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Professional Image Editing...


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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 11:12 PM

As some of you may know, I've been toying with the Linux operating system for a short while and have been running it exclusively on my notebook for about a week now. In that time, albeit short, I have been really impressed with one program in particular; "Gimp".

Gimp is an open source (free) Photoshop-like image editor. I have used PhotoShop both professionally and as a hobbyist for the past 5 years or so. I have produced everything from web site templates to celebrity promotional sheets with Photoshop and would consider myself to have advanced knowledge of the software. I must say that at this point Gimp appears to be able to do everything that Photoshop can including open .psd (Photoshop) files, read the layers correctly, and then also save in .psd format if need be. Gimp also supports virtually every other format from high-end .eps down to jpg, gif, and png.

Frankly, knowing that such an editor even exists as an open source project blows my mind. When I think back on the dollar amount I have paid for commercial Photoshop releases as well as for certain high-end modules/plugins it is staggering to think that there is something out there that is so close in quality and yet is free of charge. Even the layout and tool names within Gimp are similar, in opinion, to Photoshop. I have had very little difficulty in finding my way around Gimp even with the long time familiarity I have with another program.

Now, here is the fun part. For anyone who has ever wished they had an image editor with the power of Photoshop, but has never been able to justify the cost for home use, Gimp is not just a Unix/Linux-based package. There is also a Windows version available at Gimp.org. Even for the novice who is just looking to do "simple" things like resizing, cropping, and cleaning up photos, I don't think you can go wrong with this program. :)

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#2 Whitefeatherwoman

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:36 AM

Jer,

THANK YOU!! This is something I have been thinking of getting into, as a hobbiest, and I couldn't fathom paying a kings ransome for. I will be looking into this FREE program today!


Heather
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#3 runNgun

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:14 PM

Jer,

Is GIMP very complicated to learn? It would be nice to have something to edit pictures more efficiently on this computer because everything we have is kinda bogus. Which package is installed on your computer?
-Eric

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 04:45 PM

Jer,

Is GIMP very complicated to learn? It would be nice to have something to edit pictures more efficiently on this computer because everything we have is kinda bogus. Which package is installed on your computer?


It's hard to say as that depends on the user. IMO, it's no harder to use/learn than Photoshop or anything else. But, they actually have Photoshop certification courses people can take. So, I guess that must mean some people find it difficult.

At any rate, I think a week of "playing" around should be enough to be able to do what you need to do with Gimp. There is always documentation and even a wiki on their own website to search for help if it's needed.

I am running Gimp. Just Gimp, not Gimpshop which is supposed to be more buggy than Gimp. For Windows, go here The Gimp for Windows and download "The Gimp" as well as whichever of the two runtime environments you need for your version of Windows. Then, you come back and tell me if it's easy or hard to use. :D

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#5 runNgun

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 08:49 PM

Thanks Jer, I just got done downloading it and am trying to figure it out. I should be able to figure everything out after playing around with it.
-Eric

#6 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 09:40 AM

I never knew it was available either - way cool if you ask me and I agree the cost or money I've dealt out for Adobe Photoshop or it's lite versions like Photoshop Elements is a shame. Thanks.
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#7 Jeremiah

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 10:17 AM

Just wanted to give a little update...

For anyone who also uses Adobe ImageReady (now replaced by Fireworks) for animated .gif, Gimp does animation time lines natively. They also have a video plug-in called "Gimp GAP" which I just downloaded last night. (Haven't had a chance to do more than briefly look at it yet. Looks like it has Quicktime output maybe like a lite version of After Effects.)

So far, it seems like the most "difficult" thing in coming over from Photoshop is handling layer attributes and effects. Instead of double-clicking a layer and adding effects like emboss, drop shadow, pattern overlay and the like, you access those things in a menu or on a palette and they are done on a copy of the layer you're working on instead of becoming a sub-menu of effects attached to the layer. In essence, it's doing the exact same thing as Photoshop. But, it's a "funky" way of looking at it for those who are really familiar with Photoshop. (IMO, it makes for a little more "cluttered" layers palette. But, there may even be a way to set effects copy layers in a sub-menu that I haven't found yet.) Since I still use Photoshop a lot, I may well switch to Gimpshop once they get it working better. But, for anyone who has little to no Photoshop experience then I would still just recommend Gimp. :)

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