Week highlights: new releases of Blender, QCAD, Qtractor, first pre-release of Inkscape 1.3, new features in GIMP, FreeCAD, Ardour.
CmykStudent added initial support for the QOI file format that is intended to be a replacement for PNG with lossless compression and faster encoding. There was an earlier plugin for GIMP 2.10 by Piotr Fusik, that served as an inspiration.
There was a request for QOI (Quite OK Image) format support. It turned out to be *really* easy to implement with the qoi.h library, so I put together a plug-in for 2.99 that can load and export this format. I'll test it more and then submit for review. pic.twitter.com/iSlZ1lKuZj— CMYK Student (@CmykStudent) March 29, 2023
Not much fancy development going on in Krita at the moment, but here is a demo of a work-in-progress Blender add-on to open KRA files:
Sure, it has limitations (no access to layers, 8-bit per channel only), but it’s a start. Source code to be published at some point later.
The first alpha release of Inkscape 1.3 is out, you can grab the builds here. This is an early pre-release that is likely to have a lot of bugs. If you come across something funky, please report it to the issue tracker.
The new version of Blender delivers a huge amount of improvements well worth upgrading. Here is askNK’s review:
And here are some of the release highlights.
A new, modular hair system is based on geometry nodes. It comes with an asset library of 26 hair assets: you can attach hair curves to surfaces, deform them into braids, frizz them etc. The new system is currently usable in static scenes only, simulation will arrive later.
The Draw brush in the sculpting toolbox now supports vector displacement maps (preferably in the OpenEXR file format).
The new GPU-based compositor is finally here, and it can show mesh overlays on top of compositing for editing.
The Cycles rendering engine can now use a light tree when you have multiple light sources. This results in less noisy scenes at the cost of a longer render time per sample.
Full release notes are here.
Some interesting changes in git this week:
- Uwe Stöhr did an overhaul of temperature and transform constraints in FEM.
- PaddleStroke made it possible to disable workbenches. This removes the ones you disabled from the drop-down list in the toolbar. Handy if there are WBs you never ever use.
- The fillet/chamfer/draft/thickness tools can now start with no selection, and Add/Remove buttons have been merged, both patches by PaddleStroke as well.
- Werner Meyer added interactive image scaling.
The new version is mostly interesting to users of QCAD Professional that comes with a new library browser, PDF importing support, and builds for Apple’s M1/M2. The open-source version has several bugfixes and can be built with Qt6.
This new add-on by tin2tin adds a Sequence menu to Blender VSE with standard options like importing files (video and audio files can be inserted all at once) and exporting and entire sequence or the audio mixdown.
Robin Gareus added a volume control knob to the Clips browser and exposed basic section management features in the user interface. You can now make a region or a range selection, then cut/copy and paste it elsewhere, and all automation will be retained.
There are some limitations though: neither markers nor tempo are taken into consideration yet, MIDI handling is incomplete, and the team thinks it will be useful to have a dedicated ruler or a sidebar to manage sections.
This new version (followed bug a bugfix release) brings several improvements and new features:
- Very basic latency compensation when recording
- Count-in for recording (time is set in the Options dialog)
- Corrected MIDI metronome bar/beat note durations
This is a very nice tutorial by Pau Homs exploring the topic of modeling, and lighting eyes in feature film animations and how you can do that with Blender
Geoff’s Joinery explains how to draw cabinets with QCAD:
Deep Sky Details explains his astrophotography workflow with Sirilic, Siril, and GIMP:
A bit of Krita speedart by Denis Godyna (0.25 speed and therefore music off recommended, unless you are a fan of brutal dubstep):
Take a Bath by Sebastian Thiel (Blender):
Mountainside by Philipp Urlich [(Krita):
Commander - In Another Life by Tyler Yang (Krita):
Bus Stop by Elixiah (Krita):
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