For a class, I don't know, but for serious photo work, Photoshop is
incredibly more advanced.
Some exampes:

- support for more than 8 bits/color/pixel (my scanners have 16)
- support for color profiles (.icc profiles - how are you going to
profile a printer otherwise?)
- support for color spaces (sRGB, but also Adobe98, etc etc)

Basic Processing:
- Is able to dither when converting according to a curve or a color
profile.  This avoids color banding.
- You can have adjustment layers, thus postponing both the decision,
and the processing.  Especially if you work with 8 bits/pixel, it
makes quite a bit of difference.

Fancy Algorithms:
There is a remarkable number of fancy algorithms built into Photoshop;
some examples are:
- Good algorithms for correcting lens aberrations, color fringing,
lens blur, and more.
- Good algorithms for collating images into a panoramic.
- Good algorithms for producing extended dynamic range images.
- Good algorithms for converting from one colorspace to the other
- Good algorithms for shadow/highlight correction
and the list goes on and on, even before counting the plug-ins many
professionals developed.

I love the interface of Gimp, and I love linux and open source
software, but it's Photoshop's management of color, and professional
algorithms, that in the end make me go to Photoshop; Photoshop is a
much superior tool for serious photography.

The problem is that it is the very heart of Gimp which is limited in
its capabilities, so one cannot fix it in a lightweight way.  If there
is no notion of color space in an image... well!
I am periodically torn between going to develop for cinepaint (at
least they got the color spaces and profiles correct, one can just
redo some algorithms), or rewriting a new tool for scratch in a decent
language like Ocaml (I really have come to dislike C).  However, in
the end, as I lack time even for doing what I should be doing for my
job, I do nothing, and I use mostly Photoshop for photo editing.


On 12/16/06, John R. Culleton <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> ON another list someone was complaining about the expense nad bother of
> upgrading to the latest Photoshop, including licenses etc. I suggested Gimp
> as a no cost/no fuss alternative for students. I received a long reply, much
> of which I am not technically competent to answer. I have never used
> Photoshop. Anyone else care to take a crack at one or more issues raised?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > I've checked out GIMP before.
> >
> > I was going to try to run it again to see if this comment held any
> >
> > water:
> > > There may be a feature or two that are unique to Photoshop but I'll
> > > bet you
> > > can live without them.
> >
> > …but X11 choked on my 34 activated fonts. From what I recall of
> > version 2.1.x, it (and I) suffered from its aggravating GUI and
> > inconsistent tools, and a general lack of features. That being said,
> > if friends and family members are pining for some way to scan and
> > modify old photos, I install GIMP for them and show them how to do it.
> >
> > GIMP works for casual use. I don't see it fitting into a professional
> > workflow mainly because of the utter awkwardness of the GUI. Maybe if
> > you're used to the Gnome UI standards or have the mindset of a
> > programmer, it's less awkward. But that's another story. These are
> > first year students I'm talking about here. They can barely get the
> > OSX dock straight, let alone browsing for files in the GIMPs browser,
> > which reveals the BSD underbelly of OSX, hidden folders and all.
> >
> > Update: I gave X11 some time (10 minutes on my hermetically
> > maintained dual 1.25 G4 with 2 gigs of ram) and it finally loaded
> > GIMP and also GIMPshop. While it seems that the feature sets have
> > expanded quite a bit, there are still things that I use regularly in
> > Photoshop missing. Here's a list.
> >
> > Adjustment layers: non-destructive editing. It can save you whole
> > minutes if not dozens of them.
> > CMYK Support: Come on!
> > Wacom support- I'm sure you can get it working in linux, but we're
> > not switching.
> > Semi-automated extraction- a real time saver.
> > Live filter previews- what's the point without them?
> > Color profiles (again, come on- how is importing an image into
> > Scribus just to apply a color profile a productive workflow?)
> > Limited output options (a.k.a. mostly useless file types)
> > Vanishing Point (it's actually useful)
> > No typeface previews
> >
> > I could go on and on but I feel that I'm wasting breath, so to speak.
> > Yeah, you can do a lot in the GIMP but it's just not enough. Beyond
> > its limitations, it's difficult to use, doesn't play well with
> > others, and would probably curl up in a ball and die if it tried to
> > interact with our scanners on the intel machines. Photoshop saves
> > time which saves money in the long run, and thus the software pays
> > for itself. I'm not trying to say that GIMP isn't a great solution
> > for Do-It-Yourselfers or Very-Small-Businesses, but if you're
> > teaching students, there's a certain responsibility to focus on
> > industry demands. I had a hard enough time getting them (the faculty)
> > to give up Extensis Suitcase for Font Explorer X.
> >
> > -Matt
> (My first response follows)
> Interesting response. Let me answer those objections that I can.
> 1. Load time:  On a modest Linux system and using the stable verson 2.2.13
> load time 10 seconds.  Modest means a 768MHZ CPU and 512 MB ram.
> 2. Activated fonts. I estimate about 50 X11 fonts on my system. I got tired
> counting them onscreen.
> 3. Scanner: I use an Intel machine and activating the scanner means copying
> the xsane  program to the Gimp plugins directory. Then on next reboot it
> shows up automatically on the Acquire menu. I scan all the time.
> 4. GUI: I use KDE. Gimp adapts nicely to that. KDE resembles MSWin. I set my
> teeniebopper granchild down on my computer and she was able to use Mozilla
> which she had never seen before and Kword which she had never seen before and
> the KDE interface itself which she had never seen before without any
> instruction after I showed her where to access the programs on the menu. The
> dreadfulness of GUI shock is IMO much overrated.  I can go back and forth
> between KDE, Win 2000 and Win 98 without difficulty, though of course I
> prefer KDE.
> 5. CMYK support. In fact what you see on any screen is RGB. The latest
> unstable Gimp will convert an image by reducing its gamut to one resembling
> CMYK.  You can even get cmyk separations. But for print work it is probably
> smart to do final checking in Scribus which does the whole CMYK bit, ICC
> profiles for monitor and printing etc.  Now I would much prefer a Gimp that
> worked natively in CMYK.  I have been pounding the drums for that for years.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> John Culleton
> Able Indexing and Typesetting
> Precision typesetting (tm) at reasonable cost.
> Satisfaction guaranteed.
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