We're getting closer to
v10, our next major release currently under development. The release
looks to be about 2+ months away, hoping for end of the year, perhaps
mid January. Sudden events can put a damper on plans, slow things down.
We've been hit by the flu, twice(!). No doubt about it, that virus knows
how to mutate. You'd think you've got your defenses up after first
Nonetheless, we continue to make good progress on v10 development. And
so we also reflect upon the last 2 years, the recent past. Version 9
came about 2 years ago, followed by a few updates, some free, some paid.
So here we are, looking "up" to the future, going up to our first
double-digit major release ever. Yay! Only a few more months. Are you
ready? Do you already waffle and howl in version 9.6? Here's something
you can already do in that release:
It's been 2
years since our last 'big' release...v9.0 (Fly in the Ontment). Now seems like a good
opportunity to talk about how far we've come in that time.
(V10 is still a ways off)
From the beginning, it was our desire to make a unique paint and
animation program based on a burn-and-go workflow. This means that we
don't have a process where a user adjusts a number of parameters in a
project, and at some time clicks 'render' and sees the final result.
Instead, that means we are rendering as the user progresses, or in other
words, a user's actions become pixels at the soonest possible point.
It was also our goal for the program to be system friendly so it can be
used on a wide assortment of hardware, and not just high end
workstations, but we wanted it to have that level of performance no
matter what kind of hardware it was running on, including some rather
low end laptops.
To do this, we have had to make a number of engineering trade-offs.
Howler has a unique workflow, not just to be different, but because it
does different things. It does things that the other programs simply
That's not to say we are non-standard. We actually use a number of
standards, not necessarily associated with some other popular image
processing programs. We use anim-painting, which has been around since
the 90's and continues to exist in professional and mainstream animation
applications such as TV-Paint, and pixel pushers such as Pro-Motion. We
use workflows and shortcuts that are enjoyed by users of a wide
assortment of other programs such as 3-D renderers and high-end Node
As the content creation industry continues to grow and change, we have
had the opportunity over the last 2 years to reflect on our position it
it, and to examine and re-invent the way Howler operates.
We recently released Particle 9, our entry level painting program. The
project was originally slated to be a 2 week re-furbish of our Particles
v1 line, however we saw it an opportunity to explore new ways for users
to interact with our software, and the project quickly became a 5 month
endeavor. In that time, we examined every element in our UI, and found
new ways to solve problems and present features to users in ways that
are simpler and less cumbersome. We believe Particle 9 was hugely
successful in the terms of UI design, and now we are moving many of
those ideas into Howler 10.
Now, let's talk about our progress from version 9 to version 10. It has
been a long progression of minor versions. Let's look at each version
and see what our motivations were and how we dealt with various issues.
v9.1 - Not a Carrott
This version introduced GPU accelerated ray-tracing, speed improvements,
new vector tools, new crop tool, free transform tools, and a new fill
v9.2 - the World's Cutest T-Rex
It was focused on making the GUI more friendly and standard, and making
the install process more professional. The biggest change in this
versions was the addition of 95 more filters that now support animation
We also improved our 3-D technology in 3D Designer, with a floating point pipeline,
raytraced(!) shadows, ambient occlusion, texturing, sediment and erosion,
obj export, as well as volumetric 3-D clouds and other wispy formations
that can be animated. 9.5 also received advancements to the light-table,
including more layers and a red-shift filter that makes it easier to
distinguish previous and future frames.
v9.6 - Keep it Cute - now also on Steam!
In this one, we added numerous special effects related tools. Our
history is full of innovations, many of them based on the FX industry,
because that is where our interests lie. We also added a textured
2-d/3-d textured polygon primitive which will stand as the basis for
some plans we have in the future. We integrated it into a new version of
our greatly outdated 'rubber sheet' plugin. We also worked on
navigation and addressed several issues for larger monitors, and found
new uses for our motion prediction technology that helped repair video
that was badly transcoded.
If you never saw the teaser/trailer we put together for the launch on Steam, watch it again here:
Now soon with version 10, we are again working on foundation issues, architecture, and future-proofing.
With 4k and higher resolutions bearing down on us, we need to be faster
and more efficient than ever before. For starters, we are addressing
this by adding a compression API, and the first part of the program to
use it is the undo system. Not only this, but the entire undo system has
been re-written. Undos are now objects that are more self-aware. They
are not only simpler to program, but they can contain much more
information than before and exist in memory or on disc. There are new
options to control the number of undos that the user desire, allowing
the balance of memory efficiency and usability, and also a new undo
browser. There's a lot to say about undos, but I'll save that for later.
Just know that Howler 10 is more memory efficient and system friendly
than ever before. That means you can do even more with art and animation
on the most modest hardware, but if you're on the latest, blazing fast
system, expect to be that much more blown away. In the ;past, our policy
was for Howler to act like a high end painter with dedicated hardware.
Lately our policy has shifted and we want it to seem more like playing a
blazing, immersive video game.
Here are a few recent new
Keep looking, we have a few new ones for PD
Particles and beyond.
The long road to V10... Build 63, 64, 65, 66, 67...
There are a lot more new features coming with v10. Start using v9.6
today, become familiar with its basic interface, and discover
improvement and new features to further enhance your workflow and user
We're going to enjoy this new feature: the Undo Browser.
It's basically as simple as it looks. Browse old undos, and restore or store them.
It lets you browse old undos and restore them, or store a copy.
This way, we can restore images that have been re-sized. Undos are
no longer initialized when changing the image size or creating a new
image, so we can browse undos even if they are a different size.
To access it, the undo browser will be in the top right area among a
number of other new icons for shortcuts to commonly used tools: right
next to the 'interactive undo' button and near the image Swap toggle.
Next: Foliage Preview Files
Do you recognize this? Can you guess where this is heading? yes, the Foliage preview browser
Not only are there a bunch of new presets coming for the foliage
brushes.... they're soon going to be presented in a visual thumbnail
As of this writing, we have it implemented in the original Particle brushes (Optipustics) and also the Foliage brushes.
Watch this short video for an intro:
Coming soon with Dogwaffle 10 - Visual browser of Particle brush presets
Puppy Ray is our raytracer (more precisely: path tracer) that was first
introduced with Version 9.0. See here for details about Howler 9.0
One of the issues we found was that the Y axis was inversed, i.e. the
coordinate axis was not matching that of 3D Designer or the "up"
direction in the 2D View. As a consequence of this, you might not have
noticed when doing general landscapes without recognizeable detailed
features, but if there was text or if you had some special painted
features on the colored texture map, or even on the heightmap, you'd
notice. You'd see that the text was unreadable because it was flipped
vertically. This was not a total show stopper, since it is possible to
flip the image vertically before getting it into Puppy Ray. In that case
the graphic detail and text would regain their ability to be seen and
read normally, not upside down.
In order to make this feature easier to use and more atractive to novices who don't know
or recognize the easy workaround, we have flipped the coordinate system
in Puppy Ray (GPU verison for now). It therefore is now more consistent
with the way the shapes and colors appear in 3D Designer, 3D
Perspective, and other tools where the image or Swap image is used with
details that you want to keep recognizeable and/or readable.
Here is a brief video that shows the new behaviour: Consistent coordinate system - Puppy Ray now displays text without vertical inversion
Only a few days left. We're in the last week or so of October, and even
without Halloween to crown it on the last day of it, it's scary enough
to think that you might miss this chance to get a good discount now and
another later to upgrade to v10.
So consider this:
Buy PD Howler now through October 31st
and save 31% off the regular price!
No discount coupon needed. But if you already have an earlier version - any version - contact us. We'll sweeten this deal.
PD Artist: Aelin Namarie likes to waffle
Hi, I am Aelin Namarie. I'm a hobbyist artist, living in France.
had discovered the world of creation in 2011, with PhotoFiltre (2D
program), but quickly I discovered too Daz Studio (3D program) and I
oriented my work more in this way.
love fantasy world (Elves, fairies, knights...), mythologies and
Nature. I use these worlds to create and a few times I plunge in short
stories. And living in a town, it's an opportunity to escape sometimes.
continue to work with different programs, following my feels and ideas:
Daz, Poser, Bryce, Photoshop, Howler, Artist... PD Artist is the last
new in date.
I discovered Howler at the end of 2014, and also
that it allowed my favorite landscapes: mountains. I work more with PD
Artist now for this, but keep an eye on both.
Even if i use
always more the 3D programs, often complete scenes need to have a
postwork and it's the occasion to try new things.
Here I followed partially the series of tutorials "painting on landscapes".
the start of part 3 of tutorial, I used the "blotcher" brush with a
light green/grey to prepare the place of plants in the first plane.
I decided that plants are not far away - who has never dream to be near of the precipice? ;)
I started to add few trees but to create with them sort of big
different weeds (in the particles=> foliages); then alternate with
simple particles (changing some gradients in Sweep editor) and foliage.
Branches are to give more tall size at the landscape around us. They were add after a little lens flare effect for the sun.
And yeah, many many weeds on this wild area.
To end, I present you the "Tumbirai valley", where Elves like to ride when they have time.
Final words from Dan Ritchie, the author/creator/programmer/developer/spirit of Project Dogwaffle:
Art doesn't have to be complicated.
And that's it for now. Thanks for waffling
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