Jul 16, 2014

Psykopaint Now Available for iPad

The Psykopaint app for iPad released on the App Store today. It's free with an option to purchase the complete brush set for $5.99. I went for the full toolkit and purchased all the brushes. You can read my first impressions at the end of the article.

Description from the App Store

Psykopaint is the most insanely awesome painting experience ever made. Using unique 3d technology and our own mad rocket painting science to allow anyone of any age, planet and skill level to express their creativity and spread it with the universe. Psykopaint  sets a new benchmark for realism in painting apps, simulating real light environment. Just rotate your iPad around to see the light changes affecting your painting just like in real life.

Try if for free and purchase additional brushes to your liking.

Experience for the first time on any platform real time 3d painting.
Stack layers of paint and use different materials that reflects the light differently just like in the real world. Open up a whole new range of expression inaccessible before like Impressionism and Impasto. The position of the light update according to your iPad orientation. It’s like holding a real painting!

With a community of a million painters on the web. We’re one of the biggest digital painting community around. And because everyone uses the same tool, it sets up a benchmark for painting skills and will show how badass you are.

Do you suck at painting? No problem?
Use a photo to make a stunning painting with no skills.
It will automatically select the colors so you don't have to worry about it and can focus on expressing yourself. It's magic!

We brought a fine mix of everything: Brushes that give you fine control or expression, crazy brushes for inspiration, brushes for details, some for the heavy duty. Make your pick!
Long press to sample and mix color using the innovative pipette system. Create your own color palette rapidly.

Most realistic Watercolor simulation based on real physics (paper absorption, texture, granularity… but leave the rocket science to us and the fun to you).
Paint in the style of Monet, Van Gogh, Pissaro or Gauguin (More to come)
Try the Spray can that drips according to your iPad orientation.
Ink that spreads organically the faster you move your brush.
Realistic pencils that are realistically effected by the surface below. Much more alive than your regular painting app.

Use the colors of a famous painting like Mona Lisa or Starry night to influence the colors of your brush.
It will match the color spectrum of your original photo to match the one of a famous painting. In other words: It’s awesome.

Trying to push the barriers of creativity.
Navigate thought the app via an intuitive 3d interface, so you always know where you are. Customize your wallpaper and more soon.
Customize your Wallpaper
Psykopaint create a unique 3d engine from scratch especially designed for painting.
For a look never seen on any painting software on any platform at incredible performance. And it’s an iPad exclusive!
This will allow you in the future to 3d print your work with layers of acrylics using the same technology that have been used to reproduce Van Gogh paintings by Oce (Canon Group).
Might be offered as a service later on. We’re working on that.

Psykopaint partnered with Wacom to offer support for the intuos pen. Have control of brush opacity and size using the pen. It simply feels natural.
My First Pieces & First Impressions
Psykopaint is really unique in its appearance. It feels like you're walking through a gallery and studio. Swipe to the left on opening to find the menu where you can select your Surface from Canvas, Wood or Paper. You can also choose your own wallpaper to customize the Attelier to your liking.

Because Psykopaint is also a community, you can create an account to share your work and follow the work of others. If you happen to have a Wacom pen, you can connect it in the settings area and configure your notifications.

It's often necessary to be a little patient while this app loads to different menus. I think it takes a lot of juice to power the 3D painting software. I particularly noticed accessing my Camera Roll and Publishing to the gallery both caused quite a lag.

© Geri Centonze

The app is complete with an opening video that shows you an overview of Psykopaint. Basically after you have opened your image or canvas, select the type of tool from Spray Cans, Paint Brush, Pencils, Watercolors and Paint Guns you can then refine further by selecting one of the styles on the lower left. (Spray Cans included with Free app, others available for purchase). 

The top slider below the tool style controls the size of the brush and the lower slider controls the opacity of the brush.

On the lower right you can choose between using the colors from your original photo, or one from a famous painting like the Mona Lisa or Starry Night. The top triangular slider below these selections controls the amount of saturation of the color and the lower slider controls the visibility of your original image.

Tap and hold any color on your image to initiate the ink drop tool. You can use it to mix custom colors. You will notice two rows of circles in the lower center of the painting screen. The circle on the top right that looks like a lens will allow you to go back to painting from the original photo if you happen to switch over to using the palette. At first I had trouble figuring out how to get back to painting from the image, so keep that in mind.

Overall I really like the app. As mentioned it did lag a bit, but I guess it's more like a real painting experience and shouldn't be rushed! I particularly like painting on wood as I did with the photo below. It adds a nice texture to the work. 

© Geri Centonze

What I'd like to see in future updates 
  • Ability to undo more than the last stroke
  • Crop Tool
  • Basic Adjustments for Contrast, Brightness, Detail
  • More cool brushes!
Note: Both of the images were painted in Psykopaint, but I used Snapseed for adjusting contrast and detail and tones.

What are your first impressions???


  1. Thank you for the general tutorial on how this app works, Geri - I just got it this morning and am looking forward to trying it!

  2. I use enjoyed using it when they were on the computer. Then they decided to go mobile and asked for beta testers. I tried to get on but was not able to. I'm glad to see they finally have a product out on the market. I shall definitely try it. Très bien

  3. Will there be any free codes in the near future?

  4. Geri, I have been looking forward to trying this, since you first mentioned it. I very much like the work you have done with it! Thanks for letting us know that Psykopaint has arrived.

  5. I would love to hear how you like it

  6. The app is free but there is an extra brush set for purchase. I'm not sure developers can give promo codes for in-app purchases.

  7. Let me know how you like it

  8. Hmm. That's not good. Are you running ios7? Try restarting your iPad

  9. Latest iOS, 128 G iPad Air, restarted. It worked well with a lower pixel count, imported jpg. The PNG that I first tried (jus call me the queen of optimistic overkill) was 20 MB.

  10. Geri, I tried to attach an image, and it did not work. I have sent it in full resolution to you. It is a composite of Psykopaint and iColorama.

  11. Aha well that explains it!

  12. Love this! What brushes are you liking the most?

  13. Got it. I wish we could crop photos to our desired size. That's on my wish list. Too bad it doesn't save at full resolution but I think there's so much going on in the app it must reduce the image to be able to process it.

  14. Hi Geri, Thanks for the heads up that this app is finally available...I was looking forward to trying it ever since you reported on it weeks ago. However, to say that the app lags in certain areas is a severe understatement (at least, on my iPad 2.) And, I am running the latest most up-to-date iOS7. For example, to access my main photo album (which I culled down to about 112 files) takes about 1 - 1 1/2 mins just to display thumbnails for selection! Forget trying to open the main album with thousands of files!! Also, loading an image file is unusually slow. I had to pick only low resolution files to get it to load up in any reasonable time frame. Again, forget loading a full resolution file from my iPhone 5...I could probably bake a cake in less time! :) I really hope the developer(s) addresses these performance issues because it looks like a tremendously fun and useful app.

  15. I like them all! I started this with the picture of a book, "The Spell of the Sensuous," and a milagro that a friend had sent to me. Pretty soon, all that was left was the thought of how sensuous the brushes were.

  16. Here it is... I made this portrait of Leor Levin, using several of his images. Composited and initially painted in iColorama. The result was painted in Psykopaint, reimported into iColorama, edges, etc., retouched in iColorama.

  17. You did such a beautiful job on this Carolyn! You're a master already!

  18. Hi Alan, I'm definitely going to have Mathieu take a look at these comments and hopefully they'll be working on a fix.

  19. Yes the experience is really nice. I'm hearing that people with older iPads are really having problems though.

  20. I see plenty of potential here, and lots of room for refinement. I would want to be able keep my preferred aspect ratio, which is 4/5. I just saw a video on the Psykopaint page on Facebook. It was very cool.

  21. I am patient. It is laggy, and right now, I am fighting with the painting menu. I just lost something I was working on, and accidentally "shared" something else.

  22. Hi everyone!! Mathieu of Psykosoft here. I'm sorry you're having all those issues!!
    I'm looking into it as we speak. What i've identified so far is that when opening real large image files this is where it causes problems. I'm looking into it to fix that. Meanwhile I recommend either painting from scratch or picking a not so large photo as source.

    It might take time for the update to come up though. First we have to fix it then Apple have to approve the update.

    Thanks for your patience!!

  23. Thank you Mathieu! By the way I'm so looking forward to Pagie!!!

  24. See comment above from Mathieu, the developer.

  25. See above comment from developer Mathieu

  26. Thank you, Mathieu! I saw the interview you posted to the Psykopaint Facebook page! I was utterly entranced. With so much goodness what you have made, it was easy for me to find the patience to persevere, in exploring it. What you have accomplished ambitious, and, yes, magical. Yesterday I spent a good amount time in Psykopaint, and watched your interview. I am taken with the possibilities. To eventually print these images in 3-D really will bring a new level of sensuality. I am eyeing your coming website builder, too. This is a terrific approach, and in tune with the way I think. Many thanks to you, for your work, and to Geri, for the introduction to Psykopaint.

  27. Wow, Thank you! I don't know what else to say :-)

  28. Hi, I am also having problems. Freezing, super slow, etc.I have a new iPad air. I closed all other apps but still a problem. Looks like it will be great when it works properly.

  29. Hi Mark. Sorry to hear that. I have iPad 4 and it hangs up a bit but it works. Matthieu said they're looking at those issues to try and correct

  30. Mathieu, thank you for the two recent updates! Psykopaint is a wonder, and I am excited by the potential of endless development possibilities in this, especially as the iPad evolves with more processing speed. As is, after a few days, with exploring your updates, and trying most of the features, I am more impressed with your thought process.
    I have been painting in natural media, most of my life, and working with digital imaging, on a Mac, since 1984/1985. For a painter, this brings some of the best of both worlds, together.
    I would like to be able to import an image, and export it at the same aspect ratio, for example 4/5 proportion. Perhaps, I am missing something. I have been able to scale, on the easel, adding margins, so that I could import it, and blend in another app. Positioning to blend would be so much easier, if I could work and save at the full size, un-cropped proportion of an image imported to Psycopaint.
    Thanks, again.

  31. This might explain what I am trying to say, better than my words. Psykopaint layer over original, using difference. See the top and bottom are not Psykopainted.

  32. I'm not sure what you are demonstrating - I think I'm lost!

  33. Thank you Carolyn! For the painting ratio. We decided to go with something consistent for all paintings. That was for a good reason at the beginning. First to limit the number of steps needed, simplify the process and because we want to be able to add frames in the future to paintings. And having different sized paintings would not allow us to do that easily. We would have to manage all sorts of frames with different sizes. So at the origin we wanted psykopaint to be a social experience. A bit like Instagram for paintings. Meaning we want users to have their own little 'gallery' for which you could customize your wallpaper and frame and that others can explore. And custom sizes would make that either ugly or not tricky to handle.
    What you might be able to do is import your image as 4/5. (It will automatically stretch to fit the smallest size) and in the crop view scale it down so you can see the full picture. (There would be margins on top/bottom or sides depending) Then you'd be able to crop the result using an other software.
    If you need a higher resolution. You'd need a retina display. Maybe later on we manage to find a workaround to have higher res size for regular display, but we're not there yet.

  34. Thank you, Mathieu. Yes, I have imported, shrinking my source image to fit within the boundaries, then re-cropped, after export. Usually in difference blend mode, while I align it with the image below, then whatever blend mode works. I have made some textured backgrounds with Psycopaint, to use as overlays, with other images. Much fun!
    I am fine with the existing resolution. I almost always work with a 4/5 ratio, 3160x2528, on an iPad Air, retina screen.
    The social media aspect is one I am less interested in, although I think it will be great for many. I am so used to working alone, all the social media feedback is alluring —I admit the I enjoy the little ego boosts—but, it is too time consuming for me.
    Part of what I am saying is that I think this can be a tool for serious printed artwork, even before you integrate the possibility of 3-D printing. I would love it if you would add a 4/5 proportion choice, but it is not crucial.

  35. Geri, I was just showing the Psykopaint image on top of the imported image, difference mode blend. What is cut off is what had been cropped by Psycopaint. I can accomodate the difference.


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