Libre Arts - Weekly-ish recap — 17 August 2021

To due extra workload, this release notes structurally follows the previous one. Essentially, I look at fewer news and try to provide a sensible amount of background info.

There are many exciting things happening in the Inkscape land like the ongoing effort to cut the cruft out of dockable dialogs. But there’s an even bigger change coming.

After rewriting the Connector tool based on LPE, Martin Owens took multi-page support in Inkscape as his next big project. The latest video report covers making Inkscape to load page definition from SVG and showing them in the program’s window.

Naturally, as SVG does not support pages natively, there are some difficult issues to solve.

Akira developers dropped a new release to match the recent arrival of elementaryOS 6. But technically it’s not all that different from 0.0.15 released almost a month ago. So if you missed the previous one, here’s a list of changes:

  • Improved detection of modes (insert, select, transform).
  • Improved pixel grid detection and Z-index stack with other items
  • Zoom value can now ne edited directly
  • Global colors library is now available

Oh, and here is a recent talk by Alessandro Castellani:

While watching enve grinding to a halt is almost physically painful, it’s kinda reassuring how well Glaxnimate is doing. I don’t believe I covered this animation editor before, although I did cover Mattia Basaglia’s previous project, Knotter.

So Glaxnimate is a great tool that also renders SVG animation and, should Synfig fail you, is your ultimate free/libre tool to create Lottie files and animated Telegram stickers.

The latest version released recently features:

  • Trim path and repeater modifiers.
  • Text on path
  • Startup dialog where you can choose a project template
  • Discord stickers support with feature support validation (it’s basically Lottie)
  • Emoji asset library

Downloads for major operating systems are available.

Mattia has been working on an experimental Android port as well, no builds just yet.

The Synfig team started a new development series with a strong list of improvements:

  • Rewritten TimeTrack and Sound docks
  • New Skeleton tool
  • Completely rewritten Perspective layer (formerly Warp layer)
  • New plugins unfrastructure
  • Usability improvements

See here for release notes or go ahead and download a v1.5.0 build.

Boris Dalstein registered VGC Software as an SAS in France (which, he explains, is halfway between an Ltd, and a corporation). He’s also preparing a Kickstarter campaign to raise 10 000 € for development of VPaint.

There’s not a ton of news on development yet, the latest report mentioning changes is from March this year.

The Substance for Blender plugin is finally here! You can now import and tweak your Substance materials directly inside #b3d! Find out more in this article: #gameart #vfx #animation #MadeWithSubstance @Blender

— Adobe Substance 3D (@Substance3D) July 20, 2021

I don’t really have much of an opinion on this. I generally think this guy gets it:

Adobe, watching #b3d stans fight about legal documents and freedom and give them a bunch of free advertising, while knowing that they only need 62.5 new chumps to buy a year of Substance for their $30k sponsorship to get covered

— Oscar Baechler (@ogbog) July 21, 2021

Other than that, Universal Scene Description support enhancements are seriosly sick!

I’m really impressed by the sheer amount of changes in this release, some of them being the result of moving to a newer version of MLT:

  • Improved performance
  • Time remapping with keyframes
  • Masks
  • Various UX/UI improvements
  • Command search (like in Blender, GIMP, Inkscape)

The new version comes with all-new plugin manager, a handful of playlist enhancements, and several usability improvements here and there. The release notes provide a good overview of the changes.

I haven’t had plugins failing on me for a long time, and I’ve already set extra paths to VSTs. So that rules out much of the personal need for the plugin manager. The little improvement in the new version I really like though is that slip contents feature now works wherever in the clip you do the dragging. Before v6.8, I didn’t even know this feature was available at all.

Right after the release, developers merged the nutempo2 branch into the master branch and bumped internal version number to 7.0pre. So it looks like there will be no version 6.10 after all (unless something goes completely sideways).

It’s a little too early to summarize changes in 7.0 but it looks like the superclock rewrite is going to be topped by trigger tracks. Essentially, this is what you know as the live part of Ableton Live et al. There’s not much UI available, so if you think it’s worth grabbing a nightly build to see something fancy to try, you are likely to be disappointed right now.

Paul is hacking fervently on it, so maybe in half a year you are going to enjoy actually using this feature.

I think Audacity developers would like to be in the news for a good reason at last!

This is the first release of Audacity with Muse Group at the helm. There’s 64-bit builds for Windows (long overdue), updated spectrogram color scheme (nice to have), opt-out update checking (already caused one hell of controversy), error reporting (seems to be hated for no good reason), and a few more improvements.

Personally, I didn’t expect much from this update. There are a few new contributors hired by Muse Group who are getting their feet wet with the code base. There’s a ton of internal UX/UI prototyping work that hasn’t yet resulted in much code (with one exception, see below).

So if you expected this release to somehow justify the latest controversies by unloading new features on you, this is going to be a disappointment.

The one new feature from the video above that is going to land to v3.1.0 is being able to drag clips on the timeline around easily, by grabbing the top part of the clip. Developers essentially plan to remove multiple tools and have one universal tool for selecting and moving data (which is right now a separate tool).

So far, Tenacity looks like the most active of the three major forks of Audacity. While Audacium and Sneedacity mostly focus on removing phone home and error reporting features, as well as on rebranding and build system changes, Tenacity actually gets some improvements and fixes over the upstream project. They are also pulling some changes from upstream’s master branch.

AudMonkey, while tehcnically not different from upstream Audacity, sans networking stack, has a Qt port in the works. Which suggests that the developer either has no idea that’s what the upstream project is working towards the same goal or doesn’t care to wait.

Summer Vibes, by back2drawing (Krita):

Waterfall Hotel, by leotorres (Blender)

Epic landscape, by Philipp Urlich (Krita):

Hopeful, by brellias (Blender, Cycles X):

New speedpainting by Sylvia Ritter (Krita):

The Trawler, by illastration (Krita):

Ghost, by Barananduen (GIMP)

Loki, by Evelyne Schultz (GIMP):

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 typically between 10 and 20 hours. If you enjoy the work I do, you can support me on Patreon or make a one-time donation.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

@patdavid Is it possible to have the embedded videos and images here on too?


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Well, kind of is the better answer I think.
You can embed video/images into posts directly on the forum.
The RSS parser that pulls the posts from Libre Arts should have gotten those as well, but as we can see it’s missing in this case.

Generally, if @darix says “no” then it’s probably a good “no” with reasons. I’ll ask him why this is missing right now and see if there’s something I can do to help with it (my Ruby skills are … not great). So until we find the issue and solve it, the answer is “no” (hopefully with caveats).

because librearts is not pulled via the RSS reader but with the embedding scraper. and that filters out a lot of things.

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