Saturday, February 23, 2008

So what is "the GiMP"?


So what is "the GiMP"? Is it a character from a Tarantino movie? Is it some kind of weird role-playing character? Is it some kind of careless slander?

Yeah, no.

GiMP 2.4 is the "GNU Image Manipulation Program", suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching, image composition, and image construction.

One of the GiMP's strengths is its free availability from many sources for many operating systems. Most GNU/Linux distributions include The GIMP as a standard application. The GIMP is also available for other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows™ or Apple's Mac OS X™ (Darwin). The GIMP is a Free Software application covered by the General Public License (GPL license). The GPL provides users with the freedom to access and alter the source code that makes up computer programs. (thx, GiMP Users Manual)

And here's the thing: most people, frankly, don't have the $100 to buy Photoshop Elements, and definitely don't have the mad cash for Adobe Creative Suite, but they also don't want to be embarrassed with ridiculously-childish graphics on their web site. So for all of you, on all your various platforms, the GiMP is a great solution so that you can at least use something other than, well, MS Paint and crossed fingers.

So your first assignment here is to download the GiMP (for the purpose of this site, you should try to get GiMP 2.4 as that will be the version we are using until further notice, without regard to current versions) and install it on your system. MAC users will have a fairly-easy time; WIN users will have a slightly-more complicated time, but honestly I find that GiMP works best in a WIN environment with at least 1 GB of ram. Because this isn't really a geek blog, we're not going to ask the question or explore the reasons for the performance gap.

What we're going to do is edit graphics. You get to work, and I'll work up some intro tutorials. If you can't wait for mine, you can go to GiMP.org and work through the ones they have posted.