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Paint reimagined: Fresh Paint

Fresh PaintKind of kitchy, but okay, Microsoft, we see what you did there.

Fresh Paint is the reimagined, Windows 8 version of the old standby, Paint.  So what can MS have done to Paint to make it new?  Remember this adage, grasshopper: Through the eyes of children, you will see things anew.

Steve Clayton at downloaded a copy of Fresh Paint and installed it on his Samsung tablet.  Here’s what happened in his words:

Originally created as a prototype for the Materials Lab at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Fresh Paint has been used by over 56,000 visitors at MoMA. When I installed the release preview of Windows 8, I wanted to check out what got those visitors so engaged, but it wasn’t until my 3 year old daughter started playing with the app that I truly realized it is quite different from any other painting app I’d seen. It’s paint for the modern age, and has a simplicity and realism that is amazing.

I began in a very grown up fashion, drawing things like a car, playing with brushes and dabbling with the colors. When my daughter started playing, she did much more – splashing digital paints around on my Samsung tablet with her fingers (just as she would with real paint) and mixing things up like a mini Picasso. While she was busy making mini masterpieces, I was busy noticing how the oils on canvas behaved just like real oil paints. When she combined a red and yellow together, they reacted just like real oils would – creating an orange of course, but it wasn’t a flat orange. It had bits and pieces of red and yellow and built up layers of digital paint. Imagine running your finger over an oil painting and feeling the texture. Fresh Paint recreates that experience by modeling height, thickness, deposits, mixture of paints, and the properties of paper and canvas. This includes modeling the texture of the surface or canvas as well as the absorption of the fibers of the material. I spoke with some of the team, and they literally painted with real paints on different canvases to make sure the painting modeled real life.

It makes me wish I had a tablet device.  Or a younger child.  Okay, not the latter.

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