Today, the Krita team releases Krita 2.8. Krita 2.8 is a big milestone release, since this is the first release that is ready for end-users on Windows.
Krita, originally developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks, has also many new features, hundreds of bug fixes, performance improvements, usability fixes and look-and-feel improvements.
Krita 2.8 highlights:
Krita 2.8 will be the first stable Krita release for Windows. We have been making experimental builds for Windows for about a year now, and a lot of testers helped us to stabilize it. While this is not really a new feature for the Linux user, the step and the work on it was so huge that it does merit the 1st rank in this feature list! Most work on the Windows port has been done by KO GmbH, in cooperation with Intel.
Better tablet support:
Krita has relied on Qt’s graphics tablet support since Krita 2.0. We consciously dropped our own X11-level code in favour of the cross-platform API that Qt offered. And apart from the lack of support for non-Wacom tablets, this was mostly enough on X11. On Windows, the story was different, and we were confronted by problems with offsets, bad performance, no support for tablets with built-in digitizers like the Lenovo Helix.
New high-quality scaling mode for the OpenGL canvas
Krita was one of the first painting applications with support of OpenGL to render the image. And while OpenGL gave us awesome performance when rotating, panning or zooming, rendering quality was lacking a bit.
On Linux, the Krita Sketch user interface is now bundled with Krita 2.8, and users can switch from one interface to another. Krita Sketch and Krita Gemini were developed by KO GmbH together with Intel. On Windows, Krita Gemini will be available through Valve’s Steam platform.
Wrap Around mode
The Wrap Around mode (activate it with the W key, or in View > Wrap around mode) tiles the artwork on the canvas border for easy creation of tiled textures. It is only visualized in OpenGL mode (Settings > Configure Krita > Display).
New default presets, better tagging system
Krita 2.8 offer a new set of brush presets, with new icons following standards
Directly select a layer by pressing the ‘R’ key and clicking with mouse/stylus on the canvas.
Custom transparency checkboxes:
Transparency checkboxes represent the transparent colors. Now the colors and size of the checkboxes are configurable: You can change it in Settings > Preferences > Transparency Checkboxes. Here is a demo with a dark checker theme to show the halo around the Krita logo.
New palette docker
It’s now easier to switch palettes with the Palette docker. Adding and removing a color can be performed directly on the docker. A set of new palette presets made by talented authors are now also bundled with Krita by default. You can display the Palette docker via: Setting > Docker > Palette.
Pseudo Infinite canvas
If you scroll the canvas a lot in one direction, you’ll notice a big button appearing with an arrow on it on the border of the screen A single click on this big button will extend the canvas automatically in this direction.
Additional options for the crop tool
The crop tool can now ‘grow’ (you can crop a document outside the canvas limit and extend the canvas) and also get decorations (third guidelines, middle crosshair).
Better color pickers
The color pickers get new icons and more options.
New Color balance filter
Color balance changes the overall colors of an artwork via sliders and is used for color correction. It’s an ideal filter to give an extra mood to your artwork (warmer, cooler) or enhance black and white studies. You can find the filter here: Filter > Adjust > Color balance (Ctrl+B)
Initial support for G’mic
Use hundreds of famous Gmic filters directly in Krita. It’s a first implementation, and still experimental and unstable.
Clone array tool
This new feature creates a number of clones of the current layer so you can paint on it as if the tiles were repeated. The feature is convenient for the creation of isometric tiles.
More custom shortcuts
Krita gets a new panel in the preferences (Setting > Configure Krita > Canvas Input Settings) to offer you the possibility to customize all related canvas shortcuts. That means: all the zoom- and color picker keys are configurable now.
More compact, better looking
A lot of work was done to make the Krita 2.8 user interface more compact, and dim the saturation of the icons to let the user focus on the canvas.