This is probably not the update you were expecting Smile I need to push out an update to v3.5 in preparation for the eventual release of v4.0, and it’s necessary to do this sooner rather than later to make sure everyone is up-to-date by then. I’m releasing a “beta” today to make sure everything is still working (compilers, packagers, updaters), and then I’ll be pushing out the Final/RTM in a few days.

The primary goal of this update is preparing for the v4.0 release: v3.5.10 will not be able to offer the v4.0 update, but v3.5.11 will. I’m not a fan of putting out an update for purely infrastructure purposes so I’ve also reverse-ported a handful of low-risk improvements from the v4.0 code base. This way we all win.

As usual, you can download it directly from the website or you can use the built-in updater. Make sure that you enable “Also check for pre-release (beta) versions,” which you can do by going to Utility –> Check for Updates, and then clicking on the Options button.

Here are the changes for this release:

  • Fixed: The Gaussian Blur effect was incorrectly calculating alpha values for non-opaque pixels. (
  • Improved performance of the Sharpen effect by about 25%
  • Improved performance of the Median effect by about 30%
  • Improved performance of the Fragment effect by about 40%
  • Improved performance of the Unfocus effect by about 100%
  • Reduced memory usage when many selection manipulation operations are in the history/undo stack (the undo data is now saved to disk)
  • The built-in updater now supports upgrading to 4.0 (once it’s available)

As for 4.0, progress has been speeding up. All of the tools have been ported and upgraded for the new rendering and history systems, and there’s only 1 or 2 small feature left. Once those are done, which should be soon since they’re fairly simple and straightforward, I’ll be in strict bug fixing mode in preparation for a public alpha release! As usual I have no promises as to when this will happen, but we’ll go with “soon.”

Another recent change in 4.0 that I’m very happy about is further improvements to selection rendering performance. I talked about this awhile ago when I detailed how the selection is now rendered using background threads and hardware acceleration. Back then I also said, “Manipulating selections is still just as slow as it ever was, and over time I plan to move that work off the UI thread.” Well I’m happy to report that I’ve now been able to move almost all of the remaining CPU-intensive geometry processing off the UI thread, and I’ve also added a few other tricks that make it so that most selection manipulation can be done at a full 30-60 frames per second! If you’ve ever drawn a complex selection, either by hand or with the Magic Wand, and then proceeded to move/scale/rotate it with the Move Selection tool, you’ve probably experienced severe lag. This is all now almost entirely gone, and it is very cool stuff, and it’s not isolated to that scenario.