Before you say that GIMP is the most unfortunately named photo editing software in the world, I should clarify its moniker. GIMP is an acronym that stands for GNU Image Manipulation Editor. And yes, GNU is another acronym…a recursive acronym in fact. I refuse to explain that further (because…honestly I can’t). If you want to learn more about what GNU means, please visit this handy dandy Wikipedia GNU entry.
Now, on with the article. This week’s Digital Product Crunch is a on one of the mostly widely used (and widely useful) programs that you’ve probably never heard of. However, dollars to donuts you’ve probably heard of its For Pay, For Profit competitor Adobe Photoshop.
I’ll give you a very quick, down and dirty comparison of the two products.
GIMP versus Photoshop
Firstly, GIMP is free. Photoshop is several hundred dollars. GIMP is open source (go see that GNU entry above), which means there’s an army of programmers and users who fix, test, augment and upgrade the software. This isn’t necessarily done in an orderly corporate manner. It’s done more in a it takes a village freestyle manner.
Photoshop is a superstar piece of software, corporate-owned and corporate-controlled. It fires on all cylinders most of the time. Which brings me to my final point…
Beyond the platform and pricing, and the fact that “photo editing” is involved in the capabilities, there is no comparison between these two different programs. So there. GIMP is a perfectly awesome piece of software, but there’s a reason that professional graphic designers, photographers, and the such use Photoshop. But this article isn’t for professionals…it’s for the Do It Yourself-ers who want to get a leg up on their own content and save some money (oh God, not time though. Readers be forewarned).
Get to the Point! What can GIMP do?
As it’s name (the image manipulation editor part) implies, you can photo edit, photo enhance, and do digital touch ups to a wide variety of file formats (jpeg, jpg, png, psd, tiff, etc). There’s even a wide range of plug ins that further enhance the compatibilities and functionality of GIMP. I don’t want to get too far ahead of the intent of this article. Here’s a list of the most common tasks that you can accomplish with GIMP
– Re-size or crop an image
– Color correct an image
– Create an image project (banner ad for example)
– Find information out about a specific image (size in pixels, file format, or resolution for example)
– Convert a file type (jpg to png for example)
– Create a Web Ready image (save as web ready to keep your load times down)
– Pull a specific RBG (red blue green), DNY, or HEX # for a given color (say your brand colors for example to match for a print piece)
– “Photoshop” an image (i.e. cut and paste Barack Obama’s head on a dinosaur for example)
– on and on and on it goes….
The Follow Through…
Simply put, GIMP is a great program. It becomes more intuitive as you use it more often (as is anything). It’s free. And it’s fun. In this weeks Help Thy Client blog post, I’ll be taking one of the project above and walking you through just how to do it. Until then…go Download GIMP and give it a whirl. To prove you were listening, please send your picture of Barack Obama’s head on dinosaur picture to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you…