#465: Bucketflow

There are several new digital drawing and painting tools I’d really like to see made available, based on the behaviour of real paint.

The first of these is pretty simple. Today’s invention is a ‘bucketfill’ tool whose paint progresses radially outward from the point clicked on the screen at a pace which allows the user still to keep track of the paint’s leading edge -and stop its progress if necessary.


Not only would this be more like dropping a dollop of real paint (you could incorporate various realistic sound effects and transient translucency as well -if you had an embarrassing surplus of computing power). I’d also include some surface tension, viscosity and wave physics so that, as the paint front approached any small inadvertent gaps in the surrounding ‘dam,’ it wouldn’t necessarily spill out and instantly colourise the entire screen but instead highlight these glitches so that they could be plugged.

Aside from these aesthetics, the time course of filling a particular shape (from a variety of known starting points) could be used by the program to identify the shape being painted.

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