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Semicuro pattern/texture generator


ballandcube_th.jpgA very interesting texture generator written in Java. The program has an brush/bristle creation tool that makes complex pattern creation easy.

The program is very fun to play with. The concept is designing brushes utilizing 2D vector shapes as bristles for the brush. A single brush can have many different layers of bristles. And each bristle can have alphas, blend settings (screen, multiply, etc.). And while you paint you can set things up so the resulting image is tileable by wrapping the brush strokes around. I'd recommend if you download it to work through the tutorials for a little rundown on how everything works. The idea is something I haven't seen before and allows for a high level of detail in a brush that you normally wouldn't see. Its easy to get some fairly nice effects that give textures a pitted, dirty, or withered, or aged look. It's also good for producing surfaces like rock, repeating patterns like tiles, etc.

The author Jim Heffner says:

Semicuro is a Java-based application designed to facilitate the creation of complex bitmapped textures. Aged wood, hard surfaces like rock or concrete, textures that require subtle variations in color and/or "feel", are particularly good targets, but there are few limits on what can be produced.

Semicuro's unique quality it its "one brush, many bristles" approach to painting. Rather than a linearly-defined set of attributes for a single brush(which is typical of most paint apps), Semicuro allows you to define any number of bristles for each brush. Each bristle is essentially a brush unto itself, each with its own settings. When all these bristles are painted at once, the results can be quite interesting.

Creating bristles is easy - just use any of the five drawing tools to draw its shape, and then change the various attributes to suit your needs. There's a lot of room for experimentation, so have fun!

Semicuro is open source; visit their website for downloads and tutorials.


  1. I am the author, and I'll have to admit that this article caught me off guard (thanks brian :D ). I am interested in feedback from people who have downloaded this and used it. One thing I haven't provided is a selection of brushes - it just has one default brush, and it looks pretty banal- far from what this app has to offer. If you encounter any problems or questions, I'd like to know. You can email me at [email protected], or leave a post in the forums on sourceforge.

    I have a newer version that has some minor bug fixes, so I'll make plans to upload that soon. I hope it will be of use- I've had a lot of fun building and using it.

  2. Renato,

    Thanks for your suggestion. Due to some free time I had today, I added some rudimentary support for a preferences/configuration file. The first (and only, so far) property is the lookandfeel. This can be used to specify the name of the LookAndFeel that you prefer. However, having tested the LipstikLF, it does have some minor issues. It's not unusable by any means, but it doesn't seem to know how to handle menu items that have icons. This preference setting will be available in the next release, which should be coming up shortly.


  3. I really like the concept of this tool, kudos to you pictorali :)

    I really want to try it out sometime ... but i have some trouble getting it to run under Debian (it using java and all :-/ ... "cross-platform", hah!). anybody got that to work?

    BTW: the first tutorial (the one with the bricks) only produces an error
    "[an error occurred while processing this directive]"
    instead of an page-overview. The single pages do work if one directly types in the url though.

    Thanks for this great program :)

  4. I followed the tutorial on the website and am now interested in more detailed documentation. Is there some available? Are there more tutorials?

    Good luck with future versions. Looks like a great tool!

  5. There currently is no more detailed documentation, but if you have any specific questions, or would like anything specific explained in more detail, I'd be happy to do what I can to help you out. You can email me at landslide_x- at

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