I always read posts regarding GIMP vs. Photoshop.
As far as I have explored PS, there are lots of great
quick-and-easy filters available and lots of tutorials
to match on the Internet - however, many filters are
missing the parameteric touch that GIMP does have -
you get the same result out of a PS filter and if you
want the result to be different, you start looking for
another filter. In PS, it seems that for everything,
there is a filter while GIMP gives you the basic
building blocks that help you achieve the results
through application of a combination of those building
I am reading Carey Bunks' excellent book "Grokking the
Gimp" and recommend it to all new GIMP users as well
as PS users because many fine aspects of computer
graphics have been covered in sufficient depth here.
Particularly, the section on Color Spaces (or models)
such as RGB, CMYK, HSV and Blending Modes is really
excellent and I haven't yet seen that kind of quality
PS stuff elsewhere. Yes, lots of good tutorials
illustrating lots of 3rd party & built-in filters and
good techniques but no technical tutorial about
blending modes, color theory and the like illustrating
why a particular mode or a color model functions in a
particular way, for example. In fact, this gives you
great insight into the color theory and helps you a
great deal in developing solid effects or filters.
Further, a couple of days ago, I happened to use PS
(7) and I couldn't find a Selection/Shrink
command/function in PS though a Selection/Grow was
there (may be there is a key combination for shrink -
I don't know!). The point is: GIMP's menu structure
and placement of functions is very intuitive and easy
plus, though, it doesn't offer lots of quick-and-easy
filters, it does give you a feel of being in the know
of what exactly you are doing (if you have gone
through good references such as GIMP's online
reference and Carey Bunks' book) and helps you produce
the results through application of various available
facilities - filters, curves, modes, etc - you can
automate and create your own plugins if you can. In
addition, though minor things like key assignments
seem to have changed from previous versions, core
functionality has been greatly improved and somehow
one can make do through user lists, online references
and other resources.
In my humble opinion, references to PS functionality
or filters can serve as new functional specifications
that voluntary developers might implement in future
releases (if they do find that kind of time, of
course). Further, such references can serve as
marketing tools for GIMP if the same results/effects
can be achieved in GIMP in a different fashion using a
combination of GIMP facilities that educate the PS
user a lot about computer graphics. In addition,
there is enough material available on the Internet
that very clearly positions the GIMP amongst other
re-touching tools - GIMP has its own niche.
I hope this long post is not considered as spam.
My apologies in advance!
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