June 06, 2013

A new drawing/painting app, Mischief

The new app Mischief promises “the richness of pixel-based brushes AND the scalability of vectors” in a GPU-accelerated drawing environment. What do you think?

Posted by John Nack at 9:45 PM on June 06, 2013


  • Durk Pearson — 10:46 PM on June 06, 2013

    Thanks! This sounds like a lot of fun. I especially like the best-of-both-worlds pixel/vector hybrid concept. I’ve asked if it uses Photoshop brushes, of which I’ve got a nice collection that fit my needs.

  • Stephen Johnson — 1:08 AM on June 07, 2013

    Loved the deep zoom ability, reminded me of a Live Picture demonstration in 1995 when a high resolution photographic scan was pasted into the pixel of another high resolution scan (and could be zoomed into).
    I do miss the rapidly changing and explosive growth of imaging in the 1990’s, when everything seemed to be happening all at once. Would be great to see the same innovation now, a modern day Kai Krause would be lovely.

  • Marc cardwell — 3:42 AM on June 07, 2013

    there was another infinite zoom hybrid app called xres. I remember live picture too.

  • Peter — 4:36 AM on June 07, 2013

    Interesting technology, but the software doesn’t seem to be able to export to any common vector file format, which is presumably due to the mathematical representation they are using.

    That kind of defeats the purpose to a large extent since the “infinite zoom” is limited to the drawing process. There is also no way to select or reshape strokes as paths. That also implies that deleting parts of a drawing has the same disadvantages as pixel-based drawing systems.

    If they used their technology only for rendering the interactive screen display and retained the original “recipe” (basically a list of paths and corresponding opacity and brush settings), that would actually make the software quite a bit more useful and versatile. Right now it seems like it is a bit of an island.

  • Ted Azriel — 5:11 AM on June 07, 2013

    Hi John
    Sound interesting, my only concern is what Peter stated (“but the software doesn’t seem to be able to export to any common vector file format”)
    I certainly will give it a trial shot, I like the idea of being enlarge any size you want. Normally I develop my digital art in photoshop and for brushwork I use the plug in Simplify 4 and Corel Painter 12.2

  • Eric Carlisle — 6:49 AM on June 07, 2013

    If anyone is wondering, the duck is located on the south coast of this island:



  • cosmo — 6:52 AM on June 07, 2013

    What do I think? I think that it’s clear that such innovation will never again come from Adobe. The future lies with small developers. We should give them our full support.

  • Jeremy Chone — 7:55 AM on June 07, 2013

    Seems to be a great app for artist.

    Just curious, how do they capture the pencil location on the screen? How precise is it?

  • John Stevenson — 1:42 PM on June 07, 2013

    $129 for this, with the limitations already noted … really?
    The developers here have the opportunity to drop their toolkit directly into a new, custom and minimalist GUI. Not an avenue easily open to Adobe any longer. But the worktasks which can be done with Mischief can be completed also in Illustrator. And better so: http://tinyurl.com/m5hngkp
    $129 … really!

  • Willie — 8:35 PM on June 07, 2013

    Awesome App!!!!

  • Stephen Walker — 1:59 AM on June 08, 2013

    Something feels good about the way this works.
    But there are drawbacks as stated in previous replies and the lack of shortcuts – E brought up the eraser and B sent you back to your previous brush but apart from that nothing that made it easy to use. SketchBook Pro offers more for less cash.
    See through window behaviour was cool.
    Still, something about the way it draws is easy and FUN.

  • fr — 9:47 AM on June 08, 2013

    Favorite inside that i’ll miss in illustrator : see through window, rotating the work area, infinite zoom. The rest as mentioned by J.Stevenson is already there in Ai.

  • Romills — 4:58 PM on June 08, 2013

    Neat program with and advanced consumer friendly business model. $129 and you get to keep the program, and don’t lose access to it should you not by the next version.. Maybe to a new trend, I hope adobe is watching..

    John, thanks for your blog, I enjoy your posts. ( I really hope adobe gets the chance to go back to that type of business model)

  • Olivier H — 12:57 PM on June 09, 2013

    Hi John

    Thanks for the link interesting but not complete enough for the price .

    But will photoshop have this “scaling brush” feature one day, i dream of this for years !
    When we zoom usually we also want a smaller brush , no?
    Next JDI : give us a check box (with keyboard shorcut of course) to allow the brush size to follow the zoom !! Don’t know to who adress this request!

    [I know—I’ve wanted that for years! –J.]

  • david stong — 10:58 AM on June 11, 2013

    Took me a while to get to download and play, but it was worth it. I agree with the comments that it feels good- I can’t explain it, though; something in the way it responds to my wacom tablet? Very satisfying. The lack of vector export is unusual, but doesn’t bother me at all. It’s easy to get the size and clarity you need after creation. Thanks for the tip, John.

  • James Newton — 1:33 PM on June 11, 2013

    Hi John,

    Wow! I love this app. Feels great with the Cintiq. The infinite definition really works. Files sizes are tiny. And fast, very very fast. Who needs vectors!? Not me. Thanks for the link John!

  • misterdirk — 10:28 AM on June 15, 2013

    Does anybody remember Expression from Creature House? It was an awesome vector app that had all sorts of natural-media type brushes. It was free for both Mac and Win and in “beta” for quite a while until Microsoft bought it. It appears to have subsequently withered and died, which is a real shame. I loved that free app!

  • Kimberly Davis — 12:02 PM on June 17, 2013

    I’m testing the trial. In short, this app rocks! Vectors without the constraints and the hassles. The drawing experience is smooth and very responsive. Export to any resolution works like a charm. PSD layers are preserved during export for final touches in PS, which works fine for me. Super lightweight and easy to use. Launches in a second, literally.

  • Izzie Townsend — 8:16 AM on June 18, 2013

    Very nice app John! Pretty complete for a 1.0 version of software. All the basics are there. The infinite canvas makes the drawing experience very fluid. Infinite definition is not only cool but useful for those of us who target our artwork for varying resolutions.

  • Izzie Townsend — 5:24 AM on July 18, 2013

    An update on the price from their webpage: We are pleased to announce that Mischief will be available for $65 US for all customers beginning July 17, 2013. This price drop reflects our goal of making high quality software tools for artists and creative professionals available to all. It is our way of showing our users and would-be users that we are committed to serving this community and to bringing you the best drawing system out there at an affordable price.

    • John Stevenson — 6:13 AM on July 18, 2013

      Excellent. Somebody out there is listening to us!

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