Project Gustav: digital paint looks fierce (and familiar)

Are they cloning a killer crocodile? Building a computer assisted way to look fabulous on the runway? From the name, one might think this Microsoft Research project was a hybrid of both, but in fact, Project Gustav is an attempt at “immersive digital painting”. Looks fierce… and a little familiar.

Per the website:

Project Gustav is a realistic painting-system prototype that enables artists to become immersed in the digital painting experience. It achieves interactivity and realism by leveraging the computing power of modern GPUs, taking full advantage of multitouch and tablet input technology and our novel natural media-modeling and brush-simulation algorithms. Project Gustav is a great example of how Microsoft’s research efforts are leading to exciting new technologies to support creativity.

Sounds fantastic, but looking at the results, I have to wonder what serious advantage this can provide over Artrage, a fantastic paint tool that’s offered realistic color blending and paint and canvas textures for years. Great effort, but aside from multi-touch control, I don’t think it surpasses the bar set by ArtRage 3 Studio Pro, which is available now. Video demos at Gizmodo and the Project Gustav website.