New Brush’s texture blending modes - Height

Hmm… Honestly I thought that all ten blending modes of textures in Photoshop is duplicate of blending modes of layers (wich enormous in Krita btw)…but now I checked it and didn’t find “height” (all other is present).

But “Height” is replicated in PaintstromStudio with exact texture behavior. And I don’t sure that two guys who created Painstorm have hidden contacts in Adobe that allow them to steal the secret of “height” :slightly_smiling_face:

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I worked on tons of blending modes including Binary and Modulo mode. Now, what is this height blending mode about? I have a feeling that it’s relate to bump map.

P.S: Right now, I still have issues trying to get Krita to build and work right, but it’s something I want to know before trying.

Greg Rutkowski intensively use textures in brushwork. You may download his brushpack from here and try yourself. Most of his brushes use height and hard mix texture modes.

For now, it is really hard to replicate in Krita similar brushwork/style like that (artist: G. Rutkowski):

Still, David Revoy is experimenting to achieve more traditional style looking in his last videos ( and inspired me to try more with Krita.

Can you make a image with black and white gradient? Duplicate that, rotate it 90 angle. Then apply height blending mode. The image has to be square.

Commercial programs can buy information from Adobe - we can’t, because even if we wanted, the code would be public, and if Adobe wanted their information to be public, PS would be open source as well…

@I9S I think I can see one way of trying to figure out what this mode is, but it would require you to create a brush with one gradient, let’s say vertical, on brush tip, and a horizontal gradient on the masked brush tip, and then make one stamp. I can provide you the files for gradients so they are useful, but only if you want to try to dissect this.

Although to be honest, I can’t see a reason why the picture you posted couldn’t be made using different kinds of brushes. Could you please explain to me why you think so? What is special about the height mode and the hard mix modes? Why the same (or really similar) effect cannot be achieved using other modes? What is what you need from those brushes that you cannot get using Krita’s brush engines?

Explanation of your goals instead of your means would be useful because we already know it’s hard to guess what exact math is doing this magic, so it could be easier to just solve your problem in a different way than using the height blending mode. But to know this, we need to know what this problem is and think about what might be other solutions.

To further add to the discussion of height blending mode, we noted that it’s linked to brush rather than layer-based blending mode. This would imply that it’s a special case of blending mode where it doesn’t comply the usual rules. So, it’s not likely we’ll be able to dissect it at all, furthermore, because of this, it would be very difficult to implement. At most, I think in theory there could be separate simultaneous brushes within multiple layer with their own rules, that could allow for more options including possibly height blending mode, but I fail to see the value in this work when there are so many other things Krita could have.

@Reptorian, @tiar
Computer makes calculation doing brushstrokes, so you can easily define digital and traditional painting. The matter of those blending modes, texture abilities, color dynamics in brush tip and stroke is to dilute “digital” effect. More brushes with various tips, textures and blending modes help to step away from monotonousness of digital brush. That why I put the Greg’s landscape as the example. He is really a master of creating an illusion of traditional look in digital painting. Even now, glazing at small 400px preview I feel this illusion. I watch his process - he use textures a lot. Besides of various form of brushes with textures, he use a blending brush with mapping – sort of clone/stamp tool with ability to blend-in into existing picture. He takes huge res master painting, merge it with another picture that have colors he looks and place on top of that huge res canvas texture, and only after that use eyedropper (that take a small piece of a picture not a color) of blending brush to the canvas. Since that process is really slow-computing you need a great patience to work in such way.
About ten years ago I saw the video of making “Mona Lisa” in Microsoft Paint. So @tiar, the Greg’s landscape is definitely possible to make in Krita :slight_smile:. I just talking that in Krita it is a harder to do.
I am not streamed into Greg’s style, but honestly I also like more painterly-nonuniform look. More blending modes give more abilities.

So the main goal is to make brushstoke (stroke without pulling off the stylus tip) as mach variety as possible. The one stroke is one shape – it is important. The stroke make an edge and form. One of the feature of multiply, substract, darken and linear burn is presence of texture and texture uniformity at top of brushstroke (I popped up it with the red in the image) . No matter how mach you draw back and forth, the texture effect will be appear and it force that digital, computer feel of brush. Open at full the image and look closer, for example, to Color Burn, - the texture of canvas is appearing near the edge, and with proper combination of brush form, opacity and flow control it makes way to closer to the traditional stroke.

Example above is a brush with Height Mode I use often . Each “painting” in the image is made with one stroke. With only one stroke I can make texture to pop up where I need and to hide where don’t. So in one stroke I can sort of control the pattern and the edges. Edges in periphery is soften and in the center is hard with the texture pronouncing. To make this in Krita I need two strokes.

And the gradient test your asking. I hope it will clarify something:

Btw, if you guys pure linux users, you could download linux version of PaintStorm and look to Height blending mode by yourselves.

So I will be glad if some blending modes beside existing multiply and substract will be added into Krita.

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I think this discussion can be branched of to another topic of its own?

Moved this to new feature request thread on request of @I9S, we can continue the discussion here about the blending mode here.

thank you

@I9S Hi, could you please repeat the experiment with the brush tip and texture I give bellow? it’s perfect 512x512 gradient that I know for sure has exactly 4x4 areas of the same color and all that. It will help with calculations.

Make sure your brush size is exactly 512, so it fits the texture size.

Please remember that because of how pattern works and probably because PS has a sub-pixel precision like Krita has, you need to align your brush nicely. It would be best if you created an image of size 1536x1526 (3512 x 3512) and make sure your brush fits exactly in the middle…(turn on grids in PS or PSS and then try really hard to make sure you fit your brush in the exact quare). (Actually maybe it would be easier on 512x512…). And make sure to save in PNG so no loss of quality can happen, no artifacts are created. In any case, that would ensure as little noise as possible and we could try to make sense of it.

Example above is a brush with Height Mode I use often . Each “painting” in the image is made with one stroke. With only one stroke I can make texture to pop up where I need and to hide where don’t. So in one stroke I can sort of control the pattern and the edges. Edges in periphery is soften and in the center is hard with the texture pronouncing. To make this in Krita I need two strokes.

Can you please say why you think you need two strokes in Krita? I tried to make this brush using modes available in Krita and all those fancy sliders: Brightness, Contrast, Cutoff etc., I think the brush preset with 3 at the end is actually quite close, I probably would have to check that preset you used to see what else should be done, or at least a proper 0-100% pressure stroke so I could compare. Here’s a link: (just move .pat to patterns, .gbr to brushes, and .kpp to paintoppresets ) In the second, red picture it also looks like it has Opacity or Flow (or both) options dependent on the sensors, and the black stroke on the first picture looks like it has a bit of it but not much, so I introduced it a bit in preset_4, but you’d need to adjust it yourself because I can’t see if it’s important and what kind of curve I should use. Is that something more similar to what you want to achieve?

one of my attempt for greg style brush work

brush+sharpen filter

Where exactly gradient’s patterns are located? In googledrive I found only Krita’s brushes.

And thanks for the brushes and the time you spend . I made a quick test. Yes, it near the visual effect that “height” mode gives (at first I have to use serious hard pressure to rid of crumbs is appears, after adjusting streight, opacity and flow curves it went much better). But still the feeling of stroke process is differ. It is hard to analyze the feelings and process you make intuitively, so I need more time to spare with Krita and definitely will use you brushes in the next painting.

More blending modes in brush texture will help artists more easily to adapt and transfer brushwork process from Photoshop. Also there are lot, tons of ps brushes in the net, so additional blending modes will close some gaps of brush transferring, and made Krita itself more flexible. I remember myself first trying Krita (around 6 years ago) and my tries to adapt from other software experience. Many things was and some still is pushing away and frustrating. So, I think additional brushes’ texture blending modes would be healthy for Krita.

Filters is computer calculations, so in term of brushwork and traditional effects filters are evil. You may easily see that filter you used made uniform look to the strokes. I could recommend use filters only in first third of painting process.

@I9S Are you using Krita 4.2 and above? You’d note that there’s a lot of blending mode. Even binary modes and modulo modes, and those are obscure as heck.

Thanks @Reptorian , I have edited the post above (I am talking about brush texture blending mode).

Now, I think I know what you’re talking about. It couldn’t hurt to add more blending modes to masked brush. I would be okay with adding them into Layer Effects as well.

.pat file needs to go to “patterns” directory. (Subdirectory of the directory you open when you click Settings -> Manage Resources -> Open Resource Folder. It will work only when you open Krita after copying files there.)
.gbr needs to go to “brushes” directory.
.kpp files need to go to “paintoppresets” directory.
.png files are to be imported into Photoshop or Paintstorm Studio to put as a brush tip and the pattern.

Btw… I got confused now from your conversation with @Reptorian.
It is about Pattern or Brush tip of the masked brush? Because blending modes are used in both of those cases. Brushes I made are using only Pattern, not masked brush, which could give different “feel” if brushes you were talking about were more of the masked brush category.

Ok. Here the results
Besides “Height” mode I included “Linear Height”, “Hard Mix” and “Color Burn”
I made .pngs with white background and attatch .psd that have layers with transparancy in case you need it.

@tiar I think we understand each other, I am talking about this (texture>pattern>options>texturing mode). I am rarely use masking brush (“dual brush” in PS) in photoshop since it have some uncontrollable issue thing.

While Making texture photoshop stubbornly makes it 1x512 pixel after pattern is defined from both of your square gradients (look at thin vertical line near the name) . But since results are similar that I made before I think it is ok.

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I agree that it would be really cool if more texture blending modes was added in Krita. It’s hard to convert a lot of photoshop brushes to Krita because a lot of the brushes uses texture blending modes like “Hard Mix” or “Color Burn” which creates a different effect with the texture. Krita just has multiply and subtract. The blend modes available to use with the mask brush could be added to the texturing blend modes.

Not really an important feature but would be cool to have in the future. Along with a feature to apply the texture by each brush tip instead of the whole stroke.