College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Computer Science Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Computer Science

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Computer Science Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Computer Science



Primary Advisor

April Grow, College of Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering Department


Graphite is an open source 2D graphics editor aiming to provide a useful alternative to the Adobe product suite while integrating modern ideas from research and industry, including a node-based procedural approach that makes the design process fully non-destructive. Tools from the VFX and gamedev industry like Nuke, Houdini, and Substance Designer have proven the power and flexibility of node-based systems, but they are each lacking in their user experience because of the deep level of complexity that is not abstracted into simpler concepts for users (Adobe Systems, SideFX, The Foundry Visionmongers Ltd., n.d.). Graphite puts the node-based core into a traditional tool-based shell, making it more accessible and familiar to experienced 2D designers and artists as well as new users. These tools, which form an abstraction around the node graph concepts, act much like existing graphics editors. One aspect of tool-based editing is the snapping system that can constrain artwork manipulations to align with other layers, geometry, or a grid. Graphite seeks to improve upon the user experience of many core tools and workflows in areas neglected by traditional editing software, and snapping systems are one prime example of a common, “boring” feature where pain points and potential improvements are hidden in plain sight. Graphite’s goal is to fundamentally improve upon the user experience of snapping so artists and designers can benefit from a more useful way to make pixel-perfect artwork.