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Exploring natural media graphics with Krita

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KDE

Traditionally, graphics applications have been divided into raster image and vector image editors, based on the primitives that each category uses. By that logic, the open source world needs only one of each, or it gets accused of wasting "resources" through duplication. But there's another way to look at graphics applications -- by usage. The painting program Krita takes a different approach to working with pixels, which can lead to a very different raster imaging experience.

Krita began life as KImageShop in 1999, essentially as an attempt to recreate the GIMP for KDE using the Qt toolkit. Initial development was rapid, but soon began to taper off. The name was changed to Krayon, a new maintainer selected, and a new direction taken in 2000, though development slowed down then as well. 2002 saw the adoption of the third maintainer (Patrick Julien) and the third project name (Krita). This time development stayed active, and the codebase got a drastic makeover and attracted additional programmers.

One of the new recruits was Boudewijn Rempt, who in the fall of 2003 was dissatisfied with the performance of his Wacom tablet under the GIMP, and was intrigued by the work others were doing in the field of natural media simulation. Julien eventually handed Krita's reins over to Rempt, who led the revitalized project to its first public release in June 2005.

The current release (1.4.2) is a full-featured raster editor, supporting advanced features like OpenEXR images, CMYK color, pressure-sensitivity for tablets, 16-bit depth files, and color management via LittleCMS.

Painting vs. image manipulation

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