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Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional 2nd Ed 232

r3lody writes "An extremely large amount of the information we get on a daily basis comes from what we see. Imagery is therefore very important to those who want to communicate with us. When computers had advanced enough to be able to process images in a digital fashion, the market opened up for programs that could manipulate them in many ways. While many professionals would opt for the paid programs, there is a free alternative: GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program). The only stumbling block is learning how to use it properly. That is where Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition by Akkana Peck comes in." Read below for the rest of Ray's review.
Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition
author Akkana Peck
pages 584
publisher Apress
rating 8/10
reviewer Ray Lodato
ISBN 1430210702
summary An easy-to-read, fairly complete introduction to image processing with GIMP
I first attempted to use GIMP to fix a photograph or two of mine, but was quickly bogged down in the many options available in the program. That is why I was happy to get my hands on a copy of Beginning GIMP. The book is based mainly on GIMP 2.4, but the author included a preview of GIMP 2.6 in Appendix D. When I downloaded the latest verson of GIMP from gimp.org, I received GIMP 2.6.0. So I used the PortableApps version of GIMP (2.4.6) on Windows XP while reviewing the book and found only minor variations from the text.

One thing that strikes you as you open the book is the extensive use of color. Most texts are black-and-white throughout, but here you are presented with a pleasantly colorful tome. To follow the examples as best as I could, I downloaded the images available on the gimpbook.com web site. Although the images are supposed to be for the 2nd edition, several of those shown in the text for demonstrations purposes are not included. It appears that the images for the tools new to GIMP 2.4 are missing from the web site. This is surprising, since the 1st edition of the book covered version 2.4, so you would expect the images to be there.

The book begins by giving the reader a brief tour of the three main windows of GIMP: the Toolbox window, the Layer/Channels/Path/Undo window, and the Image window. Some basic navigation is presented, along with tear-off menus and how to modify tool placement. It concludes with a simple project layering a small image onto a larger one was given. Unfortunately, the files supplied from the web site did not include the PNG file used in the text, so it's difficult to reproduce the picture as shown. I later found the missing image in a GIMP-format file called wilber.xcf.gz. Unfortunately, xcf files are not discussed until the next chapter.

After the simple introduction, the author, Akkana Peck, gets into the most common adjustments a beginning user might need: re-sizing, cropping, rotating, brightening and darkening, and fixing red-eye. Each manipulation is presented with careful step-by-step instructions. I was able to match the pictures shown in the book, providing me with a level of comfort that I was learning the right way to fix photos.

One of the most common and useful methods of altering photographs uses the concept of layers. Layers act like cinematic cels, being mostly transparent with some opaque portions to lay on top of other layers. Chapter 3 gives a clear description of how to use layers to make changes. Two sample projects use layers to add text and another image to an existing photo, and to create an animated GIF using a series of layers for each frame of the animation. While I found minor differences between the text and the version of GIMP I used, I had no real problem understanding how the concept is applied.

You will probably need to do some freehand drawing from time to time, and chapter 4 covers the tools you'll need. While these tools are familiar to anyone who has used a basic painting program like Microsoft Paint, there are enough differences in how they are applied to warrant their own chapter. After creating some basic shapes (rectangle and circles), outlining and filling them, the author explores various fills and patterns. The chapter ends with a tutorial of creating a tree in a planter box, using just the drawing tools.

Every tool you use in GIMP works on the current selection. Knowing how to select just the parts of the image you want affected is important to getting the results you want. The author devotes an entire chapter to the numerous ways to select areas, add to or subtract from the selections, and fine-tuning them to only touch the parts you want touched. Basic rectangle, ellipse, and free-hand selections are followed by more sophisticated methods including the intelligent scissors and SIOX (Simple Interactive Object Extraction). The book also shows how to save selections as channels, so you can return to them in future editing sessions.

Sometimes, however, all you really need to do is a little touch-up on a photograph. Is someone's face in shadow or too much sun? Did you wish to get rid of some little irritating extra in a photo? Maybe you just wanted to draw attention to one subject and blur out the rest. Chapter 6 provides the information on how to make these basic adjustments. Darkroom techniques called dodging and burning provide minor adjustments to brightness, while cloning and healing can completely eradicate unwanted portions of the image. To draw attention to portions of the picture, you can enhance it using the blur and sharpen tools.

In addition to simple adjustments, GIMP offers a plethora of various tools to modify or create images. Under the Filters menu, you will find a large selection of tools. When I first looked, I felt that there were so many, who would need all of them? In the Filters and Effects chapter, Akkana Peck goes through them all, showing how they can be used to enhance your image. Because there are so many, she does not provide examples of each effect, but each one is described and you are encouraged to play. Remember, Undo is your friend here!

Chapter 8 delves into a very important aspect of your photos and drawings — the colors. First, the concepts of the RGB (Red-Green-Blue) and CMY (Cyan-Magenta-Yellow) colorspaces are described, followed by the HSV (Hue-Saturation-Value) space. A lot of time is used reviewing how these different colorspaces are used, and how they can be manipulated. The tools for breaking the image into its component layers, and demonstrations on how manipulating them can enhance your photo follow. The chapter concludes with some discussion on color profiles.

Now that you've learned quite a few niceties of GIMP, you need to learn more advanced techniques. The next two chapters go into more detail about drawing and compositing. The chapter on Advanced Drawing covers three main topics: mask and layer modes, realism using perspective and shading, and making new brushes, patterns and gradients. The Layer Mode section is the most interesting, showing how blending layers using various modes other than simple overlays can produce interesting effects. There are a number of examples, all easily followed and replicated. Once you've got a basic understanding of the advanced drawing techniques, it's time to put them to use on photographs. The chapter on Advanced Compositing shows how to use layer modes to play with images to improve their looks. You can brighten images, improve contrast, create eerie landscapes, fix noisy photos, and create panoramas, all using various layer modes. Many examples are shown, so you can get a good feel for the technique.

GIMP plug-ins provide automated tasks for the user. In fact, a number of GIMP's tools are provided by plug-ins. A variety of languages is supported. Plug-in scripts can be written in Scheme (the default — always installed), Python, and Perl (if available on your computer). If you need greater speed, you can write a plug-in in C. Chapter 11 uses the sphere plug-in as an example. Xtns — Misc — Sphere creates a sphere on a solid background. Akkana explains how to modify the script to provide a transparent background. A full discussion of the programming of the original script follows. Each step is carefully explained so only a minimal amount of programming background is needed to understand the concepts. Finally, examples in Python, Perl and C round out the chapter. Also included are explanations of how to find plug-ins and help on callable routines.

Unfortunately, there is so much to GIMP that one medium-sized book cannot contain it all. There is a potpourri of topics in the final chapter, including printing, scanning, setting preferences and the configuration files. The chapter ends with information on where to go for more help, source code, and images.

The appendices offer information on how to get and install GIMP, how to install it on older systems, and how to build it from source. Naturally, GIMP is always evolving, and Appendix D offers a list of enhancements in GIMP 2.6 that were not incorporated into the main text.

Over the course of reading the book, I had very little trouble reproducing the examples as demonstrated. I must admit that, despite the book's subtitle: From Novice to Professional, I am now at best an intermediate user. The depth of the capabilities available within GIMP is much deeper than the author could provide in the text. At almost 600 pages, this book is just about the right size, and provides the right amount of instruction for most people. The Additional Topics chapter provides information and links for further study and training, for those so inclined. If you are a beginner to image manipulation, and want to get fairly proficient with GIMP, then definitely get Beginning GIMP. It's not leaving my desk any time soon.

You can purchase Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.


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Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional 2nd Ed

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  • Why use Gimp ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ehack ( 115197 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:46AM (#27242385) Journal

    What the author of the review doesn't explain is the niche Gimp fills.

    - Why use such a complex piece of software for fixing red-eye or cropping?
    - Why one needs to use PS for certain prepress jobs.
    - Why one should use Film-Gimp (Cinepaint) for its 16-bit deep editing abilities.

    Gimp is not appropriate for every job, just like Perl or C++ have niches, and a review should explain what the appropriate tasks are.

    • Re:Why use Gimp ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BetterSense ( 1398915 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:01PM (#27242693)
      For a linux editor of a somewhat more picasa-style everyday touch-up nature, check out digikam. It has a lot of fantastic utilities for basic editing; I particularly like it's "convert to B&W while providing previews of different colored lens filters". It really has the slick interface that gimp doesn't. But then gimp can do fancy layers and stuff, which digikam can't. If I could figure out how to use digikam to clone out dust etc. I would probably never use gimp.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PhilHibbs ( 4537 )

      What the author of the review doesn't explain is the niche Gimp fills.

      He is not reviewing GIMP, he is reviewing a book about it, so that kind of commentary is outside the scope of this book review.

  • Gimp Rocks! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qwertphobia ( 825473 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:49AM (#27242439)
    I love the Gimp. I find many features are easier to learn than Photoshop. It goes both ways though... some stuff is much nicer in Photoshop. I miss a few features though - Gimp doesn't do 16 bits per color channel (yet), and it doesn't do clipping paths in JPEG files (which arent part of the JPEG standards). If it could do both of these it would meet all my professional needs.
    • Re:Gimp Rocks! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by moteyalpha ( 1228680 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:22PM (#27243021) Homepage Journal
      I use gimp in conjunction with blender, inkscape, video editors, and other FOSS. I just recently discovered a new plugin for FFT. The greatest advantage to me is the fact that all the FOSS tools are integrated and I can modify them at source level, if I need to have something special.
      I quite often get the source package and make changes to make it more effective. This is something you can't do with PS or other closed source. I think this is the greatest advantage , if you are a programmer and graphics artist.
      Here is a link to gimp FFT if anybody might find it interesting.
      http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_GIMP/Remove_coherent_noise [wikibooks.org]
      gimp FFT [wikibooks.org]
    • Or layer grouping, or really anything useful when it comes to layers other than basic masking. If you're constructing anything more complicated than an icon, inkscape is better for you. And even that's annoying to use compared to illustrator.

    • And GIMP may never do 16 bit colour channels. It's been almost 10 years since a developer added 16 bit depth per colour channel. But the maintainers of GIMP did not add this capability, so the developer forked it and started Film GIMP now called CinePaint [cinepaint.org].

      If it could do both of these it would meet all my professional needs.

      Have you tried CinePaint? I'm using Mac OS X now and though there's a version of CinePaint for OS X it's not native and needs X11. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get CinePaint t

  • Such a useful tool (Score:3, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:50AM (#27242449)

    It's really interesting how professionals pretty much ignore the GIMP in favor of Photoshop.

    Both toolkits have plenty of features, and GIMP certainly has many of the necessary features the Photoshop has provided for a while. Layers, filters, etc, GIMP has many of them. And support for plug-ins also helps make the case for the image editor.

    But in the end, professionals use Photoshop. It would be a pleasant surprise to hear that the last chapter of the book "Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional" was dedicated to the purchasing of Photoshop.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:01PM (#27242685)

      There are some pretty big differences between GIMP and Photoshop that aren't apparent to hobbyists and casual users. Yes, GIMP has layers. However it doesn't have the extensive real-time editable and dynamic layer effects that Photoshop has. Common steps like adding an inner-glow and/or shadow in GIMP are awkward compared to Photoshop. That's not a big deal if you do it once in a while. If you do it all day long it's a pain in the ass and a waste of time.

      I could go on and on as to where Gimp falls short compared to Photoshop, but in the end I still LIKE the GIMP. It is a good tool for MOST people and certain jobs. It just doesn't work well with my work flow (most of the time). I've still put in 100's of hours using GIMP and I'm not afraid of using it or relearning how to do something, but at the end of the day you need to choose the best tool for the job and for most "professionals" Photoshop is the better tool.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mpapet ( 761907 )

      But in the end, professionals use Photoshop.

      Just like the legal community is pretty much still using WordPerfect. It has little basis in merit or features.

      The GIMP does the work of 80% of the worlds photoshop users, with about the same learning curve. The other 20% would run into a limitation and need to use some feature that is Adobe specific.

      • "Just like the legal community is pretty much still using WordPerfect."

        I was surprised myself to discover that this is actually not true. Some lawyers still prefer it, but in most large firms they pretty much use MS Word across the board.

        (IHWWALOLF = I have worked with a lot of large firms.)

    • GIMP vs Photoshop (Score:3, Interesting)

      by falconwolf ( 725481 )

      It's really interesting how professionals pretty much ignore the GIMP in favor of Photoshop.

      One reason is because GIMP does not do 16 never mind 24 or 32 bits per colour channel. While GIMP's 8 bits per channel works for the web it does not cut it for print. CYMK, cyan, yellow, magenta, and black, output is also needed for print. I think GIMP 2.6 added it but older versions do not offer it. Without these two capabilities, which are important for many pros, pros have little reason to use GIMP.

      On the othe

  • I like GIMP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by koan ( 80826 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:53AM (#27242521)

    Takes some getting use to but it is very powerful and I currently use it side by side with photoshop (GIMP has some interesting features not in CS3)
    I want to say thanks for the people that toil over these free programs.

  • dead on arrival (Score:3, Insightful)

    by viridari ( 1138635 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:53AM (#27242527)
    I've got Gimp 2.6.1 on my box. Why would I want to buy a new book published about the 2.4 series?
    • by PhilHibbs ( 4537 )

      Are there any decent books on 2.6 yet? It's been out for 5 months, that's not long in publishing cycle terms.

      • It may have been out for months, but it has been in development for much longer. Any author writing about software ought to be in tune with development roadmaps and syncing their writing up with anticipated releases so that their books can hopefully drop in time with the software that they are writing about.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @11:54AM (#27242549) Journal
    and a more intuitive workflow, a lot less of this book would really be necessary and GIMP might actually find some greater acceptance.

    As goofy as the Adobe GUI is, Photoshop is the poop, pure and simple, and all other image appas are compared to it. Painter, for example is slower and clumsier, but it has awesome brushes, MS Paint is its own hobbled ugliness but has its uses, GIMP is ugly and retarded, but it's free and it works, etc. The day Adobe puts CS on Linux is the day GIMP gets a stake driven through its heart. Ad that day can't come too soon, IMHO. I'd love to run CS on a Linux box and be done with Mac AND Windows and run on generic hardware.

    I've been advocating for YEARS for Adobe to sell Linux boxen with CS locked on and pre-installed. They could give the computer away for practically free. BUY SOFTWARE - FREE COMPUTER!

    I would also suggest that Adobe needs to jump on this now, as Linux is gaining greater acceptance, GIMP will also, and they don't want GIMP to rule that platform - first in and all that.

    I'll definitely buy this book. I dislike GIMP intensely, but knowing it better might take an edge off.

    RS RS

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      Linux boxen with CS locked on and pre-installed.

      I think I just had an orgasm. That would be the greatest system seller since Steve Jobs realized he could charge 50% more for a computer if he painted it orange and rounded some corners on the case.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mpapet ( 761907 )

      I've been advocating for YEARS for Adobe to sell Linux boxen with CS locked on and pre-installed.

      Adobe has a long history of hatred for Free software going way, way back to ghostscript. The hatred is born from the fact that they can't IP litigate Free software to a certain death like they have most graphics software innovators.

    • i agree, the reason i don't use GIMP is not a lack of features, it's the cumbersome UI. technically, imagemagick has a ton of these features also. i feel like i spend 70% of my time with GIMP just managing windows, navigating dialogs, etc, compared to about 30% with CS. for simple image tasks like futzing with brightness or mocking up a UI for work, my app of choice is PaintShop Pro 7. it launches instantly and is very lightweight yet has layers, a UI that does the job and gets out of the way, etc. But Core

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lena_10326 ( 1100441 )

      GIMP is ugly and retarded, but it's free and it works

      You may find it unintuitive, but I think that's more of a symptom of expecting GIMP to function like Photoshop (or possibly a misunderstanding of the more complex functions). It's a different app; it's going to present a different solution for solving the same problem.

      I've been using GIMP for years on and off and much more so in the last 2 years. The menus and dialogs have decent organization, with the one exception in 2.6.x. They moved the dialogs under

      • by rhizome ( 115711 )

        You may find it unintuitive, but I think that's more of a symptom of expecting GIMP to function like Photoshop

        If by "function like Photoshop" you mean "always have a visible toolbox," then I'm right there with ya.

      • My wife and I both use gimp. When I use it on her system I find it very clumsy because she uses click to focus, while I use focus follows mouse.

        It could be that the people who like the gimp UI work like me and don't experience the focus problems you get if you have to click in a window before using a key.
    • There is nothing at all intuitive about image manipulation. Nothing. Image manipulation isn't as easy as crayons or fingerpainting, and that's about the most image manipulation most folks have done before they take an interest. Speaking as a hobbyist, I find the options of both PS *and* GIMP bewildering.

      So we have to learn.

      To learn the concepts involves training on an application. Since I'm starting from zero knowledge, it's an uphill battle on either PS or GIMP. I chose to train on the GIMP because it

    • he day Adobe puts CS on Linux is the day GIMP gets a stake driven through its heart. Ad that day can't come too soon, IMHO. I'd love to run CS on a Linux box and be done with Mac AND Windows and run on generic hardware.

      Thanks to a how-to posted yesterday, here's a guide to Installing Photoshop on Ubuntu Linux [limpag.com]. However it's for PS 7. Though they can be made to run there are issues with CS.

      I'll definitely buy this book. I dislike GIMP intensely, but knowing it better might take an edge off.

      I won't buy this

  • I'll always be a cheapskate.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:17PM (#27242943)
    A proprietary book? Insults my FOSS ethics, it does!
  • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @12:17PM (#27242945)
    "From Novice to Professional"

    Sorry no, but in your dreams. GIMP is not a professional tool -- very far from it. It's has little more functionality than Elements. It lacks essential professional tools. It's worthless to a professional.

    Perhaps the subtitle should be "From Novice to Enthusiastic Amateur".
    • It's worthless to a professional.

      Oops - Sounds like someone just dropped some major dollarage on PS!

    • by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) * on Wednesday March 18, 2009 @02:48PM (#27245331) Homepage Journal

      What professionals are you talking about?

      If you mean: "I do photography for a magazine," or "I do big budget advertising work." Yeah, sure. Lack of CMYK support and good color calibration are a killer. The GIMP is not a suitable tool for those professionals.

      If you mean: "I'm a reporter for a small weekly newspaper who is also expected to be her own photographer and do her own photo cropping and correction," the GIMP is ready today. It was ready several years ago when a friend in exactly that position gave it a try. She was using Photoshop to do the work and found that the GIMP was a complete replacement. (She didn't like the interface, but GIMPshop [gimpshop.com] instantly eliminated that complaint.) If you mean, "I'm doing web design for a small company," the GIMP is ready today.

      I am also curious what people did before Photoshop itself got CMYK support, or good color calibration, or whatever it is you're whining about today. Were there just no professionals in the field then?

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        It got CMYK, and thus raised the bar for everyone.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        I am also curious what people did before Photoshop itself got ...

        When I used photoshop some time ago it didn't even have undo (which gimp had at the time). I assumed I just couldn't find it and asked a newsgroup about it - getting dozens of flames saying "real professionals would never need to use undo" (a bit bizzare since I said I was just learning how to use it). Now of course gimp and the current photoshop are both far superior in every way to that early photoshop.
        99% of the time the people that dema

    • That term... I do not think it means what you think...

      Really, I think the terms 'Novice' and 'Professional' were meant to be applied to proficiency with the GIMP, and not digital photo manipulation in general.
    • I can understand a professional pooh-poohing GIMP, because I've taught Photoshop to professional photographers now for a couple of years, and they love to try GIMP out for a couple of days and then add it to their software sh** list.

      Overly flexible use of the word "professional" is the problem. Out of all of my students who can be considered professionals, I've noticed that my students who started out with GIMP and keep using it alongside Photoshop after they learn Photoshop are, as a rule far more profe
      • It's nice to hear corroboration of the idea that competent and happy GIMP users are generally smarter and more capable graphics editors than their gripey counterparts, but I should beware my own confirmation bias. How many students are we talking about here? How many classes? Over what span of time? You mention bit depth and "pixels" -- are there more evidentiary details you can share to clarify your claim of their greater skill? Have you seen this greater skill tendency beyond your classes and student

        • 20-25 per class, 10 classes per year, over 2 years so far, yes (they would still be more or less anecdotal if you really want to pursue that path), and yes. (WHY did I just answer your essay in my spare time? not sure)

          I think you may be misunderstanding the power of the TANSTAAFL culture, looking at the rest of your comment. From my POV, people like to verify their consumer DNA from time to time; having a Photoshop box on your shelf and a subscription to an overpriced graphics magazine actually does count
      • Out of all of my students who can be considered professionals, I've noticed that my students who started out with GIMP and keep using it alongside Photoshop after they learn Photoshop are, as a rule far more professional than all respects than their peers.

        How many of them do web work versus print work?


        • They all do a mixture of both, like any photographer would - printing work sometimes, for competitions or art shows, and using their tools of choice for web graphics and website updates at other times. BTW, you know that GIMP's "niche printing issues" would almost never bother a photographer, right? They are not going to be doing pre-press stuff, and most involved with that sort of printing report back to me that their pre-press people keep asking for JPEGs, which...is what it is, I guess.

          The pre-press peo
  • I am NOT an artist, photographer or other graphic professional, but I have had serious need to act like one in my job.

    I didn't want to buy a giant commercial package, because I didn't need that kind of investment in occasional products. The Gimp to the rescue!

    The book, for someone like me, was vital to actually learning and using the tools available, and really gave me a chance to understand what I was doing as I learned how to do things.

  • A lot of free software documentation is released under free licenses these days. Was this? Or maybe a non-free but still liberal license like CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial or something?

    (Might be good to tweak the Slashdot book review guidelines to make stating the license a standard part of these reviews...)

    • Good one.

      Nope... It is ye good olde:

      "All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
      electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval
      system, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner and the publisher."

      Even the "downloadable sample chapter" [apress.com]

      Incidentally - it is also interesting to point out that it is printed and bound in China.
      By adequately payed and humanely treated Chinese worker

  • I've been using Gimp (on Windows) for quite awhile, even use it for some 2D games and such. It's actually fairly easy to use. Now I've actually managed to click with Blender...tried it a few times over the years and I just couldn't quite "get it". But now that I'm rolling along with that it's quite exciting to be able to do so much for free! Especially since Autodesk seems to own everything else; so it doesn't look like affordable commercial packages will be out any time soon. I may have to donate to b

  • Drawing with a mouse is like drawing with a brick. You need a graphics tablet.

    Just get something like this http://www.amazon.com/Bamboo-Small-Tablet-Graphics-Software/dp/B000V9NU2A/ref=pd_bbs_sr_6?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1237396057&sr=8-6 [amazon.com] for less than $100 and you get Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Win/4.0 Mac, Corel Painter Essentials 4.0, and Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 GE included for free.

    It's not CS4, but much cleaner than the Gimp.

    Get the Gimp if you want to program, get some graphics software

    • My point being, how much would it cost me WITHOUT "Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0 Win/4.0 Mac, Corel Painter Essentials 4.0, and Nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 GE"

      Because, you see, I don't need them...And I must somehow pay for them along with the tablet, because except for FOSS, there is no free beer...

  • "Beginning GIMP." "The GIMP for Dummies." You can't help it. You just cringe.
  • I use GIMP www.gimp.org daily. I have to handle about 300-400 photos per week. Sometimes more. I have got a choice of any graphic software, but GIMP just rocks.

    It can be adjusted for very fast work, and its algorithms are clear and magical. It is one of the best machines on Earth. I see it also like sort of a poem written in code. I would like to thank the developers, artists and documenters of GIMP (2.6.5 already):

    * Spencer Kimball * Peter Mattis

    * Henrik Brix Andersen * Nicola Archibald

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous