paint.net 4.3 alpha (build 7881)

This big thing for this update is that I was able to get @Ed Harvey‘s effect plugins to work! And that’s basically it, but that’s a really big win :)

In order to get it working, the DLL is modified to fix up the code that doesn’t work on .NET 5. There were two properties of type ContextMenu that had to be removed (they weren’t being used), and some reflection against some fields in VisualStyleRenderer that were renamed. This was pretty easy with the use of Mono.Cecil.

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button. (Unfortunately alpha/beta releases are not currently available for the Microsoft Store version of the app).

image.png

For direct download links, please visit the forum.

Changes since 4.3 alpha build 7879:

  • Fixed: EdHarvey’s Effects now work as-is without the need to install an updated version (which is not yet available)

The complete list of changes so far for 4.3, as compared to 4.2.16:

  • New: The app has been migrated to .NET 5, and performance has been greatly improved as a result.
  • New: ARM64 is now natively supported
  • Installation is much faster now due to no longer needing the "Optimizing performance for your system" stage (NGEN has been replaced with ReadyToRun via crossgen).
  • Portable ZIPs are now officially available, utilizing self-contained deployment, and do not require the installation of .NET 5. You must manually update to newer versions of the app, however.
  • Improved performance of most effects and other compute-intensive tasks by about 20% on average, due to .NET 5’s improved code generation
  • Improved: Many areas of the app have been optimized to use SIMD (SSE2/3/4.1, AVX2) on x86/x64
    • Drawing on an image with a large number of layers is faster
    • Drawing with the Gradient Tool’s alpha mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Recolor tool is faster
    • Drawing with the Erase or Clone Stamp tool is faster when using a color whose alpha value is less than 255
    • Drawing with the Overwrite blend mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Shapes tool is faster, due to improved compositing performance
    • Drawing with a brush tool without antialiasing is faster
    • Tile compression has lower overhead due to being optimized for SSE2 and AVX2
    • Working with complex selections is faster
    • Many other optimizations all throughout the application and rendering engine
  • Improved: Selection antialiasing quality is now better by way of using a 4×4 super sampling filter instead of 3×3. The code has also been optimized to use SSSE3 on x86/x64.
  • Improved: Performance should be significantly better on systems without HyperThreading (by reserving 1 core for the UI), and also a bit better on systems with it (by utilizing more of the logical cores)
  • Improved: Effect and File Type plugins can now be organized into folders — the plugin loader will recursively search for DLLs up to 1 folder deep
  • Fixed a bug in Polar Inversion that was causing hangs
  • Improved performance of Polar Inversion by 3x, due to the aforementioned bug fix (and a little bit is due to .NET 5)
  • Fixed: There were some issues with zooming in/out using the keyboard, where the anchoring (centering) point was not calculated correctly, causing the canvas to drift in the wrong direction.
  • Fixed a bug when saving with "Auto Detect" bit-depth that was causing fidelity loss on some images that already had 256 colors or less. This was reported here: https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/118401-images-already-with-256-or-fewer-colors-being-dithered-when-saved-with-palette/
  • Changed: A processor that supports SSSE3 (yes 3 S’s) is now required for x86/x64 systems (previously only SSE2 was required). All CPUs released since about 2006 (e.g. Core 2 Duo) support this.
  • Known Issue: Due to crashing, GPU accelerated effects (Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur) on ARM64 will actually use the CPU for rendering.
  • Updated the built-in AvifFileType plugin to v1.1.13.0 (courtesy of @null54). See the project’s GitHub Releases page for more information.

paint.net 4.3 alpha (build 7879)

This build isn’t too exciting, fresh off the heels of yesterday’s 4.3 alpha build 7878, but it’s important: it fixes a crash when running an effect with a selection active! (unless the selection was just simple rectangles)

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button. (Unfortunately alpha/beta releases are not currently available for the Microsoft Store version of the app).

image.png

For direct download links, please visit the forum.

Changes since 4.3 alpha build 7878:

  • Fixed a crash when running an effect while a non-pixelated selection (not just simple rectangles) was active

The complete list of changes so far for 4.3, as compared to 4.2.16:

  • New: The app has been migrated to .NET 5, and performance has been greatly improved as a result.
  • New: ARM64 is now natively supported
  • Installation is much faster now due to no longer needing the "Optimizing performance for your system" stage (NGEN has been replaced with ReadyToRun via crossgen).
  • Portable ZIPs are now officially available, utilizing self-contained deployment, and do not require the installation of .NET 5. You must manually update to newer versions of the app, however.
  • Improved performance of most effects and other compute-intensive tasks by about 20% on average, due to .NET 5’s improved code generation
  • Improved: Many areas of the app have been optimized to use SIMD (SSE2/3/4.1, AVX2) on x86/x64
    • Drawing on an image with a large number of layers is faster
    • Drawing with the Gradient Tool’s alpha mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Recolor tool is faster
    • Drawing with the Erase or Clone Stamp tool is faster when using a color whose alpha value is less than 255
    • Drawing with the Overwrite blend mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Shapes tool is faster, due to improved compositing performance
    • Drawing with a brush tool without antialiasing is faster
    • Tile compression has lower overhead due to being optimized for SSE2 and AVX2
    • Working with complex selections is faster
    • Many other optimizations all throughout the application and rendering engine
  • Improved: Selection antialiasing quality is now better by way of using a 4×4 super sampling filter instead of 3×3. The code has also been optimized to use SSSE3 on x86/x64.
  • Improved: Performance should be significantly better on systems without HyperThreading (by reserving 1 core for the UI), and also a bit better on systems with it (by utilizing more of the logical cores)
  • Improved: Effect and File Type plugins can now be organized into folders — the plugin loader will recursively search for DLLs up to 1 folder deep
  • Fixed a bug in Polar Inversion that was causing hangs
  • Improved performance of Polar Inversion by 3x, due to the aforementioned bug fix (and a little bit is due to .NET 5)
  • Fixed: There were some issues with zooming in/out using the keyboard, where the anchoring (centering) point was not calculated correctly, causing the canvas to drift in the wrong direction.
  • Fixed a bug when saving with "Auto Detect" bit-depth that was causing fidelity loss on some images that already had 256 colors or less. This was reported here: https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/118401-images-already-with-256-or-fewer-colors-being-dithered-when-saved-with-palette/
  • Changed: A processor that supports SSSE3 (yes 3 S’s) is now required for x86/x64 systems (previously only SSE2 was required). All CPUs released since about 2006 (e.g. Core 2 Duo) support this.
  • Known Issue: Due to crashing, GPU accelerated effects (Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur) on ARM64 will actually use the CPU for rendering.
  • Updated the built-in AvifFileType plugin to v1.1.13.0 (courtesy of @null54). See the project’s GitHub Releases page for more information.

paint.net 4.3 alpha (build 7878)

This update took quite a bit longer than I anticipated (3 weeks instead of 1), but the good news it that there’s a lot to like here!

I’ve bumped the version to 4.3 (was 4.2.17), added native ARM64 support, and optimized a whole bunch of important rendering code paths. In addition, the quality of selection antialiasing has been improved by using a 4×4 super sampling filter, whereas before it was 3×3. There should be no performance loss because this is now optimized to use vectorized SSSE3 instructions (“SIMD”) on x86/x64 systems.

To get this update, make sure you have "Also check for pre-release (beta) versions" enabled in Settings, and then click on the Check Now button. (Unfortunately alpha/beta releases are not currently available for the Microsoft Store version of the app).

image.png

For direct download links, please visit the forum.

Changes since 4.2.17 alpha build 7858:

  • New: ARM64 is now natively supported, which includes devices such as the Surface Pro X
  • Improved: Many areas of the app have been optimized to use SIMD (SSE2/3/4.1, AVX2) on x86/x64
    • Drawing on an image with a large number of layers is faster
    • Drawing with the Gradient Tool’s alpha mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Recolor tool is faster
    • Drawing with the Erase or Clone Stamp tool is faster when using a color whose alpha value is less than 255
    • Drawing with the Overwrite blend mode is faster
    • Drawing with the Shapes tool is faster, due to improved compositing performance
    • Drawing with a brush tool without antialiasing is faster
    • Tile compression has lower overhead due to being optimized for SSE2 and AVX2
    • Working with complex selections is faster
    • Many other optimizations all throughout the application and rendering engine
  • Improved: Selection antialiasing quality is now better by way of using a 4×4 super sampling filter instead of 3×3. The code has also been optimized to use SSSE3 on x86/x64.
  • Improved: Performance should be significantly better on systems without HyperThreading (by reserving 1 core for the UI), and also a bit better on systems with it (by utilizing more of the logical cores)
  • Improved: Effect and File Type plugins can now be organized into folders — the plugin loader will recursively search for DLLs up to 1 folder deep
  • Fixed: There were some issues with zooming in/out using the keyboard, where the anchoring (centering) point was not calculated correctly, causing the canvas to drift in the wrong direction.
  • Fixed: If a download fails in the Prerequisites Installer, it will retry and resume up to 10 times, thus greatly improving its reliability for downloading things like .NET 5 and the Visual C++ Runtime
  • Changed: A processor that supports SSSE3 (yes 3 S’s) is now required for x86/x64 systems (previously only SSE2 was required). All CPUs released since about 2006 (e.g. Core 2 Duo) support this.
  • Known Issue: Due to crashing, GPU accelerated effects (Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur) on ARM64 will actually use the CPU for rendering.

Enjoy!

paint.net 4.2.17 alpha build 7858–now using .NET 5!

Paint.NET has finally been migrated to .NET 5! If you’re not familiar, .NET 5 (also known as .NET “Core” 5.0) is the new version of .NET that replaces .NET “Framework” (of which no more new versions will be made). More info here: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/dotnet/introducing-net-5/

It was a very large effort to move Paint.NET over to .NET 5 over the last 2 months! Most of that effort went towards rebuilding from scratch how Paint.NET is built and packaged (installer, MSI, APPX, portable ZIPs), because the old solutions were showing their age and were no longer serviceable. The app itself required only minor changes to work on .NET 5.

You should not really see any difference in the app’s features or the way it behaves, although performance has improved. Sometimes substantially! Sadly there are some plugins that will no longer work, although I may be able to find fixes for some of them.

I will be releasing this via the built-in updater sometime later this week. For now, I want to start with a smaller audience, so you must download and install it manually. Just close the app, run the installer EXE inside the ZIP, and it will do everything for you (as usual):

The download link for the installer is available at the forum page about this release.

You may also download a portable version of the app, which is useful if you just want to try things out or are not yet ready to fully commit to the new version. .NET 5 is built-in, so there is no need to install it (the app is “self-contained”). The portable version of the app will save settings in a local JSON file instead of using the registry.

The downloads links for the portable ZIPs are available at the forum page about this release.

If you have an ARM64 device such as the Surface Pro X, you may also install the app. For the portable ZIPs, use the architecture appropriate for your operating system: x86 for Win10, or x64 for Win11. This is untested, so please report back with how well it works.

Changes:

  • The app has been migrated to .NET 5, and performance has been greatly improved as a result.
  • Installation is much faster now due to no longer needing the “Optimizing performance for your system” stage (NGEN has been replaced with ReadyToRun via crossgen).
  • Portable ZIPs are now officially available, utilizing self-contained deployment, and do not require the installation of .NET 5. You must manually update to newer versions of the app, however.
  • Improved performance of most effects and other compute-intensive tasks by about 20% on average, due to .NET 5’s improved code generation
  • Fixed a bug when saving with “Auto Detect” bit-depth that was causing fidelity loss on some images that already had 256 colors or less. This was reported here: https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/118401-images-already-with-256-or-fewer-colors-being-dithered-when-saved-with-palette/
  • Fixed a bug in Polar Inversion that was causing hangs
  • Improved performance of Polar Inversion by 3x, due to the aforementioned bug fix (and a little bit is due to .NET 5)
  • Updated the built-in AvifFileType plugin to v1.1.13.0 (courtesy of @null54). See the project’s GitHub Releases page for more information.

Known Issues:

  • If you have a lot of plugins installed, such that the Effects menu is too large for the screen and must be scrolled, the scroll indicator buttons (the up/down arrows) are a lot larger than they should be. This seems to be a bug in .NET 5.
  • Several of Ed Harvey’s popular plugins are blocked because they are not compatible with .NET 5. I may find a solution for this, but it may also require a new version of the plugin to be released.
    • Color Flip/Rotate
    • Threshold
    • Glass Blocks
    • Color Filter
    • Filtered Black and White
    • Single Hue
    • Color Tint
    • Vitrious
    • White Balance