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Krita 1.6 — State of the Art 212

brendan0powers writes to tell us is reporting that while Krita 1.6 may have been released with the rest of the KOffice suite this week it is anything but a run-of-the-mill piece of productivity software. Krita is a 'fully-loaded raster graphics workhorse' definitely capable of standing up to most anything else available. and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.
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Krita 1.6 — State of the Art

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  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:17PM (#16681761) Journal
    While the comparisons to Photoshop and The Gimp are inevitable, Krita is one of the more advanced components of KOffice. For me, it long ago replaced The Gimp as my image editor of choice. If you are looking for a good image editor for Linux/BSD, you owe it to yourself to investigate Krita.
  • Hidden Gem (Score:4, Informative)

    by NereusRen ( 811533 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:23PM (#16681837)
    When I first heard of Krita, I was surprised to learn that I already had it as part of the KOffice package! It quickly replaced The GIMP for my "basic advanced" image editing needs, since it offers a similar type of functionality but:
    • Fits my theme, since I run KDE, and
    • Manages to restrict itself to a sensible one window, with sub panels and panes that can be moved around within the window, or floated without losing focus on the other windows.
    Can you tell what I didn't like about using The GIMP? :-) (Aside from system-specific bugs that I wouldn't blame on their developers, but still gave me trouble).

    You don't hear about Krita nearly as often as The GIMP (or, of course, Photoshop), but it seems to be a great alternative. I can't speak for graphics professionals (not being one myself), but it gets the job done for what I need to do. I look forward to this new version, and I hope development continues on this hidden gem of an image editor.
  • by bobintetley ( 643462 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:37PM (#16682027)

    What options are there to edit RAW photo files under Linux?

    As with all *nix stuff, the RAW handling is done by a separate component. Investigate UFRaw [] and DCRaw []. UFRaw even has a plugin for the GIMP that works well. As an amateur photographer I use and highly recommend UFRaw.

  • Tried it (Score:4, Informative)

    by nagora ( 177841 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @07:41PM (#16682069)

    Very slow and clunky. Ugly as sin. Memory use a-go-go. Irritating KDE-style one-click interface for the file selector. Indispensable for its ability to handle CMYK and 16+bit.

    I don't need it often and I'm always glad to close it afterwards, but until the Gimp handles 16bit at least for its working space, there's no way to live without it and do photo-manip under Linux.

  • Re:GTK port of Krita (Score:2, Informative)

    by BrigadierFrog ( 999009 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:14PM (#16682463)
    I don't think you quite grasp the power of using KDE with its enormous set of shared libraries. So I'll give you a link to help you along [] Read that, then try it out for yourself if your not convinced. Then, come back, and don't make a fool of yourself next time ranting on how KDE has lots of "baggage".
  • Re:Tried it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:29PM (#16682657)
    1. I think you mean "nice KDE file selector": I know I detest the GNOME one... So, in short, that's subjective preference.

    2. Ugly as sin? That's probably a function of your KDE theme. Redhat/fedora STILL deliberately mangles KDE to look and work like ass. Never use a kde package built by redhat or fedora...

    3. Slow and clunky? Well, I dunno. Certain things do seem plain slower to process than the gimp, but only things that kind of interrupt workflow anyway (filter application). Less mature code -> less performance tuning, probably. But the fact the interface doesn't actually suck makes up for it :-) Two things currently make a large speed difference on my machine: disabling brush-shaped cursor and using crosshairs (probably the programmer made the brush-shape->cursor routine run every event loop iteration, which probably kills performance on tablets with their relatively high sample rate and pressure sensitivity changing the brush shape every iteration), and enabling opengl. But the latter made the selection indicators buggy on my machine, sigh.

    I do hate one _major_ thing about it, something the GIMP does vaguely right: in the gimp, every xinput device's brush selection etc. is independent. So my "eraser" on my stylus can be a blobby eraser brush, and the stylus nib a thin line. Krita munges them all together. This is probably beginner-friendly or something, but it's the one reason I still fire up the gimp to sketch in, despite the fact the gimp is "for" photo retouching, and krita has more of a from-scratch-art orientation ?! Sigh #2.

  • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @08:45PM (#16682825) Homepage Journal

    What options are there to edit RAW photo files under Linux? Does Krita handle those format(s)?

    There are several, and yes, Krita does, too.

    1. dcraw is the basis for most all F/LOSS RAW conversion tools. It's just a converter, translating from various RAW formats to 24bpp or 48bpp PPM files. It is, however, an excellent converter, so good, in fact, that it's superior to most of the commercial offerings, and some commercial tools have taken advantage of its BSD-style license to replace their proprietary engines with dcraw. It's a command-line tool, though, and since good RAW conversion requires playing a bit with parameters, it's not all that easy to use.
    2. ufraw is a GUI tool built on top of dcraw that allows you to interactively fiddle with the conversion parameters to get a good conversion. It provides a pretty nice interface, including a good curves tool which is really important when you're converting to a 24bpp format like JPEG. Since the RAW image may have more than 24bpp of dynamic range, the range has to be compressed, and by tuning the range compression with the curves tool you can often retain image details that a more naive compression (like the one done by a typical digital camera) would have lost.
    3. gimp-ufraw is a GIMP plugin that uses ufraw to import RAW files for editing in the GIMP. With it installed you can open RAW files in the GIMP just like any other format, with the differentce that when you open the file the ufraw interface pops up to let you control the conversion process. Since the GIMP currently only supports 24bpp color depth, the gimp-ufraw must compress the dynamic range.
    4. krita uses ufraw to do the conversion. Krita isn't limited to 24bpp, but it also isn't nearly as mature or as fast as the GIMP, making it, to me, somewhat unpleasant to use.
    5. rawstudio is an up and coming competitor to ufraw. It's still immature but is shaping up to be a very nice tool. It's focused on making it easier to do large numbers of RAW conversions relatively quickly.
    6. bibble and bibblepro (my favorite) are commercial, closed-source tools that provide very high quality conversions, lots of tunable parameters and (esp. bibblepro) workflow-oriented features that enable the user to process lots of images quickly. For example, I took a bunch of family portraits a couple weeks ago and had nearly 200 images to sort through, identify the best and convert. Since the lighting and colors in the images were consistent through most of the images I was able to carefully tune the conversion parameters for one image and then "paste" the same parameter set to all of the others. Bibblepro costs $150 but if you do very much of this stuff, and aren't dead set on Free Software, it's an excellent choice. The non-pro version is cheaper, but I don't remember what it costs (you can guess which one I bought!).

    I probably missed one or two tools. In addition, there are lots of variants of dcraw floating around with different option sets. I sometimes use one by Robert Krawitz that has option sets focused on making it possible to get from RAW to paper (using one of the very high quality Gutenprint inkjet drivers) with no loss in image quality or dynamic range. The results are far better than you can get out of any commercial print lab that I know of (most of them don't even accept anything other than 24bpp JPEGs, meaning you *must* compress the dynamic range before they print it, even though many printers can handle greater color depths).

    To summarize: Yes, you can convert RAW images on Linux, even with purely Free software, and you can get excellent results, as good as you can on Windows or OS X. It may take a little more effort, though. Looking forward to when the GIMP moves to the GEGL engine, or when Krita gets faster and more full-featured, RAW conversion will be as good or better on Linux than any other platform.

  • Re:finally! (Score:5, Informative)

    by tezbobobo ( 879983 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2006 @09:17PM (#16683125) Homepage Journal
    Actually, my prediction is this will fail for other reasons. Photoshop is the tool of choice for me. I am the production manager for a newspaper and even if this were 10 times more capable, we still would not budge. Photoshop is part of a larger suite. It is the ability to use Photoshop in conjunction with Quark/Indesign which makes it powerful. There are a number of people who only use raster editors, but they're not in the print world.

    What I'm saying is that anyone who would need 8/16 CMYK editing and profiling would still be left empty handed by the Linux world. Before anyone starts getting on my back about Scribus and 'save to PDF' crap, get out in the real world. When your dealing with printers with very specific PDF requirements, you need the customisability provided by Distiller. When they send you a colour profile to work with, It needs to be a easy as hitting Load Colour Space in Indesign. I guarantee they will not send a Scribus compatible file. And finally about Scribus - it is not the defacto industry standard.

    Therefore, if you need a raster editor for Linux, you are almost guaranteed of not needing it for the print world - except for a minuscule amount of people - and can do with anything like Gimp which is sufficiently advanced for that sort of work, ie web work, backgrounds, avatars, etcetera...

    My Two Cents

    Terence Boylen
    Production Manager
    The Record Newspaper.

    (Perth Western Australia)
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @02:55AM (#16685357)
  • by Enselic ( 933809 ) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @04:12AM (#16685757) Homepage
    In Swedish, Krita makes total sense, it means chalk [].
  • by vurian ( 645456 ) on Thursday November 02, 2006 @07:23AM (#16686569) Homepage
    1) No, the ui hasn't been "fixed" -- in 2.0 it'll be possible to drag & drop the palettes in different constellations (Qt4 provides that out of the box). And, in 2.0, you'll have only see the palettes that belong to the active view, but that's all. I like it this way and it's the standard for KOffice. There are people who like it, there are people who hate it, but I think spending development time on making it possible to accommodate both preferences is not worth it compared to features like better filters, speed improvements and so on.

    2) It should be pretty good, we spent a lot of time making it possible to draw with different pressure curves for darkness, size and opacity. It is also possible to have a different current tool for your mouse, eraser and stylus (I tend to draw with the mouse set to pan and the stylus to brush). Oh, and the "paint directly checkbox" should fix your issues with the brush tool.

    3) Gimp and Krita use the same gradients, patterns and brushes. File format exchange is problematic, hence the OpenRaster effort that is being spearheaded by Cyrille Berger for Krita and Oyvind Kolas for Gegl.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"