Welcome!

Thanks for checking out InkLab, the digital art hub with a twist. Our Beta attempts to address some of the following features which are unavailable at the time of writing. InkLab is a site for graphic designers, editors, graphic collaborators, frontend developers - basically 2d artists of any kind who are interested in making editing and collaboration of/on images as easy as possible. InkLab keeps track of revisions of your images as easily as software developers and writers can keep track of revisions of their source code. Similar to other aspects of the Free and Open Source (Software) Philosophy, InkLab aims to allow anyone freedom to use, copy, study, and change the resource, in this case, raster graphic images, in any way. Raster graphic "source code" files have been in use for mainstream image editing and creation for many decades, but a featureful avenue for sharing and collaboration on this extremely useful data seems to have been missing during this time, a gap that InkLab hopes to fill.

Ready to get started making your designs open source? Make an account and then create a new project through the web interface!

Feature overview

  • -Layered raster based images have been helping digital artists create awesomeness for decades. Inklab currently supports working with formats from Photoshop, GNU Imp, Glimpse and Krita with many per-layer features. Support for ClipStudio Paint is planned if there is sufficient interest
  • -Updating your work to fix small or large mistakes: On InkLab all revisions are tracked in the same project, and comparison tools are available to quickly find the differences.
  • -Making variations / edits of your own work: "Presets" of layer visibility, opacity, position, etc can be saved for your projects, to quickly switch between variants on the interface.
  • -You may apply a custom or preset license to your work that exactly fits your ethical standpoints.

Collaboration Features

  • -You may 'Fork' and later 'Merge' a project in a similar workflow to 'Git' based projects.
  • -All Derived Work on the site maintains proper attribution in a sophisticated, manner, PER-LAYER. This allows anyone to know exactly which pieces of a project were edited or added by whom. This includes works that were started outside of InkLab.

Example use cases

(Please note for the purposes of these topics "source file" refers to any type of graphics program file which contains all layers and layer metadata, for example, gimp .XCF or photoshop .PSD)

Version control of a single design

Why?

Have you ever worked on a project, made some edits, and wished you could revert one or more layers to an earlier state? If your solution to this has been to make numerous copies of files or layers, fear no more!

How:

Version control of a single source is about as simple as it gets. When you are satisfied performing any needed clean up to your current source file, choose "new project" under "projects" at the top bar. For initial uploading, you will need to choose a title, optionally add a description, and upload your source file. As soon as your project is done creating, a source file will be downloaded for you automatically. Please archive your old source file, and use the fresh downloaded file for all future work. From now on, the process is speedy. Make any changes you would like, and when you are satisfied you have reached a progress checkpoint (or even if not!) you may create a new revision by clicking the "update" button on your project page and updating with the source file you have been working on. -- Now you may see progress over time and easily download any revision, or revert layers individually to get back to exactly where you need.

Isolating specific components of a larger work

Why?

Have you encountered a design which contains some elements that are interesting or generally reusable, but would be prohibitively difficult or extremely tedious to separate from the larger image manually? Perhaps you have seen a creator attempt to alleviate these issues by providing many versions of the image with various components visible, but this is generally wasteful and does not always capture the combination you may be looking for.

How:

As a creator, simply upload your source file as a new project, optionally updating it as you make changes. The project interface will allow any viewer who you reference to your project page download a version of your project as a raster image with any of the layers visible or hidden. No need to save and upload many random versions.

Creating Edits or Derivative works

Why?

Ever wanted to create an edit or enhancement to another work, in a diplomatic way while providing the appropriate credit to everyone involved?

How:

For those familiar with software collaboration projects, this procedure works very similarly. For those unfamiliar, here is the usual process: navigate to project page of the work you would like to edit, and click the "fork project" button in the upper left. You will be asked to choose a derivative name for the work, which will be reflected as the project name on your account. You may now work on the file which is automatically downloaded for you after making the fork. You may commit updates to the derivative project as often as you like, just like any other project, until you are satisfied that the original artist may appreciate your contribution. If you would like your changed to be considered for merging into the original work, you may click the "create pull request" button in the upper left of the derivative project page, and provide an optional comment. The original artist will be notified, and may reply with a request for more changes from you, or they may outright accept or reject your changes. Now both you and the original artist will be credited automatically for the layers that you contributed to.