Quincy for Mac OS

Draw Mode

Piano Keys

As you can see all drawing isn't necessarily pretty ; ) Well - drawing in Qunicy is different though, because our mind is not all that great at predicting what is going to happen over a couple of generations once we hit the play button. A simple stippled line for example can deliver some pretty amazing results when animated. Anyway - let's do some drawing. And once more we styled this chapter like a short tutorial, so you can follow along.

Note: If you have used Quincy on an iOS device, you will notice that the Mac OS version handles color selections slightly differently, because the mouse cursor has a finer resolution than our fingers. Clicking one of the 5 color buttons displays the systems color picker and does not change the draw color. To change the draw color just click next to the right side of a color button where one would expect the small selection triangle to appear. Another option to change draw colors on Mac OS is to use the keyboard shortcuts cmd-1, cmd-2, cmd-3, etc.


Drawing with Pens

We start out by using the default tools as they are when we get to Draw mode in a fresh composition. The Pen Tool is highlighted and the Pattern Indicator shows the single-cell pen. We set the grid to 32 x 32 and then draw a straight line by simply dragging across the grid display. Then let's tap click next to the orange button in the color indicator box to change the current color and draw a second line just below the first one.

Not too bad. We see that the Pen Tool has changed color as has the Color Eraser Tool. Now let us introduce a color that is not currently a part of our document's color palette - purple. Open the Color Mixer by clicking the blue color button and then drag in the gradient wheel in the middle to have the original blue replaced by purple.

Looks good. Dismiss the Color Mixer for now and tap next to the now purple color button to change the current draw color. Our draw color is now color 5. Good enough. Let's draw another line.

There it is. Note that the Color Indicator has updated its display with an arrow pointing towards the 5th color, and the label below stating "Color 5". Also updated again are our Pen and Color Eraser tools. Now let's open the Draw Patterns window and select the 3-cell pen.

Quincy has 3 pens and some 50 pattern stamps. The pens are listed at the very top of the window and draw like expected from a pen. The difference between the three available pens is line thickness only. A thicker pen is often useful when filling larger areas.

NOTE: A pen in Quincy always draws. To erase you have to switch over to the Eraser or Color Eraser.

Now let's click next to the Color Indicator's 4th button - green and draw another parallel line below.

That's it. Drawing with pens in different colors. Not complicated.

Drawing Patterns

For the picture above we went back to our Draw Patterns window and selected the last item in the 3rd row. This pattern is called Loaf, a so-called Still Life. Still Lives consists of patterns that are static and term Loaf expresses that to a degree. Still Lives do not change over generations unless intruded upon. Note that we are still using the Pen Tool, but since we are drawing patterns, its behavior has changed.

It shouldn't be too difficult now to replicate the image above. We changed the draw color to yellow, added a bunch of "Beacons", then changed the color again to orange this time and added a bunch of "Toads".

Using the Color Eraser

Now lets say that for some reason or other we decided to do away with those loafs we placed earlier. We are going to use an eraser for that, but which one and how? In this case we best pick a pen for the eraser and make it the thickest one. Then click the Color Eraser Tool and simply drag over the area where our green loafs are. All green gets erased, all other colors remain. Nice.

NOTE: Erasers are actually pens. An eraser in Quincy draws dead cells. That means that it is possible to draw negatively. You could fill a large rectangle with a color, set the pen to a pattern and the cookie-cut shapes out of it.

Changing the Draw Color

For another example of working with Quincy's Draw Tools we'll stamp a couple of r-Pentominos on top of the thick green line we made earlier. Let's use red as the draw color for those. Once we're done we'll use the Color Mixer to make some changes.

Selected Key

When the Color Mixer initially opens it shows the current draw color. In our composition at this time all cells with that draw color are selected. If we change that color in the Color Mixer the result is an immediate change not only in our tools, but also in the grid display.


Selected Key



As before in the chapter about Quincy's Edit Tools, it is important to remember that this is not a paint program. There is no transparency. There are dead cells and cells that are alive. What we perceive as a black background are simply dead cells.