Anyone familiar with the computer world should have at least heard the term GIMP before. However, many may not actually know what GIMP is or what it's used for.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program - it used to be General Image Manipulation Program, and is exactly that--an image manipulation program. GIMP can be used to do lots of graphic work, including design logos, crop and resize all kinds of photos, alter a photo's colors, combine and manipulate images, and even convert images between formats. The program makes it very easy to do, which is a huge plus for beginning graphic artists, even ones who never went to graphic design schools. Like all image editing software, GIMP comes with a great many features. It supports many different color palettes as well as gradients. It allows the user to alter shading of images or even blend colors as well. GIMP also supports multiple types of image files, including .jpg, .png and .bmp, which are the most common file types used today.
GIMP is extremely popular because it's completely free to download and use, meaning anyone can "afford" it. The more traditional image manipulation software like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro are very expensive, so the average computer user typically doesn't have access to it unless they want to spend a good deal of money. As GIMP is free, it lets even the youngest, most inexperienced aspiring graphics artists hone their skills. It is also popular for people attending design school.
GIMP was begun in 1995 by two men named Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis as their semester college project. The first version was released in 1996. The project has evolved since then and is currently run by a group of volunteers who work under the name the Gnome Project.
Brushes, Tutorials and Other Links
All image manipulation software inspires artists to not only use the tools provided with the software but also to develop their own. Since GIMP is free, anyone can create things to use with it. Among these things are something called "brushes" which are basically pre-made shapes and gradients that can be imprinted onto another image to give it an effect. Some brushes make slash marks appear on an image, while some make it look like elegant writing is embossed onto one. Brushes vary immensely because thousands of people are constantly making their own and sharing them with others.
Meanwhile, tutorials are handy guides for beginners to learn how to start doing things. They give step-by-step instructions on how to do everything from sharpen an image to blend two separate ones together. There are as many tutorials out there as there are brushes!
- GIMP's official website : GIMP's official website offers a whole range of things for interested users. If for some reason you cannot download from the official site, CNET makes it available for download as well.
- TechZilo : Has 1400 brushes available for immediate download. Noupe has 1000 more. (Go to GIMP's official site for a tutorial on how to install them into GIMP.)
- GIMP Tutorials : A goldmine of a site with a database of thousands of tutorials on everything from how to make the GM logo to how to splatter vectors. You're sure to find what you need there.
- GIMP Graphics Animation : A tutorial on how to make animations (.gif files) using GIMP.
- Gimp Tutorials : The largest collection of GIMP tutorials on the web.
- Tutoralized : Has lots of tutorials divided by need.
- Basic Gimp : Helps first-time users learn the basics of working with GIMP.
- Using Layers In GIMP : A page that tells you how to use layers in GIMP.
- Gimpology : Has a huge database of great tutorials.
- GIMPER : A forum you can go to if you're in need of help from an actual person.
- Pixel2Life : Has a smaller collection of extremely high-quality tutorials.
- GIMP Brushes Tutorial : Shows you how to modify or create your own brushes.
- GIMPSavvy : A tutorial website.
GIMP is a great way to develop your own graphic designing. It's free, easy, and there are plenty of resources for people needing help!
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