Brushes - How to create the infamous Hard/Soft brush?

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    Brushes - How to create the infamous Hard/Soft brush?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm trying to create this specific brush, hopefully someone could help me out. I want a brush that will paint hard edges with pressure, then soft edges with less pressure. Or vice-versa.

    I've actually seen artists paint with brushes which seem to behave the way I've described above, but unfortunately they're unwilling to share or even tell anyone the "formula" as to how they created such brush.

    I've explored every single tab in the bushes menu (general, size, angle, spacing, etc...), tried all sorts of combinations by mixing brush types in the brush creator, but with no success.

    I appreciate any feedback, thanks.

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    can you post examples, done with this kind of brush?
    edge hardness is not something you can map to pen pressure (or velocity, or direction, whatever) in painter;
    you can link opacity and resaturation, so brush does produce a softer look with lighter pen pressure applied.

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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    Hi,

    The brush doesn't exist. The picture you saw was all composed in Photoshop with blur filters. As of yet, I still don't know what brush can do this. If you mean you want to see the actual brush in action, I'd be glad to indicate you to some videos in Youtube.

    (Moderators, is it ok to post Youtube links here?).

    Dozens of people have asked (including moi), but the artist has expressively said that he WILL NOT share his brushes, nor tell how he created it. I don't see the big deal, and I may be wrong about this "infamous brush", but I respect that. Still, nothing prohibits us from trying to create one for ourselves, right?

    Yes, I'm well aware of the features you explained. But none of that seems to get the job done. Brush Tracking, etc.

    In this new sketch again, the top part is another "brush stroke" done in Photoshop to simulate what I need. And the bottom was done with an actual brush in Painter. As you can see, you can either have a soft brush or a hard brush, but you can't have both at the same time. Its an alchemy to be wanting to mix two different elements into a pot!

    Bottom line, I'm not sure how the Painter brush mechanics work, but if I could merge these two features (soft/hard) into one single brush, it would be great. I think such brush would be great for painting and blending at the same time, to be able to make sharp and/or soft edges on the spot without having to switch between two different brushes or going for the blenders.

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    it's ok to post youtube links/embeds here

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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    On the very bottom of the page you'll see "Posting Rules" Click on "BB Code" is on and you'll get a list of how to create code to post Youtube Links and other video.

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; January 26th, 2012 at 10:36 AM.
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    Alright, in that case here it is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSHuTpZkv1Q

    If you observe closely (and not count the blender and airbrush), you'll see how one of his brushes seems to do that "soft/hard" thing simultaneously, as I don't see him doing any tool swapping on the brush selector.

    I don't believe just mere pressure and opacity settings could produce such "air-brushy" blends like that without leaving any streaks...

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    It's hard to see but it looks to me like he has played around with the Bleed and Saturation settings. The Bleed is probably quite high and set to Pressure, possibly inverted on a flat circular dab. My guess anyway.

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    Yes, you may be right. I've been fiddling around with some brushes and it's almost there (as far as the softness and smooth blending goes). My guess is that he's probably using some sort of oil pastel or tint variant...

    I found this effect is actually possible to create in Photoshop. It's not perfect but it can be done with just 2 simple steps.

    1- Choose a soft round brush to start off
    2- In the brush settings palette, under Dual Brush, choose a hard round brush

    Now with these two combined, when you paint with high pressure it does hard edged strokes, and turns soft edged with less pressure. But its not perfect cause what Photoshop lacks is the ability to blend pixels intuitively like Painter.

    So I wonder if Painter has such "dual brush" function too... And I don't mean the ctrl+B Transposer tool.

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    painter's doesn't have double brush options available;
    one thing I've noticed in that video is that he has spacing panel undocked and brought on screen at some point;
    if you play with spacing values, you'll notice that higher spacing values lead to a smoother stroke; lower spacing creates a more hard, solid stroke;
    other than that, it's just clever use of bleed and resaturation values.

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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    Quote Originally Posted by Royzen View Post
    Yes, you may be right. I've been fiddling around with some brushes and it's almost there (as far as the softness and smooth blending goes). My guess is that he's probably using some sort of oil pastel or tint variant...

    I found this effect is actually possible to create in Photoshop. It's not perfect but it can be done with just 2 simple steps.

    1- Choose a soft round brush to start off
    2- In the brush settings palette, under Dual Brush, choose a hard round brush

    Now with these two combined, when you paint with high pressure it does hard edged strokes, and turns soft edged with less pressure. But its not perfect cause what Photoshop lacks is the ability to blend pixels intuitively like Painter.

    So I wonder if Painter has such "dual brush" function too... And I don't mean the ctrl+B Transposer tool.
    That tutorial you linked to is old lol.

    You know he did another one for Corel Painter magazine - though he got the difference between anime and manga...well really wrong.



    You can download the PDF from his blog http://reiq.co.uk/Blog/archives/474

    It's just mostly variants of the Oils category. He changed the Smeary Camel to Round dab type, then chose the profile of the brush to Watercolor. He said he changed the expression from Pressure to none.

    He also mentions Just Add water and the Digital Airbrush... (sorry forgot to add that before I went to make dinner).


    Course you can read the PDF

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; January 27th, 2012 at 12:15 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    You know he did another one for Corel Painter magazine - though he got the difference between anime and manga...well really wrong.
    doesn't really matter, he could just have called it a "how to make a terrible Elsevilla copy" and be done with it, cough-cough

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikken View Post
    doesn't really matter, he could just have called it a "how to make a terrible Elsevilla copy" and be done with it, cough-cough
    I remember Reiq doing color stuff quite a long time before I remember Elsevilla getting into doing color stuff. I don't see how his stuff looks like Elsevilla's at all.

    I'm saying though, he got the difference between anime and manga wrong because he said "anime = color" "manga = black and white" and umm...well no that's not really the difference. Especially since anime is just short for "animation" and manga just means comics.

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the observations. Appreciate the suggestions and the links too.

    This Reiq guy is actually a great artist, I like his painting techniques. But unfortunately (in my opinion) he wastes too much of his talents on perverted artwork. Atleast I don't know any of his other works, if not all the hentai stuff. Not that I'm against that or anything (me like), but sometimes enough is enough, eheh.

    Either ways, I guess it's useless hunting for this "phantom brush" that probably doesn't exist (or can't exist due to Painter's mechanics). But I think I have enough info to go about customizing my own. So far in this thread we've covered bleed, resaturation, dab type, expression and spacing. So I'll go ahead and do some fiddling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Royzen View Post
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the observations. Appreciate the suggestions and the links too.

    This Reiq guy is actually a great artist, I like his painting techniques. But unfortunately (in my opinion) he wastes too much of his talents on perverted artwork. Atleast I don't know any of his other works, if not all the hentai stuff. Not that I'm against that or anything (me like), but sometimes enough is enough, eheh.

    Either ways, I guess it's useless hunting for this "phantom brush" that probably doesn't exist (or can't exist due to Painter's mechanics). But I think I have enough info to go about customizing my own. So far in this thread we've covered bleed, resaturation, dab type, expression and spacing. So I'll go ahead and do some fiddling.
    From what I recall Reiq is actually taking courses in the Concept Design Academy. I linked you to his blog so check it out instead of worrying about the hentai stuff

    I'm not some fangirl of his, I'm actually rather indifferent, but I remember seeing his tutorial in Painter Magazine and he reposted it in his blog. That's where I noticed his other works.

    One of the things notice is that people tend to work with a brush that has high bleed but the invert pressure is on. That way when they make light strokes, the brush blends more and softens, while harder pressure makes a more solid brush.

    This technique was talked about http://conceptart.org/forums/showpos...8&postcount=12

    One thing I wanted to mention is that you may be thinking the brush isn't changing but it can be. The category he had were custom so the icons may not have changed but the brushes in the category may have.

    On another note speaking of brush tweaking, there was this interesting blog on Opacity in Painter 12 - http://painterfactory.com/blogs/chri...s-opacity.aspx

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; January 27th, 2012 at 10:06 AM.
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    Thanks for the links, very informative indeed. I think I've finally managed to get my brush the way I wanted, though not 100% as Reiq's, but I'm quite satisfied. And it does blend smoother with the bleed set to inverted pressure, as suggested.

    Oh, just for curiosity - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paDpjW2CukQ

    I also have Paint Tool SAI but never use it. People are actually able to do amazing artwork with it, but somehow it doesn't click to me. On the other hand, SAI does have an incredible watercolor brush that blends marvelously and does all that hard/soft mumbo-jumbo I've been talking about the whole time. SAI's engine also seems to be alot better. If Painter had a bit of SAI and Photoshop, it would be THE painting program, I think, eheh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Royzen View Post
    On the other hand, SAI does have an incredible watercolor brush that blends marvelously and does all that hard/soft mumbo-jumbo I've been talking about the whole time.
    The brush in the video reminded me of SAI's brushes too, they're excellent. But in reality you can achieve something similar in Painter with the right settings. SAI is a great program however.

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    For the first half of the video it looks to me like he's using Rob's Basic brush. The quality is terrible, but I swear that's what it says in his brush selector.

    Rob's Basic is a great brush. It lays down colour opaquely at high pressure, and at lower pressures it softly blends. This can give the appearance that it's becoming soft-edged, but it's really just blending.

    http://www.ethereality.info/ethereal...es/goodies.htm

    In that second higher quality vid that Arshes linked he's using some of Don Seegmiller's brushes by the looks of the icons in his custom palette in the first bit of the video.

    I can understand people saying that people shouldn't fixate on a particular artist's brush or settings, but in this case the guy is being so obstructive that it's giving me some satisfaction doing a bit of detective work. Deliberately omitting the top of Painter's interface in a painting demonstration video just seems a bit odd.

    Last edited by JohnMalcolm1970; February 1st, 2012 at 03:23 PM.
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    Hey John,

    You may want to look at the PDF file. As it appears this video was recorded after the publication of this document, which if you notice he has a different set of custom icons. You'll notice his palette changed after 5:45 so they were obvious recorded at different times, and after the 5:45 mark it's similar to the palette screen shots in his pdf tutorial.

    He basically said in the PDF what he's using and how to tweak the settings. It's not too obscure. He probably had the brushes (Don Seeg's on his palette in the second vid) to try them out - just as many people do but he may not have been necessarily using them. Sans the first video because you can see it in the icon. I was going along with the tutorial trying the methods (since I actually have the original files provided on the disc) and they don't seem like he's being that obscure.

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    It kinda smells fishy too...

    Really, I wouldn't blame anyone for suspecting him being obscure. I mean it's a fact that alot of people have questioned about his brushes, and he refused to tell. It's what alot have come to believe to be THE brush almighty. He knows this and seems to enjoy the torment its causing on people, eheh.

    Those things on the PDF, although useful, are just propaganda for the magazine. I don't believe he'd really reveal the settings of his "trademark" brushes that he uses "behind the scenes".

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    Except I've run the settings and tried the brushes in his tutorial? The only thing is I do strokes differently than him. So people are getting it in their head it's some real trick brush. Even if you have the same settings, your methodology of strokes is not going to be the same as the next person.

    I now have the cover pencil as a secondary inking tool, and using just add water along with his brushes and several others are interesting. However, I also tweak them a bit so I'm more comfortable.

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    Painter doesn't have a dual brush mode so you can't really make a brush like that like you can in Photoshop, I actually often use a brush like that for soft cell-shading, when the brush is big it's soft, when the brush is small it's hard. Also if you play around with the dual brush settings and brush dabs you can make some really nifty watercolor brushes.

    PS: I can't believe there's only two recent threads, don't know if Painter finally "works" or if people just got tired of the bugs and moved over to Photoshop.

    Last edited by Portus; February 27th, 2012 at 05:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portus View Post
    PS: I can't believe there's only two recent threads, don't know if Painter finally "works" or if people just got tired of the bugs and moved over to Photoshop.
    I think it's the latter. I'm not trying to disparage the team behind painter because I believe they work hard within their means of resources, but painter hasn't really been fixing much of anything over the last 5 or 6 years. We get patches that may or may not work. Some bugs get fixed but the major ones get left alone. Layer handling/functions hasn't been improved no matter how loud people scream, and the speed hasn't imo improved, if anything it's gotten slower. There has been some great changes, (brush directory handling and creation, symmetry, some interface improvement), but the areas that people most care about such as improved layer function, (more inline with photoshop), more intuitive transform functions, simpler stamp brush creation, a way to make custom vector shapes that don't necessarily require importing or selections, a way to open up the supposed backup file made during a crash, oh and less crashes, less crashes, MY GOD less crashes, haven't even been dealt with.

    I been using mypaint (which has recently added symmetry drawing, ellipses, straight line function similar to painters "V" key function, blending layers and blending options for brushes including colorize, Sai (no description needed) and Photoshop. I think other folks are using Artrage and or a few of the ones I just mentioned. Painter needs to get things right or it won't be around much longer imo - although, I'm sure my opinion doesn't count for anything for some folks haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by artmessiah View Post
    I think it's the latter. I'm not trying to disparage the team behind painter because I believe they work hard within their means of resources, but painter hasn't really been fixing much of anything over the last 5 or 6 years. We get patches that may or may not work. Some bugs get fixed but the major ones get left alone. Layer handling/functions hasn't been improved no matter how loud people scream, and the speed hasn't imo improved, if anything it's gotten slower. There has been some great changes, (brush directory handling and creation, symmetry, some interface improvement), but the areas that people most care about such as improved layer function, (more inline with photoshop), more intuitive transform functions, simpler stamp brush creation, a way to make custom vector shapes that don't necessarily require importing or selections, a way to open up the supposed backup file made during a crash, oh and less crashes, less crashes, MY GOD less crashes, haven't even been dealt with.

    I been using mypaint (which has recently added symmetry drawing, ellipses, straight line function similar to painters "V" key function, blending layers and blending options for brushes including colorize, Sai (no description needed) and Photoshop. I think other folks are using Artrage and or a few of the ones I just mentioned. Painter needs to get things right or it won't be around much longer imo - although, I'm sure my opinion doesn't count for anything for some folks haha.
    Dude I havnt had a single crash in like... a year almost. Yes Painter has its little glitches, but there is a reason many still use it. I used to think like you, that Painter wouldnt stay for much longer, though I disagree now. You just need to learn to tame the beast

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    Quote Originally Posted by artmessiah View Post
    I think it's the latter. I'm not trying to disparage the team behind painter because I believe they work hard within their means of resources, but painter hasn't really been fixing much of anything over the last 5 or 6 years. We get patches that may or may not work. Some bugs get fixed but the major ones get left alone.Layer handling/functions hasn't been improved no matter how loud people scream, and the speed hasn't imo improved, if anything it's gotten slower.
    while I agree with this, at least painter team has started listening to feedback, something that didn't happen since painter X or so;
    I really hope painter 13 is gonna be a speed/stability release with minimum real gugugaga BS dragged in to appeal to mass/new audience
    (that is actually not so happy with painter 12 - there has been a few pretty direct and cruel threads at painterfactory, mostly in regards of painter's poor stability and amount of bugs that went into release)
    Painter needs to get things right or it won't be around much longer imo - although, I'm sure my opinion doesn't count for anything for some folks haha.
    don't worry, as long as photo2painters are on board, painter will be profitable (they might kill the painting part completely and rerelease it as $ 199 corel photopainter in the future orz)
    jokes aside, painter is a # 1 painting app for me that suits my workflow perfectly; however, I'm still bouncing between painter 6 and 9,5 simply because recent versions haven't been drastically useful for me, and haven't delivered on stability and overal performance.
    maybe we'll see some steps in that direction, if not - I'll be fine with my tools.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hive_minD View Post
    Dude I havnt had a single crash in like... a year almost. Yes Painter has its little glitches, but there is a reason many still use it. I used to think like you, that Painter wouldnt stay for much longer, though I disagree now. You just need to learn to tame the beast
    what OS are you working with? painter 12 for mac was crashing routinely at least once daily for me;
    it might be partially solved when painter goes 64 bit for mac and gets more ram access, but I've seen a noticeable number of complaints from other people too (most of those were real wet media related, though - something I don't even bother using)

    Last edited by ikken; February 28th, 2012 at 07:30 AM.
    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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    Only two threads recently does seem odd. Maybe Painter Factory is doing a good job. There is plenty of activity from the Painter team there. Painter 11 and 12 were problem free and stable for me although I've had to pass on the recent 12.1 update as it wasn't.

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    I haven't had much problems with Painter 12 and I especially like the update. I'm using Windows 7 64 bit.

    I couldn't say that about 11 because it had that irritating stroke bug and actually froze and crashed several times, before that long overdue update.

    The best bug removed was the one with the brush creator because it caused so many bugs in past versions.

    I'm not saying it's bug free, but most of the crashes I got from previous versions is no longer there. That stupid screen refresh error is gone too. I also like reading some of the blogs from Painterfactory because it has some interesting insights on Painter. I noticed though members of the old Painter team of past versions have left (Steve?), but it seems newer devs are responsive?

    They need to fix the window focus bug. I'll try to Pan or scroll and often the document has lost focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hive_minD View Post
    Dude I havnt had a single crash in like... a year almost. Yes Painter has its little glitches, but there is a reason many still use it. I used to think like you, that Painter wouldnt stay for much longer, though I disagree now. You just need to learn to tame the beast
    I'm pretty painter versed I'm like you - I like painter, but try having to RELY on painter for work and you'll see that it's a risk not worth taking.


    Quote Originally Posted by ikken View Post
    while I agree with this, at least painter team has started listening to feedback, something that didn't happen since painter X or so;
    I really hope painter 13 is gonna be a speed/stability release with minimum real gugugaga BS dragged in to appeal to mass/new audience
    (that is actually not so happy with painter 12 - there has been a few pretty direct and cruel threads at painterfactory, mostly in regards of painter's poor stability and amount of bugs that went into release)

    don't worry, as long as photo2painters are on board, painter will be profitable
    Went over to painter factory and checked out a few threads, good to know I'm not "that troll" that reams against corel for no reason LOL. I want painter to work and what I'm most looking for is stability. Too funny about photo painters - very true.


    Quote Originally Posted by joeparis View Post
    Only two threads recently does seem odd. Maybe Painter Factory is doing a good job. There is plenty of activity from the Painter team there. Painter 11 and 12 were problem free and stable for me although I've had to pass on the recent 12.1 update as it wasn't.
    True. I think painter facter may be the best hub for painter and it is perhaps the reason for the few threads here. I'm glad a new team is working the angles, maybe I'll give painter another go in the future.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I haven't had much problems with Painter 12 and I especially like the update. I'm using Windows 7 64 bit.

    I couldn't say that about 11 because it had that irritating stroke bug and actually froze and crashed several times, before that long overdue update.

    The best bug removed was the one with the brush creator because it caused so many bugs in past versions.

    I'm not saying it's bug free, but most of the crashes I got from previous versions is no longer there. That stupid screen refresh error is gone too. I also like reading some of the blogs from Painterfactory because it has some interesting insights on Painter. I noticed though members of the old Painter team of past versions have left (Steve?), but it seems newer devs are responsive?

    They need to fix the window focus bug. I'll try to Pan or scroll and often the document has lost focus.
    I get a crash when I make a brush variant and or when trying to copy a new varient to another group (my main brush group for example). Plus on my system (which is really fast cause it's also built for music production and video) painter still feels sluggish or slow to respond on certain brushes. Again I may need to update and see if some problems got fixed.

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  30. #28
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    If you do update, back up your old workspace/brushes and do a factory reset before installing the updates.

    I also have seen people experience more problems with multicore if anything. If you have virtual cores or brushes with multicore that do not need it (ie legacy brushes). I had turned it down to 1 core for now because it's not like it's really "showing me vast improvements/saving me extraordinary amounts of time".

    http://painterfactory.com/blogs/spik...-actually.aspx

    http://painterfactory.com/blogs/dans...s/default.aspx - Caroline took over Dan's blog.

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  31. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    I also have seen people experience more problems with multicore if anything. If you have virtual cores or brushes with multicore that do not need it (ie legacy brushes). I had turned it down to 1 core for now because it's not like it's really "showing me vast improvements/saving me extraordinary amounts of time".
    I somehow love that at the end, most of painter 12's improvements (sans 64-bit support for win) should be disabled to get a problem-free working package
    skipping brush strokes/extra brush lag? oh sorry, you have to disable the much hyped improved screen blurring
    brushes misperforming? bawww, that's multicore going nuts, pls disable
    real wet media causing crashes? ummm we're aware, service pack patch incoming (or not)
    ctrl+z hanging up program? come on, can't you just use eraser, dude it's a REAL MEDIA world

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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  33. #30
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    in other news,
    the upcoming painter 12.1 hotfix was apparently released today, just to get immediately recalled due to blocking "feature" setting in most of brushes
    feedback post here
    it just gets better and better

    on the fourth day of glitchmas my painterô gave to me
    four random crashes, three broken brushes, two system hangups & one corrupted workspace
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