ANSI Has Landed

by Kyzrati on 20130903 , under

A member of the ANSI group Blocktronics contacted me recently and asked whether REXPaint could export .ans files.

Short answer: No. Longer answer: Yes, just as soon as I look into the format and implement it because, you know, supporting more formats means an application useful for more people. And as it so happens ANSI escape codes are pretty easy to implement.

Regular ANSI as stored in .ans is limited to a 16-color palette, only 8 of which can be used as background colors. Different terminals display the ANSI colors somewhat differently, as you can see in this table:

REXPaint includes the standard VGA color palette by default, though you could convert it to any of the others (or add them separately as new palettes):
Standard VGA palette as it appears in REXPaint
Overall, the REXPaint interface is certainly different from that of your average ANSI art program, but the different features may make it more suitable for certain painting styles.

REXPaint includes the data and instructions for configuring it for ANSI use (all that's required is some file copying), but there's also a pre-configured version available as a separate download, a better option if your primary intent is to draw ANSI art. Even if you download the pre-configured version, you should definitely check out Appendix C in the manual for notes on how ANSI editing works (and, of course, browse the rest for how to use REXPaint in general).

Although editing in ANSI mode loses the palette/color flexibility, you can still take advantage of all the other tools REXPaint has to offer, even layers.

R6 and R6-ANSI are now available for download.

For this release I also took the opportunity to add a few other features, most notably an expansion of image browser functionality to enable duplication, renaming, and deletion of images from within the browser itself.

Also added were some new terminal fonts (8x12, 8x14, 8x16, 10x16), but these are located in a separate directory for R6 so you'll have to move/add them manually if you want to use them. The pre-configured R6-ANSI uses terminal fonts by default, instead of the usual square fonts.
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by Kyzrati on 20130726 , under

I've made a couple of tweaks and fixes to REXPaint over the past couple months as I've been using it, and thought I'd share the latest build as a public release. R5 is now available for download.

On the download page you'll also find some user-submitted resources including additional fonts. Feel free to submit anything you think would benefit the community! Here's the latest 10x10 font from Drake:
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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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