×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Book of GIMP

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 197

Michael Ross writes "Web designers, graphics artists, and others who create and edit digital images, have a number of commercial image-manipulation packages from which they can choose — such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks (originally developed by Macromedia). Yet there are also many alternatives in the open-source world, the most well-known being GNU Image Manipulation Program. GIMP is available for all major operating systems, and supports all commonly-used image formats. This powerful application is loaded with features, including plug-ins and scripting. Yet detractors criticize it as being complicated (as if Photoshop is intuitively obvious). Admittedly, anyone hoping to learn it could benefit from a comprehensive guide, such as The Book of GIMP." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.Authored by Olivier Lecarme and Karine Delvare, The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything was published by No Starch Press on 22 January 2013, with the ISBN 978-1593273835. The publisher's page offers minimal information on the book and its authors, as well as a skimpy table of contents, and a free sample chapter (the fifth one, on composite photography). Lecarme has a companion website where visitors will find additional resources, including bonus filters, a forum (albeit almost empty), and a selection of the example images used in the book.

This title's 676 pages are organized into 22 chapters and six appendices. The first eight chapters compose "Part I — Learning GIMP"; the remaining chapters compose "Part II — Reference"; and the appendices compose the third part. In a brief but pleasant introduction, the authors encourage readers to follow along by installing GIMP on a local machine. Installation instructions can be found in Appendix E (which arguably should be the first appendix, to get readers started with a local installation). The book is based upon the most recent stable version of GIMP, namely 2.8, which reportedly introduced significant improvements over earlier versions.

As one might expect, the first chapter introduces the basics of the GIMP user interface, explaining how to find and open images, use the menu system in the main image dock, and perform basic editing operations, such as resizing and cropping. It also presents some essential concepts in GIMP — filters, layers, and drawing tools — and then discusses the use of a tablet in conjunction with GIMP. The next six chapters each focus on a major category of image work: photo retouching, drawing and illustration, logos and textures, composite photography, animation, and image preprocessing. The last chapter in the group covers utilizing GIMP for crafting the visual design of a website. The only problem I found in the narrative is the inconsistency in terminology, primarily the references to something as a "dock" on some occasions, and other times as a "window"; also, the "multi-dialog window" (page 4) is later called the "multi-docks window" (page 18). Nonetheless, the prose is straightforward and concise; there is a lot of information contained in each section. Consequently, anyone reading these tutorial chapters should take them at a modest pace, and frequently compare the authors' narrative and one's understanding of it with the screenshots and/or one's own results if following along (a practice I strongly recommend for this particular book, so one will better internalize the broad ideas as well as the details).

Each chapter concludes with a set of exercises, whose questions tend to be much more open-ended and difficult than those normally found in technical books. In fact, readers may be frustrated how some of the exercises challenge one to perform task completely unmentioned in the corresponding chapter. For instance, the very first one in the book, Exercise 1.1 (page 24), asks the reader to build a new dock with dialogs, even though at no point in the chapter was the reader told how to do anything remotely like this. Appendix B contains tips for a minority of the exercises.

The bulk of the book, "Part II — Reference," offers almost 400 pages of details on every aspect of GIMP: the user interface, its displays, layers, colors, selections, masks, drawing tools, transformation tools, filters, animation tools, scanning and printing images, image formats, scripts and plug-ins, and other methods of customizing the application — with each chapter starting with the basics. All of the information is terrific, but the thoughtful reader may wonder why the book begins with advanced topics — such as photo retouching, composite photography, animation, and website design — and later presents the detailed explanations of all the aforementioned aspects of using GIMP. It seems to me that it would have been better to present the Part II chapters first, and then present the advanced topics currently in Part I, except for what is now Chapter 1 ("Getting Started"), which would still be a fine way to begin the explication.

The third and final part contains half a dozen appendices, the first of which is a fascinating exploration of the science of human vision and the three main models of digital color representation. As noted earlier, the second appendix contains tips and hints for some of the chapter exercises. The third appendix is brief, but contains a wealth of online resources for anyone who would like to learn more about GIMP and its community. The next appendix contains a list of frequently asked questions and their answers, and is well worth reading. The fifth chapter explains how to install GIMP on computers running GNU/Linux, Unix, various Linux distros, Windows, and Mac OS X. The final appendix addresses batch processing of images, including the use of ImageMagick.

The production quality of this book is excellent (judging by the print copy kindly provided to me by No Starch Press for review). It was a smart choice on the part of the authors to request full-color images on every page, and the publisher's decision to do so, given the book's visual subject — even though it resulted in a heavier product (3.4 pounds).

Naturally, as a book discussing an image editor, this one makes extensive use of example photos and other images, which are extremely helpful to the reader. Only a few problems were evident; for instance, Figures 1.24 and 1.25 are so small that the cropping pointers are almost invisible. In some cases the descriptions or screenshots do not match what I saw when following along; for instance, on page 3, the author states that the three startup windows (Toolbox, Image, and multi-dialog) by default occupy the full width of the screen, which contradicts the screenshot in Figure 1.1, which shows the Image window at partial width.

The writing is generally clear and easy to follow, even though some of the phrasing is odd (e.g., "source text" to mean "source code"), perhaps because both authors are French. That could also account for the errata — for instance, "on [the] left" (page 15) and "its there" (page 22) — of which there were remarkably few for a book of this length.

If any reader is looking for a free and full-featured image-editing program, then by all means consider GIMP, as well as this outstanding tutorial and reference book.

Michael J. Ross is a freelance web developer and writer.

You can purchase The Book of GIMP: A Complete Guide to Nearly Everything from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

197 comments

definitions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823437)

Define: Gimp

gimp
noun
1. a limp.
2. a person who limps; lame person.
verb (used without object)
3. to limp; walk in a halting manner: a sprain that made her gimp for weeks.

sounds about right

Re:definitions (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823487)

I agree Gimp sucks

Zed's dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823453)

- Bring out the Gimp.

- Gimp's sleeping.

- Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up now, won't you?

Re:Zed's dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823631)

Beat me to it. Not that I mind. ;) "GIMP"? "LaTEX"? These programmers are real kinksters. See you at the next munch, pain sluts!

Perfect Timing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823495)

Valentine's day is next week and my sex slave would love the book of gimps!

Re:Perfect Timing (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#42824533)

Valentine's day is next week and my sex slave would love the book of gimps!

The section on masks is on page 119.

Re:Perfect Timing (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#42825525)

Valentine's day is next week and my sex slave would love the book of gimps!

The section on masks is on page 119.

And the Cage Transform is explained in the advanced user appendix. Beginners should stick to crops, and everyone should be familiar with the Healing Tool before starting.

Unconventionally, the safe work is "control-zed".

My experience with the GIMP (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823505)

I don't really have much to say about this review or the article, but I'd like to say, as someone who has been using GIMP extensively for the past six months, it's a really fantastic program and probably one of the best, most reliable, and most useful free/open source software packages I've used. I wish there were something like the GIMP, but for music production.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (4, Funny)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42823669)

Yes, it's almost as good as Photoshop 5.0!

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1, Insightful)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year ago | (#42824221)

Amen! I would be happy to see more people being honest about it.

I've been used Photoshop about 15 years and I would say Photoshop should be the first example to teach on the UIX classes. It's so great that even a 5 years old could get around in couple of hours.

I don't want to troll about it, I'm a developer and I can appreciate the hard work of people behind GIMP. And their influence over Linux world with GTK. Still I hate to see people comparing saying "GIMP is waaaay better than PS".

Guess what! It's NOT!

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42824787)

That was sarcasm.
Photoshop 5.0 is from 1998.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825887)

And it is legitimately more useful than GIMP. They should noodle that for a while.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825077)

Photosho = $600 dollars. Gimp = $0 dollars. Ipso facto gimp = winner. You can make arguments about ease of use and such, but unless your job requires something not available in GImp, then Photoshop isn't better.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42825103)

Photoshop Elements is $70 and still way better than Gimp.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825209)

I could restate the entire comment I made replacing Photoshop=$600 with Elements =$70 and the point would be just as valid. In fact I am willing to bet that GIMP is way more capable then elements. You can make usability arguments, but that does not make it inherently better..

Re:My experience with the GIMP (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#42825243)

In which way?

I always read comments like "PS is better" or "Gimp is better", but those are usually just claims without giving any substance.

So please elaborate: What is better in Photoshop Elements than in Gimp?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825627)

Photosho = $600 dollars. Gimp = $0 dollars.

Ipso facto gimp = winner.

You can make arguments about ease of use and such, but unless your job requires something not available in GImp, then Photoshop isn't better.

Is your time worthless? Are you one of the few who is not routinely infuriated by a program which has long been the poster child for user-hostile open source software? Is your budget too thin to pay $600 for a good tool, even if you need it? Or perhaps you don't use software of this type more than once in a blue moon and therefore can't justify $600? (or even $70 as Desler points out?)

If any of these things apply to you, Gimp might be better. Otherwise... not so much. Price is not the sole determinant of whether one thing is better than another. Arguing otherwise marks you as a fool.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42826475)

It doesn't matter how valuable you think your time is. If you simply _cannot afford_ Photoshop, then it doesn't exist.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (4, Insightful)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42825717)

Don't you think you might be tainted by your 15 years of use with Photoshop?

Don't get me wrong - I'm certainly not saying that GIMP is 'waaaay' better than Photoshop. Far from it. But a 5-year old (really? let's try 8, at least.) can probably find their way around either of them in the same amount of time.

Just to counter your example, I've mostly been used to another graphics editor and GIMP, and only occasionally use Photoshop. Here's some of the things I encountered in the past that I thought "oh sweet jesus, wtf?"

Panning around an image. Practically any application middle mouse 'button' and drag away. Photoshop? Hold the space bar, and drag with left mouse button. Huh?

Adding a layer mask. Right-click layer, choose 'add layer mask'. Photoshop? I had to actually google this.. it's a funny looking icon of a rectangle with a circle in it at the bottom of the layers dialog. What?

Zooming. Ctrl+scrollwheel - again, almost any application. Photoshop? Alt+scrollwheel. Eh?

Pasting bitmap data on the clipboard as a new image. Edit, Paste as, New image. Photoshop? File, New, OK, Paste. Change to single layer or Photoshop will complain when you try to save the thing. Really?

Yeah, when you get used to it and learn the keyboard shortcuts these really aren't big issues - I don't really think about them anymore. But I wouldn't exactly hold all of Photoshop up as an example in UIX classes.
( Fly-out tools don't help either. Long-press a tool to find other tools that may only be vaguely related to the tool you first saw? )

Counter-counter example - GIMP's transform tools. Who do I bribe to bump those up to the top of the "let's fix this" list?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

cristiroma (606375) | about a year ago | (#42826205)

I could probably be biased being used to PS. But indeed I use the keyboard a lot. Alt and Ctrl seem to be so natural.
Though, latest versions are stuffed with features I would rather pass.
Tried GIMP few times for quick image fixes (using brush, text and layers) but no more than that. Maybe I should read this book.
Btw, the story with 5 years old is truth, too. Although must admit the kid had talent.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#42825851)

Photoshop should be the first example to teach on the UIX classes.

In what? Was "User Xperience" not fucking faggoty enough and they had to stick "Impowerment" or "Inablement" in to make it more hip?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (2, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#42823799)

This. I like to rant about OSS brokenness, but GIMP is one of the programs I really do not have much to complain about.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824419)

That's because GIMP has been around for a ridiculous amount of time, and has pretty much stuck to the same back-end windowing since it started, ala GTK+....

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#42823829)

> I wish there were something like the GIMP, but for music production.

Could your describe your work-flow including type of assets you need to manipulate along with the operations needed so we could better understand the problem please?

Also, could list what open source audio programs have you tried? What functionality did they fail to provide? What UI problems did you run into?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824955)

You're funny...

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823883)

As someone who has been using GIMP for 12 years, I can say the UI is garbage.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (2)

hardie (716254) | about a year ago | (#42824257)

Clap, clap, clap, clap.
I have struggled with Gimp for several years (only intermittent use). I tried to avoid it, because it always took a bunch of work just to figure out how to do something that should be simple.

Just recently I switched to Photoshop. What a breath of fresh air. I'm having very few problems.
Stuff that I commonly did in Gimp through several menus and drill down choices; in PS there are three control key presses that do the same thing. I'm sure you could force Gimp to do something similar, but what's the point? PS is by far easier to work with.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825107)

You do know that you can freely bind nearly any keypress to nearly any menu item in the GIMP at will on the fly, right?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

Zach Buhrer (2821621) | about a year ago | (#42825143)

Why does it have to be a question of how complicated it is? That's lazy reasoning. It's about cost-effectiveness.

So what you're basically saying is that you'd rather pay for a product just because it's easier to use than the free one? That's like going out to buy a new car just because it's comfortable, when you already own three or four perfectly good alternatives that you only have to put the effort into driving. Maybe one doesn't have AC, maybe another one doesn't have a radio, but they all get you from point-A to point-B. And you don't have to spend any money. But you'd rather spend the money.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

wjousts (1529427) | about a year ago | (#42825349)

Some people attach a value to their time, you apparently do not.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

Zach Buhrer (2821621) | about a year ago | (#42825467)

I attach value to effort, though yes I do have the time to put forth the effort to use an application that's worth more than the $0 pricetag, where the benefits to using something "easy" that performs the exact same operations is not worth $200-600, even if only by comparison.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (3, Interesting)

Phase Shifter (70817) | about a year ago | (#42824451)

Well, it would be nice if they would pick a UI and stick with it.
It seems like whenever someone publishes a good book on how to use GIMP, the GIMP team immediately overhauls the UI, changing all the menus to make most of the text utterly useless.
Alternatively, the blame can be placed on the authors and publishers for releasing a book when they know a new UI is forthcoming. It's not like they don't have access to the prerelease versions of the new UI.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823885)

Ardour doesn't do the job for you?

Re:My experience with the GIMP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824939)

Check out Ardour. Have been using it for years and love it. A little difficult to wrap your head around all the features and functionality, but it's a really well-done piece of OSS.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42826573)

Ardour just isn't a product professionals would use. I know several professionals who use GIMP.

At least once a year, I take another shot at open music production tools. I would love to see something, but it's just not happening.

My own theory is that it has to do with the difficulties in using professional digital audio interfaces with Linux. If vanilla interfaces could be easily used with Linux, you'd see a more vibrant community of music producers who use the platform. Also, the proprietary nature of the most useful plug-ins (VST, DX, etc) hangs everything up. What good is a open source DAW if you can't use your favorite EQ or virtual instrument? That's going to be a hard one to overcome, but I'm glad to see that there are people working on it.

For now, Linux is great to use for outboard rendering and plugins, sample streaming, etc., but not as a main production system.

Re:My experience with the GIMP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42826185)

... I wish there were something like the GIMP, but for music production.

Actually there is. It's called Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS). I really like it. it's fast, has a nice UI, and reminds me of Fruity Loops Studio.

photoshop USED to be obvious. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823551)

I picked up Photoshop ver. 4 when I was 15 or so. It was very intuitive. I learned it in a few hours.
However, PS is so bloated with features that I have a hard time learning what the new things are....or how they even "help" me. So no, it's not easy to learn PS these days. Too many icons and menus that's intimidating, imo. But because I've known PS, I can use it and know what tools are fundamental for my workflow.

The problem (or benefit) of PS is that it's used across many industries and it's not limited to photographers. 3D artists use it. Medical imaging professionals use it. And everything in between. I think that's why PS is bloated to help those outsiders "in". I mean, you can configure it to have different workspaces depending on your work field.

Anyways, it's no excuse to GIMP's lack of intuitiveness. Or rather, lack of focus. I see GIMP users as coders who want to do some web design on the side or fix something really quick to fit the website layout. Basically, web-related stuff. I wish GIMP would design the UI to cater to that demographic/ needs. Or maybe it already does, I'm just not the audience.

-an actual professional photographer who actually makes a living taking photos & maintains a studio.

Re:photoshop USED to be obvious. (5, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42823671)

Pretty much spot on.

The Book of Gimp should probably have been released as 4 or 5 books, which you have to open all at once,
with all the page numbers in one book, the example images in another and the text, in no particular order, heaped in yet another book.

Re:photoshop USED to be obvious. (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#42824381)

"The Book of Gimp should probably have been released as 4 or 5 books, which you have to open all at once, with all the page numbers in one book, the example images in another and the text, in no particular order, heaped in yet another book."

The new version of Gimp has a more-standard single-window mode. That was the single biggest complaint before. So now the other large objections are coming to the fore.

For example: among the multiple "select" tools, why is there not a simple "point and click" select tool for drawing objects? Every other major image manipulation program of which I am aware has one.

Re:photoshop USED to be obvious. (3, Informative)

radtea (464814) | about a year ago | (#42825113)

The new version of Gimp has a more-standard single-window mode. That was the single biggest complaint before. So now the other large user annoyances have been added

... ...would be a better way to put it.

The biggest one is the ridiculous and recently added "export" functionality for everything but the native file format. This is completely unlike every other editing application of any kind for anything anywhere. If I open a Word or RTF or plain text file in LibreOffice, for example, I can save it to that format with a keystroke.

GIMP is a great program--I even got used to the floating windows after a few years--but its developers consistently treat their users with complete contempt, and in the case of the new export functionality they are actually doing more work to make the program harder to use.

Re:photoshop USED to be obvious. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42826293)

GIMP is a great program--I even got used to the floating windows after a few years--but its developers consistently treat their users with complete contempt, and in the case of the new export functionality they are actually doing more work to make the program harder to use.

it seems awfully like an attempt to force me to use their file format, which I almost never want to do. I'm not going to save every source file to everything I ever edited and keep track of it all.

Re:photoshop USED to be obvious. (2)

Graydyn Young (2835695) | about a year ago | (#42824349)

I see GIMP users as coders who want to do some web design on the side or fix something really quick to fit the website layout. Basically, web-related stuff. I wish GIMP would design the UI to cater to that demographic/ needs. Or maybe it already does, I'm just not the audience.

I've been using GIMP for a long time and I've always found it very intuitive and it does everything I need from an image manipulator. And I'm a coder who usually just needs to quickly fix something to fit into a layout (not a website layout, but close enough). So you may be on to something there.

GIMP 2.8 SUCKS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823569)

GIMP 2.6 was very good, even on Windows. Then they decided to force GEGL through in preparation for adjustment layers and other functionality to mimick Photoshop features that had been missing for a long time. The trouble is the reimplementation of these features has made them MUCH slower and buggier. For instance where arbitrary rotation was no problem in 2.6 all of a sudden only discrete steps are allowed in 2.8 - if you pick something inbetween on rotation dialog it rounds it to the nearest discreet step it's willing to do, then it takes a lot longer to perform the operation than it did in 2.6.

GIMP is going the way of Firefox. "We know better, and it's free so you'll take these changes and you'll like them". FUCK!

GIMP vs. Ps (4, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#42823605)

I see this battle a lot, but it's inherently flawed. GIMP was never created to compete with photoshop, and photoshop used by industry professionals don't only use Ps. It's usually used in tandem with illustrator, lightroom, etc. Whatever tool is best needed for the job.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (5, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42823847)

I used to be a Gimp basher on here when I had PS and Dreamweaver installed via a pirated copy. I used to be agaisn't piracy but after not working for awhile I used it to justify it. I decided to kick the habbit after going through contstant hacks and other potentially trojaned KMS servers.

Yeah PS is better, but those who say so pirate it 80% of the time! That is not really fair. If you had to actually pay $700 for it would it be worth your value then for its features?

Now since my computer is pirated free and I have my integrity back I have to say no.

In that economical sense NO, for 90% of users. Unless you are a professional marketer or photographer who makes thousands of dollars from it I have to say the GIMP is better. I do like the UI for paint.net better.

It is a shame PaintShop Pro is gone or rather gimped (no pun intended) after Corel bought it. That $79 program could do much photo editing plus create cool textures for websites. Corel got rid of the secondary feature so I can spend more money buying other crappy products they make to duplicate its lost functionality.

Value for dollar you can't beat the Gimp. The only difference is if you work for an advertising agency and get paid serious bucks for production material does PS provide better value.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (3, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#42824129)

If you had to actually pay $700 for it would it be worth your value then for its features?

No, that's why they made Photoshop Elements that you can get for around $70 on Amazon for version 11.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824329)

I agree. I've always found PS annoyingly automated. A lot of the 'fancy' stuff I've seen photographers tout are single-click actions. I'd much rather do things myself and gain fine control.

I think it's similar to the Mac/PC debate you hear from designers/artists. They all want Macs, but when you actually dig down into their arguments that's mainly because all their peers have Macs. There's nothing that a high-end PC-based setup couldn't do just as well, but they want the Mac factor - just like the Adobe factor.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824385)

I've never heard a graphic artist praise GIMP over Photoshop, ever.

It's like comparing apples and bowling balls.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824537)

Nor have I, and that's exactly my point. Those in the profession care too much about having the most trendy software to value GIMP for what it can do.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824689)

Actually, I paid about $300 for PS, and it was worth every penny. I'm 4x faster (or more) with it. I don't even work for an advertising agency! I do make some bucks, but not serious bucks.

It depends on what you're doing as well. Try making some textures for 3d assets in GIMP vs just painting in it or retouching photos and you'll see what I mean.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about a year ago | (#42824825)

Yeah PS is better, but those who say so pirate it 80% of the time! That is not really fair. If you had to actually pay $700 for it would it be worth your value then for its features?

Probably not, but when you can get Photoshop Elements for $99 (sometimes lower on sale) or Photoshop CS2 for free from Adobe's website, GIMP looks a lot less attractive.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (If PS is free!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825069)

I take it then your time is free?

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823913)

What programmer or photoshop person even READS anymore?

I mean really?

Anything I wanna know how to do in Gimp or Photoshop I can most likely just google it.

In fact, the author of this book probably google'd everything that is in it. So its plagiarism.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42825151)

Agreed. Even the summary seems to be suggesting by this sentence:

Yet detractors criticize it as being complicated (as if Photoshop is intuitively obvious).

that Photoshop users can't use GIMP because it's too hard. That's not at all what's wrong with GIMP. If you're a Photoshop user it's the fact that GIMP is incapable of doing many of even the basic things Photoshop does that its detractors criticize it for.

People are not at all sold on Photoshop being the be-all-end-all and high end graphic designers and visual effects artists are far from loyal to Adobe. The problem with Gimp is Gimp. And Gimp just doesn't fit in well as doing anything particularly well.

Re:GIMP vs. Ps (1)

I Mean, What (2778851) | about a year ago | (#42826331)

Also, Photoshop was, and still is, ridiculously intuitive and obvious how to use. Put an inexperienced person in front of Photoshop and then Eclipse (or NetBeans, or insert your favorite IDE here) and see what the person learns to use first. Hell, put them in front of Photoshop and then Flash. Photoshop is easy. Comedy is hard. Programming is impossible (but we still try).

Worst title ever. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823607)

And after that last GIMP 2.7 BDSM image, this whole thing is a massive facepalm.

GIMP sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823623)

Everyone knows that.

Re:GIMP sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823711)

Well duh. That's what the mouth hole in the suit is for.

From the Gimp to Lightroom (5, Interesting)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#42823721)

I used to use the Gimp, because it was free. I mainly used it for restoring old photos and for some postprocessing on my own digital photos. But then I discovered Lightroom. In the Gimp, fixing the white balance is a manual process using curves, but in Lightroom, you just point at a neutral color in the photo and it's all done for you.

In the Gimp, applying a graduated neutral density filter involves working with layers, but in Lightroom, you just click and drag to create two regions, then set the exposure individually for each.

Lightroom's cataloging and batch features make it easy to work with large numbers of images.

I still occasionally use the Gimp for things I can't do in Lightroom (most recently, to blur out a license plate using a mosaic effect), but for most of what I do, Lightroom is much easier and faster.

Re:From the Gimp to Lightroom (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#42823865)

And how much did Lightroom cost? Most Adobe products are outrageously expensive

Re:From the Gimp to Lightroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824043)

It's $120, so that makes it unaffordable for the slashdot demographic of basement-dwelling autists and unemployed IT washouts. However if you can afford a DSLR that's not that bad.

Re:From the Gimp to Lightroom (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824073)

And how much did Lightroom cost? Most Adobe products are outrageously expensive

About $150 if you don't get any discounts.

The only reason why I don't buy it for that price is that I already bought a full Photoshop CS5. (Not seen any reason to upgrade to CS6)

Re:From the Gimp to Lightroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824097)

It starts at 80 for an upgrade or retails on its own for 150

Re:From the Gimp to Lightroom (2)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42824589)

In the Gimp, fixing the white balance is a manual process using curves, but in Lightroom, you just point at a neutral color in the photo and it's all done for you.

Colors, Levels..., Pick gray point. Same sort of thing. The only problem is that it expects this to be the 50% grey point, so you may still have to shift things around a little afterward. I agree that this is something The GIMP could do better (there's scripts that may be of interest there.
Another problem is that most people don't look beyond the 'automatic white balance' option in The GIMP.. which is truly awful and shouldn't even be there.

I won't contest the graduated neutral density filter because you're right - that's more involved in The GIMP. Again, something that could probably be fixed with a simple script or just accepting that it takes a bit more work but ultimately offers more flexibility.

These are two basic photo post-processing tasks that Lightroom is better at, true. Then again, Lightroom is better at that than Photoshop, too. You then go on to talk about the cataloging and batch features (GIMP can do batch, but let's not get into that), which similarly are not generally features of a photo editing tool but rather something like, say, Picasa (I'm sure there's a FLOSS 'equivalent').

Basically, The GIMP is not the tool for the job, and I'm glad you have realized that. Perhaps it can become that tool given a few tweaks, but I'm not sure that's its goal.

What you might be looking for - and I honestly wouldn't know for sure as I have only used darktable in a limited fashion and your use cases may not be at all similar to mine - are tools like DigiKam, DarkTable and RawTherapee.
http://www.darktable.org/ [darktable.org]
http://www.digikam.org/ [digikam.org]
http://rawtherapee.com/ [rawtherapee.com]
There's probably others, these are the ones I'm aware of as they deal with RAW files - which The GIMP can't handle those quite as well as anybody would like.

That said, since you already splurged for Lightroom - or hoisted a flag - you might as well keep using that. It's an excellent piece of software. ( Still, can't hurt to at least try the alternatives. )

Does it finally work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823809)

I tried for several years to run GIMP on Windows and it always abnormally terminated.

Yet detractors criticize it as being complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823815)

An image compositing application cannot be taken seriously by the industry without proper CMYK support. I don't think the problem most people have with it is being complicated, it's the aggravating interface, lack of features and second rate filters.

Re:Yet detractors criticize it as being complicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823873)

CMYK support is only needed if you send things to the press.

Re:Yet detractors criticize it as being complicate (0)

Phoenix Rising (28955) | about a year ago | (#42824347)

Which industry?

I can't remember the last time I needed to use CMYK for my fine art photography. Heck, most of the photo magazines don't even want CMYK any more.

And when I go to develop my website graphics? No CMYK in sight there either.

How about printing business cards, brochures or fliers on a full-color printer? Only if the shop requires it for some bizarre reason - color profiles have pretty much removed the need for CMYK there.

So for some small definition of the word "industry" perhaps CMYK is still useful; for the rest of us, "industry" is getting along just fine without CMYK separations.

Detractors... (1)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about a year ago | (#42823957)

"criticize it as having an idiotic interface" would be a more realistic comment.

That and it's branding sucks, which is unfortunate. The person that chose the name "GIMP" should be hung drawn and quartered.

Yes we know what it stands for, but 99% of the new user base that could have used it doesn't. Why? Because he/she read the name first and passed on it, and is now using another image app. If the app can't take itself seriously, why would the user?

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824143)

Get real, nobody cares about a name except whiny little cry babies!

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824343)

Branding matters. I hate to break it to ya, but the world doesn't run on meritocracy alone.

Just look at Coca Cola.

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824443)

You're a retard if you don't think branding matters about this sort of thing.

Perfect Open Source Software name though: Pick a word that means at least two other things in the same language. Bonus points if one or more of them is offensive.

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824191)

"criticize it as having an idiotic interface" would be a more realistic comment.

That and it's branding sucks, which is unfortunate. The person that chose the name "GIMP" should be hung drawn and quartered.

Yes we know what it stands for, but 99% of the new user base that could have used it doesn't. Why? Because he/she read the name first and passed on it, and is now using another image app. If the app can't take itself seriously, why would the user?

I remember trying to get GIMP onto the school computers where i worked years ago to replace a bloated expensive equivalent, the name stopped it happening (in the uk)

Re:Detractors... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42824351)

I remember trying to get GIMP onto the school computers where i worked years ago to replace a bloated expensive equivalent, the name stopped it happening (in the uk)

Why? What's wrong with the name?

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824535)

I'll broaden it slightly from the name.

The first problem is the goofy branding. Its difficult to take seriously if you haven't used it.

The second is the answer to your question. Gimp is a bondage(as in sex, not glue) term.

Re:Detractors... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42824613)

Gimp is a bondage(as in sex, not glue) term.

Hmm...new one on me, but then I guess I've not known anyone that was into sex bondage.

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42826047)

You've never seen Reservoir Dogs?

Even Shakespeare said it: "whats in a name?" (1)

CaptnCrud (938493) | about a year ago | (#42824729)

Seriously though, the name has always gotten chuckles and odd looks to the non geek when mentioned. I remember once mentioning "shebang" whilst describing something to a coworker. Just as I mentioned it a women non-geek coworker passed by and gave me a look like "you perv". I have no idea who comes up with these names, but I say keep them coming. : p

Re:Detractors... (4, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about a year ago | (#42825259)

There's nothing wrong with the name, per se. It just has unfortunate connotations.

Let's say that after OpenOffice.org had to be split off, rather than than the already baffling 'LibreOffice', they had gone with Phree Open Office Program.

Instead of Blender, it could have been Free Animation/Rendering Toolchain.

Instead of Linux it could have been Free UNIX Command Kit.

And really, nothing would have been wrong with those names per se. Until you try explaining to somebody that you're using FART and The GIMP to make some graphics for your POOP Impress presentation on your FUCK machine. That's when you're treated to raised eyebrows, at the least.

That, in part, is why Film GIMP was quickly renamed to CinePaint; a paint app used primarily in the film industry, which tends to be pretty Linux-heavy as it is and is filled with geeks who would 'understand' GIMP just fine.
http://www.cinepaint.org/more/press/cinepaint.pr.2003.3.1.html [cinepaint.org]
( The other part being that it started to be less and less GIMP-based and more cobbled together from various open source applications, so keeping 'GIMP' in there just stopped making sense anyway. But they still decided on something that "will present a more professional name". )

The GIMP developers, however, brush off criticism with the FAQ entry: "GIMP is comfortable with its name and thinks that you should apologise for your rudeness".

That said, sources are available. It would be exceedingly trivial - short of evil bits of code in the source - to search&replace all of the 'GIMP' strings used for presentation and complying with the remainder of the licenses and publish an alternative build. I don't think anybody does. So as much as people like to complain about the name, it seems it's not enough for an issue for people to do something about it. There's bigger dragons to slay in The GIMP. Single window mode was a big one. GEGL getting fully implemented is another. User friendliness of various tools is next. ( imho they made a misstep with the new 'save as' behavior, but that's more of a personal preference. )

Re:Detractors... (2)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | about a year ago | (#42826139)

"GIMP is comfortable with its name and thinks that you should apologise for your rudeness"

Rudeness? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Good for them if they're comfortable with their sexuality, but "gimp" is derogatory slang for a disabled person. These people need to grow up if they want to be taken seriously. Might as well have named it Cripple.

Even a casual observer such as myself can fix this shit:

1. Fire the idiot who wrote the above quote
2. Fix the more glaring UI issues and make single window mode the default
3. RENAME the product
4. RENAME it AGAIN because these people are idiots
5. Release it

People who care about FOSS won't care that it's been renamed and will still be able to find it and won't be confused at all. And everybody else will have a decent free alternative to PS with a name that was not thought up by a grade-school delinquent.

(Or just sit there and whine about how the market doesn't "get" open source.)

Re:Detractors... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#42824587)

I remember trying to get GIMP onto the school computers where i worked years ago to replace a bloated expensive equivalent, the name stopped it happening (in the uk)

Or maybe it's because you're a distributed version control system.

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824239)

Who gives a fuck. It works great. You are a fucking idiot.

Re:Detractors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824281)

That's a fine point.

I'm a fan myself, it's a decent, powerful program. My needs are modest (photography and 3DCG) but I've yet to see anyone actually achieve anything in these fields I couldn't replicate in GIMP (sometimes used in tandem with Inkscape or Xara), though admittedly probably with more work.

But the name really does stop it being taken seriously. If I'm asked for an informed software recommendation by a non-technie and I mention GIMP, I know exactly which way the conversation will go. I end up having to justify it before I even say its name, which just makes it feel like a poor argument.

Re:Detractors... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824335)

Perfect example of this. The art teacher at a local school wanted to teach kids the entire process for a lot of computer stuff. This included teaching them Inkscape, GIMP, which in her paperwork she called by the long name, and other programs. She presented her idea to all the proper channels and everyone was happy with it. But then, she had to do the mock, which means she needed to teach 1 lesson of each program she wanted to use. I sat in on it as a member of the public with 4 others and things were going extremely well. People were surprised what they could do with Inkscape, and I was too FWIW. But then, the second lesson on GIMP. She takes a photo that she wanted us to remove red-eye, heal with resynthesizer and do other things to. After importing the picture to the computer, she says "right click and select 'Edit with GIMP'" "EXCUSE ME!" someone else said, "I don't think this is appropriate." Through the whole thing, everyone complained about the branding and that was such a big issue, we didn't even get to the rest of the programs because two of the ladies their made such a huff in the evaluation for that segment. Suffice to say, the art teacher's project was scrapped.

incompetent teacher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825449)

So a teacher isn't able to deal with disruptive element in her classroom.

Re:incompetent teacher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825635)

I'm no teacher, but I think it would be easier to control a kid than a grown adult and likely retiree who has made up their mind to be offended. Besides, on the softer subjects like art and music I don't remember their being much of any disruptions because it was more exploration based. So maybe she wasn't used to it.

lived up to its name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825205)

And the GIMP has lived up to its name.

Shame About The Name (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824275)

It IS a shame about the name, i was on the board that decided not to replace the UKs school networks image editing software for this exact reason. try explaining to a parent why you have a program called gimp on your school computers.

Improvements of version 2.8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824971)

Surely you jest. The save/export native file format crazyness is just like Apple's "oh no, don't save as, use history for versioning and autosaving!" excellent idea. I would gladly beat the guy who designed that for the GIMP. It makes it practically unusable... if it weren't for the other feature: unstable mac version! Yay, let's replace a solid rock photoshop with a crash-at-every-random-chance GIMP which precisely fucks up saving!

Good thing 2.6 still works for any real work. If it ever stops I'll go and compile it myself if needed.

photoshop can export to html for web dev (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825313)

When I used to have to crank out html templates with images super quick, nothing beat photoshop's ability to splice an image and export to html. It made web design FAST. Instead of having to switch between two apps I could let photoshop make all the html for me. It was a little bloated at times and i did spend time cleaning up the html for final use but when having to show progress to the boss it was the perfect tool. If gimp can reach the point of seamless integration for web development then i expect it's use will explode.

Gahnew (2)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#42825955)

I use GIMP 2.8 , single-window. I've used Photoshop before also, and GIMP can most definitely be compared to Photoshop. There is one thing I dislike about GIMP, 'Save As'. Save As in GIMP saves the file in some strange format and doesn't allow me to actually 'Save As'. If I want to Save a Photo as a .jpeg, then I need to click 'Export'; I hate that.

The most important thing is what I use it for, Photo editing/Creation etc, and it suits my needs well. I don't care if Adobe has a version of Photoshop for $70, $70 is too much for what I want out of an Editor of this sort. Not that I could use Photoshop anyway because I use Linux, even though CS2 works OK in Wine, which I dislike.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...