2.7. New and improved tools

2.7.1. Unified Transform

New Unified Transform tool (Shift+L) simplifies making multiple transforms, such as scaling, rotating, and correcting perspective in one go. The design is based on a functional spec written by our former UX expert Peter Sikking.

Contributors: Mikael Magnusson, Michael Natterer…

2.7.2. Warp Transform

The new Warp Transform tool (W) allows doing localized transforms like growing or shifting pixels with a soft brush and undo support. Such tools are commonly used in fashion photography for retouching.

As such, the new tool retires the old iWarp filter that was innovative at the time of its inception (and pre-dated Photoshop's Liquify filter), but was ultimately cumbersome to use. The Warp Transform tool also features an Eraser mode to selectively remove changes, previously unavailable in the iWarp filter.

Contributors: Michael Muré, Michael Natterer, Jonathan Tait…

2.7.3. Handle Transform

The new Handle Transform tool (Shift+L) provides an interesting approach at applying scaling, rotating, and perspective correction using handles placed on the canvas. People who are used to editing on touch surfaces might find this tool strangely easy to grasp.

Contributors: Johannes Matschke, Michael Natterer, Ell…

2.7.4. Blend tool becomes Gradient tool and gets on-canvas editing

We renamed the Blend tool to Gradient tool and changed its default shortcut to G. But this pales in comparison to what the tool can actually do now, and it's a lot.

The new tool pretty much obsoletes the old Gradient Editor dialog. Now you can create and delete color stops, select and shift them, assign colors to color stops, change blending and coloring for segments between color stops and create new color stops from midpoints right on the canvas.

All gradients available by default are also "editable" now. What it means is that when you try to change an existing gradient from a system folder, GIMP will create a copy of it, call it a Custom Gradient and preserve it across sessions. Unless, of course, you edit another 'system' gradient, in which case it will become the new custom gradient.

We intend to use the generic implementation of this later for brushes and other types of resources.

Contributors: Michael Henning, Michael Natterer, Ell, Øyvind Kolås…

2.7.5. Better selection tools

The Foreground Select tool can finally make subpixel selections in complex cases such as strays of hair on textured background. Two new masking methods are now available for that.

The Select by Color and Fuzzy Select tools now both feature a Draw mask option to display future selection area with a magenta fill, and the latter tool also got a Diagonal neighbors option to select diagonally neighboring pixels.

For the Free Select tool, closing a polygonal/free selection now doesn't confirm the selection automatically. Instead you still can tweak positions of nodes (where applicable), then press Enter, double-click inside the selection, or switch to another tool to confirm the selection.

The Intelligent Scissors tool finally allows to remove the last added segment with Backspace key, and GIMP now checks, whether the first and the last segments are distinct before closing the curve.

Contributors: Michael Natterer, Jan Rüegg, Daniel Sabo, Ell…

2.7.6. Color tools

All color tools have been refactored to become GEGL-based filters, so they could be properly used later on when we introduce non-destructive editing. Hence, the Color submenu in the Tools menu has been removed, and these filters are now mostly unavailable in the toolbox.

Contributors: Michael Natterer…

2.7.7. Text tool supports CJK and more writing systems

The Text tool now fully supports advanced input methods for CJK and other non-western languages. The pre-edit text is now displayed just as expected, depending on your platform and input method engine (IME). Several input method-related bugs and crashes have also been fixed.

Contributors: Jehan Pagès…

2.7.8. Experimental tools

Two new tools were incomplete for inclusion to GIMP 2.10 by default, but still can be enabled. Please note that they are highly experimental and likely to be broken for you (up to have GIMP crash). We only mention them, because we need contributors to get them into the releasable state.

N-Point Deformation tool introduces the kind of smooth, as little rigid as possible warping you would expect physical objects to have.

The Seamless Clone tool is aimed to simplify making layered compositions. Typically when you paste one image into another, there are all sorts of mismatches: color temperature, brightness etc. This new experimental tool tries to adapt various properties of a pasted image with regards to its backdrop.

To enable these tools, you need to first enable the Playground page of the Preferences dialog. Do it by running GIMP with a --show-playground switch (for Windows, you might want tweaking the path to GIMP in the shortcut properties accordingly). Then you need to go to EditPreferencesPlayground and enable the respective options, so that the tools would show up in the toolbox.

We need to stress again that you should only do so either if you are very curious, or (which we hope for) intend to help us fix them.

Contributors: Marek Dvoroznak, Barak Itkin, Jehan Pagès, Michael Natterer…