Feedback on KRITA as an concept artist (wip)

KRITA has a more powerful brush engine than Photoshop’s. However, some little things always kept me from using it full time so here is a list of things from my workflow that I wish I can do in KRITA. The list only caters to my own workflow as a concept artist and I cannot speak for anyone else.

temporary workaround for link limitations on videos: https://telegra.ph/Krita-Feedback-20200106-01-05

  1. Z to zoom should pivot from the position of the cursor instead of the center of the canvas. Similar to the concept of finger zoom on smartphones. Currently Krita requires extra dragging of the canvas to zoom to a specific area. (videos in the above link)

  2. Brush creation is overly complicated and not very streamlined comparing to Photoshop’s, especially the Engine part. Some of them looks and feels very similar and there is no clear indications on what separates them apart. A brush shape centered approach is much more straight forward and is all that is needed to create top notch artworks.
    Creating brushes should also defaults the icon to the shape of the brush. Different icons are fancy-looking but serve very little practical benefits to the workflow if not creating more confusions. (videos in the above link)
    To simplify, below is a list of what I don’t like about the current brush creation system.

  • Default brushes can’t be cleared/replaced/append/restored easily.
  • Icon doesn’t default to the brush shape.
  • The newly created brush doesn’t go to the bottom of the list but in the middle, having to actively find it every time you create a new brush.
  • Brush engines are confusing and some aren’t even typical “brushes” but something more like a completely different tool set. However, they are all grouped together as “brushes” in Krita, making the default list very bloated without a good way for people to trim it down to their own workflow.

    (right part is great, left part is unnecessary complicated.)
  • No Folder system
  • No drag and drop for sorting
  1. Right click when using brush tool should have an option to give a list of brush to scroll through instead of having a selective few from a “tag”. It is also a hassle to switch tags back and forth just to use another brush for a few strokes. There is also a benefit to having a list, it gives more artistic freedom/happy accident when you are able to scroll through your brushes and get inspired/have a gut feeling to use certain brushes when you browse through them which lacks in the current Krita workflow. (videos in the above link)

  2. Not sure if it is the problem of my machine but the Z drag to zoom function in Krita is sometimes mistakenly active when using Ctrl+z undo and painting strokes consecutively.

  3. A side bar icon for brush settings that doesn’t go away when painting for faster testing and tweaking of brush settings. (videos in the above link)

  4. Minimal toolbar mode. More screen space=better. (videos in the above link)

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  1. By ‘pivot’ do you mean recentre the canvas to the cursor? If so then that would be a good idea. What I do is place the cursor off to one side of the point of interest so that the zoom brings it closer to centre. That’s just a little workaround trick you could try. If your fingers are on the Ctrl and Spacebar, swapping from zoom to pan is easy.

  2. I think brush creation is complicated because it’s powerful and flexible. A brush shape is just a small part of how a brush looks and behaves on the canvas. The brush editor preview at the top gives a good idea of what it will look like, most of the time.
    You can make your own icons for brush presets if you want to. It’s a very flexible system and you may need more time to get used to it.

  3. The popup palette, given by right-click on the canvas, is a nice convenience and you can create your own tags to customise your experience or add any other brush to any other tag.
    If you want to see other brush presets, you can scroll through the Brush Presets docker, which has them all.
    You can also use the Ten Brushes script (Tools -> Scripts -> Ten Brushes) to have your own collection of quick ‘go to’ brushes, selected by keyboard shortcuts.

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I used Photoshop 4 years before switching to Krita, both are great programs! :grin: I agree with some of the points.

  1. I agree that there should be an option for this. I would love this as default, and also an option to have it like it is now.

  2. While it in some ways was easier to make brushes quickly in Photoshop, I still feel Krita does it in a much more fun and satisfying way. I did make some Photoshop brushes, but it was Krita that really sparked my interest in making brushes because it was so powerful and fun.
    I love the custom icons, but I do think Krita should implement a third option to display brushes. Having “thumbnails”, “detail” and a third option that shows a preview on how the brushstroke looks like Photoshop has, and as you describe. That would make it so we can make brushes quicker, and have them look decent with the other brushes quick. Like the preview currently in the “Edit brush settings”:
    image

  3. Even though I very rarely used the right-click in any of the programs, I like Krita’s popup palette a bit better, though I would like the option to show more than 10 brushes. I never understood what 10 brushes were chosen for the circle.

Edit:
Also, welcome to the community! :grin:

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Settings -> Configure Krita -> General Group -> Miscellaneous tab
See Number of Palette Presets box -> change the number :slight_smile:

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:o Thank you so much! :grin:
I love how Krita seems to have an endless supply of gems just waiting to be found, surprised I hadn’t found this earlier :smile: ty!

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  1. There are videos showcasing what I meant. I’m not sure if it is the same as what you have described.

  2. It’s unnecessary complicated, not because of the brush “settings” but more about how the brush creation is streamlined. It’s not very straight forward and those inefficiency adds up very quickly to make a huge experience difference.

  3. Docker is not preferable since it takes up more screen space to have it permanently up and requires users to move their cursor over to the side. It’s also about more creative freedom since a list gives you the opportunity to have a gut feeling of what to use. Imagine having different outfits in a closet, you’d probably want to view most of the outfits at first glance when you open the closet so you can have the gut feeling of what to wear today instead of packing everything under tags, if that make sense.

Thanks for the feedback, and welcome to the community. Thank you for taking time to record videos too.

  1. For me it zooms to where my cursor is, check this video. I guess this is what you want right?

  2. I can say that you are heavily biased towards the way Photoshop’s brush system works, which is equivalent to just one brush engine in Krita and from the tone of the feedback I am of the view that you are disregarding the Krita’s brush engines. Nevertheless there has been improvement in the brush editor window slowly the developers are making it simple without compromising on other brush engines. Personally I don’t find it very complicated but it may be because I am used to it.

That is a very subjective statement to make without any data to back up. To be frank it is your personal opinion, which may not what other Krita users (who are already making top notch artworks) would want.

Again this is a subjective opinion. The default brush icons have meaning and are made to signify how the brush works.

I agree it is complex and looks overwhelming for a newcomer to Krita, but that is just how vast Krita’s brush system is. I would request you to read documentations and get accustomed to using different brush engines in Krita other than pixel brush engine. After using it for a bit it is not that hard to grasp and get accustomed to.

The left part is hidden away at first so as to not overwhelm a newcomer. This is one of the slow process that developers are using to simplify the brush editors, For now they have made it collapsible sidebars in future there may be some more improvements.

I have seen this request few times and I think it would help user. You can see this in palette docker where you can group colors in folders and arrange swatches. We can request developers to consider it in future when the new resource management is released.

3 - Many people love the way the current right click popup palette is implemented in Krita, I is not just about choosing or editing brush but it provides other features too. Making it like Photoshop is a downgrade in painting experience.

5- It was discussed when the brush editor improvements were being made, there was a suggestion to make it a docker. But then it was a bigger and drastic change which would hamper people accustomed to current brush editor, so they decided to make slow changes in the UI. As I said earlier this is an ongoing process and thanks for the feedback.

Lastly in your feedback it seems that you are heavily biased towards Photoshop’s UI and workflow. I agree it is used by many people and many people regard it as a pinnacle of painting software (which is subjective) but we shouldn’t blindly copy it.

A good way to give feedback is to state the problem you face and not just say see how photoshop is doing it and we should be doing it that way too. By stating problem we might discuss and come up with a feature which is even superior to photoshop rather than playing catch up to it.

Krita is not Photoshop or does not wants to be a clone of it. Krita’s userbase does not solely consist of ex-photoshop users but also contains people who have never used photoshop or people who are accustomed to other software.

So I would suggest while comparing to photoshop you should also provide feedback by taking into consideration what other software are doing and what would be more efficient for even non photoshop users too.

Sorry if I sound rude or dismissive but we often get feedback from photoshop users who want us to copy it as it is, which is not productive.

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Exactly what my impression was. Krita is not Photoshop and I don’t feel like she should mimic it too much.

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You’ve added quite a lot to your first post since I replied to it, with a very nicely made video selector website.

If I can ‘pick on’ two things in particular:

“6. Minimal toolbar mode. More screen space=better. (videos in the above link)”
(As you can see, I haven’t learned how to do block quotes yet but I don’t worry about it.)

The Canvas Only mode (toggled by the Tab key) can be used to give this effect. Settings -> Configure Krita -> Canvas-only settings can be used to set which GUI elements are removed in this mode.

and:

“Brush engines are confusing and some aren’t even typical “brushes” but something more like a completely different tool set. However, they are all grouped together as “brushes” in Krita, …”

They are grouped as ‘brush presets’ (I know it’s called a ‘Brush Editor’ but it’s really a ‘Brush Preset Editor’) which are not brushes but tools that are made from a brush engine, a brush tip and a set of behavioural parameters linked to various control inputs. As such, they are not typical brushes, they are tools, some of which can be made to behave in a very similar manner to paintbrushes but also other things, like erasers, distorters, etc.

You’re obviously very accustomed to using Photoshop and it’s always a shock to the system when you try using a similar but different application, especially when you’ve gained a detailed understanding of it and have developed intensely concentrated workflow habits. I had that feeling (in a smaller way, I’m sure) when moving from GIMP to krita about three years ago. I suggest that you spend more time getting used to it and what it can do instead of comparing it with Photoshop and what you already know and do.

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I’m not too familiar with Photoshop’s approach to brushes, I haven’t used it in over a decade and even when I was using it, it was for photo editing, not for painting. But some of what you were talking about resonates a bit with something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I’d like to see brush behavior and shape/pattern decoupled. I really only need a handful of behaviors from my brushes which is where the brush engines comes in. The brush editor is nice for editing these as it stands right now, coming up with behaviors is something I wouldn’t be doing very often, so having a big screen blocking window for tweaking that side of things is generally fine. I’d like to dial in just a dozen or so behaviors, like say for wet, dry, blocking in, air brush, etc that I can then use with any number of different tip settings that I’d like to be able to tweak on the fly as needed. It would drastically simplify things on the user end I suspect.

The vast majority of my brush tweaking has to do with adjustments to tip shape and pattern and I really wish those were split out into their own thing, perhaps with a docker just for that stuff, so I can make changes to them more quickly on the fly while painting on the canvas.

So perhaps there could be say a docker with a stroke preview along the top and then the behavior presets, brush tip predefined textures, and patterns each on different tabs below that. Though I suppose the brush tip tab would have to have a toggle to switch between the different auto/predefined/text options, but for my own needs, it would be the predefined textures I would be using most of the time.

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