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The GNU Image Manipulation Program or just GIMP is a Free Software bitmap graphics editor, a program for creating and processing raster graphics. It also has some support for vector graphics. The project was started in 1995 by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis and is now maintained by a group of volunteers; it is licensed under the GNU General Public License.

OverviewEdit

File:Gimp 2.2.8 Mac.png
A screenshot of GIMP version 2.2.8 running under X11 on Mac OS X

GIMP originally stood for General Image Manipulation Program. Its creators, Spencer Kimball and Petter Mattis, initially started GIMP as a semester-long project for a class at UC Berkeley. Both were integral members of eXperimental Computing Facility, a student club at Berkeley (the GIMP's file extension, XCF, is taken from the initials of this club). In 1997, after both Kimball and Mattis had graduated from Berkeley, the name was changed to GNU Image Manipulation Program when it became an official GNU project.

GIMP can be used to process digital graphics and photographs. Typical uses include creating graphics and logos, resizing and cropping photos, changing colors, combining images using a layer paradigm, removing unwanted image features, and converting between different image formats. GIMP can also be used to create simple animated images.

GIMP is also notable to some as the first major free software end-user application. Previous free software projects, such as GCC and the Linux kernel, were mainly tools created by programmers for programmers. GIMP is considered by some to be proof that the free software development process can create things non-geeks can use productively, and as such psychologically paved the way for such efforts as KDE, GNOME, Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice.org, and various other applications that followed.

FeaturesEdit

File:Padlock2.png
A padlock
File:Padlock3.png
The same padlock after being touched up with the clone tool

Brushes, colors, and painting toolsEdit

  • 48 standard brushes, plus facilities to create new ones
  • Brushes can be used in hard-edged, soft-edged, or eraser modes, be applied at different opacities, or used to apply various effects
  • Palette with RGB, HSV, colour wheel, CMYK, and mixing modes, plus tools to pick colours from the image with various averaging options. Support for hexadecimal colour codes (as used in HTML).

Selection and masking toolsEdit

  • Selection of rectangles, circles, similar colors, or freehand selection
  • Smart Selection tool, known as the "Magic Wand", used to select contiguous regions

Layers, transparencyEdit

  • Support for layers, including transparent layers, which can be shown, hidden, or made semitransparent
  • Transparent and semitransparent images
  • Channels available to add different types of opacity and color effects to images

PathsEdit

  • Support for paths containing line segments or bezier curves. Paths can be named, saved, and painted with brushes, patterns, or various line styles

Effects, scripts, and filtersEdit

  • Approximately 150 standard effects and filters

ScriptingEdit

As well as interactive use, GIMP can be automated with macro programs. The built-in Scheme can be used for this, or alternatively Perl, Python, Tcl and (experimentally) Ruby can also be used. This allows the writing of scripts and plugins for GIMP which can then be used interactively; it is also possible to produce images in completely non-interactive ways (for example generating images for a webpage on the fly using CGI scripts) and for batch color correction and conversion of images. For simple automatable tasks, a package such as ImageMagick is likely to be quicker, but GIMP has much more powerful features.

DevelopmentEdit

File:GIMPLogo.png
GIMP Logos with Wilber, the GIMP mascot. The Wilber Construction Kit containing lots of images of Wilber is also available in the source code at '/docs/Wilber_Construction_Kit.xcf.gz'

GIMP was intended as a free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop, which is the dominant bitmap editor in the printing and graphics industries.

GIMP uses GTK+ as for building its user interface. GTK+ was initially part of GIMP, intended as a replacement for the proprietary Motif toolkit, which GIMP originally depended upon. GIMP and GTK+ were originally designed for the X Window System running on Unix-like operating systems, but have since been ported to Microsoft Windows, OS/2, and SkyOS.

The current stable version of GIMP is Template:Latest stable release/GIMP. Major changes compared to version 1.2 include a more polished user interface and further separation of the user interface and back-end.

Also, an unstable 2.3.x version is being updated by GIMP developers, with new versions being available every few months.

For the future it is planned to base GIMP on a more generic graphical library called GEGL, thereby addressing some fundamental design limitations that prevent many enhancements such as native CMYK support. However, implementation of this plan has been continually put off since 2000.

Comparisons with other graphics editorsEdit

Missing features, which many graphics artists require, include:

Benefits of GIMP system include:

  • Zero licensing costs, even for installations on many computers
  • Available for many types of computing system
  • Not dependent on any single company for updates or support
  • Freely redistributable, so can be shared on an intranet or given to friends and family
  • Plug-in development is not limited by developers (Access to Adobe Photoshop's SDK requires authorization [1])

File Types Edit

GIMP can open and save the following file formats:

GIMP can open but not save the following formats:

GIMP can also save to the following formats which it cannot open:


Availability, versions, and forksEdit

Linux distributionsEdit

GIMP is included as the standard image editor on most consumer Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Mandriva, and SUSE.

GIMP for WindowsEdit

GIMP (along with the GTK+ toolkit) has been ported to the Microsoft Windows platform by Finnish programmer Tor "tml" LillqvistTemplate:Ref who started that project in 1997.

Currently, the Windows port is practically identical to the original version in terms of features and stability. The installation has been tremendously eased with the introduction of the binary installersTemplate:Refcompiled by Jernej SimoncicTemplate:Ref

The number of windows used by GIMP's interface can cause desktop clutter, which is especially apparent on systems like Microsoft Windows which are not equipped to deal with it. This is because the GIMP uses a Single document interface (SDI, more specifically a Controlled SDI as the toolbox is the main control window), unlike many competing graphics programs, which use a Multiple document interface.

Portable GIMPEdit

PortableGIMP is a re-packaged version of GIMP for Windows, which can be run directly from media without installation. It is intended to be carried on a USB flash drive, or similar portable storage device e.g USB hard drive or digital audio player. It does not require administrator privileges and thus can be used in restricted (e.g work) environments without troubling a network administrator.

Gimp.app for Mac OS XEdit

Gimp.app provides a self contained application bundle of GIMP for OS X. Gimp.app requires Apple's X11.app. Gimp.app is packaged by Aaron Voisine.

Seashore for Mac OS XEdit

Seashore is a program based on GIMP for Mac that uses the native Cocoa interface in OS X. The program is currently still in beta (0.1.8).

GIMPshop Edit

GIMPshop is a modification to GIMP, rearranging its user interface to mimic that of Adobe Photoshop

CinePaint Edit

CinePaint formerly known as Film Gimp, is a modification (forked from v. 1.0.4), adding 16-bit color depth and other improvements and is used within the film industry.

See alsoEdit

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External linksEdit

Template:Commons

OfficialEdit

Third-partiesEdit

GIMP Manual & Tricks Edit

GIMP articles and tutorialsEdit

GIMP CommunityEdit

Notes Edit

  1. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  2. Template:Note There is a plugin called PSPI for Windows and Linux versions of the GIMP, which allows the use of the 8bf Adobe Photoshop filters in the GIMP. It however requires the Adobe Photoshop SDK to compile, the use of which must be requested from Adobe, but pre-compiled versions are freely distributable.
  3. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  4. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  5. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  6. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  7. Template:Note Template:Cite web
  8. Template:Note Template:Cite web
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