Mondrian – Plastic Reality has been updated to 1.0.9 on Steam! You can read the Steam Announcement here. Please be sure to give it a Like!
When we launched Mondrian – Plastic Reality, it included a rudimentary “Gallery Mode” which you could use to create randomly generated thumbnails of your levels. It lacked a UI, working entirely through keyboard shortcuts; you could only resize and rotate the frame, toggle on crop marks, and change background images. It still required access to graphic software to save the final image. It did the trick, but the barrier to entry was still higher than it should have been and required far more button clicks to get a nice result than it should have.
Well, no more! Say hello to Mondrian Studio, a heavily-featured toolset that is replacing Gallery Mode as of today. Mondrian Studio is the third point in the Mondrian – Plastic Reality/Mondrian Maker triangle. Mondrian Studio comes with the tools you need to instantly create Steam Workshop thumbnails, desktop backgrounds, printable goods, or any kind of finished artwork you want out of your Mondrian levels! You can use any of the levels and backgrounds included with Mondrian – Plastic Reality to make new creations, or still easily create your own to make wholly new artworks.
In this post, we’ll be diving into what each of the five tabs in Mondrian Studio has to offer. However, if you’d like to go deeper into what each individual tool in the chest does, watch our new Mondrian Studio video below.
The first tab in Mondrian Studio is custom framing. These functions are carried over from the old Gallery Mode, but include a few new features as well. Crop Marks can now toggle corner crops and/or registration marks, rather than only having none or all. Rotation lets you rotate the frame in 90° increments. Size Ratio has six options to help you fit your creation into the best looking frame possible. The Visibility slider lets you choose how your negative space and frame is viewed, if at all.
PROTIP: Mondrian Maker default thumbnail sizes on Steam Workshop are set to 1×1, but it can also accept 4:3.
The most exciting new tools in Mondrian Studio can be found in the Color Palette tab. Primary Color lets you choose any of the 12 colors included in Mondrian as the main color of your artwork. Color Harmony determines what secondary colors may dynamically generate across your creation. Scheme Width chooses how far around the backend color wheel the game is allowed to look for secondary colors. Max Brightness lets you granularly choose how bright your level will be. Finally, the Recolor Artwork fill bucket button takes the values you have selected in the sliders and instantly recolors your creation! Razer Chroma users will also notice their devices instantly update to match the new color harmony.
This tab lets you control the background behind your Mondrian Maker creation. The Image Name arrows let you scroll forward and back through subfolders in your Backgrounds folder to find the picture you want. The Style slider lets you choose between Full Color, One Color, and Black & White versions of your background image. Finally, Toggle BG Image lets you turn the background on and off entirely.
This tab lets you toggle the game’s VFX, same as in the Special Effects options menu. Each one has three settings: Default, On, and Off. Default sets the effect to however you have it in your Options. On turns the effect on, and Off turns the effect off. These sliders will not affect your actual Options selection.
PROTIP: Night Mode also changes the color of crop marks!
The final tab lets you capture your final image just how you want it. The Capture Size slider tells Mondrian Studio what area of the image to actually grab. Copy Image instantly copies the selected area of the picture to your Clipboard, giving you the chance to instantly paste it into your graphics software of choice for further work, onto a social media or image upload post, into a document, anywhere you can paste an image! Save Thumbnail saves a JPG of the selected area to your Thumbnails folder. After clicking this, you can immediately return to Mondrian Maker, click the Share button, and your Thumbnail will appear in the upload window, meaning your level is ready to hit Steam Workshop!
PROTIP #1: If you plan on editing your creation in external software, use the Copy function rather than the Save function. The Save function creates a medium quality JPG, while the Copy function grabs a full color image with no compression.
PROTIP #2: No matter how you save your image, the actual pixel size is under 1000px in both directions. If you plan on printing your creations, we’ve seen incredible results using AI upscalers. There are lots of free or inexpensive options out there so we recommend giving them a shot to gigantify your Mondrian artworks!
Future of Mondrian Studio
Mondrian Studio is now officially part of the live service future of Mondrian – Plastic Reality. This means we have every intention to continue its development, and will continue to fix bugs, and add both important and fun new features as time goes on (stickers, anyone?). This also means Mondrian Studio will be incorporated into our in-game event plans, and we hope to be able to run contests, implement more achievements, and even integrate Mondrian Studio with the Museum to help you display your creations to the fullest extent possible.
So now you are probably asking, “How much does this amazing suite of creative tools cost???” The answer is simple: Mondrian Studio, like Mondrian Maker, is available at no extra charge with every copy of Mondrian – Plastic Reality. Adding an extra financial barrier to getting your Mondrian creations online would never do us, or you, any favors. We believe in the power of creativity, and that Mondrian Studio has the opportunity to help artists streamline their creative process. Therefore, it’s imperative to also streamline getting Mondrian Studio in your hands ASAP.
That being said, if you want to see us continue to be able to build games that push the boundaries of what a game can be, we need your support. We are an independent development studio, unfunded, but passionate about what we do. Please consider buying the game on Steam, even on sale. You can visit our merch store to grab Mondrian-related t-shirts, prints, coffee mugs, and more. And for the very trendy, we have begun selling Mondrian NFTs on OpenSea, with our first collection being 200 dynamically generated Mona Lisas, all built using Mondrian Studio.
As always, thank you for your support, and thank you for playing! Can’t wait to see what you cook up Mondrian Maker and Mondrian Studio combined.