[Gimp-developer] Looking back at 2013


Before you leave for the festive season, we’d like to share with you
what’s been going on with GIMP for the past year.

A lot of work has gone into completing the port of GIMP to GEGL, our
new hi-end image processing engine. It’s a prerequisite for advanced
features such as non-destructive editing, layer filters, advanced CMYK
support, and more.

Thanks to amazing work by Daniel Sabo and Téo Mazars, our new
contributors, we got closer to releasing GIMP 2.10 in terms of porting
GIMP plugins to GEGL operations. Please refer to the wiki
(http://wiki.gimp.org/index.php/Hacking:Porting_filters_to_GEGL) for
an overview of the progress.

We also started working towards getting a baseline for Windows and Mac
builds. We still need a server running OS X or a VM on such a server
to run continuous builds. If this is something you could contribute,
please talk to us on either IRC or the gimp-developer@ mailing list.

In January/February, Michael Natterer and Michael Henning ported the
FITS plug-in to GEGL and added support for more bit depth modes,
namely 16 and 32 integers, 32bit floats, and double-precision floats.
This makes it possible to study e.g. pictures taken by Chandra X-ray
Observatory with full precision.

In fact, the request for better FITS support in GIMP came from Joseph
DePasquale, a science imager at Smithsonian astrophysical observatory,
member of the Chandra team. Joseph maintains a series of FITS
processing tutorials
(http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/openFITS/casa.html) involving GIMP
and G’MIC.

In April, Michael Natterer implemented canvas rotation
(https://vimeo.com/64481497) which makes it easier for painters to
work on illustrations from different angles. This feature was inspired
by a counterpart in the GIMP Painter fork and will be part of GIMP

In May, Mukund Sivaraman added a basic loader of OpenEXR loader which
is another step towards making GIMP a hi-end tool for professionals in
the CG industry. A few months later, Mike Henning added a basic
loader/saver of WebP images.

Also in May, Miroslav Talasek rewrote the foreground selection tool to
use new matting operations created by Jan Ruegg. The updated tool
makes it easy to e.g. extract hair from background — something that
used to be very difficult to do before.

At the same time, Michael Natterer merged Seamless Clone and Warp
Transform tools into the main development branch of GIMP. Both tools
still need a lot of work before that can be an official part of any
future release.

During the summer several students worked for us within the Google
Summer of Code 2013 program:

- Carlos Zubieta added an OpenCL version for over a dozen of GEGL
operations, so that more processing could be done on a GPU.
- Simon Lui ported the PSD plug-in to use GEGL. GIMP is now capable of
loading 16bit and 32bit per color channel PSD files, and more
PSD-specific features will be easily plugged in once a GIMP
counterpart is available (such as layer effects).
- Marek Dvorožňák implemented a new N-Point deformation tool that
makes it possible to deform objects while preserve shapes consistency.
You can watch a video demonstration of the tool on YouTube.
- Ajay Ramanathan attempted to merge selection tools into a single
tool selection with modes (rectangular, ellipse, single row/column,
N-side polygon selection modes).

In August, Michael Natterer reduced the save/export friction by adding
a simple way to jump from Save to Export dialog when users attempt to
save images in JPEG, PNG, etc. The feature is now available in both
stable and unstable versions of GIMP.

In September, Jehan Pagès, another new active contributor to the
project, started working on symmetric painting mode. He still needs
funding to complete this as a personal paid project:
http://funding.openinitiative.com/funding/1578/. His other
contributions this year include configurable tabs position in
single-window mode and numerous bugfixes.

In October, Hartmut Kuhse and Michael Natterer added a new dialog for
displaying Exif, XMP, and IPTC metadata. They also patched GIMP to
preserve this kind of metadata while editing existing images in TIFF,
JPEG, and PNG file formats.

Around the same time Commons Machinery developers contacted us to
touch base regarding support for preserving license and authorship
metadata in collaborative works of art. Then a few weeks ago they
posted a proof-of-concept version of GIMP
that makes it possible to reuse multiple images from different authors
and automatically and properly credit them in a compound work of art.
We are looking forward to further collaboration with Commons

In November, Pat David began updating the tutorials portfolio on the
website, adding several new articles for both newbies and experienced

- http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/GIMP_Quickies/
- http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Floating_Logo/
- http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Layer_Masks/
- http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Luminosity_Masks/

Throughout the year Elle Stone continued improving color management
features and added black point compensation choice for color space
conversions, as well as half-floating point support.

We also thank the GIMP User Manual Team for their work on documenting
all the changes in 2.8 and everyone involved with translating the user
guide, as well as everyone who found the time and interest in cooking
up patches to improve and/or fix GIMP.

Last but not least, we want to thank Steve Czajka and all of the GIMP
Magazine team for their tireless efforts in promoting GIMP. If you are
not familiar with this project, check it out at

We don’t have a schedule for GIMP 2.10 release at this point. The best
way to help us getting there is still contributing by porting more
plugins to GEGL and making GEGL faster :)

Alexandre Prokoudine,
on behalf of the GIMP team

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