Woah woah woah! First CS assignemnt. (Well, half of it, anyway)
The first half of this assignment was to present one Tangible User Interface, from a list, to the class. I chose FluidPaint because… it sounded cool. I mean, I like art, I did a lot of painting (they were all bad, by the way) in highschool. So… why not?
It was interesting. Turns out that FluidPaint is just a prototype of sorts. There’s a better, more updated version out there with a different name. But I don’t think they (the authors of FluidPaint) are quite done with all their researching and designing yet.
This TUI was that it’s a drawing table (not inclined) where a person can paint on. Minus the mess. The thing that really caught my attention was that it used water. It’s such a normal thing to paint with water, but we’re talking about a computer here. You don’t normally think: computer + water = Photoshop for Microsoft Surface. You usually think: computer + water = broken computer. But that’s it! FluidPaint, while being a painting program is trying to get so close to actual painting. You’re practically really painting, except there isn’t a mess of paint anywhere.
Here’s a YouTube link: liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink
The authors of this TUI say that the targeted audience is Digital Artists who would like to try “real” painting, and real painters who would like to try digital painting. Unlike this program and Photoshop is that it doesn’t have any of the fancy features Photoshop has. (I guess it’s more like MS Paint… but cooler) I mean, I don’t think so anyway. There seems to be a menu of some sort at the top of the canvas, but I don’t really know if you can do anything fancy with it. That means that any constraints a real artist would have while painting (in real life), anyone who uses FluidPaint will find those same constraints. (no magical rainbow painting for you!) That’s also what makes it really intuitive though. FluidPaint mimicks real painting, so the only thing you have to think about is the blank “canvas” before you.
Now, while I think FluidPaint is really cool… I don’t really see it as anything really necessary for an artist. FluidPaint is sort of like a really big tablet. Because of the way the mirrors are set up, it doesn’t look terribly comfortable. It is nice for you to be able to paint and not have to worry about having the right colors or the cost of materials, but at the same time the amount of money an interface such a FluidPaint would cost… I think the expenses balance out.
All in all, I give FluidPaint 2 thumbs up. I’m always happy to see computer science and art mix together like this.