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Krita in 2018 and 2019 (krita.org)
258 points by emilsedgh 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

From 2004 to 2009, Krita was strongly focusing on being a generic image manipulation/painting application in the style of Photoshop or GIMP. Since 2009, the focus is squarely on painting: the Krita community aims to make Krita the best painting application for cartoonists, illustrators, and concept artists. -- https://krita.org/en/about/history/

I was a user when the Krita team focused on painting. I admit that I was among those disappointing at that time because I naively wanted Krita to become open source Photoshop. I thought they were making a mistake in the direction they took. I'm happy I was wrong about that.

In practice I never went away from GIMP for most Photoshop-like tasks. Which isn't a signal that GIMP is great, but that I grew used to its deficiencies many years ago. And it has gradually improved: It has single-window UI now, after all.

For the two very most common bitmap editing tasks(color remapping and selection-based edits) it's OK and it even boasts some fancy features these days. For drawing, it has a workable set of brushes and fills, though I think Krita is the better app here now. For graphic design things(typography, layout, layers of procedural effects) too many things still involve a slow, indirect workflow, but there are signs of this problem being chipped away at.

(The single best tip I have for GIMP is: get in the habit of using the "/" key quick search instead of using the dropdown menus)

Do you have tips for text manipulation? Whenever I make dumb memes it's a pain to move around text on GIMP.

Experiment with the move tool setting that moves the active layer rather than moving the layer you select with the move tool. This can be really helpful with text.

This one is more obvious maybe: I also found learning the keyboard shortcuts really useful when working on a web comic.

I personally prefer inkscape for working with text. It's imperfect, to be sure, but I like it a hell of a lot better than GIMP.

I liked the multi-window ui of Gimp.

I was soloing a 2D game just after those decisions you mention and hung out on #krita a bit during the period, as I was using it to paint the cut scenes etc...

I don't have anything but praise about level of thought that went into modelling the UI and considering different use-cases, by author(s) himself. Extremely open and inclusive (in the best sense of the word). These people know what they're doing and do it well.

This also shows the power of focus in marketing: it's much better, from a branding point of view, to be the best in a smaller market, than a "me too" in a bigger one.

It's not open source, but if you're still looking for something that isn't as much of a rip as Adobe is, have a look at Affinity (Mac and Windows, possibly WINE?). I've had to re-learn a bunch of Photoshop habits, but it has been worthwhile.

It might be a little off topic, but I'd like to share a project which its intent is of growing krita reach and community: Pepper and Carrot, a cutesy comic 100% open (libre) made 100% with krita.


Even translations are community driven :)

Disclosure: I'm just a reader of P&C, who found the comic not so long ago and fell in love with it!

Pepper and Carrot is created by David Revoy. He works pretty much exclusively with free and open source. He has done a number of projects with Blender as well. He's quite the exceptional artist, and his videos are lovely.

He has great time lapse videos using Krita on his Youtube channel -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr7OPBxh5_o

I really liked this update for a couple of reasons not related to my opinion of the software itself: 1) it seems focused on informing, not propaganda. They report the good and the bad, and those are the facts; too many announcements sound like press releases. 2) they're making a commitment to regular reporting and communication of this nature - I really like this in software companies/projects. 3) it's not really dumbed down. They discuss features but they also discuss how the software works behind the scene, and what they would like to change. It feels honest, and that makes them a more believable project. We're subconsciously taught to emphasize the good and deemphasize the bad, and that leads us down the path of half-truths and corporate speak. This project makes me want to back it, because they seem to be willing to be forthright in their communication with me.

Wow how have I never heard of this tool before? As a hobby digital artist I have even looked for something like Krita but never heard of it before seeing this post top of HN with no comments.

Does anyone who has been involved or kept track since earlier days have any insight into why this isn't more well known among the pantheon of digital illustration tools prescribed to budding artists? From the about page they've been around for a long time! I'd love to understand the market forces that were in play here.

I think the US software community doesn't pay a lot of attention to European software in general, and KDE especially. (As much as it's an international project, a lot of the developers seem to be centered on Europe, especially Germany)

It was born as a part of KDE Office Suite which hadn't wide usage. After community of Krita users grew rapidly (for an FOSS piece without marketing) it was separated from the bundle. Also a good boost was a publishing at Steam in the first month of their Software Store.

The Steam version is a nice way to sell open source software. It has an additional interface designed for tablets, which is open source, but the free builds from krita.org don't include it.

The current steam version is same as the free version, with steam version you get automatic update, The tablet version is Krita Gemini, i think it is the older version, i don't know if it is still on steam, as recently steam version was updated

It's also on the Windows/Microsoft Store which means I get auto-updates.

> rom the about page they've been around for a long time! I'd love to understand the market forces that were in play here.

There are a lot of negative people, and some people just want a magical dropin replacement one to one clone to the proprietary software, they dismiss new comer and opensource tools like these, However things are changing as more and more people are doing art with krita and it is spreading gradually.

> I'd love to understand the market forces that were in play here.

the main market force is people on forums saying stuff like "the icons and menus aren't exactly those of Adobe Photoshop so it is literally unuseable"

I discovered it through this comic a few years ago: https://www.peppercarrot.com/

For some reason it isn't as "standard" as Gimp.

I've heard that Krita is the favorite tool for a lot of indie game designers out there.

Do you know about Gimp, Blender and Inkspace ?

Yes, I am familiar with those. I primarily use Gimp for 2D art with flexible import/export options, and long lamented the lack of a comparable open source/budget competitor since it's markedly less good compared to Photoshop, and Inkscape is very specialized in vector graphics. I'll be spending some with Krita this weekend to see if my excitement is warranted, but seems like there's a vibrant community using this for a while.

If you're on Mac or Windows, Affinity Photo is a pretty good Photoshop alternative for 50 USD. Iirc there's wording about paying for major version upgrades (eg 1.x to 2.0), but for Affinity Designer (their Illustrator equivalent) they've been on v1.x for over 4 years now.

If you don't want to use GIMP/Krita/Photoshop, Pixelmator (Pro) is a good, cheap image manipulator program for Mac. IIRC it costs 30 EUR. I haven't used it much nor for advanced stuff but I find it intuitive, easy, and a fair price.

For what it's worth, I'm in the same boat as you. I've been Linux-only on the desktop since 2003, have a five-digit Slashdot ID, and read reddit and Hacker News daily for a decade.

Yet I had _literally_ never heard of Krita until last year; I was trying to figure out how to edit an image for work using my work-provided MacBook Pro and my boss said "I always use Krita."

Something something XKCD 10,000. https://xkcd.com/1053/

I'm in similar situation, and I have been doing digital painting since the 90s. I found out about Krita about a year and a half ago. Maybe I had heard about it before and forgot or ignored it. It is definitely a formidable alternative to Photoshop for painters and some may find it better at certain tasks and workflows.

I haven't used Blender in a long time, but from what I've seen they've progressed by leaps and bounds too, and many prefer artists prefer it to the commercial alternatives. Solid evidence that open source software can rival or exceed commercial projects for the things that require user friendly UXs.

Tried Krita for the first time recently and was really pleasantly surprised!

It's very stable and very polished, and really intuitive to use. Out of all the open source graphics/image editing tools, it is definitely my favourite now. It rivals or even surpasses its proprietary competitors in both features _and_ usability, which is no small feat.

I use Krita "full time" (as in, quite often, it's not my job) for painting. It really is amazing for digital painting (with a graphic tablet), I definitely prefer it to Photoshop (and others) for painting.

However in other areas it's a bit lacking (vector graphics, and anything beyond simple-ish image manipulation).

A huge thanks to David Revoy who releases his "source files" and brush kits, they are tremendously helpful in terms of studying techniques he uses, and the brushes are simply and increase productivity a lot.

(edit: formatting/typos)

Lots of good stuff in this release, but the one thing that gets me real excited is HDR support. It really is a world of difference both authoring and experiencing HDR content, and sadly a lot of HDR content is quite bad conversions from SDR. What's even more exciting is this nugget of gold:

> We want to make sure that the support for HDR visuals becomes part of Qt itself, so other applications can follow.

I love it!

I'm really glad that they are doing great and I'm really happy to find a payment gateway that seems great! I had never heard of Mollie[1] and I look forward to using it! I noticed that it's a bit of a struggle to find the right one.

[1] https://www.mollie.com/en/

How did you get from drawing software to payment gateways?

From the KDE mailing list that it's linked[1] where the article mentions why they didn't go with Kickstarter


It seems like Krita uses that one: https://krita.org/en/donation-analytics/

It's not mentioned on the Donate page itself though, so I'm not sure how they found that out in the first place.

Use the source, Luke!

Looks like the donation form uses Mollie.

Hopefully GIMP 3 on GTK+ 3 next year too.

I wish there was an iPad version for this.

Not sure an ipad version could be possible, because of how the apple store and the gpl are incompatible.

Right, the GP comment should be: "I wish there were an iPad-quality tablet that ran GNU/Linux" (which I too wish for)

End users can compile iOS apps from source and install them without paying the developer fee. It could be distributed as source.

They would have to rebuild (re-sign) and reinstall weekly. The opposite of Just Works.

if you use krita for painting, artstudio pro is a pretty good alternative. i've found it does pretty much everything i'd want out of photoshop & also has .abr support. the biggest downside so far is that it eats through battery much faster than any other ios application i've tried.

Well in their GSoC ideas there is an idea to make Krita work for Android/iOS

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