Blender / GIMP / Krita / FontForge / Kdenlive / CUPS Week recap — 19 August 2019

Week highlights: GIMP gets Lua and JavaScript support, Krita gets notifications for new versions availability, new releases of G’MIC, DJV, and Shotcut, more exciting news on sculpting tools in Blender 2.81, a bunch of great tutorials and artwork, and more.

LibreArts podcast

In early June, I attended Libre Graphics Meeting and did two interviews, one with Pat David and one with members of the Krita team. Unfortunately, I messed up the video part of the interview with Krita devs. So I decided to reuse the only thing I could salvage, which is the audio, and started a podcast.

This is the first episode where sat with Boudwijn, Agata, and Wolthera to talk about financing the Krita project, non-coding contributions, pacing the development with regards to new features vs bugfixes, etc. I’m likely to release the text version as well.

For now, I have a few ideas what to do with this podcast, but I don’t currently expect to do more than one episode a month.

The podcast’s name also reveals a coming and long overdue rebranding of this website.


GIMP developers continue refactoring the new plug-in API, and there’s more to that now:

Jehan isn’t stopping at that though. Last week, he prototyped a more object-oriented API (currently in a branch and undergoing code review by Michael Natterer). Here is how Jehan explained this on IRC:

It goes much further than fixing Python, that's just a side effect. It will also bring signals to plug-ins. Basically a plug-in will be able to connect to signals that the core would emit.

Typically obvious things are things like "being notified when the image or the layer we are working on has been deleted". But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

For instance, on our local GIMP, I have a commit to change how layers are named automatically (the #2 #3 etc.). This commit had been refused way back years ago because it changed a common thing people were used to.

I would introduce a signal "new-layer" and an extension could connect to this signal and step in to change the automatic naming. Then my core commit could become a mere plug-in. It's common hooking system to customize software.

A more technical explanation is available in this merge request.

GEGL has finally switched to the Meson build system and removed support for autotools. Øyvind mentioned this in the commit message:

Getting rid of autotools also allows us to continue refactoring away file names and directory layout away from constraints from autotools.

He also improved how the babl library handles greyscale spaces and patched the JPEG saver accordingly.

Krita developers and contributors posted more reports from the recent Krita sprint: Raghavendra Kamath, Wolthera van Hövell tot Westerflier, Dmitry Kazakov.

Among development news:

  • Kuntal Majumder continues hacking on the magnetic lasso (GSoC project).
  • Karl Ove Hufthammer is helping Wolthera with the graphic tablet tester widget and adding small UX tweaks here and there.
  • Scott Petrovic is adding an in-app notification on availability of new Krita versions.
  • Tilya enhanced the gamut mask feature. Now when a gamut mask is active, it is also shown in the on-canvas popup color selector.

Igor Novikov refactored the look of the Preferences dialog in sK1 and posted a screenshot. Here is the old thing (keep in mind that my GTK theme is different):

sK1 old preferences

Here is the new look:

sK1 new preferences

G`MIC got a new denoising filter. Version 2.7.0 is now available for downloading.

David is also aware of plug-in API changes in upcoming GIMP 3 and stays in the loop.

DJV developers recently released a major update of their CG data/footage view and annotation tools, with more subsequent releases. Highlights: essential color management, revamped UI with HiDPI support, better DPX and Cineon playback performance, new keyboard shortcuts and mouse actions (panning, scrubbing), and more.


One of the most interesting bits of news last week is that the Evangelion studio is now adopting Blender 3D for production.

Evangelion adopts Blender 2.80

There’s a ton of sculpting tools’ updates from Pablo Dobarro, including a new Pose tool…

… a voxel remesher…

...dynamic mesh preview…

...and more. By the way, the HardOps add-on already supports some of these new features.

The new file browser, being worked via Google Summer of Code program, is shaping up nicely too, as Bill Rey reports:

New file browser in Blender 2.81

Meanwhile, Intel’s OpenImageDenoise is now available as a compositing node in Blender. Grab a nightly build or wait for the 2.81 release.

Stuart Attenborrow developed a photogrammetry add-on for Blender (2.79 and 2.80), see this post on BlenderNation for details and grab it on GitHub.

Arnaud Couturier released SceneSkies 1.2 which is a HDRI manager for Blender, now coming with version 2.80 support. The goal of SceneSkies is to make HDRI-based lighting in Blender easy and fast.


Kartik Kumar recently posted an update on his GSoC project where he’s adding hardware-accelerated rendering to LibreCAD. You can test his code by building it from his personal temporary fork on GitHub.

Qingfeng Xia recently resumed his work on documentation for people interested to write modules for FreeCAD. He’s now covering the moving target known as version 0.19 :)


Nathan Lovato submitted their (GDquest) Power Sequencer VSE add-on for inclusion to Blender 2.81. We’ll see how it goes!

MattKC posted a huge official project update on Patreon regarding ongoing refactoring efforts. Do check it out! Highlights:

  • New flexible node-based pixel pipeline
  • OpenColorIO everywhere
  • Background tasks display and management
  • Multiple decoders/encoders support
  • Caching/Rendering engine planned

Dan Dennedy released Shotcut 19.08, featuring workflow improvements for playlist editing and video stabilization. Someone also contributed 360° video plugins for Shotcut to convert projections, rotate in 3D, stabilize, and punch-out a normal rectangular view.


Ian Hubert won the Internet last week with this 1 minute long (!!!) tutorial on animating huge crowds in Blender.

In a post at 80 Level, Gesy Bekeyei explained the production of his hard-surface project Lobster made fully in Blender.

Gesy Bekeyei, Blender, Lobster submarine

Learn to model donuts with Blender 2.80 and Eevee:

This quick guide will walk you through the process of texturing with ArmorPaint 0.6:

Dimitar from UH Studio Design Academy started a tutorials series to introduce FreeCAD to architects and Revit users. Here is the first video, and you can find the rest in this thread on FreeCAD’s forum.

New FreeCAD tutorial on drafting steel external stairs using Sketcher and Dodo workbenches.

Art and showcases

Bassam Kurdali says Wires for Empathy is still an ongoing effort:

Filipe Lima Botelho posted some renders from his recent interior design project made with Blender 2.80 and rendered with Cycles.

Filipe Lima, Blender, Botelho Beach House

Sady Fofana rendered this cyberpunk urban scene with Eevee:

Sady Fofana, Blender, cyberpunk street scene

Felipe Del Rio posted a Cycles render he did for CG Masters’ Ice Cream Shop challenge.

Felipe Del Rio, Ice Cream Shop

Interested in 4-cylinder steam engine porn? FreeCAD community member un1corn posted some! :)

un1corn, FreeCAD, steam engine

New Inkscape artwork from Sven Ebert:

Sven Ebert, Inkscape, Selfie