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Vector Layer and Vector Tools in Krita

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The vector tools in Krita are well developed, but as exposed in Krita many are broken. Many of the vector tools do not get the signals they need to perform the tasks they were designed to do. For example the shape handling tool should be able to rotate around the selected point by using the right mouse button which is bound to the quick palette in Krita. Also in the artistic text tool you should be able to double click on a path and the text should snap to the path. Also the delete button does not work to remove selcted shapes (Currently there is no way to remove a shape). All of these functions work in Karbon and I believe do not work in Krita because the signals are handled differently.

Another thing I noticed about the vector tools in Krita is the width is set in "pixels" where the "pixel" value set here is not actually a pixel. The value you set corresponds roughly to about ten pixels and you can actually set it to a fraction of a pixel and it will draw just fine (for example setting it to .05px works). Also strangely setting the thickness here works for the main line but not for any of the arrowheads or tails which will retain there original thickness (this works fine in Karbon).

I also think something should be done about the vector layer selector. It would be nice to have a layer similar to Karbon where you can expand the layer and look at all the shapes and shape groups contained in the layer. This is especially important in Krita because it is possible to drag a shape outside of the area that it is rendered and then have no clue where it is if it loses focus. The shape layer in Karbon is really nice, because you can select multiple shapes directly from the shape list in the layer and then group the shapes or even just perform the same operation on all the shapes. It would even be possible to improve Karbon's shape layer idea further by allowing the user to isolate a shape (similar to how you can isolate a layer in Krita). This would make it much easier to work with a given shape instead of accidentally clicking on other shapes.

I also think that the cursors for the tools on the vector layer should not show the brush size since they no longer are using brushes. Perhaps all the tools that cannot be used for vectors can be hidden when you work on a vector layer (Similar to how the artistic text and multitext tools are hidden until you actually create those relevant shapes).

I also had some ideas for things that could be implemented for the vector layer. It would be nice if it were possible to create a shape from a selection or vice versa. Also it would be nice to be able to stroke a shape with a brush after you have gotten the shape formed exactly as you want it. The right click button menu can be replaced with a option list relevant to shapes and vectors when on a vector layer.

The add shape docker can be improved quite easily by directly showing the expanded list of shapes that you get when you press the icon with the circle, square, and triangle.

I know many people have mentioned this before, but the text tool seems broken. The way it works in Krita currently is very non-intuitive. It seems to work better in Karbon but it still doesn't really respect size of font and other things. But maybe the artistic tool shouldn't respect font size and just be re-scaled by dragging (which is how it works in Karbon). The multi-line text tool on the other-hand is much more intuitive and works better but there are still various bugs with selecting text and applying modifiers to part of the text (the same bugs are present in the artistic text tool but are worse).

I think Krita has a promising potential to combine traditional painting and vector art in a new way.
User avatar boudewijn
KDE Developer
Good points all. We some serious work done on the vector tools, for sure. It used to be that we could just profit from the work done on Karbon and the underlying vector library (flake), but Karbon is unmaintained and there is hardly anything being done on flake by the calligra community. We really need to step up here...

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