On 12/28/2011 11:02 AM, Daniel Smith wrote:
> It's just funny! It's a play on the idea that it's the
> not-quite-capable version of Photoshop.
> At least they didn't name it SIMP!
That IS funny. I started using the GIMP when Tor Lillqvist ported
it to Windows many long years ago. At that time, it was
not-quite-capable in two senses: It had WAY fewer useful tools and
functions than it does today, and it tended to crash a LOT on the OS
in question. But I kept it and have been using it ever since.
Warning: I have not been on this list long enough to know whether
what follows might start a pointless debate or even a flame war. It
would be very naive to think that Adobe does not have a PR
contractor monitoring this list, armed with focus group tested
talking points. So please put on your asbestos gloves...
On a couple of occasions I tried Photoshop: Installed the thing,
bookmarked a bunch of tutorials and how-to docs, checked out
textbooks from the library, etc. And on these occasions I have
found no reason to prefer the Adobe beast. The largest differences
I saw were an inherently awkward interface paradigm and slower
workflow. A lot of familiar tools seemed to be missing. The price
tag was the least important factor weighing against Photoshop IMO.
Maybe getting used to the GIMP ruined me for life. Maybe all the
tutorials, howto docs, and manuals I found for Photoshop suck.
Maybe forcing myself to use nothing but Photoshop for a few weeks at
a time was not a fair trial of the product. But my working
hypothesis is that Photoshop is a not-quite-AS-capable version of
Millions of dollars have been spent to make "photoshop" a verb. But
the days when sneering, condescending print shop sales reps refused
to take any work not submitted in PSD format are over - I watched
that change happen between about 2005 and 2007 in my local area.
And from what I have seen IRL in the last couple of years, the GIMP
is starting to eat Adobe's lunch in terms of mindshare in the "geeky
teenager" market that determines the shape of tomorrow's software
landscape - only starting, but it's a solid start.
Under the hood, Photoshop uses more bits per channel to represent
and process images. It also uses the LAB color model, which
requires more bits per channel to represent the same color gamut as
RGB, so the difference is not as large as it would seem at first
glance. Bigger numbers mean smaller rounding errors, this is a Good
Thing, and the GIMP will be getting more bits per channel shortly.
But way over 95% of those who believe that the GIMP is a "less
capable Photoshop" will never process an image for an application
where this difference in "bit depth" makes any difference in the
The fact that Adobe Inc. has a "partner" relationship with
commercial printer manufacturers is an important difference if you
happen to own and operate such a printer. But this has noting to do
with producing the source files submitted to the said print shop,
Accurately converting a GIIMP-made CMYK TIFF file to PSD for
proofing and color adjustment on the computer connected to the
production printer is a one click operation. So this is a
"difference that makes no difference" unless you do happen to own
and operate that printer.
In some circles it is an article of faith that the GIMP is "not
suitable for professional graphics work." But in recent years over
half of my income has come from editing images with the GIMP. And
that, not "has a vendor training certificate" or "paid for an
expensive product", is the definition of professional graphics work.
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