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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
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.
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:
- Support for the Pantone color matching system, or spot color. (This can be circumvented by importing Pantone palettes supplied by printer manufacturers, which has lower usage restrictions than Pantone Inc. has suggested.)
- Support for Adobe Photoshop plugins and other add-onsTemplate:Ref.
- Support for anything but 8-bit per-channel images e.g 16-bit, 32-bit, floating point.
- Support for colour models other than RGB(A) and greyscale e.g CIE XYZ. (Partial CMYK support is available with the Separate plug-in.)
- Extensive gamma support.
- Support for Color management (GIMP has limited support through LCMSTemplate:Ref)
- Native support for Adjustment layers, i.e. layers which act like filters. (A plugin is available which adds some support for these.)
- Undo history "snapshots" that persist between sessions.
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 )
File Types Edit
GIMP can open and save the following file formats:
- GIMP XCF, the native format (.xcf, or compressed as .xcf.gz or .xcf.bz2)
- Autodesk flic animations (.fli)
- DICOM (.dcm or .dicom)
- PostScript documents (.ps, .ps.gz and .eps)
- FITS astronomical images (.fits, or .fit)
- Scalable vector graphics for exporting paths (.svg)
- Microsoft Windows icon (.ico)
- Microsoft Uncompressed AVI Video video (.avi)
- Windows bitmap (.bmp)
- Paintshop Pro image (.psp or .tub)
- Adobe PhotoShop Documents (.psd, .pdd)
- PNM image (.pnm, .ppm, .pgm, and .pbm)
- Compuserve Graphics Interchange Format images and animations (.gif)
- Joint Photographic Experts Group Images (.jpeg, .jpg, or .jpe)
- Portable Network Graphics (.png)
- Tagged Image File Format (.tiff or .tif)
- TARGA (.tga)
- X bitmap image (.xbm, .icon, or .bitmap)
- X pixmap image (.xpm)
- X window dump (.xwd)
- Zsoft PCX (.pcx)
GIMP can open but not save the following formats:
GIMP can also save to the following formats which it cannot open:
- HTML as a table with coloured cells (.html)
- C source files as an array (.c or .h)
- Multiple Network Graphic layered image files (.mng)
- ASCII Art or HTML, with characters and punctuation making up images
GIMP for WindowsEdit
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.
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).
- GIMP website
- GIMP Plug-In Registry
- GIMP Developer Resources
- GIMP meets OpenUsability
- Gimp and OpenOffice Draw.
- GIMP for Windows
- alt.pg. WinGIMP
- Gimp.app for OS X
- GIMPShop dot Net - Information on GIMP and GIMPShop
- GIMPshop for OS X and Linux
- Linuxartist: Gimp section
- Seashore for Mac OS X
- CoolText – An online graphics generator powered by GIMP.
GIMP Manual & Tricks Edit
- Wilber's Wiki – The Official GIMP Wiki
- Books and Manuals
- GIMP Tricks
- Experimental CMYK support through the "separate" plugin
- Windows GIMP Deweirdifyer plugin (info at GUG)
- Used for organizing GIMP panels in a single window under Microsoft Windows
- Photoshop-ish Keyboard Shortcuts for GIMP 2.0
- WLUG Wiki: GimpVersusPhotoshop
GIMP articles and tutorialsEdit
- Newsforge: A first look at GIMP 2.4
- Examples and tutorials for GIMP (translated to English)
- Short video clips demonstrating GIMP's functionality
- Cool Jeba GIMP Tutorials
- SiggyMaker – GIMP generated images with PHP`s GD Library
(capable of adding text to GIMP generated Images)
- Wikipedia:How to use the GIMP
- GIMPTalk GIMP Tutorials and more GIMP tutorials
- The GIMP User Group – Tutorials for the GIMP
- GIMP User Group website
- IRC: #gimp on irc.gimp.org and irc.freenode.net
- GIMP for Windows user mailing list (Read-only archive)
- Template:Note GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- 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.
- Template:Note GIMP Plugin for CMYK separation. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- Template:Note LittleCms, Great color at small footprint. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- Template:Note Tor "tml" Lillqvist. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- Template:Note GIMP - Windows installers. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- Template:Note SourceForge.net: Developer Profile. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.
- Template:Note GIMP Deweirdifyer plugin. Retrieved on November 20, 2005.