What is the Photoshop equivalent of Paint Shop Pro's "Image Tube"?
November 16, 2006 5:32 PM   Subscribe

What is the Photoshop equivalent of Paint Shop Pro's "Image Tube", or is there not one?

Paint Shop Pro contained the ability to create an "image tube" - essentially a brush which was comprised of multiple pictures. I've long since given up Paint Shop Pro for Photoshop, however just today I was wanting to create such a custom brush and found that I don't know how.
Googling has proven useless so far, mostly because any references to 'photo tube' or 'image tube' refer to PSP. So I turn to the abundant knowledge of Metafilter!
posted by Meagan to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm also Googling to try to find out what the feature actually does but all I can find is sites to download the things.

You have multiple pictures in a brush. Then what? I presume it morphs between them based on pressure or tilt or something?

One thing I did notice from perusing the Web is that PSP seems to support color images as brushes. Photoshop doesn't; brushes are grayscale.
posted by kindall at 5:58 PM on November 16, 2006

kindall: It's more than just colour - it supports alpha as well. For example, one of them is a bunch of different ivy leaves of various sizes, shapes, and rotations, each casting an alpha drop-shadow. You hose those images onto the page, (it slaps them down in random (or whatever) order) and you end up with a realistic looking growth of ivy covering the area.

AFAIK there is no equivalent in photoshop, other than doing it manually, but I'm using v7.0, not the latest CS goodness. Perhaps there is a plugin? Perhaps someone could make a plugin and possibly make $$$? :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2006

Response by poster: The brush would, when dragged across the canvas, randomly select one of those pictures and place it - if you had a large enough distance between brushstrokes (I remember this value being called 'step', but can't seem to find it quickly in PS), you could space them apart such that they didn't overlap immediately, as with a traditional brush. Imagine if you had a brush with different flowers, when you painted a line, you'd have a line of flowers, in a random order. harlequin's example is another good one - make a bunch of different leaves, then 'paint' them onto a tree.

I didn't know that brushes were limited to grayscale, though - this wouldn't be an issue for me, but is helpful to know nonetheless.

I'm kind of surprised that Photoshop doesn't have a similar feature, as it's a handy time-saver; and in my experience a neat feature in one software can often make its way to the other...
posted by Meagan at 6:14 PM on November 16, 2006

Best answer: Ah, no, Photoshop doesn't have anything like that, even in the CS edition. It's not a paint program, after all; it's a photo retouching program. Consider that the program only fairly recently got the ability to draw basic shapes in one step.

What you want is Painter. IIRC it has a similar-sounding feature called "image hose," plus a lot of other cool features for artists. However, it costs more than Paint Shop Pro.
posted by kindall at 6:18 PM on November 16, 2006

Oh, it looks like there are some good deals on Painter on eBay.

I have no idea how well Corel has treated it, but it was great when Fractal Design published it.
posted by kindall at 6:19 PM on November 16, 2006

Response by poster: I've played with Painter before, I want to say the software (or at least a demo) came with my Wacom. I really enjoyed it, in fact I've been wanting to get to know it better, so I guess this is the perfect chance to!

Thanks for your effort in finding out, kindall!
posted by Meagan at 6:25 PM on November 16, 2006

I think the GIMP does this too (and it's free), if you go to the brush selection dialog there's a standard brush called vine that makes a vine using the method you describe (in colour). I'm no GIMP wizard, but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out how to make your own.
posted by fvw at 6:32 PM on November 16, 2006

Have you used Painter, now by Corel? The image hose brush does what you want very well indeed, and the "pattern pen" does a similar thing but with a pen stroke rather than a brush dab. It's tricky to learn but the brushes and brush controls are far superior to photoshop, I still prefer photoshop for editing photos though.
posted by Tixylix at 6:36 PM on November 16, 2006

uh, preview?
posted by Tixylix at 6:37 PM on November 16, 2006

As per fvw's comment, GIMP does support this, and can load some versions of PSP tubes.

I believe there are PS extensions that can do something like this. Deep Paint used to allow use of something like image hoses in PS.

It's a little surprising that PS apparently still doesn't have this feature, as a well constructed hose type brush can be very powerful.
posted by alikins at 11:06 AM on November 17, 2006

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