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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Illustrator owns a LivePaint tool, CorelDRAW owns the same function and with the next release, Inkscape also offers the same tool under the name "Paint Bucket tool".

    I would love to see such a function in Xara Xtreme.


    This is the description of the planned Paint Bucket tool from Inkscape:

    Paint Bucket tool
    The new Paint Bucket tool works exactly as you would expect: click in any area bounded on all sides and it will fill it with color. Being a vector tool, however, Inkscape's Paint Bucket just creates a new path that "fills in" the area in which you clicked.

    It is important to note that the tool is perceptual, not geometric. That is, when looking for the boundaries around the point you clicked, it takes for such boundaries any visible color changes. This means that filling will stop at gradients, blurs, and even the color boundaries in imported bitmaps, but will ignore any paths or other objects that are fully (or almost) transparent or for any other reason do not stand out from the background. In short, it will work exactly as if you were filling a rasterized version of your image in a bitmap editor like Photoshop or GIMP - but will give you a vector object to work with.

    For example, now you can scan a pencil sketch, import the bitmap into Inkscape, and quickly fill all its cells with colors even without tracing the bitmap first. This is a very convenient and interactive way of digitizing your paper drawings, making the traditional bitmap tracing unnecessary in many cases.

    Internally, the tool works by performing a bitmap-based flood fill on a rendered version of the visible canvas, then tracing the resulting fill using potrace and placing the traced path into the document.

    It places the rendered path onto the current layer, so you can have a layer on top (for example, "Inks") and select the layer below ("Colors") and do the fills so that they always appear below the Inks.

    The resolution of the bitmap image used to perform the trace is dependent upon your current zoom level -- the more zoomed in to an area that you are, the higher the resolution of the bitmap-based flood fill. So, if you are got a fill that is too imprecise, has rough corners, or don't go into small nooks and appendices where it is supposed to go, just undo, zoom in closer and repeat filling from the same point. Conversely, if the fill leaks out through a small gap, zoom out to make the gap less visible and fill again.

    Like all object-creating tools, the Paint Bucket may use the last-set style for the objects it creates (this is the default), or it can use its own fixed style. You can switch between these modes on this tool's page in Inkscape Preferences (Ctrl+Shift+P).

    In the tool's Controls bar:

    • Tolerance (set in per cent units) controls how large must be color difference at a point (compared to the initial click point) to stop the fill. Zero tolerance means only the area of strictly the same color will be filled; the larger the tolerance, the easier it will be for the fill to leak into adjacent different-color areas. The default value is 10%.
    • You can control the amount of inset/outset to be applied to the created fill path. Setting a positive outset causes fill paths to be larger than the filled bitmap area (good for eliminating anti-aliasing errors), while setting a negative outset causes the path to be smaller. This works the same as the Outset and Inset path commands.
    • Paint Bucket's perceptual fill can use either all visible colors or specific color channels. You can restrict the fill algorithm to the following channels:
      • Red
      • Green
      • Blue
      • Hue
      • Saturation
      • Lightness
      • Alpha
    • A style swatch on the far right of the bar shows the style that will be used for the next fill object you create.

    The tool's shortcuts are:
    • Single click performs filling from the click point.
    • Shift+click performs filling from the click point and then unions the resulting path with the selected path. This way, if your first attempt did not fill in all of the desired area, you can Shift+click the remaining corner to fill it in separately and combine the result with the result of the previous fill.

    Some potential improvements to the tool are:
    • If the [Ctrl] key is held down, clicking on an object changes the fill color to the current fill color, and [Shift]-[Ctrl] changes the stroke color to the current stroke color

    source: http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/ReleaseNotes046

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Mmmmm, interesting. Could you go into a little more detail?
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Hi Bob,

    the idea behind the LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool is simple:
    1. Select the LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool and click on a point in your drawing
    2. The tool starts to search all the underlying pixels (yes pixels, not only vectors) with (nearly) the same colour, until it reaches another colour.
    3. This search process goes with each pixel around your starting point, until the tool reaches all the points with the same colour in this area.
    4. Now, the tool knows the form of the area and is able to build a vector form around the recognized area (the Xara developers can use the algorithms of the Xara Bitmap Tracer for doing this).
    5. The so created shape is filled with the current fill/line colour and all the current attributes like transparency, shadow...

    Take a look at the following Illustrator videos, to see the LivePaint tool in action:

    Last edited by remi; 04 April 2007 at 04:11 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Los Angeles

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    One of these days, InkScape is going to be a brilliant tool... as good as or better than commercialware. My only serious complaint is the slow rendering, but that is only because I use Xara which sets the standard, though this IS a matter addressed in InkScape's latest release... impressive improvements expected.

    I worry that now Xara will need to compete with other packages on a larger scale and that many of the best features will be neglected as the corporate 'be all things to all people' mentality bleeds the core functions. but... i digress.

    As for tools, user definable, nested galleries/toolboxes is the solution i would want.

    Last edited by GeoBen; 04 April 2007 at 07:25 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Remi, this is indeed a very cool feature. Let's hope Xara LTD is at least looking at your post.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    It wouldn´t be better if the tool was vector based instead of pixel based?
    The inkscape description states that the selected area is based on an image rendering of the current work that is then traced by potrace. Why not use boolean operations instead to determine the selected area? It would be much more precise clean and sharp. (althought in the inkscape case the tracing engine is absolutely great)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Louvain-la-Neuve, BELGIUM

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Yes ! Very interesting indeed for workflow and creativity !!!

    I place it in new asked drawing facilities as vectorizing blur steps or shadows (asked a long time ago by somebody I didn't remember) or Group Drawing I proposed recently (but perhaps not understand by people because I didn't get any replies) : http://www.talkgraphics.com/showthread.php?t=26602


  8. #8

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    wow PLEASE implement this!!!!

    it would make drawing cartoons SO MUCH EASIER


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool

    Quote Originally Posted by Miguel B. View Post
    It wouldn´t be better if the tool was vector based instead of pixel based?
    The inkscape description states that the selected area is based on an image rendering of the current work that is then traced by potrace. Why not use boolean operations instead to determine the selected area? It would be much more precise clean and sharp. (althought in the inkscape case the tracing engine is absolutely great)
    Hi Miguel,

    I think, working with vectors is the technique of Adobe Illustrator's LivePaint tool. But the approach of the Inkscape team is much more flexible, because of the following reasons:
    1. It sounds to me, that Inkscape's planned "Paint Bucket tool" is able to handle (simple or more complex) vector objects and also (scanned or imported) bitmaps to find pixels of similiar values.
      Instead of searching only for vector objects, the tool does a fast render of the nearest area and uses well known bitmap-based algorithms for the further search for bounds.
      The problem is, that the colours of the underlying pixels are more important for selecting areas, instead of the real coordinates of the underlying shapes. The vector shapes in your Xara Xtreme drawing could be simple shapes but with complex fills/transparencies, so that the approach to following only the vector form isn't flexible enough.
    2. A lot of users knows the tools of bitmap editors, but don't know much about vector tools. From time to time we all see questions from beginners here, who asks for a "Magic Wand Tool" within Xara Xtreme. OK, we all are able to explain the differences between bitmap editors and vector editors and why there is nothing like a "Magic Wand Tool" in a vector graphics editor. But if we think about it, we have to accept the fact, that the "bitmap way" (using a simple tool to find similar pixels and places a selection around) is more intuitive than the "vector way" (creating new shapes by hand over a imported bitmap).
    3. This tool offers an easy way to trace a bitmap "by hand". All these approachs with monolithic Bitmap tracers are not satisfying in my eyes. Yes, we can study all the possibilites of Xara Xtreme's Bitmap Tracer or Potrace or Illustrator's LiveTrace, but in the end, the results are often shapes with too much point handles. We all know the pain, to work with these terrible shapes.
      On the one hand, it seems that's not possible to develop a really clever Bitmap Tracer (who would trace images the way, we are able to do by hand), but then this doesn't mean, that's not possible to develop a clever "Bitmap Tracing Assistant Tool". These "Paint Bucket tool" is one step in the right direction: Tracing a bitmap step by step together with little instructions by the user. With such a tool we should be able to trace a scanned or imported bitmap within a minute or two.

    Last edited by remi; 05 April 2007 at 01:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Feature Request: LivePaint / Paint Bucket tool


    I am eagerly awaiting the inkscape 0.46 release.
    I totally agree with rpc9943, it will make cartooning a lot easier - in fact, for my normal cartoon work purposes it may [sadly] cut xara out of the loop altogether, but it depends on how well it is implemented.

    I can see a senario whereby my black pencil drawings are scanned in to photoshop [which removes red[blue] layout pencil by splitting channels]

    then inkscape vectors them [which 'inks' them too]
    AND then colors them
    Job done.

    And as getting vectors from xara to inkscape can be a pain - what original vector drawing I have to do for these jobs will quite likely be done in inkscape also.

    Not just for cartoons either thinking about it.....
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae



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