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Bring out the GIMP - Photoshop replacement
Have you ever wanted or needed to edit an image, but found the task difficult or impossible without using a high end graphics package like Photoshop?
The key to Photoshop's power is the ability to create and edit images using layers. The downfall of Photoshop is it's price. It can be complicated to use at times as well, but the typical audience for a Photoshop level of editor is not your average PC user.
Now there is an alternative: The GIMP.
What is the GiMP?
The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an entirely free software program for just about anything you might use Photoshop or any sophisticated paint program for: photo retouching, creating and editing composite images, batch processing, format conversion and more.
The GIMP is incredibly flexible. It also has a serious set of image filters for various effects like rendering textures, embossing, beveling, lens flare, etc..., but you can use GIMP for simple tasks like any paint program. It can also be extended with plug-ins for performing just about any graphical task you might want to perform.
Another key feature of The GIMP is its scripting engine which allows the user to automate everything from the simplest to the most complex task.
Here's a quick list of features (courtesy of The GIMP website):
- Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
- Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
- Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
- Supports custom brushes and patterns
- Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
- Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
- Full alpha channel support
- Layers and channels
- Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
- Editable text layers
- Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
- Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
- Foreground extraction tool
- Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
- Transformable paths, transformable selections.
- Quickmask to paint a selection.
- A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in
- Script-fu Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
- Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters.
- Over 100 plug-ins already available
- Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
- MNG support
- Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
- Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
- Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
- File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
- Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
- SVG path import/export
Where you can get The GiMP
The GIMP is available from http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/
But there is also a fully portable version of The GIMP that you can take with you on your USB drive where ever you may roam.