At a time when the global economy is going through a recession, using an open source program can be like a “bridge over troubled waters” over licensed software. This effectively will bring down the expenses of you or your company. I won’t say that each every software we use has an equally effective open source program but yes, it is true in case of Adobe Photoshop. The GNU Image Manipulation Program or more popularly known as the GIMP can be the open source alternative to Adobe Photoshop.
GIMP is easy to work with and is ideal for anyone and everyone whoever wishes to create, edit and retouch any type of graphics, images or photographs. Whether you are a novice, an experienced graphic and web designer or a photographer, GIMP caters to all of your needs if you are on budget and looking for an open source Adobe Photoshop alternative. Though the project of GIMP was started by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis in 1995, it is now maintained by a group of volunteer developers. It’s features include channels, layers, brushes, masking tools, filters and effects, tabbed palettes, editable text tools, perspective clone, improved printing, and color operations. Its color palette includes RGB, HSV, colour wheel, CMYK, mixing modes and tools to pick colors from images and graphics. It also supports hexadecimal color codes. A few days ago the team released the latest version, GIMP 2.6.5 and this is a bug fixed release. The new improved features include GEGL integration for 32 bit color support and a more versatile easy-to-use free select tool. Another interesting feature of this latest version is the dynamic brushes. The brush dynamics let you map the different brush parameters like hardness, opacity, size and color to the input dynamics like pressure, velocity and random. To use this you need to map at least 2 brush parameters namely size and opacity to one or more input dynamics.
With this latest version, GIMP has also become easy to install as now there is no need to download and install GTX Runtime Environment separately. GIMP’s professional tools and latest plug in developments have not only made it stand apart among other similar open source applications but also a genuine alternative of Adobe Photoshop without the heavy price tag.
Phew! Would you still buy Photoshop? Of course, if your work demands more intensive image editing than what I have talked about earlier. Otherwise, as we all know, “open source matters”!