The common differences are simply condensed to these three steps:
- Price: GIMP is free to use, though you are always free to donate to the project. I’d highly recommend donating if you have a few quid spare and you’re looking for an application like Photoshop. Photoshop is upwards of £100, although it’s to be noted that Adobe now offers a monthly package for Photoshop, the cheapest of which is £8.57 as of the time of writing this article.
- Power: Whilst the price difference may be a reason you’d immediately go for GIMP, you have to realise that yes: You are lowering some of the power you get. Photoshop can be used for a large variety of projects, however GIMP is a lot more limited. It’s good for your basic image manipulation, or spriting, but it’s not so good for Text manipulation, 3D effects or adjustment layers.
- Compatibility: Photoshop isn’t available here on Linux, but it is available on some versions Mac and Windows. GIMP is available on Linux, Max & Windows.
Now that we’ve gotten the differences out of the way, let’s look at GIMP and debunk the myths that it is hard to use.
Much like Photoshop, there are toolbars for all of the tools you’d expect. You have layers for working on individual elements of a picture and you have backgrounds. You can choose to go with a black, white or transparent background, allowing you to manipulate the images in any way you want. In the image below, you can see that I’ve been busy at work with different pictures for our logo, along with some… Sneak peaks, let’s just say.
Okay, so I’ve only made something simple, but GIMP is the software I’ve used since day one here on GeekOut South-West. I’ve always been a fan of it, so I’d implore you to at least check it out if you need to do some image manipulation. It produces some seriously high quality works.
It’s lightweight, it’s pretty powerful and yes – I’m a huge fan of it. For free software, this is honestly all that you can ask for and then some more. In an article I did some time ago, I showed how it could be used for spriting. But that’s not all this application can do. It has enough powerful tools to make your very own wonderful scenes, or to touch up an existing piece of art. It’s the tool I’m going to be using through making my very own adventure video game, for all of the textures and sprites I could ever need.
Have you used GIMP? Do you like it, or do you prefer to use Photoshop? What’s the reason for your preference? As always, give us your comments below or over on the Facebook or Twitter page. I hope I’ve given you the confidence to begin image manipulation.