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Running GIMP Might Be Smarter Over Photoshop Cloud

February 13, 2015       Tech Buzz
Running GIMP
Might be Smarter

Don't Like the Creative Cloud for Your
Future Graphic Design Apps?  Use GIMP!

Open Source image editors have come into their own from just 5 years ago--GIMP in particular is now one of the most reliable AND powerful open source alternatives replacing paid software like Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite versions. 

You probably want an application for your desktop that is as robust and constantly updated, but don't want to pay through your nose for the current Cloud based limited service of Adobe Creative Suite to use Adobe Photoshop.  Some of GIMP's features actually are as good as Photoshop's too, and the feature set gap is slowly narrowing.   Best of all, GIMP is FREE.  Forever!

Most kids will want FREE photo-image editing software with line
art capabilities.  GIMP can do this handily and you can download
any version for FREE!  This YouTube tutorial by buonopanda

All Rights Reserved to buonopanda and You Tube

User Interface: GIMP 2.8

If you are used to the hotkeys and plug-ins of your old Photoshop workhorse, you might be disappointed to know that you might have to readjust and relearn using a different image editor's interface for a short period and get the hang of it is set up and how to configure it in its own way like GIMP.  The documentation and help system might not be as in depth as Photoshop but there are some good resource books on image editing workflow in the market by GIMP users.

The Tools of GIMP: panels almost similar to Photoshop but different. 
Takes some getting used to but the mechanics are easy to
relearn for Photoshop users.

Finding your favorite icons may take some getting used to as you relearn the look and feel of GIMP as your image editor.  GIMP’s text editing features are not as robust as Photoshop’s, and you might need to get Open Source vector app, Inkscape or another Linux/Ubuntu vector program for dedicated work on text and import these into GIMP.  There are no text layout options or effects and warps that you can do in Photoshop. Ongoing dev on plug-ins will eventually catch up with Photoshop's built-in text design editing features.

There are plenty of beginner tutorials offering basic run throughs
and showing the GIMP user how to adjust from using Photoshop to
using the GIMP interface.  Basic tutorial by Michalis Gkiokas on YouTube

All RIghts Reserved to Michalis Gkiokas and YouTube

Some of the available GEGL (Generic Graphics Library) image transforms make GIMP really useful for photo editing: really ideal for open platform image processing shops and design houses.  While Photoshop image transforms can be scripted, most image transforms in GIMP are either “black box” plug-ins or actual built-in commands.  Do your own homework searching for add-on, custom plug-ins which are available from the Linux GIMP developer community.

GIMP also lacks Photoshop’s powerful Adjustment Layers. You can make a new layer, apply a Filter, and then tweak the opacity or blend mode, but it is a full image layer — like it or not. There are some plans to try to offer equivalent functionality to Adjustment Layers through GIMP, but there doesn’t seem to be an ideal workaround for the issue yet. GIMP History feature is also much less powerful than Photoshop’s. You can go back through your History as you might in most software — essentially a graphical list of possible Undos — but you can’t play around with your History or use a History brush like you can in Photoshop.

GIMP is equal to the task of professional photo-editing as far as
Open Source apps can handle the work.  Tutorial on Image Editing
by CarelessPhotoEditing (Christina Careless) on YouTube.
All Rights reserved to CarelessPhotoEditing and You Tube

GIMP is still pretty amazing especially in image processing! GIMP is constantly updated to support new camera models that come out in the market. GIMP is advanced enough to create camera-model and lens-specific profiles, and for doing simple pre-processing on Raw files like on Photoshop.  UFRaw is a very competent and powerful raw file processing companion application for Gimp.  You might need to learn to write scripts in Scheme — like Script-fu to get to a huge collection of open-sourced extensions you can either run as-is or customize for your own image processing requirements.

Giving GIMP a Try

Simply download GIMP and get started. The learning curve might take some getting used to as you will unlearn some Photoshop habits but figuring out how GIMP works as good as Photoshop even without all the bells and whistles of paid software provides you with one really amazing alternative that is worth the time spent in learning how to use it smartly.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Plenty of people still use older versions of Photoshop, to as far back as version 7, because they have an old computer, or simply because they’re happy with its feature set and don't need any more bells and whistles. These older, boxed versions of Photoshop can be picked up very cheaply, too.

To use the new Photoshop Creative Cloud, or other Adobe tools like In Design and Illustrator (run from the Cloud service), you must sign up for a monthly subscription.  For the complete Creative Cloud suite, which is equivalent to the CS6 Master Collection, you’ll have to commit to 12 months at $50 per month ($600/year). A Photoshop subscription alone costs $20 per month with no annual commitment. If you’re upgrading from CS3 or later, the first year is half price then a higher rate for longer subscriptions.

Subscribers might avail of new Creative Cloud apps every 12 months as part of the subscription price.  For your monthly fee, you also get 20GB of cloud storage.  Just pray the grid never goes offline or your data goes kaput.

Limitations of the Cloud

If Adobe changes its terms of service in the future od they may implement always-0nline DRM, like SimCity.  If the company hikes subscription fees, will you drop your service?

The Advantage of GIMP...Open Source is FREE

Gone are the days when Open Source were just buggy, garage apps with ungainly interfaces compared to the more elegant and powerful, licensed and paid software.  Open Source apps in just 5 years have bridged the gap with paid software, matching features with popular high end graphics and image editing software, and even 3D CGI rendering animation software and vector graphics apps.   

You don't need to burn your wallet everytime you upgrade to the latest version of licensed software anymore.  Use open source operating systems and software.  Know better about open source and try any one of the available Ubuntu versions, and best yet, try using the latest version of GIMP, which also has a version that runs on Windows.  It will take a while to relearn the new rig if old habits from using Photoshop keep your learning curve high, but you get the better end of the deal by using Open Source rather than not.


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