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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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Devious Comments

: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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:iconstaceys:
StaceyS Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012   General Artist
I downloaded it and it says "BlackInk has stopped working." every time I try to open it. How do I uninstall it? >>;
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012   Digital Artist
Hi StaceyS,

Thank you for the bug feedback.
Before to uninstall Black Ink could you send us the log file by email (ErrorReport@Bleank.com)
This file is located here: C:\Users\MyUserName\AppData\Roaming\Bleank\BlackInk\BlackInk.Log
We will do our best to resolve your problem.

After that if you want uninstall it click the Start button , click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Programs and Features.
Select "Black Ink", and then click Uninstall.

Thank you for your help.
Géraldine
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:iconstaceys:
StaceyS Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012   General Artist
Alright, I sent it. Hopefully you can tell me what went wrong?
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012   Digital Artist
Thank you we are going to answer you ;)
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:iconstaceys:
StaceyS Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012   General Artist
Okay. u-u
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:icongodofbadweather:
GodOfBadWeather Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Okay, so I've downloaded it and tried it.

I'm currently unsure if my biggest problem is that it slows down my PC like there's no tomorrow or the fact that there are no layers. Probably the first one. Not even Photoshop does this to me, this is a serious issue that needs to be fixed.

I find the lack of saving in project file also disturbing since it only offers to save in .png and you can't save layers(which don't exist in this program) in that extension.

I've made a sketch with it, I couldn't color because of the incredible slowness, I've got to try out the angled brush so far which is a very decent brush, I can work with it if it stops lagging so much.

The interface is gorgeous and simple, but I'd really like the color swatch to be sticky so i can have it around without pushing extra buttons. I have nothing against the simplicity since it's a painting program but it might use some different apply settings for the brush such as overlay.

It might be just me but I also haven't seen any color picker tool either which I think a painting software would need.
If I'll have any other thoughts, I'll share it, but that's all for now.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Digital Artist
Hi GodOfBadWeather

Black Ink does not use the same rendering technique as the other programs to support much higher resolutions but this relies heavily on the graphic card and yours is probably not powerful enough.
For a good performance a "G3D rating" of 500 is needed but we recommend a rating of 1000 or above for the best experience, you can have a look for Videocard Benchmarks: [link]

We are still in heavy development and a lot of features are yet to be implemented but will come very soon. Layers are planned for the near future, and yes, will come with a new file format. New color blending modes are also in the planned features.

There actually is a color picker button in the color palette but we’ll soon improve its use and visibility and add some keyboard shortcuts.

Thanks for testing and sharing your feedback!
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:icongodofbadweather:
GodOfBadWeather Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
That is very unfortunate because I don't plan on buying a new graphics card in the near future.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Digital Artist
Sorry to hear that. Don’t forget to try again when you do, and we’ll have a lot more features implemented by that time too.
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:icongodofbadweather:
GodOfBadWeather Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I will do that, but if it would ever to become more lightweight, I might consider switching from my current painting program. I'll keep a tab on you guys.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012   Digital Artist
Thank you ˁᴖᴥᴖˀ
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:icongodofbadweather:
GodOfBadWeather Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
So as I promised, I've tried it with a new graphics card.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2012   Digital Artist
Congratulation for your drawing ˁᴖᴥᴖˀ

In your example you haven't clicked on the stars.
Did you try controllers? [link]
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:icongodofbadweather:
GodOfBadWeather Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Interesting, I'll download it to see what it can do. Do you have any finished art or just these brush-strokes?
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Digital Artist
You can check our forums, there are some pictures in the gallery area and also in the tutorials in the tips&tricks section. [link]
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012   Digital Artist
You can check our forums, there are some pictures in the gallery area and also in the tutorials in the tips&tricks section. [link]
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:iconpyrohmstr:
pyrohmstr Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Artist
The license agreement works now :p
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
Of course, thanks to your testing ˁ^ᴥ^ˀ
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:iconskyfire2008:
SkyFire2008 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's not free? Thanks a lot, but I'll stick with my Gimp and MyPaint.
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:iconbonnimimi:
Bonnimimi Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012   Digital Artist
The Trial version is free and I think the full version is a really good deal (even if we still are in beta).
Black Ink is a "Generative Art" software, but also include the basic tools you can find in other packages.

Try it [link] before to compare it with Gimp or My paint :)

For example here [link] is an image our programer made using only his mouse thanks to the controllers system. And here a test with just one brush stroke [link]
So basically even if you have no drawing skills, with black Ink you will create original concepts easily and with a great artistic result.

I am waiting for your feedback now ;)
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