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First off, I have to voice my strong support for what a truly incredible gadget the WaterColorBot is! Amazing work and credit to you, Sylvia, and the great folks at Evil Mad Scientist for bringing such a magnificent device to life! "It's ALIVE! Muahahahahahaha!" I truly cannot rave enough about the success I've had with it. I've both used it to paint (duh) and with the StippleGene software as well to have some fun with both dot-art and contiguous-line drawings. A few of the featured works are shown in the next post (while the "Japanese Cherry Blossom" piece is easily found and plotted, I modified it by pulling out the signature and replacing it with "Bonsai Beauty" in Japanese calligraphy).
Alright, that said, on to the original intent of my post. For reference, I have shown an "work-in-progress" below that shows what I'm trying to pull off as a reference (if it doesn't load, the image is available at: http://www.yjprod.com/image/BOTS/OWL01.jpg) This was originally a vector clipart, but I had to basically re-draw it (tracing) in InkScape to get what I was looking for. I noticed that InkScape and WaterColorBot are smart enough to work by layer and that it automatically works from lightest hue to darkest. NICE!
While I've *tried* RoboPaint (and kudos to you for developing your own platform there!), I am far more used to InkScape, and find it significantly more powerful. In short, it's the tool for me.
1) MULTIPLE COLOR WASHES: When drafting out a drawing in InkScape, I was wondering how one establishes that after laying down a color or two, we want to immediately do a "Color Wash" just for that color rather than proceeding to the next color. While the "Color Wash" layer automatically shows up as first in the "InkScape Layers" window it is always done last by default. What's the trick to say, laying down brown in the image below, then color washing (smearing) it all around the target fill area before putting in say a black outline? It does this properly in the Japanese Cherry Blossoms painting and I noticed there is more than one "Color Wash" layer on that one, but not sure how that was done (InkScape doesn't seem to like naming two layers the same).
2) PAUSE: Is it possible to build into the painting process (automatically) a "pause" for a given amount of time and dunk the brush in the water while waiting? I'm thinking there are times when letting a layer dry before adding another would be highly valuable. If it's a matter of manually painting by layer for now, so be it, but would be a VERY nice feature to consider.
3) FORCE PAINT REFRESH: How does one force it to go back for paint at a specific point rather than getting through half a line and trying to resume?
4) LEAD-IN/TAIL-OFF: Would be nice if you had an optional "Lead-In" and "Tail Off" variable that would have the brush continue along a given vector before lifting off or setting down.
ENHANCEMENT/OPTION REQUESTS: I have to note that I am *SUPER HAPPY* with the product "as is" and it doesn't really *need* things like this, but when highly motivated it's always nice to test the walls of, "the box", if you get my drift. (I know these are probably logical impossibilities, but hey, a guy's gotta ask!)
1) PAUSE BY LAYER: As mentioned in number two above, it would be *very* nice to have an automated "keep brush wet (possibly by dipping occasionally while waiting? Or just touch it to the water? Dunno.), pause for a specific number of minutes/seconds" option when working from within InkScape. Maybe a "Pause" layer of some sort?
2) BLEND: Dip multiple paints to come up with an alternate color (such as yellow and orange to get a yellow-ochre, or green and yellow for chartreuse, violet and red for cranberry, etc.). Just a thought.
3) WATER WASH DISH SELECT BY LAYER: The option to choose which dish it goes to for the water wash would be nice. I could see wanting the "cleanest" water for the lighter colors, and the first dish for darker hues.
4) OPTIONAL LARGE SHARPIE ADAPTER/ARM: When stippiling with a fine-point Sharpie (something I had to actually modify the current arm with a rat-tail file to accomplish) I found that it was drawing "circles" rather than dots because the drawing tip was just too small. I had to go fill them in after the fact with a standard Sharpie. Was wondering if it would be possible to get an arm that has a larger adapter to handle a bigger marker or similar (would the EggBot arm that does this work?). I could just be doing this totally wrong too, so please feel free to thwack me if so.
5) PRE-SAVEABLE MODES: To create an entire configuration file - say for stippling vs. painting, acrylic vs. watercolors, etc. Just thinking outside the box.
6) DOUBLE-WIDE-COLORS: I've seen 16-pack watercolors that are just a *hair* bigger than the current 8-color Crayola packs for which the unit is designed. Some programming and either an adapter or custom tray or replacement MDF board?
This product is AMAZING and SO MUCH FUN! I cannot recommend this enough for people into STEM for whatever reason, be it educational/schools, hobbyist, fun, art, or similar.