ShadeMaker, a new palette making plugin

Hey all,

I’m currently developing a plugin for Krita based on how I personally like to manage colors while painting.


While Krita has many useful methods for picking colors and even a few specifically for creating a series of variations on a color, there were still some particular problems I wanted simple solutions to.

I like to pre-mix shading series for direct painting. This requires a carefully controlled transition between colors and there are many ways to achieve the desired results, but I want to eliminate as much of the menial work of palette making as possible (for more on this, see The Dimensions of Colour, shading series, shadow series)

Currently, this docker will take a “pilot color” and use it to generate a string of shades. Where things go from here is more interesting.


ShadeMaker uses an “anti-pilot” to put color of your choosing into the darkness of your palette. This is desirable for a number of reasons.

Scaling straight to black results in a “dead” series and most artists work to avoid this; not only are colorful darks more pleasant to look at, real shadows are almost always lit to some extent and therefore influenced by color.

Separate from this, many pigments used in traditional painting are only “effectively” black. In other words, they are perceived as black, but are in reality an intensely absorptive color such as blue or red. Again, there are many ways to recreate this phenomena digitally, but because digital “black” is always red (Hue:0) steps must be taken to recreate this behavior.


Of course, you can adjust the number of steps in your series or the number of series themselves. There are more features I’d like to add, including:

  • Toggle to switch between linear scaling and angle-of-reflectance scaling.
  • Alternate anti-pilot blending methods for different results
  • Color “anchoring,” a shift in color toward a particular swatch on a series.
  • Auto-generation from palette (scaling could be an issue here, it may be a bad idea).
  • Auto-generation from gamut (same reservations as above)
  • Global and local color influences (all series vs single series adjustments).
  • Setting the bottom value at any desirable value, not just black

A few of these are already under way.

I thought things were in a good enough way to start showing things, so I opened this thread. If any challenges or interesting additions come up, I’ll put them here too. If there are any features you’d like to see in such a plugin, please let me know.

For now, thanks for looking! Here’s an image put together with some of these ideas:


Thanks :two_hearts:

1 Like

great idea ! It is possible to test it at this point of development yet ?

Thanks for asking. Yes, here is a version you can test out.

Before a finished version, I would like to art persistence between sessions, clean up the appearance, and give the code some cleanup as well.

Proton Drive

Let me know if you run into any errors or have any feature requests.

ShadeMaker is now feature complete for v1.0 (I think!)

Now, I’m going to tidy up the code and appearance. I may expose a few styling parameters to the user as well.

ShadeMaker instantly makes a shading series for you.


Current features include:

► Up to 10 shade series
► Up to 21 steps per series
► Global Anti-Pilot to put color in
► Auto-save data per session
► Manually load and save data
► Toggle between linear and “realistic” value scaling
► One-click color access for speed


Ok, I’ve released a full version!

You can support ShadeMaker with a download here at Gumroad ► ShadeMaker v1.0

Current features include:

  • Up to ten shading series
  • Up to twenty-one steps of value per series.
  • Add color to your darks with the “Antipilot Color” adjustment.
  • Adjust the overall lightness or darkness of your values with the “Bottom Value” adjustment.
  • “Linear” and “Realistic” value scaling modes to imitate real-world perceptual changes in value.
  • HSY and HSL “Shade Space” modes to manipulate color in shades.
  • Data persistence per session.
  • Load/Save function to save and restore settings.

Also some simple error logging on my end in case any issues pop up.

I hope someone else finds it as useful as I do!

Soon I’ll get around to making some demonstrations.


This thread and [NEW PLUGIN] - TF Easy Colors Map should probably be moved to Plugins - Krita Artists , so that people looking for plugins can have an easier time finding them.

Seems it’s been moved now.

Updated ShadeMaker to v1.0.1 today, fixing a bug with the Realistic scaling mode.

I also made a small demonstration of the plugin in action:


First of all, great plugin! It’s super handy and I’ve had fun experimenting with it. However, I have two issues to report:

  1. You have to double click to select the color you want, which is pretty lame.

  2. When HSY is enabled, there are certain colors (such as this specific shade of cyan) which wont tint the colors. Here’s a demonstration

Hey @Awez, thanks so much for checking out the plugin, I hope you continue to enjoy it! I plan on improving it as time goes on.

As for your comments, let me see if I can help:

  1. You have to double click to select the color you want, which is pretty lame.

It was designed to work with single clicks, so this is surprising to me! I did this specifically to make the tool as quick as possible.

Could it be a difference in OS? What OS are you using? Does this behavior occur on all swatches or just certain types (pilotcolor, shade, antipilot)?

It was developed on windows and all swatches operate by single clicks on my end. Let me know some details if you please, this feature is small but actually very important to me.

When HSY is enabled, there are certain colors (such as this specific shade of cyan) which wont tint the colors. Here’s a demonstration

I briefly discuss the nature of these modes in the manual, but briefly put: The HSY mode attempts to abide by perceptual standards of value; that is to say, some colors are naturally stronger or weaker at different values (i.e. yellow is strong at light values, weak at dark values.) This is “realistic,” but as you demonstrate, it sometimes produces results with vanishingly weak chroma.

I plan to look into improvements to the current HSY formulation and additional adjustment options in future versions, but for now here are some options for you:

  1. Manipulate the saturation or value of your Antipilot to get higher chroma, such as in the example below:

  2. Switch to HSL mode and reduce the chroma of your Antipilot to a more subtle result