Splatter Draw

a splattery sketching program


SplatterDraw 1.0.7

Download 95K stuffed
October 12, 2001


SplatterDraw and its associated utilities are simple (very simple) applications that span off from my PhD research - they were used to evaluate a interface-less drawing tool. The idea is that the tool can generate a variety of marks depending on how it is used and how it is held.

Whilst it will work (in a way) with a mouse, it really requires a drawing tablet, preferably a Wacom one with tilt sensitivity. I've not tested it on the latest Wacom tablets, esp the USB ones, but things should work. Email me if they don't and I'll take a look at it.

This software was written under MacOS 8.1, should work under 9.x and has never been tested on MacOS X. The faster your mac is, probably the less well it will work. Sorry. This is being released as is because it is fun, not because I want to write the next version of PhotoShop. However, all suggestions will be racefully received and possibly even acted on.

Using SplatterDraw

Run the application, and (if you want to save your drawings to disk) enter a filename to save things under. The screen should go blank white, at which point draw away. Press the Space Bar to clear the screen and start a new drawing (this also starts a new file on disk), press the Command Key to quit. After 9 drawings it will quit anyway.

Drawing with SplatterDraw

If you just have a mouse, you probably won't notice much - it will act rather like a bad MacPaint clone. Fun anyway though, yes? You'll still be able to replay your drawings - see below.

If you have a pressure and tilt sensitive tablet, then you should find you now have a pressure, tilt, velocity and acceleration sensitive pen. You should find lines break up if you move fast, spatter ink about if you stop or start rapidly and fill areas if you press harder. Hold the pen upright to get precise lines, to the side to offset marks. Oh, and if you have the Wacom eraser pen, use the other end to rub stuff out.

Playing back your drawings

When you quit you'll notice two files are saved for each drawing - one is a PICT file you can use just about anywhere, the other has the word 'strokes' appended to the file name. These files can be used to play back your drawing, using SplatterReplay.

Run SplatterReplay and choose the stroke file you want to play. Watch as your drawing is recreated in real time (and in greyscale rather than black and white). If you want to speed things up, or just skip a long pause in your drawing, press the mouse button.

This replay function was essential for my research into how people sketched - it meant I could synchronise recordings of what they were saying with their drawings and see how people's conversation changed as they got caught up in drawing.

Strokes files can get very large - use the stroke compressor to reduce them down to the bare minimum. This just dumps redundant information, and in no way affects your drawings. I'd recommend it. Both a PPC and a 68K version are included as I can't remember which works better. Experiment.

Included is a strokes file of a friend copying a test image from my experiments so you can see how it works.

Why? Finding out more about this...

To find out more about the PhD stuff, see my transparency page

Version history

SplatterDraw 1.0.7
First Public release.

Distribution, acknowledgements, etc.

SplatterDraw is loosely associated with Mike Trinder. You may use it and distribute it (non-profit distribution only) provided it is distributed with its associated utilities and this document accompanies them.

The author takes no responsibilty for any problems this software may cause.

Feedback and comments

Mike Trinder

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