Black Ink

Things can be­come a lit­tle ab­stract with this ex­per­i­men­tal soft­ware, but we say em­brace its non-tra­di­tional na­ture!

ImagineFX - - Feature -

black Ink’s pub­lisher Bleank is honest with its aim. This isn’t art soft­ware try­ing to mimic tra­di­tional me­dia. It’s dig­i­tal em­brac­ing the na­ture of dig­i­tal.

“The thing that I like most about Black Ink is how un­pre­dictable the brushes are,” ex­plains Tony Foti. “There are times when I need to de­sign things with more of a ran­dom feel, and it can be dif­fi­cult to not cre­ate some­thing that doesn’t look like a group of shapes. The chaotic na­ture of some of Black Ink’s more an­i­mated brushes keeps you on your toes.”

Black Ink isn’t the best soft­ware if you want to paint rep­re­sen­ta­tional art, and cur­rently lay­ers are lim­ited to just eight. But if you re­spond well to ex­per­i­men­tal mark-making, there’s plenty here for the in­ter­ested artist.

Bleank had the mo­bile phone user in mind when it set out the user in­ter­face – a clear space with room for com­plex tools. Those tools in­clude 72 de­fault brushes: a few ‘nor­mal’ ones like a Felt pen and Pen­cil, and a lot more ran­dom ones, all of which are cus­tomis­able.

For Ayan Nag, the brush con­troller is a huge high­light in Black Ink. “It’s a lit­tle com­plex when you start out, but the amount of vari­a­tions you can come up with is un­real.” He also likes how the way Black Ink utilises the graphic pro­ces­sor. “That’s one of the rea­sons why the soft­ware per­forms so swiftly.”

The brush tip shapes can warp and pul­sate with the move­ment of the sty­lus

“The brushes are all so dif­fer­ent, but one of the stand­out fea­tures is how many have a par­ti­cle ef­fect to them,” Tony says. “The tip shapes can warp and pul­sate with the move­ment of the sty­lus, which makes the process feel dif­fer­ent from my usual work­flow.”

As well as sav­ing out in its na­tive BKD for­mat, you can also save your chaotic art­works as JPGs and 16-bit PNGs, which doesn’t en­able you to save lay­ers but re­tains pretty awe­some pre­ci­sion in colours and trans­paren­cies. There are plans to soon ex­port files as PSDs, due to pop­u­lar de­mand, so watch this space.

pres­sure paint­ing cus­tom brushes

Some brushes en­able you to change colour based on how hard you press with your sty­lus – ideal when you want colour vari­a­tion with­out go­ing back and forth to the colour pal­ette. You can mod­ify your brush strokes af­ter you’ve made them, cre­ate new brushes us­ing a huge range of con­trols, and paint di­rectly into the pre­view win­dow to see ex­actly what each tool will do for you.

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