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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos RAW, Post Processing & Printing
Thread started 24 Apr 2009 (Friday) 11:33
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STICKY: Gimp Tutorials

 
KarlosDaJackal
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Apr 24, 2009 11:33 |  #1

Some Basics with GIMP 2.6.x
These are some short concise to the point tutorials I have written on these very forums to help people understand how to work with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). I previously did similar tutorials on another forum when my main interest was using GIMP to paint 3D models of cars. These are not intended as general purpose tutorials, they are aimed at the photographers. UFRaw (an open source raw converter) will also be covered where it makes more sense to work on the raw then the converted image.

This is the story so far, all threads on potn so feel free to ask a question in the topic thread and it will be answered there and hopefully help someone in the future.

0: Loading Raws
1: Cropping
2: Selection Tools and Tricks
3: GIMP Layers/Masks - Black and White, Selective Colour
4: Sharpening with GIMP, Unsharp Mask (AKA USM)
5: high pass sharpening options with GIMP.
6: GIMP, Plugins and Noise Reduction
7: Color Management with GIMP, Part 1

Any other tutorials or threads worth looking at
Replacing a background with GIMP


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dipps
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Apr 24, 2009 11:42 |  #2

not "on the forum", but might also prove useful.....

http://www.gimp.org/tu​torials/external link


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dlpasco
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Apr 24, 2009 11:53 |  #3

Karlos, I'm curious about GIMP. I use Ubuntu and OSX. I own PS CS2 for Windows and am considering an upgrade to CS4 for Mac. I don't do much with Photoshop and CS4 is probably overkill. I use Lightroom for almost everything and convert from raw to DNG.

Do you have an opinion regarding the quality of edits between Gimp and PS? I'm sure Gimp provides enough tools for what limited requirements I have but I don't want to sacrifice any image quality.

Thanks,
Dan


Dan

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KarlosDaJackal
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Apr 24, 2009 14:26 |  #4

dlpasco wrote in post #7796094external link
Karlos, I'm curious about GIMP. I use Ubuntu and OSX. I own PS CS2 for Windows and am considering an upgrade to CS4 for Mac. I don't do much with Photoshop and CS4 is probably overkill. I use Lightroom for almost everything and convert from raw to DNG.

Do you have an opinion regarding the quality of edits between Gimp and PS? I'm sure Gimp provides enough tools for what limited requirements I have but I don't want to sacrifice any image quality.

Thanks,
Dan

I don't think I have ever heard anyone ever complain about image quality with GIMP, its simply a non-issue. Most of the complaints in the past have been about the UI, which has been heavily updated in 2.4 and again in 2.6, since 2.6.1 we have had single window gimp on both windows and linux, not sure about OSX.

The major difference is support of color managment outside of RGB, that is changing with the current partial support of the GEGL and apparently by the time 2.8 comes out we will have a lot more GEGL and probalby a completly new UI. Also you loose recordable actions, adjustment layers (until 2.8 just normal layers).

People don't get the version number system, but 2.6 is a huge upgrade to 2.4, its the same as the change from CS3 to CS4. Bearing that in mind, way back in version 1.0.4 gimp was forked and another app based on it called cinepaint was released this was gimp with full 32bit color support and used for retouching hollywood films frame by frame. So 1.0.4 with some tweaks was good enough for hollywood, seen any of these films (from wikipedia) >> Examples of the software's application in the movie industry include Elfexternal link, Looney Tunes, League of Extraordinary Gentlemenexternal link, Duplexexternal link, The Last Samuraiexternal link, Showtime, Blue Crush, 2 Fast 2 Furiousexternal link, Harry Potterexternal link, Cats & Dogsexternal link, Dr. Dolittle 2external link, Little Nickyexternal link, The Grinchexternal link, Sixth Dayexternal link, Stuart Littleexternal link, Planet of the Apesexternal link, Stuart Little 2external link, and Spider-Manexternal link. Normal gimp has had 4 large updates since that time, and rememeber both are open source, anything cinepaint did better they could just take the code and put it back in normal gimp. They choose to do the 16 bit thing in a more flexible way which they believe is better is why its not in there at the moment.

Quality is not the issue, and having used elements 6 and gimp 2.6.6 side by side today, I don't think the interface is a problem eaither. You just have to ask yourself a few questions
* do I "need" CYMK or CIE XYZ color support
* do I "need" adjustment layers
* once passed the raw stage do I "need" 16 bit colour support
* do I "need" user recordable actions
* do I "need" to spend the adobe license fee cost to have those features

For meCYMK is frankly not even on my radar, from what I understand of it CYMK is limited to a few people using older printer technology, CYMK has to use tricks such as halftoning to compete with the RGBs range. Useful if you have that kind of CYMK printer, I don't. Most PS users seem to use RGB based profiles when they do use other colour profiles, so not an issue, Gimp 0 : PS 0

Adjustment layers I can see benefit in, but really I can do the same job with a normal layer, its just harder to go backwards, I'd still like to have them, but I can wait until 2.8. Gimp 0: PS 1

16bit, for me at the raw stage is plenty, open a 16bit tiff and 8bit tiff side by side they look the same. Push the curves hard enough I'm sure the 16bit will win but that is a solution looking for a problem to me. In the last 8000 images i've shot I've never thought to myself "that would look better if it was 16 bit". Gimp 0: PS 1

Actions you think it would be a big loss, but they are not. Anything worth doing automatically has been made into a script by someone else already. We know open source is all about sharing, and loads of scripts are out there, as well as the plugins. You can write your own if you really need to but you won't. In fact GIMP has a 2 fully supported languages ScriptFu and PythonFu for plugins and they expose the internals of the app fully, no secret manufacturer only tricks. And python is not limited to just what GIMP can do, it can do anything python can do which is just about anything you can think off. If you have a bunch of actions you use "all the time" I think you will find a script exists. Gimp 1: PS 1

Cost/Value.... Gimp 10: PS 1. Let me explain 10. I don't think of gimp as "free photoshop" I'm a firm believer in open source software, anyone who uses firefox knows the benefits of open source, another app that benefits from open source plugins learing from each other and improving all the time, once adblock came out we had better adblocks, flash blocks, and tonnes of other useful stuff. I also use inkscape for SVGs. Even flickrs uploader is a GPLv2 application built on mozilla xul. i use Openoffice, mysql/apache like most of the internet servers on the planet. I'm writing this from ubuntu. For me the sharing/contributing etos is very important so its a clear 10, most people don't care they just want free photoshop and I guess it wins for those people also.

Its not perfect for everybody, and some people will just never get it and for those people I'd say congratulations for trying (if they did) enjoy photoshop. If you budget is limited and you don't "need" the few extra bits photoshop does, I'd say use GIMP and maybe invest in a raw converter if you feel the need to buy something. I love UFRaw but its not trying to be aperture/lightroom/cap​ture one so I can see the benefit of having such a thing.

If you exported your most prized photo from lightroom in 8bit tiff and did the same adjustments in gimp as you did in CS2, i think you would not be able to tell any actual difference.


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arnie12
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Apr 24, 2009 14:42 as a reply to KarlosDaJackal's post |  #5

One topic that should be covered is digikam. In my eyes, Digikam is a direct competitor for Aperture and Lightroom. There is a version for Linux and MS Windows and the program is under active development. Currently, I am using Digikam for photo management and the GIMP/UFRaw combo for editing, although Digikam can also be used for some basic editing.


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KarlosDaJackal
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Apr 24, 2009 14:52 |  #6

arnie12 wrote in post #7796976external link
One topic that should be covered is digikam. In my eyes, Digikam is a direct competitor for Aperture and Lightroom. There is a version for Linux and MS Windows and the program is under active development. Currently, I am using Digikam for photo management and the GIMP/UFRaw combo for editing, although Digikam can also be used for some basic editing.

Congrats you just volunteered yourself for the job ;)

I think i tried it briefly last year, but f-spot seemed much better, will have to apt-get it and have another look.


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arnie12
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Apr 24, 2009 14:58 |  #7

KarlosDaJackal wrote in post #7797037external link
Congrats you just volunteered yourself for the job ;)

I think i tried it briefly last year, but f-spot seemed much better, will have to apt-get it and have another look.

I never tried f-spot, but I heard that Digikam is better. As I am using KDE anyway, it was more straightforward for me to start using Digikam anyway.

I've noticed that you used Windows for your screen shots. Is there any reason for that? Or is it just because more users use Windows than Linux and so the screen shots are a little bit more familiar for windows users?


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KarlosDaJackal
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Apr 24, 2009 16:51 as a reply to arnie12's post |  #8

2 of the tutorials where done in windows, and 1 from linux the platform does not really make a difference, i prefer to use my linux laptop most of the time, but my proper large screen is on my gaming pc which runs Vista x64, I also have a work laptop which is imaged in xp, so I think i've done 1 tutorial on each of the machines. Whatever I have available I use.

Its nice to be able to have the same software on all 3 pc's and not worry about breaking any license agreements, downloaded digikam 0.10 for ubuntu 9.04 now, looks impressive, will have to put it through its paces. My memories of KDE are lots of crashes and options all over the place, this seems very, very slow already, any hints or must see features?


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dlpasco
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Apr 24, 2009 18:21 |  #9

Thanks for the excellent info - I'm also writing this on Ubuntu (just upgraded to 9.04). I only run Windows for one package that isn't supported on other platforms and that is only a client tool that connects to a linux DB (I'm a developer for a database company). Everything else is Ubuntu (desktop) or OSX (laptop). I use OSX for photo printing. I don't know if there are good printer drivers for Canon 9000 and 9500 but the drivers for OSX are excellent. I would like to attach my photo printers to my Ubuntu system but haven't tried yet.

I also like the Open Source community although as an employee of a software company I also appreciate people who purchase software ; I also like the Canonical model and plan to become a supported Ubuntu user.

Given this info, I am going to postpone any Photoshop plans. I do have some PS templates that I hope I can leverage using Gimp. I'll soon find out. Thanks again for your tutorials.

Dan


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dlpasco
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Apr 24, 2009 18:24 |  #10

Karl - I just checked out your website. Are those images edited with Gimp?

Great photos!

btw - I have a good friend in Dublin. Hope to visit someday soon.


Dan

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kenyee
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Apr 24, 2009 20:11 |  #11

One other nice thing about PS is all the predefined actions people have done (e.g., Totally Rad, Mama Shan, etc.) and some of the plugins (e.g., Fluid Mask, Noiseware, Portraiture). That said, I'm still running Gimp because it's enough for me ;-)a


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elitejp
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Apr 24, 2009 23:35 |  #12

dlpasco wrote in post #7796094external link
Karlos, I'm curious about GIMP. I use Ubuntu and OSX. I own PS CS2 for Windows and am considering an upgrade to CS4 for Mac. I don't do much with Photoshop and CS4 is probably overkill. I use Lightroom for almost everything and convert from raw to DNG.

Do you have an opinion regarding the quality of edits between Gimp and PS? I'm sure Gimp provides enough tools for what limited requirements I have but I don't want to sacrifice any image quality.

Thanks,
Dan

This is something that im also wondering at. It seems that Gimp can do just about anything photoshop can do. Some of the arguments I here from ps users is gimp is so hard to use. Well so is ps! IF youve spent years using ps and just a few days or a week using gimp then of course you wont like it. But I really would like to see what ps can do that gimp cant.

I did think of one thing that ps does that is really nice and that is the liquify tool.


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KarlosDaJackal
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Apr 25, 2009 03:31 |  #13

dlpasco wrote in post #7798217external link
Karl - I just checked out your website. Are those images edited with Gimp?

Great photos!

btw - I have a good friend in Dublin. Hope to visit someday soon.

Thanks everything is either done with GIMP or a straight Raw conversion with either UFRaw or DPP.

kenyee wrote in post #7798663external link
One other nice thing about PS is all the predefined actions people have done (e.g., Totally Rad, Mama Shan, etc.) and some of the plugins (e.g., Fluid Mask, Noiseware, Portraiture). That said, I'm still running Gimp because it's enough for me ;-)a

Totally Rad - nothing special gimp can do all of those out of the box, they are just different places in the menu, someone probably has done a similar interface, if not I might have a go at doing it myself.
Mama Shan - nothing special, and $25 bucks to fix an eye shadow! Again gimp can do all of these, probably been written already.
Fluid Mask - looks nice, faster than doing a manual quickmask, with about the same results, but not €150 nice.
Noiseware - between wavelet and greyCstoration this is no loss really
Portrature - Solves a problem I don't have, I actually really dislike plugins like this. If I did want the standard carbon copy portrait, I think it can be achieve without spending $300!

elitejp wrote in post #7799656external link
This is something that im also wondering at. It seems that Gimp can do just about anything photoshop can do. Some of the arguments I here from ps users is gimp is so hard to use. Well so is ps! IF youve spent years using ps and just a few days or a week using gimp then of course you wont like it. But I really would like to see what ps can do that gimp cant.

I did think of one thing that ps does that is really nice and that is the liquify tool.

Having used both GIMP 2.6.6 and Photoshop Elements 6 side by side yesterday to compare the interfaces, I came to the conclusion, both have there strengths and weaknesses. The thing with Elements, is the tools are down the left and the options for that tools are at the top, this works fine for the first few tools, but by the time you get to the tools at the end of the list (usually the newer ones) you are going from top to bottom with the mouse all the time, and the mouse is having to travel through the image area. This annoys me a lot as its an unecessary RSI inducing feature

With GIMP its consistant tools top left, tool options just below. The single window of Elements is nice, but not too flexible. With gimp on a normal to large screen most people just put the toolbox on the left then layers/channels/path on the right and image in the middle so effectively use it the same way but its easier to make GIMP work on small netbook sized screens.

liquify tool, looks similar to Filters >> Distort >> IWarp see it in use in this video http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=xQ-ru58romsexternal link


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Apr 25, 2009 09:44 |  #14

Put a link in here: The Gimp - free alternative to Photoshop
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=464298


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arnie12
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Apr 26, 2009 05:53 |  #15

KarlosDaJackal wrote in post #7797777external link
My memories of KDE are lots of crashes and options all over the place, this seems very, very slow already, any hints or must see features?

It never thought it was that bad. I am using KDE (almost) from the beginning and it's the interface I am used to it.

I only use Digikam for the management (sorting, sifting, deleting, tagging) of my pictures. I never used the editing features, but it may be a one stop shop (like Lightroom or Aperture) for some people.


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