Feedback Wanted : Reference Image Improvements Ideas

hi everyone ,

I was going through some bug requests and found some really good ideas to implement for Reference Image Tool like

1. Crop Reference Images in Krita .

2. Pin to Canvas - If enabled in Tool options the reference images will not change with canvas (while using Pan/Zoom/Rotation or other tools ) . (see the screenshot below)

3. Opening & Saving Reference Images (maybe Scale them before loading too) .

4. Update from hard drive ( like a file layer is updated if its been modified ) .

5 .Apply specific Filter on image


So it would be nice to gather all the feedback before starting the implementation .

If you have some suggestions or ideas related to these ( especially according to your workflow) let us know here :wink:


For Krita Mobile:
I was thinking: Would it be possible to make the Reference Tool work so that a user could just do a long press on the reference image then drag to move the Reference window around the canvas on Android? Also, can Pinch to zoom in and out be possible for the Reference Tool? This ability can speed up work flow on Android tablets.

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hi ! It would be difficult to implement the long press and move . But another idea is good . I’ll research a bit to see how much work it would need and add it to the list . Thanks @CrazyCatBird for the feedback .

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Pin to canvas would be extremely helpful!
I find myself constantly moving the images around in addition to zooming in and out to see certain references :sweat_smile:

I can definitely see myself using this while painting details, working with a palette (the reference is the palette) or doing studies.


Using selection tools to copy a part of the reference image to camvas. This is something i always fall in the trap of doing even if i know its not possible. The only turnaround for this currently is to screenshot the part of the image that i want and then pasting it into the camvas and then using selection tools to take something out of it. This would be hugely helpful to matte painters etc.

Other than that pin to canvas is another extremely useful addition.

Cropping a reference image for me is not that trivial as the current workaround i found which is screenshoting the part of the image and then pasting it as a reference image again and deleting the old, works pretty fast. But i can see how it can be a timesaver and a straightforward solution for many people.

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Thanks for working on that :slight_smile:

  • Ad1. Are you going to implement it using the current crop tool in a new mode, or in the reference tool itself? As currently the corners of the reference are used for scaling proportionally, maybe dragging 4 border nodes could be used to indestructively crop it?

  • Ad2. That was my main need in this topic, and if I would have to pick only one of these to have, that’s definatelly the one. My current workflow depends on subwindows, but for creating moodboards and color references, pinning them to the canvas sounds like a more convenient solution, as they stay in one document (I really hope they could stay in the current canvas position each time you load a document).
    Are these going to be implemented per reference image or as a global toggle (First one seems more versatile).

  • Ad 3. That does not seem clear to me. Do you mean saving the set of reference images to load them in a different document? I believe this is already done. I miss being able to copy a reference in one document and paste it in another though.

  • Ad 4. Not that needed in my workflow as I tend to use reference images just copying them from the web and placing in krita file. But maybe that’s more useful for others.

Once again, big thanks for improving these :slight_smile:


What a good feeling to read this thread :slight_smile: all my students like the pin idea to avoid relocation of image ref. in fact, what i t teach them is to use tile window view instead open the ref image as a new document. (i know is an ancient technique in digital painting, but works. :wink: ) so my feedback is start from the pin. Giving the option to rotate with the image or not too if this is easy to be implemented. Zoom is more important. And Thanks a lot for helping the community in an active way.


Yes it will in current reference tool .Also crop will be non-destructive as well to not lose any useful information. Dragging border nodes for crop is another great idea which i will focus on but I have not dived in the exact implementation especially with edge cases for corners .

Proabably it will for both reference image and global toggle . But still i would need to see how much work these would need seprately.

yes that is actually a bug with cut/copy for reference image .

Thanks for the great feedback. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks everyone for the great feedback and ideas . Keep them coming ! :slightly_smiling_face: