Gimp vs. the World [was Re: [Israel.pm] Creating image thumbnails]

Yuval Yaari yuval at windax.com
Tue Apr 27 03:50:12 PDT 2004


Shlomi Fish said:

> You can configure GIMP to assign keybindings to whatever you want. I
> personally find the GIMP menus very nice. For the brief time I used it,
> I  found Photoshop confusing.

I imagine you never worked on an image with more than 3 layers.
I usually use over 20-30.
The menus help you. When right clicking on the image, PS tells you what
layers exist where you right clicked.
Unlike the not-so-friendly menu that pops up in the gimp.

> Not on UNIX, true. But GIMP is available for Win32 and MacOS X, where
> Photoshop can also be run. There you have a choice.

True... I stand corrected.

> I personally never found the GIMP UI bad. Originally, its menus were all
>  present in the right-mouse button context menu. This is fixed in GIMP
> 2.0.  And there are plenty of keybindings in the GIMP, and you can
> easily assign or  replace new ones. (in case you don't like the present
> ones).

I'll try the gimp 2.0.x - but I am sure it can't match any features found
in photoshop...

> Well, you can place them all on a separate workspace (that's the
> X-Windows  philosophy). In any case, in GIMP 2.0.x there are dockable
> and tabbable  dialogs, that can reduce the number of Windows.

Again, I'll have to check it out...

> Xtns is a common acronym for "Extensions".

Of course, but that's the dumbest menu I've ever came across.

> Why not? Why should a designer care that the application menu-bar has
> such a  menu, as long as the program does its job.

It doesn't do the job, that's exactly my point...

> That's the GIMP application menu. The gimp image menu (menubar per image
> in  GIMP 2.0.x, and context menu in all versions) has much more
> sub-menus.

Right click sub-menus are really wrong and not easy to work with.

> I have no problem in using the GIMP despite its three-menus menubar.
> There are  many graphic designers (check GUG - the GIMP User Group), who
> share my views.  I met a designer at an Instaparty who used Photoshop
> for several years, and  was quite impressed from the GIMP.

I am impressed from the GIMP too, BUT I wouldn't even consider saying it
could ever become a replacement for photoshop.

>> I've never seen anything really pretty done in the gimp either...
>
> Do you mean that no nice-looking images were done in the GIMP? I find it
>  hard-to-believe. For once, some of the Propaganda images,
> (http://www.ibiblio.org/propaganda/alltiles.php3) are very pretty, and
> they  were all done in the GIMP. There are some nice pictures at GUG,
> albeit many  of them not original - just tweaked. There are also others
> which I've seen.

This is nothing near impressive.
http://davinci.ice.org/ - go to his gallery.
The guy's not even using filters... Only photoshop tools...

> What's wrong with the Layers Dialog of the GIMP? In GIMP 2.0.x it is
> dockable.

In the panel, you can hide/show a layer, set of layers, or a set of sets
of sets of sets (...) of layers.
You can easily add layer effects (no, it doesn't exist in the gimp...) and
duplicate the layer, also easily mess with the layers order, merge layers,
etc...
This is the coolest thing, and most basic thing, in photoshop.

> I don't know what slices are.

You just slice up your image and when saving for web you can optimize each
and every slice (with pretty good defaults!) and it saves an HTML file
with all the images.
You can also choose which slices to save, etc.
If you use ImageReady you can easily add javascript rollovers...

>> save for web,
> There is such a feature in the GIMP.

I didn't see that.
Save for web = optimizing JPEG/GIF/PNG images, also with slices...

>> layer effects,
> If I understand you correctly, there should be.

There aren't. That's what I use the most in photoshop, I guess.

>> history panel,
>> snapshots (save a few states of your history), actions,
>> customizable keyboard shortcuts,
>
> There are customizable keyboard shortcuts in the GIMP.

I didn't see where you can customize them, what version are you using?
You passed over some very important features like the history panel.
Can you go back in history in the GIMP in a non-linear way?
That is, "ignore" what you did 3 steps ago without "ignoring" what you did
2 steps ago?
Also, snapshots: I am currently happy with the image but I would like to
keep on working on it.
I save a snapshot, and if I screw up, I go back to it.
Actios = macros. Actions make your life easy.
You can also run them, or entire action sets, on an entire directory in
batch mode.

>
>> "Filter Gallery", color replacement
>> tool,
>
> There is a color replacement tool in the GIMP.
We're not talking about the same thing.
I did manage to turn color A to color B in the GIMP.
In photoshop, you choose a color and the CR tool and just start painting.
So if you have a green tree and you chose the blue color and use the CR
tool, the tree would become blue - it works and looks amazing.
Also there's the healing brush which is pretty nifty.
You can very easily "shut" people's mouths/eyes and it looks very
professional.

>> layer sets, nested layer sets, the text tool is lacking tons of
>> features.
>
> There's a new text tool for GIMP-2.0.x that can be downloaded and is
> under  development.

Again you passed over the more important tools!!!
Layer sets and nested layer sets (sets inside sets)...
You can also give colors to layers so they're easily tracked.

> If you say so. Have you read the online books about it?

The real question is: did I ever read the online photoshop books?
I didn't - that's the thing, the UI is so simple!

A guy I work with learned photoshop in no time and was amazed of what you
can do so fast and easily.
It's a really amazing tool...

> I wouldn't call a program that took dozens if not hundreds of man-years
> of  effort, and is fully feature-rich, and that some people will sell
> you the  equivalent functionality for hundreds if not thousands of
> dollars a "toy".  You can do some spectacular graphics manipulation in
> the GIMP. GIMP is very  much a power tool.
>
> So I wouldn't call your opinion "objective".

"some spectacular graphics manipulation" isn't enough to match photoshop...
Also, forget about "equivalent functionality" the GIMP doesn't supply
anything beyond the basic (and hardly even that!) functionality in PS.
It's good for resizing an image here, adding text there...
Not much more.
I've never seen anything so perfect in the GIMP and
I've seen thousands of amazing works in
photoshop(http://davinci.ice.org/dvdragon.jpg) - I was even able to make
some really good looking things.
The dragon would take me too long to reproduce, but even I can make such
impressive work.

>> Staying objective: Gimp is a pretty feature-rich program, especially
>> when keeping its price in mind (I wouldn't believe if someone told me
>> that a company sells it for money, though).
>
> Actually, some bloke sells GIMP for Windows under a false name for money
>  claiming that it is a stable version of the open source betas. Plus,
> some  versions of GIMP for Mac OS X are sold for money.

I don't believe it :)
1) Why would someone pay for a free software? :) (do I hear you mention
Stronghold?)
2) Why wouldn't that "someone" pay for a real piece of software with
support/good docs?

> GIMP does not need it because it has the procedural database for which
> you can  write programs and scripts in C, Perl, Python, Script-Fu and
> any other  language that was ported to use it. You can write a procedure
> that does it,  and run it on as many files as you desire by another
> program.

Hmmm it would be cool to program photoshop... But it would also be a pain
in the ass to do it everytime I wanted to run in batch mode...

> By "batch" I meant that it can be called from the command line or from a
> Perl  script. Imagine you have a site to which people upload images. Are
> you going  to start Photoshop manually, and invoke your script on the
> appropriate file  everytime someone does this? With the GIMP it can be
> done programatically. If  there's a way to run Photoshop commands
> programmatically from outside  Photoshop, then Photoshop is even to the
> GIMP in this regard.

You need to keep the gimp open, that's not fair :)

> Remember the Joel Test: "can you build a package in one command?"

That's not so "one command" in this case.
Keep GIMP running, write a script, etc.

> Well, you can try talking Adobe to port Photoshop to Linux. So far, it's
> been  a few years since Linux has been around, and the only application
> they ported  so far is Acrobat Reader. (and meanwhile, people ported the
> GIMP from UNIX to  Windows and Mac OS X). It may actually be faster to
> wait for GIMP to  implement all these features. The source is at your
> disposal, if there's  something you feel is missing.

It's sad but true.
Waiting for GIMP to have all the missing features would take years, I'd
keep dual booting for now :)

>> In PS you don't need to code anything or even be a photoshop expert to
>> resize an entire directory of image...
>
> Just let me know how you can do it from within your Perl script. And
> from when  has the need to code something been a problem? In UNIX
> everything ought to be  scriptable and integratable, and we don't give
> way for non-programmers.

Again, I wouldn't want to write a script when I could use a program's
feature instead.
It can be nice at times, but I assume it'd usually be a pain in the ass.

> I recall a time that someone asked in a computer magazine, how he
> renames a  directory images from having the filenames image00.jpg,
> image01.jpg,  image02.jpg to image000.jpg, image001.jgp, image002.jgp.
> (because he got more  than 100 images). The poor guy eventually did not
> know what to do, and  renamed all the files manually. Any half-decent
> UNIX guru knows it's a matter  of a short shell or Perl script. The guy
> who answered him said there's a  freeware program called "TheRename"
> that can do that after you fill in some  stuff in a dialog. Naturally, I
> wouldn't need such a program, and I'm not  sure if it has everything I
> would ever require. Most GUIs are not Turing  Complete.

...But in this case, photoshop DWIW.

> Well, as Migo noted in a different reply, it is possible ImageMagick's
> conversion can have an increased quality than the default.

I knew about it but the image size would be huge.
I actually tried it. But in PS I got really good results and small
optimized files.

> I'm a little bit hazy on it. It may vary from version to version. I
> suggest  you (or whoever is interested) would ask for the advice of the
> knowledgable  people (some of them the core GIMP developers) on
> GimpNet's #gimp channel.  (or alterantively the GIMP mailing lists)

Keep us updated, or just use my first advice which would be much faster :)

>> Otherwise, if you have access to all tools
>> (Gimp/Photoshop/ImageMagick), I'd say you should see for yourself
>> which one produces the best results. Also see which one is the easiest
>> to run in batch mode.
>
> And also which one can be used programmatically.

By "otherwise" I meant "if you don't need it on the fly".
I admit photoshop can't do that, but for a one-time (or even 30 times)
task, I would use photoshop.
After running it once I'd just run the same action for the other 29 times.
That's pretty fast and easy.

> GIMP is not very difficult to run in batch mode once you know how to do
> that.  (which requires some research and trial and error). I wrote a few
> Perl  scripts to control GIMP, and they worked pretty well.

Research, trial and error, writing scripts...
More difficult that running a command, more difficult that using
photoshop's batch feature.

  --Yuval





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