Painting by leaping

Adding my first Airspace app

After getting started with my Leap Motion controller, I proceeded to ‘got’ the free Corel® Painter® Freestyle™ app. The prerequisites listed on the page looked OK, although the page warned that it would need 79mb and ‘more space might be needed’ for .NET 4.0; so this app will make an interesting test of whether .NET 4.5 would meet the dependency.

When I clicked “Get App”, the Airspace store page for Corel Painter® Freestyle™ prompted me for my password, then quickly switched to ‘Purchased’, and my computer got a bit sluggish. For a few minutes, I assumed the app was being downloaded in the background to my laptop.

I did something else for about 15 minutes, but my Airspace home page hadn’t yet refreshed to include a new app button, so it wasn’t clear what was going on. [Based on later experiences with app ‘purchases’, no apps seem to actually download until Airspace is refreshed by exiting and re-launching.] I tried exiting the Airspace page by File|Exit, to no effect. Closing it by clicking the X at top right worked, though.

On restarting Airspace from my desktop shortcut, it detected that my LM sensor wasn’t attached, and offered me the option of continuing with mouse only. Again, this feature probably originated as a convenience for development and testing, but leaving it in for customers is a sign of thoughtful error handling in the design of the software. I selected that option and continued.

My Airspace page now loaded with the 5 previous apps plus my new Painter Freestyle app which began “Downloading …” About 15 minutes later, the download had finished. This seemed quite slow, even given that the app needed about 150 mb for its application files. Then I got a new Dependency page that didn’t tell me exactly what was needed, only asked me to install the “Painter® Freestyle™ Dependencies”. I always like to know what’s inside those boxes before I install them – so for now, I didn’t.

Painting in Airspace

Once I got the Orientation app working (see next story), I was able to launch this app without any difficulty, and without installing any additional prerequisites. It launched pretty fast and ran well (unlike Cut-The-Rope, which still doesn’t run).

Actually painting something with the app clearly takes practice. On my first tries, I found it hard to move to the toolbar above the paint area (to choose a new brush or color) without unintentionally painting. This needs more trial time before I can ‘draw’ any conclusions.

Saving a Painting

Saving my crude paintwork as .RIF (the default) yielded a 2644kb file (for a 1280×800 canvas). Windows, of course, didn’t know how to open it from Explorer. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to open the file from the app and save it as .PNG without using the controller (.JPEG, .TIFF, and .PSD formats are also supported). The PNG file wasn’t much smaller, but saving the JPG as ‘good’ quality or 65% yielded a compact 181kb file; at 80% or ‘high’ quality, the file was 265kb.

I’m not much of a non-digital artist, so I don’t expect to be creating any masterpieces with the app. 🙂 Strictly for the curious, here’s a half-size image of the example:

First try at using Corel® Painter® Freestyle™ with the Leap Motion controller

First try at using Corel® Painter® Freestyle™ with Leap Motion

More adventures to follow …

  1. Leap Motion and the Leap Motion logo are the trademarks of Leap Motion, Inc. and are used here by permission.
  2. Corel®, Freestyle™, and Painter® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Corel Corporation and/or its subsidiaries in Canada, the United States and/or other countries.

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