Week recap — 2 March 2020

Week recap — 2 March 2020

Highlights: major releases by Blender, MyPaint, GIMP, and MusE teams, coding sprint by Krita devs, first release candidate of Dust3D v1.0, new release of Shotcut, major changes in Olive and enve.


Graphics

Let’s start with major news. MyPaint 2.0.0 is finally out after several years of work. It’s now maintained by a whole new team that stepped up when there was no maintainer in the project anymore. They didn’t come empty-handed either. Here are some of the new features:

  • Linear compositing and spectral blending (the Pigment blending mode to emulate the use of traditional media
  • New brush settings and input dynamics (attack angle, barrel rotation from Wacom Art Pen etc.)
  • 5 new symmetry painting modes
  • New options in the floodfill tool, including offset, feathering, and gap detection

See here for release notes, and here is a nice video by Gamesfromscratch.

GIMP 2.10.18 was released with multiple UX improvements, faster Photoshop brushes loading, a new 3D Transform tool, and more. I already covered the release extensively in a video (full transcript available), no need to repeat everything.

By the way, if you use the MyPaint Brush tool in GIMP, check out this brush pack by SenlinOS, made specifically for GIMP 2.10.

The Krita team had another coding sprint in Deventer, this time without Dmitry Kazakov who is, theoretically, on paternity leave. He still pushes lots of fixes and even some new features like the Ratio, Airbrush, and Rate options for the Color Smudge brush.

Meanwhile, Ivan Yossi, Agata Cacko, and Boudwijn Rempt worked hard on the resources management branch, and L. E. Segovia pushed quite a few fixes all around in the master branch. Another new interesting feature, splitting layer into local selection masks based on color, comes from Saurabh Kumar.

Just van Rossum announced FontGoggles, a new open source (Apache License 2.0) font viewer for macOS, with development sponsored by Google. He says, 99% is written in Python, so it should be portable to other systems.

Meanwhile, development of FontForge might be stuck to a certain degree. Frederick Brennan, one of the most active contributors to the project, left Manila in a hurry after a warrant for his arrest was issued. This appears to be the result of his most recent feud with Jim Watkins, current owner of 8kun (formerly 8chan). Libel is a criminal offence in the Philippines, and while fleeing from arrest doesn’t seem like a good idea generally, Frederick is severely disabled, and the sentence for the offense could be up to 12 years. See the coverage by Vice for more info.

Animation

Morevna project released their build of OpenToonz 1.4.0 for Linux, Windows, and macOS. It comes with a few extras, namely, Krita-like drawing assistants and advanced color selector (both submitted to the upstream OpenToonz project). It also doesn't come with DSLR support that the upstream project has.

Maurycy Liebner introduced a ton of changes to enve. Some of the changes are:

  • libmypaint 1.5.0 support with support for paint modes (erase, lock alpha, colorize)
  • support for moving and cropping the paint canvas
  • support for creating paint objects from image objects
  • importing of ORA (OpenRaster) and KRA (Krita) files, linking of SVG files
  • memory handling improvements

 

Jose Moreno created a new onion skin panel for Pencil 2D.

New onion skin panel in Pencil2D

3D

Blender 2.82 was released. Major new features are:

  • New physically-based liquid/gas simulation system using Mantaflow and improvements in cloth physics.
  • New FLIP solver to create lifelike liquids
  • UDIM, the popular tiled-based UV mapping system, now fully integrated in Blender’s pipeline.
  • Pixar USD exporting
  • Various Cycles improvements

See here for release notes, and here is a quick video review:

The Cloth sculpting brush has been merged to future Blender 2.83.

Dust3D 1.0rc1 is out with a new rig generator, remeshing using instant meshes by Wenzel Jakob, a cloth simulating system based on Samer Itani’s FastMassSpring implementation, and more.

Dust3D 1.0rc1

SHADERed 1.3.0, a free shader editor (as is easy to guess right), was released with a bunch of new features, here are some of them:

  • Shader debugger
  • Plugin API
  • Multisample anti-aliasing support
  • Optional supersampling when rendering to an image file

And here is an older video intro to the project:

CAD

One project I completely forgot to mention in the previous recap is Horizon, a free electronic design automation package. After two years in development, v1.0.0 was out in late January. I’m not really qualified to give any opinion on this, but it looks interesting enough.

Horizon EDA 1.0

Horizon is designed as an end-to-end solution. Quick list of features supported so far:

  • Complete design flow from schematic entry to gerber export
  • Lobrary (pool) management
  • Netlist-aware schematic editor
  • Unified editor for everything from symbol to board
  • Rule-based DRC
  • Hardware accelerated visualisation

The fun part about the project is that it doesn’t reinvent everything from scratch but rather reuses good code from other projects. E.g. it uses KiCad's interactive router, QCAD’s dxflib, and more projects.

There’s a Windows installer available, as well as a somewhat outdated flatpak build.

You can watch the talk by its developer, Lukas Kramer, at the latest FOSDEM.

Video

I know I probably bore you with changes in Olive, especially since version 0.2.0 is probably not going to be released any time soon. Heck, some people take this as a sign that the project is not doing well. Strangely enough, Matt is, on the contrary, very much active. Here are some of the changes that landed to Olive over the past couple of weeks:

  • Complete memory management rewrite
  • Functional exporting
  • Uniform scale functional again
  • A lot of plumbing and bugfixing
  • Automatic creation of a sequence from footage is now back
  • Work towards OSL as a renderer

People have been giving Olive some stress testing with 2+ hours of real live footage lately, and after some bug fixes it’s behaving well. It’s going to take a while to complete the rewrite and make a release though.

Dan Dennedy released Shotcut v20.02.17. I mentioned most of the changes in past recaps already, but here is a quick summary:

  • New Preview Scaling option for the monitor
  • New Vectorscope analysis tool
  • Pitch audio filter
  • More exporting presets

Screencasting in GNOME on Wayland is getting better thanks to Georges Stavracas and recent changes in PipeWire (yes, that project is very much alive and kicking). It’s likely that the next release of GNOME will have little CPU carnage when recording your screen.

Music

Just as usual, a lot of improvements and internal rewrites in Ardour. One recent change that stands out is the initial websocket control surface support. Basically, you would be able to control the DAW via your web browser of choice (or tablet?). Exciting stuff!

I know I don’t follow projects like MusE, Rosegarden, and Qtractor as closely as I probably should, but here is some news: Robert Jonsson released MusE 3.1. The MIDI sequencer got its fair share of updates:

  • MidNam support in LV2
  • A ton of fixes for LV2, LADSPA, DSSI, VST support
  • Various UI improvements including better support for HiDPI

Robert also mentions that two major new features, realtime time-stretch and latency compensation. turned out to be problematic, so more fixes need to be applied before he can recommend them. See here for release notes and downloads.

Tutorials

Chris Hildenbrand recently started revamping his old Inkscape tutorials for 2D game design and making new ones. This one is on bows and arrows.

Chris Hildenbrand, bow and arrow, Inkscape

Recent new GIMP tutorial by Davies Media Design:

New Siril tutorial on pre-processing astrophotography images:

New painting timelapse with Krita, by Den Jay. No photo reference in sight either:

And just because vector tools in Krita don’t get a lot of attention on YT, here is another speedpainting, this time by Proton Kid:

Steve Lund, the master of 1-minute Blender tutorials, strikes again.

Artworks

Taoro, by Philipp Urlich, painted with Krita:

Taoro, by Philipp Urlich, Krita

Some new concept art by Everette Arkitect Brown, made with Krita:

new concept art by Everette Arkitect Brown, Krita

‘Fro Bro’, by Sen Ebert, made with Inkscape:

Fro Bro, by Sven Ebertm Inkscape

Farmhouse kitchen render made with Blender, by clayton.95:

Farmhouse kitchen render, by clayton.95, Blender

Steampunk airship by MillionthVector:

Steampunk airship, by MillionthVector, Blender

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