Posts

2021

Sunsetting Libre Graphics World, introducing Libre Arts

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It is done

My initial plan to stick to just graphics software went pear-shaped mere months into the journey with Libre Graphics World back in 2009. So this is a long overdue goodbye to the old project. What’s going on Covering music/video software on a website that says “Graphics” was a bit of a puzzler for some readers. I think Paul Davis of Ardour fame stopped chuckling over that maybe just a year ago.

2020

Week recap — 9 December 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of Krita and Shotcut, new features in Siril, Blender, Olive

Highlights: new releases of Krita and Shotcut, new features in Siril, Blender, Olive, some interesting ongoing development in darktable. Graphics GIMP developers have been doing some bugfixing, especially in the metadata editor code (mostly done by Jacob Boerema). Jehan patched the Input Devices dialog to remove some cruft such as listing virtual devices. Krita devs released version 4.4.2 (this week, technically, but what the hell :)). It comes with a metric ton of changes, mesh gradients, mesh transform, new gradient editor and more, and there are more improvements in the pipeline.

Week recap — 1 December 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New major releases of Blender, Font Manager, DrumGizmo, amSynth

Week highlights: new major releases of Blender, Font Manager, DrumGizmo, amSynth, new features in Krita, Olive, new node-based image editor called Cascade. Graphics A lot of work on GIMP last week was plumbing but it was the important kind of plumbing. File plugins now begin to use new program-wide API for saving metadata instead of using their own code that has variations and inconsistencies among themselves. Krita got a new gradient editor:

Multi-week recap — 25 November 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of GIMP, Scribus, FontForge, Synfig, Tahoma2D, LibreDWG, Giada, Ardour

Highlights: new releases of GIMP, Scribus, FontForge, Synfig, Tahoma2D, LibreDWG, Giada, Ardour, new features in Krita, Inkscape, Olive, Kdenlive, a new take at fullscreen color management with HDR support in Wayland. Graphics There have been two major anniversaries lately. GIMP turned 25 years old last week and released version 2.99.2 a few weeks prior to that. It’s the first unstable release leading up to v3.0. It was 20 years for FontForge, and another release:

Scribus 1.5.6 and beyond

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New unstable version of Scribus is available with several interesting improvements such as PDF-based printing, PDF 1.6 compatibility with OpenType fonts embedding, and more changes.

New unstable version of Scribus is available with several interesting improvements such as PDF-based printing, PDF 1.6 compatibility with OpenType fonts embedding, and more changes. This is originally avialable as a video, edited script goes below. PDF-based printing and preview Scribus developers started introducing PDF-based printing support and intend to eventually phase out PostScript-based printing. The two places where you can find this new option are the printing dialog itself and then, of course, the print preview dialog.

GIMP 2.99.2 vs 2.10.x: which one do you pick?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Now that the GIMP team is back to releasing both stable and unstable updates, here is the question that a lot of people will be asking. Should they go for 2.99.2? Or should they stick to the stable 2.10 series?

Now that the GIMP team is back to releasing both stable and unstable updates, here is the question that a lot of people will be asking. Should they go for 2.99.2? Or should they stick to the stable 2.10 series? What can you realistically expect from this particular release of GIMP and upcoming GIMP v3.0 in general? Here is what I think you need to know to draw your own conclusion.

RIP Bill Morrow

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The Cinelerra community is mourning the loss of W.P. Morrow aka Good Guy

The Cinelerra community is mourning the loss of W.P. Morrow aka Good Guy who passed away at the age of 66 after being hit by a truck while cycling near his home in Longmont, Colorado, last week. Bill was lead developer of Cinelerra-GG video editor since 2016, and prior to that, he worked with Michael Collins on Cinelerra-HV. I never really had the pleasure to talk to him. So I think it’s best to pass the mic to people who did know him.

Week recap — 3 November 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Highlights: Blender Conference was online this year, new releases of BlenderBIM, Pitivi, Shotcut, Qtractor, new free/libre VST3 plugins for Linux, new features in Inkscape, Krita, FreeCAD, Dust3D.

Week highlights: Blender Conference was online this year, new releases of BlenderBIM, Pitivi, Shotcut, Qtractor, new free/libre VST3 plugins for Linux, new features in Inkscape, Krita, FreeCAD, Dust3D. Graphics The GIMP team was mostly busy with all things related to releasing and packaging GIMP 2.99.2, the first version based on GTK3. The announcement is coming soonish. Meanwhile, Jehan and Akkana started writing a guide on porting older GIMP plug-ins to the GIMP 3.

Week recap — 23 October 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
So this is going to be an update that covers both recent and not so recent events.

There have been just so many news since my last week recap. Unfortunately, these days, I have to prioritize for my family. So this is going to be an update that covers both recent and not so recent events. Meanwhile, I’d rather skip the Blender 2.90 release because it’s been covered so extensively, and v2.91 is in beta now anyway. Graphics Krita 4.4.0 is finally out. Highlights: Multiple fill layer updates: multi-threading, screentone, multigrid, and SeExpr options Diagonal selection lines in MyPaint color selector Gradients can now use current foreground and background colors Here is the full list of changes.

Week recap — 18 August 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
LibreDWG gets v0.11 release and goes beta

Weekly highlights: new releases of Siril, Kdenlive, and Zrythm, EEVEE is getting more sky models, LibreDWG gets v0.11 release and goes beta, Inkscape’s GSoC students are having great progress. Graphics Dozen of bug fixes landed to Krita last week. Notable changes are further work on SeExpr support in fill layers (e.g. previewing before addition), as well as a few RAW import plugin improvements. The Inkscape team appears to be working towards releasing v1.

Week recap — 21 July 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
LibreDWG gets v0.11 release and goes beta

Week highlights: new releases of Blender, MusE, Zrythm, MuseScore, new release of darktable shaping up, lots of improvements across multiple major projects like FreeCAD, LibreCAD, BlenderBIM, Siril. Graphics Jehan Pages moved OpenCL support in GIMP back to the experimental department. The reason for that is simple: there is no one to work on OpenCL support right now, not all drivers treat OpenCL equally well, and the amount of visual garbage in the output is just too annoying when you start using e.

How to use math input in GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
How to do simple calculations in the spinbox widgets where you input numeric values

One semi-hidden feature in GIMP is that you can do simple calculations in the spinbox widgets where you input numeric values. This tutorials explains how it works and all the advanced things you can do there. So this recent repost on Twitter by the GIMP account (and originally by Andrei Rybak) blew up a little. Clearly, not everybody knew that you could do simple calculations right in the input fields for numbers.

Week recap — 13 July 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
First virtual reality code lands to Blender

Okay, this is a little embarassing. Certain family-related stuff kept me from posting more, so there’s an almost 4 months long gap. Let’s quickly amend some of that. Graphics I think it’s fair to say the Inkscape v1.0 release is probably the greatest thing that happened in these FOSS parts lately. The new version comes with a whole lot of improvements, not updating is just unthinkable to me (I did switch to the main development branch maybe half a year prior to the release).

Going above and beyond with Inkscape 1.0

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interview with Inkscape developers

After almost 17 years in the making, Inkscape 1.0 is out. Let’s be fair: this is one of those cases when the version number doesn’t nearly represent what’s actually in the box. The software was perfectly usable right at the point of forking from Sodipodi back in 2003, I’m speaking as the eyewitness here. The v1.0 release should’ve happened years ago but the team took a very conservative approach. Personally, I stopped using Inkscape 0.

You'd have to be crazy to rewrite GIMP in anything — Interview with Ell

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interview with Ell, core team developer of GIMP

There aren’t many things as empowering as seeing a seemingly random person starting to hack on a free software project with a huge codebase and quickly grow into a major contributor that suddenly everyone listens to. So I listened some more. This is an interview with Ell, one of the several core GIMP developers. Before you dive in, I owe you a disclaimer that I’m a GIMP contributor. So you should always treat whatever I write about this project with no small measure of skepticism.

Week recap — 24 March 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
First virtual reality code lands to Blender

Double-week highlights: major new releases of darktable, FontForge, LuxCoreRender/BlendLuxCore, and LilyPond, new release candidates of Natron and Dust3D, first milestone for VR support in Blender is done, enve is becoming SVG animation authoring tool.

Week recap — 9 March 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Half the free non-linear video editors got updates

Week highlights: new releases of OpenShot, Kdenlive, and Cinelerra-GG, first beta of Krita 4.2.9, new module in darktable, major Blender news, SIFT patent expired to open the door for autopano-sift-c inclusion to Hugin for generating control points in source panorama images. Graphics GIMP and MyPaint teams are basically taking rest after the stress that accompanies recent major updates. The Krita team has just released the first beta of v4.2.9 with several new features and a ton of fixes.

Week recap — 2 March 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Major releases by Blender, MyPaint, GIMP, and MusE teams, coding sprint by Krita devs, first release candidate of Dust3D v1.0, new release of Shotcut, major changes in Olive and enve.

Highlights: major releases by Blender, MyPaint, GIMP, and MusE teams, coding sprint by Krita devs, first release candidate of Dust3D v1.0, new release of Shotcut, major changes in Olive and enve. Graphics Let’s start with major news. MyPaint 2.0.0 is finally out after several years of work. It’s now maintained by a whole new team that stepped up when there was no maintainer in the project anymore. They didn’t come empty-handed either.

GIMP 2.10.18 full review

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new version of GIMP is full of usability fixes, new features, overall improvements, and bug fixes.

The new version of GIMP is full of usability fixes, new features, overall improvements, and bug fixes. Let’s dive right in! But first, the usual disclaimer for cases whenever I make a dedicated post about GIMP. Apart from writing for Libre Graphics World, I’m also a non-coding contributor to GIMP, so if you suspect that I could be biased about this program, that’s because I am. For this particular release, I shot a video that covers most of the changes in this version.

Week recap — 10 February 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of RawTherapee, Cinelerra, and OpenShot available, the Krita team is fixing unit tests, there are even more UX fixes in GIMP, there have been major Godot news, the enve developer is unstoppable!

Highlights: new release of RawTherapee, Cinelerra, and OpenShot available, the Krita team is fixing unit tests, there are even more UX fixes in GIMP, there have been major Godot news, the enve developer is unstoppable! Graphics Kuntal Majumder posted another great overview of what’s going on with Krita development. You should totally visit his blog for this kind of information. In a nutshell: The team has been busy fixing unit tests so that bugs would be discovered early on.

Week recap — 3 February 2020

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of ART, Synfig, and OpenToonz, massive improvements in GIMP, Siril, Blender, enve, and Olive, new beta of Shotcut, a great deal of bugfixing in Krita for upcoming v4.3.0.

Highlights: new releases of ART, Synfig, and OpenToonz, massive improvements in GIMP, Siril, Blender, enve, and Olive, new beta of Shotcut, a great deal of bugfixing in Krita for upcoming v4.3.0. Graphics January has been all sorts of fun for many projects. While Krita developers were focusing on the challenging resources management rewrite and bugfixing, the GIMP team had several busy weeks fixing a few old bug reports. And when I say ‘old’, I mean ‘16 years old’ kind of ‘old’.

2019

Week recap — 29 December 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
darktable 3.0.0 release and beta release of MyPaint 2.0, major updates of Kdenlive and FlowBlade

Highlights: darktable 3.0.0 release and beta release of MyPaint 2.0, major updates of Kdenlive and FlowBlade, OpenToonz is approaching v1.4, Blender entered bug tracker curfew, quite a lot of excitement in the BIM department. Graphics The past few pre-holiday weeks have been slow for both GIMP and Krita projects (part of the GIMP team is meeting at the 36th Chaos Communication Congress in Leipzig as you read this though). Not so much for the MyPaint team that announced the first MyPaint 2.

Introducing enve, free/libre 2D animation tool

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New 2D animation tool enve is shaping up nicely

One of my common mistakes is sticking around a new interesting project for a long time without telling more people about it. So without further ado, I’m giving you enve, a free/libre 2D animation tool by Maurycy Liebner. The essentials Since people pay so much attention to project names these days, let’s get it out of the system: enve means Enve is Not a Video Editor. Yes, it’s a recursive acronym, deal with it :)

Week recap — 10 December 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
OpenTimelineIO is getting a Kdenlive adapter

Highlights: development updates from IfcOpenShell and Apertus projects, Mantaflow and USD support to undergo review for Blender 2.82 inclusion, Ardour is getting built-in MP3 support (for realzies!). Graphics It has been a more or less quite week for both GIMP and Krita, although Agata Cacko was really busy hacking away on resources management in Krita’s dedicated branch, fixing and improving the searching by tags etc. Not too many news regarding MyPaint, but if you were looking for a dedicated chatroom for the project, there is now an official Discord server.

Week recap — 3 December 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of FluidSynth reads DLS samples and has new reverb engine

Week highlights: lots of new releases all around, including Krita, AzPainter, Godot, LibrePCB, Audacity, and MuseScore, Canon CR3 support coming to RawTherapee, new ArmorPaint release shaping up nicely, and more. Graphics Øyvind Kolås fixed a bug in GEGL that used to cause GIMP crashes upon saving large files. It’s entirely possible that a new Windows installer will be available soon without bumping GIMP’s version. Krita 4.2.8 was released with bug fixes.

Week recap — 27 November 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Krita gets magnetic lasso

Things easily get messy when I skip whole weeks, so this is going to be one of the weird recaps where events are both recent and, ugh, not so much. Highlights: new releases of GIMP, Cinelerra, and Blender, new tool in Krita, development status update from Ardour, new wavetable synth from the Helm developer, interesting work happening in the Flowblade project. Graphics GIMP 2.10.14 was recently released with a killer feature — basic viewing and editing of out-of-canvas pixels, added by Ell.

The art of Philipp Urlich

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The art of Philipp Urlich: immersive landscapes and GauGAN in digital painting

Philipp Urlich made a bit of a splash recently in the Krita community with immersive landscapes and experimental use of NVIDIA’s GauGAN-generated images as the basis for new artworks. He was kind enough to agree having his works featured on LGW and answer a few questions. Hello, Philipp! Could you please tell me a little about yourself and your artistic background? Philipp Urlich: I’m 44 years old and live in Switzerland with my beautiful wife and two daughters.

Week recap — 24 September 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Inkscape 1.0 beta is out with native macOS support

Week highlights: Inkscape 1.0 beta released, GIMP is getting built-in Normal Map filter, Krita team brings more improvements and bugfixes, darktable team is wrapping up v3.0 development, new versions of OBS Studio and Shotcut. Graphics It’s been a few interesting weeks over at GIMP and GEGL. First off, the master branch of GIMP can now optionally be built with Meson thanks to Félix Piédallu. There are more bugs to flesh out, but it basically works.

Week recap — 10 September 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
GIMP gets out-of-canvas pixels display

Week highlights: out-of-canvas pixels now possible in GIMP, Krita team goes on a bugfixing spree, lots of changes in upcoming Blender 2.81 and FreeCAD 0.19, GSoC project for OpenGL rendering in LibreCAD v3 now completed, more work-in-progress goodness in Olive. Graphics There’s more under-the-hood work on GIMP’s plugin system, but there have been user-visible changes too, and you are likely to love those. Ell contributed a new feature: showing all pixel data outside the canvas boundary.

Week recap — 3 September 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Krita is getting support for PaintTool SAI files

Week highlights: Krita team begins working on SAI files support, new releases of StereoPhotoView, Blender Power Sequencer, and Flowblade, even more sculpting awesomeness in Blender. Graphics For GIMP, Michael Natterer and Jehan Pages spent the entire week porting plug-ins to new APIs, so not much fancy stuff going on. One of the most interesting things going on with Krita right now is 3rd party funding to support SAI files via newly developed library called libsai (apparently, made by someone from Epic games).

Week recap — 28 August 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
CUPS switches to Apache 2.0 license with GPL exception

Week highlights: lots of under-the-hood work in GIMP, new features in Krita and Blender, new release of Kdenlive, CUPS changes the license, a variety of projects are wrapping up their GSoC participation for this year and post updates.

The making of tubeAmp: don’t moan, write code

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interview with Oleg Kapitonov, developer of the free guitar amp simulator for Linux

The history of this project is not exactly typical. A few guys gathered in an off-topic section at the linux.org.ru forum to talk about guitar amp/cab simulation on Linux. And mostly, they were unhappy with existing options. Around page 9, Oleg Kapitonov, who started this thread, was using specmatch to make impulses from YouTube videos demonstrating clean/crunch sound difference. On page 10, he was already prototyping emulation models with Scilab…

Week recap — 19 August 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of G'MIC, DJV, and Shotcut video editor

Week highlights: GIMP gets Lua and JavaScript support, Krita gets notifications for new versions availability, new releases of G’MIC, DJV, and Shotcut, more exciting news on sculpting tools in Blender 2.81, a bunch of great tutorials and artwork, and more. LibreArts podcast In early June, I attended Libre Graphics Meeting and did two interviews, one with Pat David and one with members of the Krita team. Unfortunately, I messed up the video part of the interview with Krita devs.

Week recap — 12 August 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Amazing sculpting tools are coming to Blender 2.81

Week highlights: great new features in GIMP and Krita, new digikam release, better sculpting tools coming to Blender 2.81, GSoC project in Pitivi bringing better UI and features. Graphics GIMP developers have been busy refactoring everything related to plug-ins and the procedure database (PDB). More interestingly, Ell started working on automatic expansion of layers when using transformation tools. The initial implementation adds two new features: New Image mode available next to Layer, Selection, and Path modes in all transformation tools.

Week recap — 4 August 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Week highlights: major changes in GIMP, exciting new features in Krita, new releases of Luminance HDR, Exiv2, Scribus, and FontForge, gazillion of news in the Blender department, new ArmorPaint releases.

Week highlights: major changes in GIMP, exciting new features in Krita, new releases of Luminance HDR, Exiv2, Scribus, and FontForge, gazillion of news in the Blender department, new ArmorPaint releases. This is a mix of things that happened last week and things that happened since the last recap. Due to workload, weeklies have become more of monthlies for now. I also have to admit that so much has happened since the last one that I’m struggling to cover it.

Using non-free tools for the good of FOSS

by Alexandre Prokoudine
While I do owe you quite a few weeklies by now, I'm using this Friday afternoon as an opportunity to talk about something important.

While I do owe you quite a few weeklies by now, I’m using this Friday afternoon as an opportunity to talk about something important. A couple of months apart, there were two cases where FOSS or FOSS-related organizations used non-free software to produce content. The first case was people using non-free graphic design tools to make some of the graphics for the Libre Graphics Meeting 2019 website. The second case was GNOME Foundation getting a contributor to do the design of the Foundation’s annual report which ended up being done with Adobe InDesign for Windows (the contributor was supportive of GNOME’s mission).

Interview with Pat David at Libre Graphics Meeting 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
I had the fun and privilege to interview the founder of Pixls.us.

At Libre Graphics Meeting 2019 in Saarbrücken, I had the fun and privilege to do a quick interview with Pat David, founder of Pixls.us and contributor to GIMP. We talked about how his project evolved and where he thinks we are with free/libre photography tools presently.

Remembering Peter Linnell

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Earlier this year, in March, we lost the co-founder of Scribus to cancer. And it's something I want to talk about.

Libre Graphics Meeting 2019 kicked off with talks and workshops today, but in some ways, it’s not the same as before. Earlier this year, in March, we lost Peter Linnell to cancer. And it’s something I want to talk about.

Week recap — 15 May 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releses of AzPainter and RawTherapee are out.

Recent highlights: new version of AzPainter and RawTherapee, GIMP and Krita preparing for respective releases, Blender keeps getting tons of improvements, GSoC 2019 students and projects announced.

Week recap — 25 February 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Inkscape is getting a new visual live path effects selector

Week highlights: new features in Krita, GEGL, MyPaint, and Inkscape, new major digiKam release, a week-long workshop in Amsterdam for Blender developers announced, a monthly update from Apertus project on their Axiom camera, official YouTube channel for Ardour available now. Graphics Michael Natterer continued merging the code of GIMP plug-ins handling various resources (brushes, patterns etc.) into the core of the program. Meanwhile, Ell carried on working on the performance of painting tools, the Smudge tool in particular.

Week recap — 18 February 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
GEGL is getting its own node compositing tool

Week highlights: GEGL is getting its own compositing tool, pre-release of G’MIC 2.5.0 now available, a new development snapshot of Synfig released, new node brush prototype for Blender 2.80 available. Graphics Most interesting yet not quite user-visible work in GIMP last week was Ell’s hacking on the internals of painting tools and mask components. Some of the net effects boil down to better performance when painting, others mean overall cleaner compositing logic.

Week recap — 4 February 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Intel publishes open source projects for AV1 encoding and image denoising

Highlights of the week: Blender Fund now raises 25K euro a month, Ton Roosendal received Ub Iwerks Award, OpenToonz 1.3 has been released, Intel published open source projects for AV1 encoding and image denoising, FreeCAD got a ton of new features for architects, more new features in Olive. Graphics It was a slower-than-usual week for GIMP. Jehan Pages made opacity slider changes constrain to integers so that you would never get something like 66,7% by dragging the slider, only 66% or 67% (numeric input still allows fractional values).

Week recap — 28 January 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
First MyPaint 2.0 alpha release is out

Week highlights: first MyPaint 2.0 alpha release, new tools In Blender’s Grease Pencil, more add-ons ported to Blender 2.80, new features in various video editors, first full sequence screenshot of Spring animated movie in Blender VSE, upcoming IFC diffing in FreeCAD. Graphics Perhaps the best news of the week here is the much anticipated and long overdue alpha release of MyPaint 2.0 (both AppImage and two Windows builds available). There are quite a few changes there (named views for layers are great!

Introducing OpenCue, an open source render manager

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Google Cloud and Sony Pictures Imageworks team up on something new

Earlier this week, Google Cloud and Sony Pictures Imageworks announced immediate availability of OpenCue, an open source render manager for media and entertainment. Here is the official list of features of OpenCue: Highly-scalable architecture supporting numerous concurrent machines. Tagging systems allow you to allocate specific jobs to specific machine types. Jobs are processed on a central render farm and don’t rely on the artist’s workstation. Native multi-threading that supports Katana, RenderMan, and Arnold.

Week recap — 21 January 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Inkscape team releases new version of the vector graphics editor

Week highlights: new Inkscape releases, new features in GIMP and Krita, various Blender add-ons' updates, bugfix updates for MuseScore and Sonic Visualiser, new stuff in Olive and OpenShot. Graphics Largest news last week: Inkscape 0.92.4 and 1.0 alpha releases. Version 0.92.4 is an update to the stable series, mostly featuring bugfixes and a number of new features such as: Improved saving and filter rendering speed New ‘Treat selection as group’ option for the Align/Distribute dialog Ctrl now works as a constraint for color sliders (a step of 10 for 0.

Meet Seashore, free image editor for macOS with GIMP roots

by Alexandre Prokoudine
One of very few successful GIMP semi-forks is rising from the ashes again.

While GIMP is undergoing major refactoring and UI update with GTK+3, it’s fun watching one of very few successful GIMP semi-forks rise from the ashes again. And this one is interesting because Seashore a native Cocoa app for macOS and it just has landed to Apple’s App Store, while being GNU GPL v2 licensed. Seashore was designed to provide basic image editing tools for non-professional users. The project was started by Mark Pazolli in 2003, “borrowing some ideas, resources and source code [from GNU Image Manipulation Program]”, as the developer originally put it.

Week recap — 14 January 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
MyPaint gets better smudging and initial filmic support.

Week highlights: improved performance in GIMP, better smudging and initial filmic support in MyPaint, more HDR work in Krita, various improvements in many NLEs, stereoscopy rendering is back to Blender’s viewport. Graphics David Tschumperlé published another G'MIC update with bugfixes and took a break to focus on his scientific work. Development will be resumed in a few months. The GIMP/GEGL team has been doing mostly low-level work, e.

Conversation with PhotoFlare developer Dylan Coakley

by Alexandre Prokoudine
There are many reasons one could wish for a simple general image editor on Linux. This is one of the least known options.

There are many reasons one could wish for a simple general image editor on Linux. Maybe you just want to crop a photo, and GIMP is a bit too much. Or you want to scribble over an image, and Krita is an overkill. Whatever your reason is, with Pinta gone (or dormant) there haven't been too many options left around. PhotoFlare is one of them. The project has been around for ca.

Winter break recap — 8 January 2019

by Alexandre Prokoudine
MuseScore 3.0 is out, Blender turns 25 years old.

The winter break highlights: MuseScore 3.0 release, Blender turned 25 years old, Google joined the Blender Development Fund, lots of improvements in FreeCAD, GIMP, and Olive, annual reports from a variety of projects. Graphics The GIMP team made a quite good use of their winter break (if non-stop coding is your idea of a good time). Jehan Pages made some improvements in the smart colorization code and added a new feature that uses Alt + middle click combination to switch to a layer by clicking on its pixels and cycles through layers in Z-order while doing so.

Meet Akira, free/libre interface design tool

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Getting crowdfunded: interview with Akira lead developer Alessandro Castellani

The range of topics I cover at Libre Graphics World tends to unevenly stretch in all directions. One interesting project that caught my attention (and was further reinforced there by a few passionate readers over the last weekend) is a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of Akira, a free/libre application streamlined for making UI mockups. Judging by questions in a dedicated Reddit thread, one common misunderstanding about Akira is why it was needed to write a whole new application when there already is Inkscape that is a) SVG-based, b) vector graphics editor.

2018

Week recap — 23 December 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Manuel Bastioni Lab add-on for Blender gets a community fork

Given the holiday season, this is a somewhat shorter recap. Highlights: Inkscape gets fallback for SVG2 features, GIMP team merges smart colorization for the next stable release, Manuel Bastioni Lab add-on for Blender gets a community fork, Shotcut and Olive video editors get respective updates. Graphics New smart colorization feature in GIMP, aimed at cartoonists and illustrators, is now part of upcoming GIMP 2.10.10, currently expected early next year. This is a new option of the Bucket Fill tool, developed by Jehan Pagès based on the original algorithm by David Tschumperlé for G’MIC.

Introducing Olive, new non-linear video editor

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Why this new free/libre video editor is a big deal

Just a day or two after posting the story on the sustainability of free/libre non-linear video editors, I ran into a new project called Olive (Windows, macOS, Linux), by MattKC. It’s not like we didn’t already have enough NLEs to choose from. But here is why I think it’s worth looking at. First of all, I wholeheartedly admit I was very much skeptic about Olive because I already know it takes years to make a usable video editor.

Week recap — 16 December 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Blender's video sequencer gets a new maintainer

Highlights: a new Kdenlive release, new maintainer for Blender’s video sequencer, lots of Blender add-ons updated, a new release of Krita, new features in darktable and GIMP, first public release of the reference AV1 decoder. Graphics GIMP got a usability improvement from Ell, that deals with common cases like “Why can’t I paint on a layer?” and “Why can’t I move my layer?”. In other words, if you forgot that you locked a layer (or channel, or path) from changes, GIMP will now blink around the row of lock buttons, as well as around the status bar with a warning message, drawing your attention towards the area of interest.

The art of Ngan Pham

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today we are talking to Ngan Pham, a young artist residing in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ngan extensively uses Krita as a freelance concept artist and illustrator.

Today we are talking to Ngan Pham, a young artist residing in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ngan extensively uses Krita as a freelance concept artist and illustrator. Hello, could you please tell a little bit about yourself and your background in art? My name is Ngan Pham, and I’m from Vietnam. I’ve been working in the art industry for 5 years. Right now, I’m a fulltime freelance artist working on concept art and illustration.

The quest for sustainable free/libre non-linear video editors

by Alexandre Prokoudine
How can we actually support free/libre projects for filmmakers?

If you follow conversations around the voting for an Adobe Premiere port to Linux, you might have felt some frustration. Indeed, so far, very little focus has been given to supporting free/libre projects instead. But that bears another question: how can we actually support them? There seems to be a popular notion that you can throw money at a free/libre software project, and that will do miracles. In the recent case of Natron, it’s supposed to do miracles even in the total absence of developers (irony intended).

Week recap — 9 December 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
NVidia publishes PhysX SDK physics engine as an open source project

Highlights: NVidia publishes PhysX SDK physics engine as an open source project, GEGL starts converting RGB to CMYK, LibreDWG gets a new release, new versions of Qtractor, QSampler, QSynth, and MuseScore are out. Graphics The GIMP team continues adding improvements and working on performance (both on GIMP’s and GEGL’s side). Michael Natterer added the possibility to disable the embedding of color profiles when exporting to PNG, JPEG, TIFF, and PSD. The relevant exporting options dialogs have a checkbox for that now, enabled by default.

Week recap — 2 December 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
HISE 2.0.0 lands to let anyone create sample-based virtual instruments

Highlights: Blender 2.80 reaches beta status, first beta of Dust3D v1.0 gets released, Krita gets HiDPI support enabled by default, smart colorization in GIMP gets further improvements, first release candidate of darktable 2.6.0 arrives, HISE 2.0.0 lands to let anyone create sample-based virtual instruments. Graphics Krita developers launched their own little StackExchange called Krita Q&A. Code-wise, they added an ability to import more than one file at a time, and enabled HiDPI support by default following an earlier fix by Dmitry Kazakov for setting a correct physical resolution to the canvas.

Week recap — 25 November 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Stalled development of Natron gets prime-time attention

Week highlights: no huge releases, and yet, more work on CMYK support in babl/GEGL, stalled development of Natron gets prime-time attention, LibreCAD 3 is being worked on again, new module for the VCV Rack synth arrives. Graphics Jehan Pagès added a new ‘Maximum growing size’ option to the new Smart Colorization option of the Bucket Fill tool to avoid overflooding enclosed area when using ‘Sample merge’. If you feel adventurous enough to build GIMP from the master branch in git and check it out, the Smart Colorization option is hidden as a “Fill by: Line Art” option.

The demise of Natron, how we got here, and where we go further

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Natron, free/libre VFX compositing software, has been in serious trouble for at least the past year.

Natron, free/libre VFX compositing software, has been in serious trouble for at least the past year. With dozen of releases, active community, and well over 300 dedicated tutorials in many languages on YouTube, some of them posted as far back as last week, Natron would seem like a healthy free/libre software project. But it’s not, and here is why. First off, there seems to be a doom (apocalyptic much?) over standalone free/libre compositing tools.

The art of Yaroslav Chyzhevskyi

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Yaroslav likes using it all: both Krita, MyPaint, and GIMP.

It’s common for artists to stick with just one 2D painting app for most work, but Yaroslav Chyzhevskyi likes using it all: both Krita, MyPaint, and GIMP. Yaroslav comes from a town of Vinnytsya in Ukraine, where he got classical training in painting before going digital for some of his work (he still does “analog” painting on canvas professionally). And his stream on ArtStation indeed features works made with all three major painting applications on Linux (he uses Linux Mint, by the way).

Week recap — 18 November 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Inkscape starts exploring multithreaded canvas rendering

Week highlights: Inkscape officially releases its computational geometry library and starts exploring multithreaded canvas rendering, Shotcut gets VA-API hardware video encoding on Linux, new free/libre camera matching software is now available, Tracktion Software Co. releases Tracktion Engine under dual GPLv3+/Commercial license. Graphics The Inkscape team finally made the first official release of 2Geom, a computational geometry library used by the project for things like live path effects. There aren’t many other projects using 2Geom, save for Scribus, and the objective of this release is to aid in fixing that.

The Art of Martin Trokenheim

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today, we are talking to Martin Trokenheim, an illustrator from Sweden. Martin worked as a professional illustrator, abandoned and then rediscovered drawing, and started rocking with MyPaint and then with Krita.

Today, we are talking to Martin Trokenheim, an illustrator from Sweden. Martin worked as a professional illustrator, abandoned and then rediscovered drawing, and started rocking with MyPaint and then with Krita. Martin, how did you start drawing? I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon in my hand. It has always been one of my interests. As a 70s-80s kid, I read a lot of comics and saw many cartoons.

Week recap — 11 November 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
ArmorPaint got unlimited undo support and better FBX importer

Highlights of the week: new releases of ArmorPaint, appleseed, and FFmpeg, a new version of GIMP and upcoming CMYK support in GEGL, interesting developments in Inkscape and Ardour, preview of the 3D track at Capitol du Libre 2018 conference in France. Graphics The last week was somewhat quiet for Krita. Boudewijn was on vacation, and Dmitry was looking into HDR support in Krita. He ended up writing a little test Qt application that can show an HDR image in HDR on Windows.

Week recap — 4 November 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of QGIS released with 3D and animation features

Week highlights: cryptomatte support in Blender, new QGIS release with 3D and animation features, new sK1 pre-release, feature freeze in FreeCAD, 3mf support in OpenSCAD, upcoming Flowblade 2.0 and Pitivi 1.0 releases, and more. Graphics GIMP’s port to macOS is getting some long-deserved love again thanks to Alex Samorukov who’s been contributing to both the gtk-osx project and GIMP. There’s continuous integration work for macOS in progress to be announced soon.

Week recap — 28 October 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The first official beta of Blender 2.80 is now just a few weeks away

Brace yourselves, for this is a long recap! Week highlights: Blender Conference 2018, Materialize source code release, new sK1 2.0 pre-release, lots of tutorials, new online Blender courses, and even more artworks and showcases. Graphics, 3D, and animation First off, Blender Foundation announced that the first official beta of 2.80 is now just a few weeks away. The team says Asset Management and Overrides won’t make it to 2.80, but will become available in further 2.

The art of Sylvia Ritter

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Sylvia Ritter made an impressive amount of beautiful paintings with Krita!

Earlier users of Krita may recall an interview with Sylvia Ritter published on krita.org in 2014. Since then, Sylvia completed an impressive amount of beautiful paintings made with Krita, so it’s time to revisit! We spoke to Sylvia and asked, how much has changed since that original interview by Irina Rempt. One major new project is a series of paintings inspired by the Ubuntu release names. So far, Sylvia has completed 29 artworks from “Warty Warthog” (4.

Week recap — 21 October 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Krita fundraiser is now successfully completed

Highlights of the week: Krita fundraiser successfully completed, GIMP team releases GEGL update, Blender Foundation introduces community badges and revamps recurring donations system, Cairo gets much improved PDF backend and variable fonts support. Graphics, 3D, and animation The 2018 Krita fundraiser is now over with 26,512 euro. The original goal was raising 25,000 euro. The team continues fixing bugs hand over fist just as expected. The GIMP team released a new version of the GEGL image processing library.

Week recap — 14 October 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Microsoft is granting access to 60,000+ patents including type design ones

Week highlights: Microsoft granting access to 60,000+ patents including type design ones, upcoming UI changes in Inkscape, Krita fundraiser and bugfix sprint, mono icons controversy in Blender 2.8 and Grease Pencil improvements, new Shotcut release, and more. Graphics and animation The big news of the week was Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network which is a defensive patent pool. Simply put, companies that join OIN grant royalty-free access to their patents.

Week recap — 7 October 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New major releases of Valentina and G’MIC are available

This week’s highlights: new major versions of Valentina and G’MIC, development updates from Blender, Krita, Pencil2D, and FreeCAD, new FreeCAD book, upcoming GodotCon meetup and a new release of the Armory game engine. Graphics Arguably, the news of the week is the release of Valentina 0.6.0, free software for (clothes) pattern drafting. To give you more idea, what the app does, here is one of the older videos: Roman Telezhinsky has been working on this new version for almost a year, if not longer.

Week recap — 30 September 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New releases of Audacity, Krita and Pencil2D, new Blender add-ons, PipeWire project is getting serious about pro audio workflows.

Highlights of this week: new releases of Audacity, Krita and Pencil2D, new Blender add-ons, PipeWire project is getting serious about pro audio workflows, and grafikwork dominates the Inkscape/Krita tutorials scene on YouTube. Graphics and animation The Krita team released version 4.1.3 full of bug fixes as the result of the ongoing bug hunt sponsored by the community. It also features a new welcome screen that simplifies opening recent files and discovering project’s online resources.

The Art of Adrian dela Cerna

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today, we talk to Adrian dela Cerna, an artist from USA who has been using Krita quite a lot for the past few years.

We are resuming showcasing artists who use free/libre software, whether it’s commissioned work or interesting personal projects. Today, we talk to Adrian dela Cerna, an artist from USA who has been using Krita quite a lot for the past few years. Adrian, what’s your background in painting and digital art? Is it your job? I mostly do freelance work making digital art. Concept art? I’ve made indie board game designs, banner illustrations, and some concept art.

Week recap — 22 September 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Krita team launches a new fundraiser

With so much going on the libre graphics/audio etc. departments, we are now giving you weekly updates of the most important and bizarre things. This week: new Krita fundraiser, new OpenShot and Shotcut releases, MuseScore resumes work on Jianpu notation system support, SolveSpace contributor releases a new online CAD built with Unity 3D, and more. Graphics The Krita team started a fundraiser to squash as many bugs as possible and make the program more stable and polished.

Swapped coordinates in Inkscape and other stories from frozen hell

by Alexandre Prokoudine

On September 9—13, the Inkscape team met in Kiel (Germany) for the second hackfest this year. They came back with a bagful of improvements we are to see in the upcoming Inkscape 1.0 beta. Here are some of the major changes. Thomas Holder introduced the inversion of the Y-axis. Which means that by default, coordinates origin starts in the top left corner rather than the low left corner now. That finally makes Inkscape consistent with… well, just about most other graphics software out there.

LibreDWG revived, starts getting regular releases

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In an unimaginable turn of events, LibreDWG, the free/libre library for opening proprietary CAD files in the DWG file format, is becoming a stellar example of a FOSS project.

In an unimaginable turn of events, LibreDWG, the free/libre library for opening proprietary CAD files in the DWG file format, is becoming a stellar example of a FOSS project. Where we left off Back in 2012, when we last covered the project, LibreDWG was in a rough state. After FSF declined the request of the library’s developers (who forked it from LibDWG) to downgrade the license from GPLv3+ to GPLv2+ and thus make it compatible to LibreCAD and FreeCAD, it all went south.

Mastering Inkscape in 2018

by Alexandre Prokoudine
What’s best among books, courses, and tutorials on the free/libre vector graphics editor

As someone who maintains social media accounts for a few free/libre software projects, one of the top questions I keep being asked is how/where to learn using this or that application. So this is an attempt to a definitive guide to various learning resources on Inkscape, free/libre vector graphics editor Please note that I compiled this list based on my own criteria of usefulness. This basically means that I watched and read almost everything there is to watch and read, and then made up my mind if I think it's worth recommending.

2017

How to view reference images in GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A fellow darktable contributor asked about the washed-out effect he discovered in one of my pictures. Here is how I do it.

Showing reference images for painting is a somewhat common feature request by GIMP users. While a specifically designed solution surely wouldn’t come amiss, there a simple way to work around this. Here is how you can do it with pretty much any version of GIMP from at least the past 10+ years. Viewing reference images Let’s take the default setup of GIMP (2.8 or 2.9 at your preference) with single-window mode enabled.

Valentina fork settles down as Seamly2D, Valentina goes on

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Four months into a bizarre fork of Valentina, free pattern-making software for fashion designers, Susan Spencer's leg of the fork finally gets rebranded as Seamly2D.

Four months into a bizarre fork of Valentina, free pattern-making software for fashion designers, Susan Spencer’s leg of the fork finally gets rebranded as Seamly2D. There are now two projects that share the proverbial 99% of code base: 1) original Valentina project, forked by its founder Roman Telezhinsky, 2) Seamly2D, managed by Valentina’s other founder, Susan Spencer. But let’s roll it back a bit. The Story The project was started by Roman Telezhinsky (Ukraine) and Susan Spencer (USA) in 2013.

2016

Is SVG 2 really on life support?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
SVG 2 might arrive sometime in the future without quite a few useful features that have been already developed and tested. What's up with that?

Between SVG 1.1 W3C Recommendation and SVG 2 in its current form, people have raised kids and sent them off to the college. And yet SVG 2 might arrive sometime in the future without quite a few useful features that have been already developed and tested. What’s up with that? During the Inkscape’s board meeting, Tavmjong Bah shared a write-up on the status of SVG 2 based on recent happenings around the SVG Charter.

2015

darktable 2.0 released with printing support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of the digital photography workflow app arrives with color-managed printing

Darktable, free RAW processing software for Linux and Mac, got a major update just in time for your festive season. The most visible new feature is the print module that uses CUPS. Printing is completely color-managed, you can tweak positions of images on paper etc. All the basics are in place. The nice “perk” of this new feature is exporting to PDF in the export module. The other important change is improved color management support.

GIMP 2.9.2 released, how about features trivia?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The GIMP team made the first public release in the 2.9.x series. It's completely GEGL-based, has 16/32-bit per channel editing and new tools.

In a surge of long overdue updates the GIMP team made the first public release in the 2.9.x series. It’s completely GEGL-based, has 16/32-bit per channel editing and new tools. It’s also surprisingly stable enough even for the faint of heart. Obligatory disclaimer: I’m currently affiliated with upstream GIMP project. Please keep that in mind when you think you stumbled upon biased opinion and thought you’d call LGW out. One might expect a detailed review here, which totally makes sense, however writing two similar texts for both upstream GIMP project and LGW would seem unwise.

GIMP is 20 Years Old, What’s Next?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This week, GIMP celebrates its 20th anniversary

This week, the GIMP project celebrates its 20th anniversary. There has been a lot of excitement, but there are also some concerns about the project. Some reasonable, difficult questions have to be addressed. The main one is how the project’s going to deal with challenges it’s been facing for a while. Let’s take a look at some of them. Obligatory disclaimer: I’m affiliated with the project, so you should always treat whatever I write on GIMP with reasonable suspicion.

Red Hat releases free/libre Overpass font family

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Red Hat announced the release of Overpass, their own highway gothic font family designed by Delve Fonts.

Red Hat announced the release of Overpass, their own highway gothic font family designed by Delve Fonts. Overpass is available under terms of SIL Open Font License. In 2011, the company commissioned the project to Delve Withrington. The idea was to reuse Standard Alphabets For Traffic Control Devices and adapt it to screen resolution limits. Originally Delve and his team created just Regular and Bold upright faces. However, in 2014, Red Hat returned to Delve and his team for more weights and faces: under Delve’s direction, Thomas Jockin drew the Light weight, and Dave Bailey assisted with drawing the italics.

GEGL gets mipmaps, 71 new image processing operations

by Alexandre Prokoudine
GIMP's new image processing engine got its first update in three years, and it's full of awesome

GIMP’s new image processing engine got its first update in three years, and it’s so full of awesome you’d cry and demand GIMP 2.10 released right next to it. Supernova GEGL operation in development build of GIMP A lot of work has gone into making GEGL faster. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the new version features major improvements such as: Better thread-safety and experimental multithreading support.

Introducing Antimony, free graph-based 3D CAD system

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It seems that boxes and noodles are slowly taking over the world. Matt Keeter uses acyclic graphs in Antimony, a free/libre 3D CAD system streamlined for personal manufacturing.

It seems that boxes and noodles are slowly taking over the world. Matt Keeter uses acyclic graphs in Antimony, a free/libre 3D CAD system streamlined for personal manufacturing. With QCAD, LibreCAD, FreeCAD, BRL-CAD, and less known projects like ZCAD you’d think we are more or less settled with free/libre software for 2D/3D drafting and modeling. But most existing apps are built around concepts that we know from DXF: layers, blocks etc.

Anatomy of SourceForge/GIMP controversy

by Alexandre Prokoudine
SourceForge is taking another self-inflicted reputation hit

SourceForge, once the most popular and respected hosting for free/libre projects, is taking another self-inflicted reputation hit. The recent controversy involving GIMP is all about ethics, while on the SourceForge’s side it appears to be about money. If you follow tech industry at all, you couldn’t have missed a slew of reports yesterday that SourceForge took control over abandoned gimp-win account where GIMP installers for Windows used to be distributed from, and started providing their own offer-enabled installers instead.

Synfig Studio 1.0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Patience is one tough lady: after 13 years in development, free 2D vector-based animation application Synfig Studio finally gets the golden badge of v1.0, delivering a sleigh of improvements and new features.

Patience is one tough lady: after 13 years in development, free 2D vector-based animation application Synfig Studio finally gets the golden badge of v1.0, delivering a sleigh of improvements and new features. What’s new The new version has a handful of major changes and improvements. Many of them were crowd-sponsored by Synfig’s community in 2013—2014. Here are just some of them: single-window UI based on GTK+3, with various improvements; full-featured bone system; new Skeleton Distortion layer to apply advanced image distortion; new non-destructive Cutout tool for cutting bitmap images; initial implementation of a sound layer with support for WAV, Ogg Vorbis, and MP3 files; dynamics converter which adds basic rigid body physics: torque, friction, spring, inertia etc.

Ardour 4 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of the free/libre DAW brings sleeker UI, new editing tools, native CoreAudio/ASIO support

Paul Davis et al. released a much anticipated major update of Ardour, free digital audio workstations for Linux, Mac, and, for the first time, Windows. What's new Updated user interface With this release, Ardour begins moving away from GTK+ to embrace Cairo, a state-of-the-art library for drawing 2D graphics on display. The benefit of using Cairo is that it greatly simplifies making sleek, appealing interfaces. For now, Ardour still uses GTK+ for laying out user interface elements, for the file browser, and a few other things.

The future of Audacity, interview with the team

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It seems, these days every other major free/libre media production tool is undergoing dramatic changes that promise richer feature set, better usability, and, generally, more power to users. Audacity is one of them.

It seems, these days every other major free/libre media production tool is undergoing dramatic changes that promise richer feature set, better usability, and, generally, more power to users. Audacity is one of them. Originally developed by Dominic Mazzoni and Roger Dannenberg, Audacity has been with us for the past 16 years. By now, there’s probably a whole generation of people doing things with sound and using Audacity as the go-to application for simple recording, editing, and mixing audio, as well as for completely uncommon projects such as making 3D jewelry out of waveforms.

FreeCAD 0.15 released, team explores community funding

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of FreeCAD features a great variety of improvements in many workbenches, as well as fancy new things like Occulus Rift support.

New version of FreeCAD features a great variety of improvements in many workbenches, as well as fancy new things like Occulus Rift support. What’s new The Arch workbench is probably the most feature-packed one this time: IFC filter is based on the most recent IfcOpenShell library, it’s faster and supports the exporting of IFC files now, thus making FreeCAD two-way compatible in BIM workflows. Cutting objects with planes is possible now.

Free garment design software Valentina 0.3 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of Valentina, free/libre pattern making software for fashion designers features improved output for cutting and design tools enhancements.

New version of Valentina, free/libre pattern making software for fashion designers features improved output for cutting and design tools enhancements. We already introduced you to this project about a year ago, so for the background of the project you can check this article. The major new feature in this release is automatic layout of patterns for printing (e.g. on a plotter). Here’s a quick demo from Roman Telezhinskyi, project’s lead developer:

Symmetry painting mode lands to unstable GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine

Earlier this week, Jehan Pagès delivered on his promise to create symmetry painting mode for painting tools in GIMP. The code is now available in a dedicated development branch to be later merged for v2.10. The new mode is supported by all brush-based tools (Paintbrush, Pencil, Eraser, Smudge, Clone etc.), as well as by the Ink tool. Jehan also posted a video demonstration of the current implementation: Symmetry mode for painting tools is the second community-sponsored development project for GIMP endorsed by the GIMP team (the first being improved interpolation methods).

MuseScore 2.0 brings better music notation, improved usability

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Much anticipated major update of MuseScore brings score layout improvements, linked parts, guitar fret diagrams and tabulatures, the importing of Guitar Pro files, and more exciting new features.

Much anticipated major update of MuseScore brings score layout improvements, linked parts, guitar fret diagrams and tabulatures, the importing of Guitar Pro files, and more exciting new features. For a more or less complete list of changes please read release notes or just download and make your own judgement. There’s also a great video from George Hess with highlights of the new release: A week ago, LGW already interviewed some of the MuseScore developers, when Open Well-Tempered Clavier project was released, but there is just so much to discuss when it comes to the score editor.

Kimiko Ishizaka and MuseScore team release Open Well-Tempered Clavier

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It is done: score and recordings of J.S. Bach's the Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 as prepared by MuseScore team and played by Kimiko Ishizaka are now in public domain.

It is done: score and recordings of J.S. Bach’s the Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1 as prepared by MuseScore team and played by the pianist Kimiko Ishizaka are now released into public domain. The Open Well-Tempered Clavier (OpenWTC) project was launched in late 2013 as a successful Kickstarter campaign, with 904 backers who pledged $44,083 of $30,000 goal. The fundraiser was boosted by 12 promotional concerts that Kimiko played in USA and Europe throughout November 2013.

OpenSCAD 2015.03 released with text objects support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Marius Kintel released a major new version of OpenSCAD, a 3D solid modeling application popular with the makers movement and 3D printing communities.

Marius Kintel released a major new version of OpenSCAD, a 3D solid modeling application popular with the makers movement and 3D printing communities. OpenSCAD is different from the usual solid modeling CAD software in a way that instead of visual modeling you use a simple declarative programming language, hence “The Programmers' Solid 3D CAD Modeler” slogan. Complex objects are constructed from solid primitives such as cube, sphere, cylinder, polyhedron etc., extruded from 2D objects etc.

The complete story of Paris-8 university going for Krita, Blender, Natron

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In an exclusive in-depth interview, François Grassard talks about integration of Krita, Blender, Natron into the program of Paris-8 university.

It’s not so uncommon for an educational institution to adopt free software in its programs. But last month Krita’s website was taken down by curious minds of the Internet, hundreds of comments were posted in various forums, crazy theories evolved, and old myths about free software had a new go at curious minds of the Internet in a giant positive feedback loop. The news of Art and Technology of Image department in Paris-8 university switching to Krita, Blender, and Natron caused quite a stir in CG communities around the world.

Inkscape 0.91 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Over 4 years in the making, thousands of commits, dozens of new features: it's all there, neatly packed in the newly released Inkscape 0.91.

Over 4 years in the making, thousands of commits, dozens of new features: it’s all there, neatly packed in the newly released Inkscape 0.91. Inkscape has become the go-to generic vector graphics editor on Linux, and while its Windows and Mac ports feel less native, there is a strong community of Inkscape users on those platforms as well. Some of the most important changes in this release are: new tool for measuring distances and angles; multithreaded, hence faster SVG filters rendering; support for font faces beyond bold/italic; vastly improved support for Corel DRAW, EMF, and WMF files; newly added support for Microsoft Visio diagrams and stencils; real world units support; symbols library for reusing design elements; Cairo-based rendering and PNG exporting.

2014

Natron 1.0 brings free VFX compositing to Linux, Windows, Mac users

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The great free/libre VFX compositing curse might as well be over: Natron v1.0 has just been released and features more stable core, better UI, and a handful of new nodes.

The great free/libre VFX compositing curse might as well be over: Natron v1.0 has just been released and features more stable core, better UI, and a handful of new nodes. Natron has a rather solid foundation: OpenFX-focused processing in a 32bit float linear color pipeline, OpenColorIO-based color management, OpenImageIO-based support for DPX, EXR, TIFF, PNG etc. The project is still maintained by just two developers, hence it’s still somewhat fragile.

ProEXR creator comes up with MOX, new open file format for movie production

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Brendan Bolles launched an IndieGoGo campaign to sponsor creating MOX — a new open source movie format for video and film production.

Brendan Bolles launched an IndieGoGo campaign to sponsor creating MOX — a new open source movie format for video and film production. But the industry seems split over this idea. Why another file format? In Brendan’s opinion, every already existing movie file format falls short for at least one reason, either being not cross-platform, or being patent-encumbered, or not supporting higher bit depths and lossless compression. E.g. both Apple ProRes and QuickTime would work very well as intermediate file formats, but neither are open or cross-platform.

Introducing ArgyllPRO ColorMeter for Android

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Graeme Gill has just announced immediate availability of ArgyllPRO ColorMeter, a commercial Android app that allows using colorimeters and spectrophotometers directly via the USB on-the-go port.

Graeme Gill has just announced immediate availability of ArgyllPRO ColorMeter, a commercial Android app that allows using colorimeters and spectrophotometers directly via the USB on-the-go port. What is it good for? Graeme lists a number of possible use cases: Use your X-Rite Eye-One Display Pro to make accurate measurements of ambient, spot or display light levels and color temperature for Photography or Lighting design. Measure and calibrate Televisions and Projectors using a Klein K10-A.

Weybec and Blender Institute release Monkaa open movie

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Weybec studio released a short open movie about a monkey that gains superpowers for no good reason at all.

Weybec studio released a short open movie about a monkey that gains superpowers for no good reason at all. The movie, that had been in the works for the past 6 months, was posted yesterday on YouTube, and all project data, as well as tutorials are now available for both Blender Cloud subscribers and people who’d rather buy a DVD. All the work was done with just free/libre tools, namely, Blender and GIMP.

MOD Duo, Linux-based multieffect pedal, gets crowdfunded

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The MOD team has raised $82,781 and is planning to deliver their new Linux-based multieffect pedal to musicians around June 2015.

The MOD team has raised $82,781 instead of the requested $65,000 at Kickstarter and is planning to deliver their new Linux-based multieffect pedal to musicians around June 2015. Essentially, MOD Duo is an ARM-based specialized computer with an audio interface that runs Linux and is controled via web interface from your laptop, tablet, or phone. All effects are written using free/libre LV2 API and can be freely connected like nodes in a graph which alone makes MOD unique.

Artificial intelligence designs websites, uses open technology stack

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The AI-based web publishing tool designs and maintains websites, and it's based on a slew of free/libre software projects.

It’s been years since AI was supposed to take over dirty bits of work and let humanity get on with creating amazing art, exploring the universe and generally enjoying life. The Grid, a San Francisco based company, recently made a contribution to the matter. Their AI-based web publishing tool designs and maintains websites, and it’s based on a slew of free/libre software projects. But will it actually automate boring work or will it swap creative humans with robot overlords?

Blender returns to VIEW Conference 2014

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Next week Blender will be featured again at VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy.

Next week Blender will be featured again at VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy. On October 13, 16, and 17, Alfonso Annarumma will lead a workshop called “Architectural Previsualization of Interior Design with Blender 3D and Cycles Rendering”. Blender was prominently featured at VIEW in both 2012 and 2013, but for some reason got dropped in 2013 despite of initial plans (event organizers wouldn’t say, why). The workshop will led by Alfonso Annarumma who is probably best known for his many productivity-centered Blender addons, such as Path Editor, Layer Manager, Layer Groups, Fast Textures Editor, and others.

Axiom Beta, open digital cinema camera, funded on IndieGoGo

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The Apertus team has just reached the 100K euro milestone in the crowdfunding campaign that should bring Axiom, their new open digital camera, to the masses.

Apertus team has just reached the 100K euro milestone in the crowdfunding campaign that should bring Axiom, their new open digital camera, to the masses. Axiom is a 4K digital camera with open specs where modules can be freely added and replaced as you see fit. In that, it rather reminds the slogan of another ongoing open hardware crowdfunding campaign, by MOD, that goes: “The last music pedal you will ever need”.

Change of heart. Inkscape starts encouraging paid development

by Alexandre Prokoudine
After years of being dead against paid development, the Inkscape Board came up with a policy that encourages personal (crowd)funded projects.

After years of being dead against paid development, Inkscape Board revisited the controversial topic and came up with a policy that encourages personal (crowd)funded projects to add new features and fix bugs in this popular free/libre vector graphics editor. Why just now? The problem that the Board used to have with paid development was the assumed inequality of contributors in financial terms and, therefore, possible disturbance in the community — despite hard evidence to the contrary from projects like Blender.

Libre Music Production project launched

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Libre Music Production is collaboration between Staffan Melin, Gabriel Nordeborn, and Conor McCormack. Essentially, it's a project by musicians for musicians.

Libre Music Production is collaboration between Staffan Melin, Gabriel Nordeborn, and Conor McCormack. Essentially, it’s a project by musicians for musicians. The new project is a long missing link between experienced Linux audio users and newbies who want hands-on information about libre tools for making music. It focuses on delivering both workflow explanations and detailed tutorials, with an outlook to post relevant news to keep users in the loop regarding software updates.

Diagramming with bling, VRT updates free stencils for LibreOffice

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Annoyed with much dated networking stencils in free diagramming software? Mark Oellermann fixed that for you.

Annoyed with much dated networking stencils in free diagramming software? Mark Oellermann of VRT, an Australian systems integration company, fixed that for you. The situation with diagramming stencils for free software is no less frustrating that the situation with the actual diagramming software. If you do a lot of this kind of technical illustrations in your line of work, chances are you either use Visio-like proprietary software, clench your teeth, shut down your sense of beauty and get on with Dia’s set of shapes, or maybe ransack Open Clip Art Library for anything usable.

Explore new ideas with latest Distrho’s softsynths

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Filipe Coelho released new ports of synths that are based on Yamaha DX7, Oberheim OB-X, and Roland TB-303.

Do you feel like you could do with more virtual instruments and sound FX plugins on Linux? Filipe Coelho released new ports of synths that are based on Yamaha DX7, Oberheim OB-X, and Roland TB-303. The Ports section of the Distrho project is essentially comprised of native ports of plugins that had been released by their developers on KVR or elsewhere as free software. Pretty much all of those plugins were developed with the JUCE crossplatform multimedia framework which makes Filipe’s job a lot easier.

Guitarix gets octaver plugin, loads external effects

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Hermann Meyer released a new version of Guitarix, free/libre guitar FX processor. If you are looking for something that (vaguely) resembles Amplitube or Guitar Rig on Linux, you might want to check this out.

Hermann Meyer released a new version of Guitarix, free/libre guitar FX processor. If you are looking for something that (vaguely) resembles Amplitube or Guitar Rig on Linux, you might want to check this out. The new version features a long anticipated octaver effect that somewhat misleadingly was called ‘Detune’. What it really does is adding a copy of the input stream with a hardcoded octave-large pitch shift upwards or downwards and an optional detune of up to 1/3 of a semitone from the shifted tone.

Natron 0.92 released with new roto and keying nodes

by Alexandre Prokoudine
When it comes to compositing, there are, in fact, more options than Blender, Synfig, and ButtleOFX.

When it comes to compositing, there are, in fact, more options than Blender, Synfig, and ButtleOFX. Natron 0.92 has just been released with major new features. The project is a free (Mozillla Public License v2) node-based compositor that relies on OpenColorIO for color management, OpenImageIO for file formats support, and Qt for user interface. It also works with 32bit float per channel precision and supports OFX plugins, both free and commercial.

Pitivi’s fundraiser: out of the NLE hell on Linux?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Developers of Pitivi are trying to raise 35,000 euro to complete the stable release of this non-linear video editor. What are the benefits of supporting them?

Developers of Pitivi are trying to raise 35,000 euro to complete the stable release of this non-linear video editor. What are the benefits of supporting them? There are a few concerns about this initiative,, such as that we already have too many free video editors, that Pitivi is based on the wrong kind of toolkit etc. So what’s up with that? Why do they need your support? If you are a moviemaker or even a cautious screencaster such as myself, chances are, you don’t need gazillions of effects, blend modes, and various flavors of fancy.

Playkot's SuperCity game graphics done with Blender, Krita, GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Is it feasible to create graphics for a really popular social network game with free software? Two years and 4,000,000 users later the answer seems obvious.

Is it feasible to create graphics for a really popular social network game with free software? Two years and 4,000,000 users later the answer seems obvious. All the Flappy Bird nonsense aside, the question stands: just how good is free software for production of games that engage millions of users? We already told you about the making of Sokoban Garden mobile game in the past, but what about games for social networks?

2013

Introducing Valentina, free fashion design software

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Over the years we've been to numerous discussions about viability of free software for graphic design. But what about fashion design?

Over the years we’ve been to numerous discussions about viability of free software for graphic design. But what about fashion design? First of all, what’s the problem with commercial software? Like many CAD systems it’s expensive. While some vendors like TUKAtech optionally provide monthly subscriptions at $145 that spread the cost of ownership over time (obscuring the real TCO at that), others are less liberal. For instance, Optitex’s public relation department isn’t exactly scared to repost case studies that point out:

Crowdfunding for sustainability: how Synfig project did it in 2013

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Synfig team started working for community’s money this year. But is the community actually ready to sponsor development of a free 2D vector animation tool on a regular basis?

Synfig team started working for community’s money this year. But is the community actually ready to sponsor development of a free 2D vector animation tool on a regular basis? At a certain point every ambitious project like Synfig reaches the point where it’s barely possible to continue development at the same pace without changing the way the project is organized. Increased lines of code amount, growing complexity of further development work, and more aspects all contribute to this.

10 best commercials made with Blender in 2013

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interested to see how Blender is used professionally to produce ads? Here are 10 best commercials created with Blender this year.

Interested to see how Blender is used professionally to produce ads? Here are 10 best commercials created with Blender this year. The ads below are not in any particular order, we humbly suggest that you pick your own favorites among them or tell us about ones we didn’t see (or disregarded). Cif Active Gel Let’s start with a 100% made with Blender commercial for Cif international brand: Flamboyant Paradise spent 3 months on this project.

Linux gets support for Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch tablets

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The most recent of Wacom drivers for Linux features support for the most affordable series of the company's graphic tablets.

The most recent of Wacom drivers for Linux features support for the most affordable series of the company’s graphic tablets. The Linuxwacom drivers now fully support the following devices: Intuos Pen Small (CTL480); Intuos Pen & Touch Small (CTH480); Intuos Pen & Touch Medium (CTH680). There are some smaller changes there, like scaled-up touch width and height values for Intuos Pro. Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch M (CTH-680)

Free meets affordable — Krita gets support for Huion graphic tablets

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Recently, Huion sent one of their H610 graphic tablets to the Krita team to make sure it's supported, but is there more to it than meets the eye?

Huion, a Chinese vendor of graphic tablets, is getting increasingly interested in free software. Recently they sent one of its H610 tablets to the Krita team to make sure it’s supported, but is there more to it than meets the eye? Huion tablets are typically seen by customers as a cheaper alernative to Wacom’a tablets which are, let’s be honest, industry’s standard. There’s a technical difference between devices of the two vendors, of course.

GIMP gets advanced Exif, XMP, IPTC metadata support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Built-in viewer for metadata is coming to GIMP 2.10

Being able to handle metadata in photos is critical in professional environment. The team recognized that early on: getting real metadata support into GIMP is an initiative that’s nearly as old as moving GIMP to the GEGL image processing engine. Hartmut Kuhse finally unlocked the achievement by providing a rather complete patch, and Michael Natterer is now actively improving it in the main development branch. What does it do, exactly?

ZebraTrace, from Guilloché to hatching in a single equation

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Maxim Barabash released a new version of ZebraTrace, a free application for tracing bitmaps into a hatching pattern based on a mathematic equation

Maxim Barabash released a new version of ZebraTrace, a free application for tracing bitmaps into a hatching pattern based on a mathematic equation. Initially designed with Guilloché patterns in mind, ZebraTrace effectively combines a function plotter and a bitmap tracer, where thickness of vector lines depends on the lightness of pixels in a background image. Here’s a trace of Mark Twain’s photo with wavy horizontal lines: Note how vector lines become become thinner towards the well-lit face.

Meters.lv2 plugins released to provide advanced audio level meters

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Robin Gareus announced the first public version of meters.lv2 — a bundle of LV2 plugins for audio level meering and advanced sound analysis.

Robin Gareus announced the first public version of meters.lv2 — a bundle of LV2 plugins for audio level meering and advanced sound analysis. And we are giving away a book to help you learn using them. Meters.lv2 features 10 basic needle style meters — DIN, Nordic, EBU, BBC, and VU — both mono and stereo variants. You are probably already familiar with their vertical versions that are part of Ardour since v3.

Pitivi 0.91 introduces new non-linear video editing back-end

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Pitivi non-linear video editor just got leaner thanks to swapping its back-end, and acquired quite a few useful productivity features.

Pitivi non-linear video editor just got leaner thanks to swapping its back-end, and acquired quite a few useful productivity features. The team started working on porting Pitivi to GStreamer Editing Service (GES) nack-end in 2011. Was it actually worth spending two years on it? In comparison to Gnonlin, GES has a better designed architecture, and since it’s basically a complete SDK to create non-linear (video) editors, this makes it possible to reduce further development efforts on Pitivi’s side.

Records and sheet music of The Well-Tempered Clavier to go free

by Alexandre Prokoudine
MuseScore team, Robert Douglass, and Kimiko Ishizaka are joining forces again to liberate more work by J.S. Bach, this time — The Well-Tempered Clavier.

MuseScore team, Robert Douglass, and Kimiko Ishizaka are joining forces again to liberate more work by J.S. Bach, this time — The Well-Tempered Clavier. Two years after their first successful project, Open Goldberg Variations, they are about to meet in Teldex Studio, Berlin, to record all 48 pieces of “The Well-Tempered Clavier” and release them into public domain. “The 48” (BWV 846–893) is a compilation of a book of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys from 1722 and a much later book of the same kind from 1742.

Musopen aims to liberate Chopin's music, goes for Kickstarter

by Alexandre Prokoudine
MuseScore team, Robert Douglass, and Kimiko Ishizaka are joining forces again to liberate more work by J.S. Bach, this time — The Well-Tempered Clavier.

Aaron Dunn started a new Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of Frédéric Chopin’s music and make it available under Creative Commons Zero license (public domain). Technically speaking the outcome is 1080p video and 24 bit 192kHz audio (FLAC, MP3, M4a) of ca. 245 pieces. That’s an equivalent of 15 audio CD, if you are more comfortable with this kind of units. Additionally backers will get a printed Listener’s Companion to Chopin, and there will be an in-house developed iOS/Android app available, as well as a responsive web app.

Patchfield introduces concepts of JACK audio server to Android

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Peter Brinkmann, a developer from Google, introduced a new audio framework for Android called Patchfield.

The new library makes use of some features of pre-existing JACK audio server such as dvanced connectivity. In a nutshell, Patchfield reuses the cornerstone idea of JACK — creating standalone applications for audio generation and/or processing and connecting them in a patchbay. Patchfield is already reported to work on various devices like Nexus 7 and 10, and the code is available on GitHub under terms of Apache 2.0. It might sound like great news, but not everyone shares the sentiment.

SolveSpace 2D/3D CAD software released under terms of GPL

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Jonathan Westhues released SolveSpace, his parametric 2D/3D CAD software, under terms of GPLv3.

Jonathan Westhues released SolveSpace, his parametric 2D/3D CAD software, under terms of GPLv3. The project was started in 2008 and is based on a an earlier application called SketchFlat which was a two-dimensional technical drawing program. SolveSpace goes a lot further and focuses on accomplishing tasks like modeling 2D and 3D parts, preparing models for 3D printing and generating CAM data, simulating planar or spatial linkages etc. There are quite a few amazing things about the application: from a tiny executable file that would fit a floppy disk, to feature set that includes advanced geometry constraints solver, as well as an output to STL, DXF, PDF, and SVG.

Ordinary Day Montage album released, produced with Ardour3

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Gabriel Nordeborn (zthmusic) released a new album that he composed, recorded, mixed and mastered mostly with free software on Linux. It's also licensed under CC-BY-SA.

Gabriel Nordeborn (zthmusic) released a new album that he composed, recorded, mixed and mastered mostly with free software on Linux. It’s also licensed under CC-BY-SA. The new work sounds tighter than the previous album and, as Gabriel states, is more electronically influenced (which probably explains somewhat lacking use for layered drums in the intro). For this album Gabriel completely moved to Ardour 3 for composition thus ditching OpenOctaveMidi that he had used for making all orchestrals before:

2D animation tools on Linux, the age of revival

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It seems that we've been having a bit of a renaissance in the domain of free 2D animation tools lately.

It seems that we’ve been having a bit of a renaissance in the domain of free 2D animation tools lately. Not only Tupi was updated; both Pencil and xsheet-mypaint are finally getting some long overdue developers' love too. Pencil2D: sporking the forks Among various free (as in speech) animation tools Pencil is a bit special in a way that it actually handles audio all by itself. And even though the implementation is rather basic, that still makes it somewhat unique.

Mashing art styles with GIMP: Caleb Thomas

by Alexandre Prokoudine
DeviantArt is a bit of a universe, with planets orbiting around entire subculture suns. Sometimes these solar systems collide, and that's how you get mixes of stylized anime, fashion model tributes etc. Meet Caleb Thomas who uses just GIMP to do all of that and a lot more.

DeviantArt is a bit of a universe, with planets orbiting around entire subculture suns. Sometimes these solar systems collide, and that’s how you get mixes of stylized anime, fashion model tributes etc. Meet Caleb Thomas who uses just GIMP to do all of that and a lot more. So, why did Caleb go for GIMP? Here’s some background: While I was browsing for a suitable program for myself, there were GIMP users who had results that mimicked the work of those who used other programs like Photoshop.

Ardour 3.2 makes it easy to create soundtracks

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new version of Ardour, a free DAW for Linux and Mac, is now available and features a few major improvements to the workflow.

The new version of Ardour, a free DAW for Linux and Mac, is now available and features a few major improvements to the workflow. Video in my DAW? It’s about time! Both the video timeline and the video monitor simplify preparing soundtracks for movies, commercials, screencasts etc. Now you can easily keep an eye on the video track while working on your sound mix. No more exporting to WAV and reimporting into NLE for A/V sync checks.

Amazing fractal garden by Silvia Cordedda

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The nature is a curios case of intertwined order and randomness. Silvia Cordedda pays a tribute to it with her fractal flora renders.

The nature is a curios case of intertwined order and randomness. Silvia Cordedda pays a tribute to it with her fractal flora renders. To render all that beauty Silvia uses mostly Apophysis 7X — a newer version of the “classic” fractal flame editor called Apophysis. She also does some postprocessing with GIMP. Both versions of Apophysis are free software for Windows, both perfectly run under WINE on Linux. There’s also a very similar native applicatuion called Qosmic, if you are interested in flame fractals, not mentioning a few plugins bundled with GIMP.

QCAD Community Edition is back on track

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In March this year we reported that QCAD team was considering abandoning Community Edition of QCAD for good. Instead they released a preliminary update with an official release to follow in the coming weeks.

In March this year, we reported that QCAD team was considering abandoning Community Edition of QCAD for good. Instead they released a preliminary update with an official release to follow in the coming weeks. Just like before, the new community edition matches the basic feature set of the commercial v3.1 release except for a total of 39 features, such as DXF and DWG read/write support from R2.5 through R27, SVG exporting, a bunch of operations on polylines etc.

Introducing MOD, Linux-based hardware sound FX processor

by Alexandre Prokoudine
During Linux Audio Conference 2013 the MOD team presented their digital pedalboard that runs Linux and uses LV2 effects and instruments.

During Linux Audio Conference 2013 the MOD team presented their digital pedalboard that runs Linux and uses LV2 effects and instruments. Outside it’s a typical pedalboard with 4 footswitches, 4 LEDs and 4 accompanying rotating knobs. The hardware inside is an Intel Atom N2800 1.8GHz with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage space and the internal audio interface uses 24bit / 48 kHz AD/DA. The internal processing chain can be setup from a browser, for which you only need Bluetooth connection.

Freestyle, Jot, and the future of non-photorealistic rendering

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interested to see how Blender is used professionally to produce ads? Here are 10 best commercials created with Blender this year.

Working in 3D to render stylized 2D line art — how crazy is that? Not too crazy and even pretty awesome. Stable version of Blender recently got a new tool for that, and there are some other interesting ongoing developments. Science is funny like that: your research can go through multiple stages before it becomes available to end-users, if ever. Two non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) technologies discussed in this article, Freestyle and Jot, are great examples of this fact of life: both projects were started in early 2000s, and both are getting their bulk of real users just now (anyone who’s been following a 135 pages long BA thread on Freestyle would readily object).

Blender dives into 3D printing industry

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Blender 2.67 was released last week with a 3D printing toolbox. LGW spoke to Dolf Veenvliet, Bart Veldhuizen (Shapeways, Blendernation), and Rich Borrett (Ponoko) about the new tools and the future of 3D printing.

Blender 2.67 was released last week with a 3D printing toolbox. LGW spoke to Dolf Veenvliet, Bart Veldhuizen (Shapeways, Blendernation), and Rich Borrett (Ponoko) about the new tools and the future of 3D printing. As one of the impressively fast growing industries, 3D printing is lately all the rage in the press. Let’s start with the basics. What do we know about 3D printing anyway? Increasingly affordable (under $1000 now) desktop 3D printers make it possible to turn designs into real plastic or metal objects up to 30cm large in any dimension.

Synfig Studio gets faster rendering

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Synfig Studio has just been updated to feature performance improvements, simplified plug-ins execution, various keyframes improvements, and the switch to conventional terminology.

Synfig Studio has just been updated to feature performance improvements, simplified plug-ins execution, various keyframes improvements, and the switch to conventional terminology. What’s changed The new version finally has optional Cairo-based rendering that improves performance for many common scenarios like cutout animation: However, Cairo isn’t suitable for a lot of filter layers, which is why in a number of cases you might experience slower performance. This is why Cairo-based rendering is not yet enabled by default.

3D worlds and characters by Jonathan Ball

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Jonathan Ball from pokedstudio recently posted his new work created with Blender and Cycles which served as an incentive to look into his earlier work.

Jonathan Ball from pokedstudio recently posted his new work created with Blender and Cycles which served as an incentive to look into his earlier work. Power mouse Some of the artwork here you’ve already seen on blenderartists and on Blendernation. The following render was used as cover art for Tony Mullen’s latest book, “Mastering Blender”: City destroyer Jonathan did a lot of his older work with Blender Internal.

Decima Angelus series by Bernard Bittler

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Bernard Bittler found a way to fuse 3D fractals into more conventional art. And it's a dark art with a twist.

Every fractal equation carries around an unlimited amount of worlds to explore. Even in generative graphics 3D fractals are often considered to be entirely different species. But Bernard Bittler found a way to fuse them into more conventional art. And it’s a dark art with a twist. In purely technical terms the result is achieved by using Mandelbulb 3D to create the fractal bits, MyPaint for actual painting, and GIMP for touch-ups and adjustments.

LibreCAD gets native DWG importer, needs community’s help

by Alexandre Prokoudine
LibreCAD team started working on their own DWG importer.

Just when you think the DWG story is buried for good, a gang of brave tomb raiders prove otherwise. LibreCAD team started working on their own DWG importer, and FSF is trying to figure out what to do with LibreDWG. “If you want something done, do it yourself.” Around mid-March one of LibreCAD core developers, Rallaz, started adding support for DWG files to libdxfrw, a library for reading and writing DXF files, started by the project and licensed under GPLv2+.

GIMP gets canvas rotation

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new feature is mostly useful for digital painting and drawing, as well as for preparing textures in CG

Canvas rotation was originally prototyped by sigetch in the GIMP Painter fork which could be considered to be a playground for various new features in upstream GIMP. Here’s a quick demo: The canvas rotation mode can be activated with any currently selected tool. Just press Shift and start dragging the middle mouse button up or down. Use the additional Ctrl modifier to rotate with 15° step. To reset the rotation either choose “View / Rotate / Reset to 0°” command in menu or use Ctrl + Shift + dragging.

Self-portraits by Rosie Hardy, or Using GIMP for work and loving it

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The rumour has it that real photographers don't use GIMP. Here in the parallel universe, on entirely different Earth, they actually do. Meet Rosie Hardy, Manchester-based studio and event photographer.

The rumour has it that real photographers don’t use GIMP. Here in the parallel universe, on entirely different Earth, they actually do. Meet Rosie Hardy, Manchester-based studio and event photographer. For this showcase post we focused on the self-portrait series of pictures Rosie has been taking for a while. This is something you don’t see in portfolios of GIMP users on a daily basis. Here is a timelapse for the picture above:

COLLADA becomes ISO standard, what does industry think?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
On March 27, Free Software Foundation Europe was celebrating information accessibility and raising awareness of open standards by running Document Freedom Day. But how well does free software perform there?

The 5 years old COLLADA™ 1.5.0 specification is now officially ISO/PAS 17506:2012 standard. What does the industry think of it, and what’s up with its support in free software? The long road to ISO As an XML-based schema, COLLADA (COLLAborative Design Activity) encompasses geometry, shaders and effects, physics, animation, kinematics, and multiple version representations of the same asset. This makes it possible to exchange project data between authoring applications such as 3ds Max, Maya, Blender etc.

Document Freedom Day and missing interoperability opportunities

by Alexandre Prokoudine
On March 27, Free Software Foundation Europe was celebrating information accessibility and raising awareness of open standards by running Document Freedom Day. But how well does free software perform there?

On March 27 Free Software Foundation Europe was celebrating information accessibility and raising awareness of open standards by running Document Freedom Day. But how well does free software perform there? Why even asking? One might assume that free software honours open standards and is extremely interoparable, because all the information about file formats is freely available, contrary to proprietary software. FSFE makes a point of that while talking about importance of compatibility:

LibreCAD vs. QCAD, the war of forks that never happened

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Andrew Mustun of Ribbonsoft says he's likely to postpone the release of QCAD Community Edition. The reason? LibreCAD.

It’s quite disturbing how much controversy a small software niche can get in a relatively small timeframe. As if recent LibreDWG story wasn’t quite sufficient, the most recent news is that Ribbonsoft is not going to release Community Edition of QCAD right now. The background QCAD is a CAD system for Windows, Mac and Linux, created by Ribbonsoft and available in two editions: the commercial one and the free one called Community Edition (GPLv2).

Ethereal concept art by Pablo Lizardo

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today we are talking to Ngan Pham, a young artist residing in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ngan extensively uses Krita as a freelance concept artist and illustrator.

We’ve shown you a lot of graffiti-style illustrations lately, so it’s good to move to something new for a difference. Let’s have a look at the recent work by Pablo Lizardo, an artist from Argentina. Pablo participated at various animation projects such as “Tube” and “Historias de cronopios y de famas”. He currently works at Ideas Fijas and is exploring a new character for another project. Recently Pablo posted some interesting work-in-progress concept art that we thought we’d share with you.

Shotcut gets hardware accelerated color grading

by Alexandre Prokoudine
EIf you’ve been wondering what video editor would get support for Movit’s hardware-accelerated filters that we recently covered, we have the answer for you.

If you’ve been wondering what video editor would get support for Movit’s hardware-accelerated filters that we recently covered, we have the answer for you: it’s Shotcut. The editor, first introduced by Dan Dennedy last year, relies on MLT framework (also created by Dan). The work on the GLSL-based processing framework for MLT started about a year ago, but it was missing filters and color grading tools. Fortunately, Steinar H. Gunderson came up with his Movit library last year, so now not only MLT can do GPU rendering, but also applies filters like the 3-way color grading tool here:

Lettering and logo design by Filip Komorowski

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Lettering and logo design are some of the areas where Inkscape truly shines thanks to well designed shape and path drawing tools. Today we are looking at the work by Filip Komorowski, an artist from Poland.

Lettering and logo design are some of the areas where Inkscape truly shines thanks to well designed shape and path drawing tools. Today we are looking at the work by Filip Komorowski, an artist from Poland. The are hardly any words this time, and I hope you will appreciate that. After all, if talking about music is like dancing about architecture, then surely LGW could skip a few comments. There are a lot more examples in Filip's gallery on Behance.

Too little, too late? sK1 project opens up

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Earlier this week, Igor Novikov finally posted the first portion of news regarding development of UniConvertor, PrintDesign, and LinCutter since 2011.

Earlier this week, Igor Novikov finally posted the first portion of news regarding development of UniConvertor, PrintDesign, and LinCutter since 2011. LGW revisited the applications in question and found no use for the zombie alarm. Yet. UniConvertor v2 UC is what the vector graphics editor (PrintDesign) and the vinyl cutter software (LinCutter) use for opening and saving files. It also takes responsibility of color management. Right now UniConvertor v2 is limited to reading Corel DRAW, PLT and PDFX files, the latter being PrintDesign’s native file format with file structure inherited from OpenDocument.

Beauty salon designed and visualized with Blender and Cycles

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Let's talk about a particular case of using Blender and Cycles for commercial architectural visualization.

Among all interesting things people do with free software, making successful commissioned work is what LGW cherishes most. Let’s talk about a particular case of using Blender and Cycles for commercial architectural visualization. I recently stumbled upon this work on Behance and couldn’t resist contacting Igor Shevchenko, the artist. Igor works for a Ukrainian company called “Magis”. He’s in charge for modeling, texturing and rendering of interiors. “Backstage”, the beauty salon in question, is a real establishment opened in Kyiv in September 2012.

GIMP team revitalizes astrophotography tools

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In the eyes of astrophotographers GIMP has always been an underdog. Recent changes in the unstable version finally address this issue.

In the eyes of astrophotographers GIMP has always been an underdog. Recent changes in the unstable version finally address this issue. The bottleneck #1 was in the lacking support for high bit depth precision. And thus ever since the GIMP team passed the point of no return towards the bright GEGL future with its processing in 32bit floats and non-destructive editing, it was only a matter of time till the FITS plugin was upgraded.

Ghostscript 9.07 gets BPC and improved DeviceLink support

by Alexandre Prokoudine

Ghostscript team released the latest and greatest new version of the Postscript interpreter with a lot of useful new features in the color management department. Here are the most interesting changes: All CMYK devices can now support simulated overprint of spot colors using the “-dSimulateOverprint” command line option. Support for use of DeviceN ICC color profiles as the output profile with the tiffsep and psdcmyk devices. Support for customized named color handling with DeviceN colors.

Dave Crossland on Crafting Type and making a difference

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Is there such a thing as a roadshow for free graphic design software? In a way, there is: a “Crafting Type” workshop combines an introduction to type design with basics of using FontForge and Inkscape.

Is there such a thing as a roadshow for free graphic design software? In a way, there is: a “Crafting Type” workshop combines an introduction to type design with basics of using FontForge and Inkscape. Crafting Type started last year from an intro type design workshops in Edmonton, Canada, during the summer of 2012, then moved to Europe, and is now back to Northern America. One of Crafting Type’s latest stops was in Kyiv and Lviv, in December 2012.

FreeCAD 0.13 released with better drafting, arch, and part design tools

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The FreeCAD team continues getting rid of the myth that there can be no usable open source CAD software. The newly released v0.13 includes massive improvements in almost every workbench.

The FreeCAD team continues getting rid of the myth that there can be no usable open source CAD software. The newly released v0.13 includes massive improvements in almost every workbench. There’s a ton of new production-critical features like loft, sweep, offset and thickness tools. Chamfer and fillet tools were improved too. Plus the new snapping system, available in Draft and Arch workbenches, is just awesome. The team did a good job at documenting changes in the official release notes.

Dillerkind’s illustrations with Inkscape

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Sven Ebert aka 'Dillerkind' is one of the i-can't-believe-i-missed-that artists using Inkscape.

Curious what interesting new artwork people did with Inkscape lately? We have another showroom for you today, with badasses, golems, pandas, and red riding hoods. Sven Ebert aka “Dillerkind” is one of the i-can’t-believe-i-missed-that artists using Inkscape. Dude, U’re Dead!! “Today I can finally post some new completed image material. The little redheaded dude is obviously in a slightly aggressive mood and shows his impressively smooth dual-arm-moves… Better be careful now, if you want to avoid fractures and injuries of the kneecaps and below :D”

Autopsy goes public, font families in uproar

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Dave Crossland, the renowned master of eloquence, persuaded Yanone to release Autopsy as an open source project.

As far as puns go, this one isn’t particularly funny. However it’s true to an extent. Dave Crossland, the renowned master of eloquence, persuaded Yanone to release Autopsy as an open source project. This Fontlab Studio add-on helps visualizing design inconsistencies between faces of a font family. It is quite familiar to type designers who deal with odd digitized fonts dating back to ancient ages when Multiple Master or Superpolator were unheard of.

Krita 2.6 released, what's coming in the next version?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The KDE project announced release of Calligra Suite 2.6, a set of free office, graphics and productivity applications. The crown jewel of the release is Krita, an image editor with advanced painting features.

The KDE project announced release of Calligra Suite 2.6, a set of free office, graphics and productivity applications. The crown jewel of the release is Krita, an image editor with advanced painting features. Calligra is an interesting piece of software machinery. I can’t think of a single release where users wouldn’t question the idea of having a color-managed image editor with HDR features and a dozen of brush engines inside an office suite.

Pitchi Poy moves to Blender, releases Baldy Heights animation teaser

by Sergey Maiorov
I spoke to Gilad Rosenau, animation studio manager at Pitchi Poy, an Israel animation studio that recently switched to Linux and Blender.

This interview was originally posted by me in Hebrew at blender.org.il. I spoke to Gilad Rosenau, animation studio manager at Pitchi Poy, an Israel animation studio that recently switched to Linux and Blender. Even though the studio’s largest Blender-powered project is still in the works, they already did some commercial work with free software. So you can safely call this a success story. The interview Please tell us about yourself and the studio you manage

Cronopios and Famas animation trailer released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This is the first trailer of Cronopios and Famas, an animation movie based on a short story anthology by Argentine author Julio Cortázar.

Juan Pablo Bouza reports: “I’m glad to present to you the first trailer of Cronopios and Famas, an animation movie that is being produced in Argentina”. The movie is being produced with GIMP, Blender and Ardour. “Historias de cronopios y de famas” is a short story anthology by Argentine author Julio Cortázar, published in 1962. As much of Argentine literature in the 20th century is deals with social issues in the society, but in a considerably surrealistic entourage typical for Cortázar.

Free emulators of guitar amps gain momentum

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Good news, everyone: Guitarix is now available as LV2 plug-ins with fancy skins.

There’s quite a few musicians around who wish that free Linux alternatives to Guitar Rig were easier to use and fun looking. Good news, everyone: Guitarix is now available as LV2 plug-ins with fancy skins. Recently Hermann Meyer introduced the first version of Guitarix featuring LV2 versions of some of the amps/cabinets, both mono and stereo versions: GxAmplifier tube 12ax7 tonestack sovtek cabinet 4x12; GxAmplifier-II tube 12AT7 tonestack soldano cabinet AC30; GxAmplifier-III tube 6C16 tonestack bassman cabinet 1x15; GxAmplifier-IV tube 6V6 tonestack soldano cabinet mesa; GxAmplifier-V tube 6DJ8 tonestack ampeg cabinet HighGain.

Stagestack faces dead-end, source code release considered

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Stagestack, a work-in-progress vector graphics editor is facing the dead-end after failing to become a financially self-supporting project. Developers are thinking about releasing the source code now.

Stagestack, a work-in-progress vector graphics editor is facing the dead-end after failing to become a financially self-supporting project. Developers are thinking about releasing the source code now. In August last year we posted a coverage of the story behind Free FreeHand organization, their failed attempt to liberate source code of FreeHand, and the beginnings of work on Stagestack. Here’s a quick recap. The background After salivating over Altsys assets for a decade, Adobe acquired FreeHand source code along with the rest of Macromedia in 2005 and discontinued FreeHand in 2006, channeling customers to Adobe Illustrator.

MyPaint 1.1.0 released with new blending modes and color tools

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new version comes with more blending modes, symmetric painting mode, direct frame editing on canvas, blending modes, and new color tools.

Martin Renold et al. released a new version of MyPaint, a free digital painting app. For many users this will be an exciting upgrade, for others — a good reason to try MyPaint for the first time. We did a quick overview of most important changes, such as new blending modes, symmetric painting mode, direct frame editing on canvas, blending modes and new color tools. However, if you are not a video person, read below.

2012

Best commercials created with Blender in 2012

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Some people are wondering, where the finished work with Blender is. Libre Graphics World cooked up a list of 7 best commercials created with Blender in 2012.

Some people are wondering, where the finished work with Blender is. Libre Graphics World cooked up a list of 7 best commercials created with Blender in 2012. We picked ads created in different styles: motion graphics, cartoons, live action etc. Ad campaign for Hugo Boss store in London Schokolade Filmproduktion created this commissioned video for the new Hugo Boss flagship store in London. Blender was used to create the fluid and ocean simulations.

LibreDWG drama: the end or the new beginning?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
There's a can of worms we opened this year: the unfortunate situation with support for DWG files in free CAD software via LibreDWG. We feel, by now it ought to be closed. We have the final answer from FSF.

There’s a can of worms we opened this year: the unfortunate situation with support for DWG files in free CAD software via LibreDWG. We feel, by now it ought to be closed. We have the final answer from FSF. In January this year LGW picked a lead about perspectives of LibreDWG and support for DWG in software like LibreCAD, FreeCAD, Open Asset Import Library, and Blender. The key question was: why doesn’t any of the end-user applications use the existing code in LibreDWG to gain support for DWG files?

Sokoban Garden, Android game created with free/libre software

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A new indie gamedev company Kivano Software released Sokoban Garden — a game created with just free software, such as Blender, Inkscape, GIMP, FontForge, Audacity and others.

A new indie gamedev company Kivano Software released Sokoban Garden — a game created with just free software, such as Blender, Inkscape, GIMP, FontForge, Audacity and others. Kivano Software is Jakub Grzesik and Izabela Latak, the programmer and the graphic designer respectively. They are young, ambitious and they seem to have a soft spot for free software. Looks like it works: the game already got Silver Medal from Playandroid.com magazine.

Introducing Movit, free library for GPU-side video processing

by Alexandre Prokoudine
EIf you’ve been wondering what video editor would get support for Movit’s hardware-accelerated filters that we recently covered, we have the answer for you.

While OpenCL and CUDA are all the rage even in free software today, a certain element was missing — a free library for GPU-based video effects. But not anymore. Steinar H. Gunderson has just announced Movit, a free C++ library for video effects processing that completely relies on GPU. His reasoning? It’s 2012, so people want to edit HD video. It’s 2012, so everybody has a GPU. It’s 2012, so everybody has a working C++ compiler.

LibreOffice gets Visio 2013 support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The latest release of libvisio allows opening VDX and VSDX files documents

It’s been a year since support for Visio documents in VSD file format entered LibreOffice. And here’s some news: with the latest release of libvisio you can open VDX and VSDX files as well. After an initial attack the activity in this project gradually faded, partially due to Fridrich Strba’s work on libraries for opening Corel DRAW and Microsoft Publisher files. However this summer Fridrich returned to libvisio to add some new exciting features.

Free Calf audio and MIDI plug-ins get a major update

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Two years of work and 20 new plug-ins — was it worth waiting? The much anticipated new release of Calf audio plug-ins is out for all Linux-based music makers and sound engineers.

Two years of work and 20 new plug-ins — was it worth waiting? The much anticipated new release of Calf audio plug-ins is out for all Linux-based music makers and sound engineers. The package now includes nearly 30 audio and MIDI plug-ins in LV2 format, from synthesizers and effects to all sorts of channel processing plug-ins for mastering. What’s new? In a nutshell: new plug-ins; new look; initial documentation; better use of newer LV2 techs; fixes and improvements.

Glorious high-resolution icons by Ollin Boer Bohan

by Alexandre Prokoudine
One of the difficulties with artists is that people who do real work with free software rarely mention it. At some point they reveal it though, which is how I got to know Ollin Boer Bohan.

One of the difficulties with artists is that people who do real work with free software rarely mention it. At some point they reveal it though, which is how I got to know Ollin Boer Bohan. Last year Ollin presented himself on the gimp-developer@ mailing list and was later interviewed by GIMP’s UI team to learn more about his icon design workflow. Twitter Birdhouse Ollin is an OS X user with a very old iMac, so he’s one of those rare people who actually got the grip on X11 based version of GIMP and made it his tool of choice, professionally.

Simplified landscapes with Blender by Pierre-Abraham Rochat

by Alexandre Prokoudine
While going through portfolios on Behance Network, I stumbled upon a quite interesting take at 3D landscapes by Pierre-Abraham Rochat, a Lausanne (Switzerland) based artist.

While going through portfolios on Behance Network, I stumbled upon a quite interesting take at 3D landscapes by Pierre-Abraham Rochat, a Lausanne (Switzerland) based artist. Many Blender artists do their best to squeeze the air out of LuxRender’s lungs to make the most photorealistic render ever (and rightfully so). But Pierre-Abraham takes a completely different approach. He makes beautiful simplified landscapes. I’d even venture to say that it’s low-poly at its finest.

Introducing Shotcut, a new free video editor

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Dan Dennedy is returning to development of a Kino-like video editor after several years of hiatus. The new project is called Shotcut.

Dan Dennedy is returning to development of a Kino-like video editor after several years of hiatus. The new project is called Shotcut. Shotcut is currently at a very early stage of development. It is based on the MLT framework, created by Dan in 2004 in collaboration with Charlie Yates, another former Kino developer. Until few days ago the application didn’t do much beyond simple playback with trimming controls, but now Shotcut has capturing, encoding and streaming.

Vectatory showroom is full of cute monsters

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Vectatory is another artist who extensively uses Inkscape. He currently works as an illustrator at a video games company which develops games for iOS.

You didn’t really expect us to abandon the Showroom initiative too soon, did you? :) We are moving the showroom from USA to Chile where Vectatory works. Vectatory is another artist who extensively uses Inkscape. He currently works as an illustrator at a video games company which develops games for iOS. Vectatory is another artist who extensively uses Inkscape. He currently works as an illustrator at a video games company which develops games for iOS.

Angled guides and snapping for Inkscape beginners

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Inkscape's v0.46 was the first version that got angled guides. Along with advanced snapping introduced in later versions it makes accomplishing certain tasks much easier. Let's see how.

Inkscape’s v0.46 was the first version that got angled guides. Along with advanced snapping introduced in later versions it makes accomplishing certain tasks much easier. Let’s see how. If you can recall your geometry course (the planimetrics part), a line is something that goes directly through two points. The fun thing about angled guides in Inkscape is that they honor geometry by having two snapping items: 1) the guide origin, which works as the rotation center, and 2) any other part of the guide’s line.

How design freebies cause cancer and eat babies

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Have you ever heard horror stories, how free design assets from teh interwebz should be avoided at all costs? Is that real or made-up?

Have you ever heard horror stories, how free design assets from teh interwebz should be avoided at all costs? Is that real or made-up? LGW makes a detour from its usual topics to give you some good old-fashioned nightmares. “Color management’s easy-peasy, you just google for an ICC profile” When I got my first DSLR (Canon 350D), I started grokking color management, but, apparently, not hard enough. I really did think I could just download an ICC profile from the Internet, and I’d be good to go.

GIMP Paint Studio updated for GIMP 2.8

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Ramon Miranda released a brand new version of GIMP Paint Studio, a project that improves painting experience for GIMP users.

G-P-S is essentially a collection of various resources such as brushes, palettes and suchlike to give painters the tools that GIMP used to be lacking by default. This version (download ZIP file) makes a heavy use of the new tool presets system in GIMP and delivers 78 presets in 7 categories: Eraser, FX, Ink, Sketch, Smudge and two generic sets of presets that could be summarized as “miscellaneous”. Tool presets from Sketch category

Normalmap and DDS plug-ins updated for GIMP 2.8

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Shawn Kirst shook the dust off his Normalmap and DDS plug-ins for GIMP that had been collecting on them since 2010.

Both plug-ins are useful for 3D production and game development, and the Normalmap plug-in, in particular, aims to provide the same feature set that NVidia’s Normal Map plug-in for Photoshop has. The Normalmap plug-in only got GIMP 2.8 compatibility and native Windows 64-bit binaries. The DDS plug-in that allows opening and exporting Direct Draw Surface files got a bit further. Apart from the update for GIMP 2.8 and Win64 binaries it now supports saving the existing mipmap chain (for 2D images only) and has DXT compression quality enhancements.

Free tools for vinyl cutting on Linux

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Ever wondered if you could get one of those fancy vinyl cutters and not abandon Linux?

Ever wondered if you could get one of those fancy vinyl cutters and not abandon Linux? Let’s talk about your options here. Recently I did a bit of Inkscape consulting work for an overseas client who needed to do some specific vinyl cutting job and wanted to use Inkscape to cut the total cost of ownership (pun intended). He wasn’t ready to use Linux in that particular case which would simplify the workflow a lot (later you’ll see why), even though he generally likes that system.

Being Omnitarian, the first personal Inkscape showcase

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Vectatory is another artist who extensively uses Inkscape. He currently works as an illustrator at a video games company which develops games for iOS.

Having heard “Allright, show me any interesting work done with free software” thousands of times, it’s about time we started a new section called Showcase. Here we are going to show you works created with GIMP, Inkscape etc. by different artists. While Flickr’s popularity seems to be on decline, Marty Elmer aka Omnitarian is one of the folks who make Inkscape’s Flickr group worth browsing. Many of his funny, tongue-in-cheek illustrations end up on T-shirts, and I bet that folks who got one or two for themselves take a good care of them.

Inkscape gets OpenSCAD converter

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Tired of jumping through hoops to go from Inkscape to OpenSCAD? Dan Newman created a new 3rd party extension that simply exports vector objects as .scad files.

This is not the first attempt to implement the exporter: there were at least two more, by Marty McGuire and by John Cliff. However the currently available second version of Dan’s Inkscape extension goes further than its predecessors: it translates arcs, clones, circles, ellipses, lines, paths, polygons, polylines, rects, and splines. It also handles groups and viewboxes. How to use it With this extension saving automatically extruded shapes as .scad files from Inkscape becomes a two-step procedure.

Qtractor takes non-revenge on LV2

by Alexandre Prokoudine
If you read one of our recent interviews, you probably remeber Rui's vitriol against LV2, a free API for audio/MIDI plug-ins. Well, guess what the newest release of his MIDI sequencer got.

If you read one of our recent interviews, you probably remeber Rui’s vitriol against LV2, a free API for audio/MIDI plug-ins. Well, guess what the newest release of his MIDI sequencer got. Let us remind you the most interesting relevant bit from the interview: This lv2_atom is a dang new incompatible MIDI data transport for hosts and plug-ins. Although internally similar to the old/current lv2_event infrastructure, it’s more like a brand new lv3 interface, if you ask me.

How to beautify FontForge’s user interface

by Alexandre Prokoudine
By default FontForge doesn't really match the typical look of a modern desktop application. If you like the font editing features, but dislike the interface, there's a cure.

By default FontForge doesn’t really match the typical look of a modern desktop application. If you like the font editing features, but dislike the interface, there’s a cure. Since 2009 or so FontForge ships with a built-in UI editor available from the File menu. This tool called X resource editor is where you can customize all colors, sizes, borders and whatnot. Which is great except it takes time to configure everything.

Open Goldberg Variations, mission accomplished

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The Open Goldberg Variations project has reached the last milestone: recordings and scores are available as public domain for admirers of classical music.

The Open Goldberg Variations project has reached the last milestone: recordings and scores are available as public domain for admirers of classical music. Goldeberg variations by Johann Sebastian Bach were originally composed for harpsichord. The score was published in 1741 while Bach was still alive, which was rather unusual in his case. A collaboration between developers of MuseScore, a professional pianist Kimiko Ishizaka, her husband Robert Douglass who organized the project, and the producer Anne-Marie Sylvestre, Open Goldberg Variations made quite a splash last year, being one of the first successful Kickstarter campaigns in the classical music field.

Ardour 3 gets simplified crossfading and SSL Nucleus support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Yesterday Paul Davis released another beta of Ardour 3, a free digital audio workstation for Linux and Mac. The new version got some kickass new features.

Yesterday Paul Davis released another beta of Ardour 3, a free digital audio workstation for Linux and Mac. The new version got some kickass new features. First and foremost, Paul merged changes introduced by Mixbus team that greatly simplify the way crossfades are calculated. For crossfades Ardour now reuses an existing fade in or fade out curve and applies another fade curve to a region below. The right-click menu for fade in/out still has curve presets.

GIMP 2.8 released, next version to get high bit depth precision

by Alexandre Prokoudine
After 3.5 years of blood, sweat and tears the GIMP team announced the release of GIMP 2.8. But good things come in pairs.

The new stable version features improvements in almost all aspects: UI, tools, painting features, resources. A detailed review is in works, for now please have a look at the official release notes. Now, the even better news is that since few days internal pipeline of the development version can work in 16bit and 32bit per color channel mode, both integer and float. This finally makes high bit depth precision available and opens up high dynamic range imaging for GIMP.

LV2 from developers’ standpoint

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today we are talking to Rui Nuno Capela, lead developer of Qtractor, and Mike Start, founder of linuxDSP.

When it comes to designing and implementing APIs, hell is often on the verge of breaking loose. LV2, the free API for virtual instruments and audio effects, is no different. In the first part of the article we spoke to Dave Robillard, the principal developer of LV2, discussed the future of the API and additionally spoke to Louigi Verona, one of the actual end-users. But what does it look like for developers of hosts and plug-ins who are kinda in the middle?

LV2 1.0 released, what’s next?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Last week David Robillard announced availability of LV2 1.0, the first officially stable release of the free API for creating virtual instruments and audio effects.

If you are a musician considering a switch to Linux, one of the questions you are likely to ask is what plugins there are to use. The situation with VSTs built for Windows is pretty much the same — your mileage may vary. Support for native VST on Linux keeps getting better. But what about native free APIs for Linux? Last week David Robillard announced availability of LV2 1.0, the first officially stable release of the free API for creating virtual instruments and audio effects.

LibreDWG controversy: 2 months later

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In late January we posted an in-depth story that explained the lack of support for DWG files in free/open source CAD software. Now it's time for an update.

In late January we posted an in-depth story that explained the lack of support for DWG files in free/open source CAD software. Now it’s time for an update. If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing, here is a quick recap. LibreDWG, a free library that provides public API for reading DWG files (de-facto proprietary standard in CAD), was licensed under GPLv3+ which is incompatible with some licenses such as strictly GPLv2.

Misa Digital Kitara and being open to the world

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Let's talk about this Linux-powered guitar-shaped MIDI controller

In early 2010, Michael Zarimis published a video on YouTube that demoed the first prototype of Linux-based Misa digital guitar with a touch interface. Did you ever wonder what happened to the project? Well, we did :) Kitara is a guitar-shaped MIDI controller with a built-in synthesizer with a 24 fret neck, no strings and a touch surface in place of the soundboard. Oh, and it’s running heavily customized Linux on ARM9.

Embroidery design on Linux now possible with Thred

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Nathan Summers contacted us to tell about an embroidery editor for Linux he's been working on since last year

So you are into arts and crafts, and as much as you love Linux, you could never find a real tool for creating embroidery designs. Your quest might soon be over: Nathan Summers contacted us to tell about Thred, a free embroidery editor for Linux he’s been working on since last year. Creating things with your own hands is so very Linux, yet vendors of hardware like embroider machines fail to understand that deep in the core those hairy UNIX sysadmins would rather be glad to contemplate a network restructuring strategy over a good cuppa of tea and a knitting pattern or maybe do a very reasonable Richelieu while backups are being copied between hosts.

What’s up with DWG adoption in free software?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Having been asked recently about reasons for lack of DWG support in free software, we started digging and very nearly fell into a pitch black abyss.

Having been asked recently about reasons for lack of DWG support in free software, we started digging and very nearly fell into a pitch black abyss. As pretty much every engineer knows, DWG is the native file format of various applications by Autodesk since 1982. Over decades it has become a kind of de-facto standard in some industries that heavily rely on CAD software. While file formats such as STEP (ISO 10303) exist, DWG is still part of far too many production workflows.

2011

LibreCAD 1.0.0 released, v2 in works

by Alexandre Prokoudine
After over a year of work LibreCAD 1.0.0 is out with few user visible, yet a whole bunch of important internal changes.

After over a year of work LibreCAD 1.0.0 is out with few user visible, yet a whole bunch of important internal changes. LibreCAD is a free traditional 2D drafting application available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It features pretty much everything you would expect from a generic 2D CAD, including command-based drawing, dimensioning, parts library etc. LibreCAD is a free traditional 2D drafting application available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It features pretty much everything you would expect from a generic 2D CAD, including command-based drawing, dimensioning, parts library etc.

Studying type design with Fontmatrix

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Type design is something that never lets you go once got a basic grasp of it. And studying how other people do it is an important part of getting there.

Type design is something that never lets you go once got a basic grasp of it. And studying how other people do it is an important part of getting there. When you explore fonts created by others, you often need to compare weights within one font family or same glyph in completely different fonts. Looking at how glyphs are constructed, that is, at nodes and control points, is another popular thing to do.

Synfig Studio gets advanced outlines and pressure support in the Draw tool

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of the animation tool fixes bugs and adds several new features.

Developers of Synfig Studio, a free 2D vector animation app, released an update to the current stable version that fixes bugs and adds several new features. The most exciting new thing is support for creating advanced outlines with the Draw tool (the vector-based pencil). When you draw lines with a tablet’s stylus, Synfig will take pen pressure into consideration. Here is a demo from developers. Rendering of advanced outlines was improved quite a lot.

Free DDP mastering tools updated

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Andreas Ruge released an update to his DDP mastering tools for Linux, Windows and Mac

While the CD industry is effectively collapsing, the job still has to be done somehow. Andreas Ruge, a recording engineer from Germany, released an update to his DDP mastering tools for Linux, Windows and Mac. The project contains several command-line tools to manipulate DDP images that are used for Red Book CD audio mastering. The list of changes is rather small, but we never mentioned this project before, and the release of the new version looks like a good enough excuse to finally do that.

UniConvertor 1.1.5 review

by Alexandre Prokoudine
sK1 team released a new version of UniConvertor, a free vector graphics converter. Here comes the review.

The sK1 team released a new version of UniConvertor, a free vector graphics converter. Here comes the review. UniConvertor, the free vector graphics conversion tool, hasn’t really been known to follow “release early, release often” policy. The newly released v1.1.5 is the first one since June 2009. We never covered UC before, so here is some background for you. History of UniConvertor dates back to Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 in Montreal where sK1, free vector graphics editor, was presented to the audience for the first time.

First beta of Ardour 3 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A few days ago Paul Davis released first beta of Ardour 3, a free DAW for Linux and Mac, with 3 months worth of work.

A few days ago Paul Davis released first beta of Ardour 3, a free DAW for Linux and Mac, with 3 months worth of work. Actually Paul wasn’t keen of a wide PR for this beta, so truly yours valiantly fought against his own nastiness, but, as you can see, was heavily outnumbered and finally gave up. Let’s see what’s new. First of all, the big new thing is, of course, support for native Linux VSTs which we already extensively covered before.

Toy plug-in for GIMP simplifies creating tilt-shift fakes

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Type design is something that never lets you go once got a basic grasp of it. And studying how other people do it is an important part of getting there.

Rüdiger Schneider released the first public version of his GIMP-plug-in called Toy that does a very simple thing: it simplifies creating the so called tilt-shift fakes. The trick itself is very simple: using the Blend tool and its bilinear method create a layer mask in a copy of a source layer so that most of an image can be affected but a rectangular area. Applying blur to that upper layer will create an heavy out of focus effect that with additional color grading will make objects in the image (houses, cars, people) look like toys.

Kaeltyk on Mandelbulber and 3D fractals

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Conversation with 3D fractals artist Eric 'Kaeltyk' Prevost about generative art and its perspectives, 2D and 3D fractals and, of course, Mandelbulber

I’ve been meaning to talk to Eric Prevost aka Kaeltyk for a while, because I had been following (and admiring) his work even before he discovered Mandelbulber, a free 3D fractals explorer by Krzysztof Marczak. Personally I feel that generative art is a bit underloved and underappreciated which is yet another reason for this short interview. Eric, judging by some of your comments on DeviantArt you are in CG professionally. Is that so?

Kaeltyk on Mandelbulber and 3D fractals

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Conversation with 3D fractals artist Eric 'Kaeltyk' Prevost about generative art and its perspectives, 2D and 3D fractals and, of course, Mandelbulber

I’ve been meaning to talk to Eric Prevost aka Kaeltyk for a while, because I had been following (and admiring) his work even before he discovered Mandelbulber, a free 3D fractals explorer by Krzysztof Marczak. Personally I feel that generative art is a bit underloved and underappreciated which is yet another reason for this short interview. Eric, judging by some of your comments on DeviantArt you are in CG professionally. Is that so?

Exchanging colors between GIMP, Inkscape and Gpick

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The review of Gpick mentioned that you can drop colors from Gpick to either Inkscape or GIMP. What it doesn't mention is that you can freely drag and drop colors between those three applications.

The review of Gpick mentioned that you can drop colors from Gpick to either Inkscape or GIMP. What it doesn’t mention is that you can freely drag and drop colors between those three applications. Since we do tips and tricks now, why not do that in video? The short clip below demonstrates various cases of using that feature: dragging and dropping from swatches widgets of one app to swatches widgets of other apps, selections in GIMP and objects or gradient color stops in Inkscape.

Kdenlive 0.8.2 video editor released with major fixes

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Along with MLT a new version of Kdenlive, a free non-linear video editor for KDE, was released.

Along with MLT a new version of Kdenlive, a free non-linear video editor for KDE, was released. First and foremost this version focuses on bugfixes: nearly 150 minor and major annoyances have been waved goodbye, including ca. 50 crashers. To address other possible critical bugs the team implemented a simple automatic backup feature (Project → Open Backup File) that also visualizes the currently loaded project at various saved intermediate states within the current session.

Advanced ways to create guides in GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The review of Gpick mentioned that you can drop colors from Gpick to either Inkscape or GIMP. What it doesn't mention is that you can freely drag and drop colors between those three applications.

Few days ago a user asked in a GIMP forum how to create a set of guides with an equal distance between the guides. Hence the new GIMP tutorial. Guides are a great way to keep items aligned in your design without having to use the Align/Distribute tool all the time. You just drag an object (selection, layer or path), and it snaps to a guide line. Indeed, by default GIMP is shipped with fairly simplistic scripts to deal with guides.

How to get crisper text out of Inkscape

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Presumably most Inkscape users rely on the default PNG exporting method only. But there's more than one way to do it.

Presumably most Inkscape users rely on the default PNG exporting method only. But there’s more than one way to do it. I’ve just seen it in Mairin’s blog and couldn’t resist… The problem is that Inkscape doesn’t do any hinting for text, while the application is rather popular for web design and all sorts of screen graphics where crisp is good, and pixel grid alignment is king. Adding hinting is certainly doable, but involves quite a bit of work to get it right.

Qtractor 0.5.1 released with VST improvements

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Apparently support for native VST on Linux is gaining momentum. That's definitely the case for the new version of Qtractor.

Apparently support for native VST on Linux is gaining momentum. That’s definitely the case for the new version of Qtractor. Following recent announcement by Ardour team Rui Nuno Capela improved existing support for VST in Qtractor, his own MIDI sequencer for Linux. The VeSTige header was updated to fix some bugs on 64bit systems, support for MIDI-fx plug-iins was added (both VST and LV2), and editing settings in the generic plug-in form is now back and working too.

OpenOctaveMidi 2011 unveiled, developers talk about the project

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Few days ago developers of OpenOctaveMidi, a new/old digital audio workstation for Linux, presented the brand new v2011, the culmination of several years of work.

Few days ago developers of OpenOctaveMidi, a new/old digital audio workstation for Linux, presented the brand new v2011, the culmination of several years of work. OpenOctaveMidi is built on top of MusE2 MIDI sequencer, but apart from redesign it features tighter LinuxSampler integration plus even more customizations to meet requirements of composers writing orchestral music with large sample libraries. OpenOctaveMidi 2011 Looking back at the old threads about the project, I once again stumbled upon this Christopher Cherett’s statement in a public mailing list:

Washed-out and golden skintones effect in darktable

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A fellow darktable contributor asked about the washed-out effect he discovered in one of my pictures. Here is how I do it.

A fellow darktable contributor asked about the washed-out effect he discovered in one of my pictures. Here is how I do it. First, the photo in question: Normally, when you want to adjust skintones in studio environment, there always are golden and silver reflectors around. That’s the right way to do it. But if you really mean the global washed-out effect, you could make use of darktable. The trick is basically a two-step operation: raising color temperature while lowering saturation.

Create lens distorsion models with Hugin’s lens calibrator

by Alexandre Prokoudine
If your lens is missing in LensFun database, you can create it thanks to lens calibration app from newly released version of Hugin, a free panorama stitcher. Learn how to do it.

If your lens is missing in LensFun database, you can create it thanks to lens calibration app from newly released version of Hugin, a free panorama stitcher. Learn how to do it. The by far most popular library for fixing lens distorsion is LensFun which relies on panotools model. It’s used in darktable, Rawstudio, digiKam, UFRaw and other digital photography apps for Linux. It works quite nicely, but the lens database isn’t exactly complete, and there is no dedicated user interface to create new entries for this library.

Pitivi 0.15 released, what’s next?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Earlier this week new version of PiTiVi, a free non-linear video editor, was released to bring you some rather cool new features and UI improvements.

Earlier this week new version of PiTiVi, a free non-linear video editor, was released to bring you some rather cool new features and UI improvements. There are all kinds of interesting features in the new version including automatic clip alignment which is done by comparing waveforms of soundtracks (imagine you are recording a conference from several spots), transformations like resizing, panning and cropping and so on. Jean-François Fortin Tam did a quite nice video recap of most important new things, there’s not much point competing against it.

Ardour 2.8.12 released, A3 gets Linux VST support

by Alexandre Prokoudine

Paul Davis released an update to stable version of Ardour and applied a patch that adds support for native Linux VSTs to A3. The primary goal of releasing yet another stable version of this great DAW for Linux and Mac was to support new Latency API in JACK, which is why Ardour 2 now does a better alignment of recorded audio. There are even more useful changes in the stable version like dropping excessive control points in recorded automation line.

How to get CMYK colors from Inkscape to Scribus for printing

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interview with Inkscape developers

The question of getting CMYK PDF output from Inkscape is a very often asked one. Let’s talk about getting CMYK colors from Inkscape to Scribus. In case of Inkscape 0.48 I see that a lot of people read the official release notes and get confused, because they see mentioning of CMYK and don’t quite understand what exactly is meant. Hence this article. First of all, let’s explain why there still is no color separated output in Inkscape.

3Delight exporter for Blender updated to feature new global illumination method

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Matt Ebb has just released a new version of Blender exporter for a Renderman compatible renderer called 3Delight. The big new feature is a new point cloud global illumination method.

Matt Ebb has just released a new version of Blender exporter for a Renderman compatible renderer called 3Delight. The big new feature is a new point cloud global illumination method. As Matt points out, on exporting it automatically generates a point cloud, and then uses it in the render for indirect lighting and environment lighting. The demo says it all really: Matt has plans to make the process more sophisticated and configurable, with more bounces for indirect lighting, but for now it’s just all fully automatic so that you had something to play with.

The ultimate quest of bringing Visio support to LibreOffice

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Eilidh McAdam and Fridrich Strba talk about implemented support for MS Visio documents in LibreOffice

Today LGW’s guests are Eilidh McAdam and Fridrich Strba who implemented support for VSD documents (Microsoft Visio) in LibreOffice within GSoC2011. Plot Legacy file formats are evil. They tend to have no written specifications, and when you start reverse-engineering them, you often discover layers of questionable solutions built on top of even more questionable solutions that are carried around for backwards compatibility sake. So why go through pains of supporting them at all?

Recast & Detour project getting ready for Blender 2.60

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Last year's GSoC project to integrate recast & detour library as well as Project Cane into Blender is finally about to settle in the main development branch and become available in Blender 2.60.

Last year’s GSoC project to integrate recast & detour library as well as Project Cane into Blender is finally about to settle in the main development branch and become available in Blender 2.60. This project is now added as 2.60 target. The point of integrating both libraries is that they provide ways for moving objects to deal with obstacles. Recast & Detour focuses on path-finding via navigation meshes, while Project Cane deals with obstacle avoidance.

Blender Foundation gives grants to two projects

by Alexandre Prokoudine
About a month ago we reported on at attempt by Blender Foundation to centralize donations by using monthly subscriptions and then spending them on important projects.

About a month ago we reported on at attempt by Blender Foundation to centralize donations by using monthly subscriptions and then spending them on important projects. Well, here are the first results. As of September 2 the Foundation has 105 subscribers that bring 1205 euro a month. So the Foundation decided to give grants two to previously chosen projects: Jeroen Bakker gets 1200 euro to finish his 10K goal and do core OpenCL nodes, while Lukas Toenne gets 1000 euro to finish his Particle Nodes project.

Thomas Krijnen on IfcOpenShell, Blender, and architecture

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today we are talking to Thomas Krijnen, architect and programmer from the Netherlands, who works on IfcOpenShell project to assist opens source acceptance in BIM.

Today we are talking to Thomas Krijnen, architect and programmer from the Netherlands, who works on IfcOpenShell project to assist opens source acceptance in BIM. About a week ago, Thomas published a community plea for help appealing to potential contributors who would like to make free software based IFC centered workflows a reality. Thomas is already known for archikey.com, an architecture encyclopedia, as well as Blender Behavioral Simulation project. We thought that it could be interesting to talk to Thomas on his new project, IfcOpenShell, and on potential of free software for architecture design.

QCAD v3.0 beta: back from the dead

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Just when you thought it's all over, Ribbonsoft released first public beta version of QCad v3.0.

Just when you thought it’s all over, Ribbonsoft released first public beta version of QCad v3.0, their commercial CAD system whose earlier community edition gave life to LibreCAD. This is the first new public release of QCad since late 2009. As a matter of fact, Ribbonsoft notified users about returning to development back in February, then released a Technology Preview in May, followed by this public beta two days ago.

MLT gets a video stabilizer, Kdenlive is next

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The quest of telling Kdenlive developers about an existing open source video stabilizer and getting it in Kdenlive is about 1/2 done.

The quest of telling Kdenlive developers about an existing open source video stabilizer and getting it in Kdenlive is about 1/2 done. Earlier today Dan Dennedy merged to MLT a new filter that is a port of KLT Video Stabilizer. If you are not much into Kdenlive’s architecture, MLT stand for Media Loving' Toolkit, and it’s a multimedia framework used by various applications including Kdenlive for IO and processing. The original KLT Video Stabilizer is a project by Leonardo Masoni, and it uses Kanade-Lucas-Tomasi feature tracker.

Synfig Studio gets advanced outline features, revisits Inkscape compatibility

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Genete of Synfig Studio team has just posted a short video clip that summarizes recent work of the team to get more advanced outline features into this excellent free 2D animation editor.

Genete of Synfig Studio team has just posted a short video clip that summarizes recent work of the team to get more advanced outline features into this excellent free 2D animation editor. So here is a recap: variable spline width, user defined caps, outline segmens and fully configurable dash patterns. Needless to say, everything is animatable. We don’t know of any time-wise roadmaps, but if you are a brave Linux user, that shouldn’t prevent your from building Synfig and having a go at the new features anyway.

Blender 2.59 is out with 3D Connexion Navigator support

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Blender Foundation has just released a new stable version of, well, Blender.

Blender Foundation has just released a new stable version of, well, Blender. Apart from 140 features the new released has some new features and addons. This version finally includes support for 3D Connexion Navigator — an advanced input device. The work was done in 2010 as a Google Summer of Code project. The guys at 3D Connexion have already published a press-release on that. The other new feature is redesign of keymapping.

Blender Foundation announces plans for 2012

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Essentially, the plans cover both technical development, marketing and social networking.

One would expect Blender Foundation to tell about their plans for the next year at Blender Conference this October, but SIGGRAPH came first. Essentially, the plans cover both technical development, marketing and social networking. On the technical side the plan is to start releasing 2.6x versions with features such as BMesh, nurbs tools, Cycles rendering framework, motion tracking, particle nodes, GPU/CPU tile-based compositing etc. That means integrating code from past and ongoing Google Summer of Code projects and “3rd party” development efforts like compositing rewrite by Jeroen Bakker.

Ian Hubert joins Mango project as director, schedule is announced

by Alexandre Prokoudine
During a meeting at SIGGRAPH last weekend Blender Fondation announced that Ian Hubert is joining the upcoming Mango project as director.

During a meeting at SIGGRAPH last weekend Blender Fondation announced that Ian Hubert is joining the upcoming Mango project as director. Mango project will be a new Foundation’s open movie that is going to explore and improve motion tracking, keying and color grading. Due to complexity of work the movie will be trimeed down to 5-6 minutes from the usual 10-11 minutes. Ian’s current project is Project London, a sci-fi live action movie that is currently in post-production.

Qtractor MIDI sequencer joins automation club

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Rui Nuno Capela released a new version of free MIDI sequencer called Qtractor (Linux only) that finally has basic working support for automation.

Rui Nuno Capela released a new version of free MIDI sequencer called Qtractor (Linux only) that finally has basic working support for automation. If you are into composing music, you know that automation opens doors to really advanced use of any sequencer and/or DAW. The way to add an automation curves to a track is to use Automation submenu for a track: Actual editing always happens in main window, right above your tracks.

Blender 2.58 released with fixes and small new features

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This popular free 3D modeling and animation package got heaps of fixes and improvements of existing feature set once again.

Another stable version of Blender was released last night. This popular free 3D modeling and animation package got heaps of fixes and improvements of existing feature set once again. Since 2.57 severals hundreds of bugs were fixed. Apart from that main imrpovements are: new Warp modifier to warp parts of a mesh to a new location in a very flexible way by using 2 objects; baking of multi-resolution models uses much less memory than before now; constructive modifiers can be temporarily disabled during sculpting to improve accuracy; Mesh Inset add-on was added to inset individual faces or a selected region; camera now has composition guides: center, thirds, golden rule, harmonious triangle; viewport and game engine got anisotropic filtering.

Wybren van Keulen introduces Epoque, unique hand made chair designed in Blender

by Alexandre Prokoudine
As a matter of fact we've been meaning to dive into manufacturing for a while, and Dutch designer Wybren van Keulen gave us a perfect reason to do that at last.

While many people never go beyond modeling furniture in 3D, he actually ended up producing Époque — extremely real chairs, now available for sale. And he used Blender for all the modeling. As you can see the design blends modern materials with old style and proportions to create a quite unique product. The material is fiberglass reinforced resin, the chair has a high gloss finish. Every chair is hand made and requires ca.

Synfig 0.63.00 gains easy spline editing and advanced outlines

by Genete
Synfig Team is proud to announce the release of Synfig Studio 0.63.00.

Synfig team is proud to announce the release of Synfig Studio 0.63.00. This is a major release of the free 2D vector animation studio delivering you new features, improvements and, of course, bug fixes. New features: Advanced Outline layer. You can now define outline width at any arbitrary point of the BLine. This functionality is available with the new layer type, called “Advanced Outline”. Easy BLine editing. Just click at any point of BLine and drag your mouse — the BLine will change its shape adapting to the mouse position.

Pitivi 0.14.0 brings video effects at last

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Pitivi team finally wrapped up and released new version of this free non-linear video editor for Linux featuring video effects — a successful Google Summer of Code 2010 project by Thibault Saunier.

The Pitivi team finally wrapped up and released new version of this free non-linear video editor for Linux featuring video effects — a successful Google Summer of Code 2010 project by Thibault Saunier. Instead of inventing a new APi for effects Thibault went for frei0r — a rather popular free API for video effects that is already used by Kdenlive and Openshot. That brings a little over 100 video effects to PiTiVi, and for the most popular ones the application has a preview, so that you can make decisions faster.

Linux DAWs are buzzing

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Few days ago three digital audio workstations (DAW) for Linux were released within 24 hours — an interesting coincidence, especially since all three releases represent various stages of completeness.

Few days ago three digital audio workstations (DAW) for Linux were released within 24 hours — an interesting coincidence, especially since all three releases represent various stages of completeness. The most unstable of them is 5th alpha of Ardour 3, first new alpha release in nearly two months (the plan is to return to couple releases in a week routine). Mostly it provides bugfixes, but a very important new feature is compound regions: you can now join and split audio regions non-destructively.

Blender 2.57a released, Brecht to return to Blender Institute

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Blender team released an update to recent stable v2.57 that fixes over 70 bugs, and Brecht announced that he is returning to Blender Institute to work on modernization of the shading and render system.

Yesterday, Blender team released an update to recent stable v2.57 that fixes over 70 bugs; you can download it here. In the mean time Brecht announced that he is returning to Blender Institute to work on modernization of the shading and render system. The new (or, rather, improved) shading system is planned to be node based to provide maximum flexibility and scalability. The design will be worked on in the coming months.

Ardour 3 enters alpha phase

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Ardour, THE free digital audio workstation (DAW), has finally entered alpha phase after several years of development.

Ardour, THE free digital audio workstation (DAW), has finally entered alpha phase after several years of development. Yes, I do understand that posting news on alpha and beta quality software is next to evil. However I’m happy to make this exception. One might ask, what’s so special about Ardour and what’s so special about this alpha. One of the big shortcomings in free software is presence, amount and quality of content production software (see the 2010 round-up on that).

How to save and restore selections in GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Sometimes when you work on a complex project in GIMP, you carefully construct a very precise selection you might need later, so how do you save it?

Sometimes during work on a complex project in GIMP you carefully construct a very precise selection you might need later, but just now you have to switch to a different layer and do something else. So how does one go about saving and restoring selections for later use? It’s actually very easy. This GIMP tutorial explains two ways to do it and discusses their pro and cons. Saving selections to channels GIMP has three intertwined concepts: selections, channels and masks.

Split toning with GIMP and darktable

by Alexandre Prokoudine
In this tutorial we'll explain what sepia actually is, and how this effect is best achieved in GIMP and darktable.

In this tutorial we’ll explain what sepia actually is, and how this effect is best achieved in GIMP and darktable. Before we proceed to the heart of the matter, let’s have a look at this little lad. He’s like saying to us: “I couldn’t care less about the so called photography of yours and yourself. Go away!”. Common cuttlefish While common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is indisputably cute and photogenic, the irony is that it had been subject to a lite form of genocide for decades.

Creating harmonic color schemes with Gpick

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This is an introduction to creating harmonic color schemes with Gpick, an advanced free color picker

This article is an introduction to creating harmonic color schemes with Gpick, an advanced free color picker. While working on a project I had to prototype a color palette. I’ve done my bit of color harmony research before, but when it comes to practical application of theory, what is it exactly that we’ve got among free graphics apps? Well, we’ve got Gpick. Gpick looks a bit simplistic, but don’t let the first impression fool you: there’s a lot more that just a fancy color wheel.

GIMP add-ons: types, installation, management

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This is the ultimate guide to installing and managing GIMP add-ons like brushes, plug-ins, scripts.

Beginner users of GIMP seem to have a standard set of questions about add-ons for GIMP: what is supported, where to get more, how to install, what is the difference between scripts and plug-ins, why Python scripts are actually plug-ins and so on. This article is a kind of ultimate guide to GIMP add-ons for people getting accustomed with the application. The screenshots are from development GIMP 2.7 version, but the material is applicable for the current stable v2.

How to create your own templates for Inkscape

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Interview with Inkscape developers

The FAQ flavored series of Inkscape tutorials continues. Another popular question I keep hearing is in the lines of “Um, how exactly do I set a default page size?”. Welcome to the world of templates. What’s a template in Inkscape A template in Inkscape is a regular SVG document such as you create every time launch it. What actually happens when you start Inkscape is that it looks for a file called default.

Rosegarden 11.02 and MuseScore 1.0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New versions of Rosegarden, a MIDI sequencer and score editor, and MuseScore, simply a score editor were released one after another over last several days.

Well, we did say there will be news on big content production software published, didn’t we? New versions of Rosegarden, a MIDI sequencer and score editor, and MuseScore, simply a score editor were released one after another over last several days. For Rosegarden this is mostly maintenance release with bugfixes that however features one big change: a much saner way to handle tied notes in the pianoroll editor. Such notes now have a subtle pattern fill and are treated as one whole thing.

Beta version of Ocean Sim for Blender is now available

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Beta version of Ocean Simulator for Blender is now released after months and months of making users drool all over demos.

Several days ago a beta version of Ocean Simulator for Blender was released after months and months of making users drool all over demos. The website was almost immediately slashdotted, but now it’s back and we feel justified to link to it :) The Ocean Simulator does exactly what one can imagine: it helps creating realistic 3D ocean waves. Here is one of the most recent demos created by Matt Ebb:

Inkscape: embedding or linking images?

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This article explains the difference between embedding and linking in Inkscape and advices when to use each of them.

This article explains the difference between embedding and linking in Inkscape and advices when to use each of them. The question popped up again, this time — on inkscapeforum.com. Since 0.48 whenever you drop a bitmap image into an Inkscape’s document (or use File > Import…), you get exactly this dialog: Never mind the techie lingo is the window’s caption. The dialog actually explains what happens, but it never hurts to elaborate.

2010

What’s up with free multimedia production tools in 2010

by Alexandre Prokoudine
It's about time to draw a line between 2010 and 2011 and have a look at what was happening to the multimedia production stack of free apps this year.

With holiday season right in front of us it’s about time to draw a line between 2010 and 2011 and have a look at what was happening to the multimedia production stack of free apps this year. We carefully selected most important things that happened or haven’t happened. Read on. darktable The v0.4 released in January 2010 was the first version when darktable, a digital photography workflow tool for Linux, became actually usable for daily use.

CADuntu is renamed to LibreCAD, gets Ubuntu PPA

by Alexandre Prokoudine
After few weeks of running a poll Ries van Twisk renamed CADuntu to LibreCAD.

After few weeks of running a poll Ries van Twisk renamed CADuntu to LibreCAD. This 2D computer-aided drafting tool is a forced fork of Qcad’s community (open source) version. The project now also has PPAs for Ubuntu. For Ubuntu 10.04 use: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:showard314/librecad sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install librecad For Ubuntu 10.10 and Natty use: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:showard314/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install librecad For more information, please read the original blog post.

Ocean Sim for Blender progresses at speed of light, accepts donations

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This popular free 3D modeling and animation package got heaps of fixes and improvements of existing feature set once again.

A month ago Matt Ebb started working on portiing Ocean Procedural Texture known as Ocean Sim from Blender 2.4 and Blender 2.5 and started a small fundraising campaign whose modest goal of $350 was reached almost immediately. The project the moved on to improving functionality. The goal of the campaign was also raised to $1500, reached again and then once again raised to $3000. All the money floating into are spent on all sorts of improvements.

PythonCAD gets revival and a new alpha release

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The PythonCAD project, a free computer-aided drafting tool, is finally back from oblivion.

The PythonCAD project, a free computer-aided drafting tool, is finally back from oblivion. The newly released alpha4 of r38 is the first official release after some years of very little activity. R38 is a rewrite of user interface into Qt. The new team also rewrote much of kernel. Not all of R37 functionality is in place yet, you can refer to the roadmap page to get a better idea of what’s possible and what isn’t.

CADuntu beta4 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
We should have reported fourth beta of CADuntu about a week ago, especially since some of the fixes are rather important.

Admittedly we should have reported fourth beta of CADuntu, a forced fork of free computer-aided drafting tool QCad, about a week ago, especially since some of the fixes are rather important. Arguably the most important fix is using UTF-8 for names of layers and blocks. No matter how many times RibbonSoft was asked over the years to fix that, it just didn’t happen. But somehow Ries van Twisk found time to actually do it in barely two or three weeks after the initial request.

CADuntu beta3 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Admittedly we are a couple of days late with this news, but the third beta of CADuntu, a forced QCad fork by Ries van Twisk, is out with several improvements.

Admittedly we are a couple of days late with this news, but the third beta of CADuntu, a forced QCad fork by Ries van Twisk, is out with several improvements. The list of changes is not exactly overwhelming: bugfixes and newly added support for polylines. Nevertheless lack of decent free CAD tools and willingness of Ries to make the application most useful are good enough reasons for us to keep you informed on the progress of the project.

Interview with Sintel's art director David Revoy

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Now that Sintel open movie is officially out, we publish an interview with Sintel's art director David Revoy.

David, perhaps most readers know you as concept artist and art director for “Sintel” short animation movie. But surely that wasn’t your first project. Could you tell us a bit more about yourself, about your background? Hi Alexandre, I’m a 29 years old freelancer who works mainly remotely from his home studio in Toulouse (France) as an illustrator and concept artist. You can see my art in French book stores or find a board/card games I fully illustrated, because I’m a prolific artist.

CADuntu project has been started

by Alexandre Prokoudine
No, it's isn't an Ubuntu flavour for computer-aided drafting. It's a fork of a well-known community edition of QCAD. And thus the month of CAD on Linux continues.

No, it’s isn’t an Ubuntu flavour for computer-aided drafting. It’s a fork of a well-known community edition of QCAD. And thus the month of CAD on Linux continues. It’s hardly news that open source version of QCad long ceased to update, with proprietary version not being financially successful. The CADuntu project is a little over a month old, and the name of the project was picked just for fun and has nothing to do with Ubuntu per se.

Kdenlive 0.7.8 released with color analysis tools

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The Kdenlive team released new version of this cool free non-linear video editor for KDE.

The Kdenlive team released new version of this cool free non-linear video editor for KDE. The new version relies on most recent releases of MLT, a multimedia framework, and frei0r, a simple API for video effects. Most important things in this release are: Vectorscope, Waveform, RGB Parade and Histogram scopes — usual tools for analyzing content in professional environment; frei0r based color correction tools: levels, curves, SOP/Sat and more; per-track effects (drag’n’drop an effects on track’s header); improved slideshow feature: contains panning and zooming effect now; MLT based Pan and Balance effects, Swap Channels audio effect; user interface cleanup here and there; alsmost 100 bugs fixed, including crashers.

How to paint angel wings with GIMP

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This tutorial explains using Smudge tool to paint angle-like wings in GIMP. No filters (like Gaussian blur) are required for postprocessing, albeit you can try adjust the result.

This tutorial explains using Smudge tool to paint angle-like wings in GIMP. No filters (like Gaussian blur) are required for postprocessing, albeit you can try adjust the result. Here is the sequence of steps. Create a new image of any size (for example, 580x580 pixels). You may fill it with black colour using “Advanced Options → Fill with…” in “Create new image” dialogue, or fill it later using Bucket Fill tool (Shift+B).

How to draw an eye in anime style with Inkscape

by Maxim Grafskiy
Learn how to draw a classic anime-style eye using Inkscape.

I’m assuming that you already have a grasp of vector graphics. The tutorial itself will improve your skills using the Pen (Bezier curve) tool in Inkscape. The result should be looking like this: Start with drawing eyelids using Pen tool. It might take a while, so please be patient. The fuzzy part on top can be created using Tweak tool in Roughen mode. Be careful, however — it’s too easy to create too many nodes in this mode, Force=25 should do.

How to create layer effects in Inkscape

by Alexandre Prokoudine
With built-in XML editor, a bit of grey hair, and slight headache you will learn to create a kind of layers effects in Inkscape to apply same SVG filter to all a objects of a layer in your drawing.

With built-in XML editor, a bit of grey hair, and slight headache you will learn to create a kind of layers effects in Inkscape to apply same SVG filter to all a objects of a layer in your drawing. In the very unlikely case you don’t know Inkscape, this is a great vector graphics editor in the lines of Adobe Illustrator, Corel DRAW, Xara Xtreme, ACD Canvas and so on and so forth (all trademarks respected).

How to draw a computer first-aid kit with Inkscape

by Yuriy Apostol
Learn how to use the 3D Box tool in Inkscape to create a base for a complex object in perspective and draw complex shadows.

The tutorial provides example of using 3D box tool in Inkscape to create a base for a complex object in perspective and explains drawing complex shadows. In the previous tutorial I explained basics of creating 3D looking objects in Inkscape using a snowman as an example. However one tutorial cannot possibly fit all the tricks I would like to share with you. Besides, some tools that are very much 3D related weren’t even mentioned back then.

Ramen 0.5 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version (and the first one with source code tarball) of Ramen, free node-based composer, is out.

New version (and the first one with source code tarball) of Ramen, free node-based composer, is out. Not many changes since our review + tutorial published a couple of weeks ago, but the whole set of features re previous version is quite impressive: over a dozen of new nodes: clamp colors and clamp blacks, median filter, noise, bloom (ported from pbrt), pfstmo tonemapping operators, corner pin, add-mix, pde blur (ported from CImg), alpha levels, flip, key_mix; improved existing nodes: Roto node (rotoscoping) was renamed to QShape and significantly improved; mask input for color correction node; opacity param foor layer node; a new fully commented example node for potential new (3rd party) developers; undo/redo for node params was implemented; GradientShop support and six nodes based on it; experimental support for OFX which makes it possible to use effects created for tools like Nuke, Combustion etc.

CMYKTool now has an optional color unmanaged conversion

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of CMYKTool, an RGB<>CMYK color managed conversion tool is out with a somewhat unconventional new feature.

New version of CMYKTool, an RGB<>CMYK color managed conversion tool is out with a somewhat unconventional new feature. That feature is color unmanaged RGB>CMYK conversion which is now possible, when you select a new "None" option for output profile. It is sometimes desirable to just convert colors when you really know what you are doing. Other changes in this version are: CMYKTool now remembers last used options in the Save dialog the Preferences dialog now has soon to be used "

GNOME Color Manager 2.29.4 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Richard Hughes released new version of GNOME Color Manager — a bundle of color management tools for GNOME.

Richard Hughes released new version of GNOME Color Manager — a bundle of color management tools for GNOME. Changes this time: basic implementation of printers profiling with ArgyllCMS and GtkPrint; which is why printers are detected by talking to CUPS now; you can now create virtual devices (e.g. printer from your fav photolab); support for target other than IT8 and display of small images of a chose target for reference; reading Exif from TIFF files that contain scans or snapshots of reflective targets; projectors are properly supported now; G-C-M now conforms to xicc 0.

First steps with Ramen

by Ildar Akhmetgaleev
There is less than a handful of free compositing tools around, and Ramen sounds like a very promising project. In this tutorial we introduce you to basics of using it.

With this Inkscape tutorial you will learn to draw a 3D looking snowman, but ultimately you will get a grasp of creating shadows and reflections the right way. As Wikipedia states, Compositing is the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images, often to create the illusion that all those elements are parts of the same scene. Live-action shooting for compositing is variously called “blue screen”, “green screen”, “chroma key”, and other names.

First stable version of Geeqie released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Vladimir Nadvornik et al. released the first stable version of an image viewer called Geeqie.

Vladimir Nadvornik et al. released the first stable version of an image viewer called Geeqie. The application is a forced fork of GQview that was started, because GQView's developer never replied all the mails and patches sent his way. So now two years and several alpha and beta versions later the v1.0 is out. Unfortunately there is no overall list of changes, and we failed to find enough time to crawl through several miles long changelogs.

Bluefish 2.0.0 is out with major new features

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Olivier Sessink finally released a major update to Bluefish, his excellent advanced HTML/CSS editor for web developers.

Olivier Sessink finally released a major update to Bluefish, his excellent advanced HTML/CSS editor for web developers Bluefish is quite awesome for all kinds of webdev work, from programming frameworks to creating Wordpress 3.x or Magento 1.7 themes. Main changes in this version are: autocompletion for HTML, CSS, PHP and other supported languages; folding of code blocks; context-sensitive spellchecking; grouped snippets insertion; charmap plug-in; local/remote directories syncronization; automagic documents recovery; spaces and tabs visualisation; new project management functions.

Plumiferos animation is finally released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This week in Argentina there was a presentation of the first animation feature film Plumiferos completely created in Blender.

This week in Argentina there was a presentation of the first animation feature film Plumiferos completely created in Blender. The animation movie has a rather difficult history. The project was stopped when it was 80% ready and then picked by a new team which silently worked on it over a year, changing the story as well. Claudio Andauer who was part of the first team shared his impressions:

GNOME Color Manager 2.29.3 released with configuration of default color spaces

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A new version of GNOME Color Manager is out as usual on first Monday of a month.

A new version of GNOME Color Manager is out as usual on first Monday of a month. Changes: configuration of default color spaces and softproofing is activated; metadata summary displays whether a profile has a 'vcgt' tag (i.e. whether it color-corrects videoadapter and the output); filtering of RGB/CMYK profiles in comboboxes where appropriate; a new DBus method GetProfileForWindow which returns a profile for given XID; new tooltips in configuration dialog; a new "

MyPaint 0.8.0 released

by Ilya Portnov
Highlights of this version: a lot of new brushes, new harmonic color selector, a Layers dialog, user interface available in multiple languages.

Highlights of this version: a lot of new brushes, new harmonic color selector, a Layers dialog, user interface available in multiple languages. About MyPaint As you can easily figure out from the name, MyPaint is a painting application. There a great deal of painting tools, including free-as-in-speech ones and the ones for Linux (GIMP is the first one you could name). What is special about MyPaint is that it is streamlined for painting and has no postprocessing features at all (at doesn't even have cropping or color levels).

How to draw a snowman with Inkscape

by Yuriy Apostol
With this Inkscape tutorial you will learn to draw a 3D looking snowman, but ultimately you will get a grasp of creating shadows and reflections the right way.

With this Inkscape tutorial you will learn to draw a 3D looking snowman, but ultimately you will get a grasp of creating shadows and reflections the right way. Inkscape is a relatively young yet fast evolving generic vector graphics editor in the lines of Adobe Illustrator and Corel DRAW. The application can be run on Linux, Windows and Mac and it's freely distributable along with source code. Its main file format is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics, a W3C standard recommended for publishing vector graphics on the Web).

First public version of CMYKTool released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The great and almighty Alastair M. Robinson released first public version of its new CMYKTool application that is basically rework of his old CMYK separate plug-in for GIMP.

The great and almighty Alastair M. Robinson released first public version of its new CMYKTool application that is basically rework of his old CMYK separate plug-in for GIMP. Key features are: both RGB and CMYK in the input and the output, conversion via ICC  profiles; pure black or pure grey preservation or overprint effect emulation during RGB to CMYK conversion; ability to compare several images, you can also lock views to sync navigation and zoom (right mouse button toggles between 1:1 and fit to window); ability to view separate channels; saves JPEG, TIFF (8- and 16-bit) with embedded ICC profiles or without them.

SwatchBooker 0.5 released with support for Scribus and VivaDesigner color swatches

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Olivier Berten has released new version of SwatchBooker containing many improvements.

Olivier Berten has released new version of SwatchBooker containing many improvements. Changes in this new SwatchBooker release are: improved group editing; user interface can now be localized, French translation is available in 0.5, Russian translation was late for release, but is added to SVN already; a command-line conversion utility was added; a recent files list was added to UI; SB can now display extra swatch information like NCS, CBN and Munsell values; file format codecs were modularized and improved, autodetection was added, support for reading Scribus and VivaDesigner color swatches was added; writing binary files on Windows was fixed.

GNOME Color Manager, preliminary review

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Today we are doing an early review of GNOME Color Manager — a set of free tools to make color management in GNOME and Linux just work&trade;.

Today we are doing an early review of GNOME Color Manager—a set of free tools to make color management in GNOME and Linux just work™. GNOME Color Manager project was started by Richard Hughes in late October this year after he had discovered that there was no easy way to make colors on his T61 laptop and his 28" display match. Some other guy would probably stop there, but for a DeviceKit maintainer it was probably just a new interesting challenge.

Al.chemy v008 sketching app released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A new version of an absolutely awesome and yet crazy painting/drawing app called Alchemy is out for the masses.

A new version of an absolutely awesome and yet crazy painting/drawing app called Alchemy is out for the masses. Changes: exporting to SVG thanks to Steren from Inkscape crew; target image size can be defined for JPEG/PNG exporting; hor/vert mirroring; smoothing module for edges and angles; shapes limiting module for canvas; new Ribbon Shapes module; new Splatter Shapes module; you can now define transparency of background color; shape drawing module now has an option to show only outline while drawing; exporting directory is remembered across sessions; and can now create your own modules in Java, Javascript, Actionscript and Processing; bugfixes.

2009

ParaType releases its first open font

by Alexandre Prokoudine
ParaType, which is a well-know Russian type foundry, has just released PT Sans — its first font family under an open license, which is, basically, OFL 1.0 translated into Russian.

ParaType, which is a well-know Russian type foundry, has just released PT Sans — its first font family under an open license, which is, basically, OFL 1.0 translated into Russian. PT Sans is a sans serif font based on typefaces from 2nd half of 20th century and has elements of modern humanist fonts. The font family contains eight faces: four base faces, two faces with wider proportions for small font size type setting and two faces for economic type setting.

First public version of GNOME Color Manager released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
After a little over a month of work Richard Hughes released the first public version of GNOME Color Manager.

After a little over a month of work Richard Hughes released the first public version of GNOME Color Manager. The point of GCM is providing a simple user interface for managing existing and creating new profiles, as well as general inspection of ICC profiles. While it only has a very basic functionality in place, you already can assign existing or create new profiles for displays, scanners and DSLRs.

Blender 2.5 Alpha 0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
First alpha release of Blender 2.5 is out. We don't usually cover alpha releases in news, but since Blender developers decided to releases 2.5 gradually, here we go.

First alpha release of Blender 2.5 is out. We don’t usually cover alpha releases in news, but since Blender developers decided to releases 2.5 gradually, here we go. The new version make quite a lot of existing documentation obsolete because of massive changes in user interface. So if you hear the old joke about learning curve of Blender being a wall and after the wall — a mountain, treat it like a joke.

Gpick 0.1.9 released with two new harmonic schemes

by Alexandre Prokoudine
A new version of standalone advanced color picker Gpick is out with several considerable improvements.

A new version of standalone advanced color picker Gpick is out with several considerable improvements. Changes: improved perfomance; two new models of color wheel: RYB v1 and RYB v1; two new harmonic schemes: analogous and neutral; CSS generator now has a dedicated tab in the main window with extra features. You can download the new version here.

separate+ 0.5.4 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Suddenly it turned out that new version of separate+ plug-in for GIMP was out back in August.

Suddenly it turned out that new version of separate+ plug-in for GIMP was out back in August. The plug-in helps working around lack of real support for CMYK color space in GIMP. Changes: fixed the issue of not being able to access color profile paths containing non-ASCII characters; supports devicelink profiles now; supports embedded color profile as source color space now; features added rendering intent selection and BPC switch now; features new softproof dialog; supports three proofing modes: Normal, Black ink simulation and Media white simulation; can embed color profiles into separated TIFF files now;

darktable 0.3 released with color management and more features

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of darktable, free/libre digital light table and Raw converter, is out.

New version of darktable, free/libre digital light table and Raw converter, is out. Changes: most processing is now done in CIE LAB, which means better EV and tonecurve adjustment, better denoising; cropping and rotating added, the very first steps to use LensFun were made; code reorganized into plug-ins; filtering an rating finally works in light table mode; LittleCMS powered color management was implemented; all development is in git now.

UFRaw 0.16 gets multicore support and new tools

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of UFRaw is out with some major new features like 100% preview, hot pixel removal and more.

New version of UFRaw is out with some major new features like 100% preview, hot pixel removal and more. Here is the complete list of changes: the long anticipated 100% preview, not quite finished yet, but there; lightness adjustment for up to three hues selected with a color picker, all calculations are done in CIE LAB; multicore support for preview rendering and VNG interpolation; a simple rotation controller; hot pixel removal added; as usual, bugfixes; new supported cameras, thanks to DCRaw 8.

Synfig 0.62.00 released

by Genete
Synfig Studio 0.62.00 comes with a lot of new features and mayor changes.

We are proud to announce the release of a new version of Synfig. The v0.62.00 version comes with a lot of new features and mayor changes. Here is the list of main changes: Migration to new host. Synfig code is now at sourceforge in git. Wiki reworking and new website. New features: SVG import module. Keyframe widget: New toggle buttons in the canvas window Onion skin past and future are selectable individually New Curve Warp layer.

Release candidate of Synfig 0.62 gets SVG importing

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Release candidate #1 of Synfig Studio 0.62.00 is available now.

Release candidate #1 of Synfig Studio 0.62.00 is available now. Main new features: SVG import Keyframe drag & drop New Canvas layout Unified windows installer Several bugs fixed. Please test and report. Downloads: source code | build for Windows

Gpick gets color schemes generation

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of color picker Gpick is out with new features and fixes.

New version of color picker gpick is out with new features and fixes. Changes: you can now keep gpick in system tray, e.g. add it to autostart and have it around every time you log in to your system; color scheme (triadic, tetradic, split-complementary etc.) generation was added, use context menu in Palette tab to access it; preview widgets for all palette operations were added; operating on large amounts of colors is much faster now; other minor tweaks and fixes.

PingWin Software announces a new family of free/libre fonts

by Alexandre Prokoudine
PingWin Software, a new Linux kid on the block in Russia, announces a new font family to substitude default Microsoft's font families.

PingWin Software, a new Linux kid on the block in Russia, announces a new font family to substitude default Microsoft’s font families. The plan is to provide drop-in replacements for Tahoma, Arial, Courier, Verdana and Times New Roman with, respectively, PWT Tahion, PWT Arion, PWT Courant, PWT Verde and PWT Timer. The fonts will be released under a free license their lawyers are working on at the moment. Right now they are ready to send files to beta-testers only, because they do not want unfinished work to be distributed.

LibRaw 0.8.0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new version now supports RAW files larger than 2GB.

New version of LibRaw is out. New version of LibRaw is out. Changes since version 0.7.2: Support of RAW files larger than 2Gb dcraw 8.86/1.426 imported: many new cameras supported: Casio EX-S20, EX-Z60, EX-Z75 Kodak Z980, Z1015 Nikon D5000 Olympus X200, D560Z, C350Z, E30, E620 Canon SX1, 500D/Rebel T1i, A570, A590, SX110 Motorola PIXL, Panasonic DMC-GH1, Pentax K7, Sony A330 AGFAPHOTO DC-833m,Phase One P65, Samsung S850. New color data for many cameras.

What's new in GIMP 2.7.0 development release

by Alexandre Prokoudine
GIMP team has just released the first unstable version in this development cycle with lots of exciting new features. Learn more about it.

This kind of version usually gives a good idea of what’s going to be in the new stable version. This time there also is a helpful report by Simon Budig from the annual meeting of the team at Libre Graphics Meeting in early May 2009 :) OK, version 2.7.0 is out now, and the agenda is: Final transition to project files paradigm Further transition to GEGL Text tool working on canvas Tagging of brushes, gradients and patterns Brush dynamics enhanced View and editing of metadata Various user interface changes Anything stuck?

What's new in Scribus 1.3.5

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Scribus team has just released a long anticipated yet unstable 1.3.5 version of this free desktop publishing application. Let's take a closer look at the result of two years of hard work.

Scribus team has just released a long anticipated yet unstable 1.3.5 version of this free desktop publishing application. Let’s take a closer look at the result of two years of hard work. Highlights of this version are: switch to Qt4 and source code refactoring; rendering and loading of documents speedups; finally, sane inline text editing; new object type — render frame; new document view modes; new path editing tools; better linguistic tools; more typography options; much easier legal Pantone color swatches support; various user interface improvements; new and improved import/export filters; improved print preview; lots of bugs fixed and smaller improvements introduced.

Sony Imageworks releases source code of 5 in-house projects

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Sony ImageWorks have released five of their in-house tools as open source software

On July 30, Sony ImageWorks have released five of their in-house tools as open source software. CTO Rob Bredow writes: Open Source: It's always been a part of what makes Imageworks tick. However, up until now we haven't had a chance to contribute back to the open source community. We're beginning to change that now. We've chosen 5 projects to release as open source. This software can be freely used by large and small studios around the world.

Drawing Mac look-alike clock in Inkscape

by Maxim Grafskiy
This is a rather simple tutorial on drawing a stunning Mac-like clock in Inkscape using boolean path operations and gradient fills for nice smooth highlights.

This is a rather simple tutorial on drawing a stunning Mac-like clock in Inkscape using boolean path operations and gradient fills for nice smooth highlights. This tutorial could be of interest for both novice and experienced Inkscape users. Basic Inkscape skills (objects manipulations, using Gradient editor) are required. Here is an example of a result: Examples of finished clock pictures And now let's do it. 1) Draw a circle (F5), keeping Ctrl pressed to keep 1:1 ratio.

Add an acrylic image effect to photos in Inkscape

by Serge Timakov
This is a rather simple tutorial on drawing a stunning Mac-like clock in Inkscape using boolean path operations and gradient fills for nice smooth highlights.

I wrote this turorial, because readers of my blog were interested in a technique I had to invent rather out of despair to accomplish a real life task. The technique uses a combination of raster and vector graphics. Presumably you have a very good understanding of GIMP and Inkscape features. Here is what I had in the beginning: So, quite a dull picture taken with a point-and-shoot camera: noon daylight, haze, boring scenery.

RawTherapee 2.4 released, gets basic batch processing

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of RawTherapee is out with major new features like Exif/IPTC support, theme switching, and improved GUI layout.

New version of RawTherapee is out with major new features. The application provides basic Raw photo processing workflow. Changes in this version: Exif/IPTC support Theme switching Improved GUI layout Improved filebrowser Ranking support Basic file operations possible (delete, remove, rename) Filtering based on Exif data Configurable thumbnail caching Live thumbnails (showing the images in the processed state) Resizable thumbnails Configurable thumbnail layout (left - right, top - down) Basic batch processing Controllable workqueue Copy/Paste processing profiles (or only parts of them) Direct sending of images to the workqueue Improved auto-exposure and spot white balance "

Hugin 0.8 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The new version gets interactive hardware accelerated panorama preview dialog and batch stitching.

New version of the popular free/libre panorama stitcher Hugin is out. Changes in this version: new interactive hardware accelerated panorama preview dialog, with interactive cropping, panning and warping (GSoC'08 project); new Celeste engine to find and delete control points that are placed on clouds, which is useful when shooting static objects (GSoC'08 project); a number of new input/output projections, including Panini, which resurrects the old tehcnique used by Veduta artitsts; GUI for batch stitching (GSoC'08 project); updated user manual, Italian translation of the user manual; updated GUI translation, new Slovenian and Traditional Chinese translations; fixed bugs, added less visible improvements.

Fontmatrix 0.6.0 review

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Pierre Marchand has just released a new version of Fontmatrix. There's a whole bunch of new features and improvements that definitely deserve a review.

Pierre Marchand has just released a new version of Fontmatrix. There's a whole bunch of new features and improvements that definitely deserve a review. Let's list just the most visible things: SQLite as a database instead of an XML file; a much improved user interface; complex queries when searching for fonts a much improved sample text view tab; new Classification tab to explore fonts using PANOSE metadata; a new function to search for fonts using bitmap sample of a glyph; non-destructive PANOSE metadata editor; a new Compare tab to compare glyphs with optional fill, control points and metrics display; rewritten Playground; a new function to extract subsetted fonts from PDF to PFM files; configurable shortcuts; Python scripting; new help system with search and bookmarks and actually new content.

Structure Synth 1.0.0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The first stable version of Structure Synth is out. The app allow creating 3D structures from user defined rules.

The first stable version of Structure Synth is out. The app allow creating 3D structures from user defined rules. Changes in this version: new UI for exporting templates; list of recent files; optional depth of recursion, good for constructive solid geometry; new XML syntax for template, incompatible with the previous one. Details are in the blog. Download | Flickr gallery

LProf and the real world color management on Linux

by Alexandre Prokoudine
This interview with Hal V. Engel, lead developer of LProf, was taken back in December 2007. With introduction of GNOME Color Manager in late 2009 and dispcalGUI in 2008 is has mostly historical value.

This interview with Hal V. Engel, lead developer of LProf, was taken back in December 2007. With introduction of GNOME Color Manager in late 2009 and dispcalGUI in 2008 is has mostly historical value. Hal, what background do you have with regards to color management? Photography? Prepress? I am a long time amateur photographer as was my father. My father had a black and white dark room in the basement when I was growing up.

Interview with Krita developers, 2008

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Here is the first post-LGM2008 interview. This time it were developers of Krita, the KOffice almighty graphics editor, who dared to cross journalism firing line.

Here is the first post-LGM2008 interview. This time it were developers of Krita, the KOffice almighty graphics editor, who dared to cross journalism firing line. Boudewijn Rempt is a software engineer with a life-long interest in art, linguistics and theology who lives in Deventer, the Netherlands. Cyrille Berger lives in Toulouse, France. He’s working on a PhD in the robotic and computer vision field. When not coding for Krita, he likes photography (grayscale, silver film), drawing or going out in the mountains for walking or skiing.

Interview with Inkscape developers on 0.46 and beyond

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Shortly after the release of Inkscape 0.46 we interviewed several Google Summer of Code 2007 students and several developers and asked about plans for future and new technologies.

Shortly after the release of Inkscape 0.46 we interviewed several Google Summer of Code 2007 students and several developers and asked about plans for future and new technologies. With almost 50 contributors out of 111 registered at SourceForge, and even more, if you count those who just sent a patch via patches tracker, it’s no really possible to talk to everyone who participated at the preparation of the shiny new Inkscape 0.

Dancing Tango on the Desktop

by Alexandre Prokoudine
Let’s talk to two of most active contributors to the project — Jakub Steiner and Andreas Nilsson.

Disclaimer: The interview was originally taken for linuxgraphics.ru, and this English version was published in GNOME Journal. When we are talking about software, we often go into technical details and forget that a desktop is for people, not robots, and thus it should be visually appealing and consistent looking. Consistence is a matter of not only following human interfaces guidelines, but using a partucular visual style throughout desktop as well. In the UNIX world we have several major efforts to provide means for such a desktop.

darktable 0.2 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
The photography workflow application got a new user interface for the library.

Johannes has just released a new version of darktable, a free RAW converter  that will eventually save us from our lightroomless existance :) Changes in this verison: a new user interface for the library; switch to LibRaw 0.8 for opening RAW images; fully rewritten pluggable backend of processing Raw; optional use of GEGL (too slow right now); added EV adjustment and wavelet denoising.

GEGL 0.1.0 released

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of GEGL, new GIMP's core, is out in the wild with mostly internal changes.

New version of GEGL, new GIMP's core, is out in the wild with mostly internal changes. Changes: renamed gegl:load-buffer to gegl:buffer-source, and gegl:save-buffer to gegl:buffer-sink (old names still work); represent colors using doubles instead of floats (indepentent from internal processing); removed the GTK+ UI test tool and made gegl a colnsole tool that renders file using SDL; made debugging for buffer leaks easier; various public API changes; new sampler called GeglSamplerSharp; improved documentation; other changes.

LaTeXDraw 2.0.3 gets EPS and PDF exporting

by Alexandre Prokoudine
New version of LaTeXDraw features exporting to EPS and PDF, Italian localisation and bugfixes.

New version of LaTeXDraw features exporting to EPS and PDF, Italian localisation and bugfixes. The appllication is a vector graphics editor that outputs PSTricks code ready to be inserted to LaTeX documents (which is where its name comes from). Source code of LaTeXDraw is available for downloading.

MyPaint 0.7.0 switches to OpenRaster for native file format

by Alexandre Prokoudine
new version of MyPaint is out, the major change is using OpenRaster file format for storing your paintings by default.

MyPaint 0.7.0, a digital painting app, has just been released. The major change is using OpenRaster file format for storing your paintings by default. OpenRaster is a joint project by GIMP, GEGL, Krita and MyPaint teams to implement a file format for long time archival. The benefit is that with OpenRaster you can freely exchange multilayered raster data between these applications which makes it possible to build more complex and heterogenous workflows.