Skip to content

Krita 2.8.0 Released

Previous Post | Tuesday, 4 March 2014 | Reading time: 11 minutes | Next Post

Today, the Krita team releases Krita 2.8. Krita 2.8 is a big milestone release, since this is the first release that is ready for end-users on Windows! Krita 2.8 has also many new features, hundreds of bug fixes, performance improvements, usability fixes and look-and-feel improvements. Let's join David Revoy for a tour of...

What's new in Krita 2.8?

Krita 2.8 running in Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0, showing the default interface. The character on the canvas is Kiki the Cyber Squirrel, Krita's Mascot.

Author of screenshot and mascot: Tyson Tan

Krita 2.8 highlights:

Windows version

Krita 2.8 will be the first stable Krita release for Windows. We have been making experimental builds for Windows for about a year now, and a lot of testers helped us to stabilize it. While this is not really a new feature for the Linux user, the step and the work on it was so huge that it does merit the 1st rank in this feature list! Most work on the Windows port has been done by KO GmbH, in cooperation with Intel.

Development: Dmitry Kazakov, Boudewijn Rempt.

Better tablet support:

Krita has relied on Qt's graphics tablet support since Krita 2.0. We consciously dropped our own X11-level code in favour of the cross-platform API that Qt offered. And apart from the lack of support for non-Wacom tablets, this was mostly enough on X11. On Windows, the story was different, and we were confronted by problems with offsets, bad performance, no support for tablets with built-in digitizers like the Lenovo Helix.

So, with leaden shoes, we decided to dive in, and do our own tablet support. This was mostly done by Dmitry Kazakov during a week-long visit to Deventer, sponsored by the Krita Foundation. We now have our own code on X11 and Windows, though still based on Qt's example. Drawing is much, much smoother because we can process much more information and issues with offsets are gone.

Photo: David Revoy testing Krita with four tablets.

Development: Dmitry Kazakov, Boudewijn Rempt.

New high-quality scaling mode for the OpenGL canvas

Krita was one of the first painting applications with support of OpenGL to render the image. And while OpenGL gave us awesome performance when rotating, panning or zooming, rendering quality was lacking a bit.

That's because by default, OpenGL scales using some fast, but inaccurate algorithms. Basically, the user had the choice between grainy and blurry rendering.

Again, as part of his sponsored work by the Krita Foundation, Dmitry took the lead and implemented a high-quality scaling algorithm on top of the modern, shader-based architecture Boudewijn had originally implemented.

The result? Even at small zoom levels, the high-quality scaling option gives beautiful and fast results.

Image by Timothee Giet

Development: Dmitry Kazakov, Boudewijn Rempt.

Krita Gemini

On Linux, the Krita Sketch user interface is now bundled with Krita 2.8, and users can switch from one interface to another. Krita Sketch and Krita Gemini were developed by KO GmbH together with Intel. On Windows, Krita Gemini will be available through Valve's Steam platform.

Development: Arjen Hiemstra, Dan Leinir Turthra Jensen, Timothée Giet , Boudewijn Rempt

Wrap Around mode

The Wrap Around mode (activate it with the W key, or in View > Wrap around mode) tiles the artwork on the canvas border for easy creation of tiled textures. It is only visualized in OpenGL mode (Settings > Configure Krita > Display).

Development: Dmitry Kazakov.

New default presets, better tagging system

Krita 2.8 offer a new set of brush presets, with new icons following standards. Here is a screenshot with a sample of them.

Additionally, now It is easier and faster to assign tags to resources -- with a single right click.

Development: Sascha Suelzer

Resources: Timothée Giet, Ramon Miranda, Wolthera, David Revoy, and other Krita community artists.


Directly select a layer by pressing the 'R' key and clicking with mouse/stylus on the canvas.

Development: Dmitry Kazakov.

Icons: David Revoy

Custom transparency checkboxes:

Transparency checkboxes represent the transparent colors. Now the colors and size of the checkboxes are configurable: You can change it in Settings > Preferences > Transparency Checkboxes. Here is a demo with a dark checker theme to show the halo around the Krita 256x256 *.png logo:

Development: Boudewijn Rempt.

New palette docker

It’s now easier to switch palettes with the Palette docker. Adding and removing a color can be performed directly on the docker. A set of new palette presets made by talented authors are now also bundled with Krita by default. You can display the Palette docker via: Setting > Docker > Palette.

Development: Sven Langkamp

Resources: Tim Von Rueden, Spencer Goldade, Richard Fhager, Kim Taylor, David Revoy.

Pseudo Infinite canvas

If you scroll the canvas a lot in one direction, you’ll notice a big button appearing with an arrow on it on the border of the screen  A single click on this big button will extend the canvas automatically in this direction.

This feature will help you to focus on drawing and never worry about the drawing surface available.

Additional options for the crop tool

The crop tool can now ‘grow’ (you can crop a document outside the canvas limit and extend the canvas) and also get decorations (third guidelines, middle crosshair).

Development: Camilla Boemann

Better color pickers

The color pickers get new icons and more options.

You can change the shortcuts (like Alt) for the Color pickers in the Settings > Configure Krita > Canvas Input Settings and unfold ‘Alternate Invocation’.

Development: Dmitry Kazakov, icons: David Revoy

New Color balance filter

Color balance changes the overall colors of an artwork via sliders and is used for color correction. It’s an ideal filter to give an extra mood to your artwork (warmer, cooler) or enhance black and white studies. You can find the filter here: Filter > Adjust > Color balance (Ctrl+B)

Development: Sahil Nagpal, Dmitry Kazakov

Initial support for G'mic

Use hundreds of famous Gmic filters directly in Krita. It’s a first implementation, and still experimental and unstable. Also, it does not yet take the selection into account and doesn't show a preview yet.

You can find the feature under the menu: Layer > Apply Gmic actions.

Development: Lukáš Tvrdý, David Tschumperlé.

Clone array tool

This new feature creates a number of clones of the current layer so you can paint on it as if the tiles were repeated. The feature is convenient for the creation of isometric tiles.

You can find the feature in Layer > Clone Array

Note that, ‘Clone layers’ child can be moved independently from the parent layer with the move tool. You can clone any base layer, and position them to your liking ; they keep the dynamic properties to the live clone.

Images, test and videos by Paul Geraskin.

Development: Dmitry Kazakov.

More custom shortcuts

Krita gets a new panel in the preferences (Setting > Configure Krita > Canvas Input Settings) to offer you the possibility to customize all related canvas shortcuts. That means: all the zoom- and color picker keys are configurable now.

Development: Arjen Hiemstra

More compact, better looking

A lot of work was done to make the Krita 2.8 user interface more compact, and dim the saturation of the icons to let the user focus on the canvas.

Other new Features:

Removed Features

Improvements of old features


The Krita 2.8 release has been made possible by:

Many Linux distributions will offer Krita 2.8 in their backports repositories. Windows users can download Krita 2.8 here, provided by KO GmbH.

 Muses Training DVD

The best way to get to know Krita is through the Muses DVD! Check out the contents, or order your copy now!

The regular price is € 32,50 including shipping.