Ungimping the Gimp #1

in design

So I’m two days into using The Gimp v2.7.1. instead of Photoshop. Eh. It handles just fine. The Gimp’s tools and features are complete to me, as a Photoshop user (mostly-I cannot figure out, for the life of me, how I can change brush hardness on the fly short of changing brush. Anyone?). I can zoom, layer, clone, crop, paint and sharpen to my black little heart’s content. I understand that GEGL, the Generic Graphics Library, actually supersedes Photoshop’s adjustment layers in functionality, but as of tonight I haven’t had any reason to go and play with it. I’ve been happy to discover that I can clone non-destructively.

Irks and quirks:

Mild disclaimer: I am using a packaged beta which was compiled by a third-party, so my experience may not reflect that of somebody using a mainstream version:

  • The zoom tool (Z) works fine…if I just want to zoom in. However it seems to zoom in on a random segment of the image?
  • The “Hand” tool (space/middle mouse) is a little bit wonky. Even after I “released” it, the hand continued to drag the image around.
  • Tooltips. There is no way to configure them?
  • When cloning, “Sample merged” is sinfully less intuitive and informative than Photoshop’s “sample all layers.” I was annoyed by having to flick between layers until I figured it out.
  • There are separate move, shear, resize (etc.) tools. Couldn’t they all be rolled into one, improved Move tool?
  • Some of my tool choices don’t seem to be saved. I certainly had to change back the Move tool after restarting.

Un-irks and non-quirks:

It isn’t all bad.

  • There is a great, accessible interface to change every possible keyboard shortcut. I’ve been gradually changing The Gimp to match what Photoshop has. It is looking up.
  • The Clone tool was wholly less obnoxious other than its obfuscated “sample merged”.
  • The single-window interface is a really nice step up on the old interface, albeit still buggy. I have to click on the image before I can tab-hide panels.
  • GEGL. I haven’t actually used it yet, but a dry-reading on its documentation is fascinating. I’m actively looking for reasons to use it.

Six Months in the Mountain Kingdom

in me

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