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Draw Off Canvas Trick

User avatar noitibmar
Registered Member

Draw Off Canvas Trick

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:19 pm
A feature that I've seen in many art and animation softwares out there is the ability to draw or place reference images off the working canvas.
As far as I'm aware, that isn't currently possible in Krita.
However I decided not to let that stop me doing it anyway

This is how I currently work in Krita.
This setup has proved very useful when working on animation projects as I'm not a huge fan of using the JP Anim Template
My work doesn't need to be printed, so I prefer to specify the exact dimensions I need.
but having space around the image allows me to draw in things that may not be seen but help me to figure out what exactly is in the image
and how it's structured.

By removing one layer from the above image, it's clear that my canvas actually looks more like this

So How to Do it?
I Create a new image as usual and specify the exact dimensions needed.
Once I have my correct image dimensions, I select everything on the canvas,
And resize the canvas by however much space I'd like around it that I want drawable
I now have a selection of my actual canvas surrounded by the extra space I would like to appear invisible.
I can invert this selection with CTRL+SHIFT+I and fill that border area with Mid Grey, #7f7f7f which matches Krita's workspace background.

You can now draw over what seems to be off canvas space in any higher layer.
I usually add a duplicate of this layer to the top of my Layer Stack with a reduced opacity or visibility off, for easy viewing of my framing.
As long as you didn't change the offset of the image when you initially resized the canvas, you can always resize it back down to get rid of your off-canvas area.

I'd love to be able to draw off the sides of the canvas in Krita natively, (and if that's already a feature, someone should tell me cus I put way too much thought into this)
but if that isn't to become a feature any time soon, I hope this little trick can help people to draw into the grey void around your canvas, even just a little bit.

User avatar boudewijn
KDE Developer

Re: Draw Off Canvas Trick

Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:34 pm
Heh... Having parts of the image off canvas is something I implemented in 2005, but that got killed through some community nastiness. Drawing off-canvas isn't possible, but we have a project to make it possible to add reference images outside the canvas: -- and heck, simple doodling on that should not be too hard to implement. We even have a bit of funding for coming up for T5805.

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