Microsoft's "Project Gustav", paint pictures on your PC with a brush

Microsoft has unveiled a new realistic painting-system prototype this week at the employee only TechFest conference.

Dubbed "Project Gustav", the new prototype allows users to take advantage of modern GPUs, multitouch hardware and tablet input technology to allow hobbyists and professional artists a new way to create digital art. Microsoft has created natural media-modeling and brush-simulation algorithms to map the way a brush reacts with paint. The application also works with your fingers to The result is an impressive prototype application that allows artists to create digital works of art.

Microsoft originally demonstrated similar, but basic, functionality at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in November 2009. The company showed off Windows 7 touch combined with the popular ArtRage application. Project Gustav takes this concept a little further and introduces some impressive new features. Check out the video below.

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Oh dear I fear a lawsuit from Adobe in the air… considering Adobe Labs has been working on a similar project since 2008 for Photoshop CS5 which is very similar to Microsoft’s. Now I might be going on about nothing but the technology does look a lot similar to Adobe Photoshop CS5. Please see below for details.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BShE_jS8jLE

EVANK said,
Oh dear I fear a lawsuit from Adobe in the air… considering Adobe Labs has been working on a similar project since 2008 for Photoshop CS5 which is very similar to Microsoft’s. Now I might be going on about nothing but the technology does look a lot similar to Adobe Photoshop CS5. Please see below for details.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BShE_jS8jLE

Wow, the narrator in that video is hilarious... LOL

As for your point, that would be possible if the code behind and means of performing these tasks in Microsoft's product and Adobe's were the same, but as this is mostly algorithms I would suspect that's rather unlikely... I don't see any reason why a company couldn't happen to develop a similar product.

This doesn't seem to be anything truly new. Judging by the video it will still have the same problem tablets have - it's harder to get used to drawing on a tablet and watching a screen than if you were drawing on the screen itself. I imagine the brush visible on the screen can help a lot though, does Artrage have this kind of thing?

Wacom makes some display+tablet combinations that essentially allow you to draw on screen but it seems that calibration is very important on those and even then the pen used is not the same as using a real brush. Maybe someone needs to come up with a touchscreen and software that reacts to regular brushes (or ones made from a special material)? After all feel is very important for painting.

LaXu said,
This doesn't seem to be anything truly new. Judging by the video it will still have the same problem tablets have - it's harder to get used to drawing on a tablet and watching a screen than if you were drawing on the screen itself. I imagine the brush visible on the screen can help a lot though, does Artrage have this kind of thing?

Wacom makes some display+tablet combinations that essentially allow you to draw on screen but it seems that calibration is very important on those and even then the pen used is not the same as using a real brush. Maybe someone needs to come up with a touchscreen and software that reacts to regular brushes (or ones made from a special material)? After all feel is very important for painting.

I agree with you. I may not be an artist (By any means), but that makes sense. There seems to be some painting support in the Courier... Perhaps that's similar to this technology so you would be able to draw right on a touch screen rather than just use a tablet with a separate screen. That would seem to be more user friendly.

ccoltmanm said,
Why wouldn't people just want to paint normal?
Because digital art is a different medium to canvas, with its own benefits? (e.g. mass reproduction)

Kirkburn said,
Because digital art is a different medium to canvas, with its own benefits? (e.g. mass reproduction)

Not to mention "undo"...

And it's likely more useful for advertising art and such than physical media...

Edited by M_Lyons10, Mar 4 2010, 6:39am :

M_Lyons10 said,

Not to mention "undo"...

And it's likely more useful for advertising art and such than physical media...

Also the ability to have a small a4 tablet on you all the time rather than tubs of paint and water and brushes etc. to carry aroud.

lt8480 said,

Also the ability to have a small a4 tablet on you all the time rather than tubs of paint and water and brushes etc. to carry aroud.

Yeah, definitely. And no cleanup! :D

Good Job Microsoft. If I was at Microsoft I think I would get bored working on the next Windows or Office, I would rather be on the Microsoft Research team and work on this type of stuff.

now this is realy awesome, like refined version of ArtRage, and you can actually see the tilt of brush (but it's not really needed when using tablet pc)

Ñ….iso said,
now this is realy awesome, like refined version of ArtRage, and you can actually see the tilt of brush (but it's not really needed when using tablet pc)

Yeah, and I thought it was neat that the digital brush casts a shadow... lol

DaveGreen said,
A new way of artistic painting. The future of Art? :-))

Maybe art education. It'd be difficult for this to make a real dent on the art community itself. There's something about a physical canvas and the many different kinds of paint available for use.

Joshie said,

Maybe art education. It'd be difficult for this to make a real dent on the art community itself. There's something about a physical canvas and the many different kinds of paint available for use.

Yep. You're right.
But I've seen too often multimedia forms of advanced art here in Italy (often seen at the Venice Biennial of Arts) so mybe the case that some trendy artist will think about using this stuff to create some cool masterpiece. :)

Edited by DaveGreen, Mar 4 2010, 12:24pm :

littleneutrino said,
interesting however, not very useful for the masses.
Well no, the masses aren't painters. That doesn't mean the underlying tech can't be reapplied.

Edited by Kirkburn, Mar 3 2010, 9:51pm :

littleneutrino said,
interesting however, not very useful for the masses.

The "masses" aren't also professional painters are they? You're comment makes zero sense.

littleneutrino said,
interesting however, not very useful for the masses.

Lets not bother with paint and brushes while were at it too then... generally all the "best" and most innovative software is very expensive and for more specialised markets.

omg it's Metacreations Painter! oh wait not its not.... oh I use to love that program, stupid Corell ruined it

neufuse said,
omg it's Metacreations Painter! oh wait not its not.... oh I use to love that program, stupid Corell ruined it

I didn't use Painter before Corel bought it. Can you tell me what was better in pre-Corel versions?

RealFduch said,

I didn't use Painter before Corel bought it. Can you tell me what was better in pre-Corel versions?

The old painter looked a lot more like this, corell ditched a lot of the graphical ui elements that painter use to have

ahhell said,
Now that is what i call innovation.
Apple could learn something from these guys.

Microsoft has tons of concepts they show the public, but very little is actually released within a reasonable timespan. Apple tends to keep concepts behind closed doors and won't introduce them until they've been turned into a commercial product that's ready to hit the stores. Example: Microsoft showed us the concept of a multi-touch mouse, Apple was the first to put it on the market.

There are (dis)advantages to both ways.

FYI: Adobe has been working on something very similar for Photoshop, so it's not really that innovative...

Edited by .Neo, Mar 3 2010, 9:43pm :

ahhell said,
Now that is what i call innovation.
Apple could learn something from these guys.

http://gizmodo.com/5458319/ipads-brushes-app-like-paint-but-with-multitouch

http://brushesapp.com/

giga said,

http://gizmodo.com/5458319/ipads-brushes-app-like-paint-but-with-multitouch
http://brushesapp.com/

Just to be clear: MS has had similar apps much earlier (for Surface)

.Neo said,

FYI: Adobe has been working on something very similar for Photoshop, so it's not really that innovative...

http://gizmodo.com/5458319/ipads-brushes-app-like-paint-but-with-multitouch

http://brushesapp.com/

Microsoft demonstrated a very similar capability back in 2005 with the Surface lol. The realism of the picture has improved since then though.

/- Razorfold said,

Microsoft demonstrated a very similar capability back in 2005 with the Surface lol. The realism of the picture has improved since then though.


Don't even care who invented it first or not, just that the artists out there do have a shipping product to use and create their content.

giga said,

Don't even care who invented it first or not, just that the artists out there do have a shipping product to use and create their content.

Microsoft invented it first, therefore they innovated. Apple copied Microsoft.

thenonhacker said,

Microsoft invented it first, therefore they innovated. Apple copied Microsoft.


1. Brushes isn't an Apple app. It's made by a single dev, Steve Sprang.
2. Brushes itself is quite a bit different than what Microsoft demoed originally with Surface.

http://brushesapp.com/features/

Edited by giga, Mar 4 2010, 12:18am :

ahhell said,
Now that is what i call innovation.
Apple could learn something from these guys.

You mean from http://www.artrage.com/ ???

It's not even a Microsoft app. And Painter has been doing this for a decade now. There's many of these apps.

Edited by toadeater, Mar 4 2010, 6:49am :

giga said,

Don't even care who invented it first or not, just that the artists out there do have a shipping product to use and create their content.

They do? You know someone who would want to touchpaint on a screen as small as the iPad's?

Joshie said,

They do? You know someone who would want to touchpaint on a screen as small as the iPad's?

If people are willing to on an iPhone's screen, sure why not.