Trouble with ref images

When loading a reference image, it doesn’t load as an image. It loads directly on top of paint layer 1 and it cannot be hidden. Using VER 5.0.5

It sounds like you are not adding a reference image, rather you are importing an image as a layer. That layer can certainly be hidden (all layers have that ability) but it cannot be moved off the canvas.

Instead, if you load it as a reference image (by activating the reference image tool that looks like a pushpin), the reference image will be placed on the upper corner of your drawing. With the reference tool still selected, click the reference image, then move it or resize it to wherever you want it. You can even push it way over to the side so it’s out of sight until you need it again.

There is a 3rd method for bringing in a reference image. I think I got this one from @ArtViking – he doubles the width of the canvas and uses the left side for his reference image and reserves his painting to the right side – then crops the end result to the proper width to eliminate the reference pic when all is done.

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Never having used the “reference” image option I usually open my reference as a layer.

Sometimes I use it as a copy for tracing. I sometimes even sample the paint colors from it.

Will a reference image work for that as well.

Total newbie here!

@KennyB I work like you. Left half of the canvas holds the ref image in its own layer. Right half of rhe canvas is where i do my painting. You can move and rotate the canvas and the relationship between ref and painting doesn’t change. Been doing it that way for years.

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Yes the reference image tool will work for that workflow. You can lower the saturation and opacity individually of the reference image. You can also colour pick from the reference image.

I am using the push pin to add the reference image, but all it does is put it on top of layer one. It does not add it in the upper corner. I can adjust the size of the image, but once I click off the image I can no longer hide it, delete it or move it. Also I cannot see layer one. When you look at the layers tab, all it shows is layer one. It does not even show the reference image. It is in JPEG format.

Any reference images (brought in with the Reference Images Tool) are always over the canvas. They are not part of the image you’re working on and so they do not form part of the layer stack.
They are separate from your image.

You can select a reference image and drag it away from the canvas so that you can then see the canvas.
You can also make it’s opacity low so that you can place it over the canvas and then trace it onto a canvas image layer.

If you want to do a paint over of a reference image (better called an ‘image for reference purposes’) then it’s better to import it into a layer with Layer → Import/Export → Import → As Paint Layer, then you can paint over it on another layer.

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It seems to me that you still have to get used to the function :wink:

In addition to what @AhabGreybeard said, I have the following to add.

You say you can’t show or hide the reference image anymore, that would surprise me, then your Krita would have to work differently than my Krita.
You can show and hide your reference image in Krita under “View” with the lowest option “Show Reference Images”, select or deselect it to show or hide your reference-pictures.
And if you really use the pushpin, :wink: you can also delete your reference image. Just click on the pushpin and then click on the trashcan icon that shows up in the “Tool Options Docker” after you have clicked on the pushpin, because the options for the reference images are shown there, and after the click the reference images should be deleted also in your Krita! (If not, then something seems to be really wrong with your Krita.)


Add: I can see your Tool Options Docker is open, maybe you haven’t internalized the functionality of the “Tool Options Docker” at now, this is the most versatile area of Krita I think where the options of the different tools you select are shown, it is not only for the brushes options, it is for every tool, and many new users hide this important docker behind the color selector because it is not so colorful and nice to see. :slight_smile:

@SteveD This might help you understand.

Anytime you want to move, resize, or delete the reference image, you must click on the reference image tool (pushpin icon).

The reference image will never show in your layers stack. It’s not a layer.

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There’s the antoine-roux reference image docker plugin, that used to be part of krita, but works fine on latest krita … Resources — Krita Manual 5.0.0 documentationGitHub - antoine-roux/krita-plugin-reference: A temporary Reference Docker for Krita 4.0.0. Easy to open an image, and can zoom it and colourpick from it.
Download the zip file accessed via the green Code button. Extract contents. Copy the reference folder and reference.desktop to pykrita folder. Then enable it within krita, and make the docker viewable (see github details).

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I updated the plugin with the changes someone else made, now you can flip.


Great to know @SchrodingerCat … thanks for this! :slight_smile:

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Hello again @SchrodingerCat Not sure if it’s a bug or intended, but just to feedback that the zoom doesn’t work … when zoom a reference, it pings back to fitting the window. Otherwise, the flip worked really well; a great addition.

edit: same briefly just happened with the original antoine-roux version (temporarily swapped it in while painting), but it seems to right itself, whereas hadn’t been able to get that to happen with updated version. Not sure; could even be that am using a very recent alpha, thus a glitch or two, and no bug with the plugins at all.

I really couldn’t say, I’ve used the plugin for several days and it really works without problems, something that happens is that if you scroll too fast it can freeze for a moment.

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Yes, I’m thinking there could well be that happening, as you say, and it’s happening with the original version too, which is unusual, so maybe it’s a combo of using a very recent 5.1 alpha appimage and needing to steady up with the scrolling, lol.