Truly realistic oil painting coming to the iPad from Adobe

Tuur Stuyck has been working with Adobe to create Corel Painter-style real-time oil painting tools that run on tablets – which he says is 'likely to appear in Adobe Sketch'.

Creating highly realistic digital oil paintings in tools such as Corel Painter currently requires powerful computers as they're essentially simulating the physical characteristics of drying liquids and physical implements like brushes. New features such as glazing and texture painting have just arrived in Corel Painter 2017 that are even more complex and powe-hungry – and Adobe and Nvidia are experimenting with more complex 3D oil-painting simulation called Project Wetbrush that requires a powerful graphics card and CPU to work in real time.

But PhD student at KU Leuven Tuur Stuyck has been working on real-time oil painting simulation on an iPad – allowing artists to recreate 3D oil paintings from any location, and using a much-less powerful device.

He's published a video showing how it works and his approach to it. You can watch this below.

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Tuur's project is part of a collaboration with Adobe. It shows how a 3D oil simulator can teach novice painters the fundamentals of art and how experienced painters can use it as a simple and fast experimental tool.

He explains how the combination of multi-layered pigment structure and density, the physical environment and tablet orientation can create highly realistic oil paintings.

Brush strokes can change gravity direction by tilting the mobile device to create realistic shading effects. 

Different layers of paint can be vertically stacked, applied by different brush strokes. Each stroke carrys a unique ID code, and the duration of brush movement can control pigment density.

By tilting the tablet the position of virtual lighting exposes different details on the painting's surface.

The front-facing camera of the tablet is also used to capture a video stream modelling physical ambient lighting. The artist can physically move a light source near the camera to control this.

Tuur specialises in fluid simulation and physically based animation. He’s been working with computer graphics for over eight years from an artistic and technical point of view. He's interned for Pixar Animation Studios and Adobe, and spoke at Siggraph conference in July.

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