Krita/Manual/Basic Concepts

Revision as of 09:05, 14 July 2015 by Raghukamath (Talk | contribs) (Canvases, Views and Windows)

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This manual is a rewrite of the 1.6 manual. It is not complete.

Basic Concepts

Raster and Vector

Even though Krita is primarily a raster based application, but it also has some vector editing capabilities too. If you are new to Digital painting medium, it is necessary that you know the concepts of raster and vector.

In digital imaging, a pixel (Picture Element) is a basic and lowest element of an Image. It is basically a grid of points each displaying specific color. Raster editing is manipulating and editing these pixels. For example when you take a 1 pixel brush which is colored black and painting on the white canvas in Krita you are actually changing the color of the pixel beneath your brush from white to black.When you zoom in and see a brush stroke you can notice many small squares with colors, these are pixels


On the contrary vector graphic work based on mathematical expressions. They are independent of the pixel. For example when you draw a rectangle on a vector layer in Krita you are actually drawing paths passing through points called nodes which are located on a specific co-ordinates on 'x' 'y' axis, when you re-size or move these points the computer calculates and redraws the path and displays the newly formed shape to you. Hence you can re-size the vector shape to any extent without any loss in quality.

In Krita everything which is not on a vector layer is raster based.

Canvases, Views and Windows

  1. Canvas in Krita
    When you create a new document in Krita for the first time you will see a rectangular white area. This is called a canvas. You can see it in the image below, The area marked by a red rectangle is a canvas.

    When you save the painting as jpg , png etc or take a print out of the painting the content inside this area is taken into consideration, anything beyond it will be ignored. However Krita stores information beyond this area, you just wont be able to see it.

    • Navigating around the canvas
    You have many shortcuts and key combination to navigate the canvas
    To Zoom in and out of your canvas you can use Mouse Wheel Up and Mouse Wheel down, Ctrl+ & Ctrl - , + & -, Ctrl+Space+Left click and also Ctrl+Middle Mouse click and drag

    To Pan the canvas around you can Space+Left click, Middle Mouse click and drag.

    To Rotate the canvas Shift+Space+Left click drag, or Shift+Middle click drag. To reset the canvas rotation press 5.
    Quiet often artists prefer to look at their canvas from a different view, this helps them find and correct any errors in the painting. Krita provides different views of the canvas to help the artists draw with ease.
    • Mirror mode
    To mirror the canvas press M
    • Wrap around mode
    This mode tiles the content of the canvas, this helps the artists to create seamlessly tiled textures and patterns. To activate the wrap around mode press W.

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