Re: WaterColorBot and InkScape – Control Questions and Feature Enhancement Requests

Home Evil Mad Scientist Forums WaterColorBot WaterColorBot and InkScape – Control Questions and Feature Enhancement Requests Re: WaterColorBot and InkScape – Control Questions and Feature Enhancement Requests

Windell Oskay
First, *thank you* for your kind words, comments, and suggestions.  Second– neat drawings and paintings. Love the Dorothy!
On the questions:
1. Multiple color washes.  You can have as many layers in an Inkscape document as you like, and you can rearrange the layers into any order that you like. Use Inkscape’s “Layers” window to add, remove, and re-order layers. You can also use the options in the Layers menu to do those and additional operations, such as “duplicate current layer” — one of my favorites.  
Please read our documentation about how to name layers; it is the leading integer that controls how the layer behaves, and you can give the layers arbitrary names, following the integer: 
2. Pause.  I don’t know of any obvious way to do this with the existing code base (other than manual layer changes). I don’t recall anyone asking about this before. You may be able to add a small delay by adding extra color changes, or forcing washing/re-inking cycles by drawing dots of (hopefully clear) water in unused places.
3. Force Paint Refresh. There is not currently a “good” way to do this. Paint refresh is done by distance painted only. One thing that some people have done is to set the refresh distance to be much longer (or off, entirely) and then to put each path on a separate layer. There are better ways that we can think of.
We’ve been trying to find a good framework for things like this for some time.  I’ve been keeping notes on it here, and you may want to participate in that discussion:   
If you can help contribute to *clear* blueprints about how this kind of thing might be done, it might help to ease things along.
4. Lead-in/tail-off. Yes… I’d really love this one, but it’s not currently supported. Our code isn’t well structured for this at the moment, so hasn’t been straightforward. We do have an idea of what changes are needed, and so may be able to come back to it.
1. Pause by layer. Should be possible. I’ve added it to the notes referenced above, on github:
2. Blend. Paint mixing with watercolors is most readily done *on the paper*, and we’ve had great luck with painting down some water first, followed by one color, then another. A manual-dipping routine might be able to do what you’re asking, but more complex blending is problematic, especially from a UI perspective.
3. Water wash dish select by layer.  I can see what you’re suggesting, and it might be possible with some of those “manual layer” type commands.  In practice, we’ve had excellent luck mixing bright and dark colors, so long as we actually remember to do the full washing between layers, and change out the water manually if it gets too dirty. It might be more useful to be able to select which dish is used for re-wetting the brush, though.
4. Optional large sharpie adapter/arm. Making an adapter that fits both skinny brushes (like the Crayola) and fat markers like the “Fine” point Sharpie leads to poor performance at both extremes. We have made extra and custom brush holders for people who have wanted to purchase them. But… The current carriage design does not make it very easy to swap out the holder (a separate problem that we *are* actively working on), which is part of the reason that we haven’t made them generally available. 
For the short term, you may be able to find some fatter markers with skinny bodies. Alternately, you can modify the drawing to fill in the centers a bit. One way would be to duplicate everything and use Inkscape’s “Inset Path” command to make all the circles smaller. Another way would be to edit the StippleGen code to insert a second circle if the outer circle is above a certain size or (as I think we have done in the past) to draw small spirals instead of circles– they resize better.
5. Pre-saveable modes. This is likely not possible in the way that you’ve described, given the limitations of an Inkscape extension.  The Inkscape extension framework may change in the near future, though. 
6. Double-wide colors. We have evaluated quite a few watercolor sets for fit, and have recommendations about many.  Is that set on our list?