Community Growth, Inkscape, Video and More...

(Pat David) #1

Hi all!

I have some things I’d like to think about openly with everyone about the community and some bigger thoughts about Free Software art/ists.

As you’re all well aware, I’m sure, we’re trying to build out the infrastructure here to support Free Software photography and whatever the projects may need for community, websites, and general PR or interactions with the world at large. My personal goal has been to help out all these amazing projects that I use (and a bunch that I haven’t yet) by managing stuff that may take time away from them being able to work directly on the projects, and by bringing together other photographers to learn neat things and hopefully help others to learn as well.

I’ve tried to make sure that what we do is always in service of a vision statement I wrote a long, long time ago at my dining room table:

To provide tutorials, workflows and a showcase for high-quality photography using Free/Open Source Software.

I think we’ve stayed reasonably on-topic there, but some new opportunities have come up recently to possibly help some other projects as well that are tangentially related to our community.


It’s come to my attention recently that the Inkscape crew are considering a Discourse forum to interact with their community and to serve as a pre-bug/issue interface. I use Inkscape pretty often, so my first inclination was to see if they might want to join us here.

One of the reasons I think we have such an awesome community here is that we come together based on interest in photography, and cross-pollination of smart people from the various projects helps to enrich us all (I know I’ve learned a ton of stuff just lurking on various threads). I’m not sure, but I’m wondering if it wouldn’t help to increase the footprint into a larger “digital art” domain by including the vector hippies (ty again @andabata) tangentially into the community?

I’ve been lucky to meet Ted Gould, and will be meeting Ryan Gorley in just over a month at SCaLE 16x (they are both presenting on the Libre Graphics track at SCaLE we’re setting up).

One of the benefits of considering this that we may get the opportunity to reach out to more people and make them aware that there’s a place for photography that uses Free Software and isn’t out to monetize its users.

I’d love to hear some feedback or thoughts around one of these options:

  1. An Inkscape category on the main forum.1
  2. A separate forum entirely for Inkscape.
  3. We don’t want no stinky vector hippies in here.

1 There are means for filtering out some of the categories from general views into the forum that may make this less spammy or obtrusive to regular users.

Video (moving pictures! :slight_smile: )

This is something I think that we should try to address. From a community standpoint I think that the FL/OSS video world is severely fragmented, and I honestly wouldn’t even know where to send someone that might be interested if you asked me right now other than Blender (if I hated them) or Shotcut.

I think the FL/OSS video community is ripe for building something that could begin consolidating projects and workflows into something easier to digest and interact with (provided we can get some of the projects on board). Basically, try to do what we’re doing with photography, but include those weird video folks also… :wink:

If we go this route, do we have any members that know or are connected to any of the existing FL/OSS video projects? For that matter - what are the current FL/OSS video projects we could reach out to?

Although, we may have to figure out a good method for hosting video clips/etc. that doesn’t put too much a strain on our resources…


Luckily, as @andabata noted to me in IRC, the name PIXLS.US is generic enough to support thematically expanding to include other digital arts.

These are just some ideas for possible outgrowth into the broader arts community around Free Software. As always, the best thing for us in general is for our own community to mention us through their own social spheres (and beyond) whenever they get a chance.

Sound off!

I’m looking for thoughts and opinions here, so I look forward to any input from everyone!

My short Film OSTKAKTUS (+ Movie Poster)
(Gord) #2

@patdavid I think these subject areas are sufficiently related to fit in well here.

(Tore Busch) #3

I agree. It’s all part of the same big family. From working on a picture, to making a slideshow or a video, maybe a photo book. It sure would be more convenient for me if I could find everything that I was interested in right here :slight_smile:

(Mica) #4

Inkscape: Yes, let’s have them here. Looking forward to talking with Ryan at SCaLE.

Anyone else that wants to come to the party: yes.

The Geeqie folks said they were not interested at this time. I told them we’re always here if they want!

Video: Yes, have them too here.

Here are the major video editors, so far as I’m aware:


As I told before, I think inkscape and scribus are very on topic here. This time, I will back my opinion with an example image. While I do not post family photos on the internet, I overpainted the face of my son on the following image, an invitation for watching a soccer game with the in-laws. The single images are done very simple just by adding a couple of lines to the photographs, but I think that the results are pretty funny. If you only could see his face … :wink:

But, speaking about video, every video requires a sound track, should we include music production? :smiley:


Natron, you forgot natron …

(Mica) #7

Also Blender!

(Mica) #8

As for not emptying our pockets for video streaming, how about web torrent? I’ve been looking into this. A few seed boxes at a few people’s homes could go a long way.

(Martin) #9

YES, Blender is a great audio AND video editor.

(Alan Gibson) #10

For Audio, I like Audacity.

Current free video editors would include DaVinci Resolve, HitFilm, Avid Media Composer First, Lightworks, Kdenlive, OpenShot and Shotcut. (List culled from the ever-informative

I used to hate Blender. Perhaps I still do, but making and watching movies that are essentially vector (rather than raster) is a whole new world of whizz-bangery.

Some current work involves modelling stuff in Blender, geting data-oriented renders, analysing these with ImageMagick and Potrace (gosh, there’s a blast from the past) to get SVG objects which get fed back into Blender. And this is tied into longer-term projects which analyse photographs to extract 3D geometry, to build 3D models.

So, yes, vector and raster can play nicely together.

(Mica) #11

Those might be free as in beer, but are not free as in speech.

(Alan Gibson) #12

Those aren’t open-source? Then I stand corrected.

I’ll take this opportunity to say why I like open-source software: it opens up ideas to everyone. We can build on the work of each other. We can see inside the “machines” that others have built, and see exactly how they work, and incorporate the principles or even (licence permitting) the actual code in our own work.

In this way, we can all contribute rather than being mere consumers. This builds a community of everyone, rather than a small pool of developers being fed by a large pool of users.

And it stops the giants (Microsoft, Adobe, etc) from becoming too complacent.


Well, as we have indluded a digital painting topic already the step to include inkscape (and others) seems only logical.

Well music wouldn’t fit with the PIXLS title, and though I love music and come from music making I probably wouldn’t include this here, Because if you start opening up to non pixel oriented stuff than it would basically become an FLOSS forum and you could include anything, which isn’t bad but would/could become huge (to manage).

People could use other hosting sites like youtube etc. They are nicely embedded here and it wouldn’t require gigantic amounts of storage (imagine a play raw with movies :grimacing:)


Inkscape would fit right in. Personally, I would place video, animation and 3d in a separate or sub forum. Audio would also be separate. The reason is that they are sufficiently large worlds on their own. Up to Mr Founder @patdavid of course :wink:.

@chris :slightly_smiling_face:

(Flössie) #15

I second that. This could well be VCTRS.US but not so much SNDS.US. :grin:

And yes, Inkscape is just fantastic for collages, calendars, cards etc. and fits well into photographic post-processing.

(Garrett Le Sage) #16
  1. Hooray for Inkscape (…and Kdenlive, Blender, and others) having a presence here.

    • There’s an overlap for many of us, and forums for the other pro creation tools are mostly kind of lacking at the moment, so this is extremely welcome.
    • People use Inkscape (Kdenlive, Blender, etc.) for post-processing sometimes.
    • As far as “pixels” with vector editing software: It’s almost always the case that the output will be pixels, either as a PNG export, a printer (sometimes you need to flatten to a TIF, etc.), or at least the screen (where an SVG is designed for specific pixels).
  2. PeerTube has been mentioned on Mastodon for a while now. It’s a federated video platform that uses P2P with WebTorrent (that is, it’s transparent P2P to those of us using browsers with WebRTC, which is basically all modern browsers).

    • Popular posts (especially new ones) should help with video sharing a bit. Theoretically. (I wonder how many people it would take to make this work well.)
    • Ideally, there would be an easy way to opt-in to share bandwith. (Perhaps run a certain docker container or a command of some sort to help seed the videos.)
    • It’s possible to federate with other servers for publishing videos to multiple sites.
    • In the future, there’s some talk about having YouTube integration built-in (not sure if import and/or export).
    • It’s already possible to mirror content from YouTube channels with a little bit of extra effort; here’s an example:

(David V) #17

I think It’d be awesome if offers a platform for all sorts of FLOSS creatives and artists. Many of these areas are quite related - video is related to photography, photography is related to design, design to publishing.
@70MM13 recently made a music video using rawtherapee - And I believe many filmmakers would be interested in that, not only photographers. I can even imagine including musicians and sound people here - as films are audio-visual creations, I don’t think the audio aspect of it should simply be excluded.
If we as a community want serious alternatives to proprietary software we should not isolate ourselves and instead unite and try to move forward in every area.


Yes, to Inkscape, Blender, etc… I would even bend the rules a bit to include Scribus, given the number of times I see people trying to use Gimp for stuff which is clearly in Scribus’ realm. Welcome to :slight_smile:

(tommy) #19

Well said!

I couldn’t agree more.
The creative process is enhanced by exploring new and interesting ways to
use tools.
I’ve used rawtherapee in other video work before, including my feature
length film, “obviously: the real and the unreal”.

It was a real lifesaver for me, used to enhance the most difficult shots,
some of which were done by amateurs with camcorders in 2008!

Here’s a music video excerpt from the film:

The segment at the end was done with blender. I used it throughout the film

I love open source software!

(tommy) #20

If rawtherapee supported the MLV file format, you’d instantly add the magic
lantern filmmaker community, and have my gratitude!

Something to consider!