Libre Graphics Meeting 2012

I spent 5 days in Vienna, participating at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2012. It is conference full of developers, artists and users connected to open-source tools. You can meet there MyPaint, Gimp, Inkscape or Scribus developers. At least I did! Or you can meet some independent developers who created cool custom open-source tools and very nice people interested in design.

Besides the regular program we visited Metalab. It’s part of the Hackerspace scene. It is a great place for hackers to meet and build stuff. Not just code, but also hardware, photography or food. Metalab is full of interesting geeky stuff like laser cutter, 3D printer or game consoles since the age of Atari! Pity that something like that is not close enough to me. I had very nice conversions with LGM friends there. Let’s review the conference from my point of view. But first I would like to thank KDE for sponsoring me the travel expenses!

TL;DR: Very interesting stuff everywhere.

First day of the conference was full of color management talks. Richard Hughes talked about ColorHug and colord. ColorHug is interesting piece of open source hardware: display colorimeter. It allows you to calibrate your screen for accurate color matching. More information on the official website.

Kai-Uwe Behrmann talked about OpenICC and Oyranos. Chris Lilley about color management in SVG2. I don’t understand this topics, but I read very good article about it recently, so if you are confused about it, go ahead and read it. It is important topic, if you print photos or you want to calibrate two monitors to show the colors in the same visual way.

Second half of the day started with lovely Russian Valek Filippov. He was talking about re-lab project which is about reverse engineering of the proprietary formats for the compatibility reasons. I used oletoy from this project back then when I was working on Calligra. For investigating Excel files it was really great and helped me a lot! Valek’s presentation was followed by Fridrich Strba (who comes from Slovakia by the way, go Slovakia! :-]), he talked about LibreOffice and support of the proprietary graphics formats in LO.

Igor Novikov presented the restart of the sK1 Project. Next presentation by Behdad Esfahbod was very interesting, he was talking about rendering of the text on the GPU. With this approach you can free CPU from performance CPU-consuming tasks like rasterization. It’s way to go on low-performance devices like smart phones.

Ramon Miranda is involved in Gimp, MyPaint and Krita as the artist and the creator of brush presets. He is famous for his GIMP Paint Studio. His presentation was important for me as he was talking about painting and that is always interesting to me. His background lays in traditional art and he is exploring digital painting. And he is exploring it very successfully producing nice art. Very talented painter and nice man.  Martin Renold (Maxy), original creator, developer, maintainer gave talk about “Predictive painting” in MyPaint. I could not miss it. I always like to talk with Martin about painting algorithms.

Tom Lechner talked about lovely tool, his Laidout contains many fancy tools not available in other packages. I liked that you could put pictures on curve for example. HarfBuzz, the free text shaping engine by Behdad Esfahbod catched my attention too.

From the “An awesome FLOSS design collaboration work-flow” by Máirín Duffy and Emily Dirsh, Sparkleshare caught my attention. It’s a git-backed, dropbox-like system that automatically checks in and pushes files to a shared git repository.

On Friday I started with Powerstroke in Inkscape. Very nice effects were demoed. You need Inkscape trunk for Powerstroke to be able to play with it. We might take some inspiration either for Karbon or maybe even for some vector brush engine for Krita.

Then train of GIMP related talks started. Peter Sikking, interaction design guru, and Kate Price talked about text handling in GIMP. OpenCL in Gegl and GIMP by Victor Oliveira: Mesa is implementing OpenCL support! NVidia, AMD and Intel provide proprietary solutions so far. Øyvind Kolås a.k.a. pippin with some Gimp developer mitch talked about Gegl integration in GIMP. Recently a huge step was made towards integrating this very fast, important back-end (e.g. 16 bit per channel) for pixel buffers. Many pictures with goats were presented.

Tube Open Movie by Bassam Kurdali was actually remote presentation. Bassam sent video to organizers and it was projected for the whole audience. Then he answered some questions through #lgm IRC channel.

Shortly before Krita talk

Peter Sikking, me and Timothee shortly before the Krita talk

Saturday started with our presentation about Krita. Together with Timothee Giet, a.k.a. Animtim, we presented some new workflow improvements in Krita. Curve brush, multi-hand and mirror painting caught some attention too. Tom Lechner had nice suggestion for multi-hand tool: Escher-like strokes. Then we showed some piece of art done by Krita. Timothee Giet then continued with his talk about animation with Synfig studio.

Then I attended Krita workshop about workflow to create illustrations and comics with Krita where Timothee showed Krita in the real-world usecase. It was very well attended workshop, around 22 people there, full room of people. We found some problems with Krita 2.4 in Fedora package. Now I realize that it was probably disabled feature shortly before release and already available in master (full-screen canvas with ‘Tab’ key). I use Fedora, but I never use the packages, because you can’t have installed both. Krita 2.3 is by the way very old. Please refrain from using it. Krita 2.3 misses so many work and features, many of those that Timothee presented in his workflow. You can get Krita 2.4 for Fedora 16 in testing KDE repo. Few problems found at the workshop: old 2.3 version, disabled feature in 2.4 and brush editor is too big for netbooks :-)

Closing talk by Louis Desjardins. It was decided that the next LGM is going to be in Madrid, Spain. Handshakes with familiar faces, visiting Vienna and travel back home. It was great time to be there.

The event was covered by blogposts and ideas from talks were picked on twitter/ Here are few I found:

Ideas from talks I
Ideas from talks II
Nicu Bunu
Timothee a.k.a. Animtim

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5 Responses to Libre Graphics Meeting 2012

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write such an extensive overview of what happened! Really good read.

  2. Rezza says:

    Could you point me to the 2.4 diff? Do you think it would be possible to backport it from master? If yes, we can patch it :) For you :)

  3. LukasT says:

    @Jos: Thank you! I usually get this kind of lovely comments from spam bots :)
    @Rezza: I will ask at Krita mailing list about this.

  4. houz says:

    The GIMP developer who did the talk together with pippin was mitch.
    Other than that: nice writeup.

  5. LukasT says:

    @houz Thanks, I will fix it.
    @Rezza: it was buggy, so probably no backports for now, see

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