A new version of GIMP was released this month, find out whats new for editing and more:
We have just released the second development version of GIMP in the 2.9.x series. After half a year in the works, GIMP 2.9.4 delivers a massive update: revamped look and feel, major improvements in color management, as well as production-ready MyPaint Brush tool, symmetric painting, and split preview for GEGL-based filters. Additionally, dozens of bugs have been fixed, and numerous small improvements have been applied.GIMP 2.9.4 is quite reliable for production work, but there are still loose ends to tie, which is why releasing stable v2.10 will take a while. Please refer to the Roadmap for the list of major pending changes.
Revamped User Interface and Usability ChangesThe new version features several new themes by Benoit Touchette in various shades of gray: Lighter, Light, Gray, Dark, Darker. The system theme has been preserved for users who prefer a completely consistent look of user interfaces across all desktop applications.Note that we still consider this feature a work in progress, as dark themes still need some fine-tuning (especially regarding the color of inactive menu items).
The new UI themes are accompanied by symbolic icons originally created by Barbara Muraus and Jakub Steiner, and heavily updated and completed by Klaus Staedtler. The existing icon theme from past releases of GIMP has also been preserved, and users can freely switch between available icon themes and easily add their own ones.
Note that themes and icon themes are now separate: you can easily mix your favorite UI with various icon sets. Also since most 2.8 themes would end up broken in 2.9.x, themes are not migrated from GIMP < 2.9. Users who want custom themes will have to install ones specifically made for GIMP 2.9/2.10.All work on icons by Klaus Staedtler is made on vector (SVG) images, which should allow better support for HiDPI displays (also commonly known as Retina) soon. Vector icons are an experimental feature, available after using the –enable-vector-icons build configure option. Note that this option does not allow HiDPI support at this time.
We cleaned the Preferences dialog a little and reordered options in a more logical manner. The Color Management page was redesigned following both internal and user-visible changes in relevant parts of GIMP (see below), and the Snap Distance options have been moved to a dedicated Snapping page.
Additionally, it is now possible to configure the size of undo step previews in the Undo dialog via the Preferences dialog, which was previously only possible by manually editing GIMP’s configuration file GIMP’s configuration file, by a complete oversight on our part.
The startup splash screen now features a pulsing progress bar to indicate that GIMP is not frozen. This, as well as initializing fontconfig in the background (also a new feature in 2.9.4), is meant to address a common issue where rebuilding the fonts cache (or building it for the first time) can take a lot of time hence making an impression that GIMP freezes at startup. We acknowledge that this is a workaround. Fixing the actual reason involves hacking on fontconfig. If you are interested, there is a bug report on that.
Color Management Improvements
The color management implementation got a complete overhaul in this version of GIMP. Instead of being a pluggable module, it is now a core feature. Moreover, we added an abstraction layer that makes GIMP less dependent on LittleCMS. This means that in the future GIMP could use native APIs on Windows and OS X, and/or use OCIO.For now, it has helped us to clean up the code a lot and introduce a clean implementation of color management to various bits of GIMP such as: previews for color swatches and gradients, patterns, various color widgets (including the drag-and-drop color widget), the Color Picker tool, layer and image preview etc. The only unmanaged bit for now is the color widget in the Script-Fu and Python-Fu plug-ins. Moreover, GIMP will track which monitor the widget is currently on (different monitors would have different ICC profiles assigned to them) and color-correct it accordingly.Grayscale images are first class citizens in GIMP once again: since v2.9.4, GIMP can color-manage them as well.
Since GIMP currently relies on sRGB (this is bound to change in future versions of GIMP), we decided to expose that in the user interface. So currently GIMP has an option called ‘Color-manage this image’ in two places: the New Image dialog and the Image > Color Management submenu. What it means is that instead of taking into consideration the ICC profile embedded into an image (whichever profile it is) it will just treat everything as sRGB. Please note that we are likely to reword the option to make it even more explicit about what it does
.Additionally, there’s now a View > Color Management submenu where you can enable and control softproofing.
The Color Management section of the Preferences dialog has been reorganized to reflect recent changes and provide more consistent wording of options……
Source: GIMP 2.9.4 Released – GIMP