Do you remember a decade ago, when there was a painting software monopoly? When there were only one or two really good programs to choose from and no competition at all? It sure is nice being a digital artist today, with tons of new software options flooding the market. With so many to choose from now, which are the best of the newcomers though? There’s plenty names to debate, but Krita’s incredible power and impressive speed is quickly making it my favorite new 2D art software. The fact that it’s free and open source only make it even more exciting!
While it’s technically not new software at all, its update history is complex and filled with huge evolution paths that culminated in explosive growth after its two successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past year. So what are its most popular features? Let’s take a look:
- Customizable interface and a workspace with toolbar dockers that are savable.
- Canvas can be rotated and mirrored, with openGL canvas support and CMYK support.
- Wrap-Around Mode for game artists who need to make seamless textures or tileset art.
- Advanced default brushes with a large variety of brush options and blending mode types.
- Selection and masking tools that utilize several selection choices and use context editing.
- Symmetry tools with more than two axis points, and perspective grids with magnetic settings.
- Filter effects for layers or on layer masks, with filter previews. Plenty contrast and levels options.
- Uses raster, vector, filter, programmatic, group, & file-backed layers that can transfer windows.
- Krita Animation plugin is currently in development!
Don’t trust me though, just check out its user gallery of art and see if you’re impressed by the wide variety of unique art styles that can be used to great skill. You can truly sculpt Krita to almost any need you have as a painter, and while it still might not be the very best software in the world, it’s ridiculously lightweight and fast to use even during complex painting scenes. In recent years, as more and more art programs are catching up to Photoshop and other famous software suites, the big bragging right is beginning to be not what you can do, but how fast you can do it, and Krita is definitely fighting for the crown in that category. So is Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, but did I mention Krita is free? It’s free!
Krita System Requirements & Community:
Currently, Version 220.127.116.11 is stable on GNU/Linux and Windows Vista or newer. Some Intel users have experienced graphical errors if their drivers aren’t updated and unfortunately, the Mac OSX build is unstable at the moment. Download the latest build, install it, and let us know on Twitter or Facebook how you like it!
Because Krita’s current design is still pretty new, there aren’t thousands of tutorials and forum threads to check out, but its community is already thriving for its young age. The official page has made several Krita guides for users and even links to many user video tutorials on YouTube, which is greatly appreciated. The Krita forums already have over 2,000 topic threads with almost 13,000 posts, so dive in and enjoy!