[Proposal] Combine Colorsmudge and Clone Brush engines

These updates are so much fun to paint with, I would need to take some time to come up with good feeling, finished brush presets. Krita 5 will be a blast, I have a feeling. :star_struck:

Considering these great changes to height and smudge functions, would it be feasible to combine this with a clone function? I mean to sample multiple colors at once like the clone tool instead of a single color. That would make it even more realistic since when you paint and the brush is dirty/filled with color, it mixes what is in the brush and on the canvas at once. Would that be possible or is it completely out of scope?

Here’s an example of clone + height, I used the Height Build of Krita from @Deif_Lou, with a canvas pattern. With smudge functionality this would be a game changer.
Two points to the problems of clone brushes right now:

  1. users should be able to keep the sampled colors “as is”, meaning no scaling up or down, with a fixed size/stretch to the brush cursor.
  2. the sampled area shouldn’t stay an active point on the canvas all the time, it distracts while painting.

Forgive me for the bad drawing in my demo, but can you guys see the potential this has?


Do you mean picking up a sample from the canvas, and using that as the paint? Basically, like the mix brush in PS can do? This update does make that a lot easier to implement, since it would be like making the brushtip a Color Image brush with the alpha values (and maybe lightness values) of the selected brushtip and the color information from the canvas selection. The main part is adding the ability (in both the UI and the backend) to actually pick and store a section of the canvas to use as the brush paint.

So yes, especially with this version of the smudge engine, it is feasible to do. It’s also a feature I’ve seen requested a lot on this forum too, so there’s definitely interest. It just needs a developer to pick it up. :slight_smile: (Sorry, I’m not volunteering for it right now… :grimacing:)


Yes - I would still like that! :yum:

I mean - you can already paint using the clone brush (as I did in those still-life images in my gallery), by constantly re-setting the sample point as if you’re colour picking from the canvas. But the currently available options are pretty limited.

I have wondered if there’s some way the clone brush as it is could be linked with the colour smudge just as an interim option? :man_shrugging:

I’m not a coder so things like that always seem more obvious at my end - I’m sure the reality is much more complex! :upside_down_face:

1 Like

Yes, exactly. That would be so nice. I also tried it out with the cloner brush, but it is not so flexible because it only uses the static size and always shows the crosshair/outline of the selected sampling area.
Yes Mythmaker, I‘ve seen them and love this kind of stuff. And I love that raw paint style, like Sargent, Richard Schmid, or even digital stuff like Craig Mullins or Jaime Jones. Krita is getting more serious by the day. I hope 5.0 brings a ton of community backing and support.

1 Like

Yes, area sampling similar like PS and Paintstorm have in brush settings would be nice. Most of “oil” painting style based at this effect, e.g. Artem Chebokha are overused it.


Yes! Yes! Hundred times Yes ! Its excellent idea <3

1 Like

This thread is a fork of the original thread about the new colorsmudge engine for Krita 5.0

1 Like

Thanks for splitting the thread up Dmitry!

Guys, I added a quick little video to the top and elaborated my idea a bit, see first post.


Hi, @TheFlow!

The idea sounds interesting. Though I don’t fully understand how to integrate that GUI- and code-wise. Should it be an option in colorsmudge brush engine? Or should it be an option in the clone brush engine?

Should we actually keep a separate clone brush engine, if we implement that as an option in other engines?

One more question, in the current implementation of the clone brush engine, when you pick color this way only brush mask is scaled, but the source colorful image is just cropped. Is it expected behavior or you would like the “picked” image to be scaled as well?

Hi @dkazakov Thanks for taking the time. :slight_smile:

About the GUI, I would need more input from others maybe, as I am not sure if we would need much. Maybe a toggle in the menu bar of this brush to activate or deactivate “real paint sampling” vs what we have now “single color sampling”. Only a setting in the brush menu could be also ok for now I guess, since I would make brushes about that functionality mainly, so it would be either on or off for my brush presets.

I personally thing the colorsmudge engine would be the best fit in this case for painting, since that is the tool that looks by far most like “real” paint, especially combined with height texture mode and color smudging. And if one day the smudge alpha functionality is complete, this tool would be even better than the mixer brush in Photoshop. Of course this setting of picked color “fixed” or “scaled” could also be in the clone brush engine that we have now.

I hope I can find a better demo of it, but here you see Craig Mullins using the “mixer brush”. He is pretty much the father of digital painting, he was one of, if not the first person to paint in Photoshop back in the day). If you don’t know him, look at www.goodbrush.com, he is on the forefront of digital painting, always has been.

Yes, it would be great to “keep” the sample exactly like picked, scale as well, as you said it. That would be great. It is not expected nor unexpected, both can be really nice options. Say there is a tiny part in the image where I like the gradient. I can make my brush that size, sample it, make the brush huge and use that as a nice, smooth gradient since it scales the picked image, not only the mask of it.

I am not that good writing these things down, I hope I’ll get more precise and you understand everything somewhat ok.

Also, check this thread from a while ago by @Mythmaker, could help to clear things up on this idea. Experimental Still Life (Clone Brush + Impasto Effects) 🤓

1 Like

Btw, do you want to sample color from the current layer or from the merged image? Looking at your still life painting it looks like you sampled from the merged image…

These are my clone settings. Being able to use both, as in the current implementation of the clone engine would be great. If I had to choose only one, I’d go with the option of “merged image”.

Here’s the brush btw. It is a lot of fun. Like I said, especially in the height or linear height mode. But this one is made in the dulling-fix-DK9 branch. Dropbox - FT_clonerFunction_colorSmudge.kpp - Simplify your life

I am interested to see how this ends. I agree it would be a superb feature too.


Maybe more neutral terms like “area color sampling” would be good in this case.

I’m not against this idea but curious to see any actual full usage more than a demo.


I posted a little video before about how you can use the texture generator brush from the radian brush pack to create a multicolor painting effect with the clone brushes .

I think it would be good to allow the rgba brushes to be used with the clone engine in lightness mode. Then artists could get this effect

I think for the GUI maybe there should be an option in the pixel and color smudge engines to run in “clone” mode.


That is actually really nice, I didn’t know. Thank you! So ok, here we have a lot of people interested in this and Radian actually was interested in this a good while ago. Randomization, especially a controlled version of randomization, is one of nature’s greatest creative tools.

@acc4 Yeah, Area sounds better. It was just from the top of my mind.

Another good demo of someone using those kind of brushes, together with “normal” brushes and a canvas texture.

As for examples, I’ll try to come up with a few to make the importance of this tool even more clear.

1 Like

Okay, smearing from the merged image may cause some troubles, because overlay mode is currently explicitly disabled for rgba-lightness brushes. I’ll check what can be done though

1 Like

Ok thank you. I really appreciate that you take these ideas into account.

I don’t think that’s a good idea because the “single color sampling” is already taking an area into account (see Smudge Radius, I think?).

Okay - it’s taken a while to write this so sorry if it seems out of step with the flow of conversation, or I’m repeating what’s already been said!.. :upside_down_face:

Re: What brush engines to enable with; The current clone brush behaves like a pixel brush anyway - just with very limited options. The results can look very painterly when using the right brush tips and settings.

As I used it with the layered impasto effect (in real-time) in those two images I did, the feedback was more satisfying as I was painting; so I’m pretty hopeful that combining that ability to sample with the colour smudge + lightness (if possible) should produce some really nice results.

Even with only the current clone options available, it would be useable. But I’ll try to lay out what features I think would be useful.

I agree about being able to hide the sample point - mainly because if you sample close to where you’re painting it can obscure the area you need to see.

Useful options for the sample point:

  • Toggle for fixed sample size/scale with brush.

  • Toggle for fixed rotation/rotate with brush.

  • The ability to combine the sample with the current selected colour, and a slider to change the ratio of the mix. I think that’s similar to how Photoshop’s mixer brush works.

I’m trying to remember what the limitations currently are for where you can sample from. I know you can sample from other layers, but I think it’s hard because of the key-combos required. So maybe some kind of lock/toggle for the source layer.

On that subject, it would be good to be able to sample from another image (can’t remember if that’s already possible) - so you can keep whatever you’re sampling from out of the way e.g. a painted-out palette, or a photograph. (That’s if @halla doesn’t mind people abusing the feature to turn photos into paintings!.. :yum:).

By the way - We had some discussion around this about a year ago in this thread. There might be some useful stuff in there; I did do some research and experiments back then.