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December 6, 2012
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Black Ink beta, we need your feedback!

:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
Hi, I’m Géraldine, co-founder of Bleank, an independent development studio.
For the past two years we’ve been working on a generative art oriented painting program, Black Ink.
The development is self-funded and we really need feedback, ideas and support from the community.

We’re still in beta but we already have a lot of very innovative features you won’t find in other digital painting solutions.
And just last week, we released a very exciting new feature that allows you to customize your brushes in any way you like.
We need as much feedback as possible so if you’d like to give Black Ink a try, there is a free demo version waiting for you on our website.

For more details about the new version I’m also posting our latest press release.

Thank you.
Géraldine.

TRY Black Ink: [link]
INFO Latest press release: [link]
TUTORIALS: [link]
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:icondelusionalhamster:
delusionalHamster Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Where's the linux version?
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013   Digital Artist
Not Yet!
We have to finish the Windows version first ;)
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:icondelusionalhamster:
delusionalHamster Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
boooooo....
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:iconvargson:
Vargson Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I have tried it, I am not really someone who does a lot of painting, but I know a lot about software development and design.
Some things that caught my eye:
- If you want anyone to beta test this, make a free full version and not a demo version that reminds you to activate it with a frame around the working surface.
- The performance is really bad (and I am on a very fast system, including the graphics card).
- It seems you spent a lot of time designing the interface and animations in it, rather then developing features.
- As said before: There are no layers and no way to save a project file.
- I am missing an options page (did I overlook it?) for example to turn of the animations on the interface, they slow down the workflow even more then the bad performance.
- The controllers might produce nice stuff, but they remind me of a 4th generation programming language, which is always a bad thing.
- Is the startup animation always there or does it really depend on the load time? I started the program from an SSD, the loadtime should be <1sec.

My conclusion:
The program may have some nice features, but overall it seems a lot like a "let's create a nice interface with cool animations" project. Basic features of art programs are missing, the performance is bad and it just does not stand out between the load of free alternatives.
As a programmer, I can imagine how much work went into this, but I would not buy this as long as there are free alternatives with more and better features.
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:iconvargson:
Vargson Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Almost forgot: If you want to sell your software, make sure that the first version is completely localized in English (or at least has an option for it). This does also apply to the setup!
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012   Digital Artist
Thanks for your constructive feedback

1) We are an independant development company and the paid beta business model is the only thing supporting the development of Black Ink right now. The trial version is not very restrictive: you have access to every functionality, no time limit and no need for registration. Also purchasing a license comes with a free lifetime access to every future update so we think this is a very fair deal.

2) what is your graphic card ? You must have a card which have a G3D mark of least 500 on this site [link] and 1000 for a real smooth experience.
Everything with Black Ink is rendered and antialiased by the GPU which is a plus if you got a great GPU but an inconvenient if not.
It's still in development we will optimise the rendering for weaker GPU in the future.

3) this will come but as a very small team we can only do one thing at a time ;)

4) preference menu will come too .Here is the list of upcoming features ; [link]

5) The controllers are actually very similar to the current standards you can find in 3d packages like Maya, Softimage, Houdini and many more but in no 2D painting solution whatsoever, either free or paid. This is a very good way for people without any programming skill to use a very powerful tool and enjoy more freedom than with other packages.

6) you are smart ;) there’s no “splashscreen disable” option for the moment. Perhaps in the future... we will see.

7) we are aware of language issues with the installer in different countries and we are working on this.

We did polish the user interface a lot because we think this will really make a difference for the final product. Now many features are on their way, basic ones as well as very uniques ones so you can still follow our development and see if we can change your mind in the future :)

Thanks for the feedback
Regards

PS: Just out of curiosity as a fellow developer, what did you work on?
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:iconvargson:
Vargson Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
1) The price is fair. The only thing that bugs me about the free version is that annoying frame around the working-area. An unrestricted 30 day test period or something like that might be better (there may be a lot of good and less annoying possibilities).

2) I have a GT525m, which has a score of ~580 if I remember that correctly. In general, that should be enough for a drawing software. Again, some settings to reduce the live render quality to enhance the performance would be nice. (I don't mind if the settings are in a config file, but please have them.)

3) I know that problem. I can only suggest to focus on features, functionality and performance rather then on a polished user-interface.

4) I suggest to add the saving of project files to that list. This should be done before the layers feature. It is also helpful if you are able to backtrack and undo/redo your last steps.

5) This is more of a personal thing. I really don't like this 4th generation programming language style.

6) I hope so.

7) Why didn't you start the whole program in English?

I will definitely have an eye on this Project in the future it seems pretty interesting ;)

I worked/work on several projects for The Imaging Source GmbH. I was involved in end-user software as well as sdk and driver development.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013   Digital Artist
We chose to have a trial version you can use indefinitely so you can try again any time and check our new features. The trial frame is something that can evolve just like the rest of the program and every feedback is duly noted!

We’re aware of different performance issues and are optimizing and debugging as we speak to lay the ground for the next big features.

Black Ink is full english but the installer is third-party and needs to support a lot of different languages, which always come with its share of problems.

Thanks again for the feedback and best wishes for 2013!
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:iconvargson:
Vargson Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
For the installer, I suggest you to have a look at Inno Setup [link] which is a very easy to use, free tool. It also makes localization pretty easy to do.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013   Digital Artist
Thank you for the advice ˁᴖᴥᴖˀ
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