GIMP / Krita / Blender / Synfig / PipeWire / Audacity Week recap — 30 September 2018

Highlights of this week: new releases of Audacity, Krita and Pencil2D, new Blender add-ons, PipeWire project is getting serious about pro audio workflows, and grafikwork dominates the Inkscape/Krita tutorials scene on YouTube.

Graphics and animation

The Krita team released version 4.1.3 full of bug fixes as the result of the ongoing bug hunt sponsored by the community. It also features a new welcome screen that simplifies opening recent files and discovering project’s online resources. So far, the campaign has raised 16K euro, you can join in! Scott Petrovic is also exploring ways to improve the brush editor experience.

The GIMP team is skipping the monthly 2.10.x update due to conflicting schedules among developers. Meanwhile, Ell answered the load shaming by further improving startup time of the program. He also made all tools commit their changes when an image is about to be saved or exported (GIMP used to lose unapplied rotation or warping when saving). Jehan Pages also got Brien Dieterle to start shipping MyPaint brushes as a separate shareable package. This should simplify packaging.

The Synfig team posted a weekly report on their progress. They started addressing (again) various performance issues during the rendering. This time, they fixed freezing when you scrub on the timeline during background rendering and made Synfig only render frames inside a playback region (when one is selected).

The Pencil2D team released v0.6.2 of their animation tool with a completely overhauled color inspector, improved color palette workflow, auto keyframe insertion, improting/exporting GIF, and various bug fixes.

Sébastian Fourey, David Tschumperlé, and David Revoy will present the Smart Coloring algorithm in G’MIC at the Eurographics VMV'2018 conference on October 10th in Stuttgart, Germany.


Dalai Felinto wrote a new weekly status update about his work on Blender 2.8. Highlights: lots of improvements in multi-objects editing, texture paint clone now fully functional in 2.8.

Zacharias Reinhardt explored sculpting changes in Blender 2.8.

Blender Institute celebrated its 11th birthday with crew and friends. Ton reminds that visitors are always allowed in and get a short tour.

Soft8Soft released a Verge3D plug-in for WordPress to simplify embedding 3D content into websites.

TkSakai published a MultiCam render add-on for Blender.

MultiCam render

Jose Conseco demonstrated some new changes in his upcoming new Blender add-on for making garments.

Jeroen Bakker completed the introduction to his CrowdSim3D add-on for Blender. The last video in the series shows how to add behavior to agents in the scene.

Music and sound

The Audacity team released version 2.3.0 swarming with new features and improvements. Most notably, Audacity now has punch-and-roll recording which means you can now stop in the middle of recording, go back over a mistake you made, then resume recording. If you don’t like cutting your voiceovers and prefer to fix errors as you go, you might find this new feature quite useful. For a complete list of changes, see the official release notes or download the update here (it has already landed to some Linux distributions).

The VCV Rack team announced the beginning of v1.0 development. The project is now getting a lot of mainstream attention, Deadmau5 recently streamed himself on Twitch using VCV Rack.

Christian Schaller (GStreamer), Wim Taymans (PipeWire) and Arun Raghavan (PulseAudio) are hosting a PipeWire hackfest at the end of October in Edinburgh. The objective is to work out a roadmap of bridging the gap between PipeWire and JACK. Filipe Coelho seems to be the only developer coming with extensive pro audio background, being the current lead developer of JACK. The rest of attendees are mostly PulseAudio, GNOME, KDE, and GStreamer developers. This could be good or maybe not so good. We’ll see. The idea to make professional audio (read: JACK-like) as accessible as the usual desktop audio is tempting.

Raph Levien announced he will be giving a talk on his Rust audio synthesis work at a meetup in the San Francisco Mozilla office on November 13.

Nils Hilbricht is launching a fundraiser to help him organize the second annual Sonoj Convention 2018 that is scheduled for October 27-28 in Cologne, Germany. Sonoj Convention is a bit like the annual Linux Audio Conference, but don’t tell Nils we said so!


Nathan Lovato posted a tutorial that explains how to make fast and precise selections in the Blender’s sequencer using his Power Sequencer add-on.


New Inkscape tutorial by Nick Saporito: how to create a maze.

There are also two new Inkscape tutorials by grafikwork on YouTube. The first one is drawing a black cat on a sofa.

The second one is drawing a landscape with ships.

And since Sergey (grafikwork) is so very productive, here’s him doing an autumn lanscape speedpainting in Krita.

MyGimpTutorialChannel published a new video that demonstrates using simple tricks to “cinematically” color-grade photos.

CG Thoughts posted a new tutorial on creating a LED shader in Blender.

Art and showcases

Daniel Bautista is back to shredding with Ardour 5 used for tracking:

Libre Graphics World (that’s us!) resumed publishing showcases and featured Andrea dela Cerna who extensively uses Krita in his work.

Comfort Zone, by Andrea dela Cerna

Aliciane posted concept art made with Krita, that she created for “Morgan Le Fay”, an illustrated book written by Morgan of Glencoe.

Activemotionpictures posted a very interesting technical review of the use of Blender in the production of the ‘NextGen’ animated movie:

Apparently, Blender/EEVEE were used to produce background video for Emmy’s 2018 Awards ceremony. See Alan’s post on BlenderArtists.

Blender/EEVEE at Emmy 2018

Quentin Le Duff created ‘Shinkai’, a short animated movie made with Blender. It’s about the journey of a japanese submarine under the sea:

MikeRed posted an extremely cozy render of his fun art for Goro Fujita’s Firefly Story:

Firefly fun art

The Box, a short film by Dusan Kastelic, made in Blender, is now Oscar qualifying (like his previous ‘Darrel’ and ‘Alike’ short movies before). Here is the trailer.

Mohamed Chahin put northern lights into a jar: