Talk:Paint act

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Feature Requests

It would be really cool to have something like the dynamite feature in KidPix. You know, the anticipation of the explosion, the excitement of the destruction, etc. Obviously the metaphor might need some updating to something less violent... but it should be equally fun. -Molly Crowther, molly.crowther@students.olin,edu

A flood of water, washing the image away? Like dumping out a cup of water. There could be variants, like a jet incrementally sweeping the page. Whirlpool. Multiple meeting waves. Rain. Could have a drying out with shrinking puddles. Perhaps this should go on Art Wanted? MitchellNCharity 10:22, 8 July 2007 (EDT)

Stamps seem popular. And kids could share and modify them. MitchellNCharity 10:22, 8 July 2007 (EDT)

Tux Paint comes with stamps. As a whole I'd say that program is way more kid-oriented and featureful than this one. AlbertCahalan 21:45, 7 January 2008 (EST)

Once there is a Jigsaw puzzle activity, one could use drawings with it.

Merging with Drawing Activity

As someone else points out, this page ("Draw") covers the same aspects as the "Drawing Activity" page... Why was another page made? More stuff links to the Draw page, and the activity is actually called "Draw", so I think the other page should be deleted and its contents used to replace this one. This would be in keeping with the naming scheme of other activity pages (Browse, Write, Record, etc.). Currently "Draw" is tagged for deletion; I'm going to move the tag to "Drawing Activity" instead. —Joe 13:30, 26 October 2007 (EDT)

From a new Paint Activity page that has since been redirected here

We should figure out the name for this and Web asap.

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The Paint Activity (formerly known as Draw) allows a child to draw free form designs. A Getting Started Guide is available.

Planning content from activity page

Interactive Placement

Although the Draw activity will be in raster format in its early iterations, it will have a powerful interactive placement system which prevents this from limiting creative output. Whenever a shape, image, textbox, or pasted graphic is created, it will live within a layer above the drawing. Here it will sport manipulation handles, allowing the child to resize it, rotate it, and move it around before committing it (destructively) to the raster image below. This second step will become part of the undo stack, so that the child can easily pluck the shape back out of the image and reposition it without having to draw it again.

To understand the usefulness of this feature, consider attempting to draw an ice cream cone. You can select a triangle shape, but by default the triangle is equilateral and sits on its base. With interactive placement mode, a child may create the triangle, rotate it 180 degrees, stretch it vertically, and then proceed to draw some spherical scoops of ice cream on top.

Tablet Support

The resistive tablet feature distinguishes our laptops from many others. We aim to take full advantage of this within the Draw activity. A single touch to the tablet area with a stylus will reveal an outline on screen mapping the tablet to the drawing canvas with absolute positioning. This outline will remain visible while drawing in order to provide visual feedback. Furthermore, anytime the stylus touches the tablet (but hasn't yet made a stroke), the cursor can be drawn at the location to indicate where the drawing will begin when the stylus begins moving; if the stylus leaves the tablet without moving, no mark will be made. When the stylus leaves the tablet, the outline will dim, becoming mostly transparent, allowing the child to view their new strokes as part of the bigger whole while hinting at position so that she may resume drawing again at the point she desires. After a period of time without any tablet input, this guide will disappear completely, eliminating the distraction when the trackpad (or mouse) resumes control.

While still using the stylus, the child will be able to scroll the underlying canvas (as opposed to making marks on it) by holding down the grab key and dragging the canvas with the motion of the stylus. By allowing the field to scroll beyond the edges of the canvas, the child may place any portion of their painting beneath the tablet outline without ever needing to reposition the outline itself, which will remain fixed in the middle of the screen. This approach is taken to prevent the need to move both the canvas and the tablet outline independently, which couldn't be accomplished naturally without requiring the child to switch between stylus and finger repetitively while working.

For more information about tablet support, see Pen Tablet Support. For a discussion of other proposed user interfaces for drawing, see PenTablet UI.

Behavior Brushes, Shapes, and Filters

Behavior tools are an extensible feature which allow children to create and share their own individual brushes, shapes and filters. When viewing a behavior palette, a child will see the name of the selected behavior, its parameters, and a script window that defines the behavior in code. She may adjust the parameters as with any other tool, but she may also add new parameters, edit the script, or create new behaviors from scratch. The activity will automatically expose the appropriate events for the various behaviors (such as start, draw, stop - roughly mapping to mouseDown, enterFrame, mouseUp), including timer events for behaviors that require continuous input. In addition to these events, a list of exposed properties (such as mouse position and velocity) and methods (such as drawing tools) would also be available.

As an example, a "Mirror" behavior may be a standard behavior brush. It might have a parameters defining the angle at which to mirror. The start event would then set up the axis at the specified angle through the cursor's position. Subsequent draw events would then draw lines as usual, but also mirror them across this axis. This would make drawing all nature of symmetric shapes a breeze.

These behaviors would be treated as objects within the Journal, and would be passed around and modified. This feature will not make it into the early iterations of Draw, but we hope to add it later.


Visual Design

Pointer Tips

Some of the Paint pointers release their 'ink' at unexpected points on the canvas.

This is most critical for the fill action on small targets, but also confusing or frustrating when it is a hidden point, such as the shape arrow.

Please adjust the 'release' point to the following proposed locations:

pointer current location proposed location notes
pencil ~6 pixels to right of tip exact tip center sized strokes on exact tip
brush ~3 pixels from brush band on handle exact tip center sized strokes on exact tip
arrow shape center of arrow exact point of arrow
eraser lower-left corner of eraser center sized eraser fields on lower-left corner on eraser fields larger than ~6 pixels in diameter, the erase field has its upper-left corner at the eraser pointer's lower-left corner.
color fill about 5 pixels to the right of where the paint leaves the bucket bottom tip of dripping paint
polygon tool somewhat to right of lower-left corner exact lower-left corner for polygon tool please also rotate the triangle on the pointer to point at the active corner
rectangular marquee somewhat to right and above of corner exact lower-left corner of the rectangular marquee It initially appears as a square with the active point somewhat displaced. On subsequent clicks, it becomes a crosshair pointer that works appropriately.
ellipse shape a few pixels outboard of disc at ~6:30 at a new highlight (bright pixel or two) on the exact edge of the disc
square shape a few pixels to right of corner exact lower-left corner center sized shapes on corner
line shape a few pixels to right of corner exact lower-left corner center sized shapes on corner (Please also reorient line on image so one end 'points' at active corner.)
polygon shape point of standard pointer good as is
heart shape somewhere behind left (to viewer) lobe at point
parallelogram shape several pixels inboard and behind image at lower-left corner
star shape midway on lower edge of left arm exact point of same arm
trapezoid shape several pixels inboard of edge lower-left corner
triangle shape ~2 pixels off of left edge exact lower-left corner
rainbow standard pointer point center sized rainbows on the point currently, the sized shapes have upper-left corners on point
Filed as Trac ticket,
An alternative solution was filed by Eben at This may be easier or preferred, but is less fun, because, for example, the fill bucket would pour paint upwards. Perhaps the standard arrow could be rotated to match the proposed points and appear more as a ghost behind the tool-specific pointer image. It would be harder to get each image to look good with the alternative solution. --FGrose 03:43, 3 February 2009 (UTC)