So this is my first donation to Gimp! The best way to support the evolution of software to replace Photoshop is to give money to the ones that can make alternatives a reality. Earlier this year, I’ve began weening myself off being dependent on Photoshop. Over the past 10 years I’ve grown to love Photoshop and of all the graphics software I use, I find it the hardest to replace. My hope is that Gimp will keep improve and I’ll feel more comfortable using it for all my digital imaging needs.
Differences in software
Not all software is equal. Gimp has made lots of great strides in a short period of time. They still have a long way to go to surpass Photoshop, but I think that’s possible with community support. Every time that I tried to use Gimp exclusively in the past, I would run into road blocks with the interface. There’s an experience that is unique to Gimp and it can prevent Photoshop users from adopting it as their mainstay.
To help myself get over the learning curve of Gimp, I’ve started creating notes to help me with the transition. Here an example of something valuable that I learned Gimp:
Selecting content in a layer and pasting to a new file:
One thing I do often is make elements for the web using Photoshop. When I’m done with the design of a web page in Photoshop and want to export separate elements, like icons, I make them individual files, cropping exactly to the size of the imagery.
How to in Photoshop
1. Select the image layer icon in the layer’s palette while holding down COMMAND.
2. With the layer content selected (marching ants), you can copy (Edit>Copy); create a new document (File>New); and paste (Edit>Paste) the content to create the final separate element.
Photoshop by default makes the new document the exact size of the content that’s in the copy buffer. It’s smart and efficient.
How to in Gimp
1. Right click layer and alpha to selection
2. Edit>Paste as new image
Learning where to click is it
Figuring out new processes for familiar actions is like learning a new language—it takes time. There are things that will irritate Photoshop users like the document canvas having “marching ants” around it as a default. To turn that off in the document with View>Show Document Layer Boundary. To turn it off for all future files, you can turn it off by going into Edit>Preferences and turn off ‘Show Layer Boundary.’
Learning the best practices for using Curves and Hue/Saturation is my next hurdle. Using these same features like I do in Photoshop has produced unimpressive results in Gimp. I find that I get artifacts in images when I try to adjustment colors. I’ve tested the same images in Photoshop and get better results. It may be as easy as relearning how to use these color adjustment tools, the Gimp way.