Gimp or Photoshop? Lets Break-em Down

The Gimp versus Photoshop. Read this to see which is the one for you!

Gimp is open source and free to download. Photoshop on the other hand is expensive (CC version), but is the choice for professional graphic designers, and photographers.

Besides being some of the two best picture editing software, Gimp and Photoshop can do a lot more then edit photos. Here are a few examples:

* Professional graphics design like website logos.

* 2D animation saved a GIF files.

* Used with 3D software (color and normal maps)

* There are so many graphic designs to create for kids to professionals and artists.

So, let’s run down these two popular photography editing software.

Gimp (2.8 latest version) 

Gimp 2.8 is a free and open source download. There are times when I have deliberately avoided using GIMP because I thought it was a bit cumbersome and not organised enough. Since GIMP has been re-released there have been many changes and it has become a lot better. I much prefer using GIMP now and love the fact, that it is still free to use.

The first change is the ‘single window mode’. In order to use this, go to Windows > Single Window Mode. The user base for GIMP has long requested this change and it is good the programmers have implemented this. Using GIMP is far better now it has single window mode. There are no more windows disappearing or getting in the way of the canvas.

The new canvas text editing feature is far better than the annoying pop-up window that was there before. The new GIMP is more aesthetically pleasing in a lot of ways. The text editing mode is easier and slicker to use. This will speed up any text work.

There is also the addition of layers which will please Photoshop users. Layers are much more easier to use in GIMP and it is not as confusing. The new group layers will allow users to hide and show their sets of layers and move or delete an entire group at once.

The new navigation system allows users to switch screens easily without needing to search through a lot of windows and minimize or maximize them to locate the right one on the task bar. Therefore, organizing work is far easier than ever before.

GIMP 2.8 allows a user to be better organized. The different tool bars can be moved and rearranged, making it quicker and simpler to find what you are looking for. The new layout, permits users to make their ideal work-space without needing to search through lot’s of windows and accidentally close tool bars.

It is now possible to rotate brushes and this is a useful addition for people who want to paint in GIMP. The brushes are organised much better and are easier to find. It is now possible to categorize brushes by tagging them.

GIMP 2.8 is far better than the previous edition and is likely to win converts. A lot of the features have received revamps that make them easier and quicker to use. However, the basic workmanlike designs may feel slightly dated for Adobe Photoshop users. Workflow is improved by aspects such as, Layer Groups.

It is now easier to edit text straight on to the canvas, instead of a floating dialog box. This improvement is much better although the implementation is not ideal and there is plenty of room for improvement. There is now a cage transform tool that is a powerful addition. However, it might not be useful for everyone. The upgrade has been very solid that has transformed the user experience.

Check the free gimp download here:

Photoshop (Now CC)

Photoshop CS6 is a must have upgrade. It can save a lot of time for professionals on a daily basis, due to the addition of upgraded features, a new graphic engine and a fantastic new interface. The interface is dark grey in color and can be taken back to an original grey or slightly darker, if you want. The new upgrade focuses on the basics that are needed to improve the program. The new icons are a welcome sight.

Previous Photoshop’s had lots of layers that were purely interface crap. They had different kinds of buttons and windows often clearly misaligned. Adobe hired an interface professional and got all those different graphic elements cleaned up. Crop is far better and more powerful. Crop is an essential tool that has not been changed since Photoshop was launched. The new crop is not destructive; the image flows, rotates, scales and zooms in real time.

The new RAW 7 import is a great feature. In fact, photographers are using this to re-import old RAW material just so they can see fantastic, new results. The adjustment brush that applies different RAW parameters is fantastic also. It is very flexible and quite unbelievable.

One other amazing feature are shadows and highlights. Well, this feature has also been revamped and you’ll notice how you can increase the values to crazy levels without getting halos on the image. This works amazingly with images from the iPhone camera.

Typography is a fantastic time-saver if you are making anything from scratch or reusing old styles. It will soon make variations of designs. Lens blur is also fantastic and has three kinds of effect. These effects work providing your graphic card supports Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine. The most powerful is the Iris Blur, that permits the user to choose from different focus points and adjust the blurring dramatically.

Download Photoshop trial here:

Gimp Compared to Photoshop

Possible the two top photo editing software available, let us make the final comparision between Gimp and Photoshop.The new Photoshop CS6 has a new processing engine that makes the program much faster. There are new video tools and other changes. However, prices are still very expensive for Photoshop and not everyone needs it. Many people only need Photoshop for occasional layer work or cloning. Therefore, it might be worth considering that GIMP is 100% free and a very powerful photo editor. GIMP 2.8 is now closer to Photoshop in functionality, than it ever was. Although there are no Content-Aware Fill or the ability to perform Actions, all the major tools are there and work effectively. GIMP provides complete layer management, curves, editable text, levels, sharpening, channel mixture and a large variety of filters, perspective correction, transformation tools, healing, cloning, a history panel and more. It is just like Photoshop was, a few editions ago. The only downside to GIMP is that it is missing some of the ‘wow’ factors that Photoshop has. You also cannot perform quick actions. It may take longer to learn how to use GIMP compared with Photoshop, some of the tools are in strange places or do not work in the same way as Photoshop. It takes time to learn, but it is closer to a Photoshop replacement, even for professional photographers.

Due to GIMP’s new ‘Single window mode’ everything can now be docked under the main window and looks a lot like Photoshop. When I compare GIMP 2.8 to Photoshop for ease of use, they are pretty close. Gimp is free. Photoshop is expensive, but the hands down choice for professionals.

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