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Painting With Real Brushes on the Hp Touchsmart Pc

by Paul Strauss

So I picked up an HP TouchSmart IQ815 touchscreen computer over the holidays, and discovered something really cool. You can actually use the oversize screen of the TouchSmart PC as a canvas using real paint brushes.


See, the TouchSmart doesn’t actually detect pressure, but uses NextWindow’s infrared optical sensor technology to determine the position of your fingers. With a little experimentation, I discovered that pretty much anything that doesn’t scratch the screen can be used as a stylus.


While there’s no decent paint application that ships with the TouchSmart, you should definitely plunk down $25 bucks for a copy of Ambient Design’s ArtRage, a truly amazing low-cost natural media art application. The combination of ArtRage and a cheap $2 acrylic paintbrush is all you need to paint on screen. Check out my [cheesy] home video clip to see what all the fuss is about:

YouTube Preview Image

[View Video Clip in HD]

While I’ve played with graphic tablets and touchscreen finger-painting before, there’s nothing quite like using a real brush. At this point, there’s no way to detect the pressure or angle of the bristles, but at least one person has already put together a proof-of-concept for detecting brush width on the TouchSmart. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time before that logic finds its way into a paint application.

So if you have a TouchSmart and even a single artistic bone in your body, you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of ArtRage, a couple of cheap paintbrushes, and get to painting. Maybe you’ll be the next Renoir or Picasso. Just be sure not to put any actual paint on your brush.

Comments are closed for posts older than 90 days.

Comments (8):

  1. JOANNE OWENS says:

    Wow…this is great to know. Now I know more about the HP Touchsmart when I win it.

  2. Cyber says:

    Cool, I was wondering if anyone would use the hp touchsmart for this.

  3. XpAcErX says:

    There may be no way detect the pressure or angle but you can sure see the brush strokes. I’m assuming a simple firmware upgrade will be needed to get this functionality.

  4. Cyril says:

    this is just one-upped all drawing tablets i’ve seen

  5. Gina says:

    Hm, doesn’t seem to work for me with ArtRage and a HP Touchsmart Tm2 tablet. I wonder if the tabletwould support this with software or driver updates, or if it needs to be built into the screen?

  6. Gina says:

    I’ve contacted NextWindow. We’ll see if they have any comment.

  7. Alma says:

    Good! i’ve been thinking what other use can i get from my touchsmart other than internet surfing, music, movies and tv. I downloaded corel trial and will see if art has a patience on me. :-)

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