Earlier this week, I did a quick poll to ask readers what time of week is the most convenient one for them to read these recaps. The majority said “whenever”, with “weekend” taking the second place. Weekend it is then.
Highlights of the week: new releases of Blender, Inkscape, OpenShot, news from GIMP and Ardour.
GIMP and CMYK JPEG XL
The GSoC 2022 student we know as Cmyk.Student recently started working on adding CMYK JPEG XL importing and exporting support in GIMP:
Earlier this year, there was what I might cautiously call a falling-out between Aurélien Pierre and the rest of the darktable team. Aurélien has been very critical of UX/UI decisions in recent releases in particular (an opinion I actually support, although not in the terms he used), so he created a fork he christened R&Darktable where he did some cleanup.
Most recently, he renamed the fork to Ansel (in dedication to Ansel Adams). So far, the new Pixls thread on the fork revolves around the legal aspects of naming it that way. But since there haven’t been any code commits to the git repository since August, there’s not much new substance to discuss either.
From what I can tell, Aurélien views this project as a temporary solution until vkdt, darktable’s reimplementation in Vulkan, gains momentum.
This is a primarily a bugfix release with a few notable exceptions. Here are the most interesting changes:
- Overall 4 crashes and 25 bugs fixed
- OpenClipart import is now available to all operating systems and builds
- macOS users now have spell-checking, and undo/redo options are back in the menu
- Pattern colors can be modified by extensions again
- The Measure tool now indicates correct positions and sizes for shapes
- DXF14 exporting has been fixed to play better with Fusion 360
- Exporting TIFF files with alpha channel is now possible
This is a major update, here are some of the release highlights:
- Support for Intel’s Open Path Guiding Library to reduce noise in scenes where finding a path to light is difficult for regular path tracing
- Auto-masking by cavity, viewpoint, and area is now available
- New Relax sculpting brush improves the quality of the UV mapping by making the UVs more closely follow the 3D geometry.
- Viewport overlay for Geometry Nodes Viewer Node
- Sample UV Surface, a new node to get attribute values based on UV coordinates, as well as 5 more new mesh nodes, 3 new curve modes, 5 more general nodes,
- Grease Pencil’s Fill tool now has more options and shortcuts and can do a better job at closing gaps
See the release notes for more info or watch SouthernShotty talking about all new features in under 5 minutes:
“Charge” open movie is coming
The splash screen that you see in Blender 3.4 is a render from the new open movie project by Blender Studio, “Charge”. The short animation is coming out next week, on December 15 at 5.30PM CET, with this gloomy gentleman apparently called Einar in the leading role:
This will be a 2 minutes long action-packed animation. You can tune in on YouTube for the premiere.
Jonathan Thomas et al. released a major new version of this video editor. Main changes are:
- Improved stability, less crashes
- Smoother video preview thanks to fixes and improved video caching
- Better snapping accuracy on the timeline
- Smaller memory footprint
- New export presets including the evergreen animated GIF
- Full support for HiDPI displays
Here is the release notes.
There’s ongoing rewrite of bits and pieces regarding tempo map management that might not be immediately visible to users of upcoming v7.2. Let’s have a closer look once the new version is out.
Other than that, the program now supports decoding and encoding Opus files directly thanks to Robin Gareus who harnessed libsndfile to do his bidding.
I’m saying “directly” here because it’s entirely possible to use FFmpeg in the post-exporting command line box to convert the final file to whatever.
Canals of Utrecht, by Pietro Chiovaro, made with Blender:
Also, a video:
The Everlasting Forest by Albert Weand, made with Krita:
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