Saturday, April 20, 2019

Painting Software - The Scribbler

"The Scribbler" simulates the scribbling effect where one kinda draws circles following a tracing path. This is an implementation of "Tone- and Feature-Aware Circular Scribble Art" by Chun-Chia Chiu, Yi-Hsiang Lo, Ruen-Rone Lee and Hung-Kuo Chu.

The software (for the windows 64 bit operating system) is available to download on dropbox at thescribbler-x64.rar.

After having extracted the archive, I invite you to go to the "jimi_hendrix" folder. There you will see a file named "thescribbler.bat" which needs to be edited (using notepad or wordpad or whatever editor you like) so that the path to the executable, thescribbler.exe, is the correct one for your installation. The software is run by double-clicking on "thescribbler.bat". The output from The Scribbler is an image showing black scribbles over a white background.

The Scribbler's behavior is controlled by the input file named "thescribbler_input.txt". The following shows what's in "thescribbler_input.txt" in the "jimi_hendrix" directory:

source image = source_image.png
tracing path points = sample.tsp
tracing path segments = sample.cyc
minimum disk radius = 2
maximum disk radius = 16
minimum center velocity = 0.2
maximum center velocity = 8
scribble rotation increment = 80
output image = output_image.png

The source image is the reference photograph. It can be either tiff, png, or jpg. It can be either grayscale or full color.

The file containing the tracing path points (sample.tsp) is the output from Painting Software - The Stippler.

The file containing the tracing path segments (sample.cyc) is the output from linkern. See Painting Software - The Path Maker.

The minimum disk radius, maximum disk radius, minimum center velocity, and maximum center velocity control the density of the scribbles. Imagine following the tracing path (the one generated by Painting Software - The Path Maker) and drawing circles without lifting the pen. Clearly, you can draw small or large circles. The minimum disk radius and maximum disk radius control that. About as clearly, you can go slow or fast drawing those circles. The minimum center velocity and maximum center velocity control that.

The scribble rotation increment is a bit hard to explain, to be honest. It's an angle in degrees that should be between 0 and 360. I guess you'll just have to try changing it and see what happens. I think that values between 20 and 80 are good values to try out.

The output image contains the scribbles in image form. It can be either tiff, png, or jpg.

Source image.

Output image.

Here is a tutorial video:

Source code: thescribbler on github.


  1. thescribbler if posible to output as .SVG format

  2. Ugo - thanks for the videos, it helps to see the software in action! I agree with Mohamed's request, it would be great if thescribbler could output a path in .svg so that it could be used in a drawing machine.

    1. I will look into it but i don't guarantee anything.

  3. Hi Ugo - just checking back in on this. I've been working on my own implementation of the software. Were you able to determine if it's possible to output the path as a .svg? I've also seen that some applications will output an imbedded path in a .pdf file.

    1. no sorry, i don't think i am gonna work on this.

  4. It would be great to be able to output svg or gcode. How can we achieve this?

  5. It would be great to be able to output svg or gcode. How can we achieve this?

    1. Hi, the code is on github. Feel free to modify it for your own needs.

  6. literally trolled the internet in search of a software like this, thank you its great but it has a down fall that most have highlighted and that is the export of png would be so much better if you could deliver a svg format, id like to say i could help but i dont know how, plus dont have access to the raw data.

  7. Hello, Great work. Please add option to generate svg or g-code files. Thank you

    1. The source code is on github: Feel free to modify it for your needs.