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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    GIMP: A free alternative to Photoshop




    LANGALIST PLUS

    GIMP: A free alternative to Photoshop


    By Fred Langa

    The open-source GNU Image Manipulation Program can do just about anything the expensive, full-blown versions of Photoshop can do. GIMP can save you hundreds of dollars — but it can also be difficult to master. Here's help.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/gimp-a-free-alternative-to-photoshop/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Kathleen Atkins; 2012-07-18 at 14:21.

  2. #2
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    Been using GIMP for well over a Decade now. Despite having CS5, GIMP's still my main editor. Best way to learn GIMP is to vist sites such as GIMPChat (which is my main GIMP portal) or GIMPTalk for instance. GIMPUsers is a good site to find the latest info on GIMP. As Fred mentioned, GIMP is extremely powerful and not too far behind PS (soon will have higher bit depth editing 16/32 bit thanks to GEGL; one of the main complaints with GIMP as compared to PS). With power comes complexity as mentioned by Fred as well. Still, the best way to learn GIMP is to visit GIMP community sites and to do (again Fred said this as well). So many cool plugins such as G'MIC and Mathmap makes GIMP, in many ways, superior (and that's not an understatement) to Photoshop. I'm fully aware of Pixel Bender and even updated my graphics card for the better GPU engine, but again, plugins like G'MIC (click here for the Flickr user group; nice place to learn about G'MIC) is vastly more easily expandable the learning how to code Pixel Bender (which I never have tried either, but looking at the structure, G'MIC code is easier to understand). Again, just have fun. That goes for any photo-editor. PS is fun too. lol

    Last edited by lylejk; 2012-07-19 at 02:24.

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Thanks for recommending GIMP. For people wanting to learn more about how to use it I'd recommend the book Beginning GIMP by Akkana Peck. (I see from Amazon that there is now a third edition of this so it may be more up to date than the first edition sitting on my shelves. Also there are great resources at http://blog.meetthegimp.org/ including loads of video tutorials on all kinds of aspects. It's worth going for the table of contents link and selecting the shows you want to look at since there are 181 of them at the latest count. I remember recommending this site before in a forum, the Lounge I think, and someone saying that GIMP was obviously ridiculously hard to use if it needed all those tutorials. Haven't they seen all the internet material about Photoshop, and the multiple titles in the bookshops about how to use it? A great program in my view.

    Ian

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    GIMP
    Now that's one of the most aptly named apps I've ever seen, pardon the pun.
    Verb: Walk impeded by some physical limitation or injury
    I've tried using it on and off for years, I never could dedicate myself to it.
    Way to cumbersome, but it's free...I guess.

  5. #5
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    I've always felt that GIMP was a wonderful alternative to PhotoShop. Very powerful. I learned GIMP before I learned PS, so I've always found PS to be the harder of the two. Unfortunatly, being open source, development is slow. Currently the Windows port is in haiatus because the guy doing it is no longer with the project. They are looking for a programmer to keep up the Windows version. One of the big draw back to the GIMP is lack of support for 16 bit tif files. Support for 16 bit is finally in beta now, but it could be 2 years before that's production code.
    Chuck

  6. #6
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    One more recent tool that RobA created that really puts GIMP on steroids; you have to have GIMP Python installed in order to utilize this cool python plugin. It's called Shellout (http://registry.gimp.org/node/24977 click here for a cool thread with lots of hints) and it will allow you to launch an external program using the layer in GIMP you want the particular operation to work on, and then pass the result back to that same layer. This cool plugin will even launch Photoshop (I have CS5 too) and work. lol

    It was originally designed to work with XNView since it does a better job at running PS compatible plugins then PSPI, but it's a whole lot more useful now. Thought I would share this cool tool with you as well (didn't want to give you all too much meat at my original reply). I really think this model of editing might be something to think about in a future editor when PCs get a little faster (launching external programs does/can take some time sometimes when you have a slow over 4 year old PC despite having 6Gs of RAM; lol). Similar to the Amiga model; an editor that just links to other utilities to perform operations on various layers that is. The end user just adds modules that are useful to the enduser. Cool concept if you ask me.

  7. #7
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    Just a heads up, GIMP 2.8.2 has just been released. Lot's of bug fixes including jpeg save preview bug, brush lag when color awareness is enabled and gimprc error which prevented both user filter and pspi to operate synergistically. Very happy I am. I've been tolerating these bugs for several months since overall 2.8 64-bit is so much more stable then 2.6x 32-bit in Win7.
    http://www.gimp.org

    For Windows users (like me):
    http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/

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