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Libre Graphics Meeting, Day 1


Besides me having to wake up at 5AM to get at LGM at about 9AM, everything is going nicely.I'm staying with some family in Lons le Saulnier, although it is near Lyon it is still almost 2 hours away by train.

Starting in the morning I arrived at the Campus and it was easy to get to the event location, the map was pretty good in giving directions.

Right at 8:45 there was the first talk about GiMP, well mostly about GEGL. The talk was nice and there was lots of interest around it. Most of the talk was about what is GEGL, why it is taking so long to replace the current GiMP base and explaining how it works.

GEGL is pretty cool in the sense it uses something similar to the newest Blender nodes to get things done, it uses xml as base for file saving and some applications already use it, like Horizon, a presentation tool that was show that was really fast and simple to use.

Some of the talk was also about the issues with GiMP and how GEGL and other efforts plan to fix this issues. It is very good that the developers are aware that they need more the 8 bit depth and that CMYK is needed, mostly decent color management.

Horizon was already using GEGL and it was working pretty good and the main conclusion is that GEGL is mostly ready and it just needs to go to CVS and replace the current GiMP base.

In 10:00 we had an HP employee talking about Colour Management and a nice application he made in his free time and released as Open Source, the application is called LittleCMS as in Colour Management System, don't confuse it with Content Management System it is totaly off.

Most of this talk was really to do with explaining what Colour Management really is and the different approaches available. Some of the approaches gone from RGB, XYZ to CEALab, this with the ICC profiles in the mixture.

I like this very much because it gave me a better understanding on Colour Management and the approaches that one could use.

The second part of the talk was about 5 minutes talking about LittleCMS, as the name says it is very little, it is mainly an API that allows one to transform colour spaces from say RGB to XYZ, or the other way around or even doing XYZ to CEALab. This all by using ICC profiles to define the proper transformation.

The API is quite small and simple, it has like three methods one needs to call to perform the colour transformation. If you are in to Colour Management, check out LittleCMS.

One of the most interesting talks for me was SIOX, it started at 11:00 and it was focused on a nice API that gives the ability to extract the foreground from a still picture in very few steps, but with very good results.

This is actually the primary contestant to Microsoft own solution which is called GrabCut. It uses the CIELab Colour Space and works better then the Microsoft implementation as it gives user some more possibilities while being a bit more clever on deciding what to extract.

Currently it is only in JAVA but has been ported to work in GiMP, if you get one of GiMP latest versions it will have a new button related to SIOX.

The biggest thing is that it can also work in movies, mostly because it was derived from the E-Chalk project, where it reads real images in realtime (at 25 frames per second) of teachers writting in the chalk board and substracts the teacher from the image, giving a nice chalk board that has some magic writting :) .

It would be really good to have it integrated into Blender as a Node in the new node editor, perhaps some coder can pick it up ? It is only 600 lines of code in Java, the source is Open Source and is available at the project website.

There were some Demos done and the results were amazing, one of the best things I saw so far. Worth checking out.

There were two other talks in the afternoon about TuxPaint and Contributing to GiMP, but both were in French, so I wont really make any blogging about it since my french isn't that great.

Anyway, it wasn't all talks, I already hooked up with Brecht and we did some hacking on the Blender source code, I now feel more instructed in getting the Magic in my hands, so, expect some wacky code patches from me in some time soon .... or not ...

I also met Raphael, pretty nice guy.

And this is mostly the resume on day one, will post more info tomorrow.

-- Rui --

Rui Campos is the head of the Blender Foundation Education Board (BF-Education). He is at the Libre Graphics Meeting in Lyon, France this weekend where he'll be giving several Blender workshops. He will be reporting daily from the Meeting.


  1. Hi Rui,

    I know that I will not catch you on MSN theses days; I'm sure this LGM must be very instructive in a variety of ways.
    I'm sure you are doing a great job to promote Blender.

    From your friend from Portugal, Kainho.

    (qd voltares a casa espero ter um relatorio completo dessa estadia :D)

  2. For those who are interested:

    TuxPaint --> a software from a canadian, for kids from 3 to 8 years old. Very fun and very simple. 10 big buttons to make some effects, a sound attached to an actions (cool). No more windowsssss or menu possible instead of write, open picture, only few colors, but very attractive. A major action are stamps.

    Contributing to GiMP --> a french developper for Gimp, explain how to contribute in Gimp. She took for exemple a bug (a simple one, but an existing one !), and show us how to try to solve it. And if you found the solution, how simple by the web you can informe the head of Gimp, in order to valide your patch. Vey instructive too. Of course, you need to know coding !

    Riu, you were just asside near me in the morning, i was on your right side, the man without hairs. Tomorrow i'll salute you. Have a good night we need you in the best form.

    french hobbist

  3. Will there be some videos? with, i hope, sound captured from microphone and not from loudspeakers.
    About SIOX in Blender, i don't think this is so simple to implement, say:"this is only 600 lines in Java" it's wrong. Java is known to be very light in term of codes lines to write and moreover, languages are very differents:)
    Above all, i don't see the interest in Blender eheh.

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