GIMP / Pinta / HDRView / OBS Studio / Synfig / Ardour Weekly recap — 22 January 2023

There have been many interesting updates in the last 3 weeks, I’ve picked the ones I can realistically handle. Highlights: OBS Studio 29, Pinta 2.1, HDRView 1.7.1, Synfig 1.4.4, Ossia Score 3.1.6, and more.

Creative Freedom Summit

Videos from Creative Freedom Summit 2023 are now available on PeerTube.

It was a three days long online conference on January 17-19, mostly centered around visual design, 3D, and a tiny bit of video editing, featuring members of Fedora Design team, Inkscape contributors, David Revoy, Pat David, and others. A very impressive lineup!

There will be a retrospective of the event at FOSDEM this year.


Since my last weekly recap shortly before the new year, the team added support for PSD clipping paths and made several more features multi-item aware, like locking, hiding, and color-tagging layers, channels, and paths.

There are at least 15 patches from CmykStudent in the Merge Requests queue: MyPaint Brushes v2 support, further TIFF/PSD support improvements, various color picker improvements. But also a few patches from Lloyd Konneker, the current maintainer of the Resynthesizer plugin.

I don’t think GIMP is going to ship the plugin, but it looks like Resynthesizer will be 100% ready for GIMP 3.0 release.

Pinta 2.1

Cameron White released an update of the simple image editor. Highlights of the new version:

  • WebP support (requires webp-pixbuf-loader)
  • Full support for dark mode
  • Snappier canvas rendering
  • Transparency mode in the Gradient tool: change the alpha channel rather than paint a color transition
  • Taking screenshots under Wayland works now
  • Virtual file systems support (Google Drive et al.)

Cameron is currently busy porting the program to GTK4. Seems like we are going to see the results of that later this year.

HDRView 1.5.2→1.7.x

I need to be really careful with this one, because this is one of those cases where people easily get overexcited and develop unrealistic expectations. HDRView is a research-oriented image viewer developed by Wojciech Jarosz for himself and his students at Dartmouth College, with OpenColorIO-based color management and support for Apple XR (EDR) and 10-bit displays.

The program, however, can create new images and edit existing ones (Brush, Erase, Clone, Measure, Rectangular Selection), but no layers or masks.

There have been multiple releases in the last month or so, so to recap:

  • OpenEXR 3 support
  • A few new filters
  • Clarberg’s equal area spherical mapping
  • Main menu and scrollbars now available (UI is built with NanoGUI)
  • Keyboard shortcuts system revamped, several new shortcuts added

The next version with arrive with simplistic support for associated alpha and a gradient fill tool. Both features are already in the main development branch. I’ve built it and can confirm that the candles are burning :)

I can totally see the temptation: HDRView has strong foundations for becoming a serious image editor, but this is simply not where the developer needs it to go. So please don’t give Wojciech a hard time.

Shortcut Composer 1.1

This is a Krita plugin by Wojciech Trybus, that adds a custom circular (pie) menu with most useful commands.

The new version adds basic editing of the menu: entries can be dragged around, values can be added and deleted. It is now also possible to create a shortcut that will add a new layer with a particular blending mode.

Synfig 1.4.4

This is purely a bugfix release that you can get here. I don’t cover Synfig very often on Libre Arts, But I finally got some info on project’s plans for this year and added it to the annual recap/preview.

OBS Studio 29

The new version focuses on encoding improvements and comes with all flavors of AV1 support: AMD AV1 Encoder for the RX7000, Intel AV1 Encoder for Arc GPUs on Windows, Intel HEVC Encoder on Windows, native HEVC and ProRes encoders on macOS. It also arrived with an upward compressor filter and a 3-band equalizer filter. Here is a release preview from November:

Ossia Score 3.1.6

There have been a few updates of the Ossia Score interactive sequencer lately. This is a little outside my area of expertise, so I’m not a very good judge of the project. But I know there are several intermedia artists reading Libre Arts, so this is clearly for you.

The latest release delivers hardware-accelerated video decoding, an audio streaming decoder (rather than loading everything to memory), and first step towards a fully functional WebAssembly build. I also can’t help myself noticing that the previous release featured NDI 5 support.

Get the latest release here.


There have been a few much welcome changes in Ardour’s main development branch in the past 3 weeks. You can now use your MIDI keyboard to tap tempo by pressing keys, and support for VST3 plugins with multiple I/O busses is now available. Both patches were added by Robin Gareus.

Paul continues hacking on the velocity editing lane (which the community already christened ‘poppilols’ as a ‘lollipops’ anagram).

PlugData 0.6.3/0.6.4

This project isn’t yet very well know, although I expect it to gain a lot more following. PlugData is effectively PureData packaged into a modern UI built with JUCE and available as a standalone application, as well as VST3, LV2, and AU plugins.

The new version supports autopatching, has connection visualization improvements and support for Heavy compiler which makes it possible to turn PureData patches into audio plugins.


The post here won’t do the original work justice, so check out this ultra wide painting by Fredrik Persson, made with GIMP:

A Silver of SPring

Speedpainting by Sylvia Ritter (Krita):

Speedpainting 20012023

First Light by Philipp Urlich (Krita)

First Light

Low-Poly Forest Morning by Alx3DThndr (Blender)

Low-Poly Forest Morning

Libre Arts is a reader-supported publication. If you appreciate the work I do, donations are once again possible. You can subscribe on Patreon or make a one-time donation (see here for more info).

Support Libre Arts at Patreon