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6 Even Better Open Source Graphics Programs

May 27, 2011, 15:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"1. MyPaint -- Paint and Draw: MyPaint is an exceptionally user-friendly drawing and painting program, with the great bonus of supporting pressure-sensitive drawing tablets, such as Wacom. (The Wacom Bamboo costs less than $100 and is a great introduction to drawing tablets.) MyPaint comes with a fabulous number of brushes.

"Of course they're not real brushes, but rather the colors, patterns, shapes, textures, and widths of strokes that appear on the screen when you draw with your mouse or drawing tablet stylus. You get splats, smudges, snow, airbrush, glow, hair, tree, sparks, stings, different types of pens and pencils and hundreds more. You can even create your own custom brushes.

"MyPaint supports layers, many keyboard shortcuts, and has a nifty Scrap feature. Scrap lets you make changes and save different versions quickly by pressing F2. Each saved scrap is automatically given a new name like scrap001_a.ora, scrap001_b.ora, and so on.

"MyPaint supports a limited number of file formats: .ora, .png, and .jpg. .ora is OpenRaster, an open layered graphics file format with the goal of enabling interoperability between graphics programs.

"It is still immature so don't count on it for seamless interop; use it as MyPaint's native format that saves layers. .png and .jpg are universal and can be read and edited by any graphics program, but they do not support layers. "

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