Digital painting app Krita made a huge announcement just 2 days before Christmas on the release of the much-anticipated Krita 5.0. It called this release “among the largest and most significant updates that Krita has ever seen.”

Notable new features in this release include faster overall performance, a new brush engine using MyPaint – which is also found in GIMP, and smoother gradients that feature a wider range of colors along with a new gradient editor.

Plus, the animation interface has received a face-lift and new animation features have been added. For example, you can now clone animation frames. The UI for the animation interface has been “overhauled” as well. These UI changes make animation playback and pausing more intuitive, and other timeline actions easier to access. Similarly, the Animation Curves Docker received an overhaul to improve the overall look and feel of the user interface.

Transform Masks have been introduced in Krita 5.0 – meaning you can apply transformations like scaling, shearing, or perspective to a mask without effecting the original image layer. This feature allows for non-destructive editing of layer masks, and can also be used with the Animation Curves Docker “to tween an animation.”

Krita 5.0 now comes with a built-in storyboard editor for creating scenes for things like films, comic books, kids books, or anything that has a story and uses illustrations. The storyboard editor can be accessed via the Storyboard docker by going to Settings>Dockers>Storyboard, or by using the Storyboard workspace by going to Windows>Workspace>Storyboarding. You can create scenes for your project with drawings and text, and can even animate the scenes in your storyboard to play out the scenes in your story. Another cool feature is that you can export your storyboards to a variety of formats.

Following in the footsteps of GIMP and Inkscape, Krita has also added what they are calling a “smart search” feature to the program. This means users will be able to easily find anything in Krita like layers, effects, and tools – just like the “Search Actions” feature in GIMP or the “Command Palette” feature in Inkscape. This “Smart Search” feature, also known as the “Search Actions” feature (same as GIMP), can be accessed via the ctrl+enter shortcut key (a.k.a. ctrl+return, depending on your keyboard).

Other notable features with this major Krita release include a detachable brush editor, the return of docker locking, tablet gestures, AVIF and WebP file support, the ability to crop or resize images during the export process, and a new recorder docker for creating videos from painting sessions directly within Krita.

For a more in-depth look at all the new features that came out with Krita 5.0, check out the full Krita 5.0 Release Notes from the Krita team.

Cover artwork for this article was created by David Reevoy. You can view his works here.

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