Use the dither for printing images, but also for the web, for drawings, works in typography, animation, video, textile, laser cutting… Reinvent the uses of dithering!
TexTuring software is built on the mathematical equations of ‘reaction-diffusion’ models, based on natural reactions found in geological, chemical and biological processes. Reaction-diffusion models are the key to understand the formation of many shapes and patterns of the natural world: coral morphology, skin pigmentation of tropical fish, spot distribution on feline fur...
Organic-looking dither patterns
With TexTuring, dithering shapes are not entirely even (e.g. halftone), but not entirely random either (e.g. stochastic dithering). Patterns organize themselves according to the particular details of the original image, but also depending on neighboring elements of the generated pattern. Depending on your settings, the dithering elements will only draw the outlines of a contrasted shape, associate specific patterns to each gray shade, or even generate entirely new shapes from the original image.
Visual interface and settings
Among the options available on TexTuring, I want to highlight the possibility to control shape generation by adjusting several parameters at will. Thanks to sliders and a mini-map, it’s easy to set and change the values for the parameter variables and control the results. This way, you can adapt the dither rendering relatively to the original image with great precision.
One of the customizable parameters of the software is called “growing time”, and corresponds to the number of reaction-diffusion iterations. It affects the time of dithering construction; the highest its value, the more organized and regular the dithered image will look. With a high “growing time”, the dithered image will also be more faithful to the original image’s scales of grey.
The four other major parameters associate scales of grey in the original image with variables of the reaction-diffusion algorithm, allowing for an incredible number of combinations and variations. Shapes and patterns change a great deal depending on your choice of settings for each scale of grey. TexTuring dithers are unique every time !
The software interface integrates a preview feature: for every change of settings, you have real-time visual feedback. Using TexTuring becomes a visual exploration of the reaction-diffusion algorithm.
You can import and export your dithers easily with a special file format: ‘.texturing’. As these files contain your customized settings, you can save your favorite dithering effects, use them again on new images and share them! It is also possible to print a ‘preview specimen’ directly after saving a dither. This specimen will exhibit the name and content of your .texturing file, along with a visual example of its dither effect. Then, you can add this specimen to a ‘specimen booklet’ (see rewards), your collection of printed samples, for personal or professional use.
TexTuring – Complete version (first goal!)
Open-source software: GNU GPL License – MAC/Windows/Linux
- Software acceleration – real-time preview and changes, no waiting time
- Vector graphic images exportation
- Easy-to-use, user-friendly design for the algorithm settings
- Optimized treatment of overexposed and underexposed zones
- New setting – general dither size (lineation)
- GIF animations exportation
- Process entire files of images automatically
- Possibility to zoom inside image preview
TexTuring – Alpha Version
License CC BY-NC-SA – non-commercial use – MAC/Windows/Linux
This software is being developed after my design graduation project. That is why a sample of the software is available online. You can already try it now. However, this is not a stable version, and everything is still going very slowly there !
Download page : TexTuring Alpha Version (free)
Costs and funding
- 15% for Kickstarter costs & general cost treatment
- 35% for preparation, printing and sending of rewards (posters, specimen booklets)
- 50% for development costs – one full-time salary for 3 months (1200€/$ per month, minus 20% of taxes)
If the Kickstarter campaign goes really well, a second developer will be hired and added to the team; the software will be entirely reprogrammed to be available online and accessible through a web browser; we will also develop an online platform for sharing ‘.texturing’ dither files. We could even add a special color feature, so that the program can mesh the patterns of 2, 3 or 4 color layers in one image !
Risks and challenges
My main challenge is to make the software the easiest to use, without reducing the number of features and options ! In order to do this, I need to make it intuitive and quick. I will certainly implement existing solutions like openGL graphic acceleration to display the dithered image in real-time when the user changes the values of the different parameters. I also plan to make the user interface more appealing and easier to relate to (relatively to the algorithm), thanks to my experience as a graphic designer.
Because I have already programmed the Alpha Version of TexTuring, I have started to find and implement solutions to the difficulties concerning the reaction-diffusion model. The development of the Complete version of TexTuring will be open and available on GitHub. Any comment or advice from the open-source community is greatly appreciated !
The design of rewards – posters and specimen sample booklets – were made by professional graphic designers and friends Axel Benassis and Oriane Bretton (who have more experience than me to conceive printed products).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)