So I’m two days into using The Gimp v2.7.1. instead of Photoshop. Eh. It handles just fine. The Gimp’s tools and features are complete to me, as a Photoshop user (mostly-I cannot figure out, for the life of me, how I can change brush hardness on the fly short of changing brush. Anyone?). I can zoom, layer, clone, crop, paint and sharpen to my black little heart’s content. I understand that GEGL, the Generic Graphics Library, actually supersedes Photoshop’s adjustment layers in functionality, but as of tonight I haven’t had any reason to go and play with it. I’ve been happy to discover that I can clone non-destructively.

Irks and quirks:

Mild disclaimer: I am using a packaged beta which was compiled by a third-party, so my experience may not reflect that of somebody using a mainstream version:

  • The zoom tool (Z) works fine…if I just want to zoom in. However it seems to zoom in on a random segment of the image?
  • The “Hand” tool (space/middle mouse) is a little bit wonky. Even after I “released” it, the hand continued to drag the image around.
  • Tooltips. There is no way to configure them?
  • When cloning, “Sample merged” is sinfully less intuitive and informative than Photoshop’s “sample all layers.” I was annoyed by having to flick between layers until I figured it out.
  • There are separate move, shear, resize (etc.) tools. Couldn’t they all be rolled into one, improved Move tool?
  • Some of my tool choices don’t seem to be saved. I certainly had to change back the Move tool after restarting.

Un-irks and non-quirks:

It isn’t all bad.

  • There is a great, accessible interface to change every possible keyboard shortcut. I’ve been gradually changing The Gimp to match what Photoshop has. It is looking up.
  • The Clone tool was wholly less obnoxious other than its obfuscated “sample merged”.
  • The single-window interface is a really nice step up on the old interface, albeit still buggy. I have to click on the image before I can tab-hide panels.
  • GEGL. I haven’t actually used it yet, but a dry-reading on its documentation is fascinating. I’m actively looking for reasons to use it.

in design

Mark Grealish

Dashing brigand, handsome rapscallion, father, crazy cat lady and the world's greatest lover and liar, living in Galway, Ireland.




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