Bleank has released Black Ink 2020, a major update to its GPU-accelerated painting software, adding an interesting new node-based system for controlling how layers are composited to form an image.
The update – the first to the software in over two years – is also the first to use an annual numbering system: according to the online changelog, it corresponds to version 0.421.
New hybrid node/layer workflow with support for unlimited image layers
The main change in Black Ink 2020 is the new Layer Editor.
It looks more like a material-authoring tool like Substance Designer than a conventional 2D painting app, making it possible to control how layers are composited within the software by wiring nodes together.
The system opens up some interesting new workflows, shown in the video above, including the option to create instances of elements within an image, each of which updates simultaneously as you paint.
The change also makes it possible to use an unlimited number of layers – previously, users were restricted to eight – and increases the maximum resolution of layers to 64,000px.
It is also now possible to hide the contents of a layer outside the active canvas.
Other features: new natural media brushes, workflow improvements
The update also adds a range of natural media brushes, including calligraphy gel ink, and various watercolour, stencil and hair-like effects.
Workflow improvements include a new display colour management system, with the option to set colour gamuts for monitors individually.
Pricing and system requirements
Black Ink 2020 is available for Windows XP and above. New licences cost $59.99.
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