First Krita Preview Release

Krita, formerly known as Krayon,
formerly known as KImageShop, never known as nor intended to be the Kimp, is
available for your testing pleasure.

For the first time since development started in 1999, Krita is complete
enough to be packaged as the first preview release. Building on the great foundation
laid by the original team, the enthusiastic work by John Califf and the thorough
architecture designed by Patrick Julien, the Krita developers have been working
real hard during the last year to bring you a firework of interesting

Those include (but are of course not limited to):

  • painting with Gimp brushes or image filters
  • gradients & patterns
  • excellent tablet support
  • world-class image scaling

Note: This is not even an alpha release. Stuff is broken, not implemented
at all or even not even intended to be implemented. We've been making
really great progress, but there's plenty left to do -- a challenge to someone
wanting to get their hands dirty with a paint app that's still small enough to

Installing Krita might interfere with your existing KOffice installation,
as it depends on KOffice CVS. But if you're curious or anxious to
know how far we've come in the past year (or five), download the packages Daniel
Molkentin has prepared and made available.
Because Krita is very actively developed, with several CVS commits per day, we
also provide Krita nightly
. SUSE packages will be available soon.

If you don't feel up to compiling, but still want to gaze at the look & feel
(described by as "very clean, very easy to find your way around" by an expert
Photoshop user) you can go to the screenshots and sate
your curiosity.

For now, all I want to do is to thank all the people who have worked on
Krita: Michael Koch, Matthias Elter, Andrew Richards, Carsten Pfeiffer and
Toshitaka Fujioka for starting this amazing project, John Califf for impelling
the project,
Patrik Julien for designing Krita's current architecture and finally the current

  • Boudewijn Rempt (maintainer, stuff that doesn't work)
  • Sven Langkamp (GUI, especially the dockers & the color wheel)
  • Cyrille Berger (Filters, tools, core stuff)
  • Adrian Page (Painting, tablet support, gradients, core stuff, fixes all
    over the place)
  • Clarence Dang (zoom, shape tools)
  • Dirk Schoenberger (code cleanups, tool shortcuts)
  • Bart Coppens (Fills, previews, text tool)
  • Michael Thaler (Scaling, rotating)
  • Camilla Boemann (core stuff)
  • Daniel Molkentin (Packaging this release)

We really hope to keep up the pace, and make Krita part of KOffice 1.4, to be
released near the end of the first quarter of 2005.

Dot Categories: 


by anon (not verified)

Don't know what happened but the original announcement had more features listed:

* Loading and saving of many image formats
* Painting with Gimp brushes, generated brushes or text.
* color picker, pencil, brush, airbrush, eraser, duplicate, filter-brush, lines, rectangles, ellipses and text tools.
* Filling with solid colors, patterns or gradients
* Selecting, copying (and pasting into Kolourpaint)
* Scaling with one of five cool scaling algorithms
* Image/layer rotating.
* Adjusting brightness, contrast, gamma, color, saturation.
* Working with layers (adding, moving, rotating)
* Blur, sharpen, mean removal, emboss, edge detection, invert filters
* Tablet support.
* scan/screenshot image input
* tool icon, crosshair or arrow cursors
* grayscale and RGB color models (and a buggy CMYK model)

by Anonymous (not verified)

> Don't know what happened but the original announcement had more features listed:

What original announcement? doesn't have traces of above.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I think anon means the README.PREVIEW file I send round to ask for comments. That one is in the packages. I did a different announcement for the Dot, shorter, snappier and more upbeat. Not that there hasn't been some fierce editing going on with what I wrote... Mostly quite good, so I haven't got a problem with it, but if you want to read what I wrote, read the kde-announce mail.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

Krita _is_ very promising. But using KOffice-CVS I have since some time a problem: I can not load bitmap files :-/

bash-2.05b$ krita /home/schnebeck/EOS/Test/IMG_0236.JPG
kio (KSycoca): Trying to open ksycoca from /var/tmp/kdecache-schnebeck/ksycoca
koffice (lib kofficecore): kritapart.desktop found.
kio (KTrader): KServiceTypeProfile::offers( KOfficePart, )
kio (KTrader): Returning 11 offers
kio (KTrader): KServiceTypeProfile::offers( Krita/CoreModule, )
kio (KTrader): Returning 0 offers
koffice (lib kofficecore): KoDocument::openURL url=file:/home/schnebeck/EOS/Test/IMG_0236.JPG
koffice (lib kofficecore): kritapart.desktop found.
koffice (lib kofficecore): KoDocument::openFile /home/schnebeck/EOS/Test/IMG_0236.JPG type:image/jpeg
kio (KTrader): KServiceTypeProfile::offers( KOfficePart, )
kio (KTrader): Returning 11 offers
koffice (filter manager): KoFilterEntry::query( )
kio (KTrader): KServiceTypeProfile::offers( KOfficeFilter, )
kio (KTrader): Returning 64 offers
koffice (filter manager): Filter: KOffice-Export für XSLT doesn't apply.
krita: No decode delegate for this image format (/home/schnebeck/EOS/Test/IMG_0236.JPG).
koffice (lib kofficecore): KoMainWindow::addRecentURL url=file:/home/schnebeck/EOS/Test/IMG_0236.JPG
koffice (lib kofficecore): [KoMainWindow pointer (0x8234ca8) to widget krita-mainwindow#1, geometry=1222x726+50+207] Saving recent files list into config. instance()=0xbfffef88
kparts: Part::~Part 0x822b478
kdecore (KLibLoader): The KLibLoader contains the library libmagickimport (0x8290d10)
kdecore (KLibLoader): The KLibLoader contains the library libxsltexport (0x82bd360)
kdecore (KLibLoader): The KLibLoader contains the library libkritapart (0x81e0bc0)

Using krita I would like to encourage the krita team to focus on features gimp has not established yet especially a working 16bit/channel framework.

I hope there will be a generic painting API für krita and collaboration with kipimodules and digikams imageplugins. If there is a nice scripting host for krita I would like to port my gimp scriptFu to krita as soon as possible :-)



by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I think the image import problem is caused by a problem with your image magick libraries. Perhaps you've got the wrong version installed, or maybe two versions, and the header files of one version are used, but Krita is linked with another version.

We're designing for 16bit/channel images, but haven't added those yet. However, doing so means that we cannot use the kipi plugins, since those are based on QImages which are passed between app and plugin. If we were to use those, we'd need to convert the current layer to a QImage (losing data), filtering and then converting back. It could be done of course, but I guess it would be best to put a kipi connector in a plugin. Could be a nice job for someone interested in getting involved.

Finally, Cyrille Berger has started work on ksjembed plugin, but it's not advanced enough to actually do anything.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

... works after recompiling ImageMagick and KOffice :-)
(A little bit slow with a 3000x2000 pixel bitmap on a 1GHz Athlon)



by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Yes... And it would get worse when adding more layers. We have two problems here: we need to load all of the image into memory before work can begin. Ideally, we'd support deferring loading until parts of the image are touched, initially showing a preview. It's on the todo. The second problem is that we have cool tile manager for the data that's already loaded, but we don't support swapping in and out yet. And currently nobody has been brave enough to try and implement that part of Patrick Julien's design.

There are also some inefficiencies in the accessing of image data. We're working on those, though. I'm currently writing performance/stress tests so we can make informed performance improvements.

by Martin (not verified)

I wonder why Boudewijn is always stressing that it's
not meant to be a KIMP (i.e. a concurrence to GIMP).
I know that he likes to build a real paint tool
(like Fractal Painter) for KDE. But I'm quite
sure the majority of people will see it as GIMP replacement
and everyone should be honest enough to admit that.
One day ago he posted here that he'd do a fork once
the code is matured enough. I sincerely hope that he will
change his mind and won't let this happen. The high
configurability of the KDE desktop has shown that it can
adapt to various different needs (novice and professionals,
Windows users and Windows haters, etc). Why shouldn't it
be possible to create an application which is good for painting
AND can be used for image editing, too? This would be a
big advantage for people who need both and shouldn't be that
difficult to realize (i mean in contrast to 2 different apps).
All the dulicated effort should rather go into higher
configurability. So IMHO a fork would be completely unneccesary.
But perhaps I got him wrong on that issue. Ignore my post
if that is the case...

by mikeTA (not verified)

I'd second that, and include myself amongst those who hope that Krita will become a GIMP replacement, and I also think this is how it will be seen.

by Birdy (not verified)

KIMP was the name of the idea to make a KDE frontend for GIMP. But as Krita does not share code with GIMP, the name is not suitable. Krita is neither a port nor a frontend of GIMP.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

He he, the German K-menu says: Bildbearbeitung (krita), so this means image manipulation.

I think must users in a world of digital imaging (scanners, photos) need a good IMP and GIMP2 is really good. I like it but I miss stuff like dcop, KDE UI and a more powerful scripting language, something like kommander. But functions like a channel mixer (LAB color code) and (for me as a photographer) Canon RAW-file support are there. I deeply miss stuff like 16bit/channel or grouping layers. That is not much and I know the Gimper are working on this and they still try to separate functions from GUI. So if krita steps in an wants to have early adopters, it should offer IMHO functions GIMP as not - like attaching a filter to a brush, thats cool stuff! If the aim of krita is (only) building a strict painting tool you will provoke many wishlist reports for krita ;-)


Thorsten (rebuilding KOffice with a new version of ImageMagick)

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Cyrille Berger already added painting with filters to Krita. It's not perfect yet, but yesterday, Cyrille and Bart Coppens have been working on making it better. When I mentioned the possibility of soon having a 'sharpen' filter brush in Krita to a photoshop user he started getting really impressed.

By the way, Thorsten, would it be possible for you to make a couple of 16-bit raw images available? I don't have a camera that can produce them, and if I want to take a look at working on 16bit/channel capabilities, I need a few test images.

In other news, the zooming bug that's still in the preview is now fixed in CVS. I really tried to get that done before the packaging, but only last night I figured out what to do about it. Oh well, it'll be in this night's nightly package.

by Thorsten Schnebeck (not verified)

Yes, I know that I can attach a filter to a brush. And this is really cool stuff :-)

The Canon EOS RAW format has 12bit per channel but the great dcraw tool can change RAW into 48-bpp PSD (Adobe Photoshop) or 48-bpp PPM files. I can use convert to make a 16Bit tiff from the PPM. I will put in on a website and mail the URL to the mailing list.



by Gerd (not verified)

/* Cyrille Berger already added painting with filters to Krita. It's not perfect yet, but yesterday, Cyrille and Bart Coppens have been working on making it better. When I mentioned the possibility of soon having a 'sharpen' filter brush in Krita to a photoshop user he started getting really impressed. */

What is really important is a easy framework for filters/plugins. This has to be seen as splitted from Krita development. Image mainipulators are used in image viewers, digital camery tools ecc. as well.

It is always superiour when developers are able to control their own ressources, see ecc.

A plugin bazaar, this is what we need.

by oliv (not verified)

>I like it but I miss stuff like [...] a more powerful scripting language

Hey! Gimp supports Script-Fu, Perl and Python! Do you really mean Python and Perl are not powerful scripting languages?

by testerus (not verified)

Well, there is still room for an application based on GEGL, isn't it?

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I took a serious, hard look a GEGL when I first began Krita. GEGL just isn't done enough to do anything with; it looks a lot like a semi-abandoned second-system effect demo. Anyway, in Krita's root dir there's file called IMAGE_LIBRARIES with our assessment of a lot of image libraries currently available, and pro's and cons about their use.

by Leon Brooks (not verified)

For your general information, GEGL development has been restarted as of about a month ago. They're about finished pulling off the cobwebs and blowing out the dust now.

by Brandybuck (not verified)

It is not the "KIMP" simply because KIMP was a distinct project. KIMP's goal was to create a KDE GUI for GIMP, replacing the GTK+. But there was too much coupling between the GIMP and GTK. After all, GTK originally stood for "GIMP Toolkit". The situation may have improved with GIMP 2.0, but the KIMP project long ago fell to the wayside. Here's hoping Krita has a bright future...

by Stephan (not verified)

make[4]: Entering directory `/opt/krita/krita-preview1/krita/ui/dialogs'
if /bin/sh ../../../libtool --silent --mode=compile --tag=CXX g++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I. -I../../.. -I./.. -I./../../core -I./../../core/tool -I.. -I -I/opt/kde3/include -I/usr/lib/qt3/include -I/usr/X11R6/include -DQT_THREAD_SUPPORT -D_REENTRANT -Wnon-virtual-dtor -Wno-long-long -Wundef -ansi -D_XOPEN_SOURCE=500 -D_BSD_SOURCE -Wcast-align -Wconversion -Wchar-subscripts -Wall -W -Wpointer-arith -Wwrite-strings -O2 -Wformat-security -Wmissing-format-attribute -fno-exceptions -fno-check-new -fno-common -DQT_CLEAN_NAMESPACE -DQT_NO_ASCII_CAST -DQT_NO_STL-DQT_NO_COMPAT -DQT_NO_TRANSLATION -MT wdgmatrix.lo -MD -MP -MF ".deps/wdgmatrix.Tpo" \
-c -o wdgmatrix.lo `test -f '' || echo './'`; \
then mv -f ".deps/wdgmatrix.Tpo" ".deps/wdgmatrix.Plo"; \
else rm -f ".deps/wdgmatrix.Tpo"; exit 1; \
fi kdialog.h: No such file or directory klocale.h: No such file or directory knuminput.h: No such file or directory In constructor `WdgMatrix::WdgMatrix(QWidget*, const char*,
unsigned int)':

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Are you really sure you do have the kdelibs headers installed?

by Stephan (not verified)

yes. /opt/kde3/include/kdialog.h
my config option:
./configure --prefix=/opt/kde3

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Strange... Other KDE applications do compile?

by Stephan (not verified)


by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

Try to change koffice/krita/ui/dialogs/

There is a line with
libkisdialogs_la_METASOURCES = AUTO
try to replace it with only:

(As far as I know, the library version of METASOURCES = AUTO is not supported anymore.)

Have a nice day!

by Stephan (not verified)

the same problem.. :(

The difference is in output: missing automake-1.7
but automake 1.8.x is installed!
ln -s /usr/bin/automake /usr/bin/automake-1.7
fix this output but not the compile prob..

by Nicolas Goutte (not verified)

Ah, yes, sorry. I had not thought about the problem that you have to re-create the Makefiles. So if you have a different version of automake, it will not work.

Have a nice day!

by Peter Robins (not verified)

. . . make Krita part of KOffice 1.4 . . .

why KOffice and not kdegraphics? isn't this graphics software?

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Because it's already a KOffice application, and has been one for five years.

by KDE User (not verified)
by Bart Coppens (not verified)

Apparantly that site has been slashdotted, so here are the links to the originals:

by KDE Fan (not verified)

What video format, both xine and mplayer (recent versions) choke on the second (recommended) video.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I never knew about it... Nobody ever tells me anything. Pout.

But, seriously, nicely done, Bart -- and it's quite interested to actually see people their workflow. Seeing the way you handle the docker overflow, I wonder whether moving towards Kivio's dockers wouldn't be a good thing, at least for the way you work.

How did you capture them? I wouldn't mind seeing a few other other people work with Krita in this way. It should help streamlining Krita's UI.

by Bart Coppens (not verified)

This way of using the dockers gives me a bit more free space, so I have a better view of what I'm doing. And this way I could also resize krita somewhat in order to make the download not too big.

The capture tool I used is xvidcap:

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Cool -- with the next release we must do something like that again. Have you looked at Kivio's dockers?

by Bart Coppens (not verified)

Not yet, but I'll have a look.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Make sure you give them a chance to disappear and appear automatically. The dockers are not entirely bugfree, so they may need a bit of nudging now and then.

by Michael Thaler (not verified)

Can Krita not use KMDI? I really like the Ideal modes where the widgets hide automatically after you clicked on them. But KMDI also allows you other modes.

by Sven Langkamp (not verified)

KMDI would be cool, but Krita is limited through the KOffice framework.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

We've looked into that, but in the end, kmdi is not compatible with KOffice, and Kivio's dockers are. Plus, kivio's dockers look & feel more like palettes than kmdi tabs that are mostly the whole length or height of their dock area.

by Bart Coppens (not verified)

They look very nice, but I didn't see them appear or disappear? Is this maybe a feature that's only in CVS and not yet in 1.3?

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I wouldn't know, it's been a year and a half since I ran a non-CVS KOffice. I'll ask Peter Simonssen.

by Asdex (not verified)

Actions like image scaling take really much time.
For example the scaling shown in video 2 takes several seconds.

Maybe one should have a look at MPlayer which contains highly optimized versions of the same scaling algorithms as the ones Krita is using.

The scaling algorithms from Video2 is a Mitchel algorithm and Krita needed several seconds. MPlayer can do the same scaling with the same algorithm in ~ 1/100 second. (MPlayer supports all the other scaling algorithms, too)

by Boudewijn (not verified)

There are still some, ahem, unoptimized bits of code. Especially the bits to access pixels are not all that optimized. But Michael and Cyrille are working on, are working on it. And, mplayer uses mmx and stuff, and we're still working in plain C++. No doubt we'll be all right on the night, and I'm really happy that we have such good quality scaling already.

by Michael Thaler (not verified)

I think the scaling code is quite efficient. Unfortunately the scaling code acceses the pixel data in a very inefficient way. This is what makes to code so slow. I think the code would be a lot faster if it would use iterators to access the code. Unfortunately the code now iterates over columns and not rows and to use iterators efficiently, the code has to iterate over rows. In prinicple it is no problem to rewrite the code, so that it iterates over rows instead of columns and use iterators to access the pixel data then. I hope this will speed up the code a lot, but I am not sure when I have time to do that. So if you like to participate, this is probably not a task that is too hard to do.
MPlayer probably uses some hand-optimized assembler code and I will certainly not try to code the scaling code in assembler.

by Asdex (not verified)

> I think the scaling code is quite efficient. Unfortunately the scaling code acceses the pixel data in a very inefficient way.

MPlayer has some nice examples how to acceses the pixel data in a very efficient way, too. They try to avoid cache thrashing and so on.

> MPlayer probably uses some hand-optimized assembler code

That's true but it not only holds hand-optimized assembler code but plain c, too.

> and I will certainly not try to code the scaling code in assembler.

My point was: Mplayer has optimized C and assembler (x86 + some altivec code) versions of all your scaling algorithms. So should not "try to code the scaling code in assembler". Copy & paste should be enough. MPlayer's scaling filters do understand not only YUV but RGB32, too.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

I don't think you are adequately aware of the vagaries of copy & pasting. Perhaps Michael could take ideas and algorithms from mplayer, but it's highly unlikely that it would be a simple matter of copying and pasting. Programming is more complicated than that.

by joe lorem (not verified)

Wait, you can't just copy and paste code between systems and have it work?

But SCO said you can! They were lying?

I'm selling my shares right now!