Mar 8, 2009
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Introduction to GIMP
  • GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
  • It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.
  • GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.
  • GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.

Features and Capabilities

  • This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features. You can also have a look at the illustrated features overview.
    • Painting
      • Full suite of painting tools including Brush, Pencil, Airbrush, Clone, etc.
      • Sub-pixel sampling for all paint tools for high quality anti-aliasing
      • Extremely powerful gradient editor and blend tool
      • Supports custom brushes and patterns
    • System
      • Tile based memory management so image size is limited only by available disk space
      • Virtually unlimited number of images open at one time
    • Advanced Manipulation
      • Full alpha channel support
      • Layers and channels
      • Multiple Undo/Redo (limited only by diskspace)
      • Editable text layers
      • Transformation tools including rotate, scale, shear and flip
      • Selection tools including rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, free, fuzzy
      • Foreground extraction tool
      • Advanced path tool doing bezier and polygonal selections.
      • Transformable paths, transformable selections.
      • Quickmask to paint a selection.
    • Extensible
      • A Procedural Database for calling internal GIMP functions from external programs as in Script-fu
      • Advanced scripting capabilities (Scheme, Python, Perl)
      • Plug-ins which allow for the easy addition of new file formats and new effect filters
      • Over 100 plug-ins already available
    • Animation
      • Load and save animations in a convenient frame-as-layer format
      • MNG support
      • Frame Navigator (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
      • Onion Skin (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
      • Bluebox (in GAP, the GIMP Animation Package)
    • File Handling
      • File formats supported include bmp, gif, jpeg, mng, pcx, pdf, png, ps, psd, svg, tiff, tga, xpm, and many others
      • Load, display, convert, save to many file formats
      • SVG path import/export
    • Much, much more!
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