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Krita 2.4 released


This week, the Krita team releases version 2.4 of their application. Krita is an open source 2D painting application with some very special features. Like support for Blender OpenEXR files, HDR painting and much more. Krita was used by David Revoy for the concept art and story boarding of Mango.

Boudewijn Rempt writes:

With many powerful brush engines and unique features as canvas rotation, multi-hand and mirrored painting, Krita explicitly supports creating concept art, storyboards, textures, matte paintings and illustrations. Krita is primarily a Linux application, but a very experimental Windows version is also available as part of the Calligra Suite of applications. The Windows version does not support HDR painting.

Illustration 1: Canvas rotation. Painting by David Revoy.

Illustration 2: Mirrored painting. Painting by Kargall Lefou.

As bad luck has it, Krita's website was hacked the week before our release. Usually, more information can be found at

About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I've been watching the progress of Krita. Its is looking great!  The pace of development is quite rapid too.  YAY!  

  2. I have been looking for canvas rotations  on linux for a long time. There is in MyPaint and sort of in gimp ( sort of ). But canvas rotations and mirroring painting. Holy Molly!

        •  Certainly the older versions like Photoshop 7 work just fine under Wine - used it for years until I found that I could use GIMP instead and then have Scribus convert the RGB images to CMYK as part of the PDF creation. My printer can't tell the difference - and he's very fussy!

          Krita though - seems to have some possibilities (been a while since I used it) and looks a lot more capable. I couldn't see a proper airbrush tool in it - ah... just click the brush icon down-arrow on the toolbar.... and there's a hell of a lot more.

          I'm feeling happy about this and want two things for my birthday this year.... a full stable version for the Mac and one for Windows.... not much to ask for.....

  3. Windows version installs in XP SP3 32 bit. Would have been nice if installer had option WHERE to install the app. Defaults to c:program files - no way to change this that I could see.

    Krita opens fine ( bit sluggish ). When inside there are some nice tools however. Would need to doodle more


  4. It would be nice to see a Concept Cookie feature on this... not for me ATM as I'm not on Linux, but I want to know what I'm missing.

  5. Just went to install this and realized that it's laden with KDE and ruby ... so I canceled the install.  I would love to port this to use GTK or the blender UI instead but time and money constrains me.

        • MyPaint is good basic app.But Krita is more professional and has 5 times more features.Krita supports very large canvas sizes,unlike My Paint.
          My Paint can't be compared to Krita.
          My Paint is mainly for Windows tablets with very low processing power.Its a good lightweight sketching app.I think,it even do not have lasso tool or selection tools,

    •  I tried it anyway ... logged out, and logged back in with Neon.

      And was promptly lost.

      I haven't used KDE since 2006 and had to get used to it again. When I finally got Krita loading (I was distracted by an otherwise very clean and pretty desktop), I couldn't paint. Had a new canvas, tried a bunch of brushes and a bunch of colors, but nothing got painted.


      Then I noticed several programs that I use over in Gnome 3 weren't listed in my applications menu.

      Now that it's loaded, I'll likely play with it a bit more when I have more time. But the first effort wasn't rewarding. And I'm not looking forward to wasting productivity time noodling around getting yet another desktop environment to a comfortable configuration. Unless I'm seriously impressed later, I'll likely rip all this stuff out and continue to use GIMP, MyPaint, and Alchemy.

      • Boudewijn Rempt on

        You don't necessarily need the Neon project, even on Ubuntu. You can use either the backports ppa: ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backportsto install on 11.10 or use 12.04, where you can just install it from the main repos./. You That way, you don't need to install a complete new desktop environment :-)Project Neon is really cutting edge stuff, they track git master as far as possible.

  6. I'm happy to see that there are efforts toward some kind of windows version even if it's not yet very developped, but i notice that window version is integrated into a suite of lots of application i have strictly no need of, are there plans to make in the future Krita being a standalone application (portable too hopefully) like gimp or mypaint ?

    • Sven Langkamp on

       Currently no developer has a Mac, so that isn't very likely. Some users reported that they could build it on Mac OS X and it worked quite good.

          • Boudewijn Rempt on

             No... The guy who got it working disappeared again, without publishing his results. When I had a mac three years ago, I did some porting work as well as some gui polishing, but then I got another job and returned my macbook pro :-)

  7. Looks like they did some excellent work on the new version. I use MyPaint and Gimp regularly, but I'll give Krita a try and see how it compares.

  8. Looks cool, I tried to install it on Ubuntu using the script in the download site, but i get in the end the message:  Couldn't find package project-neon-base

      • Boudewijn Rempt on

         For 11.10, packages are available through the following PPA:

        ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports -- you don't need to use Neon then.

        •  Unfortunatly I'm not a Linux expert and I still didn't unerstand how to download it.
          I wrote in my terminal
          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
          but then what ?

          • Colin Griffith on

             After that, run 'sudo apt-get update', and then 'sudo apt-get install krita'. If the old version of Krita was already installed, simply run 'sudo apt-get upgrade' instead.

  9. Just tried it because it says it has canvas rotation. It doesn't. The type of canvas rotation needed for painting isn't the half assed canvas rotations they have. So F OF.

    •  Ask them for the canvas rotation you want. On their website it states "We have a lot on our TODO already, and to create a new feature, we need
      to engage in some deep interaction with you, so drop by on the forum,
      mailing or irc instead."

      Their IRC is:

      It's open-source, you can have influence on it's development.

    • Boudewijn Rempt on

       Er... Can you tell me what you need more? We have canvas rotation with shortcuts that is a bit limited, only uses fixed increments, and then in the pan tool, if you press shift you can rotate with very small increments.

    • @ Mario:

      Dude, seriously?  Why be such a big jerk about expressing your problem?  This program is free because people put good effort and their free time into building this.  No one has to do this.  You could show some appreciation that there are even people out there working to produce such an advanced free and open-source software.  I'm sure if you'd rationally explain your problem exactly (and at a more appropriate place), someone would be glad to look into it.

    • Colin Griffith on

       Are you sure you're using the latest version that was just released? Most versions in most repositories are the old version (I suppose without canvas rotation).

  10. This application is a monster! Even though the windows version is still unstable, i'm already quite impressed by its brushes and many other features in it. Looking forward for the next development (especially for windows version).

  11. Great progress and a huge kick in the balls for GIMP devs.

    Is there a way to change the interface's appearance under Windows?

  12. these questions are for a Windows install,
    can we install it without having it connect to the internet?(block it with our firewall)
    Also on close can it send a kill message the kde and other apps left running?
    (no need to them to be running the background all the time)

    • Boudewijn Rempt on

      First question: yes -- that should work fine. The download is entirely self-contained. Second question: I don't know... It's part of the reason we don't advertise the windows version as stable. I want to find a way to get all rid of all those background daemons anyway.

    • Boudewijn Rempt on

       The current pure clean KDE edition can be ported everywhere as well... KDE is just part of the set of libraries we use so we don't have to spend time developing foundation functionality ourselves. We feel we'd better implement new functionality that give users extra productivity than spend time rewriting parts of our libraries ourselves so we're more pure or clean.

  13. It looks like a really great piece of art software. The thing is that if the installation in the major operative systems is so troublesome, it's quite a pain to even try it. I tried with a previous version and now again. It doesn't work in Ubuntu 11.10 with the mentioned PPA.
    If Windows users have troubles to use it, and even Linux (non KDE) users have troubles to install it, it will be quite difficult to grow the user base of this promising software.

    • Boudewijn Rempt on

      I tried Krita 2.4 on Kubuntu and Ubunto 11.10 and 12.04 in freshly installed vm's:

      * Kubuntu 11.10: no problem, except that after adding the ppa and installing krita, I had to run kbuildsycoca4 manually. Not sure why that is, but it's nothing the Krita developers can do anything about -- this is distro stuff, out of our hands.
      * Ubuntu 11.10: added the ppa in software sources, did "sudo apt-get install krita", did kbuildsycoca4 and krita runs fine.
      * Kubuntu 12.04: no problem at all. Install krita, run it.
      * Ubuntu 12.04: no problem, except that Ubuntu's software center didn't show the install bar at 100% even though it was done installing Krita.

      I wouldn't call that troublesome -- and in any case, there's nothing we as developers can do about it.

      Now what I cannot test is tablet support -- VirtualBox doesn't support that. I have heard reports of 11.10 screwing up tablet support once again. It's why, as a developer, I use OpenSUSE.

      On Windows, well, there's a reason we label it HIGHLY and EXTREMELY experimental. But until now, only one big installation issue seems to crop up and that is incompatibilities with different versions of iconv.dll on the system. That is something I remember nearly all free software on Windows is battling with.

      • This time it worked smoothly.
        Both times I added the PPA to the sources, then did "sudo apt-get update" and then used the software center to install it. In the previous attempt it gave an error about not being able to having connect, while my connection was working. But this time it installed absolutely smoothly.
        Also been doing some strokes with my tablet and seems to work fine (need to check pressure sensitivity yet).

        Great work!

  14. No doubt that with slight improvements,Krita will rule the painter's world.
    Krita 2.5.9 has mainly only one problem:The lasso tool.I want it to be as precise as in Adobe photoshop.Some Krita developers have revealed that they want to consider my request in next Krita versions regarding improvement in Lasso tool.I believe that they might have a better lasso tool in next versions comming somewhere in Jan 2013,as heard.
    other than that its the best Painting app you can get.Krita Desktop is a bit difficult to use when it comes to Brush Dynamics but if you are a professional artists,then these Brush dynamics adjustments is for you.Go get Krita,ask for better lasso tool and after that,don't buy expensive softwares like Artrage,Howler PD,etc.

    If you are looking something for fun and something lightweight but a balance of mid-professional software and fun to use software,then there is a new Krita category software called the Krita Sketch.Sketch has accomodate a maximum canvas size of 10000 * 10000 pixels.Whereas Krita Desktop goes further than Photoshop(Unthinkable canvas size).

    If Lasso tool is improved,then there are negligible reasions why not to use only Krita as a panting application.Krita is mainly a sketching and painting app,not a Photoediting app.Krita is impressive.You can rarely get any other painting or sketching software,so good,so wonderful,so professional,like this for free as of now.

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