Why I'm using 100% Open-source ?

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I decided to write a blog post to silence the rare but existing gossips saying I'm using 100% open-source workflow because I'm ... ... a poor artist (¬_¬)

It's wrong: I use open-source since 2009 as a personal choice. Let me tell you, how and why it did happen. (and sorry in advance for my english)

photo : I'm moving soon, and while I'm cleaning, I found in the bottom of my bookshelves my old software licenses. Probably more than 3000€ of software here. I took a quick photo on the ground to keep a souvenir.

Back in the day...

Before using open-source, I was strict on buying every licenses I needed for my freelance activities. I started with the Photoshop Element 2.0 boxed with my first Graphire Wacom tablet, but also Gimp 2.2, Artrage Free edition and Artweaver. I did a lot of artworks like that and was happy. I didn't wanted to install hacked/pirated full version, even if a whole part of internet is encouraging into this practice...

With the years, and commissions, I had to buy Photoshop CS2 for my publishers as a requirement to send CMYK illustrations. 799€ for a feature, that was hard, but at this time, no alternative or open-source software could do it (nowaday, there is 2 tools available: 'CMYKtools', 'Krita' ).

Then with the years, I purchased other Softwares; as Corel Painter, or Manga Studio, and won also many other ( not on the photo ) into contests.

Then happened the bad experience... I bought a new computer, delivered with the shiny new Windows Vista operating system, and discovered I couldn't reinstall Xp on it; the motherboard didn't had a driver made for it. I had to do a lot of horrible hack to make all my software running on it, but it wasn't stable as it was on Xp anymore. I had to reboot almost twice a day (╯︵╰,) .

So, I decided to sell this Vista computer, and bought back one of the last machine existing in shop delivered with XP to run smoothly my software.

Oh; a solution existed to make all the software running bug-free on Vista; update pack. It was expensive, and also not bringing any new relevant features other than just being Vista compatible.

So, I thought all of this circus couldn't work on long term, and wasn't happy. On the new computer, the Linux compatibility was near perfection and it was a luck back in 2008 for my early Linux dual boot test. So, I had a successful dual boot with Linux Mint and could pull my hair learning the hard way: compiling Wacom driver, modifying Xorg, doing Xsetwacom script (all a joy you don't have to normally do now on Nowaday Linux distribution). Yes, at this time, having a Wacom was really hard to manage, and I had a small Cintiq 12Wx...

Then came the Sintel open-movie project and my involvement in it as an art-director. Doing pre-productions artworks with open-source wasn't forced by the Blender Foundation (even if warmly encouraged, of course). But again, I made the personal choice to persevere with what existed about 2D. I started to test everything to find a workflow using Mypaint and Gimp-painter ; later documented into my first DVD Chaos&Evolution.

So, I switched my machine to a full open-source system around 2009, and decided to keep it at the end of the project when came back home with this thinking, "open-source could work on the long term". But let be honest: my change to open-source made a regression on my workflow about many topic ( features, performances, easiness ) and I kept Photoshop Cs2 running on Wine for a long period to deal with CMYK and files from publisher.

Time passed, as well as hundreds of bug reports, meetings, thousands of commits done by dedicated and passionate developers from all around the world. Mypaint, Krita, Gimp, G'mic and Linux system way to handle Wacom tablets changed a lot and are nowadays way easier, performant and featured than back 2008. And most of all : I really like the independence I get about it : I can install it on laptops, every machine, upgrade, downgrade, fine tuning it. This independence is gold. The con ; I'm now dependent of hardware 'linux' compatible. Witch is not easy to find, and not well documented...

Am I happy about this personal choice ? Yes :-) and I can without any remorse put my old software license in a box for long term storage, just to show to my (hypothetic and not yet existing) grant-children what were... the proprietary 2D software I started with. And you, why are you using mostly open-source ?

License: "Why I'm using 100% Open-source ?" by David Revoy − CC-BY 4.0
Tags:  #article  #libre   | Download: Markdown


link Ret Samys  

You were part of the Sintel team? Cool.

I use open source because I want to try out things all the time. I can't afford to buy a license for hundreds of money units every time I want to try it out - sometimes, I need months to realise that this is not what I'm looking for. Buying a new program several times a year is expensive.

link Konstantin  

The best thing about free software is that if I don't like something then I always can change it. With free software no one can dictate me the strategy and I can be sure that I will be able to open my past (archive) files tomorrow. So, yes, it's about independence. And about long-term planning also. ^__^

link Duncan  

Great post. Thanks. I really would like to use OS for everything I do in my studio, but client requests mean that I still have Adobe on one of the studio computers.

Having said that, I have a few studio projects that are done partly as promotion pieces, partly as I have to get that great idea out of my head, and for these, where possible, I use OS software.

Now, if only there was a decent solid modeller out there in the OS world...

link malaynightheron  

Be-because... It's FREE! :D

And yeah, I hate pirate stuff as well, the only reason keeps me using Micro$oft Windows is gaming...
But now even steam start supporting Linux, let's wait a few year to see if there will be any room left to Windows in my room... it may be dark though.

link Victor F. Oliveira  

That's cool!
I study Graphic Design in a very expensive college. We use Macs and expensive softwares there. Everyone I know use pirate version of them, and people argue about which one's best - Mac OS, Windows... Everyone adore Adobe products and see no other options for working.

I just got mad about all this. Also, I'm just a student, I can't afford such expensive softwares, even because everything is really expensive where I live. I didn't like Windows much, I couldn't afford to buy Apple computers (even though I find them overrated nowadays), so one day I saw a timelapse drawing on youtube from you (David) and I found out that you used Linux and open-source softwares only. So then I could see I didn't need expensive OS or softwares to make a nice work. So I started using GIMP, MyPaint and Krita on Windows, then I finally switched to Linux Ubuntu. Everything is going awesome now. No Windows nor Mac, no piracy of softwares.

link inkey  

Pourquoi j'utilise surtout des logiciels libres, vaste question.

En fait, j'ai longtemps utilisé des logiciel pas vraiment légaux d'infographie. C'est surtout due au fait que je me suis interressé à la chose grâce au net. J'ai découvert une communauté sur le sujet, crystalxp(qui est maintenant presque moribonde =| ) et les logiciels propriétaires payant était les logiciels que la plupart utilisait et donc pour lequels il y avait le plus de tutoriels en tout genres.
Et j'avais vraiment pas spécialement de conscience au sujet des licences à l'époque, même si je persiste à penser maintenant que ce que j'ai fait n'était pas spécialement «mal» (je n'aurait jamais été capable de payer les logiciels, je vois donc difficilement la perte de profit).
Et puis j'ai découvert, peu à peu, Gnu/linux , la notion de logiciel libre, et tout ce qui va avec. J'ai beaucoup apprécier le principe et de fait pour raison éthique et technique (logiciel pas compatible linux), je me suis débarrasser de ces logiciel.

C'est beaucoup plus agréable en fait, je trouve , ce principe de partage. De savoir qu'on peut passer le logiciel à autrui de façon légale, qu'on peut si on à les moyen ajouter sa petites pierre , plutôt que l'échange marchand standard , souvent pas franchement très humain :/ .

J'ai donc découvert les alternatives et j'avoue qu'elle sont franchement pas mauvaises.J'en profite d'ailleurs pour vous remercier d'avoir contribué à me faire découvrir ce logiciel sublime qu'est mypaint :o .

Bref maintenant, j'utilise du libre essentiellement (j'ai même viré un driver graphique pas libre et flashplayer, qui est de moins en moins utile) et j'utilise les logiciels privateurs(clin d'oeil à un barbu) que en tant que console de jeux.
J'éspère d'ailleurs que le système fera un jour en sorte que faire du jeu libre soit bien plus viable, parce que quand on voit la capacité des joueurs à créer des communautés, à faire des mods, des maps, des skins quand le jeu le permet, on imagine le potentiel si le code était libre.

Autrement une des raisons qui me pousse maintenant vraiment à utiliser du libre est le format, j'ai pas mal de vieux fichiers provenant de logiciel non libre plus vraiment lisible =( .

link Brett McCoy  

I've been using Linux since 1996 or so, and discovered Gimp in 1997 or 1998 and have been using it ever since. I've played around with Photoshop and Painter (on Windows) but didn't care for them much and didn't use them for long. So use mainly Gimp and MyPaint (and sometimes Krita) these days. Using these, I have a good selection of tools for digital artwork creation and they are as good as any commercial software.

I do use some commercial software like 3D-Coat (similar to ZBrush) and TVPaint (animation software). TVPaint I love especially, it's fantastic animation software and the developers at TVPaint brag that the Linux version is the fastest and most stable version. I am guessing I am the only one using the Linux version, too, going by the discussion on the TVPaint forum.

I started using LightWorks yesterday also, for video editing, and am pretty impressed with it -- performance-wise it runs rings around kdenlive. I also run ToonBoom Animate Pro via Wine (as it is not native for Linux), it's a good vector animation package and far superior to Flash or open source apps like Synfig.

I also use Linux for semi-professional audio work (like film scoring), and use mostly open source software (primarily Ardour3 and Mixbus, the latter of which is a commercial version of Ardour). I use some Windows sample libraries because there just isn't much on Linux that comes close to what is available for the Kontakt sample player. If they port Kontakt to Linux, I will the first to sign up.

link Mark T  

Super article, David, with echoes of my own experience in learning Open Source graphics software.

I've used Illustrator and Photoshop while learning Graphic Design at college and just never took to them - I always felt like I was producing the work Adobe wanted me to, by forcing me to use their methods and processes, rather than my own.

I particularly like your illustration of the tree being watered with love; if you don't love the design tools you're using, it takes the fun right out of it. It's that love for GIMP and Inkscape that brought about my tutorial blog, in fact.

link Mery Alison Thompson  

In my case I'm a college student and all my little money goes there and the result is that I'm a poor artist XDDDD
Since 2010 I use open source software thanks to my boyfriend because he introduce me to use My Paint, Gimp, Krita as a option to be a illustrator without buy expensive license and my wallet is very thankful XDDDD

link pasa  

learning and talent makes the difference !

you can have oustdanding result with open soft, if your encline to learn it

link Alexandre Prokoudine  

Oh come now, dumping TVP? And what would you substitute it with? :)

link La Mère Zaclys  

L'open source c'est plus profond que ça encore. C'est toute une philosophie qui contribue au bien être, à travers des valeurs de partage et d'entraide. C'est un réconfort inestimable dans un monde où nous sommes perpétuellement agressés par des sociétés qui ne jurent que par la croissance de leurs bénéfices. L'univers open source est un cocon douillet qui nous préserve de la folie engendrée par la société de consommation. Et c'est avec beaucoup de joie que nous constatons que ce modèle open source s'étend hors du monde informatique, pour s'appliquer au monde "réel" à travers des initiatives telles que les hacklabs. L'open source, c'est l'avenir !

link todor  

I chose open source, because it is more exciting than closed source. When on windows I feel like I am in a city, full of strangers- things I dont ever use or understand using my computer's resources - things run slow.
If you get in trouble, it breaks- it's like being mugged on the street and nobody is doing anything to help you. You lose everything- 99% of the time you need to reinstal the entire thing, as the error message is an obscure binary code jibber jabber that only a microsoft employee can debug with proprietary tools. :o.
Life is lonely and unhealthy.

When using linux, I feel like I am on my own tropical island. Sometimes you have to fight with strange creatures to earn your food, but when you do it's so natural and good that it was all worth the fight. You know exactly whats on your computer as it is open and well documented - it's optimized and runs as fast as possible. If something gets broken, google 99% of the time knows the answer to the fix, as it is a transparent problem that others have encountered, documented and resolved. People help each other and you get help pretty quick. There is a good community.

Alexandre Prokoudine has a good point though. Linux still has not one traditional animation package thats is even half decent :P

TVP has a linux version but it aint open source and it aint cheap.

link Nicolas Charmel  

Sometimes, when it's hard to find a job, and I look at the opportunities full of " Photoshop, illustrator and After Effect required", I really feel alone.
Your post and the comments confort me thinking I'm right to believe one can be a good CG artist even if one refuse Adobe's hegemony and windows insecurity.

That's something nobody told among good reasons to use open-source : No more little windows saying " Blender ( or photoshop or after effect) has encountered a problem and must be closed !!"
With time and experience, workflow is much improved by working on linux.

Des fois quand je galère à trouver du taf, que je voie les annonces passer avec leurs "Photoshop, illustrator, AfterEffect, imperatif!!", je me sens vraiment seul.

Votre article et les commentaires ci-dessus me donnent enfin le sentiment que j'ai raison de penser qu'on doit pouvoir être un bon infographiste même si on refuse l'hégémonie Adobe et l'insécurité Windows.

Car c'est aussi quelque chose qui n'a pas été cité par mi les bonnes raisons de l'OpenSource : Finie la petite fenêtre, au beau milieu d'un bon gros et long travail en cours, qui dit " Blender ( ou justement After Effect ou photoshop ) a rencontré un problème et doit fermer !!"
et ceci bien sûr juste avant d'avoir pu sauver les dernières grosses modifs, les plus importantes les plus difficiles à mettre en place, peut-être les plus gourmandes en ressource.

Avec le temps et l'experience, on gagne enormément de temps et d'énergie à travailler sur un système Linux.

link Giovanny Arce  

Your English is really good, really cool to read this, I remember back in the days how hard it was to have my wacom running and also both monitors, I remember seen you in at the chats talking how to map both monitors, it was a nightmare. But thanks to your help and many other artists, all this have become a dream come true, been a happy artist inside linux. I'm glad to have you in the linux community, you are a wonderfull artist. Keep it up, and thanks for your help all these years.

link Milan  

It comes down its not in the software, its in the user :)
I use Blender and Gimp for most of my work, i made a switch back in 2010 (before i use 3ds max and Ps).

link David Revoy Author,

Thanks everybody for the answers, I was really surprised and it was really cool to read all feedback.
I feel less alone :-)

@Ret Samys : Yes about Sintel :-) I proudly designed her and all universe around with the help of all the talented artists on the team and comments of the community. It was probably the most organic design project I participated.
And I totally agree about the too frequent updates , with expensive side effect. Even more if an artist use multiple proprietaries tools.

@Konstantin : Oh, true ! I forgot to speak about the standard files. It's really important, and I love this. I also like files like *.ora where Gimp/Krita/Mypaint/Calligraconverter/Pinta can read it, it ensure me to can open them in probably 10 years.

@Duncan : Thanks, and cool portfolio. I can easy understand in regards to your creation the needs of a computer with a Adobe Creative Suite on it. If I had to run a studio in the 'print' industry right now , I would probably choose this way also.
I had so much case where clients requested indesign desktop publishing , or CMYK *.ai , or complex webdesign with PSD and layer effects , with editable title with a lot of effect on the top ; sort of template.
You speak about 'solid modeller' in your comment, is it about sort of autoCAD product ?

@malaynightheron : Gaming is a good excuse :-) I understand it easily. I'm a Portal fan. I bought the 2nd one on Valve market on Linux and spent night to make it run ( unstable of course ) on Wine. But even with crashes / bad laggy audio / and a lot of crap, I could play it and finish it ; but I never was able again to resintall it after. Frustrating ! I have a lot of hope about Steam on Linux too. :-)

@Victor F. Oliveira : Thanks! Didn't knew my timelapse could have influence like this. Oh waw, about your college ; I send you a lot of encouragement because I know it's hard to use different tools when working with a group of poeple sharing/talking/using other tools all the time.

@inkey : CrystalXP :) je me souviens. Des icones et des thèmes de tuerie pour Xp. Par quoi remplace tu le Flash player ? je suis intérréssé. Totalement d'accord pour les jeux, ça me fait un pincement au coeur quand je vois tant de development, d'idée et de addons fait communeautairement , gratuit et libre ... ... pour un jeu proprio.
Idem, je comprends pour les vieux fichiers. Dans mon déménagement actuel, je jette à la pelle des fichiers que je faisais avec la suite 'Serif' des Serif Page Plus, mes fichier Publishers, Claris , etc...

@Brett McCoy : Hey Brett !
Oh yes, I like also the idea of mixing proprietary software and open-source , if they run on Linux.
True, 3DCoat and TVpaint are really good tools without any open-source alternative ( back in the time, I was even a Tvpaint beta tester , I came from Mirage ). A luck for me I don't work into 3D sculpting or 2D animation. Open-source is so a desert about it. Well, a bit similar as how was 2D in 2008.
Cool to have your feedback about Lightworks , I'll try. :-)

@Mark T : Oh, cool graphic tutorial on your blog ; http://www.designmarkgraphics.co.uk/blog/

@Mery Alison Thompson : hey Mery ! Cool, I didn't saw many artworks from you lately , I hope everything is fine ( or maybe it's my abonnements who don't update well to see your new pieces :-) )

@pasa : Sure ! learning is the key.

@Alexandre Prokoudine : Unfortunately, no software can do what TVP paint is able too. I was a volunteer beta tester at Tvpaint back in 2006/2007 ; very warm and nice team. I used TVpaint only for pure 2D painting ; TVPaint is still from all my test the fastest and more performant 2D engine for painting ever made on earth. With machine from this time I could go crazy with layer and project size , and have no slow down. I didn't opened it since this time, I guess it should litteraly flys on a icore7.

@La Mère Zaclys : Je suis d'accord :-)

@todor : Oh true, Googling about a issue is really useful ; I solved many ( if not hundreds ) of little install problem with this. Precious. Same for documentation.

@Nicolas Charmel : Awww, I so much understand for " Photoshop, illustrator and After Effect required" ; back in my first years of freelancing when I was struggling, I was so envious about that... How to learn them if I can't buy them ? Should I download the 30 day trial version and learn all in 30days to get a job ? It was make me really sick.
Cool demo-real btw. ;-)

@Giovanny Arce : Hey Giovanny ! Thanks for the english ; I'm really not confident about it and your comment really give me energy to answer longer.
Oh yes, those xsetwacom scripts and changes at each linux kernel back in the day made crazy. 100% of all documentation effort on every Wiki I know decided to not update. 3 times all the codes changed each 6 month, ruinning all the previous documentation. That's why it's still hard to find good Wacom documentation on Linux nowaday, but things are improving.

@Milan : Oh cool switch !

link Inkey  

@David REVOY :
Pour ce qui est de flashplayer . La situation est la suivante :

- Les technologie équivalente (svg,html5, javascript) sont crédible et de plus en plus souvent mise en avant. Pas mal de vidéos sur youtube (souvent les plus récentes, les plus connu) se charge très bien en html5 si on pense à aller ici :
Il est probable que pour les vidéos, le html5 devienne bientôt le standard (avec notament l'iphone/ipad qui gère pas le flash ça aide) .

- Les flashplayer like libre (gnash, lightspark) sont plus ou moins efficace, je connais assez mal le sujet mais je crois qu'il s'en sortent souvent assez bien pour ce qui est des animations (a vérifier) parcontre j'ai jamais réussi à lire correctement une vidéo avec gnash…

-La solution que j'utilise pour me passer de flash.
En fait j'ai juste besoin de flash pour les vidéos sur des «gros sites», alors ma solution c'est de passer par clive (ou cclive) , tu tape dans le terminal: clive urldelavideo, il te la télécharge (y'a des options aussi pour la qualité,etc…). Tu alors la lire quand tu veux (même si c'est pas fini) avec ton lecteur préféré. L'avantage indéniable, c'est que si la vidéo te plait, que tu veux la revoir,etc… pas besoin de la retélécharger 3600 fois en mémoire. Le défault c'est que c'est un peu plus compliqué et que faut mieux un système récent à jour (pas une debian stable quoi :lol: ), les sites ont la facheuse tendance à changer régulièrement leur système rendant clive inopérant . :/

link sketch  

Advertising and abusive manipulation of free software.
two people
as usual

link Duncan  

<a href="http://www.davidrevoy.com/article170/the-choice-of-open-source#c1367586302-1">@david</a>: That's right, like AutoCAD. I've used Rhino3D (Which is amazing, but Blender is pretty close to this) and SolidWorks (which is huge, complicated and expensive).

The nearest Open Source equivalent is <a href="http://brlcad.org/">BRL-CAD</a> and that has a little while to go.

link Kaze  

Really interesting post.

I'm primarily a Windows user (because I'm lazy :V and also game a lot) and the two art software I use the most are pay-for, but made by good developers who are not jerks like Adobe, those are ArtRage and Paint Tool SAI. The main benefit of open-source software to me is because it's free, and I also use things like Inkscape for vector art and I'm trying to teach myself Blender.

I started experimenting with Krita and while I like some features, the brush engine is entirely lost on me. I guess it's supposed to be powerful and it probably works great for people who know their way around it but I just end up using the default brushes it comes with.

And I don't really have problems with piracy in general, though I respect that it's something other people might not be comfortable with. When I started advertising commissions, I bought SAI legally though, since I was hoping it'd be an investment. (That has yet to happen but I am not very good anyway so it's not like I expected much.) Everything else since then has been open-source.

Actually found out about your site while looking at how people use Krita on Youtube.

link Wesley  

More simple than that. If you can't make good artwork with a simple pen and paper no matter what software you use will be useless. By the way NO ONE CARE in this industry. NO ONE.

Good job david.People needs toreally understand it doesn't matter at all. It's like the mac vs pc kind of stuff.

Plus simple que cela. Si vous ne pouvez pas creer du bon taff avec juste un crayon et une feuille de papier aucun logiciel ne vous aidera et 'lindustrie du concept art et illustration SE MOQUE COMPLETEMENT de l'outil utilise seul l'image final compte.

Bon travail David franchement il est temps que les gens comprennent quoi.C'est comme la baston mac vs pc.

Enfin bref bon taff et merci de nous avoir fait decrouvrir le monde du libre graphic.

link Nik  

I use GIMP and MyPaint for fun mostly, while they're amazing I'm not completely fluent in them as I am in Photoshop unfortunately. The brush engine in PS in particular is something I can't live without whenever doing serious work.

That being said I love the free stuff. It's always improving and soon there will not be a reason for me to use PS. I have utmost respect for you for using the free OSS packages and teaching us so much.

Who said you're a bad artist? I follow you for your art, only later did I realize the extra caveat that you use free OSS.

link Wray Bowling  

With Adobe announcing Creative Cloud this week, I decided to re-read this article and use it as a way to explain to others how I feel about it. The pirating thing I did when I was in high school and never publicly admitted about doing it, but these days it really gets under my skin and I don't like doing it. Programs like Adobe's also started getting a lot of features that were obviously being added by employees that were trying to keep their jobs -- the 3D brush stuff is really unnecessary. Volumetric slices are unnecessary. Importing 3D models is really unnecessary. There's no way to get the new photoshop without those features -- they're going to waste your hard drive space whether you like it or not. SOme of that wasted space is going to be the thing that enforces their DRM. I just got so tired of all that crap. Blender was only 10MB in 2003 and did a lot of the things I wanted to do for 3D. I look to you pretty often, David, when I'm thinking about how and when I will drop Photoshop too. One day it's going to happen, and I think that this creative cloud nonsense might gain the OSS crew a lot of new names and faces. People who are now asking themselves "If I have to change the way I pay, I wonder if I should be paying at all. And what am I really paying for? Is it necessarily better? I wonder if there's another way."

link cryx  

Hi david, I subscribe everything you wrote in your post, and I report it to BOSTO that produce a promising display graphic tablet that is compatible with ubuntu 13.04 "out of the box". I am waiting for news from BOSTO to understand "how to" setup it properly (express keys, calibration, etc.). I'm still searching a valid alternatives to cintiq (we had a mail discussion some weeks ago).

Your job is amazing and interesting.

link Xianli  

Ah, you use MyPaint too - I've finally found someone!
I find the switching between different programs problem a bit annoying too - but I find the benefits outweigh the setbacks. I mainly use MyPaint and touch up the finished picture on GIMP.

Glad to see something like this, keep up with the epic artwork!

link Enrico  

I love open source, I love collaborate and, for me, there's no other choice!
You are great!

link James Jackaman  

Hi David,
Although I am Mac based I am impressed by the open source software available, and it's ability top compete with "professional" software. I use Blender on a daily basis, and I am slowly switching from Photoshop CS4 to Gimp and Illustrator to inkscape. I would actually like to move over to linux but until Unity 3D game engine is supported and there is a good replacement for InDesign, I will stick to my trusted Mac. I have a old PC based machine running Mint to test with and it seems quite comfortable :) I love your work and find inspiration in what you do. Keep up the good work.

link Ramon Miranda  

What a nice post!
Well i am going to try to be simple in my answer.
I use open source because
1. i like The way community interact in development, The feeling of help coders to improve things is amazing. Everybody wants to help here.

2. I think Closed software is a bad philosophy and i don´t like monopoly industry.

3. Is innovative and show us different ways to do things, sometimes better. it takes time when there is not too much people working on a project but is really fast when lot of people is contribuiting.
And we can often see amazing ideas come true.

4. I am angry when people call me silly asking me for continuous updates or subscription model like Adobe does with CC. even when there is no sustantial changes. so is a way of resistance. and try to make people understand there is another way to do things.

5. Is ready for real production (paintings). and you can get the same quality. and the performance is getting better and better.

This is my top 5.

link kot-barbos  

Sorry for the offtop, but...
Today Dmitry Kazakov, one of Krita devs, add ppa with precompiled git version of Krita.
Now, Version 2.8 Pre-Alpha without any pain ))))

link Sketch  

the code is closed closed just to finish a project and not be a permanent beta.
The closed source looks at the needs of people, if not (not sell)
The open source is great, but not suited to people, look gimp 2.8.
The open source is not the best simply by being open.
tastes will :)

link Cintillate  

I use MyPaint and Gimp and Linux. Love them all to bits. I would not call myself and "artist" but I love creating art and having fun but spending $800 on a program was not my idea of fun.

Have to say. Really PROUD of people like you who worked on Sintel and Gimp and MyPaint and Krita...the list goes on! As they say "faith in humanity restored!" I only wished I knew about programming and art to be able to help directly...hence why I took up nursing...

but all I can do is like spread the word of MyPaint and the others as much as I can. If people should think anything of you or any artist using MyPaint=poor pitiful artist are totally and utterly WRONG. yes in capital letters!

Really they should be thinking how great you are for contributing to something meaningful and doing something meaningful! No many people can do that. Not many people want to do that they just want to earn $$$ who cares about the rest...

What you do is simply AMAZINGLY AWESOME! And your artwork is AMAZINGLY AWESOME!

link Sketch  

David, you sell the cs2?
It's a great software, I am interested
licenses can transfer in adobe.

link Ralf Schoofs  

"And you, why are you using mostly open-source ?"

I would like to use open-source, but I cannot use it. I have to confess that I am a simpleton: I tried to learn PHP for five years, but I failed. So I am way to dull to use Linux. I was running Kubuntu 12 since it was released and later Linux Mint 14 KDE. Both are not running very well with my PC. My Scanner is on the Blacklist and my Printer works only with TurboPrint. My DSLR-Camera is pretty useless and my small Webcam too, because the USB does not work properly. And KDE, ohhhh, freezing kde!

KDE is one big Textadventure. I wasted so much time to try to learn it, but I am only a simpleton who is running a business and is making money. And my tools to get the jobs done is still Window XP and Photoshop CS.

Yes, I am a simpleton, and gimp does open my PSD-Files, even the my common 600 MB files with the 10000px to 7500px ratio. I can not open them all, I have nearly 4 Terabytes (!) of these kind of stuff. All Vectorlayers and Textlayers are rendered to Pixels. The Layer Modes are messed up to. Oh my poor Layers, oh my poor PSD-Files. Maybe there is a workaround.

But I am only a simpleton who is running a buisness and is making money, so I am glued to Adobe and Microsoft.

link Steven Powers (SMP)  

Linux and the open-source community has made great strives in the last few years. With the addition of Krita for painting and Gimp for editing they can be used as an alternative to PS. The one major factor other than cost is that I can image a PC from DVD with updates in less than an hour and then with a collection of commands can have a production system up in running. I cannot do that on Windows.

Addition to that I do not have to worry about multiple licenses for my desktops or laptops. I do use both Windows and Linux but I am still primarily a Windows user since I can do everything I need to on Windows but not Linux, so I can Linux on another Laptop to keep current. A major plus for Linux is that it runs very well on new and old hardware a like. I haven't had any compatibility issues in years with the exception of printers.

All in all, FLOSS and Linux (Ubuntu) is great for the artist but still has caveats that I'm sure will be worked out within time.

Thanks for the article David. Keep up the great work.

link Aurélien Gâteau  

Great post David! Interestingly I was at Solutions Linux for the last two days on the KDE booth where we were showing screencasts of Krita in action. I told at least a dozen times the story about how you switched to open source tools as part of your work with the Blender Foundation. Keep up the great work!

link David Revoy Author,

@Aurélien Gâteau : hey thanks for the feedback Aurélien :-) Keep good job with the KDE team , good to know KDE had an active booth at Solution Linux.( btw, I still use an 'old' KDE version ; I'm curious about the 4.10 series and new Wacom tablet panel ) . I hope to meet you again next Capitole du Libre after the summer , I moved to Montauban last month , but I keep around Toulouse activities , not so far.

@Steven Powers (SMP) : Hey Steven, thanks for passing around. Sure, there is still plenty of caveats ;-) Someone said on the comments 'eternal beta' , it may sound a bit severe ( some release are better than other, and a lot of fix are constantly sent ) ; but there is a bit of true in it.

@Ralf Schoofs : I understand. Using Open-source require time and personnal investment, as well as twisting mind sometime to tweak computer. This is not something everyone can do ; unfortunately. I'm sorry to hear you got freeze with KDE, it can happen. So many different hardware, install , config... It's a luck when one got a working config out-of-the-box ; almost a miracle. I hope things will keep evolving to make all of this tech more accessible and compatible with your requirements. Thanks for the effort to tried it, and for the report here of your experience.

@Sketch : Photoshop Licenses can't be sold ; it's in the license agreement as far as I remember , it's more like a driving license than a product.

@Cintillate : Thanks ! Thanks ! Thanks ! AWESOME comment :-)

link David Revoy Author,

@kot-barbos : Hey, thanks for the news about the PPA ; I learned it thanks to your comment ;-)

@Ramon Miranda : hi Friend, Thanks for sharing your experience. Your GPS was an invaluable resource when I started painting in Gimp around 2009. I still remember how all those cool presets make me enjoy the switch.

@James Jackaman : hey thanks for the feedback. yes, the move is not easy with other tech . Unity 3D is a good exemple of tool hard to replace. Same for Flash , Zbrush , 2D animation and After Effect ... Still so much ! Thanks to keep an eyes on the FLOSS dev on a spare laptop. That a cool sign of curiosity :)

@Enrico : Hey Enrico :) Thx !

@Xianli : Gimp+Mypaint is indeed a cool workflow. If you have a stronger computer, try Krita, you'll not regret it ( 2.6 or later version ... not 2.5 :D )

@cryx : Wow, cool & thx. I also hope to see around good Cintiq alternative. i'll keep an eyes on Bosto product. My Cintiq 21UX is getting older, burn my arm , distance of the stylus and screen suck and I see too much the pixels to enjoy working on it. I hope to can touch some better hardware in the future.

@Wray Bowling : Adobe CC is a good move for them. I can imagine my start as a digital artist would be easier if I had to pay 50€/month instead of a big 800€ bill before getting started. I also wish they (Adobe ) find a real way to make there software 'uncrackable' / 'unpiratable' ; for the moment, the 'secret code' type of Key is almost a welcome door system to spread the software to the pirates. Some company as TVpaint use a USB dongle to make a hardware protection ; this is modern ( even if it sucks in a way because if all your software act like this , you 'll can't have free USB port on your computer ).

link syed  

Only real problem i am facing with Linux system is there is no intuative way of Click and Install ...even if you do with lot of scary lines, things still dont go right way.
For example blender...SOFTWARE CENTER Still featuers 2.57 ..i hope soon there will be change in this way.

link David Revoy Author,

@syed : Yes, this is an issue with packaging on various Software centers. Package needs to be accepted threw a long process, and it make the package at the end outdated for professional ; Mypaint, Krita, Gimp ; even in last month Ubuntu system are already 'old' versions.
Click and install package ( ex : *deb files for 'buntu/debian ) exist too.
Other solution ; PPA ; the process of adding complimentary software source to the software center is one I prefer on 'buntu.

link Tushant  

Sweet! I started the exact same reason as you. :D


link Marco Avetta  

David, tnx for this post! unfortunately critical as these come from graphics do not floss, and not by those who enjoys our final production. again congratulations.
This independence is gold.

link Le Gnou  


Pourquoi du Libre ?
→ sortir du carcan des mises à jour, qui réclament plus de ressources, donc PC plus puissant (valable pour l'O.S. & les logiciels),
→ pour la pérennité des données (ayant perdu des images dans des formats propriétaires spécifiques...),
→ et surtout/principalement par "philosophie" : le partage...

Merci pour l'article, merci de nous faire rêver avec ton travail...


link AndreW  

So greate post! Thank you. It was really interesting to read about your experience.

link FlameReaper @ Honoo  

Back then I was primarily a Photoshop/Paint Tool SAI user. However, I soon came to the conclusion that I can't be dependent on those tools since I didn't obtain them legally (ehem), and that could cause some serious problems in the future.

When I first had my experience with a GNU/Linux OS, one of my ventures was to search for a program that can let me do digital paint like how I used to do with Photoshop + Paint Tool SAI.

Several hurdles in searching and I got to try some:

GIMP back then felt awkward to use, brush handling was... err... I forgot (probably because I didn't want to remember how awful it was).

There exists Krita before its version 2.5 and beyond but I really can't get used to it plus it felt awfully basic (like how I would compare it to Paint.NET). Fast forward years later till now, Krita has grown a lot. As in LOTS...

My final destination back then was MyPaint. Again, improvements went on real quick and come 1.0, it is already a force to be reckoned with. Its prior versions was a joy to use too, if not for the multi-window (ehem :D). I still use it from time to time in order to balance between my usage of Krita and it.

link chebhou  

you are such an inspiration for me

I've started learning blender months ago but i realized that it has the same story with 3sdMax as "gimp & photshop" ,i can only get nonlegal copies of "3ds & PS" even my windows copy is, it's really tough to chose :
-learn what'd called Pro tools "3dsMax & Photoshop ..."
-stay with blender and other open source tools "which I love " but with the cost of compatibility and working with others

link Mike  

Preach! I use open-source software for all of my work and no one would ever be able to tell the difference. Use whatever you feel comfortable using and nothing else. If it is Photoshop, OK. If it is GIMP or InkScape; That is ~$700 you have saved.

link Kasia  

sadly, I'm thinking of byuing some kind of graphic software, cause I'm having troubles with operating 3 free programs at the same time: http://wszechocean.deviantart.com/art/why-it-takes-so-long-435039016 , http://pisarka.tumblr.com/post/77710368220/i-wish-i-had-a-single-program-to-sketch-ink

And I'm using so many programs on windowsXP, that I'm afraid to move to Linux :(

link David Revoy Author,

@Kasia : I had same issue than you and I see this coming around 2010. In a week or so ; Krita 2.8 will be released (on windows too ) . Nowaday, I use only Krita for everythings. I'm pretty sure it will be perfect for you. Moving to Linux is hard ; and ask to relearn a lot of things ; but this learning is an investment on the long term.

link byron  

Freedom is a right, not an obligation, the open software does not mean it's free so we must support and disease that most people understand that this software every day will be better, that is the best way of doing things remain free doing, David excellent work inspires many people thank you for your dedication

link David Revoy Author,

@byron : thanks !

link Padi Phillips  

I too rememeber the days, not too many years ago when getting a Wacom tablet to work with Linux was a lot of sweat and some tears, (Along with printers and scanners too). Nowadays of course things are much easier, and most things work well 'out of the box', at least on the more popular versions of Linux, like Ubuntu. However, sometimes I find that I still have to compile drivers, like for my new Hanvon graphics tablet, which has double the pressure levels of my Wacom Bamboo, (I am not a professional, and really just 'dabble' in computer graphics).

I no longer use Ubuntu, as I found the increasing tendency to go for what I regard as gimmicks (the Unity desktop for one) and unecessary bloat. It's taken me a while, and whilst I'm still learning how to do things, I have found Manjaro Linux, (based on Arch) which runs well without the bloat – I use the Mate desktop, which is a fork of Gnome 2. Manjaro, and even more so Arch are not Linux distributions of for beginners, distros like Ubuntu or Mint are more suited to that. I'm surprised no-one here has mentioned Ubuntu Studio, as this verision is specially configured ready for creative people.

It is sad that most of the world is standardised on the products of Adobe. I'm sure that there is also an element of snobbery about software, as with many other things in life – many people think that if something is free then it isn't going to be very good, or that there will be no support for it – neither of these things is at all true about Linux. It may well be that Gimp doesm't have the capability of PhotoShop; the most mentioned aspect seems lack of native CMYK ability in Gimp. I've also seen various complaints that the Gimp interface isn't like PhotoShop! However, no-one need fear, as there is GimpShop. Gimp, with an interface guaranteed not to confuse PhotoShop users!


I guess critical mass is something that will eventually make the difference, and also the increasing use of things like crowdfunding to pay for software development. How many of us remember the early days of CG when whatver computer one used for graphics, it would have to have been a Mac, as there just no versions of the software for Windows even, and back in the early 90s Linux was still largely Linus Torvald's student project. Things change, and increasingly Linux is gaining ground, but sadly in the English speaking world at least, Windows still rules the roost. In the early days I could understand the logic of buying a Mac, though even then it was not such a wonderful computer at a very high price, but at that time it really was just about the only show in town. Nowadays I think anyone who buys a Mac needs to have a psychiatric assesment. They certainly have more money than sense! They may be expensive and beautiful objects, but they are quite mediocre computers in my opinion.

In much of Europe, Linux is beginning to take over, in France, many government departments have changed over to Linux, and so have some of the German local authorities, even spinning their own unique versions of Linux. It is similar in parts of Spain. It may take a while, but as those of us who are regular users of Linux will know, eventually things do catch up – who nowadays has to spend hours tearing their hair out trying to get a printer, or a scanner to work, or has to compile a driver for their Wacom tablet on the well known distros? Most hardware is now truly plug 'n' play.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to cost. Whilst from a professional and commercial point of view existing proprietory industry standards have to be respected, it is only a matter of time before open standards will be more widely adopted as it will be seen that this has a huge cost advantage. I'm sure that if the Gimp development team were to launch an appeal for crowdfunding to develop the program into a true competitor to PhotoShop they would soon achieve their goal.

My use of graphic art tools is to help me create textures and items for my 3D virtual world projects, which are themselves realised using the open source OpenSimulator sofware.

link David Revoy Author,

@Padi Phillips : Hey thanks for your feedback ! It was a very interesting read.

link Orbmiser  

Outstanding Works,Insights and Great Giving back to the community in Time & Experience.

Switched a couple of years ago when I found mature apps for my photography work. Programs like darktable,Lightzone,etc... As why I left Ubuntu back in 2008 was lack of mature apps. Now rocking SolydXK KDE Debain based. And recently wanted to get into graphic design & painting. Mostly to help learn new skills and help visualizing and creating new photography also.

But overwhelmed with it. Have Gimp 2.8 and Krita 2.7.5 as debian repo's don't have 2.8 and haven't found a .deb for newer version. But the problem is what to start learning first? Gimp as can do many things with my images. Or start with Krita and start learning to create shapes and learn drawing and such.

When I receive my payment from Getty Images am planning to get Monoprice-10X6 Graphic Tablet which appears to work with Gimp. And also maybe with Krita.

But am really torn as both seem to have steep learning curves. So maybe split up time like 20 hrs. a week with 10 on each kind of thing. With the appropriate youtube video tutorials. As also have a full plate trying to learn darktable a more complex and powerful Lightroom like Image editing program.

But see your works and other's has inspired me to want to create from scratch Beauty & Awe of Digital Painting. Instead of just trying to capture it with a Camera.

link David Revoy Author,

@Orbmiser : Thanks for the feedback. Yes, Gimp and Krita can look complicated to learn ; but if you focus on small task ( eg , sketching / drawing / coloring / detailing as I show on the old Chaos&Evolutions series http://youtu.be/WOcvarqm4G0 ) it should be not too difficult to handle. For digital painting you need just a core amount of option, and don't need to know every labels and options. Picking color, layers, selection and transformations, selecting a brush and saving can be enough to fill a full carrier in digital art. The core knowledge is not really the application ; it's the fundamental of drawing, shading, edges, values, colors etc... And on this topic there is a large amount of tutorial ( for traditionnal drawing , or painting. You can even follow Photoshop tutorial with Krita if you want to pick only the fundamental. ) Good luck !

link Derek lynas  

Open source is great.
Eternal updates and overwhelming support not increasing price and complexity.
I agree that Linux is getting better and better. I use Mint 17 and am amazed at the difference in performance and usability since I gave up in disgust in 2005.
Really inspiring work David

link David Revoy Author,

@Derek lynas : Thanks for your feedback ! I'm using Mint 17 with Cinnamon 2.4 on my TV/Media center now ; good OS , I like the care for details such as a GUI to manage PPA, the main menu with a link to edit menu item and create launcher, and the overall flexibility. Oh yes, a big step in the last ten years. I'm waiting the release of Fedora 21 right now and after my years in 'buntu/Mint and Arch/Manjaro I'll try to adapt to yet another package system and community ecosystem :-)

link susandevy  

Hi David, thanks for all of these efforts of making tutorials and articles about open source software for digital arts !

just wandering, because I'v been using these great software (Gimp, Mypaint, Krita and Inkscape) only for hobbies and works (I'm running a small business, so using open source software really help me with my works, I can prove that ! ), But what about using these software for freelancers ? I mean, you know that all people in world seems to want to you use proprietary software and thinking that using open source software will make your works look dull and incompetent (and we all know that's not true)

so how you deal with it ? how you explain to your clients that you're using open source software rather than proprietary ?
that's all, and thanks in advance for answering my answer :)

all the best for you

link David Revoy Author,

@susandevy : Hi Susan, I'm familiar with your name , thanks for following my work :-)

>> "so how you deal with it ? how you explain to your clients that you're using open source software rather than proprietary ?"
Oh, really simple : my clients actually 'don't care' of what I'm using. It could be traditional painting, satanic runes on the back of a goblin, or quantum mechanic made with string theory involving black-holes ; all would be the same for them. They are concerned about a single thing ; the artistic output, qualities of idea, support for corrections and if they will be able to open the picture and rework it if necessary. With PSD support, TIFF, PNG or even JPG in FLOSS it's easy for me to send the right files.
When it happens they care, and request of why I use it ; I just answer the truth : because FLOSS are the tool I like to produce my pictures.
When they send me a file I can't read ; I just ask them to export to a format I can read. Never a big deal ; there is always a solution.
It's far simpler than most peoples think. All of this are just tools, and my clients buy me contents.

link b  

Why I use open-source?
Reason 1: Expensive materials (Adobe, Corel, SAI, etc.)
Reason 2: I didn't want to get a software by illegal means. Someone offered me to get one. I said no.
Reason 3: I thought it's good to create something with what I already had. Even after seeing what other people could do with a certain program I thought it wasn't good. And, now, I use it, too.
That's why. :)

link Michele Orefice  

Hi, I´m not a pro , I just love time to time paitings. I started wehn I was a child and then I forgot it for a long period. I started back to pain when my doughter was sick in a hopsital with ipad. I get in love with "artrage" and I got it for Mac and Win. But with time my win computer had soem hardware problems, I got a new one with an Intuos-pro and I was scared of Win 8 so I went for Ubuntu. The problem is that I can´t run Artrage with it. I love Artrage because of the simulation of the oil colors. I think that I do something similar also with Krita but I´m really at the beggining. I love to mix the colors with artrage , I tried mypaint but it is not really the same. Any clues?

link David Revoy Author,

@Michele Orefice : Hi Michele, unfortunately, there is no alternative yet to get the effect 'in-pasto' on open-source software. ( the painting with thickness embossing effect ). The nearest thing you could find would be Krita color-smudge engine, with a brush tip with bristle simulation.
The user Griatch demo this type of brush on this picture : http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2013/087/1/5/krita_first_natural_painting_test_by_griatch_art-d5zkywn.jpg
There is no embossing, but the mixing and bristle are here, if it interrest you how to reproduce this brush, I can help.

link Klaatu  

I work at an effects house that uses Linux for everything. And then I go home and work on personal projects on Linux. It seems to be doing alright in every respect.

I have a pretty good Krita tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlgQiBjd_8Y

and a whole site dedicated to doing multimedia creation on Slackware here: http://slackermedia.info

Software does not make the artist; don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And never let anyone else control the art that you create!

link David Revoy Author,

@Klaatu : thanks and cool video ; my encouragements to continue this serie ! ( I always forgot about the brush/shape text. Cool usage with dingbat fonts for stickers ! ).

link Ace3  

I use free software for painting because I don't want to forever be chained to something like Adobe's Creative Cloud. It's already bad enough you have to keep paying them to even open your older files you make with their subscription software, but they also make it harder to leave because people are automatically put on auto renewals, and are poorly informed about it. I want to use tools that I can either claim as my own, change myself, or choose which version I want to use so that it fits whatever hardware I choose to use it on.
There was also once this "scam" where students at Academy Arts University were told they owned a perpetual license version of Adobe Photoshop which wouldn't expire, but it did--many students lost their licenses. They even filed a lawsuit, and nothing came of it. This just doesn't happen with free software.
I was originally going to pay Adobe for a full version of Photoshop, but after they announced they were going to stop selling perpetual licenses, I switched to Krita instead, and couldn't be happier with it. I completely agree with you about some of the difficulties getting some free software to work though. Krita wasn't really supported on Mac OSX for awhile, and it doesn't work perfectly even now. It's adequate for my own uses, and that's good enough for me. I had to adjust a little moving from Photoshop to Krita, but it wasn't difficult to find all the features I wanted to use.
I don't personally think it's a bad thing that I might have to use Krita and Gimp (and possibly some other free software like Inkscape) just to make up for the complete functionality in Photoshop, but really, I get two apps for gratis instead of one app I have to pay to get, which is a really good bargain, and you could argue that having different developers devote more time for specific functions in different software means they don't have to worry about having every single feature crammed into one app, and they can make those apps really good at what they're intended to do.

I don't think I will run into a situation where I have to tell some employer or clients why I'm not using proprietary software because I just draw for fun, but I try to encourage people to try it and I expose it as much as possible. Even just mentioning that I used it helps. Because I hope that maybe one of the people that finds out I use Krita is looking for a cheaper alternative to Adobe products, and Krita may just be what they want.

I also use free software in general because it's just sometimes more reliable. Especially in security apps. Because you can see the source code, the bugs are easier to spot and fix, and if you have access to the source code, and still can't hack it, it's probably fairly secure. You don't have to beg developers for a feature; you can implement it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. And sometimes, free software accomplishes things proprietary software can't. If you look at GNU/Linux, it's been made through a large community effort and if the exact same OS had to be made by a company as proprietary software, it would cost way too much money and resources. Free software is also generally made in the spirit of making software that runs well; not for making money. You can do both, but free software enables and encourages developers to write good software.

link David Revoy Author,

@Ace3 : Thanks for your feedback ; I hope the Mac OSX version of Krita will grow and stabilize a lot too. I know plenty of graphist using a mac ( a bigger proportion than artist using Windows , in fact ).

link Stewart  

Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any support
is very much appreciated.

link David Revoy Author,

@Stewart : Hi, yes, there is an askimet plugin ; it filters 99% , good luck !

link Ray Cullins  

David-- I'm sorry if you've answered this already and I missed it, but since Adobe tools are so pervasive in the industry, have you run into any clients who wanted you to provide them file formats that you couldn't accomplish with open-source tools? For instance, has anyone asked you to give them a recent version layered PSD? How do you test compatibility in these instances?

link David Revoy Author,

@Ray Cullins : Hi Ray ; my clients knows I use open-source already when they contact me. My website is enough branded with it . So, they often are 'open' to work with standards. I also refuse clients working with too much proprietary solutions ; it's easy to discuss with clients, and agree on a exchange format. Simple PSD ( with Krita or Gimp ) is OK. Most of hir-res pictures are flat large PNG and OK too ; In general , clients focus more on art quality , and art-direction than technical issue and they come for my artwork skill , not for my sotware or file format. I hope it helps! :-)

link Ray Cullins  

Thanks, David! This is a help. I honestly would rather be on a Linux distro than Windows or Mac, to avoid the lock-in, but so much of the industry is focused on Adobe products, for someone who's getting started, it seems like there's no other option. Glad to hear you can make it work. Thanks so much for your online resources and your contribution to Krita and MyPaint; it all helps!

link opensourcepoet  

Just read the article and comments. I've decided to give up pirated software and focus on open source software. Especially after seeing your portfolio. Thanks for the inspiration...

link Brett McCoy  

I used Windows and proprietary software in the past, too (Photoshop, Corel Painter, etc) but hated using Windows so much I eventually moved everything over to Linux. I've been a Linux user since the late 90s and use it 100% in my day job (software engineer), and had previously moved all of my music work to Linux, too (I use Ardour, Lilypond, etc).

I think around 2009 or 2010 I moved all art work to Linux. Around this time TVPaint became available on Linux and that clinched it for me, it's the only commercial art software I use on Linux, although I still use open source more and more, especially MyPaint and Krita (Gimp I only use for photo manipulation work). I am hoping that once animation for real comes to Krita that we will have a true open source raster animation program like TVPaint. (I love TVPaint, but it's too expensive to keep upgrading every year)

link David Revoy Author,

@Brett McCoy : Ha, sure, I also wait for Krita timeline docker and animation possibilities; for the sprite of Pepper&Carrot mini game. :)

link IsabelleR  

Hi David :).
I've recently acquired a very old Intuos GD-0912-U and for a very cheap price. It's my first ever Wacom tablet and I must admit to being very happy I purchased it. Honestly thought I'd hate the media so didn't purchase a more modern Wacom : I
Being traditional media based when it comes to my art works has meant that sadly I find myself completely lacking digital art skills :'(. And I mean "completely". Have now started my training to learn digital art and surprisingly enough really loving the new media :).
So I managed to make this Intuos work on an Asus S550C (OS is Windows 8 but the Wacom update I've used is Windows 7, as that was the latest one available for the GD-0912-U. People said it wouldn't work, but it's alive!) and then I ended up online browsing for paint programs... the outrageous prices almost gave me a migraine -_-'. How are poor students meant to afford these prices 0.o' .
Have found out that I'm not a fan of the new way Adobe is doing business. The Cloud and monthly subscription ideas for the latest painting software is atrocious T_T.
But I'm so happy to have found Krita, such a wonderful program that is acting extremely well for free software. Was honestly surprised how many wonderful artists are using Krita. Your work is exemplary, especially the tutorials you have on this site and also the work you've done for Gooseberry. I enjoyed seeing the concept sketches :).
Much luck with your future work (but really it's all you and your hard work and skills ^^.) and thank you for the tutorials
Sincerely in agreement about Open source and Krita
Isabelle :).

link David Revoy Author,

@IsabelleR : Thank you very much for your comment ! It's really encouraging me to produce more tutorial, and take care to update the old one.

link Mariano (aka Tuprofe Demusica)  

(I'm from Argentina, sorry about my english :) )
I just wanna say THANK YOU. Your tutorials are Awesome and very helpful.
I first knew about GNU and free software a few years ago. My choice was Debian (yes: I like the challenge!). And I remember trying to get my tablet working...
it was fun (and hard on Lenny).
Ok the story of my adventures with Debian and the free-(as-in-freedom)-software is long... two months after installing Lenny I moved to Squeeze (things started to get easier), about a year ago I got and internet connection and installed Wheezy. Now I'm running Jessie (I finally can try Krita!!! my tablet wasn't handled by qt4) and I'm very happy!!! This software keeps getting better and better evryday, but most of all, it's the comunity who makes it possible. Artist, programmers, developers, volunteers, translators, everyone. Thank to you all.
I loved your Chaos and Evolution DVD, I really learned a lot. (I also start reading Pepper and Carrot, it's great). Your artwork it's incredible. I've developed a "similar" workflow (paper to digital, i felt my tablet wasn't sensitive enough for my inking-style. Yes, most of time I also "ink" with pencil, I like the texture and detail you get this way) And thank to your tutorials, the digital part of the process has become more pleasant (and less painfull!!) and I also can now do some nice sketches and drawing in Gimp or MyPaint (I love MyPaint) thanks to the skills I've learn on Chaos and Evolution...
Sorry if I'm writing too much!!! I just want to end this comment by saying that your work has inspired me to be a better artist and to contribute to the comunity. I'm getting involved in the translation of wikies and manuals and spreading the wonders of free software. I hope I can soon contribute with my artwork and tutorials too!
Ok, that's all by now.
Did I say thank you? :)

link David Revoy Author,

@Mariano (aka Tuprofe Demusica) : Wow ! Many thanks a lot for your feedback , I was starting my day with all my ideas broke into many smaller part, trying to glue them in my head , hard to focus ... but your message gave me a good boost of energy to take back stylus and continue on episode 9 of Pepper&Carrot.

link elkey  

I've tried Ubuntu in 2010 or so, at that time I had many problems that drove me crazy, for example I could not find universal system settings for mouse wheel scrolling, couldn't figure out why the position of windows cannot be stored and many-many other small usability things. Everything was different and the file system itself was a radical change, for some reason my NTFS partitions were not mounted automatically. I had no chance to come back to this issue because there was even biggest one, the one wich ended my introduction to Linux. It was graphic driver, by force of habit I went to nvidia site as usual and downloaded latest Linux driver, of course installation didn't ended well, the GUI could no longer be loaded, and the smart machine just begun blinking at his stupid user (me)
Couple weeks ago I decided to do this switch again, I had to, because I just can't stand surveillance of Windows 10 which crossed any reasonable limits. Windows 10 is inevitable future which awaits me, I do not want to live in such future, period.
Today I can easily say that will never be back on Windows again. I'm still in process of learning and adapting, but at least I began to see broad picture which is important to understand Linux way.
Regarding of software, I don't have strong bonds to software, although used pirated Photoshop for a decade to suit image editing needs, so my case may be favorable for such migration. Hope there will be more CG tools like Krita and Blender with higher rate of development and innovation.
sorry for my grammar

link David Revoy Author,

@elkey : Nice feedback Elkey ; I hope you'll keep your efforts on Linux distros, quality on it have up and down depending seasons, rewrite and major new libraries. Thank you for sharing

link Luke  

I've been a Free (as in freedom) software enthusiast ever since I discovered it, around 1997-1999, perusing the local book seller's computer section. Before that, always behind-the-times, I had worked my way from the very old (both apple and ibm-compatible) systems of yesteryear to windows 95. Around that time, a friend bought me a store-stocked copy of "Suse 8.0 Personal" (yes it was available locally in those days). I don't know how or when, exactly, but I found the Free Software Foundation and immediately became enamored with the ideology that makes this community so special. Ever since, I've been trying to make everyone I think will listen, aware of it. It has long been proven, what a (global, now) community of people trying to further human knowledge and resources can do. I think it will continue to transform and mock the dark age of computing: the business of subversion and proprietary software. So, as a computer geek, I've come across it a little differently than most here. As a long-time user of GNOME (that early suse really turned me away from KDE and RPMs), I hadn't heard of krita. I've long had a soft-spot for blender, though, and recently watched "Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle". In the credits, it mentioned the krita project (I was aware of all the others mentioned there). That lead me to your site, looking for krita tutorials, and I just decided to buy my first drawing tablet (the 4x6-inch intuos 3). All your tutorials, so far, have been very well thought out, by the way. Thanks for such a helpful resource! I've not played much with art since school, but it sounds fun to get into again, especially since this time it will join with my love of computers.

link FreeGraphics Apps User  

Since Windows 10 is Big Brother SpyWare I will be switching to Linux in the near future from W7.
I have played around with Linux over the years. I find Linux very likable & the graphic apps very capable; even for professional web/graphic designers and artists alike.

link Michal C  

Hallo David, thank you very much for your blog.
I tried out the TVPaint demo yesterday and I am really, really amazed by the performance of the drawing tools and surprised how fine this software is done. Flashed, I started to search for a free alternative (without much expectations, indeed) and ... found your page.
As a photographer PS is a standard for me and versatile for drawing (using a cintiq), but kind of laggy even when inking and a pain in the *** when it comes to animation. Drawing-alternatives like Painter and Sketchbook did not feel more responsive. So what I learned from your blog: there are more alternatives like Krita which I will try today, bad news on the other side are that nothing can deal with TVP :(. Inking felt so good... thinking of all the options when using it for animation... *sigh*
Anyway, thank you for sharing your experiences. And maybe, as you mentioned, there will be some timeline-functions in 2d open source software in the near future.

link artorix  

@David, passe quand tu veux faire un coucou sur framasphère (le célèbre équivalent facebouk open-source, pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas), il semble que tu aies quelques fan :)
ps : j'aime beaucoup ce que tu fais (artistiquement, mais aussi open-source-istiquement), bravo et merci pour les tuto, les ressources, le temps et le plaisir que tu nous donnes

link artorix  

*oups, j'ai oublié le lien : https://framasphere.org/tags/davidrevoy

link David Revoy Author,

@artorix : Merci pour le lien! Je vais étudier comment rejoindre la framasphère et si mon budget temps me le permets. :)

link Taposy Rabeya  

So great post! It is really interesting to read about your experience. Thank you.

link gani  

Using free software it's not about just being free, for me specially, it's about being independent, this is the life style. Thank you David, for your independence mentality.

link David Revoy Author,

@gani : Exactly! :-) I also like when hardware comes with open-source software. It's a good combination for commercial success in my opinion. Eg. My 'lightpack' , a set of LED light for the back of my screen to get a 'ambilight' effect ; the driver/software is on Github, and thanks to this the community is good at fixing it for every Ubuntu release. It ensure my product will receive update during long time, and if not, I can fix it myself.
I wish all hardware vendor would behaves the same :-)

link Michell Stuttgart Faria  

I'm opensource software developer and happy with Linux to. I really liked of blog content, nice ilustrations! Keep te good work!

link bazza  

Very beautiful images and much more beautiful ideas

link qNewbie  

There is a good replacement for InDesign - Scribus https://www.scribus.net, it's free OSS and works great, though it lacks some features from InDesign here and there it doesn't really matter, at least it doesn't for me. Take a look and good luck :)

link Tim Seventh  

I started using some open source software with the very first one being media player classic. Partly due to it being free, but mainly it was due to one of the earlier feature (frame step and image export) that the default windows media player could not do.

For production, I still do use a mix of paid closed source, open source, portable, and other type of software. Limited to one software is never a good idea as it stops the user from adopting to newer and better software. Through time though, I am sure whenever closed source limited the capability of software limitation, open source will take over as an alternative.

Just like those moment you see a bug in closed source, you have very few option but to deal with it, since the CEO/ directors aren't going to care if it doesn't directly give them profit. While for open source, you can try to fix it or try to encourage everyone to fix it. They may not be paid 8hr/ day, but they are more willing to make the software better and one day fix the bug.

link non-artist  

I used PS, Painter on Win, but I switched to Linux. Why? US imposed sanctions on my place of residence and I can't buy adobe's products, no support. Commercial software depend entirely on politics. I used hacking software and VPN, but I felt some discomfort. I came to open source. Adobe's products have good UI, intuitively. When I started to use GIMP, Scribus, it was so hard. I can't immediately find the desired function and was forced to read the manual. I had the feeling that I use software of the 80-90s, but I began to understand how it works. I began to know the evolution of the development programs. It's very interesting. I feel like as one of the artists of the Renaissance, when they are prepared the paint hand made of pigments and a binder. (maybe I'm a geek) I'm a poor artist (and not even an artist) and I'm happy when I can use open-source. And I'm not ashamed to admit this fact. (Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet and others were also poor) I realized that the true master will make a masterpiece with baked stick in the sand and even in Linux. I like your works. They have something alive. Your art have a bit of Japanese and French cultures and a good heart. It's your works support me in learning to use open-source. I hope that everything will be more friendly. (and sorry for my English)

link Jake  

Hi David,
I think ,nowadays its much less necessary to switch to open source, then it might have been a few years ago.
There is a bunch of very affordable software around and you can try out all kind of newly developed software and plugins plus you can buy any gaming-PC or a surfacebook for instance without thinking about linux.
My main workhorse is Clip Studio Paint with Frenden brushes, its on sale regulary at smith micro. I also have paintstorm, artrage and krita, photoshop catching dust on the shelve.
Then zbrush free updates since generations, akeytsu, substance painter and 3dcoat lowcost and very convienient on steam.There is also Rocket 3 F now. Win 10 on my machines was also free. Then there is free unity.
Whats still the most costly, is my yearly C4d licence, the unity plugins and my maintainance of i-clone and its plugins. Lately I also got myself an Oculus Rift because of medium and quill.
But still the win-world is giving me the greatest freedom of choice and hazzlefree running and testing different hardware and software for very reasonable prices, while at the same time being able to use krita, blender and other opensource-stuff as well.
So why should I limit myself by going strictly opensource? I dont save that much money, get into some technological hazzle and ,whats the most important to me, cut myself off from some very interesting soft-and hardware developments.

all the best

link David Revoy Author,

> So why should I limit myself by going strictly opensource?

Hi, reading your sentences; I deeply think you can't. Enjoy your life :)

link Jake  

my intention was only constructive...so did my comment insult you somehow or is it just my weak English understanding that gives me the impression you are kind of bothered?
if so, please just delete my post.

cheers Jake

link David Revoy Author,

Your comment did not insult me. Your feedback feels just consumer-driven and selfish. Why should I try to convince you to enter in a community, help us to build collaboratively tools available for everyone, protect our freedom and encourage ethical security , data usage, privacy?... I'm sure all of this makes no-sens to you. Using only open-source is at first a way to not add another user to proprietary software and discourage their business model.

link Jake  

...well on the other hand, there is also people (programmers) who need/want to make a living from their hard work.
I have no problem to support them by buying and using their products as long as it is usefull to me and reasonable priced, like for instance paintstorm, rocket 3 F, z-brush even microsoft for their maintainance and development.
You are also making a living from your work (artist) and theres nothing wrong with it.
I am not against open source software though, but doubt that the idea of "open source software only"
would be good for our economy. Everything will find its place anyway. I didn`t want to start some kind of ideological war, just enlighten some different aspects of the topic.
...and I am a great fan of your site and your work!

all the best


link Tux Artist  

Keep in mind Microsoft and Apple are both "Big Brother Spyware" - with Windows 10 being worse than MacOS. MS stated W10 can't be shut-up from spying on you; regardless of settings! Numerous sites demonstrates proof with videos and articles.

I ditched W7 for Fedora Linux Design Suite; it just works without driving me nuts like Windows did.
Linux provides privacy, security, customization from the start.

link David Revoy Author,

Yes, that's really a concern I have (privacy) but keep in mind I switched OS post windows XP at a time where it was still possible to perform a good privacy even under a proprietary operating system like XP. So when I wrote this article; it wasn't a big priority of mine. Thanks for your feedback!

link William Monsalve Fontal  

I must say that, I am in trouble with this.

I want to move back to open source and free programs (Include OS), I started using ubuntu since 2008 when a friend came to my house with the distributions that they continued sending to everybody (ubuntu, kubuntu). From there I started to love more and more distributions of linux and the community. But for that time unfortunately didn't understand as well as i wanted and used to illustrate Paint Tool SAI. After many years, buy a mac (a older mac because they are expensive in my country because of the dollar question) Which install photoshop and start using again for illustration, after many frustrations with photoshop and my old mac (Frustrations about the lag, get too used to the program. Something that should not have happened), I decided to renew my faith in free distributions and free programs. Which my first choice wasn't krita, so i decide to use medibang (which I'm currently using).
Unfortunately I can't move or run medibang to linux, because only exists in mac and windows. Although I must say, if there is a way to pass it. I would change my two computers to ubuntu or fedora and start again to use linux (which I miss very much, I must say).
I must say that, I could change photoshop by krita. Especially for the final touches (for what I was using now photoshop). Which I am very happy, hopefully with the next step. Can completely switch to linux

link Al Brundage  

Windows Vista was the last straw for me too! Came with my new laptop in 2007. Tried to install XP on it. Sound wouldn't work, Wifi wouldn't work, screen colors were wrong. Tried Ubuntu Linux and everything worked and KEPT WORKING. In fact that very laptop still works to this very day although I rarely use it because it only has 1GB of memory and there is no room for more. But Ubuntu 10.04 still boots up every time I turn it on! Needless to say I never looked back. Most of the computers I have were literally picked out of the trash that people threw away because they wouldn't run Windows 10. With Ubuntu and Linux Mint, they still run faster than anything with Win 10. I have not owned a Windows machine in 10 years and I do a lot of photography and video. Every day I seem to learn something new about Linux, Audacity, Gimp and Kdenlive. Never looked back and never once wished I still had Windows. Win 10 is malware.
Al, Rochester, New York, USA

link David Revoy Author,

10 years! Congratulation!
8 years here, I'll celebrate my 10 years of 100% open-source too soon. I hope I'll be able to also get rid of all Android device at home too ; I hope this type of project ( https://puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ ) of open hardware and Linux phone will be more accessible within the next years.

link David Revoy Author,

I understand, it is sad to be trapped by a single product and forced to use an unwanted operating system because of that. I can understand; I hope you'll find alternatives to your workflow one day with open-source to get rid of this dependency. Good luck with it!

link Abe Pazos  

I'm happy to read the reasons of different people, and that you recommend the Librem 5 phone. I pre-ordered one :)

I switched to Linux slowly, because I liked the idea. Initially only for Android and web development, but then I came to a point in 2010 where I noticed I could do most things, and I was more and more annoyed with my iMac. I thought that since it was expensive, it was supposed to be perfect, but it was behaving in strange ways, becoming slow.

I was aware that switching might be a step back in time, but I accepted that. The switch was not easy because of so much data trapped in proprietary software (hundreds of hours spent in tagging songs in iTunes, tweaking photos in Lightroom and producing files in proprietary formats). I made a list of all the data I needed to migrate, then scripts to extract the data. It made me realize how important it is the decision of choosing a program where you will invest much of your life in the future, and how dependent you will be on those programs.

Initially I used Ubuntu, later I switched to ArchLinux. Now I have recent versions of all Free programs, they are updated at once, and it just works. It never asks me to reboot (Windows 10 still does that frequently!).

I was a Flash developer for many years, but when I grew more conscious about the issues around closed source
I went as far as to remove the Flash player, Skype, and anything that's closed source, because I can not study the code in those programs and know what's hidden in them.

I do media art and generative stuff, touching all kinds of creative software: programming in several languages, editing photos, rendering in 3D, painting, designing sounds, editing video. I'm very happy with my system. It feels good and safe to avoid pirated software, to be able to report and fix bugs in programs and to be part of this community :)

link David Revoy Author,

Big thumbs up ! Thank you for passing by my blog.
Arch is a very good system. I made all the production of episode19 on it ( https://www.peppercarrot.com/en/article383/episode-19-pollution , in credit Arch XFCE at the end ).
Right now, I'm using a Ubuntu Mate 17.04 + Cinnamon via PPA ; because managing all the dependencies to build Krita from source for beta-testing and keeping all the tool for webdev and translation system of Pepper&Carrot require me to keep frozen version for a couple of month. But I miss a lot AUR :-)

link Adam  

Maybe it's a poor reason but I use open-source because it's completely free with no catches. I was introduced to desktop Linux by a friend five years ago. Started with Lubuntu 12.04 on an old laptop, then Ubuntu 12.04 (or was it 12.10?) on a desktop I got and I've stuck with Ubuntu ever since. I'm looking forward to snappy making more progress so we can see an end to PPAs and have up-to-date programs on Ubuntu but with more stability (by that I mean ease-of-use and little-manual-customization-needed even for newbies) than on rolling distributions.

Frequently used open-source software: Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Pokemon Showdown

link Sly  

Merci pour cet article inspirant. Je rêve de passer au tout libre depuis des années mais, travaillant principalement en print offset ou serigraphie, j'ai toujours été confronté à deux problèmes bloquants qui me rendent la solution inenvisageable pour une utilisation professionnelle : Inkscape ne gère pas les pantone et les tons directs, et on ne peut pas travailler en natif CMJN sous Gimp.
Je viens de réinstaller un poste de travail secondaire en Linux Mint comme machine de test, réapprendre entièrement l'utilisation de Scribus / Inkscape / Gimp à la place de la suite CC ne me fait pas peur, mais tant que ce problème de gestion des couleurs ne sera pas résolu je ne peux pas envisager une utilisation viable de cette solution. Je ne peux pas travailler sur un packaging sans pouvoir gérer la chromie en entrant des valeurs quadri exactes malheureusement, le travail en RVB puis la conversion du fichier aplati n'est pas envisageable et c'est très frustrant d'être coincé si près du but pour un détail de développement si lourd de consequences.
Je reste en veille pour les futures solutions et j'espère vraiment trouver un moyen de pouvoir passer au tout libre un jour prochain !

link David Revoy Author,

Merci pour ce retour! Je comprends parfaitement pour le CMJN. Vaste sujet.

Ce qu'il faut savoir, c'est que les softs développé autour du RGB seulement , font de nécessité vertu : j'imagine il serait super difficile d'amener le CMJN à présent que leur moteurs de rendu sont axés sur du RGB depuis tant d'années. Du coup, encore beaucoup de dev sur ces projets justifient que c'est bien suffisent comme ça; et d'ailleurs le peu d'effort en ce sens depuis les 15 dernières années le prouve bien. J'ai eu un échange assez vif avec les dev de Gimp publiquement l'hors du Libre Graphic Meeting de Madrid ou le leader de Krita avait aussi pris parti dans la salle. Nous étions en faveur du CMJN, Gimp maintenait le RGB pour la créa et le CMJN en fin de course. Ayant illustré pas mal de jeux de société et couv de livre ; ce genre de retour me siderait par leur ignorance ( j'ai eu une petite personage blonde en couverture pendant des dizaines de tomes qui necessitait un nettoyage specific de la passe Yellow pour ne surtout pas avoir de petits point Magenta ou Cyan dans la couleur ). Mais même avec example à l'appui , ils sont resté alors sur leurs positions prextant que c'était la faute aux algorythmes de conversions pas assez smart. Ce qui est aussi un point défendable; sauf que personnes ne travail dessus ... Donc l'intervention/edition manuel me semble encore et toujours la meilleur solution. ( et ont parle même pas d'un dessin en deux tons pour une affiche imprimé à deux cartouches d'encres.... ).

Donc pas mal de projets libre n'ont aucune motivation pour augmenter leur nombre d'ulisateur, surtout "pro" avec des retours pointu et des enjeux/responsabilité difficile de production. Surtout pour amener une fonctionnalité qui nécessiterait de réécrire tout le moteurs, plugin, API, etc... Ils s'imagine que la cible n'est qu'un petit groupe de techniciens et pas monsieur tout le monde ; ce qui est faux.

Seul les projets qui ont des models économiques basés sur le crowdfunding/patronage trouvent dans l'élargissement de leur base d’utilisateur un avantage directe ( si moins de 1% des utilisateurs se transforme en donateur potentiel ; autant en avoir 10 000 plutôt que 100... Et si mille utilisateurs novices imitent les pratique d'un utilisateur pro , autant séduire les pros... ). Krita à construit à mon avis dans cette optique et autour de fondation logiciel qui leur permets aujourd'hu le CMJN mais aussi d'autre espaces colorimétrique avec plus ou moins de channel. Leur outil vectoriel a été réecris pour le prochain Krita 4 ( donc cela annonce du vectoriel libre en CMJN ) ; et les passerelles entre Krita 4 et le future Scribus sont de plus en plus abouties ( eg. possibilité de mettre un fichier natif Krita en "image frame" ). Krita + Scribus ; a mon sens, est la future creative suite du libre.

La gestion des Pantones sera toujours problématique ; elle demandera à l'utilisateur d'importer/posséder la palette pantone ( propriétaire, ne peux pas être distribué dans un soft open-source) mais Krita 4 gerera aussi l'import de ce type de palette.

Il y a donc des améliorations à l'horizon principalement investi par l'équipe de Krita.

link Bob  

i am poor

link Rotekoppen  

To me, i was kinda encuraged by the internet, AND i'm a security freak. So i had totaly f*ked up my windows install, ripping out metro apps and spying. In the end the explorer crashed everytime i selected a .exe file, that was enough.

In pure aggression I downloaded and dualbooted Lubuntu on my lenovo yoga 2 pro. My laptop has never been better, AND SECURE!

link David Revoy Author,

Thank you @Rotekoppen for the feedback about your experience. Indeed; 'security' and control are two good reasons to enjoy a GNU/Linux system.

link Waterfall  

I use GNU/Linux as my operating system primarily for 2 reasons (compared to Windows).

1. On my somewhat weak hardware, it is noticeably faster.
2. I feel like I'm in control of my system, I can tweak it to my needs.

I also like that Manjaro XFCE (Linux distro I'm using) is free of charge, more secure and not spying.
Manjaro is based on Arch, but have some extra theming, a few cool tools and a bit of a delay to test packages.
Manjaro has some extra issues with AUR and its stability overall, despite delay, still not perfect.
But I personally like it.

I do have some proprietary software on my system. Namely, Nvidia driver and some games.
I also didn't buy any open hardware (schematics and code running on the hardware itself) for my PC.

But for creativity I am able to go full FOSS...
Blender for 3D, Inkscape for vectors and G'MIC for some post-processing.
I find these sufficient for my creative needs, I like philosophy of FOSS and I don't have much money.

Thank you very much for publishing your beautiful and inspirational drawings and comics.
And thank you for your positive influence on the open-source community.

You are amazing. =^_^=

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