TVPaint Custom Panel with New brushes
I have been using TVPaint for so many years that I may have gotten to used to how it works, or even become set in my ways. I remember thinking around the time of TVPaint 7, which was called Mirage in the USA, that this software is perfect! What more could possibly be added to it? Of course, many great features and new workflows have been added to it since that time. As I continued to work with it, though, I developed my own methodologies, workflows and techniques and tended to stick to them. Fortunately for me, I recently took some time to just practice, in an effort to improve my own skills, and gain speed at creating my independent animation. The plan is to push my Paragon project to a new level of quality.

One of the things I have spent some time working on lately was backgrounds. I wanted to develop a method that had a nice look and was a good fit for the type of animation I desire to do. With that in mind, I began further exploring the painting tools. Of course, I knew where they all were and how they worked, so I proceeded to simply use them and work on developing my skill rather than worry about tools. What that meant, though, is that I didn't check for new tools.

Having some time on my hands today, I decided to continue my practice. Aside from the default tools, there were a couple of natural media style brushes that I used from the custom panel. Today, though, I noticed one of them was not there! Eventually I found that it was still there, it had simply been renamed and had a new icon. Noticing this, though, also led me to see that there were many new brushes of which I was wholly unaware. I began testing them.

Many of the new painting tools deliver the most natural and realistic effect I have ever seen in digital painting. It reminds of an old TV show I used to watch called The Joy of Painting. I learned many techniques that I continue to use in my own painting from that guy with the afro on the program. The most interesting thing is, for the first time since I have been using digital painting programs, these techniques really work just as they did in the real world! Had I not taken the time to just experiment and try these things, I would never have found this out. It really pays to explore your software and find out all of the cool things it can do. Don't get too set in your ways or your own workflows. There is always something new to learn!


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