Gimp vs Photoshop elements have become a target for retouchers and photographers` interest. Gimp is a retouching program that may replace Photoshop in photo editing service according to some minds, but is it really so? Or Photoshop will stay irreplaceable forever having no competitors at all?
In the following article we are going to find an answer to a question is Gimp better than Photoshop? For this we will try to efficiently compare the Gimp vs Photoshop elements by discussing their similarities and differences as well as sphere of everyday application. Firstly, let`s begin with a piece of video. You will see the real difference between Gimp and Photoshop.
Lots of contemporary retouchers considered Photoshop or maximum Lightroom as the only retouching programs that are suitable for everyday professional work. Still, this idea now has a tendency to be doubted and even completely ruined. Today these two programs are not the only ones that have no substitutes. And we will prove it by a number of facts that will be revealed in the article.
Photoshop or Gimp – do we really need comparison?
Currently retouchers demand to be provided with informative comparison on Photoshop and Gimp utility. In this article we satisfy this wish and will try to reveal all secrets about both problems. In order to understand which retouching program is better and more suitable for everyday or professional work, we will firstly present two overviews. One will be devoted to the informative description of modern Gimp. You will discover its history, peculiarities of using and much more. In the second overview we will focus our attention on Photoshop. Again we will shed light to the process and reasons of its creation as well as to main specific features of its using by professional retouchers. After gathering all pieces of information together we hope that every photographer or retoucher will realize which program will be more suitable.
Every invention without exceptions and not only in the sphere of photo retouching must be doubted and challenged. Besides, about one of such inventions you may read in Google photo editing – future has already come.
Usually they are compared with inventions of the same kind and in case that is not possible, with a slightly different sample. The same will be done with Photoshop or Gimp. From the first sight and without deep knowledge in digital graphic design, both programs seem to be equally in power concerning common picture improving tasks. But that is only for the first view and nothing more, as this theory contains a lot of discrepancies. They are mainly connected with used tools, resources and plug-ins. They precisely make one retouching program better than other and force photographers to have a question “Is Gimp as good as Photoshop”?
Gimp – what is it and how can be used?
That is a photo retouching software that is free for using. Like other modern samples, it is combinable with all existing versions of operating systems. It has a quite recognizable emblem on which a funny wolf with a brush is depicted, so you will not confuse it with other retouching programs.
The first you should know about Gimp in order to consider Gimp vs Photoshop elements is how Gimp looks like, meaning its interface. Gimp has a typical and fixed arrangement of pop-up windows. This is important for efficient retouching work. Let`s consider each of them separately.
This is the definite heart of GIMP. It contains the main menu, buttons with all necessary icons, clicking on which retouchers and photographers select tools and other useful things important for picture improving.
2. Tool Options
It is located in the bottom of the toolbar. The “Tool Options” pop-up window displays the parameters of the selected tool. Here retouchers find additional setting for an option they have already chosen.
3. Image Window
Each photo in GIMP program is displayed in a special separate window. That makes retouching simpler and more organized and proves that is Gimp as good as Photoshop. You can simultaneously open a large number of images, as much as the system resources allow. You even use GIMP without a single open image. You may do it for informational purposes.
This dialog displays the layers of the active picture. It allows operating with them. Undisputedly, some simple operations can be performed without it. But even not very experienced users consider it necessary to have constant access to the dialog of layers. Photographers usually name every layer in order not to be confused with done work.
5. Brushes / Textures / Gradients
The panel is located exactly under the layers “Dialog”. Here you will find all necessary extra settings for the enumerated tools. The icons located here show the currently selected GIMP elements, such as: a brush used by all drawing tools. The texture used to fill the selected areas, and the tool gradient that is applied when you want to create a smooth color transition.
To structure all information about Gimp logically and in an understandable way, we present an enumeration of its functions. Gimp compared to Photoshop has not less functions. So, having downloaded Gimp, you surely will:
1. Make your photos more saturated and juicier, so that they will more accurately convey the necessary mood;
2. Remove unnecessary elements from photographs;
3. Create collages and posters of various kinds
4. Prepare web site design and cut ready layouts;
5. Draw different pictures using graphic tablets (Wacom, Genius, etc.)
6. Process various scientific data (FITS, DICOM).
Of course that is not all and that proves that is Gimp as good as Photoshop. Creators have made Gimp quite useful for modern designers, illustrators, photographers and even scientists. People of all enumerated professions use it for making advertising icons, different graphical elements of design and varied mock-ups.
Additionally, Gimp compared to Photoshop is rather simple in using. It has a customizable specific interface. Its users are allowed to change colors, themes, widget spacing and even icon size. We have mention that Gimp is popular among designers. That is so because this modern program can work with PSD files.
One more appealing feature is that different programming languages can be used in Gimp. That attracts young specialists that need to train Perl or Python, for example. And the last fact. When you finish your retouching, full screen view will be displayed for you.
Photoshop – a sophisticated professional program
Adobe Photoshop is the most powerful graphics retouching program today. The possibilities of this program cover the whole spectrum of various operations and techniques that are related to professional work with graphics. We will enumerate them. They are photo processing, creating own drawings, creating posters, mock-ups, covers for different products, creating postcards and much more.
Photoshop contains hundreds of tools, thousands of techniques and definitely a million of mind-blowing effects. The interface in the program is simple, as in Gimp, and quite intuitive to use. There is always an opportunity for retouchers to add a lot of new effects, brushes and gradients that will make retouching work professional and unusual. Mainly it is combinable with Mac and certainly Windows.
Modern versions of Photoshop have a prefix CS. For example the latest version is CS6. So, what can be done in case you have downloaded Photoshop and have paid for its services?
1. You may change size of photos.
2. You can optimize photos of various formats.
3. Adding effects to pictures is also possible.
4. The program mainly works with bitmap images, but there are also some vector tools.
Photoshop has one undeniable minus. It is almost impossible to study it thoroughly. The reason for this is that Photoshop is constantly modified. Developers tend to add something new. Still, for these modifications Photoshop has such immense success and the main evidence for this is that Photoshop is already used as a verb. People say: “Will you, please, photoshop my photos?” and the message is clear.
For many people Photoshop is a rather expensive pleasure. In general, it costs from $9 to $80 per month. If you do not need to have everyday professional support or it is not required by your profession, you do not need to pay so much.
Gimp compared to Photoshop – why it is wrong?
Unfortunately, these two programs cannot be compared due to a considerable number of discrepancies that are crucial for modern photographers and most of all retocuhers. GIMP is installed as the special image editor for mainly Linux operating systems. Photoshop is still not supported by this operating system. In this sense, the statement that GIMP can become a substitute for Photoshop for current but not numerous Linux users is true. In this way for the question “Is Gimp better than Photoshop and why?” we may answer positively.
But this circumstance in does not make GIMP a better alternative to Photoshop, because The only reason why Linux users deal with Gimp is that Photoshop is not supported by this operating system. Maybe, if it wasn`t so, those who use Linux will pay attention to Photoshop. So, Photoshop or Gimp is still an opened question.
Photoshop has established itself as the most used software in photo retouching sphere. That has led to the situation when any other graphics editors should be compared with Photoshop before being judged as practical or not. Gimp program is not a logical exception. Therefore, many retouchers try to find important difference between Gimp and Photoshop.
Photoshop is a successful commercial project, so it has certain obligations to the users who bought it. Depending on this undeniable fact, it must provide many functions and support from its creators. These components are natural for all commercial software. GIMP, on the contrary, is free software and is supported only by voluntary enthusiast developers. Thereafter, this software does not have any obligations to users. You see that situation with commercial customers is totally different, as they may expect all-day-round support, as they have paid for the Photoshop program. Judging from this point of view, every retoucher or photographer should think independently what to choose, or to be more exact, what is more important: saving money or professional support.
In addition to all mentioned facts, comparing the features of one image retouching program with another in terms of possible provided actions and sphere of application is incorrect. We will explain this idea. Any function that is not presented in the program at the moment can be added later. At the same time, future updates of the program may not meet user expectations, as for instance free Gimp. From this sight Gimp compared to Photoshop loses points.
The main difference, of course, that is visible for every person even for not a professional one is the price. GIMP is absolutely free software. In addition, it has open source. Contemporary photographers can use this program for free. If they want and need, they can donate amounts of money to its developers. Proceeding from this fact, free modern GIMP can be very useful for beginner designers, who just want to try and to decide what they require and who do need to pay for Photoshop.
In addition, GIMP is a cross-platform. That means it is completely suitable for various operating systems. It can be used on Mac, Windows, and definitely Linux.
Still, provided functions are important. In terms of opportunities for drawing, retouching and design, Photoshop has incomparably more useful functions than free GIMP. For this the bigger part of contemporary users prefers exactly Photoshop. For professional targets it is more suitable.
Nevertheless, GIMP is much more than just a common set of raw functions. It does not stop in its developing. The creating community continues to develop interesting and very useful plug-ins for it one by one, making it more and more competitive. So, maybe in few years we will be able not to doubt. Is Gimp better than Photoshop? The answer will be positive.
If you need a tiny combination of functions for use, it’s more logical to consider switching to free GIMP. You just do not pay for the acquisition and do not waste your time learning sophisticated Photoshop. The problem is that you will completely rarely use most of them or even do not use at all. So, estimate your skills and needs, consider Gimp vs Photoshop elements and choose retouching program depending on this criterion. You should not follow all tendencies without clear realization of your personal needs. Photoshop is not always good and beneficial. GIMP is harder to learn since many beginners and experienced users consider its user interface quite confusing for every beginner. Still, it depends.
If you hesitate whether you can fast switch from common Photoshop to a little different Gimp, we are going to present a secret for you. If Gimp interface seem unclear, unusual and sophisticated for you, the practical idea will be to find GIMPshop. That is a specified program that has nearly the same capabilities as in Gimp, but all of them are adjusted to Photoshop interface. Simply, standard Gimp interface is replaced with those to which you are already used. This interface is made to facilitate the transition from Photoshop to modern GIMP.
Still, you have to realize this idea in the right way. GIMPshop does not support Photoshop add-ons at all. It works only with native GIMP applications. We mean brushes, plug-ins, gradients, etc., but all of them look exactly like in Photoshop.
The choice between these samples is a complicated one, but it is not a crucial one. Much more depend on the human factor. We may come to the conclusion that no matter what the automation is, it will not replace good human hands. One more great idea to practice your skills is Shutterstock. To know more read Shutterstock photo editor – How does it work.
Still, to sum up Gimp has the following weak points:
1. It is less popular and thus supported.
2. Its tools are not as beneficial as in Photoshop.
3. It takes more time to load.
Among its pluses we name:
1. The range of tools is almost the same.
2. It has open source.
3. The current interface is almost similar to PS.
4. It may work with Linux.
In terms of contemporary Photoshop, it has such strong points:
1. It has professional support and popularity.
2. The range of tools is wider.
1. It is expensive.
2. There are lots of pirate copies.
3. You will need license validation all the time.
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