In this article, we will review the free open-source drawing and Graphic Design Software – Krita. We have considered many people’s user experience in writing this article. I am sure you would be keen to see how this little free program compares to the big players in the market.
About the App
Krita is a free open source digital painting and drawing program which is exclusively designed for both amateurs and professionals. It began life as a free photo editor but since 2009 the team has focused their efforts on digital drawing and painting. According to many user reviews, it can be described as an alternative to the classy Adobe Photoshop.
You will have the following impressions when you first open this fascinating application:-
- The program loads up really quickly.
- It has a very nice modern and fascinating UI with a good layout.
- Has got some really cool brushes panel with nice thumbnails for you to understand its use.
- It has a very similar UI layout to Adobe Photoshop.
- Has a nice and smooth zoom slider allowing you to look into the details precisely.
- It is dedicatedly designed for drawing and painting.
- It has a few basic vector tools which are nice and easy to use.
Along with its wonderful interface, it also has some basic animation abilities. It has the ability to produce classic cell animation. The animations are with onion skinning and key-frames.
Onion Skinning allows you to see the next or previous frame of the animated character. The frames are visible but semi-transparent. This helps you to trace over the previous drawing and eases your workflow.
In general, the program feels very much like Photoshop. The layout structure is almost similar and the keyboard shortcuts are also very similar to the Photoshop shortcuts. This similarity makes it easier for you to learn. You can easily get accustomed to it. This is a good thing because if it had too steep a learning curve it would put some people off. Beginners can also start using it and increase their skill-set.
If you are using it for the first time and jump straight in with no conclusion, it will feel like an imaginary lite version of Photoshop like Adobe Paint or something.
As an artist tool, it has been providing an innovative solution for concept and texture artists, illustrators, and VFX artists in the filmmaking and media industry. The software is also ideal for the graphical interface of the games.
Though Krita uses traditional painting techniques, it has the capability to replace Corel Painter. It innovates them by offering creative tools that work smoothly with any graphic tablets. This painting program offers you tools named:
- Color mixing
- Colour Blending
As far as the drawing is concerned, it feels fantastic to draw animations out there. The pressure sensitivity is greatly comfortable; You can do big heavy outlines and fine shading using the same brush without any adjustments. The feedback is great. I never experienced any lag or unwanted straight lines in the interface while creating my drawings. Overall the performance and feel of the drawing are great.
Do you know what’s superb? It’s fun and intuitive.
What is exciting is that by default Krita loads up with 2 layers. The first layer is the white background and the second is a new layer for your drawing. This is great for painting under the lines of a drawing. Which is often something you have to plan in advance with other programs.
After quickly sketching a 10-15 minutes portrait, I realized something; The entire process was effortless and pleasantly smooth. The brush felt great and Krita performs extremely well with respect to my experience.
Random things that I liked:
- You press E to toggle erase mode on or off
- Right-click brush options
- Starts with two layers by default – love this.
- Easy and quick access to different brushes
- Default brushes are well-thought-out
Krita also has a huge range of brushes and smudge tools inspired by real brushes. These brushes are all fully customizable. You can also customize the smudge effect of each brush for creating a wet blending effect.
Krita is perfect for someone new in this field because you probably won’t need to make any changes to these brushes. You have almost everything you will need. You have every sort of brush you need. Starting from subtle pencil strokes to wet watercolor brushes, you have brushes in abundance.
Krita has a good selection of filters and filter layers which allows you to non-destructively edit an image. It means that while editing, the original image is not destroyed and is retained in its primary form. You can go back to any stage of the edit you want.
These work in the same way as Photoshop’s adjustment layers. Krita features the fundamental filters you would expect like:
- Hue and saturation
Krita can work on RAW files but the RAW toolset is very limited. The RAW Editing window only has some basic Highlight, Exposure, and Colour Correction tools. So you cannot non destructively edit your photos like you would with Lightroom. It is not recommended to edit photos using Krita. You have other apps for that purpose.
Krita also supports the usage and manipulation of HDR images, which are realistic looking photos. If you are an artist, you are surely going to love using this software. Download it, try it and let me know in the comment section how your experience was.