We’ll be at Libre Graphics Meeting 2014

Kia Ora everyone!

Same as last year, we will be present at the Libre Graphics Meeting, 2014 edition. This time, the event will be held at Leipzig, in Germany, from April 2 to 5, and once again, we are sponsored by GIMP to be present.
Libre Graphics Meeting 2014
GIMP is one of the main sponsors, but for the event to continue to exist, it needs you. I would advise anyone in capacity to help to participate to the crowdfunding. Basically let’s say it this way: if you use any Free Software for graphics, be it blender, FontForge, GIMP, Inkscape, Krita, LibreOffice, MyPaint, Scribus… anything which has a graphics component, well if you have the nickel to spare, helping the Libre Graphics Meeting helps you back. This awesome meeting allows contributors of all these incredible Free Software to gather, discuss the future of graphics and Free Software, coordinate, and release awesomeness.

Also if you are around, don’t hesitate to come in. Participation is free of charge, and this year again, the program definitely looks promising again. We may update more later! 🙂

Stable bugfix GIMP 2.8.10 released!

GIMP 2.8.10 is out...

Three weeks ago, we announced GIMP 2.8.8 and today we are announcing already a new version 2.8.10!
A few major issues, in particular on OSX, were the reason for this quick bugfix rate. Though personally I hope we’ll keep a fast pace, at least faster than it used to be! 🙂

P.S.: if you don’t understand the joke in the small comic above, maybe that means you have not seen the old Karate Kid movie, the one from 1984. Yes that’s a joke for elderlies, I know. 😛

“Grandma Ocean”, by HAN Ahryeom and KANG Hui-jin, in Korean Film Festival in Paris

Hey everyone,

Just a half off-topic. “Half” because that’s not about a Studio Girin production, but this is still about a former project of Aryeom Han, that you may know by now as our Art Director. “Grandma Ocean” was her finale project at Sangmyung University, along with Kang Hui-jin.

Grandma Ocean
Grandma Ocean

Grandma Ocean” is an 5-minute animated documentary, telling the story of Haenyo. Haenyo are diver-fisherwomen in Jeju Island, south of South Korea. These people are an important cultural piece of Jeju and Korean history.

Well this short movie has been in quite many festivals already. And it will be presented again during the Korean Film Festival in Paris, happening between 29th of October and 5th of November 2013. Unfortunately Aryeom cannot be present at the event, because in New Zealand right now.

So if you happen to be in Paris next week, and in particular on Saturday 2nd of November, don’t hesitate to get tickets to go and watch it in the “Shortcuts #2” section. Then tell us what you thought in comments. 🙂

Crowdfunding status and Update of the Symmetry Painting Design

Hi all!

It has now been 3 weeks since I started my crowdfunding experiment for symmetry painting in GIMP (see also the blog post), and I wish to give some status of the project.

Core Design

Actual coding has not started yet. But the design and the implementation has been discussed quite a bit with various people of the GIMP team, and outside the team. Here is the evolution.

Destructive “Multi-Brush” or Non-Destructive Filter Layer?

On IRC, we discussed if it could not make sense to use the GEGL mirror operation for this non-destructive real time mirroring. Well it does, but I believe it is a different workflow. This too will be definitely possible when we will achieve our GEGL port, which should be followed soon by the implementation of effect layers (a topic I am also highly interested in and will probably work on as well soon if this funding succeeds). But that would be for a workflow where we want perfect symmetry all the time on the layer, since we can’t deactivate mirroring temporarily on a layer (or rather: we can, but then we lose the whole mirroring result). Thus if we want to add asymmetrical imperfections, it means to either paint them on separate layers (which may be considered very inconvenient and ugly workflow by many painters), or apply the layer, which in the end is the same, but is also a worflow breaker. So I prefer to stay on a simple destructive workflow, made for painters.

Also it would be a problem for my generic code design (see below). But of course, my position may still evolve if I can find a good easy workflow by still using GEGL operations.

In some (hopefully close) future, users will have likely both options though. And that’s good!

Generic Design: tiling, “multi-brush”, etc.

Dual Semiregular Tiling V3-3-4-3-4, R. A. Nonenmacher, CC by-sa 3.0
Dual Semiregular Tiling V3-3-4-3-4, R. A. Nonenmacher, CC by-sa 3.0
Many people asked me about tiling. I also heard about, and tested, the multi-brush feature in Krita, mandalas and such, which is basically a generic evolution of mirroring.

Circle Limit III, 1959, M. C. Escher
Circle Limit III, 1959, M. C. Escher
Some mathematician even asked me about more complicated mathematical transformations: hyperbolic, homographic, and whatever else you want. Well it all made me think a lot.

I wanted to do something generic from the start, but it is always very enlightening to hear all the crazy — yet incredible — ideas that users have. Ideas you never thought about when you first imagine the tool. So I have decided I will try to go even more generic than my initial idea. If I get funded, I will work on a good design to propose a very good level of genericness, at least in the plugin API. That means that the tip of the iceberg, in the UI, will likely only be mirrors. But I want to propose an API for people to write down their own transformations, that you will be able to share as plugins. This way, it should be possible to do easy tiling, “multi-brush” (multi-rotations at regular intervals of your drawing) or whatever complicated mathematical transformation you have in mind. Not sure yet how easy it will be, and maybe there will be complications. But I will do my best.

Usability and UI Design

I am more and more interested into tying the transformations to an image, rather than only to the tool, like you saw in the demo. Tying to the tool is a nice simple idea, but is very limited in terms of features, I believe.

One of the main issues I see with the tool option implementation, is that when you close your image, you lose your mirror axis. It is ok if the mirror is basic horizontal/vertical at the image median, or if you do one-shot speed-painted images. But what about long term projects with some mirror at a specific angle and specific coordinates?
Also what if you want more than 2 mirrors at a time? You will want to be able to manage them, maybe even name them, use one on some layer, but a different one on another, and such. So we could imagine a small dock for transformations, similar to what we have for layers, channels, etc.
The following is a design that someone showed me for guides. Well that would be different, but you can get an idea of what I mean:
Some dock for more features?

And since we want a generic design, you may want to manage also your homebrew transformations (tiling, etc.). Such could be done in this dock too.

Of course we still want to be able to easily create, move, rotate and destroy these transformations for basic or one-shot usage, without ever opening the dock. I believe both use case could be handled beautifully.

Moreover lately we heard rumors that our UI guru may be back very soon. If so, the GUI may benefit from his input and designs.


Funding started extremely well, with about 20% in the first day or so. But now, 3 weeks later, we are only at 52% of the amount required.

On one hand, I am a little disappointed. Some people ask us to crowdfund all the time and assure us that GIMP would fund millions of dollar if they wanted, but I can’t even fund 2000 EUR. Anyway it’s not finished just yet. I have about 10 more days in my planning, so let’s hope I make it! 🙂

On the other hand, I also blame myself because I definitely suck at marketing. I did quite well the first week, following many discussions everywhere, but it was also so exhausting that I kind of tried to do anything but promote my project afterwards! So now, after a few people asked me, here was my status report.

Interested by the feature? You can still fund the project if you like it! 🙂
Symmetry Painting crowdfunding - Promo Poster

Crowdfunding Proposal for Symmetry/Mirror Painting in GIMP

Hello all,

as you know, I am a GIMP developer. And I am proposing to crowdfund a feature that many people seems to wait, and which interests me too: Symmetry Painting, aka Mirror Painting.


Many people brought up the idea lately of crowdfunding to improve GIMP. Well I decided to give it a try. This funding initiative is an experiment for me to verify the viability of crowdfunding for features in Free Software.

I am a capable developer, with an experience track (see below), part of GIMP’s core team. If this is funded, I will implement this feature and make it to the GIMP main code.

Symmetry Painting crowdfunding - Promo Poster

The Feature

implementing a mirror/symmetry painting feature into GIMP.
GIMP is one of the main multi-usage, multi-platform (Windows, OSX, Linux, BSD…) image processing tool. On the painting side though, it lacks some common features. One of them is the ability to draw in symmetry mode in real time.
In order to have a drawing with perfect symmetry, currently the painter needs to either draw very simple forms, use some filter/plugin, or duplicate/flip layers. These are by far less practical and intuitive than seeing one’s symmetrical drawing coming to life in real time as you draw.
I have met some artist who uses vertical mirrors in other software for instance to quickly sketch characters at first stages of design when time is worth more than arts. I could also easily imagine it would greatly simplify creation of symmetrical designs (logos, etc.) using complicated forms and drawing.
And probably many more example. For instance the original drawing in the below video. The painter Aryeom Han used my first (unstable and far from perfect) implementation test to draw a lake reflection, later modified with scaling, gradient and the warp tool to give it a watery feel.
The crowdfunding starts on Monday, 16th of September. I hope it to be finished in about a month. Once I will finally start on the feature, I am planning for the implementation to be finished in a few weeks (the feature will need to be reviewed by peers to hit the branch, which may take more time, but I will attend to it being released eventually).


Idea 1
my latter implementation had symmetry modes as tool options. I am testing other possible implementations as well though. For instance it may make more sense to tie symmetry axis to an image. Not fixed yet.
Idea 2
there should be actions (shortcuts) to enable/disable symmetry fast.
Idea 3
the basic idea is to have at least, and easily available, the basic 3 symmetry modes (horizontal, vertical, central), which you can use separately or in any combination. Lately I have been wondering if I could not go even more generic by allowing to rotate symmetry axis into any angle. I may not implement it (I may though if the funding has a huge success), but if possible I will at least try to make a generic system which would allow this in the future.
Idea 4
the symmetry axis or center could be displayed (or hidden).
Idea 5
axis/center can be moved across the canvas by simple drag’n drop in the same way as guides are.

I have a current usable work in progress as shown by the video and the screenshots. But now the real work will begin to make it solid and reliable.

Testing GIMP Symmetry Mode (early implementation test)
Testing GIMP Symmetry Mode (early implementation test)

Disclaimers about what to expect

  • I will listen to comments.
  • It is planned for main GIMP integration. This won’t be againsome new fork, doomed to be unmaintained and disappear after a few years. This is “lasting, durable and solid” feature.
  • The current proposition may change in the course of the development. I can’t promise how the finale version will be *exactly* because it requires discussion and approval from my peer developers from the GIMP team. I am not alone to decide.
  • Being a whole new feature, it won’t be expected to be released until GIMP 2.10 gets out (no release date yet from our team), and even later if the project could not be funded or for any other reason I don’t control. Nevertheless as soon as patches will be out, everyone is welcome to compile the project from the development branch in advance. Note that if some people are really waiting for such a feature and the project gets an awesome funding, I may try and provide unofficial binaries, so that you don’t need to compile yourself.
  • Depending on the success of the funding, I may implement more advanced options related to this feature.
    I will give news on the advancement of the feature on the Studio Girin page.
  • I will give news on the advancement of the feature on the Studio Girin news page (basically this blog where you are right now! :-)).

Edit of 8 of October 2013: Status Update of the feature design

About Me

I am a core GIMP developer, freelance, working mostly with a specific painter. I have been part of the last 2 bugfix versions (2.8.4 and 2.8.6) and an active part of the next big release too (2.10). You can have a look at my current GIMP involvement at Ohloh or on GIMP bug tracker.

Non exhaustive list of features/bug fixes I already developped for GIMP:

  • XDG support of GIMP in the incoming version (config files under $XDG_CONFIG_HOME);
  • Configuration now saved in the Roaming Application Data folder on Windows;
  • support of Freedesktop’s Thumbnail Management Standard;
  • several UI improvements and UI bug fixes;
  • several bad crash fixes (notably the annoying crash when you unplug a graphic tablet! Since GTK+ 2.24.19, this should not be a problem anymore!);
  • improvement of the language list for localization (all language name are self-localized);
  • several improvements already integrated to the Animation Playback plugin (ability to scroll and zoom, refresh, frame disposal selection, step-back, shortcuts…);
  • even more work in progress on the Animation Playback plugin (which I now maintain) to make it a really useful plugin for 2D animators out there;
  • etc.

I contribute to various other projects, as you can see on this Ohloh page (though some are not listed, in particular all those which still use CVS or svn, hence patch authorship is lost. For instance I had a few bug fixes for blender, etc.).

And After?

If the funding is successful, I will continue to propose other features, for GIMP mainly, but probably also for other software I use. I currently work as freelance, and working as a “crowd-freelancer” would be an awesome position if possible. I would love being able to live by working on Free Software and make the world a nicer place. Wouldn’t you?

So even if this feature request is not your favorite, I would say that you may still gain from a successful funding if it makes me continue to work on advanced features for GIMP, maybe even full time? Of course I will continue to contribute in the core team anyway even with a failed funding, but there is just so much you can do when you are unemployed.

A non-exhaustive list of features I am interested in (and might propose to develop in the future as crowd-funded projects) are for instance: make the animation-playback an awesome tool for all-purpose animation makers, macros, unlimited-sized layers, “linking” external images as layers (close to the Smart Object concept, but closer to Blender’s linked objects, which is, I think, more powerful), non-destructive editing, select several layers at once to do bulk changes, improve export options (for instance down-scale at export time without touching the original), and many more.

Also if this works well, this would be a good precedent for other freelance developers to attempt to work this way and improve GIMP (or other Free and Open Source Software) even more. I think that’s win-win! 😀

Finally know that I don’t only work on GIMP, but also with GIMP, or in particular with the nice painter who drew the “rabbit near a lake” in the video, and we aim at producing comics and animations, all using Free Software, and under Free Art licenses (CC by-sa). So funding me is also funding Free Art, just in case you need more incentives!

Not clicked yet? Crowdfund Symmetry Painting in GIMP!

ZeMarmot webcomic

Hey all!

In the latest news, we rebooted a long time project of mine with Aryeom. No animation this time, but a comic I have on my heart! You will find it at http://zemarmot.net. I actually used to draw there, but well… truth is I can’t draw! Also I was just to lazy, with like 1 strip every “never”.

So now we set a real schedule, with two new strips a week, every Monday and Thursday, and Aryeom will draw. We are only in the very start, merely posing the background of the character and only 4 strips so far. Basically it will be about a Marmot, but not any marmot! A very lazy one, I would even say professional lazy!
I hope you’ll enjoy!

ZeMarmot: born to be lazy…

Dance of the Sugar Plum Buttefly


well we are not very good at the “social” part of the job, so yeah we left the blog starving off posts for a few months. Actually quite a bit happened in the meantime. After Japan and Korea, we passed 3 months in France, then have been in New Zealand for a few months too.

Anyway we may tell more about it later, but first let’s catch up for forgotten things we should have advertized here!
And one of these is this nice promotional video that Aryeom did for the contemporary dance circle “Le Lien” (サークルルリアン) in Japan.

This has been drawn using rotoscoping technique over actual dance footage of Hysao Takagi, contemporary dancer and teacher of the circle “Le Lien”. Basically we shot the video of a dance improvisation, and Aryeom drew over the frames. And she added her own art to it of course. I would suggest you to check it out. Nice, isn’t it?

Studio Girin at Blender User Group of Paris’ meeting, the 4th

We will be at the meeting of the Blender User Group of Paris this Saturday.

Blender User Group meeting de mai 2013

Below the official description:

May the 4, the Blender User Group Paris (France) host Max Maurel (aka Blackschmoll) and Girin Studio.

Max Maurel, digital sculptor, show us the secrets of sculpting with Blender.

Girin Studio, animation studio, will present their workflow, video editing in blender, the combined use of Blender and Ardour with Jack.

With the help of Parisnux and “Citée des sciences“, open to all, within the limits of available seats, at the “carrefour numerique” of the “citée des sciences et de l’industrie”, porte de la Villette, Paris.

Report of our first Libre Graphics Meeting

As previously announced, we were present at Libre Graphics 2013 in Madrid last month. This was a really exciting time. Madrid was awesome, the Medialab-Prado — where the meeting happened — was great, and we met a lot of interesting people and projects.


We were lodged in the GIMP team apartment, which sponsored our stay there, as member of the core development team. So this was the first nice thing: finally meet other developers of this great piece of software (elsewhere than in IRC, that is!).

As “Studio Girin”, we made a workshop, titled “Libre Media’s creation workflow: sharing session”, not as many people as expected, in particularly as it happened in the same time as the Krita Sketch workshop which had a very heavy marketing this year because of the creation of their foundation, but it still happened well and we had several interesting and interested people in our workshop, which goal was to exchange creative workflows. In particular Konstantin Dmitriev, from the Synfig team and the Morevna project, was eager to share many of his own process. As a conclusion, this went great.



Then the GIMP team organized a Question-Answer session, with a few common “difficult” questions prepared. And as GIMP apparently knows how community marketing works, the project also sponsored the “Friday night party” with free drinks for everyone! Who cares about save/export trolls after that?

Of the other awesome projects I discovered or re-discovered, worth mentioning:

Synfig Studio

I often heard of it and never tested it, in particular because we haven’t done vector animation until now (doesn’t mean we won’t do any in the future). So it was very nice to see it in action, in the hand of someone who really knows the software well. And it is definitely powerful, even though the general feeling was still that it was pretty unstable (several crashes during the workshop) and many of the advanced features were apparently hacks rather than core features. Note that this is still great: awesomeness also starts like this. 🙂 And I’ll definitely keep an eye on Synfig.
Advanced Technologies
Though I already knew and even did things like these years ago, with an educational background in Artificial Intelligence, that’s always nice to see again Augmented Reality implementations or usage of 3D scanners, especially when they Free Software projects, as this kind of technology is now coming to the “common folks” world.
Well I knew this one, like most people who have been around FLOSS for a while. But I never knew it was still that actively developed. They even got a new website. The main feature presented was the recently developed real time collaboration capabilities, allowing to edit a same set of fonts (or even the exact same glyph) in the same time with a team scattered around the world. That was a big stuff.
Various Image Manipulation Software
In the better known topic of raster image manipulation, we discovered Krita. I only heard of it but never tested it until now. So Aryeom went to the workshop and made a very nice drawing on this interesting software. G’Mic image filters were also interesting, though I already knew about they, especially because they are already available as GIMP 2.8 filters. I sure hope their developers will begin to port all these filters as GEGL (the new GIMP engine) operations for them to be available in GIMP 2.10 as well, when it will be out, and all versions above!
Nina Paley
Of course we already knew of Nina and her awesome movie, Sita Sings the Blues, but we were happy to meet her for real. We had many questions we wanted to ask her, and so we did. If you still don’t know her work, go see it as soon as possible!

NOTE: if your awesome project was not in my list, it may simply mean we missed the presentation because we were lazy in the morning or needed some food in the afternoon, not that it was actually not worth mentioning. Don’t beat us! 😉

We will conclude by an awesome note! The Medialab-Prado facade is a huge screen-wall: 10×10 meters covered of hundreds of bulbs, making a huge 192×168 screen, big but low resolution. And at the top, a camera, and the screen is controllable by javascript code. For the LGM, an open-call was made, so we participated and sent a very basic animation: we had our huge space giraffe (I remind that “girin” means “giraffe” in Korean), overseeing the place and watching people as they went left or right, turning its head in the same time. You can check the GPLv3 code and the simulation on the Medialab-Prado’s programming interface, or see this awesome video of Aryeom running in the place, while the Space Girin on the Wall unmissably follows her.

Our conclusion? That was fun! We’ll be back! 🙂

Studio Girin at Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

Studio Girin will be present at Libre Graphics Meeting 2013, an international meeting gathering developers, builders and users of Free, Open Source and Open Hardware projects for Graphics. This year, it will happen in Madrid, Spain, from the 10th to the 14th of April, with an emphasis on Future Tools.

The meeting will have teams from most known small and big graphics projects in Free Software and Open Hardware world: Synfig, GIMP, FontForge, Krita, LibreOffice, Inkscape, MyPaint, Apertus, and so on. Whatever you do: designer, drawer, film maker or animator, you should get a fit there!

And us? Well, Thursday the 11th, Studio Girin will host a 2-hour workshop from 14h30 to 16h30, which we called “Libre Media’s creation workflow: sharing session“.
As the title implies, this is entirely about sharing knowledge and experience — not just ours, but yours too! — and learning from each other. Because we felt this was the best way to learn actually.

Hope to see you all soon!