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Has anyone use Gimp ?

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Unfortunately, the current 2.8.4 stable release is still limited to 8 bit processing. The unstable release (beta equivalent, I guess) can handle 16 bit editing. 


I think with Adobe's recent Cloud-based strategy, many are going to be looking at alternatives and this is quite an appealing one. 


One thing I will say about The Gimp is that it uses the same underlying programming and dependent libraries as other powerful photo and video editing FOSS so its foundations are excellent. For instance, there are some pretty nifty noise reduction algorithms around in the FOSS world. The collaborative nature of FOSS development also means that updates to dcraw and ufraw, which decode raw files are pretty swift, after the release of new cameras.


On the other hand, it's been around a long while now and still only has a small userbase. I've used it in the past when I was a linux fiend but since switching to the Evil Apple, I've thrown a considerable number of shekels at Adobe. The latest release is in my downloads folder though...


When I did use it, it was pretty good - as good as the contemporaneous versions of Elements or Paint Shop Pro at least, but not up to full-fat Photoshop levels. I think the gap has narrowed now and I will more than likely have a really serious play when the stable release can handle 16 bit editing. From the gimp.org website, "For some industries, especially photography, 24-bit colour depths (8 bits per channel) are a real barrier to entry. Once again, it's GEGL to the rescue. Work on integrating GEGL into GIMP began after 2.4 was released, and will span across several stable releases. This work will be completed in GIMP 3.0, which will have full support for high bit depths." 

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I tried Gimp some years ago and I'm sure that it has developed dramatically since then. But I am very happy with the general workflow and capabilities of LR4, and I'll no doubt buy LR5 when it is released. As to pS, I have a license for the CS6 suite, but I'm unsure of the new subscription model. Considering how often I move images to PS nowadays, I am inclined to give it a miss.


Might even download the latest Gimp version and see how it goes.



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One of only two people I have known to use GIMP consistently has moved to LR. I don't know what the other person uses currently. The barrier to me has always been the paradigm leap when moving from any other tool: Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, Paint.net... I'm sure it's manageable, but when you've got something else that works it's hard to justify the relearning experience.


I can never see how people compare Paint Shop Pro with Elements and claim that "full fat" Photoshop is so far in front. Actually these days there are a few under-the-hood advantages to Photoshop (64-bit memory addressing, for example), but the user experience is far better in PSP in my experience, and if there is anything in there that people use that can't be relatively easily done in PSP I have yet to see or hear of anyone using it - certainly not worth the premium price as far as I can see except maybe for very specialist applications. I do quite like what I've seen in Light Room in terms of workflow though.

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Simon, I used PSE v3 and PSP v7 around the same time as I was using the Gimp. So it was at least 10 years ago and there was a huge difference in capabilities then between PSE, PSP and PS (and the Gimp). As I said, the gap between those "cutdown" versions and full fat PS has now narrowed and if it weren't for the lack of 16 Bit editing, I'd probably be back in the Gimp saddle by now.


One of the things that pushed me to switch to full fat PS was that a few years ago, magazine submissions needed files to be submitted as CMYK for publications.


PSP, PSE, LR, and Aperture (although I wasn't using Aperture then) couldn't export TIFFs (or anything else) as CMYK. The Gimp could render TIFFs as CMYK with a plug-in that was a bit of a kludge. IIRC, I had to resort to the command line so it wasn't the best experience for image editing.


Full fat PS could/can render TIFFs as CMYK with a flick of your mouse, of course. It was something I needed at the time so I made the decision to buy PS.


These days, I think many publishers are more accommodating and will accept non-CMYK files for publication so it's not such an issue. 


I haven't had a look at PSE since v8 for the Mac and it was pretty good then but still limited compared to PS. For instance, I like doing my black and white work as quadtones and this is easily done in PS but not PSE. I don't know if the Gimp or PSP can do quadtones. LR and Aperture certainly can't although I can produce tritones in Aperture.


As with all these things, YMMV and there's no right and wrong, just personal preference, legacy and external requirements that influence what we use.


Unless you use Canon, of course. That's just being silly.  :P

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I've never been asked for a CMYK version for a photo and my agency licenses to many publications. Watch,now that I've said this,the phone will ring off the hook Monday for CMYK format photos.


I used Gimp before and liked it. Friends of mine abandoned Photoshop in recent years being happy with Gimp,Corel,Photoshop Elements and Pixelmator.

I use Lightroom far more than Photoshop.I counted 4 images so far in 2013 I have used Photoshop for so subscription to the cloud does not interest me and I really don't like paying out for things I don't get value from.


From what I have heard,you can use many of your Photoshop actions in Gimp.



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I've used GIMP on and off for a few years and found it perfectly adequate as a Photoshop replacement for my relatively simple image editing needs. There is a bit of a learning curve in adjusting to it from PS and I think for some more demanding tasks PS may still have an edge. The area I found it lacking in was for embedding meta data and keywording. This can be done in another package of course, but that adds complexity to workflow that isn't always welcome. Since I started using Lightroom I find I don't often need anything else, so for my occasional extra tasks GIMP is more that adequate and of course better value!



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I just typed a really long reply on this and then my Safari hung... :( (You tube)


Bullet point version as I am not typing it all again:


1. Just downloaded Gimp this morning. Impressed with current MAC Native Gimp (last use was X11 based version).

2. 5 Mins to change keyboard shortcuts and I was up and running :)

3. I only use PS type tools for advanced cloning and layer mask editing of large stitched panoramas.

4. My current tool is Pixelmator and PS Elements. Gimp clone/Editing/Layer mask compared favourably.

5. Pixelmator and Gimp both 8 bit, I would jump to whichever supports 16 Bit first.

6. Both Gimp and Pixelmator slower that PS with larger files.

7. Goggle AKVIS for another alternative, they provide 16 Bit editing.. I did not like, messy product family, no providence but cloning / healing seemed good.

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