates were more difficult to do using old tools when more efficient tools exist today. 


The user interface of TwistedBrush Pro Studio can be looked at as dated by some I view it more as a utilitarian workhorse look (personally I still find it pleasing). Of course in the art world there is often an expectation of software having a fancy interface but that doesn't always equate to more effective results. One thing I have found with UI updates in TwistedBrush as well as many projects. You will please 1/2 the people and angry the other 1/2 so I have often avoided major UI changes since the intended functionality worked. The new Studio programs gave an opportunity to advance the UI while still leveraging the internal capabilities of TwistedBrush as a whole. The other concern is that TwistedBrush Pro Studio offers quite a bit of complexity which can be challenging when considering UI updates.


Back to the website. Screenshots will be added for Pro Studio as well as each of the other Studio products as well as more details of the features available. Those parts of the website just aren't complete yet. 


So the bigger question I think you raise indirectly (and in the title) is what will Pro Studio updates look like in the future. The intention is that TwistedBrush Pro Studio will reap benefits from the other Studio products in the work done there on the UI. Overall Pro Studio is considered a mature product and changes may always feel more incremental rather than revolutionary. 


Hopefully this helps give you a better sense of Pixarra and the thinking going forward.


Ken






1 person has this question

Answer

Hi Rolan,


All very thoughtful questions, comments and concerns. Thank you for your long term support of TwistedBrush!  


TwistedBrush is developed by a single person (myself), however, from time to time Pixarra employs contractors to aid in some support / admin efforts, but at the moment I take care of all things. Of course this includes levering services and capabilities of other companies to efficiently handle things such as forums, payments and other administrative tasks.


The update of the Pixarra website was sorely overdue. Various things were broken, updates such as product information for the focused TwistedBrush Studio product information was put off awaiting website rework as well updates were more difficult to do using old tools when more efficient tools exist today. 


The user interface of TwistedBrush Pro Studio can be looked at as dated by some I view it more as a utilitarian workhorse look (personally I still find it pleasing). Of course in the art world there is often an expectation of software having a fancy interface but that doesn't always equate to more effective results. One thing I have found with UI updates in TwistedBrush as well as many projects. You will please 1/2 the people and angry the other 1/2 so I have often avoided major UI changes since the intended functionality worked. The new Studio programs gave an opportunity to advance the UI while still leveraging the internal capabilities of TwistedBrush as a whole. The other concern is that TwistedBrush Pro Studio offers quite a bit of complexity which can be challenging when considering UI updates.


Back to the website. Screenshots will be added for Pro Studio as well as each of the other Studio products as well as more details of the features available. Those parts of the website just aren't complete yet. 


So the bigger question I think you raise indirectly (and in the title) is what will Pro Studio updates look like in the future. The intention is that TwistedBrush Pro Studio will reap benefits from the other Studio products in the work done there on the UI. Overall Pro Studio is considered a mature product and changes may always feel more incremental rather than revolutionary. 


Hopefully this helps give you a better sense of Pixarra and the thinking going forward.


Ken






2 people like this

 Thank you for taking the time to answer, that answered things quite well. 



I think the Ui is adequate for the purpose the program is intended. I have mentioned before that TB is like a favourite old paintbox. It's a tool, period, If it had a flashy Photoshop interface, well and good but would it 'work' any better for all that. I appreciate that in a program as complex as TB it requires a utilitarian, functionable UI and this is what it provides. The only distraction in an art program should be creativity.
All power to your elbow Ken. What you have achieved is remarkable.
Having said this, would a more muted colour scheme, as regards the menu bars on this old paintbox be possible as the only change I would find acceptable.
Thanks for your efforts so far.
Derek

 

Hi Derek,


Thank you for your feedback! With regards to color scheme that is one aspect of the newer Studio programs that I would like to see incorporated into Pro Studio.


Ken

The user interface works well. Its more approachable to my kids. It doesn't over-whelm them right from the start.  When they open twisted brush, they feel comfortable, when they see a fancy interface, they groan. They grown because it takes more clicking around to figure out certain adobe and corel products.... Artsy fartsy snobs who want to win a contest because they have more money to spend might be put off by a simple interface. Would it be too hard to make a simple skinner add-on so people could change the feel of it by custom coloring it, but not mess up the lay out? Or a Darkside skin for my goth teen?

 

I am a bit upset by TwistedBrush not being a more well known and widely used product. I have used older versions years ago. I see the additions that have been made over the years.  One of my daughters has palsy in her hands but she can make art with the brushes and a mouse. This is the only art program that makes her smile. I purchased a key today and she asked if it was the one with fractal brushes. I said yes and she just grinned. Yep, its back!  I have wondered if it will ever have something on Steam the way Dogwaffle does.  Someone on an art forum claimed years ago the program couldn't be that good based on the quality of work in the gallery compared to Painter.  I bought the educational version of painter for my kids and they never used it. But I couldn't see the supposed difference in the natural media that supposedly was better in the other program.  I do wish more kids first art program experience was this instead of the nightmares I've had trying to push industry standard programs on them. My youngest daughter was complaining it took her forever to do in Illustrator what was simple and fast in the free FireAlpaca. Of course she wants Paint tool SAI because that's what all the people on Youtube use so $45 later she is going to be asking why they don't use FireAlpaca because she'll still love it the best after using the other one. Much the way I keep asking why more people haven't really tried TwistedBrush.

 

Hi Rita, 


Thank you for your feedback and purchase of TwistedBrush Pro Studio!


It's great to hear the functionality and interface it approachable to your kids of different skill levels. 


It's a good point about Steam as a distribution channel. It is something that was considered but not followed up on but I will want to look into it in more details.


Corel (with Painter) is of course a good size company with many products and hundreds of employees and therefore have many more resources available for marketing products than Pixarra does. That fact alone with volume will result in a greater number of artists using the software.


Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!


Ken




Yes! My daughter with palsy said she dislikes art because she was picked on a lot over her attempts at school. But she enjoys this one program and is amazed by it. You don't have to be a master to make things and it is fun for everyone.  I love seeing the works in the gallery here and so does she, some are master works and some are student works and the brushes are great in all of them.  The other gallery makes her even more sure you need an art degree to work with Painter. The brushes in this program are just as good as anything Painter has in it, then there are the other 8000 brushes Painter doesn't have and won't be getting.

 

I totally agree. TB is a fun program to use. Art is about fun. I've tried them all and battled with their interfaces. As a professional engineering designer I've struggled with the complexities of high-level graphics software. Painter, Photoshop........etc are very impressive but a nightmare to learn and become competent in. I discovered TB over 10 years ago, purely by accident. I bought it without even downloading the trial. It hit me between the eyes literally!
I really enjoyed hearing that a kid found it such a wonderful expressive tool. We're all kids on this forum. God help us if we start becoming serious about ourselves. We don't need gadgets and VR goggles to have fun.
Thanks again Ken. As they say here in Cornwall, 'It's a proper job'
Still amazed by it since the first day I used it. The interface is good and the brushes are literally astronomical in scope.

 

Hi Thomas, 


Thanks for your support and feedback!!


Ken

This seems like a good place to ask rather then making a whole new topic.


I am upgrade my computer next year and one of the main things I am going for is a 24" 4K display so a major question for me and the future of TwistedBrush is what are the plans for handle 4K? As far as I can see there is no interface scaling options at all. I do digital painting as a light hobby so it will not be the end of my world if I have to move away from TwistedBrush once I upgrade but I'd rather not, and as a lot of new 4K monitors are going to be hitting the market it seems like something that TwistedBrush is going to really need to embrace or face major issues with in the not so distance future.


In terms of the UI appeal to the mass world I think one of the biggest turn offs to TwistedBrushe's UI is the lack of docking options. GIMP is a good example it's appeal usually goes up massively to pretty much everyone I have ever intruded to it after I show them there are options to get all the sub windows docked into a a single workspace window.

One of the only things I would like to see regarding updating TwistedBrush, is to see a 64bit version. As you know, Ken, I am a photographer, and I do like using TB for photo processing but with larger images come more memory load.   I know about merging layers that don't need to be separate, and limiting the undos, etc, and I really don't want to resize the image down.  Being able to access more memory would be a huge boon. 

 

Hi Sandra,


Thanks for your suggestion. Yes I understand the value of moving to 64bit for the memory increase alone. There are some internal technical hurdles we'd need to overcome related to some older components in use in TB. 


Thanks,

Ken


1 person likes this

Still Golfing I disagree with you.  Twisted Brush accommodates really well to most things I throw at it.  I usually start by taking a jpg of a Print Artist card and loading the image and than repainting or sketching out and things like that.  This is an art program and thus it does have a learning curve associated with it.  From there I trace out what I want to do.  Yes it is an alternative to photoshop and Corel Painter and Art Rage and Studio Artist,  but I have been able to make it do most things. 

Login or Signup to post a comment