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Transitioning from SAI to Krita


The image you see above was an illustration I created in Krita. The lines are bold and messy. Colors bleeding out from side to side and the background is just rubbish. Adapting to the new platform, Krita poses a lot of challenges but it is a necessary step for me to take in order to further my skills in illustrations.

Many of my art work before thus far has been done on Paint Tool SAI, a beginner-friendly, intuitive and lightweight interface which I still adore for its simplicity and effectiveness in manipulating graphics.

Paint Tool SAI has become almost a must-have for beginners like me back in my early days when my drawings still resembled chicken scratches. Despite being a proprietary image editor where you need to pay to use it, many opt to just use the pirated copies of Paint Tool SAI. ( I already paid for mine.)

However, in my journey to optimize the workflow I had for graphic designing, there are a few glaring flaws of SAI that hindered more than it empowered. The following listed below are the reasons why this shift is necessary:

1. SAI does not have a text tool.

- Drawing comics would inevitably mean you have to include text for dialogue between characters. However, SAI simply does not have that. I often have to work around by using MS-Paint to create the words before inserting them into the image. If I wanted to scale up the size of the words haphazardly, the inserted text image will suffer aliasing issues that is best described by its jagged pixelated edges.

2. SAI cost money.

- Yes. As mentioned before, SAI is a proprietary software that requires user to pay up to 5400 JPY (67 SGD). If you are just starting out and only want to give graphic designing a try, it is understandable that you would avoid this or obtain it via "legally correct" means.

3. SAI has not been updated since 2016.

- One thing I like about SAI is how little bugs it has. Credits go out to the Japanese software developers who took the time and effort to develop and refine their software's robustness. As a software developer myself, I know that is not an easy feat.

However, even if it is finely tuned, without regular maintanence to keep up with the times, it would simply render the editor useless in the long run. Refering to this link,

You can see the slow, almost stagnant pace of updates for the editor. Maybe SYSTEMAX has chosen to abandon its development over time, maybe the company has already gone under. Who knows? The fact still remains. If your software don't keep up with the times, it is going to fade away in the recesses of the internet.

That is why, considering all these drawbacks of SAI, I have moved on to Krita which is an open-source image editor with an "intuitive-enough" user interface. What's best is, it is regulary maintained on a daily basis and you also join in the development to write your own useful plugins.

For a more comprehensive review of Krita, you can also refer to the review video done by Drawing with Jazza in this link.

Personally, Krita also provides me a Photoshop-like interface which I can adapt to. In the event where I am forced to use Photoshop for my professional work, there will be less hassle in adapting to another interface.

Just to be clear, this is not going to be a review of Krita.

In my current hiatus away from the Grumpy Codes series, I will be documenting my move to Krita. And for anyone out there who is looking into making the leap forward towards professionalism in graphic designing, I hope this documentation helps you.

In my subsequent blog posts, it will mainly be about my train of thought as I continue to improve my art skills and mentality towards drawing, using this platform.

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