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Canology
02-01-2012, 03:49 PM
Hi, I'm new here, and this is the first time I've heard of GIMP. I own PS 7 and maybe use 5% of its capabilities. Is there any reason I should get my hands on GIMP? I understand it's free (I think), but is it simpler to learn/use? Are there more tutorials for one than the other? Sorry the question is so broad, I guess I just want to hear what people here think of the two programs.

RobA
02-01-2012, 04:27 PM
IMOO, there is no reason to get a tool (gimp) different than the one you already know (photoshop) as they fall in the same category of tool. You can do 95% of the stuff Gimp can do in PS, and 75% of the stuff PS can do in Gimp.

I don't use Photoshop as I do commercial work, and have not been able to justify the full purchase price.

Not trying to start another flame war.

-Rob A>

junius_gallio
02-01-2012, 06:08 PM
One of the biggest things Photoshop can do that GIMP can't is CMYK separations: if that's important to you, GIMP is not what you want.

Outside of that, it's up to personal preference and price, IMHO. Most of the graphic design folks I know swear by PShop (and swear AT GIMP), but a lot of that may very well be snob factor. They're both good programs--not quite identical, but close enough that for many purposes, the same folks can use them and get the same results.

One other factor that I have seen is differences in the user interfaces: changing from one to the other (no matter which direction you go can be aggravating. If you're used to one, and don't need a specific feature the other offers, I'd stick with what you already have that works.

EDIT: The above is offered from a non-graphic artist computer geek. I do play around with GIMP a bit, but I'm strictly an amateur. However, I did at one time work for a company that contracted with Adobe, so I've played with both.

Beoner
02-01-2012, 06:25 PM
In your case, as you already own the PS, I don't see any reason for you to use GIMP (unless you are like me and prefer the GIMP's text tool and some other stuff). But you can try using GIMP, once you know PS you'll not have problems with GIMP. About having more or less tutorials for GIMP, I think (but I'm not sure, never counted) there are more tutorials of Photoshop here in CG (over the internet it's probably much easier to find PS tutorials due to its popularity).

But PS may have some stuff GIMP doesnt (specially because its paid) so it depends on your needs. As I said before, you already own PS, you can try GIMP. If it was the opposite could be a little more difficult...

I use both PS and GIMP to do my maps (and probably I'm the only one to it, but I do that because I like somethings on PS and some on GIMP);

jfrazierjr
02-02-2012, 08:30 AM
Not to knock Photoshop, but GIMP does have a few nice features that PhotoShop does not. Namely support for full color brushes. I also don't think PS supports what GIMP calls Hoses/Pipes/etc.

Just in case it does not or you don't know what that means (and PS does support it), it's a way to make a layered brush and each "draw" of the brush chooses a random layer to output. Think of having 10, 20, 30, whatever different mountains/forests/etc in a single brush and just swiping your mouse to "paint" and having a variety of shapes show up on your map.

Also, from what I hear, Photoshop's build in cloud renderer is not very configurable and GIMP's is. To be fair here, while GIMP's build in clouds is good, it's no where near great. Both have third party plugins for cloud generation that do a much better job than the native one, but while I can speak to the one in GIMP as being free, I don't know if any of the PS ones are free and offer the same level of customization.

On PS's side, there are much better brush dynamics(though GIMP 2.8 goes a nice way toward decreasing this gap) and the BIG thing is adjustment layers, CMYK, and >8bit color depth support.

In the end, it depends on what you really need. Also, as Beoner says, there is nothing stopping you from using one or the other or even both on a single project(well, except for having to be careful with file formats and the merging of layers that may result from that process.)

Ckyrunner
02-08-2012, 03:46 PM
The "full color brushes" are not supported in Photoshop to the extent of my meager knowledge. They are in Illustrator, but that's a whole different ballpark >.>

jelie
02-09-2012, 05:25 PM
I used to have PS. I got really proficient at it and knew all of the keyboard shortcuts like the back of my hand. I could fly around the program as easily as I could skip down the road. Now, I am on a linux machine and thus can't install PS. So I have installed GIMP. I have been able to find ways to do pretty much everything I could do in PS in GIMP (or at least that I have tried yet) but have had a distinct learning curve getting used to the shortcuts and tiny differences in the interface.

My suggestion to you, unless there is something specific in the opposite program of the one you are using (PS in your case), there is no need to switch. For the most part, unless you are doing work professionally, there should be no need ever to switch that I know of. Both programs are really good programs.

Veilheim
02-19-2012, 01:38 AM
Slightly different take on the same question... If you were starting from 0, on a Mac, which would you select?

Thanks in advance,

Brennan

Jaxilon
02-19-2012, 01:02 PM
First, I don't own a Mac. In my case the solution was a given. Gimp was free Open source and PS cost several hundred dollars. I'm not a pirate and my budget was pretty close to zero so I chose Gimp.

Will I someday get Photoshop? Perhaps but it will have to be due to client demands or it allowing me to be more productive. Since I tend to hand paint stuff I don't think that will be the case. For me getting a tablet will be more beneficial.

If the cost was not a part of the equation I would probably get PS just because when you look around at professional artists there seem to be more of them using it.

jfrazierjr
02-19-2012, 01:20 PM
Slightly different take on the same question... If you were starting from 0, on a Mac, which would you select?

Thanks in advance,

Brennan

I agree with Jax. Personaly, knowing what I know now about GIMP and PS AND assuming I had money for PS I would get BOTH and used the right tool for the job at hand. This would likely include some switching back and forth on the same map image.

Midgardsormr
02-20-2012, 11:52 AM
If you have some budget, I recommend paying for a nice Wacom tablet rather than Photoshop. The differences between Gimp and Photoshop are small enough not to be worth the price tag for a layman. The differences between a tablet and a mouse, though, are enormous.

Larb
02-20-2012, 06:35 PM
I use Photoshop at work and for my personal projects so obviously that is what I prefer. I did install GIMP though and I have played around with it and it seems very capable (infact, for the price - that is FREE - it's pretty phenomenal). Also, I learned that if you want it to have a layout more like Photoshop, there is a mod that does that called GIMPShop.

But I totally second what Midgardsormr said. If you don't have access to Photoshop and you're on a budget, buy a tablet before anything else.

Jaxilon
02-20-2012, 07:53 PM
You tablet talking guys are killing me....I can barely stand it because I'm holding out for a Cintiq. I know I could go get a much cheaper tablet but I don't want to settle. I'm afraid that if I get a lesser tablet my wife will see what I can do with it and say that I don't need a Cintiq. Obviously I need a Cintiq, right? LOL

Unfortunately it's that Tax time of year so my monies are all going to Uncle Sam. Sometimes I think he hates me, hehe.

Medical expenses ate up tablet money last year so I'm hopeful that 2012 will be the one and although I keep telling myself not to hold me breath I keep doing it.

Larb
02-20-2012, 08:02 PM
I don't need a Cintiq. But I want one so bad. =P

OT (my apologies): Can you not just pick up a cheap non-wacom tablet? Anything is better than a mouse and the cheaper brands aren't all that bad. I picked up a cheap Trust tablet several months ago, and compared to my intuos4 medium, it's pretty good. And was 1/10th the price.

To me, any tablet is better than a mouse.

Jaxilon
02-20-2012, 08:08 PM
Admittedly I have considered it.

I have been drawing whatever I really needed to on paper and scanning it in for pretty much everything I have done. I do some small amount of drawing with my mouse...almost always gives me a cramp after about an hour though, LOL.

I don't think I'm going to wait too much longer before I break down and get something but I'm going to push for what I want before I do. I don't really want to futz around with drawing in my lap while watching the screen and building up that skill anyway.

Midgardsormr
02-21-2012, 11:54 AM
To be honest, I didn't much like either of the Cintiqs I used. My college had the big monitor replacement types and also the smaller sort. The big ones wore my shoulder out because I'm not accustomed to keeping my arm elevated to draw. I also had less accuracy with my lines. I suppose if you're a painter then they'd be ideal, though. The smaller ones were nice for some 3d sculpting, but the screen was so tiny that it was difficult to see the details of what I was working on, and I constantly had to slide my window back into the main monitor to quality check it.

Also, I actually found the disconnect between pen and screen to be somewhat worse on the Cintiq because of the thickness of the glass. I could see where my stylus was, so I expected the line to go there, but if your eyes are not 100% perpendicular with the screen, parallax will cause the line to go somewhere else. So you actually have to look at the cursor beneath the stylus tip instead of at the stylus itself. I'm sure that's something I would have eventually overcome if I'd kept using them, but I was much more comfortable with my Intuos, so I typically just hooked it up and treated the Cintiqs like an ordinary monitor. The animation students always looked at me funny when I did that, of course, but considering they were all wearing tails and ears to class I didn't let it bother me.

Jaxilon
02-21-2012, 12:24 PM
Hmmm, now that is interesting. I wish there was a place I could go spend some time with one. Thanks for sharing your experience Midg. I was thinking it would be less to deal with by being able to see what you draw right at the pen tip as opposed to drawing in your lap and seeing it on the screen. I know I could get used to that because I'm already doing it all the time with my mouse. I'm going to try to find somewhere to test one out.

RobA
02-21-2012, 03:01 PM
I love my intuos4 - which is wayyy better than the graphire3 it replaced. Once you get used to the disconnect it becomes second nature to draw "down on the table" and see the results "up on the screen" It is just a question of developing a new muscle memory - quite different than drawing on paper.

Regarding "what to choose on a mac"... I have heard there are issues with gimp on macs - especially the latest OS versions. I think it requires a comparability layer or something? Someone with a mac might be able to comment more, but I see quite a few "cries for help" on the gimp sites I hang out on...

-Rob A>

jfrazierjr
02-21-2012, 07:13 PM
Hmmm, now that is interesting. I wish there was a place I could go spend some time with one. Thanks for sharing your experience Midg. I was thinking it would be less to deal with by being able to see what you draw right at the pen tip as opposed to drawing in your lap and seeing it on the screen. I know I could get used to that because I'm already doing it all the time with my mouse. I'm going to try to find somewhere to test one out.

Umm.. that first sentence really jumps out at me. I know I would REALLY hate dropping 1500+ on a Cintiq only to find that it's hard to work with and end up not using it...ouch!

Jaxilon
02-21-2012, 08:26 PM
Yeah no doubt. My opinions have been based on what I have seen not what I have done. I know others have mentioned how it was better than doing the "draw in lap, watch on monitor" thing as far as how natural it felt. I hadn't thought about how it's still not spot on. I am sure I would adjust to that very quickly but it brings up another fear I have...

Does the dang thing lag? Can it keep up with my strokes? Sometimes I move pretty fast and lag would just drive me nuts.

Midgardsormr
02-23-2012, 10:19 AM
I never noticed any lag while navigating in the OS. It did lag in the 3d sculpting application, but everything does when you're dealing with millions of polygons.

Axiom
02-27-2012, 06:04 PM
Its all a matter of preference as previously stated. Personally, i dislike the interface on GIMP, don't ask me why, just something about it drives me bonkers.

AlanShutko
02-28-2012, 11:44 AM
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is to look at the help you can get: tutorials, blogs, people to ask questions. On the broader internet, there seem to be an awful lot of PS tutorials and fewer Gimp ones, but the Guild has a bunch of really great Gimp tutorials and folks who are amazingly generous at giving people help with Gimp.

Redrobes
02-28-2012, 03:23 PM
One of the biggest things Photoshop can do that GIMP can't is CMYK separations: if that's important to you, GIMP is not what you want.

It is very true that if you want to go to a commercial printers then they will only know adobe products. But if you do want to do CMYK conversions to professional standards then there is a free utility called littlecms (http://www.littlecms.com/) which is what I used to do my colour profiles for commercial print many years back. Thats free and extremely good at what its supposed to be for. Written by a chap who's day job is colour profiling and CMYK conversions. I expect that Xara can do the job too.

Oh on the topic of pen tablets. I have one I could post to anyone who wants it in the UK. Its old about A5 and uses serial port not USB and needs a PS2 style keyboard input on PC as well for power. And not guaranteed to work and needs a new AAAA battery for the pen to see if it does work. But it would be free to a good home. We got a wacom bamboo recently with USB port instead.