Black Ink is a new, non-realistic GPU based painting application that, instead of imitating traditional tools, brings new inspirations to every artist. Forget about pen and paper or watercolor and discover a new, generative and truly computer based way to create.
User reviews: Very Positive (149 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 6, 2013
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Recent updates View all (7)

December 29, 2014

Welcome to Black Ink December's newsletter!



Black Ink development is still going at a steady rate, and while it has been a few months since the last release, the next one is coming up next January.

We have been working on some substantial internal features that changed the core of the software and needed some time. These internal changes will allow us to add important features we have planned for the next few releases.



In the meantime, we have started to port Black Ink to Mac OS X - follow this link to see the upcoming features.

Last but not least, you have been quite a few to ask for Black Ink tutorials.
We began a Getting started series. Have a look and give us feedback!

TUTORIAL1 - First Step


TUTORIAL2 - Controllers


A very warm thank you for your support, your feedback and your patience!
We wish you all the best for the year to come.


Bleank Team

8 comments Read more

August 21, 2014

Black Ink 0.173.1777

The Version 0.173.1777 is now available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNLJ1GzhGQ&feature=youtu.be



List of changes :

  • N! Selection tools :
    • Create Polygonal Lasso.
    • Tip : When you Adjust a Polygonal Lasso primitive
      • Use Shift+Click to add a new control point
      • Use Alt+Click to remove a control point or an edge

    • Create Lasso.

    • New + shortcut ( Zoom step in )
    • New - shortcut ( Zoom step Out )
    • New We can now zoom more than 100%

    • Fixed Some random crash when using a Tablet and when a wrong auto calibration is computed ( issue )
    • Fixed Crash when loading an image when the Select & Transform toolbar is collapsed.
    • Fixed Some brush Shape type was not affected by the current selection ( issue )
    • Fixed Fill Layer was not affected by the current selection.
    • Fixed Crash when loading a grayscale PNG ( issue )
    • Fixed Sometimes brush preview is incorrect ( displaying the preview of another brush )

9 comments Read more

Steam Greenlight

Black Ink Beta

This product is still in beta. Purchase now with a huge discount, and receive all future updates for free! A lot of great features are in development for Black Ink and the special beta offer will evolve as they come in. Take advantage of this offer before Black Ink is complete!

About This Software

Black Ink is a new, non-realistic GPU based painting application that, instead of imitating traditional tools, brings new inspirations to every artist.

Forget about pen and paper or watercolor and discover a new, generative and truly computer based way to create. Black Ink’s non realistic tools makes creating original pictures fast and easy, whether you’re an experimented artist or never used a painting program before.

Black Ink gives you the freedom to modify your brushes in any way you want and no real life constraint is going to stop your imagination. You can create the perfect brush, or the most crazy one, and share it with other users for unlimited variations and effects.
Black Ink’s unique and simple node-based system allows to very easily assign behaviors to your brush as well as create limitless advanced setups.

And thanks to Black Ink’s GPU technology you can forget about the pixels and work on high definition documents. Don’t worry about the resolution anymore and just create a 4, 8 or even 10k picture and draw without slowing down on real, full bitmap documents.

Tutorials | Brush making | Tips and tricks

Key Features


  • GPU rendering technology offering unprecedented speed with full bitmap high resolutions documents (4K, 10k and more)
  • Non-realistic brushes for generative computer based creation
  • Powerful node-based brush customization tool
  • Unique and intuitive user interface

Upcoming Features


  • Tools upgrades:
    More layers options, transformation tools, search and filters in the Brush Manager, blurred shapes, canvas flipping, stroke modifier, new controllers nodes…
  • New features:
    Preferences, shortcut customizations, symmetry and duplicate tools, tile tools to loop strokes over the edges of the picture...
  • New brush types:
    Multi-splines, polygonal, multibrushes...
  • More details

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP (SP3)
    • Processor: Single Core Processor at 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphic card with support of pixel shader 3.0 and 512 Mo of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor: Quad core processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphic card with pixel shader 3.0 support and with 1 GB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
23 of 23 people (100%) found this review helpful
574.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
TLDR; An exciting platform capable of producing HUGE resolution paintings with highly customizable brushes. I have never used a painting application and been inspired BY the painting application itself before Black Ink.

To get a good impression of this product and its developers visit the Black ink forum: http://forum.bleank.com/viewforum.php?f=3

The following is based on my personal experience and user feedback I've read in the discussion boards.

Be aware that this software is:

- In development. Updates roll out on a regular basis, and u2 (developer) is highly responsive to suggestions and issues. Some tools you might depend on may not be included in the current version. For example, at the time of writing this review there is no smudge tool but it is slated for inclusion.

- Highly GPU intensive, but from what I can tell most dedicated gpus work fine. Check for compatibility. If you're not super familiar with computers or other painting applications, know that this is unusual. GPU vs CPU will mean that just because other painting applications work for you, it is not guaranteed that this one will. It did not work at all on my laptop, but works wonderfully on my desktop. Try the demo. Paint something HUGE. ;)

- Has node-based programmable brush controllers. Your typical sliders (color, size, opacity, etc.) are still there, but you can go under the hood to customize your brush by tying the behavior of various brush parameters to the input of your choosing. There is a lot of untapped potential here. If you're the experimental type or mathematically inclined, you have to check this out.

- Focuses on non-realistic painting, but CAN do realistic just fine. For either type, visit the brush section of the forum to see what the community has created.
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
255.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 18, 2014
Very nice, simple, and easy-to-use application.
Provides many tools, effects, and brushes.
The pencil lines are realistic since it adjusts its size according to the speed.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 22, 2014
Love this software! Simple and easy to use but has many options for customization. It runs great and you can get into great detail if you wish. One of my favorite things about it is how well it worked with my graphics tablet. I just plugged it in, didn't even have to mess with settings, and it works wonderfully. All the brushes are already set for pressure sensitvity, I don't even have a great tablet and I'm loving it. I would recommend this to anyone. Very much worth the price. So satisfy.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
In my opinion: very efficient and modern drawing software if you have a powerful gpu. I usually work with Krita but when I need to draw on very high resolutions, well, Black Ink stays smooth and reactive while Krita can take 10s to display my stroke XD.

Some notes though:
- I already stated it but some people still seem to miss that it requires a powerful gpu, otherwise it is completely useless!
- The brush system is very powerful but can also be tricky and time consuming. Note that there are not many brushes so you'll certainly end up doing yours.
- Keep in mind that this software is young => not much resources on it (tutorials, brushes, ...).
- It is a completely different way of thinking so if you don't like new stuff, this may be a bad idea.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 3, 2014
Ohh my~

This isn't just a photo creation software package, this truly is a widely loved program with a large following and community.

Not only do you get a program that can create fantastic artwork and have the ability to create anything you want, but you also get to post your art onto the Bleank forum which will attract the attention of other great BlackINK users, gaining valuable information on your artwork, like recommendations, improvements and well deserved praises.

If you're reading this, and you have BlackINK or you're about to purchase it... I'd strongly recommend making an account on the forum page (www.forum.bleank.com), you’ll see some artists in similar situations as yourself from different artistic backgrounds (from professionals to beginners), along with some tutorials and custom brushes for BlackINK.

I hope you do purchase this amazing opportunity, and make the most out of it and it’s corresponding forum page.
Enjoy

</Clix>
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 26, 2014
On my Desktop it runs perfectly and with my Wacom there is no loss of sensitivity or the likes that has been suggested by other reviews. All in all unless you want the standard bucket fill / line drawing program Black Ink is amazing!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
222.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
Fantastic art program! I use this almost exclusivly for all digital art projects.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
105.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 9, 2014
This software is pure awesomeness. You have to try it to understand. What are you waiting for?
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
Wow this program is insanely powerful. Although it's an alpha drawing software, it's still really strong when used to create photograph base, abstract art work. Currently the program has its limitation such as only having a max of 8 layers and not having filters or filling in color, etc. On the other hand, it has an unique brush creation feature which is really handy because the unique brushes can allow you to create unique effects really quickly and effortlessly, the program also feature a picture base painting feature, which is basically making a picture the paint.

Pros:
-Great for non-realistic artwork (can still do realistic art work)
-Makes abstract art an ease
-Simple UI
-Unique features for a drawing software

Cons:
-$110 D: (but you can grab it on sale, like now for 50 :P)
-Currently still unfinished (but I have great faith in it XD)
-No fill tool, dam it :(

If you are not experienced in digital art and just getting started, this software is probablly easier to get you started in digital drawing.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Black Ink has become my favorite drawing/painting application and I do recommend it, but you should be aware of some of its limitations before you decide if it's right for you.

The first limitation is that it requires a powerful graphics card to operate. Don't expect to run this on your laptop, much less your Surface tablet. The lag will make it unusable and some brushes won't even render. If you're looking for something to take with you so you can paint under a tree by the lake, this isn't the program for you, unless toting a massive rig on a picnic is your thing.

The second limitation is that the selection of brushes is very limited and not entirely satisfactory. While the software is certainly able to handle them, it contains no traditional brush/knife/spatula effects, giving you instead a number of flashy, but not very useful "computery" ones. Bleank's forums include a "brush exchange" where you can get another 20 or so brushes, but half of those are just experiments from people who are learning how to define brushes and most of the rest are interesting, but exaggerated effects of limited applicability. You might find about half a dozen actually useful brushes, including an impressive flame brush, a decent graphite pencil, and a nifty comic book hash shadow brush. The forums also contain a few tutorials on how to make your own brushes. How effective these will be depends as much on your own skills and background as on the tutorial itself. Making a custom brush is as much a technical endeavor as it is an artistic one.

The third limitation is that there are no geometric tools whatsoever: no lines, circles, arcs, rectangles, spline curves, etc. Their addition would make the program enormously more useful for certain types of illustrations, especially if they were given parametrizable "organic" effects (like random variations) in addition to being rendered with the current brush. Given how easy it is to do this (yes, I am a software developer and yes, I have written drafting programs in the past), it's difficult to justify their absence.

Also, keep in mind that you will need a drawing tablet and a pressure-sensitive stylus to get any decent results. Mice and track pads just won't cut it. This is true of all paint programs, but not everyone will think about it until they've tried and struggled with an inadequate input tool. I'm using it with a medium-sized Wacom Intuos Pro and it works great. You might consider upgrading to a stylus with tilt sensors because some brushes are tilt-sensitive and you'll get even better, richer results. Because Black Ink works best on large drawings, I recommend a large writing surface as well, though that's largely a matter of personal taste; I prefer to have room to move my arm rather than just my wrist.

But even with these limitations, what it does, it does very well. I am particularly in love with its layering feature. In addition to letting you stack backgrounds, foregrounds, and various intermediate slides, it's also great for experimenting on one layer without damaging parts that you want to keep. Which brings up the fact that Black Ink's undo feature works very well. This seems like a trivial observation, but I've used programs that make you want to throw the computer out the window either because they undo too much at once or they can't undo enough.

So I certainly recommend this program to anyone who wants a pleasant sketching/drawing/painting program, but I also recommend to Bleank to add more conventional brushes (and why not some more unconventional ones, too?) and a small panoply of geometric tools to make this a more complete and satisfying product.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
Great Art Program !!! I Like Everything About It Exept The Fact That We Can Only Use 8 Layers...
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 23, 2014
Great program. Smooth and fresh. I love where it is going. Look forward to new updates.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
68.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Love the way you can customize the brushes.I use this to make the backgrounds of my drawings and they turn out beautiful 9/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Its potential is there, looks clean, works nice. Interface could be refined for tablet use, but works well enough. My only and biggest problems with the software is that it still lacks of some basic editing tools found in most other art programs. you never notice how much you use a blur tool to smooth gradiants, until you don't have one.

If your willing to play around with the brush editor, I say it is worth looking into; Not sure if it is worth 50$ yet personally, but what it got so far is a solid interface and system to build apawn in future updates. with the promise of future more features, I would recamend it.

However if you are looking for something that has all your standard art needs right now, I would double check everything you need is in here.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
Black Ink is an amazing program. (Probably one of the best art programs on Steam) The goal of Black Ink to focus on user friendliness and tool/brush creation and allow for infinite creative freedom, rather than imitate programs such as Illustator and Photoshop. It is however still in development and has a number a flaws. That being said, I have a few recommendations.

-Cloud Support

This is likely my biggest concern. It's kind of a pain that I can't access my work/brushes from multiple computers.

-Workshop Support

I can live without this one but it would be a neat addition. Workshop support would allow artists to share the brushes they've created. (Although it would in some cases be counter-productive, as people could easily abuse the workshop.)

-More Tutorials/Digital Manual

The lack of tutorials is a bit of a problem. I still haven't fully grasped all of the controls which has made my work a bit limited.

-Photoshop/Illustrator based tools.

This suggestion is a bit d!ckley on my part seeing as it would sort of defeat the program's purpose but in my opinion some of the tools seen as Photoshop and Illustrator could have uses such as modifying a scene in a way just brushes can't. It'd also help people who are getting into Graphic Arts (Such as a student like myself) slowly ease into the program.

-Simpler Editor

When I say this I'm talking more about presentation rather than changing the actual editor. It seems to be based around mathematics. (Which is fine) I just wish it were a little easier to understand. (I don't get math.)

In conclusion, Black Ink is a program with near limitless potential and it's just 45 bucks. (That is until the final product is released.) If you REALLY want to see what it's capable of, check out the portfolio on tumblr: http://blackink-drawing.tumblr.com/ Some REAL gems in there! ;)
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313 of 329 people (95%) found this review helpful
7.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
Make, download, or use the provided brushes to make amazing speed-sensitive designs. People with no talent can make interesting paintings in seconds, while those with skill can produce amazing picasso-esq poitraits in minutes. You might want to conisder picking up a small graphics tablet for an input device, also.

Or you can be like me and just get high and drunk and doodle, and then when people ask what you do all day, instead of having to respond that you're always sitting on steam, you can proudly say "I, sir, am an artiste" as you laugh and twirl your mustache.
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81 of 84 people (96%) found this review helpful
60.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
Black Ink is an... Intriguing tool.

I got this from a friend as main drawing software, since I can't afford the really shiny stuff like Photoshop and don't like getting out the old bottle of rum. Though it's really powerful, there are also some annoying drawbacks, mostly regarding the beta stage of the product.

First, the biggest and most annoying drawback: Bugs. There are times when you boot it up and try to draw with your tablet, it's completely out of calibration - something that isn't supposed to happen. The computer certainly detects the tip to be where it should be, but the program just paints a few mm to a few cm off to the left (or to the right, depending on its mood on that particular day). Besides that, Black Ink has the nasty habit of crashing from time to time, but as long as you save often that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

But, unfortunately, the topic of saving brings me to the most annoying beta-related downside: Corrupt savefiles. It happens, is really frustrating and I hope it gets solved soon. For now the way around it is simply to keep a lot of backups, but really, this needs fixing.

The last drawback isn't all that bad, but just a bit annoying: You can't zoom further than 100%. They're working on this, though, and I'm sure it'll get resolved soon.


Now, enough with the negatives! Positives!

Let me start this section off with what I am sure is the biggest selling point: The brush editor. You can create or download countless brushes, taking parameters as speed, pressure and direction and using those definitions to change your brush or add something or whatnot. I don't know much about it, but it's still pretty damn cool and, if you're looking for this, it's a selling point.

And besides that this is just a really solid tool. It's responsive, there are nice tools to add saturation to colour instead of having to change the hue up constantly to shade, pretty brushes... Fun!

All in all, though the beta stage certainly brings its drawbacks, this is a solid tool. If you're interested so far, buy it!
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35 of 38 people (92%) found this review helpful
15.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Very fun so far. It's in beta and more stuff is coming! Keep in mind guys, as more content is added, the price WILL go up. If you think it's -expensive- now, you won't want to get it later.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2013
A really cool painting tool! Easy to learn its features and you can create awesome art work pretty fast. It might take a while to master them though... since this software gives a different kind of freedom compared to other painting software.

Experiment alot when you try to make your own brushes. You might end up making a super cool brush on accident. Also, don't forget to download other people's brushes on Bleank's forums!
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
25.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 8, 2014
Just getting started with this software, and I love it.

I'm a studio artist with painting, animation and filmmaking experience. I often work digitally. I've used Photoshop, Corel Painter, and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (PC and tablet) to complete projects. Black Ink has enough going for it that its become my first choice in a very short time. I've only scratched the surface, but I'm particularly fond of the node-based brush editor. The ability to undo tool setting changes is a very smart feature I suddenly want in everything. Drawing on very large canvases is clearly more responsive than in Photoshop. Hot key commands are intuitive, and well implemented. Philosophically, I'm glad to have a tool that is uninterested in simulating physical media. Oil painting is great. If you want to paint with oils, get some oils. Drawing on a computer ought to be a different animal.

I'm looking forward to/hoping for a much more robust palette management system before the commercial release. If there is a way to create a palette with more than eight colors, I have yet to figure it out. I would also like to see a (minimal) vector drawing toolset, so I can be precise when I need to. All that said, this is a beta. It's supposed to be a work in progress. Currently, all the tools are there to do some exceptional doodling and quality finished work.

Stability has been good for me so far. I have a very powerful Windows 7 Intel Xeon machine, lots of RAM and a Quadro 4000, for what it's worth. I would expect this software to run well on a laptop, but haven't tried. I would LOVE to have Black Ink on a Cintiq Companion, if I were to spend $2,000 on a tablet. I might never draw on paper again.

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