R4, Already

by Kyzrati on 20130514 , under

A new version of REXPaint has been released every day since its initial launch, though nothing really worth announcing until now since all known issues are finally fixed and there have been a few improvements like better image border representation and a layer merge command (though how many of you are actually using layers at this point...). We're now at R4.

Anyone who's already downloaded will want to upgrade to the latest version to avoid encountering any of the rare bugs that have now been squashed.

There will be more releases and new features in the future when I start using REXPaint on a greater scale with increasingly complex goals. In the meantime I'll be taking feature requests, but not just for the sake of adding something--you must intend to actually take advantage of them. Feel free to leave a comment below and I'll see what I can do for you.

Yesterday I completed some more of my own test art with REXPaint (which is how I've been discovering areas for improvement) and added it to the gallery. There you'll also find the first REXPaint art aside from my own, a roguelike mockup by qbicfoot.

For any game devs out there who are considering/planning to use ASCII art in their console game/roguelike, I've added details of the .xp file format specification to the manual so you can take advantage of the excellent compression they provide (better than PNGs!) and read images drawn by REXPaint directly into your game. If you'd like to reference or use code that does just that, check out BaconSoap's RexReader C# library which he's generously open sourced on GitHub.
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by Kyzrati on 20130511 , under

There are a number of ASCII art editors available on the web, but most suffer from poor usability or small feature sets (one notable exception being eigenbom's awesome fork of ASCII Paint). For development of my own projects (see X@COM), I needed an application equipped with a wide range of tools for quickly drawing and manipulating ASCII art, as well as the ability to easily browse the images created as stored in their native format. Thus REXPaint was born.

Hopefully it will also find use as a general purpose ASCII art editor. I'd love to see what people can create with this program, so send me a link/copy if you've made something cool!

At launch the major features of this editor include:
  • Edit characters, foreground, and background colors separately
  • Draw shapes and text
  • Copy/cut/paste areas
  • Undo/redo changes
  • Preview effects simply by hovering the cursor over the canvas
  • Palette manipulation
  • Image-wide color tweaking and palette swaps
  • True-color RGB/HSV color picker
  • Create multi-layered images
  • Zooming: Scale an image by changing font size on the fly
  • Browse art assets and begin editing at the press of a button
  • Images highly compressed
  • Export PNGs for use in other programs or on the web
  • Skinnable interface

(Check out the features page for some screenshots.)

I say features "at launch" because REXPaint can still be considered a work in progress and will continue to receive updates as necessary. Some features on the to-do list that went unimplemented since I don't really need them yet and I don't know how much demand there would be: lasso selection for copying, image-wide glyph swapping akin to the color swap feature, tool tips on mouse hover, layer color blending, type to search/filter through browseable assets.
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