Krita 2.8 released with new tools and full Windows support
Krita, the ultimate weapon in the armoury of a Linux-based digital painter's, just got updated. New tools make it more interesting for creating game art, and full Windows support is a bit of a game changer.
For Krita, the last six months of work equal to an astonishing amount of new features, such as:
- Wrap Around mode to create seamless tiled textures from your current artwork ((use the W key, works in OpenGL mode only);
- Clone Array tool to create isometric tiles.
- New high-quality scaling mode for the OpenGL-based canvas.
- Picking a layer by pressing R and clicking on a feature from that layer.
- Configurable transparency visualization.
- New dockable dialog to manage color swatches.
- Easy expansion of canvas (deliberately not like in MyPaint, by users' request).
- Composition guides in the Crop tool.
Some of these features were requested and actively tested in production by Paul Geraskin who extensively used Krita to create art for SuperCity game played by over 4 mln of people.
Krita has an experimental implementation of a G'MIC plugin now as well, and that alone increases the amount of available effects by order of magnitude.
Additionally, during Google Summer of Code 2013 one of the students applied tons of fixes to existing filters (both UI and algorithms), added alpha channel to the Curves filter, improved the HSV filter and the Dodge/Burn filters, and implemented a whole new Color Balance filter.
You can find plenty more details about new features in official illustrated release notes (PDF).
Support for graphic tablets got a huge boost in Krita 2.8. Dmitry Kazakov wrote his own code to support Wacom and uclogic-based tablets instead of using buggy API from Qt.
As the result, these tablets just work on both Linux and Windows now. Various graphic tablets from Wacom and Huion have been tested, as well as built-in digitizers in laptops like the Lenovo Helix.
Krita on Windows
This new release makes Krita a fully supported Windows application, for the first time in two years of working on the port.
Additionally, Krita Sketch (new UI finetuned for tablets) that was a Windows-only feature is now available on Linux as well. At the same time, on Windows, the hybrid of classical Krita and Krita Sketch called Krita Gemini will be available through Valve's Steam.
Mac builds of Krita are still a work in progress. Making the app available on an operating system other than Linux involves doing extra work like stripping KDE libraries to a bare minimum like widgets, archive handling, plugin loading etc. Things will be easier when Krita starts using KDE frameworks which is expected to be a v3.0 feature (and there will be a v2.9 first)
Since last year KO GMBh provides commercial support for Krita which a few studios already use. The money is used on full-time development. If you feel like supporting development of Krita, you also have various options like donating or buying training DVDs.
The Krita team is currently discussing what features they will be focusing on in the next development cycle. As of now, two improvements are likely to make it to v2.9.
First of all, there have been some ongoing work by Boudewijn Rempt on multidocument interface support (MVC branch in Git). The idea is to create a flexible view model that supports image strips, a flipbook, tabs, and “classical” MDI windows. Boudewijn kindly shared a screenshot demonstrating MDI view mode:
Secondly, a group of students from Université de Toulouse led by Kévin Ottens is already working on support for brushpacks. This idea to create a simple file format for bundling and sharing sets of brushes betweens users and apps emerged last year during LGM in a discussion between developers of Krita, MyPaint, and GIMP (see our detailed coverage).
Work on the implementation of a animation, that started as another GSoC project, is still in progress, but it's going to take some some time to complete it. Meanwhile simplistic layer-based animation is being added to Krita by another contributor.