Photo: A part of the Krita team at the Krita Sprint 2011, Amsterdam in the Blender Institute. From Top left to bottom right: Adam Celarek, Silvio Grosso, Silvio Heinrich, Sven Langkamp, Boudewijn Rempt, David Revoy, José Luis Vergara Toloza, Dmitry Kazakov, Cyrille Berger, Bugsbane,Timothée Giet, Matus Talcik, Lukáš Tvrdý. (photo by Dmitry Kazakov)
As you probably know I switched since 3 month mostly all my digital painting workflow to the open source Krita. The new Krita 2.4 will be out really soon now ( by the end of month ). So, in a near future, everyone will be able to install it with the regular package manager of his/her Linux distribution. Very exiting time to know it because Krita 2.4 is in my opinion ready for production work. But to reach this quality, the Krita team worked really hard. So, I wanted to blog a bit about an old Krita challenge and my relation with the project. Back on a bit of history...
The not so old time
Remember the relatively not so old 'Sintel era' and how Krita looked at this time? At this time (around 3 years ago) I used only Al.chemy, a branch version of Mypaint around 7.0, and Gimp-painter 2.6. I used this ones not because I knew only this ones; no, I tested every solution available at this time, and this workflow was the only way to got my painting done.
At this same period, while the Sintel movie project started to get a little bit more popular I received an email from the Krita team asking why I didn't used their software.Krita. At this moment (around version 2.2) Krita was far from my requirement, and I answered to this email my criticisms of what didn't works for my usage.
A challenge started
To my big surprise, I was very honored to read in our email discussion this full article: http://www.kdenews.org/2009/12/02/krita-team-seeking-sponsorship-take-krita-next-level; I also received in my home studio Cyrille Berger who -by a good luck- worked on the same french city as me at this time. To quote from this article link above :
"Lukáš Tvrdý : It was about that time when I got in contact with David Revoy. He's the concept artist who has been working with the Blender team on Project Durian: their latest open source movie project. I asked him for his opinions on Krita to get some feedback from a professional. I like when people use my applications, and David has plenty of experience with various tools like GIMP and MyPaint. His opinions seemed very valuable to me for making Krita ready for actual users... He was willing to provide us with feedback on the issues he bumped into. So that's when we decided we should put a strong focus on getting Krita ready for him. If he can work comfortably with Krita, so will many other users, both casual users and professionals. ( Dec 2009 )"
So, at first I tried to be around the project , mainly on IRC reading the mailing list and trying to build weekly Krita, to bring test and feedback. During long period I launched Krita only once a week after my work just to try a speedpainting and see the improvement, comment about them. Then with time and after a lot of very cool features added by brillant developpers, I started to have a workflow including Krita in my tool set. At first , just to open a picture and take advantage of a unique Krita feature. Then more and more with bringing feedback, and with helps of other testers around Krita started to become more and more dominant to my workflow.
"Getting Krita ready for him"
I'm back from Mango 4th open movie pre-production where the Krita team did a wonderfull job remotely ironing bugs for 2.4 or including small workflow accelerators for storyboarding. For Mango concept art and storyboard I used mainly Krita 2.4 beta. And so, recently chatting about it and how good was Krita nowadays, Lukáš made me remember of this old 'challenge' from 3 years ago. So, congratz Krita team ! you won it !
Since last week the development of 2.5 started, and after month of bug fixing for 2.4, it's good to see again Krita open to new features. It's make me think to maybe start to blog post about new features here and redo short video tutorial because in less than a week Krita got the Composition layer done by Sven Langkamp, and Boudewijn Rempt is also working on making textured brush (http://www.davidrevoy.com/index.php?article107/textured-brush-in-floss-digital-painting). Mypaint also grew a lot, but not a lot of communication is done around. Here I will continue to stick to the 2.5 development and gives feedback and bugreport.
Every helps are welcome about testing and giving feedback; it's almost impossible for the actual amount of tester to test everything in real time. Most of us ( me including ) test only the feature we use for our work or hobby. So cool if you can join around IRC, the forum, or the bugtracker to help the team increasing the quality of Krita.
Time for a next challenge ? ;-)