GIMP / Krita / Scribus / Blender / FreeCAD / Ardour Weekly recap — 30 October 2023

Week highlights: new features coming to GIMP and Krita, Scribus is getting a facelift with Indigo UI, FreeCAD is undergoing a sketching workflow revamp, Ardour is getting Launchpad X support.

As an experiment, I made a video version of the recap. I’m getting rusty with videos, the audio isn’t great, and there are some bloopers. But hey, let’s improve on that the next time!


Mark Sweeney is getting really active with improving GIMP here and there. Some of the more recent patches he submitted:

In addition, CmykStudent is adding an option to the View menu to easily switch between different transparency rendering styles.


Maciej Jesionowski submitted a patch that addes an angle selector widget for brush settings to the top toolbar. Here is a short demo from the developer:

Meanwhile, Wolthera van Hövell is working on IME support in the text tool. That should make text editing a lot more fun for people who write in languages with complex scripts (think CJK).


The Scribus team hasn’t yet announced verison 1.6, but I believe it’s coming very soon. They did launch a new website though — thanks to Carsten Liersch who did all the design and front-end programming.

The team already started working on 1.7 earlier this year though, and one of the major changes is the integration of the Indigo UI project. Let me quickly demonstrate the difference.

So this is Scribus 1.5.8. There are multiple panels open. Some docks are on the left, some docks are on the right. The content properties dock on the right is rather wide and can’t be made smaller. Overall, it would be nice to see more of the actual content.

Now let’s go to a bleeding edge build that will eventually become version 1.7. It’s the same UI layout, the same zoom level for the document, but with the bleeding edge build you see almost the entire page.

Part of the reason is a smaller font size for all settings. But it’s also somewhat better styling of the UI. Plus there’s now much better control of tabs in docks. Tab headers are where you’d expect them to be coming from other applications, which is the top, not the bottom. And you get to easily close them, again, the usual way.

The text properties dock still tries to show you just about everything there is to show. On the other hand, once you set all your paragraph styles, you don’t need to go there all that often.

You can also see that a few docks got a slight revamp. For instance, on the arrange pages dock, you now get to see page previews, and there are several commands readily available.

Of course, there are more changes happening in the 1.7 development branch, let’s talk about them some other time.

Blender Conference 2023

The event took place in Amsterdam last week, all videos are already available on both YouTube and PeerTube.

It’s a crazy amount of material, personally, I’ve just scratched the surface of the playlist. The schedule should give you a pretty good idea what to look for.


A very interesting change coming to FreeCAD is the workflow improvement in the Sketcher workbench. This workbench will now default to creating fully constrained sketches thanks to floating input widgets right in the viewport.

Floating input widgets in Sketcher

Also, for some tools, additional settings will be available. There’s a write-up about that new feature in Ondsel’s blog, check it out (disclaimer: I’m the writer).


The team is picking up the pace after v8.0/8.1 releases. Paul started hacking on Novation Launchpad X support (he also got a Mini Mk3 unit) and fixed the bug where unselected notes’ velocity would be affected when beginning to draw a straight line in the velocity lane (several users reported that).


Meeting by Jakub Kaźmierczak (Blender, Photoshop):


Cleftopolis, a great personal project by Johannes Winkler (Blender, Photoshop), do checkout the other renders on that page, it’s amazing:


Four of Swords by Sylvia Ritter (Krita):

Four of Swords

Wild West Ghost by Daria Sergeyeva (Krita):

Wild West Ghost

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 with BuyMeACoffee (see here for more info).

Support Libre Arts at Patreon