Thursday, May 7th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Krita 2.9.4 ships

Open-source paint tool Krita 2.9 introduces new workflows for HDR painting, with support for the HSI and HSY colour spaces. Skip to the second half of the video to see painting inside an existing photographic HDR image.

Originally posted on 26 February. Scroll down for news of the Krita 2.9.4 update.

Krita 2.9, the latest release of the open-source digital painting package, is shipping. The development team calls version 2.9 Krita’s “biggest release until now”, adding dozens of new key features.

Although Krita has been around for a while, it has rapidly grown better suited for serious professional work over the past two years – development further accelerated by last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign.

New transform modes, HDR colour picking
Features funded by the Kickstarter cash include a range of new transformation modes, including Liquify, Perspective and Warp, all with support for masks for a non-destructive transform workflow.

In addition, the colour picker now supports HDR colour selection, in the shape of the HSI and HSY colour spaces. (The I and Y components effectively turn exposure up or down.)

There are also a number of changes to brushes, including anti-aliased brush tips, better blending in the Mix brush, and the options to save temporary changes to brushes as ‘dirty presets’.

More Photoshop-like workflows for masking images and browsing reference material
Masking now works in a way more similar to Photoshop, with a new global selection mask, and the option to separate alpha channels into transparency masks.

And like Photoshop, reference images can now be viewed alongside your painting in multiple sub-windows, which are cascaded or tiled automatically. Alternatively, there is a standard tabbed window mode.

Lots more new features and pipeline integration improvements
Other highlights include a new option to split all of the flat colours on a layer into their own separate layers; and new assistants for parallel, infinite and vanishing point lines in perspective drawings.

Compatibility with professional pipelines advances steadily, with all but four blending modes in PSD files now supported, improved OpenEXR support, and the option to import RAW files.

There are also a lot of smaller additions and bugfixes, which you can find in the official release announcement.

Krita 2.9 is available now for most popular flavours of Linux or Windows Vista and above. There is a “very experimental and unstable” Mac build, which has only been reported to work on OS X 10.9.

Updated 7 May: The Krita Foundation has just released Krita 2.9.4. The update adds the final feature funded by last year’s Kickstarter campaign: Photoshop-style layer styles.

Layer styles available include drop and inner shadows, inner and outer glows and Bevel and Emboss. The update also reduces startup times and improves performance of transform masks, filters and the move tool.

In separate news, the Krita Foundation has just launched a new Kickstarter to fund development of Krita 3.1

Read a full list of new features in Krita 2.9

Download Krita 2.9