Guide: Krita 2.4 new features

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At ViewConference where I write this post on the press room, I demoed many times last days 'Krita 2.4 beta' aside my workshops on Gimp-painter and Mypaint. ( Finished this morning my last workshop, stay tuned for a next post about it , thx again to all participant ).

I'm not sooo surprised nobody really know Krita, but every one who saw demo really likes the potential of Krita. So today I spend a bit of time to introduce Krita here, and publish a bit of "screenshot marketing" , and feature list. A small contribution on it. Krita and all the cool developpement team behind merit more than this , I know. So, help me to spread it ; screenshots an text on this page are in CC-By-Sa license. So if you have a tech blog, a magazine about CG, please use them if you want to write about Krita.

Krita is -in my opinion- the next revolution in 2D painting with FOSS and the first realistic open-source alternative for professional digital painter on Linux. No doubt Krita will grow as Blender grew and have for sure the same kind of impact on 2D digital painting. That's how works rocks open-source.


( Note : you can click on each screenshot to enlarge them )

  • The Image docker ( on bottom right ) is a dock to store your reference pictures.
  • Mypaint style color changer, poping directly on your canvas while painting.
  • Ability to work with symmetric painting axis ( ex : on this character design ).

  • The interface of Krita is really flexible, you can resize/position each panel.
  • high customisation possitibility of the color selector
  • I love layer preview when stylus is over
  • 'recent colors' , 'auto palette' , 'shade' a lot of wonderfull features of the 'advanced color selector'.
  • Customisable padding color around the artwork.
  • favorite GUI positions ( workspace ) can be saved/loaded with the last icon on the top toolbar.
  • (artwork ) usage of the 'experiment' brush engine to create very fast sharp cutted area of colors

  • (artwork) Showcase of a little part of the brush engine Krita has ; Experiment , Sketch , Hatching, Grid , Color Smudge...etc...
  • Layers displayed in a compact mode ( can be also big thumbnails )
  • Rotation of the workspace.

  • Convert to CMYK with a profile
  • paint pictures directly with CMYK
  • "Advanced color selector" can display on the color wheel the restricted Gamut for CMYK
  • Channels are editable via a lock system
  • Specific color selector for in depth CMYK color control

  • Lines / Square / Stars , big choice of shapes
  • Vector layers and Text editing on the canvas
  • All in one tranformation tool : move / scale / rotate / deform . Gizmo displayed tranparent to position it.

  • Layer groups
  • Advanced layer operation : clone layer ( 'duplicate linked one , get updated )
  • Filters layer : Adjustement or filter dynamic
  • (artwork) Krita painting textures for a 3D model ; some layers group use 'clones' and 'filters' to generate themself dynamically from the base diffuse color group. With a bit of paint-over, easy to work on specular map / bumps / etc... with a fast workflow.

Interrested to know more ?

  • Free and Open-source
  • Soon on other platform , Linux for the moment
  • On canvas resizing brush ( shift +drag )
  • Fullscreen painting possible ( smart right click palette, with preset and a color triangle )
  • Many keyboard shortcut customisable
  • Guide / helper / Grid / Ruler
  • Painting assistant ; sort of vector shapes with magnetic possibilities for your brush path ( as a rulers )
  • Autosave configurable
  • Save incremental ( drawing_001.png / drawing_002.png /drawing_003.png ) with a single key press
  • Compatible with many brush mask : compatible svg , png , abr ( Photoshop )
  • Coming with the ressource of Gimp-Paint-Studio ( GPS ) by default ( gradient / pattern / brushes )
  • Alchemy like brush engine
  • Multi-brush : mirror / mandala ... etc
  • Harmony like brush engine
  • Smudge/Mixbrush engine
  • high performances
  • Color managed application
  • CMYK painting, and CMYK color selectors
  • HDR , OpenEXR , Cineon and many raw camera file format supported
  • Blending mode : the most impressive world wide collection
  • Image Filters, color correction ( level / curves ) the classic
  • Group layers
  • Layer preview with mouse over
  • Dynamic Filter / Adjustement layers
  • Vector Layers
  • Text layers
  • Manipulation : Move / Scale / Rotate in one tool
  • New strokes framework : no hanging while painting
  • Loads of layers don't slow that much Krita
  • Kra native file format very fast to load and save
  • Ora file compatible
  • Open : Xcf and PSD
  • Can save as many commons picture format , for CMYK note TIFF
  • Can use openGL for rendering
  • and -again- ... even more.... :-D

Want to help ? How ?... Get into the bug triage day!

Next days more than never Krita 2.4 beta will need to be tested, and retested to discover new and confirm existing bugs... so many features ... so many usage possible... we need all of you for this task and fill the bugtracker to make this 2.4 professionaly ready.

Saturday 5 November, a special bug triage day will be done , join us for a chat on, #krita channel to share your bugs ! I will be 'in'

how to get Krita 2.4 beta ? You can compile it as I did for my Linux Mint 11 system , or try the 'new' easy way via this ppa with frequent updates :

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:neon/ppa   
sudo apt-get update  
sudo apt-get install project-neon-base project-neon-calligra project-neon-calligra-dbg

See you on bug triage day :)

Note : _Text and picture on this article are all distributed under CC-By-Sa : feel free to use.

License: "Guide: Krita 2.4 new features" by David Revoy − CC-BY 4.0
Tags:  #article  #review  #krita   | Download: Markdown


link Brett McCoy  

I tried out Krita a couple of weeks ago, it has a lot of potential, although it was a bit laggy and unstable (haven't tried the beta yet). I like that it supports CYMK color natively, which is a huge benefit over the Gimp. I may give the beta a go this weekend while I wait for your DVDs to show up :-)

link n-pigeon  

Nice presentation.

How you added opacity and flow sliders to topbar?

link David Revoy Author,

@Brett McCoy : Good to know you may join, thanks !

@n-pigeon : Tx ! If you don't have them, it's probably because you have a previous version than 2.4 , or your screen is not large enought to display them. A right click + manage the top toolbar can solve it by removing stuff you don't need as a priority on smaller screen.

link Brett McCoy  

Rotate workspace is nice, too... even Gimp can't do abitrary workspace rotation (only app I have that can do that is TVPaint, but it's not open source).

link n-pigeon  

I have my own compilation of Krita 2.4 something after beta 2 from master.

link Ramon Miranda  

Hi David, nice artcicle, i can see you are doing a great work with your last articles, of course i will be online tomoroow too on IRC. see you there and happy Kriting!

link Mitch  

Very impressive tools. Will look forward to a Windows build.

link Brett McCoy  

Got this beta up and running tonight, interface took a little getting used to but once I got some shortcuts set and fixed some wonkiness with wacom tablet, it seems to be working pretty well. Is there a way to invoke and release with a key press (like we use in Gimp with Ctrl)?

link Giovanny Arce  

Hi David, this is getting interesting every day, thanks a lot for your infinite help XD. Here my first video I did with the latest beta 3 of krita 2.4, I put the links of your latest guides and post in the description. cheers

link PhillipB  

Anyone have this working with a tablet on Ubuntu 11.10?
David, looks like this suffers from the ghost lines problem in Gimp you Tweeted about on the 17th. Except in this case its all the time and very quickly crashes the beta with: ASSERT failure in QVector<T>::at: "index out of range", file /opt/project-neon/include/QtCore/qvector.h, line 339.
Time to report a bug.

link PhillipB  

Just a follow up. Found bug Think it is your comment David #13(?) which suggests updating Xorg using PPA Have done this and the beta now runs without crashing.
However, cannot seem to change tools using the stylus - same in Gimp. Something else to investigate.

link Stephan  

At the moment....are there any pressure problems with Ubuntu 10.10 or other issues with foss for artists? mint is unusable on my pc right know. I can change the tires of my car in the time mint boots. :-) when there are no problems I will downgrade till all these bugs are fixed.

link Mauro  

Hi David, to help spread the word about this awesome program I have translated this article into Italian and posted it on my blog.
Keep up the good work!

link Steven Powers (SMP)  


Thanks for the update and the ppa. Looking forward to it. Keep up the good work.


link Roberto Navas  

Looking forward to use Krita on Windows! I hope the developers can port it soon :)

link David Revoy Author,

@Mauro : Grazie & many thanks !

@Steven Powers (SMP) : ;)

@Roberto Navas : Developpers will port Krita on Windows, but before that they need to stabilize it. I'm confident a Windows version can appear before Christmas 2011.

link aftas  

err... how do i run the ppa after installing in mint 11?
ia it necessary to unistall krita 2.3 before?

link David Revoy Author,

@aftas : Sorry, but I can't answer you about this. Here I decided to keep compiling, so I didn't risk to have both version installed. I think developpers on IRC channel #krita ( freenode ) will be more able to say you what to uninstall or to remove if you wish switch to the ppa version.

link Boudewijn Rempt  

Hi Brett,

You said: "Is there a way to invoke and release with a key press (like we use in Gimp with Ctrl)?" Could you explain that a bit? I might be the maintainer of Krita, but I'm woefully inexperienced with other applications :-).

Hi Aftas,

Yes -- you really must uninstall krita 2.3 and all bits of KOffice that got installed with Krita. (Well, I mostly fixed that some days ago, but it's still better to not have a pre-installed Krita around). There's a new ppa, not project-neon based:

I'm not a *buntu user myself, so I'm not sure which version is better :-). I think the Project Neon guys keep up with git master, and the other ppa is for the 2.4 beta 3 release.

link Rob  

David thanks for the update on Krita. I'm one of the many here who have to use windows due to a lack of supported hardware on the linux side of things (depressing, would love to be able to use some of the Linux goodness I see everywhere if only thee were drivers for all my hardware }:>p> ). You are the first and only person so far that has even speculated on a release period for Windows. Love your work and thanks for all the info!

link Peter  

Thanks for the ppa and the overview of krita. I don't know if this is the best place to post this but I accidentally installed krita 2.3 over project neon's 2.4 and haven't been able to get krita back after purging/removing both 2.3 krita and project neon's krita and then installing project neon's krita.


link David Revoy Author,

@Rob : Thanks ;) Hardware support evolve a lot on Linux , keep checking it might be ready in few month...or few year for your hardware. Here I considered the problem in another way : I bought only computers with 'Ubuntu certified' logo and I look for well supported hardware ( scan / print ). I also leave comment on various e-shops I bought this for the linux compatibility.

@Peter : :) for the ppa and package stuff, I'm not the best to ask how to deal with it. If your Krita 2.3 package overide the 2.4 in Neon repositery ; maybe the best is to tweak in synaptic in a way to block the 2.3 package and force the 2.4 version. There is many option for package management threw menus normally. Sorry to can't help more, here I use the compile way.

link Brett McCoy  

Boudewijn Rempt --

I'm sorry, I was typing too fast... I meant invoking and releasing the color picker... it's doing it now, I noticed after I re-installed recently.

link Ref3atov  

Hi i just installed the neon project via terminal >>and that's it now what? :D.. iam kinda new to ubuntu so i dunno what next? i can't find even my old krita application? :(

link David Revoy Author,

@Ref3atov : Hey, no problem. Let try to solve this by step by step. What happen if you type 'krita' inside a terminal then run 'enter' ?

link Ref3atov  

it returns a message that says that krita is not installed :( although it was installed on my PC:(
if i reinstall it will i get the 2.4?

link David Revoy Author,

@Ref3atov : Here I don't run the ppa version, so I can't say if this version have problem.
Before installing again Krita, you might like to take informations about the package : open Synaptic ( package manager ) and type krita in the search file, to see if it's a version above 2.4 . If 2.3 it's not the "good one" of the neon project

link MadMinstrel  

Same problem here. No idea how to actually run krita after installing from ppa on ubuntu. 'krita' in terminal does nothing, there doesn't seem to be anything related to krita in the ppa. Synaptic only shows 2.3 from the ubuntu repositories.

link David Revoy Author,

@MadMinstrel :
As I didn't use the ppa, I don't know a lot about it. Just reported on this article the code emited by the website.
on the online page of the repository :">
It seams the package is here for : Ubuntu Natty and Oneiric only ( Linux Mint 11 or future 12 so ). Maybe your system is older ?
The package to look for in Synaptic sound to be ' project-neon-calligra ' ; it install certainly the whole Calligra suite, with Krita inside it.

link Blablabla  

I really HATE that behind Krita there's a lot of developers, but behind Karbon is only one. It sucks. Karbon needs more atention and development, its state is annoying.

Yeah, Krita should be a standalone app.

link Kasia  

Wow, looks much complexed that MyPaint!

Btw, have you tried Pixia? I've heard it has a lot of fans.

link justinenieves  

i love it but how to download this ?

link David Revoy Author,

@justinenieves : All is written on the dedicated page : :) have good painting

link atmycrossroads  


Thanks for the tip off to Krita. Im a huge fan of your work and your advice to beginning digi-painters has been excellent.

Ive downloaded the 2.4 version of krita but Ive encountered a small problem. It doesnt seem to be responding to my tablet (graphire3). MyPaint responds just fine however. Other than setting pressure curve for the brushes is there anything else I should look at in fixing this?

link Tom Ventresco  

David love your stuff. And to those using the ppa install of Krita listed above.
Project-Neon is the latest greatest KDE stuff, you get a bit more than just Krita :) So if you are running Mint Linux 12 Gnome3/MATE and used the ppa (500MB) above nothing happened !!! Right? Wrong. Logout and click the gear by your username, and select Project-Neon. Login and the KDE desktop will be there. You will find Krita under K | Applications | Graphics | Painting. The ppa above does install KDE 4.8.2 and Krita 2.5 Alpha 1 as of the date of this post. Where's my Wacom?

link David Revoy Author,

@Tom Ventresco : Hey thanks for the infos ; I couldn't test because I'm still on Kubuntu and the testing package are pretty similar than the package offered with the neon ppa I guess. Good info, so it install full KDE 4.8.2 ? woow; thats a bit overkill , but fine. Very updated.

link David Revoy Author,

@atmycrossroads : I have no idea. It may come from the Qt support of tablet...

link Tom Ventresco  

@Tom Ventresco and David REVOY Sorry for the long post guys.
>>so it install full KDE 4.8.2 ? woow; thats a bit overkill , but fine.<<

Hopefully this helps someone.

Here are the three options I have used to install Krita. My current environment Mint 12 64 bit Mate/Gnome3. Sorry, I know Krita has an MS Windows binary, but I have no way of testing it currently.

First, the ppa above is a snap. Be aware this is a nightly build of the KDE trunk ( ie the KDE environment and core apps - including Calligra and Krita) don't be surprised each morning if a project-neon update triggers via Mint Update Manager in Gnome/MATE. It is about 550 MB and it goes to /opt/project-neon. To use it login out and select the "Project Neon" from the window manager drop down on your system. On Gnome it is a gear icon next to your username. The keys here are nightly builds, KDE and Calligra integration, and latest greatest. My milage - KDE is pretty and a beast (I am going the other way LXDE) My computer is a bit dated. Warning... You need good hardware to run KDE latest greatest.

Next, compile Krita from source. This is also simple, BUT BUT BUT if you run Gnome/MATE and plan to run Krita inside Gnome/MATE then you need to do some work.
Either install the repo binaries that Krita needs ala KDE - Remember Krita integration with KDE. Or compile the binaries for KDE. Basically, after you get all the source and depends worked out you are into time and about 300MB or more. I have had little issue mixing KDE depends inside Gnome/MATE. You will have a Krita binary at the end. Via git/svn or other it can be set up to be latest greatest.

Finally, just use the package manager on your system, Krita is in there. It is not the latestest greatest, but you get the KDE binaries you need and Krita alone.

:) David you are responsible for this wether you accept it or not :) :) This all begang for me with "Evolution and Chaos," that workflow, Alchemy, then to your blog, Mint Linux for painting, GimpGPS, Krita has the mirror brush feature ... on and on and on. Keep it coming. Looking forward to Mango.

Off to the baseball field...


link David Revoy Author,

@Tom Ventresco :Thanks for the precious infos and encouragement !
( I edited your previous post for the typo you mentioned )

link Aman  

No doubt that with slight improvements,Krita will rule the painter's world.
Krita 2.5.9 has mainly only one problem:The lasso tool.I want it to be as precise as in Adobe photoshop.Some Krita developers have revealed that they want to consider my request in next Krita versions regarding improvement in Lasso tool.I believe that they might have a better lasso tool in next versions comming somewhere in Jan 2013,as heard.
other than that its the best Painting app you can get.Krita Desktop is a bit difficult to use when it comes to Brush Dynamics but if you are a professional artists,then these Brush dynamics adjustments is for you.Go get Krita,ask for better lasso tool and after that,don't buy expensive softwares like Artrage,Howler PD,etc.

If you are looking something for fun and something lightweight but a balance of mid-professional software and fun to use software,then there is a new Krita category software called the Krita Sketch.Sketch has accomodate a maximum canvas size of 10000 * 10000 pixels.Whereas Krita Desktop goes further than Photoshop(Unthinkable canvas size).

If Lasso tool is improved,then there are negligible reasions why not to use only Krita as a panting application.Krita is mainly a sketching and painting app,not a Photoediting app.Krita is impressive.You can rarely get any other painting or sketching software,so good,so wonderful,so professional,like this for free as of now.

link David Revoy Author,

@Aman : thanks Aman for your opinion. I'm 'Deevad' on the forum, so I knew your concern already. It make sens about the lasso , I hope the Krita team will know how to do. You can certainly post a 'wish' on the Krita bug tracker, it will be more visible for them.

link Aman  

Hi,thanks a lot.Can you post a link where I can post a wish on Krita bug tracker.Also,there is a slight problem in my account.I am not able to again login the account.I have informed this to KDE administrator.

link Amita Gandhi.  

I do agree with Aman.
As Aman said,the lines appearing during selection should be thin and the point of aim of cursor should coincide with the point through which selection line is being drawn.
I am a product designer and I am facing a same problem in Krita.
however,I do agree that there are only few good product design softwares supporting high resolution and large canvas Size.Krita and (may be a commercial software : )TV Paint Animation are only few such softwares.
Aman has already filled a bug regarding Lasso tool's need of improvement in Precision(may be because of your advice).
If I am correct,I know this persion. Aman is my friend in college.

link David Revoy Author,

@Aman & Amita :
The link for the bugtraker is here">
The Krita team did really a lot of progress on the development version. You should try to test last code it on a Linux system ; or wait the 5 february for the 2.6 release. It will be a cool event.

link ask  

Great article.

link Silhouette  

Hi. i just got krita yesterday and i was wondering if there was a way to use a regular tablet for krita. i have a hard time using my mouse, and it doesn't seem that there is a krita app on tablets. if you cant use it on any tablet, is there a way that can be fixed?

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