The latest GIMP release (version 2.10.36) introduces a fun new gradient tool and support for additional palette formats. More notably, this might be “the next to last release in the 2.10 branch,” meaning that the delayed GIMP 3.0 launch should occur relatively soon. Even if you’re uninterested in today’s update, the GIMP Team suggests installing it for security fixes.
For most people, the biggest part of this update is GIMP’s new “FG to Transparent (Hardedge)” gradient option. It allows you to create a variety of interesting patterns, including pinstripes, scan lines, targets, and swirls with hard transparent edges. Things get even wackier when you dig into the “Repeat” option menu. You can create a tiled pattern of swirls, for example, or generate bizarre patterns that follow a sawtooth wave.
This GIMP update also adds support for Adobe Swatch Exchange (ASE) and Adobe Color Book (ACB) color palettes. Expanded palette support allows you to load palettes that are intended for Photoshop—an extremely useful feature, at least for those who like to install third-party materials. Plus, GIMP can now load GIFs of a non-square aspect ratio (though these GIFs will still look incorrect if “Dot for Dot” is enabled in your view menu), and the GIMP Team has patched four vulnerabilities related to the PSD, PSP, and DDS file formats.
This may be the “next to last” release before GIMP 3.0, though an actual GIMP 3.0 launch date is “still to be confirmed.” It’s already been delayed once, so it might get delayed again! Anyway, the GIMP 3.0 update will utilize GTK3, and as a result, it will offer a much more modern UI (hopefully with improved scaling for high-DPI screens). It will also contain some new features, of course. But we’re still waiting on additional details that aren’t listed in the GIMP 3.0 roadmap.
As always, GIMP updates must be manually installed from the gimp.org website. If you aren’t interested in the new gradient or palette features, you should install this update for its security fixes. Note that the macOS x86 and macOS Apple Silicon versions of this release are running a bit late.