In todays post in my prep for my yearly weekend at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) Im going to cover the subject of the open source equivalent of Photoshop. GIMP.
In my former all closed source commercial life I used to be quite the master at Photoshop. I could whip something together in minutes in Photoshop that would look like it was the original image. I did all kinds of photo enhancing and photo retouching that made your head spin. Once about a decade ago I helped a lady by editing her picture to make her thinner and without wrinkles for pictures she was posting on a dating site (definitely not my proudest moment). As of about 4 years ago I’ve totally converted to a software package called GIMP.
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) would probably be pretty upset with me for the Photoshop comparison but the way I see it it has totally replaced Photoshop for me. Photoshop has become such a well branded product that it’s the equivalent of saying Kleenex when you’re just talking about tissue. I feel sorry for GIMP because no matter what you do in it your results will be called Photoshop. Oh, the sadness of not having great marketing companies behind you.
Marketing aside this program is all that and a bag of chips. I had been thinking of changing over to it quite some time ago but I decided to wait because the interface looked a little different than what I was used to so I just didn’t want to take the dive. However, after meeting the author of a book on GIMP and talking to her for bit (Beginning GIMP: From Novice to professional by Akkana Peck) a couple years back I said to myself that I was going to take the leap. A little reading and some Youtube videos and I was completely off my Photoshop addiction.
Once you get used to some of the small differences in the interface you’ll be cooking up some works of beauty like me. Now I look at it and the interface is completely understandable and I wondered why I ever thought it was going to be a challenge. Now I have the next generation working on GIMP as my 10 year old daughter who is really into the game the Sims has found videos on Youtube that help her with doing green screen techniques that she’s using to make her custom designed Sims clothes and characters (Please look at the website for details on her first presentation at SCALE called “Are you smarter than a 5th grade open source user?”).
To the right is a picture my daughter created in GIMP for her website MyZooty.com (not sure where the name came from but when your daughter asks for a domain name for her 11th birthday you’re a pretty proud tech dad).
There you have it. A powerful graphics/image manipulation software that can take on the big boys but so easy a child can put out some powerful image.