Dev Planet

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Castle Game Engine: Various asset improvements: Wavefront OBJ texture options and possible PBR, Spine free form deformation with curve animation, fixes for creaseAngle in X3D and OBJ

Various improvements to various asset formats: We now implement Wavefront OBJ texture options. They are all parsed correctly, and the scale, offset, clamp are actually handled. We can also generate PBR (physical) materials when reading Wavefront OBJ files. This feature is for now experimental, and you have to toggle global WavefrontPhongMaterial in X3DLoadInternalOBJ unit to …

Weekly recap — 19 September 2021

Week highlights: new releases of GIMP, PenPot, Glaxnimate, Ultimaker Cura, Horizon EDA, Bespoke Synth, Giada, further work on pages support in Inkscape, working VST3 instruments support in MuseScore.

VGC Illustration: funded on Kickstarter

First off, Boris Dalstein’s project got successfully funded on Kickstarter by 137 backers (so far). This covers the remaining 10% of the money that Boris needs to develop the first official release.

GIMP 2.10.28

This is a brown paper bag release: 2.10.26 was inadvertently released with a tiny annoying bug, so the team skipped that version entirely. Either way, if you are a Windows user, I definitely recommend upgrading.

This version comes with a bunch of fixes for this platform, especially for cases when GIMP used to be slow with a network drive being temporarily unavailable (not GIMP’s fault, but rather a 3rd party component used by the program).

In other news, GIMP 2.99.x now has a Preferences switch between various Windows APIs for graphic tablets support, thanks to Luca Bacci. Basically, this means support for more tablets. Oh, and Jehan’s patch to support cloning on multiple layers at once has been merged and will be part of 2.99.8, hopefully in the coming October.

Inkscape got a Page tool

So Inkscape now has an experimental Page tool for creating and managing pages. To be completely frank, Inkscape pages look more like artboards. That is, you can draw them in arbitrary positions and arbitrary ratios, drag them around with their content etc. Please don’t treat any of that as final design yet.

Experimental Page tool in Inkscape

You can fetch a build for your operating system from the Pipelines section of the merge request.

PenPot 1.8.0

There’s over a dozen new features and improvements in this UX/UI prototyping tool. Not big fancy things, but iterations over previous releases. I’d say, it’s well worth updating. See https://penpot.app/dev-diaries.html for details or the video below! One breaking change is that old share links will be defunct after upgrading.

Glaxnimate 0.4.5

This is a minor update of the animation editor, bringing sprite exporting mode (each frame becomes a tile), as well as numerous usability improvements and bug fixes. See Mattia’s post on Patreon for a complete list of changes. You can grab your download here.

Red Hat is looking for an HDR developer

This is both exciting and a little frightening. There has been some controversy over implementation approaches so far, especially where HDR meets color management (and there’s a still unapplied merge request for Wayland from Collabora developers). Done right, it would propel the Linux ecosystem significantly forward as a platform for content producers and consumers. Done wrong, it would hinder the progress.

New FreeCAD build by realthunder

Kurt Kremitzki released an updated “Link” build of FreeCAD with usability improvements, such as easily accessible presets to try various looks of the program (Tools > Preset Configurations), e.g. dark theme with overlaid sidebars. So in one sweep, you can go from this:

FreeCAD with default UI preset

to this:

FreeCAD with dark overlay UI preset

Which works nicely, except there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to revert, so please think twice before choosing a preset with large text font and icons!

Most of the details on the update are here.

Ultimaker Cura 4.11

If you do 3D printing and, for some inexplicable reason, you haven’t heard of Ultimaker Cura, definitely take it for a spin. Highlights of this release:

  • Monotonic ordering to print parts with smoother top surfaces
  • Complete UI refresh: over 100 updated icons and adaptive UI that readjusts itself when window gets resized
  • Improved digital library integration with the search function
  • Save third-party materials profiles to USB
  • Opt-in notifications for beta and plugin releases
  • A bunch of new printer definitions

Here’s the full list of changes. Or you can watch this video:

Horizon EDA 2.1.0

This free/libre EDA program by Lukas Kramer is relatively unknown (as compared to e.g. KiCad) but it’s a very interesting project that recently got an update. Highlights:

  • More natural visualization of arc selection
  • 3D view now has keyboard shortcuts
  • Easy switching between multiple grids
  • Much less messy look of composite pads
  • Hints showing up to help learning key sequences — after a delay so that experienced users wouldn’t fret

You can learn more from release notes. There’s an installer for Windows available, and for Linux users, the app is on Flathub (not to mention the source code under GPLv3+).

The project is rather active. In fact, Lukas has just added an Align/Distribute tool, and earlier this month, he added support for nested schematic sheets.

Actually, all four major free/libre EDA projects that I recall — KiCad, LibrePCB, gEDA and Horizon — are actively maintained and developed, although gEDA has been falling behind lately.

First VSTi support demo in upcoming MuseScore 4

The MuseScore team is putting it all together for an alpha release. You can now load VST3 plugins for the playback of notation.

At least the nightly builds for Linux do not allow loading native GUIs for VST3 plugins yet (or I simply don’t know how to do that). So I can’t make use of sfizz to load orchestral samples, and I’m temporarily stuck on Pianoteq v5.x, so no VST3 for me. But hey, it’s a start! And judging by discussions on their Discord channel, the internal SFZ-based sampler they are creating for MuseScore specifically will be news-worthy soon enough.

Bespoke Synth 1.0.0

Ryan Challinor finally released v1.0 of Bespoke Synth which is more like a modular synthesis/composition environment really. This is a nice short overview of what you can expect form this version:

The Linux build isn’t particularly well done and might fail you (it did for me), but there’s ongoing work to improve it, and the developer is extremely humble and welcoming about that. So… Stay tuned? Because this is a seriously cool project.

Giada 0.18.2

The almighty free/libre looper got a new release featuring:

  • stereo in/out audio meters;
  • revamped action editor: better UI, improved usability;
  • displaying the play head in the action editor.

I’d love to be able to use it, however it needs FLTK 1.4 to be released to support HiDPI displays. So… one day!

Tutorials

Krita timelapse by Orfenn Schuller:

Another Krita speed painting by Ali Bahabadi:

Boris Hajdukovic continues his series of lengthy in-depth darktable tutorials with this one:

Lonely Speck explains how to use Siril and Photoshop for astrophotography. Don’t worry about the Photoshop part too much. While GIMP doesn’t have the Dust and Scratches filter used in the tutorial, you can try the Remove Scratches filter in G’MIC.

Artworks

Rohit Hela, landscape painted with Krita:

Rohit Hela, landscape painted with Krita

Philipp Urlich, new speedpainting, Krita:

Philipp Urlich, new speedpainting

Jamie Farrar Goldstein, Painting with Light, Blender

Jamie Farrar Goldstein, Painting with Light

Shivom Kapoor, Rogue Philantropist, Blender:

Shivom Kapoor, Rogue Philantropist

Petra Trebjesanin, modern French interior archviz, Blender:

Petra Trebjesanin, modern French interior archviz

Pratik Solanki experimented with illusions in Blender:

Menno Snoek, Express Shipping, Blender

Menno Snoek, Express Shipping

kynlo, Bad Memories, Krita:

kynlo, Bad Memories

Sylvia Ritter, Impish Indri (codename for upcoming Ubuntu 21.10), Krita:

Sylvia Ritter, Impish Indri

Each of my weekly recaps involves researching, building and testing software, reporting bugs, talking to developers, actually watching videos that I recommend, and only then writing. Time-wise, that’s usually between 10 and 20 hours. If you enjoy the work I do, you can support me on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support Libre Arts at Patreon

Castle Game Engine: Delphi porting progress — basic CGE window with images and text works!

We have great news about Delphi compatibility with Castle Game Engine: We have basics (window, with images and text) working! You can observe the work in this PR by Andrzej Kilijański. Plans The first goal is to make TCastleWindowBase with WinAPI backend working fully. This will make CGE working with Delphi for native Windows applications, …

Legacy and M1 macOS ioquake3 support

macOS now has two kinds of Universal Binaries. The first were from the mid-2000’s when Apple started their transition from the PowerPC platform to Intel. The second are for Apple’s transition from Intel’s 64bit x86 platform to Apple’s in-house ARM-based processors. If you visit our Downloads page you will now find two new kinds of test builds for the… Continue reading Legacy and M1 macOS ioquake3 support

Weekly recap — 12 September 2021

Week highlights: new version of BeeRef available, Inkscape updates, VCV Rack 2 teaser, new PipeWire release, and more.

BeeRef 0.2.0

Rebecca Breu released a new version of BeeRef, an amazing free/libre reference image viewer. The main new feature is support for next notes (see my earlier post on the project).

G’MIC is getting new awesome filter

Paint with Brush is the latest addition to G’MIC. Even if you don’t understand German, just scroll to 1:45 to see it in action:

Inkscape updates

Most recently, Mike Kowalski merged his patch that turns the snapping toobar into a drop-down list of options (called popover in GTK).

Personally, I just save the usual snapping options I need into the default template, so I don’t particularly care how exactly they are accessible. What do you think?

In fact, Mike changed various part of the UI over the summer, e.g. you can now configure which parts of the status bar are visible by default. If you never use the drop-down list to navigate layers, you can disable it. And if you never use canvas rotation, you can lock canvas rotation and disable the status bar control over canvas rotation entirely. That gives you more space for context hints.

FreeCAD Trails add-on got its first release

Alright, that actually happened in July but I only noticed that today. Hakan Seven and Maarten Vroegindeweij made the first official release of Trails, the transportation engineering workbench for FreeCAD. And there’s new features coming all the time.

Olive allows previewing waveforms when dragging

Version 0.2 is slowly coming together. I know, it might sound silly, but I’m really glad to have this little feature brought back:

VCV Rack 2 teaser

Andrew Belt released a preview of what’s coming in VCV Rack 2 now expected in November this year.

Highlights:

  • Dark room mode (for working at night)
  • Better module sections management
  • Redesigned module browser
  • VST2 plugin to be part of paid version, more options to be added

The bit you are probably most interested in, from a forum post:

VCV Rack Community Edition will be GPLv3 (free/open-source). VCV Rack Studio Edition will be $99 ($149 after release sale) and include VST2 plugin support (+more plugin formats later) and professional support.

And the important part for plugin developers:

90% of plugins will only require a version update and a recompile (a 1-line edit, 15 seconds of work). For the other 10% of plugins using advanced or unstable API features, updating to v2 is easy and involves following a few search-and-replace steps.

There’s a migration guide available: https://vcvrack.com/manual/Migrate2

PipeWire 0.3.35

There’s a new release of PipeWire every other week, here are some of the most (subjectively) interesting changes over the past few weeks:

  • Support multiple sample rates in the graph
  • S/PDIF pass-through over optical or HDMI is now implemented
  • Bluetooth can now automatically switch between headset and audio profile
  • Bluetooth codecs are now in separate plugins to make it easier to ship them
  • Better JACK compatibility, including improved Catia and Carla compatibility
  • Internal latency of ALSA devices can now be configured
  • A fast convolver was added to the filter-chain to implement virtual surround sinks or reverbs

Meanwhile, you might want watching Helvum, a GTK-based patchbay for PipeWire.

ROLI files for bankruptcy, LV2 support in JUCE

If you didn’t follow all the news in the past few years, you might be asking yourself, whether ROLI filing for bankruptcy would affect JUCE in any way. After all, there are some very fine free/libre projects using this framework, like the recent DelayArchitect plugin.

Well, the thing is, they already sold JUCE to PACE in April 2020 (and probably started the process a year prior to that, as it is usual in mergers and acquisitions). And the project is rather active, they recently released version 6.1 with broader MIDI 2.0 support, support for VST3 extensions, support for native accessibility frameworks on macOS, Windows, iOS and Android etc. So no, unless you own any hardware instruments they made, you are probably fine.

Speaking of which, LV2 support might land to JUCE-based hosts and plugins after all. Developer reuk writes on GitHub:

We’ve recently been investigating adding LV2 support for both hosts and clients to JUCE, and I feel confident that this feature will be included in an upcoming release. We don’t have a concrete timeline for this work, but hopefully the beta will be ready soon (i.e. months rather than years).

Tutorials

Once you disregard the hilarious “Photoshop editing in GIMP” part of this video’s title, you might find this to be a very nice music-only tutorial on photo manipulation with GIMP.

This is a new Inkscape tutorial by grafikart:

Here is a great caracal speedpainting by Ali Bahabadi, made with Krita. The team recently published an interview with the artist:

This is a looooong no-commentary tutorial on making interior design visualization with Blender 2.9x and Eevee.


Featured Blender artwork: “The Greenhouse” by Laura Ganis.


Each of my weekly recaps involves researching, building and testing software, reporting bugs, talking to developers, actually watching videos that I recommend, and only then writing. Time-wise, that’s between 10 and 20 hours. If you enjoy the work I do, you can support me on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support on Patreon

Castle Game Engine: Support for new iOS launch images, better loading image scaling

We support a new way to define launch images on iOS. Launch images are something displayed by the iOS when the application is, well, launching. They are displayed immediately when you click the application, before any CGE code (even Objective-C code) has been run. Their point is to communicate to the user “the application is …

Weekly-ish recap — 7 September 2021

GIMP and multiple layers cloning

So there was recently a thread by Gleb Alexandrov wondering if he could sponsor some FOSS graphics editor to make the Clone tool work on multiple layers simultaneously.

Jehan Pages took the challenge and has a preliminary implementation for GIMP.

Krita 5.0 beta1

There have been two Krita releases lately. Version 4.4.8 arrived last week with bugfixes. And then the first beta of v5 was released nearly two weeks ago, representing a few years of work and an insane amount of new features and improvements. If you ever hear them saying that this would be their greatest release ever, this won’t be a marketing ploy, it’s god’s honest truth.

There will be a few more releases before v5.0 can be proclaimed stable and ready to go. Meanwhile, you can download it to try various new things.

Here is a very nice overview:

The project is now also being exploited by scammers (probably not the first time either) which you might take as a sign of Krita going really mainstream.

More multi-page support work in Inkscape

Martin Owens continues hacking on multiple pages support. His private branch now allows opening all pages in a PDF file and saving them back as a multiple pages PDF file. Expect that in version 1.2 some time next year. You can support Martin on Patreon.

Siril changes

The project got another new developer and is rapidly moving towards releasing v1.0. Here is the latest addition:

gexiv2 needs a new maintainer

Jens Georg announced that he’s about to drop maintaining the gexiv2 library which is a GObject wrapper for Exiv2, the almighty metadata handling tool. This will likely affect projects like GIMP.

Recent history of Exiv2 development is… complicated. In a nutshell, the need to support metadata in CR3 files revealed the need to add support for ISO Base Media File Format which is maybe patent-encumbered and maybe isn’t.

So there have been two camps: people who want it supported and people who want it either not supported or optional. Jens was with the latter.

Since Exiv2 already has a build-time option to enable or disable ISOBMFF support, it’s unclear why Jens would quit maintaining gexiv2. But that’s the reality of it.

Blender

The Blender team announced that version 3.0 is scheduled to be released on December 1. They are still expecting Cycles X, Fields for Geometry Nodes, and the asset browser improvements to be merged before that.

Meanwhile, Andrew Peel continues doing great work with Home Builder:

BlenderBIM and Topologic updates

Dion Moult is the true master of 3D, or rather, three D’s: dedication, determination, delivery. The latest update of BlenderBIM comes with 153 new features and fixes, no less. Highlights:

  • You can now insert windows and doors into walls, and there’s a project library available for authoring within Blender now.
  • The clash detector is back in the game.
  • The interfaces for costing, scheduling, and resource management were reworked, and now more start to integrate with one another.
  • Support for model checking using the new Information Delivery Specification (IDS) standard is now complete and available thanks to GSoC student Artur Tomczak.
  • BCF v3 API and OpenCDE server support now also complete and available thanks to the second GSoC student Prabhat Singh.
  • Preliminary openLCA support was added to introduce the beginnings of life cycle and sustainability analysis.

For lotsa more info, please see release notes.

The Topologic project is helluva active as well:

Kdenlive is getting new cutting tools

The project has a new contributor, Julius Künzel, who is actively working on advanced cutting tools. He recently added Slip tool, and there is more coming. This work is scheduled for inclusion in version 21.12 expected in December.

Meanwhile, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle is working on further multicam editing improvements.

Cinelerra-GG August 2021 update

This is the third release since William Morrow passed away after a road accident last year. Highlights:

  • FFmpeg upgraded to v4.4, this brings 21 new plugins
  • New video plugin called Speed PerCent

OpenShot 2.6.0

It’s been almost 1.5 years since the previous release, Jonathan Thomas and Frank Dana have been really busy, hence this slew of changes available in newly released v2.6.0, some of them being:

  • Motion tracking, object detection, and stabilization now available
  • 9 new audio effects, including compressor, delay, and an EQ
  • New transform tool to resize, rotate, move, scale etc.
  • Improved snapping

There’s a video that will walk you through the changes:

I’ve given this version some quick testing. Unfortunately, OpenShot is still very much not my cup of tea for a variety of workflow and UX reasons. But I know that it has an army of devout users who swear by it, so I’m happy for you!

LibreArp 2.1

This little known LV2 arpeggiator recently went through UI rewrite, there’s a massive amount of changes in both v2.0 and 2.1 released just two weeks apart from each other, so I guess… Feel free to just treat it as a whole new plugin then? 🙂

Tutorials

Radu Dumitrescu shares a few tips on capturing the right kind of Milky Way photos for stacking with GIMP (there’s RawTherapee involved too):

And then here’s RIco Richardson and his darktable tutorial on processing Milky Way photos:

New Inkscape tutorial by Chris Hildenbrand:

Some very good low-poly modeling with Blender by Imphenzia:

Artworks

Philipp Urlich, Krita:

“Anglerfish” by illarstration, made with Krita as well:

Very good Blender work by Yota Tasaki:

Fishing robot by Shai Nefer:


Each of my weekly recaps involves researching, building and testing software, reporting bugs, talking to developers, actually watching videos that I recommend, and only then writing. Time-wise, that’s between 10 and 20 hours. If you enjoy the work I do, you can support me on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

Support on Patreon

Castle Game Engine: Fixes to FreeType and VorbisFile dependencies, new Platformer release (now on Android too)

We now gracefully tolerate: Missing VorbisFile library. If missing, we will just not play OggVorbis files, but otherwise everything will work. Missing FreeType library. If not available, texts will be rendered using the standard UIFont, instead of being invisible. It has been always our intention to tolerate missing external library dependencies as much as we …