Sunday, May 19, 2013

Open source painting

NEXT model, painted in Krita with a Wacom Bamboo, from photo reference.
One of the great things that's come out of discussions about Adobe's new pricing structure is a bit of publicity for open-source alternatives.   Whilst gimp is fine for photo and texture manipulation tasks, I've always found it a little clumsy for painting. It's better in 2.8 and by no means unusable but it never seems to flow.  I've been looking for an open source alternative and did this painting to try out Krita.

Krita does feel better for painting tasks than Gimp so it fills a need. I did find the fact that the brush seemed to forget my size setting irritating and brush resizing is a little slow but all in all, it has a good solid feel to it. Open GL support (which should speed things up) seems sketchy at the moment - I actually found it slower using hardware acceleration, at least on my card (NVidia 9500).

Other affordable alternatives that I like are:

Sketch Book Pro and Paint tool SAI, which still has the best blending brush I've used so far.

I like open source, always available tools. I hate messing about with licences - I use different machines and I'll upgrade/reinstall/mess up/recover at least one of them quite frequently. Messing about with restrictive licences complicates this process and has, in the past, left me without the tools I need with a deadline looming.  Free software and unlimited trail/nagware doesn't treat the customer as the enemy or a sheep to be fleeced, which is a good first step in a positive relationship.
  That said, I'm a software developer and this stuff isn't easy. It takes skill and a great deal of time: it deserves remuneration, which is why I'd ask you to buy your commercial software and please donate to open source projects.

Also, I've been playing with the rather wonderful linux command line tool 'convert' which is great for doing batch conversions of images and, amongst other things, for making animated gifs:

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