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Maybe the first thing about DeviantART that doesn't suck
August 10, 2010 6:13 AM   Subscribe

To celebrate its tenth birthday, popular site DeviantART unveils Muro, a gorgeous HTML5 drawing tool that handles multiple layers and a variety of artistic brushes. No account required.
posted by Rory Marinich (25 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Login to buy brushes". So while no account is required, you only get a subset of functionality.
posted by schwa at 6:17 AM on August 10, 2010


It's ok. But it doesn't seem terribly different from any of a hundred drawing tools people have been building for years in - dare I use the word? - Flash.

And although these online drawing toys are probably fun to code and to mess about with if you don't have a pencil handy, I can't imagine many people making the commitment it takes to really learn a new drawing tool and start producing serious art with it - it's just too ephemeral.

Plus the motion blur filter takes forever in Firefox.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:30 AM on August 10, 2010


Maybe the first thing about DeviantART that doesn't suck

That's a really messed up way to introduce a post about something you think is cool.
posted by jessamyn at 6:32 AM on August 10, 2010 [12 favorites]


DeviantART doesn't suck, any more than the wall at my kid's school sucks. It's just a place for anyone and everyone to post their creative output. Better artists have their own sites.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 6:35 AM on August 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


DeviantART has a great mobile site, which allows me to pull up my gallery on my phone to show people, and a good dumping ground for all my drawings.

Linking to my account as a de-facto portfolio has opened up more opportunities for me than anything else, so I would say that DeviantART does not suck in that regard.

I hope that this site doesn't have the lag associated with other web-based drawing apps, especially when using a tablet. I will have to test this when I get home.
posted by hellojed at 6:39 AM on August 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Huh, it even works on my Droid, although the interface is useless.
posted by selfnoise at 6:43 AM on August 10, 2010


What browser are you using, selfnoise? Mine just crashes, or only displays a sliver of canvas.
posted by hellojed at 6:47 AM on August 10, 2010


Just the stock one. I'm running froyo, though. That might be the difference.
posted by selfnoise at 6:50 AM on August 10, 2010


A program with this kind of polished interface just calls attention to the features that aren't there.

Something like, say, Graffiti in Facebook doesn't have any pretensions, but just so happens to have some cool stuff like being able to play back your whole drawing.

This, on the other hand, is like Photoshop Elements Elements. No zoom, even! (At least in Flash you could right-click and cheat to zoom in that way...)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:52 AM on August 10, 2010


It would be nice if I could import an image, enable blending, and color it. Even better if I could do it on my phone, since I typically draw something and then take a picture of it, hoping to color it later.
posted by hellojed at 6:55 AM on August 10, 2010


overeducated_alligator, you can zoom by moving the slider to "pro" at the top and then using the + and - in the window at the top right.
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on August 10, 2010


(it still sucks)
posted by desjardins at 7:00 AM on August 10, 2010


it doesn't seem terribly different from any of a hundred drawing tools people have been building for years in - dare I use the word? - Flash

A proprietary tool built on open standards vs an open tool built on proprietary "standards". Hm.
posted by DU at 7:21 AM on August 10, 2010


A proprietary tool built on open standards vs an open tool built on proprietary "standards". Hm.

Buckle up! We're leaving the rails.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


deviantART page "An insight into Muro" has some good points about what it is, and what it isn't.
posted by hippybear at 7:38 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


This does indeed suck. But in a good way. It sucks (you in).
posted by blue_beetle at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2010


le morte de bea arthur: "It's ok. But it doesn't seem terribly different from any of a hundred drawing tools people have been building for years in - dare I use the word? - Flash."

I'm hardly a Flash hater, but there is something really cool about clicking on that link and having the thing loaded before I can even switch tabs.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2010


l33tpolicywonk, that's because most people who build Flash apps often fail to intelligently manage the way resources are loaded. There's no technical reason why a Flash app doing the same things couldn't load as quickly in the majority of browsers. We're just used to Flash developers embedding huge quantities of images, sounds and fonts into their files and then preloading the whole lot on startup. You could conceivably do things equally badly with HTML/CSS/JS if you tried.

Anyway, the technology behind it is barely relevant. It's mostly just another vehicle for bad anime drawings, and as such it works fine.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:57 AM on August 10, 2010


Maybe the first thing about DeviantART that doesn't suck

That's a really messed up way to introduce a post about something you think is cool.
posted by jessamyn at 8:32 AM on August 10


If Rory worked for Apple (hmm...) his comment could be considered a compliment to the linked tool.
posted by Jpfed at 8:09 AM on August 10, 2010


I like deviantart. I like this. Thanks!
posted by mrgrimm at 8:13 AM on August 10, 2010


it's entirely plausible that Muro could be put onto user page, into notes, it could even be put into the chatrooms.

Okay, that's cool.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:44 AM on August 10, 2010


Better artists have their own sites.

I'd like to point out that there are a lot of professional artists who have a DeviantArt account in addition to their personal website. The site offers more than a stand-alone website can, like the ability to network, interact with other artists, and find a larger audience of amateurs.

It can be hard to find the good stuff because anyone can have an account, but once you do, there are tools (like favorites) to help you find more.

Of course it's a site that has a lot of illustrators, so "serious" artists might brush off what the professional illustrators on DeviantArt do as sci-fi and fantasy pablum, but I think you're being pretty unfair to some of the people there.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:51 AM on August 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Kutsuwamushi, you're perfectly right, and I didn't mean to imply that there's no good art going on there. Many of the 'proper' artists I know have DeviantArt accounts. But most of them also have their own personal site where they know they're not going to be judged for having their work share a site that prominently features not-so-good art. I think the problem DeviantArt presents to a viewer arriving at the homepage is that it's quite hard to filter out the things you're personally interested in.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:05 AM on August 10, 2010


Somewhat OT: the worst part of being on DeviantArt is you get jerks like this one trying to "hire" you:

http://news.deviantart.com/article/125498/

It's interesting to see an art tool done this way, though.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2010


is it sad that I want Kid Pix sounds?
yes
posted by Thomas Tallis is my Homeboy at 1:03 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


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