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There are two 'flavors' or editions available:
What is the Howler edition?
The Howler edition has everything that you can find in PD: Project Dogwaffle essentially is PD Howler. Or you could say PD Howler is the incarnation of Project Dogwaffle. It started simply as Project Dogwaffle 20+ years ago. Some release of version 3.x became known as PD Pro. It carried that distinction through more reelases, namely v4 and v5.... Later though, around version 6 we released it as PD Howler and added a lower-cost option, the Artist edition, for those who don't do animation or video.
Read everything about Howler here.
So what is the Artist edition?
We also have a lower cost 'Artist' edition. We make PD Howler first. PD Artist then occasionally is released too, as a subset of Howler. Artist is cheaper, but don't get me wrong: PD Howler is very affordably priced too, considering all that it offers. But there are a few things you might never need, nor want to pay for. So if you don't do animations or multi-frame rendering nor work on video clips, if you won't ever work with video - check PD Artist.
Compare Artist vs. Howler editions
Project Dogwaffle (PD) is first and foremost a digital painting program. But it also does much more.
You never heard of Project Dogwaffle before? ... nor PD Artist or PD Howler, PD Particles??
- PD Howler is a digital paint program; it alredy comes with many(!) brushes, and tools to create your own, import more brushes, including particle brushes for foliage. Some brushes respond to tablet pressure. Some brushes even respond to sounds.
- Howler is awesome for nature painting. Some brushes react to pressure when you have a digital pen (such as Wacom tablet). Other brushes react to the volume of music(!). Or to the speed of your hand. The angle of the brush stroke and pen. Some also will react to "behind the scene" alternate images (Swap buffer holds a greyscale gradient image, used to affect the size of the brush). There are tools for 3D content going into the brush too. And animated brushes.
- Howler does animation too. You can work with video. You can paint with video on stills or on video
- There are many Filters, applying on still images and across videos, keyframed, special effects, composing with other images, compositing (blue, green, magenta, magic pink and other screens), etc...
- Realistic 3D landscape rendering
- video and animation post-FX: Motion estimated interpolation, Rotoscoping and chroma keying, compositing and lots more. If you work with video clips, this will be a great tool as a companion to your video editing solution.
- PD Artist, the little sister to Howler, doesn't do animations (except for animbrushes) - but it's equally great for painting.
- PD Howler has a bunch more filters, meant for animation but of course also applicable for single-frame use. You can render the filter into a few frames or many and then pick the best from it, if you still only want a still image.
What's (arguably) not so good? (there's always one or two achilles heels, right?)
- Layers: we do have layers, but... not quite the same, they're with RGB channels only. No specific alpha channel per each layer. So, layers do exist but they are not auto-opaque except if you set them up with color-keying (chromakeying) such as green screen, blue screen, magenta or magic pink. That part we do very well, mind you.
- Layers are mostly there to blend images, not to hide them from eachother. But you can still use them also for collage, assembly, layout and for example to design a business card with a layer of black ink over a layer of painted or rendered graphics.
- Side-by-side non-overlapping? No problem.
- You also find some brush types that render their selection mask into the alpha so if you want to paint assets with transparent backgrounds, it works well for this, such as for creating grass, foliage, bushes,...
- Plus there are several paint 'modes' and one is with extra post-FX. One of the post-FX is to draw on RGBA. So you can have those pixels selected as you draw. Then save it with the resulting mask. It's not perfect, but for many use cases it works.In short, if you don't have a need for complex layers or haven't used them much, you may not even notice.
- It's a 32-bit program. But we're doing ok, compressing things, and it runs best and super-fast on a 64-bit version of Windows with lots of RAM. We recommend at least(!) 4 GB, preferably 8-16 GB. Some modules may store information in their own address space. So while a single instance of Dogwaffle can only work in a 32-bit address-space, collectively you may work on much bigger. We also use the disk space for temporary storage, undo image stacks, etc...
Why call it Howler?
All in all, Howler is howling fast. Heavily optimized and designed on low end systems, due mostly to starving-artist budget realities, you'll likely find that runs very smoothly on your desktop or laptop Windows PC too. This software does not require high-end gaming systems, though it's nice to have a dream machine:
- Graphics card: If you have a GPU with many Cuda cores or threads, great! We render some 3D on GPU
- Main processor: If you have a CPU with many cores, such as 8, 12, or even 16 CPU cores, plus hyper-threaded to doubling up to 32-64 logical cores on Intel or similarly on AMD threads, you're in heaven. A bunch of our tools are multi-threaded, go for it.
- Disk: if you have an SSD or similarly super-fast hard drive, great. You may not even notice the delay in saving a long animation, between saving to disk vs. saving to memory, almost the same.
- We now use AVX for some of the operations. It makes things much faster. But if you have a really old PC, this may not work for you. Try the demo first, once available.
About AVX: if you run Windows on a very old processor such as Intel Core 2 Duo, it may not have support for AVX. But, it may hopefully have SSE2. For PD Howler, we now offer a version that that's built for such older processors, as it uses SSE2 instead of depending on the faster AVX.
More about features here and here: the Dogwaffle Main Features List
Howler vs. Artist - what are the Differences?
Images & Videos
Images created (rendered and/or painted) with PD Howler 2023
Reminder: It started as a Paint program. See earlier versions for more screenshots too
New Sky Filter >>> click here for more info on the new sky filter, including sample animations
Clouds (new Sky filter with volumetric clouds that cast shadows on other clouds!)
Textures & Patterns:
Landscape Rendering with Puppypay
(learn more about 3D Designer and Puppyray for Landscapes)
Rendering in PuppyRay
Painting in Howler
Many more videos, docs, help and tutorials here
Below are some of the new features coming to PD Howler 2022:
Reminder: What was new in the prior releases?
This is Howler 2023 (v16) | Howler 2022(v15) | 2021(v14) | 2020(v13) | 2019(v12) | v11 | v10 |
Captain's Log - The Latest Developments, the News:
What's New in PD Howler 2023?Here's a brief summary of the major new features and enhancements:
- New 1-3 point perspective guides
- New undo browser
- New sky rendering filter with volume clouds
- Select your preferred accelerator card
- New noise tool and open simplex noise
- New Mandelbrot and Julia set exploration features
- Improved floating color picker
- GUI improvements. New combo box control
- New print panel, settings panel
- Updated Europa filter, Lorenz attractors
Below are various bits and pieces of interesting steps, developments, new features, improvements, bug fixes,... related to Howler 2023.
We call it the Captain's Log:
It took a while but we're now able to make new builds of the software.
Most Recent updates:
Aug 4 build 53
July 31 - build 51
- Reimplemented Anim/Frame Blender tool
- Scrollbars are now rendered in darker colors in Dark on Light themes
- Recoding the Frame Blender tool
July 29 - build 50
- Now warns if program is started by file association or com.
- Fixed several bugs related to starting Howler by a file association. For example, starting Howler by clicking on a ".lyr" file. As of now, starting by association is not officially supported until further notice. You should always start Howler from the app shortcut that was installed by the installer. You can pin it to your start bar or app bar.
July 28 build 49
- Starting Howler from an associated file would cause Howler to be loaded from the system folder instead of the app folder. Thus Howler could not find its Dll files.
- Attempt to keep Howler from dumping Recently Used Media (RUM) to the C: drive during shutdown, presumably because the program was closing down access to the temp folder while the program was shutting and components were trying to access it to store those files.
July 22 - build 45
- Made a new build for legacy non avx systems
- fixed the knob on the hue wheel from being slighly off center
July 13 - build 44
- Canvas size panel rearanged slightly
- antialiasing on the RYB panels
- Tentative support for dark theme menus and titlebars under the latest build of Windows 11
- Fixed crash with linear interpolation on the timeline that manifested in the last build
- Drag and drop for color wells and the switching primary and secondary colors is now deprecated due to security and stability restrictions.
- Fixed rendering of tab control on sidebar/midea tab showing blue background.
- Fixed a bug with GUI accent color in some dark on light modes
- The Colors by name panel now uses GUI pen colors
- HLS color picker option was missing from the options dropdown the color tab on the sidebar
- The layers popup now uses GUI pens
- Initial targeting reticle on the Howler color picker
- Added "Copy to swap" to the dropdown menu next to the "J" swap button on the top/right of Howler in what's called the "perminent strip"
- Added toast message that the image has been copied.
- Added controls to switch the toolbar and sidebar between the left and right sides
- Added a popup menu for selecting a pigment profile to the toolbar
- Increased margin sizes on the sidebar
- Closing the animation control panel now querries to free the animation
- Freeing an animation now closes the animation control panel
- Color reticle for the "Box2" color picker on the sidebar
- Some tweaks to color themes
- Plugins panel now has file info turned off by default
- Auto keyframes on the timeline
- Smoother animation when hovering over the scrollbar
May 31 2022
- Added a new frame blending feature
- Finished GUI changes.
- Since we are no longer supporting netbook screen resolutions, we are now using larger fonts and more white space in panels.
May 30 2022
- Fixed a crash if attempting to print with Microsoft Print to PDF and clicking cancel on the dialog
- New layout for print panel, settings panel, and many panels.
- Our default lowest required resolution is now 1080p, so we don't need to be crammed together like we were in the netbook years.
May 26 2022
- Added a new set of combobox controls to the api
- Fixed: The numeric hprop controls border was rendered in the wrong gui pen color
May 21 2022
- Added the option to select the background color to clear to when creating an animation from the Anim/create panel.
May 20 2022
- Made some final tweaks to the new media history browsing experience
- rewritten Europa filter to generate cracked tectonic type surface textures
- The settings panel has a new layout to make it more readable on 1080p and higher screens since that is the default minimum size now.
May 16 2022
- Added an option to disable starting the program in full screen mode. The new mode will use whatever state the window was in when the program exitied.
May 12 2022
- The floating color picker now has a primary and secondary color button and flip button
- The ability to disable GPU support is now officially removed from the settings panel. This is due to how we are now developing code over the last few years. We are now developing directly on GPU, and so we do not have CPU fallback for any new features that are implemented on the GPU.
May 10 2022
- Added 1,2,3 point perspective guides to the guides panel.
May 7 2022
- Replaces the old sky render filter with a new cloud volume rendering filter
- The Mandelbrot filter has some new parameters to give more control over the final look of the render
- There are new keyboard shortcuts for navigation within the Mandelbrot filter
- Introducing the new sky volume rendering filter which replaces the legacy sky filter under the render menu.
- First look at the new Sky system (under development) - https://youtu.be/UQhHlkA-ir4
April 21 2022
A couple of notes at this point and moving into the future...
- 1) 2023 will be the first version to require Advanced Vector Extention (AVX) registers for some features in addition to SSE2.
- 2) As of 2023, the ability to turn off GPU acceleration is depricated and will be removed in a future version.
- As of this build, the mandelbrot filter has a new option for smooth gradients.
- Added julia set exploration and animation filter.
April 13 2022
- Made some optimizations in Puppyray
April 5 2022
- Development continues, but is largely on API right now.
- We are moving our API into C++ so we can share the same code between CPU and GPU
- There is a small change on the brush timeline.
- The list now uses the Howler style vertical srollbar.
March 12th 2022 ...
- The file dropdown "favorites" list now refreshes much more cleanly
- some refinements to selecting your prefered accelerator in settings.
March 11th 2022 build 53
- There is now the option in the settings panel to choose the prefered default accelerator.
- These days, most computers have integrated graphics and often a descrete, high performance graphics chip. Originally, the system would choose a default accelerator based on having the most memory and not being connected to a display. But with time, that behavior changed to choosing the low-power solution to save batter life, but this was almost always the lower performance accelerator. So, now, Howler lets you choose whichever accelerator you want. The setting will take effect the next time the program is restarted.
March 9th 2022 build 52
- The dated Bumpy Toy filter under the render menu is now deprecated and removed in favor of a new and more comprehensive Noise Tool filter.
- It features several layers of noise that can be displaced or compbined in various ways, and animated over a number of frames.
March 4th, 2022
- For the last several years, we've been replacing features, and especially filters, that seemed aged, outdated, or archaic, or if they could just be implemented more modern techniques or new features.
- For example, we replaced the entire convolve menu. Today, we are focussing on noise.
- Upgraded the Open Simplex noise filter with lacunarity and persistence parameters, and different noise types inluding rigid and turbulence, and the ability to animate. The filter gets promoted to the main Filter/Render menu.
- This has otheriwse been a month of R&D
- Added a new 4x4 matrix class to Howler
- Added a new vector and matrix, value and perlin noise classes that runs between both CPU and GPU using the same syntax to our internal api.
- Futhered our C++ framework for developing directly in C++. Historically we have cross developed between Howler and C++.
Feb 11th, 2022 - Note: this was the last and final build released for Howler 2022
- There's a re-written floating color picker with new knobs to show you what color you currently have selected and manipulating the value/hue triangle now lets you slide outside of the triangle to get to your minimum/maximum value and hue easily.
the Free Demo / Trial version of PD Howler 2023Ready to try it for free? download and install this free demo version:
We now have a free demo version of build 44 - download it from the link below:
Be sure to verify the integrity of your downloaded file - Compare the checksums here!
Docs & Help - the Documentation - and Tutorials
As a 1-man show, resources are a bit, shall we say, limited... there is not a tremendous amount of time available to do thorough documentation, keeping it updated with the many changes and new features, the user guides, reference manuals, etc... and we rely more on video tutorials on youtube.
But, there are also various guides, and with the help of some supporters we also are happy to show some translations. Here are English, French and Spanish documentation, and a few other options, to learn more about using Dogwaffle.
If you can write in German, Italian, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, ... any other language, please help spread the word and joys of waffling.
We have 1000+ free tutorial videos at youtube. (pdhowler channel and also the older staigerman channel).
We have a bunch of testimonials in the Dogwaffler of the moment (DOTM) and some with tutorials.
We still offer an old tutorial CD for getting started with Dogwaffle. It is a bit old but will bring back memories and joys of discovery. But of course, the best way to learn is to dive in and try things, and watch the many free videos on our Youube channel.
Some Recent Tutorials:
The New Sky Filter - part 1
Latest versions - Checksums
Got it? downloaded it? Please take the time to verify that your download is authentic and complete. Make sure it's legit and hasn't been tampered with.
Simply Right-click the icon of the downloaded .exe program (the installer file), and find CRC SHA256 or similar information to compare with these shown below:
Below you see the expected checksums. If you see a different value on your copy of the file, your copy is corrupted or may have been tampered with. (perhaps containing a virus)Checksums of the free trial demo version:
Exact Size: 127,275,490 bytes (about 121 MB)
Checksums of the full versions, most recent releases of PD Howler and PD Artist:
Slightly Older releases:
PD Howler 2023 build 44
Size: 127,304,016 bytes (~121 MB)
PD Artist 2023 build 44
Size: 127,283,914 bytes (~121 MB)
Build 18 of PD Howler:
Size: 127298086 bytes (121 MiB)
People are usually silent or very vocal ;-)
See a few examples of what they do with PD Howler and even lesser versions of Dogwaffle or early PD Pro - https://www.thebest3d.com/dogwaffle/dotm - Dogwafflers of the Moment
Newsletters - the coverage of Howler 2023 in our Newsletters HERE