Krita: free paint app - let's make it faster than Photoshop! The free and open source digital painting program used by artists all over the world - iCrowdNewswire

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May 18, 2015 3:01 PM ET

Krita: free paint app – let’s make it faster than Photoshop! The free and open source digital painting program used by artists all over the world

iCrowdNewswire - May 18, 2015

Krita: free paint app – let’s make it faster than Photoshop!

by Krita Foundation

Krita is the free and open source digital painting program used by artists all over the world. Help make Krita even faster and better!

Krita Foundation

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About this project

Krita is a FREE award-winning open source digital painting application. Dedicated to creating comics, illustrations, concept art, matte paintings: all kinds of 2D image creation!


Try Krita now and see how good it already is!

Linux builds are provided by your distribution and may lag behind a version or two. For Ubuntu, you can use krita-testing from the Lime repository:

OpenSUSE users can the KDE:Extra repo:

Thank You for Last Year!

Last year, you supported us to create a dozen great new features for Krita – and we delivered! We just released Krita 2.9, the latest, greatest version of Krita with hundreds of improvements. That wouldn’t have been possible without your support, as well as the many volunteers that donated their time and energy! Krita is a community project through and through! And now it’s the time to take the next step…

ImagineFX likes Krita so much, they awarded it 5 out of 5 and Artists Choice!
ImagineFX likes Krita so much, they awarded it 5 out of 5 and Artists Choice!

Our Primary Goals for 2015

  • Make Krita really fast on big canvases with big brushes
  • Make Krita an awesome 2D animation tool

We’re making Krita to make it possible for artists all over the world to create great art, to be as productive as possible. There’s one big step we can take to achieve that goal:

Make Krita as Fast as Photoshop

Achieve awesome performance, beating Photoshop at its own game. Thanks to research by Dmitry, we’ve figured it out and we know how to do it, but it’s a BIG job! Several months of dedicated coding, right inside Krita’s core.

And that’s where you come in – help us make this possible, let’s push Krita to yet another height. Huge posters, big illustrations, high-def film matte paintings. Big brushes with a diameter over 3000 pixels will be possible!

Here’s the prototype:


Over the past two years, we’ve been putting down the foundation for adding great animation capabilities to Krita. With the performance improvements in place, we will build a professional animation tool into Krita. Whether you’re Warner Bros reviving Looney Tunes or making game sprites (or just having fun with gifs), you were stuck with vector tools if you wanted to use open source software.

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People keep telling us how much they love Krita’s brushes, and rightly so! Think of being able to use those brushes to create the hand-drawn 2d animations of your dreams. It’s a big project! But it’s going to be fun. We just need to write the code!

You’ll be able to not just animate your drawings from frame to frame, but set every layer or mask property on a timeline! Filter layers, transformation masks, fill layers, clones and transparency masks… Just imagine the possibilities!

This will also hit Krita’s core data structures, but we’re also going to have create a great timeline feature, onion skinning and more!

As usual, we’ll be inviting all of you to test as we code! Every week, we’ll make builds for Linux, Windows (and OSX, too, for a double dose of experimental). 

Stretch goals

We need to do the big stuff! But there are a lot of great ideas floating around and we want to give you the opportunity to make Krita better, better and better. Here are our stretch goals! There are 24 of them, neatly grouped. Every 1500 euros over the target will add a stretch goal… And at the end of the kickstarter, everyone who has supported us from the 15 euro reward can vote for their favourite stretch goals from the list! 

(And, of course, choosing a 1500 euro reward lets you automatically add a stretch goal!)

  • Krita now supports selecting multiple layers, but not all tools can handle multiple layers in one go. Here’s a set of goals that will make that feature much more useful! We want to move all selected layers at once, or move them into a group – and make sure we support shortcuts for that. transform all selected layers at once, select multiple layers using the ‘R’ shortcut. Moving layers up and down using shortcuts, remove all hiden layers or select all layers in one go – we’ll be taking more suggestions for this point before starting hacking!
  • Update the look and feel of the layer docker panel. Let’s re-arrange the icons for visibility, lockedness and other properties and make them prepared for hi-dpi screens, too. And we’ll make it possible to assign a color to one or more layers.
  • Krita is unique: you can combine any combination of layers in any of the color models and channel depths in a single image. Your 16 bit grayscale inking layer renders just fine together with your 8 bit RGB coloring layer. But figuring out that you’ve got such a mixed image is harder. We’ll add feedback on the colormodel and bit depth of the layer, as well as feedback when you start combining different color models and channel depths in an image.
  • Preset selection improvements. There’s the preset dropdown, the preset docker panel, the preset selection popup wheel, the / key to switch between current and previous – but we want to add two more features: a preset history docker that shows you the history of the presets you used, and a way to select favourite presets using the keyboard. This needs careful design, but the implementation should be a breeze!
  • Grids! We’ve got a very flexible grid system… But our interface is lacking! Let’s create a docker panel that allows you to select from predefined grids, and create new grid definitions, too.
  • Memory management: the Level-of-Detail performance optimization will make memory management even more important. This stretch goal adds feedback on memory consumption as well as a gui for managing memory consumption settings.
  • Working with selections. Ten years ago we wrote the current system of creating and combining selections. Ever since we’ve wanted to find the time to fix it good and proper: make selections add, subtract and intersect with sticky keys. Help us make that finally possible!
  • Managing palettes and color swatches. We want to add tagging, searching, creating, saving and editing of palettes. Palettes are also limited to 8 bit sRGB colors, so we’ll also create a new swatchbook format that allows for higher channel depth colors.
  • Implement a Heads-Up-Display for easy manipulation of the view: rotation, pan, mirror, zoom and resetting the canvas.
  • Rulers and Guides: dragging out guides, manipulating them and generating common sets of guides in an easy way.
  • Composition helps: vector objects that you can place and that help with creating rules of thirds, spiral, golden mean and other compositions.
  • Animated file formats export. Our base goal for the Big Animation Feature will support exporting your animation frame by frame – and this stretch goal will add saving to animated gif, animated png and spritemaps.

Last year, we kicked ass with the transform tool changes. Time to make the Move tool awesome!

  • Add precision to the layer move tool, using keyboard shortcuts to move by a precise number of pixels
  • Show a tooltip when hovering over a layer with content to show which one you’re going to move. (And the ‘R’ shortcut that selects the layer with content, well, let’s add that tooltip there as well.)
  • Scale from center pivot: right now, we transform from the corners, not the pivot point. Using a modifier key, we’ll add scaling from the pivot – and at the same time go through all transformation options and add the same option where useful.
  • We’re flexible: we support both stop-based and segment-based gradients already. But you can only create segment-based gradients. Let’s add a gradient editor for the tried, trusted and familiar stop-based gradients as well!
  • HDR gradients. Nobody’s got this – and we’re so close: define the stops in your gradients using scene-referred colors. We’ll fix the interpolation so you can have smooth gradients ranging from lighter than light to darker than dark.
  • On-canvas gradient previews. Creating a gradient is always a bit hit and miss… Clicking in the dark! You draw the line, and a bit later, Krita draws a gradient. We’ll bring back the on-canvas, live gradient preview, with as an optional extra, masking it out with the current selection.
  • A Gradient Map Filter. A filter that takes your grayscale image and replaces the gray values with the colors from the gradient.
  • Stacked brushes… Grungy painting. Take two, or more, why not!, brush tips and stack them together, with offset, noise and your choice of blending modes, as a mask or as a colored brush. Usuable in every brush engine that uses brush tips. 
  • Brush tip editor. Right now, you can take something you painted in Krita and use it as a brush tip. But you cannot edit a brush tip. We’ll make Krita load and save ordinary and animated brush tips (of the gbr and gih types) as images you can edit. And, of course, you can turn your animation into an animated brush, too.
  • Textured brushes are awesome, but it would be even more fun if you could select a texture on the fly, from the texture docker or dropdown and have it work with your current textured brush.
  • Implement a Heads-Up-Display to manipulate the most common brush settings: opacity, size, flow and others.
  • Fuzzy strokes: most brush properties can be set randomly, but it’s random for every drawn dab. This feature will make the stroke consistent, but add randomness between strokes.


Thank you for supporting Krita! The biggest reward is of course that you’ll get a much improved Krita that you can work with forever, that will never be closed up, that will never stop working because a cloud server breaks – a digital painting application that you build on!

For extra fun, we’ve added some cool things that, hopefully will make supporting Krita even more attractive. Already from fifteen euros, you will get your name in the aboutbox. We’ll make the about box a lot more attractive too! Postcards with Krita art from your favourite developers. Stickers to adorn your laptop and tablets. Roomy usb-sticks with Krita and the first two training DVD’s pre-loaded. Downloads of the brand new DVD Timothee Giet is working on. We’ve also designed mugs, tote-bags, t-shirts, pencil cases, a fancy sketch book and a tablet holder as thank-you rewards.

But in the end, it comes down to this:

Join us and let’s make a free digital painting application that is yours, just as much it is ours.


Get the latest version of Krita and give it a spin!

It’s free, and available for Windows and Linux — and we’re working to make the OSX version stable, too.

Showing off

Krita is made for painters! Watch David Revoy create a full scale illustration using Krita:

 Then, Krita is immensely powerful. You can paint in full HDR mode. Baking your painting to a particular exposure is one of the stretch goals.

 If full HDR is too much color, try simulating indexed colors:

Our transform tools are even more awesome than before:

And wrap-around mode for texture painting is incredibly productive, and fun!

 Krita let’s you work your way — here’s William Thorup showing how he painted the Time Keeper illustration:


Take a look at the wonderful artwork Krita users have been making!

Mouse by Coyau
Mouse by Coyau
Maharaja by Raghukamath
Maharaja by Raghukamath
Leafy Dragon by Eo Fenstalker
Leafy Dragon by Eo Fenstalker
Exogenesis by Chris Jones
Exogenesis by Chris Jones
Valdis by Wolthera
Valdis by Wolthera
Birthday by Danas Anis
Birthday by Danas Anis
Bird by Elena
Bird by Elena
Biosphere by James Abell
Biosphere by James Abell
Huion mascot by Alex Truman
Huion mascot by Alex Truman

Risks and challenges

We have been working on Krita for ten years now, and have been bringing the application up to a high level of usefulness.

The Krita Foundation has succesfully stewarded five sponsored projects already: Lukáš Tvrdý’s work on the 2.4 release (“Make Krita Ready for David Revoy”), Timothee Giet’s “Comics with Krita” training DVD, Ramon Miranda’s “Muses” training DVD and Dmitry Kazakov’s sponsored work on Krita 2.8 and Krita 2.9.

The 2014 Kickstarter was a success as well. We delivered all but one features in 2.9.0. The Photoshop Layer Style feature will be delivered this week.

Krita is released more or less every six months, and every release has a host of new features, improvements, bug fixes and speed-ups.

Release dates are approximate. If some features don’t make it to the next release because they take more time to develop than we currently expect, we promise to keep working on them for the next release!

If you have questions about this project, please mail [email protected].

NOTE: “Faster than Photoshop” specifically is about painting performance on big canvases, not about each and every individual feature.

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