Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Krita team releases stable beta of Krita 2.9


Krita’s existing user interface. Version 2.9, currently in public beta, brings a long list of improvements to the paint package’s UI and overall workflow, along with a revamped Transform tool and a new colour selector.

The Krita team has released the first public beta of Krita 2.9, the latest release of the open-source paint package, adding a new Liquify tool, a new colour selector, and a lot of workflow improvements.

Krita has been steadily adapting itself to a professional user base in recent releases, adding support for OpenColorIO and the option to export layered PSD files in version 2.6, and full Windows support in version 2.8.

None of the new features in version 2.9 is quite that big – but there are a lot of them, and cumulatively, they should make quite a difference to workflow.

New Transform tool, better brush tools, better colour handling
The most significant single feature is probably the revamped Transform tool, which now supports Perspective, Cage and Liquify transformations. There is also a new non-destructive transformation mask type.

Changes to the brush tools include better anti-aliasing and the long-awaited separation of Flow and Opacity. Colour handling has also been overhauled, with a new colour selector with sliders for every colour model.

UI improvements and file format support
There are also a lot of changes affecting overall workflow: the option to open more than one image in a window, or the same image in multiple windows, is one that many artists will find important.

The release also improves support for RAW and PSD files, with all but four PSD blending modes supported.

Photoshop layer styles and layer masks – a target of Krita’s successful recent Kickstarter campaign – are not suppported in version 2.9, but should follow by the end of January.

Krita 2.9 Beta 1 is available now. Stable builds are available for Linux and Windows; Mac OS X users get an unofficial build missing some features, particularly in the brush engine.

Krita Sketch and Krita Gemini, which provide touch support on suitable devices, have been disabled in the beta version, but should be restated in the final release, which is due in January.

Read a full list of new features in Krita 2.9 (Includes download links)