Hello pixel makers, welcome to PixiEditor v0.1.7 development blog post. We have exciting news to share about our latest version. A major rework is going on, there are lots of new features and bug fixes.
What has been going on for the past few months
We've decided to rework the most important part of PixiEditor, the drawing backend, from the ground up. The rework will open a lot of doors for us, from a huge performance boost to an easier and quicker cross-platform port. Thus the version 0.1.7 mostly has performance improvements and optimizations. Apart from that, we are working really hard on fixing existing bugs (and trying not to create more), adding new and exciting features, improving UI, etc.
Port to SkiaSharp
From the v0.1.7 on, PixiEditor will use Skia as the drawing backend. Skia is an extremely performant image processing library made by Google. With it, we managed to increase drawing speed to the point where a pen size of 300px is actually usable.
While those are great news we are still facing some issues that are yet to be solved for a stable release. Almost every aspect of the core code was affected, and we had to rewrite a lot of crucial components, such as the undo system, tools, custom layer rendering, and much more.
New versus old comparison video:
PixiEditor still lacks many features, and we are adding more and more of them in each version. The same goes for the one below.
Layer grouping and hierarchy
This is the biggest feature coming to v0.1.7. From now on you'll be able to create layer groups and enhance the structure of your drawings. It took us almost 4 months to implement and while it is still not perfect, we are pretty happy with the way it works already.
Another interesting feature we implemented is the reference layer. Oftentimes while testing PixiEditor we noticed that it would be convenient to have a full-resolution image as a background to our drawings. That was how the reference layer came to life. With this feature you'll be able to select any image from the disk and it will fit your canvas in a uniform size.
Rotate and flip document/layers
Pretty self-explanatory. PixiEditor didn't have any rotation and flipping options, so now you'll be able to rotate the whole document and the individual layers (currently in 90-degree increments, a custom angle option is planned for v0.2).
Magic wand tool
More tools, more selection capabilities. The magic wand tool selects an area that has the same color. Simple and effective.
Other changes and improvements
We replaced WPF Extended Toolkit zoombox with a custom one made to be more responsive and user-friendly. There are a lot of new changes, and many of them are not mentioned in this post.
Numerous bugs were fixed (and a few new ones were introduced as well).
We are happy with the current status of PixiEditor v0.1.7, but It's still not ready. New features, a reworked core, lots of bug fixes, new tools, and much more are waiting for the release. Stay tuned for the next posts!