Inkscape / Krita / Blender / FreeCAD / Bespoke Synth / VCV Rack / Audacity Weekly-ish recap — 6 October 2021

Highlights: new Inkscape and Octo4A releases, Inkscape and Blender development updates, VCV Rack 2 source code release.

Inkscape 1.1.1

The team finally released the first update to Inkscape v1.1. It comes mainly with bug fixes — a lot of them, in fact — so you’d do yourself a big favor by upgrading.

And yes, I know I’m preaching to the choir with this, but the excitement is still strong witrh Martin’s ongoing work on pages support.

In other news, Mike Kowalski made toolbars icons size and the toolbox vastly more customizable:

Krita gets updated Levels filter

The team is working hard at getting Krita 5.0 ready to be released. That doesn’t mean great new features can’t sneak into the main development branch for what will become version 5.1.0. So Deif Lou took the opportunity to improve the Levels filter.

There’s some code refactoring involved, but on the UI side, changes are quite visible too. You can now edit separate channels, like R or B in RGB, and M or Y in CMYK. For RGB images, you can also tweak H and S in HSL.

New Levels dialog

And then there’s a new Auto Levels feature with settings.

Auto Levels

Blender 3.0 news

Cycles X landed to the main development branch, which is great for everyone who wanted the rendering to complete faster. Here is a video by Gleb from a few months back:

You can learn more from preliminary release notes, as well as from this post in developers' blog.

Throughout September, the team posted a series of updates on Google Summer of Code projects this year:

  1. Geometry nodes
  2. VSE and UV Editor improvements
  3. Curve and Knife tool improvements

In 3rd party news, Bend Face v4.0.0 add-on has been released:

Massive FreeCAD update from Yorik

Yorik van Havre returned to posting updates on his FreeCaD hacking. Highlights:

  • Initial Topologic integration
  • A proper Hatch tool for the Draft and BIM workbenches
  • BIM Leader tool to draw polylines with arrows
  • You can now easily move a copy-pasted TechDraw view elsewhere
  • There’s a mode selector to reorder the contents of groups in the BIM workbench now
  • The BIM library tool can now import items from Grabcad
  • There’s a new Style Settings panel allowing to save and load draft styles

I absolutely encourage you to read the whole thing and maybe grab a build from git to see for yourself. Any new build from ‘realthunder’ should do.

New Hatch tool in FreeCAD

And because I feel lazy to make a new header, here is some great news from the fellow IfcOpenShell project:

Octo4A 1.0

The OctoPrint Android app has finally reached v1.0 stage, which is a bit of a jump from v0.0.5 released just this March :)

Highlights:

  • A new alpine-based bootstrap, supports Android 4.3+
  • A lot of new camera settings
  • Web terminal via ttyd
  • A new extensions system
  • More support for plugins
  • Better USB configuration
  • Corrupted detection installation
  • Massive features polish

You can grab an APK build from GitHub (v1.0.1 now available). This is not the first Android remote control for OctoPrint, but as far as I can tell, e.g. OctoRemote is not free/libre software.

Blender VSE updates

I think this deserves its own section, at least, this time. There has been a bunch of great VSE changes lately.

Here is one:

Here is another one:

And then there’s this:

Bespoke Synth excitement is growing

People keep raving about Bespoke Synth while the community started contributing to the project with fixes (mostly for the build system) and minor improvements.

Here is a review from Polarity Music, it specifically covers how different some of BS’s concepts are:

More interesting uses of the synth demonstrate just how much expressive the environment is:

I mean, how about a road runner game?

it is all the more exciting because it looks like Ryan Challinor, the guy behind this project, developed a bad case of RSI last year which is preventing him from releasing videos that he planned for this project, and now users are pretty much doing it for him.

Also, just for the fun of it:

VCV Rack 2 source code release

While the binary release along with the VST version is coming in November, the source code for v2 and preliminary builds from git were made available a week ago. Andrew first announced the coming source code release in the very last message in Mycelium Symposium chat on YT and then pushed the branch shortly after that.

You can fetch builds (Linux included) from the announcement post, although only default modules are available right now. There rest of some ca. 2700 of them would need porting first. Which, I feel, is the reason for the pre-release: gotta give developers something to test updated code against. Officially, Rack 2 API and ABI are unstable for the next few weeks though. But hey, still very exciting!

Rack 2.0 Community Edition and Studio Edition are expected to be released on November 6.

Audacity is getting non-destructive clip trimming

Getting major new stuff into Audacity has been taking time, but we are beginning to see the shape of what’s coming.

And then the spectral brush, which is one of the two GSoC projects this year, is nearing completion and might become part of v3.1.0 (not guaranteed though).

Artworks

Joshua Jay Christie, Oat Distillery, Blender:

ikhimaz, Overgrown, Blender:

Philipp Urlich, a new speedpainting of a mountain valley, Krita:

attackmenicely, Altered Carbon poster, Krita

Sylvia Ritter, The Devil tarot card, Krita:


Each of my weekly recaps involves researching, building and testing software, reporting bugs, talking to developers, actually watching videos that I recommend, and only then writing. Time-wise, that’s usually between 10 and 20 hours. If you enjoy the work I do, you can support me on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support Libre Arts at Patreon