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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2004, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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GIMP observations

So I've decided to give GIMP another shot. Version 2 is much improved from 1.2 that I had previously tested out. Still not quite enough to consider it as a viable alternative to Photoshop... but it's getting damn close.

Anyway, I'm using it to mock up a re-design for a website, and I need to align elements. I want space at the top of the screen reserved for a banner ad, and I want it centered in the layout. I've figured out how to get it aligned to the left of the image, but have yet to figure out how to get it aligned to the center automatically... instead I had to figure out the center of the image, set a guide, then the center of the banner mockup, and set a guide the number of pixels away from the center guide equal to half the banner mockup.

Ie: 960/2=480, so set a guide at 480. 468/2=234, so set another guide at 714, then move the banner mockup so that the right edge locks onto the guide at 714, thus centering the banner.

That's a pain in the ass.

The alignment options seem ... hmmm. I think I figured it out. Still somewhat of a pain, having to hide all the layers that I don't want being aligned (since it's "Align visible layers", rather than "Align selected/active layer" ... or something to that effect), then use the bottom (invisible) layer as the base... but at least it doesn't require unnecissary calculations and guidelines :-/

The only other real gripe I've got with GIMP is that text gets rasterized whenever I try to use layer transforms (scale/rotate/etc), which means you have to make the initial text larger than you want, and then scale down to avoid pixelation. I found the "Create Path from Text" option, so maybe that could be a workaround of sorts (make text, create path, scale path as desired, fill with color desired).

Beyond that, it's got some damn nice qualities. Make Seamless is goddamn brilliant.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2004, 10:02 AM
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Not bad for free software?

For what I've used photoshop for, Gimp can do, but I doubt I use it as much as you have, good post!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2004, 10:27 AM
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For the normal chump who wants something to use for personal use.. the gimp is the way to go. If you are a graphics artist and do it for a living. Photoshop all the way. I have heard graphics artist complain that the gimp lacks many features they want/need. IMO, they are the ones that need to use it all-day every so I trust their opinions. Other then that.. the gimp does the corny things I need it to do... Microsoft Paint can do these things as well too for that matter too
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2004, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Oh definitely, it could easily give Photoshop a run for it's money, when you don't need the professional (and rarely used in most graphic design fields) features of Photoshop, such as color seperations, CMYK color mode, bitmap color mode (black & white halftones, also known as 2bit color), duotone, lab color, color matching, all the pre-print/pre-press options that photoshop has, etc.

For web design, and even 3d modeling/animation (God bless Make Seamless!), GIMP is more than adequate from what I'm seeing. I'd even go so far as to say it's comparable to Photoshop 5.5, possibly 6 (definitely 6 with some more intuitive alignment options, keep text vectored, and add layer effects (like drop shadows/glows)). After being so used to Photoshop 6 and 7, it's weird having to go back to add a drop shadow, or glow to text, and having to manually do it again. But It's easy enough.

Merging layers is a bit awkward too. There's only Merge Visible and Merge Down. No Merge Linked. So you gotta hide all layers you don't want merged together. And linked layers aren't independantly linked... kind of hard to explain, but when you link layers in Photoshop, you can have multiple link "groups" of layers, but in GIMP it's all a global link. So if you want to link the first two layers and move them, you need to unlink the middle layers, or you'll be moving them as well... if that makes any sense I just found that out the hard way, went to scale some link buttons down, and all the sudden the header title for the mockup shrunk down too

.xcf format seems to be about half the size of .psd format as well. But that's only dealing with images under 500k so far... curious how that ratio is affected with some of my 30+ meg images. Might see if GIMP will import 'em later and check it out. I did however notice that importing a .psd doesn't bring along any layer mask's linked to layers, which is odd since GIMP does have layer masks.

Also, being that it's all seperated into individual windows, rather than having everything in a unified workspace ... minor annoyance. It's also one of the reasons I can't stand Mac's Fullscreen mode would work if you could have all the dialogs/palettes on the screen too, without having to go through a menu ... there's just some things you can't use a keyboard shortcut for Are there any themes that can be installed that will allow it all to exist in a unified workspace?

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-26-2004, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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What's up with Been trying to get to it since sometime last week, but getting an internal server error :-/

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