First Paint.net 5 Alpha release is now available
The first alpha version of the upcoming Paint.net 5.0 image editor is now available. The release is not available via the program's updater, but only as a standalone version. Paint.net users who want to test the new version may want to download the portable release, as it can be run without interfering with the stable version on the same device.
Paint.Net 5.0 is a new major release that makes changes to the program's system requirements. The new version runs only on 64-bit versions of Windows 10 and 11. Older versions of Windows are no longer supported, and users who still run these devices may keep on running Paint.net 4.x instead.
Paint.Net 5.0 - the major changes
Paint.Net 5.0 is a major new release that "has many major performance improvements, new features including pressure sensitivity for pens and drawing tablets, and a brand new effect plugin system with GPU rendering support" according to the author of Paint.Net.
One of the main improvements is performance in the new version of Paint.Net. The new version expands GPU acceleration work that started in Paint.Net 4.0. In Paint.Net 5.0, core user interface parts, including the history and layers windows, the ruler, the image list and the Curves and Levels adjustment user interfaces make use of GPU acceleration. Besides user interface accelerations, most "adjustments and effects" use the GPU now in the new release. An added benefit of the change is that the "quality of rendering and the accuracy of colors" is greatly improved.
Paint.Net 5.0 users find two graphics controls in the Settings. The first enables them to toggle hardware acceleration for the user interface and the canvas, the second to select the rendering device, if multiple graphics processing units are available.
Performance is just one area of improvements. The new release introduces support for pressure sensitivity; this requires a Windows Ink compatible input device. It enables Paint.Net users to draw "beautiful, natural-looking brush strokes". The feature supports path smoothing, which is enabled by default. It smoothes the brush stroke using a "centripetal Catmull-rom spline".
Paint.Net 5.0's image resize tool, located under Image > Resize or by pressing Ctrl-R, supports two new resampling modes, adaptive and lanczos. The existing resampling modes, bilinear and bicubic, have seen quality updates as well according to the developer. Users may select one of the available resampling methods; adaptive (best quality), is selected by default.
Super Sampling, a mode that is available in previous versions of Paint.Net, is no longer available, as it is inferior to the adaptive mode.
The new version of Paint.Net includes new effects. There is Straighten, which users find under Effects > Photo, which "makes it easy to rotate and automatically zoom an image" to make it fit within the canvas. The new Drop Shadow effect, found under Effects > Objects, and a Bokeh Blur effect, that "produces an extremely high quality result that eliminates almost all fringing artifacts".
Paint.Net 5.0 comes with a new effect plugin system, but does not throw support for the old system overboard. The new system offers advantages, including hardware accelerated GPU rendering, which plugins may take advantage of. Plugin developers may want to check the full release notes for other improvements and changes introduced by the new system.
There is more to the update than that. Users find new adjustments, exposure, highlights & shadows, and temperature & tint, in the new release, and an option to apply embedded color profiles.Advertisement