Many graphics designers use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Cinema 4D, Maya, and many other. Today I will be writing about GIMP, one of the many free photoshop programs on the web. This program is an alternative use to Adobe Photoshop and it's CS series. For those that cannot afford to buy them as they are expensive.
I will be talking about a few tools and filters, the way they work and where they are located. So I hope that this will give you all a bit more knowledge in case you want to start using GIMP. You can also customize the shortcuts for filters, and tools so you won't get frustrated.
The first tool I will talk about is the Transform tool, unlike the one that I am use to using on photoshop it is different. You get a menu which has the propertise of the image size filter on GIMP, you can still hold Shift to keep it even as you re-size it small. The down part is on the scale window, sometimes it will not do it properly. Make sure that you have the auto size on(the Chain link), it might also be the cause of a picture not sizing right.
Next is a selection tool, the Marquee tool to select all is still the same command as in photoshop, but it is not needed to make a copy of all layers. The only difference is the way you deselect, though the shortcut can be changed via the Keyboard Shortcuts in the Edit menu. The default shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+A, where in photoshop is Ctr+D. This preset is sure to cause problems for those who are use to photoshop. In GIMP when you use Ctr+D it makes a copy of the current project on a new file, which pops automatically. This tool is not only used to select, but to also anchor a recently paste image to a new layer.
The Color Picker tool, this allows you to pick a color from the ones in the project you have, the down side is that it doesn't do it for all layers at once. So if you want a certain color from a layer, you have to select that layer before selecting a color with the Color Picker tool. As where on photoshop the color picker does the picking automatically and you do not need to choose a layer.
Next is the Displace Filter, this filter does the same thing as the one on photoshop, only difference is that it has a control menu. Rather then other files, you can use layer from your current project, or paste from a different project and get a different effect. There are 2 options that give you the ability to choose how much you wanna distort on a access. It has the option to be the X or Y access, the X has a limit from -800 to +800. The Y access has a limit of -340 through +340, takes time to get use to messing with the filter, but gives some good handle on displacement effects to the user. It also lets you pick from different modes, each change the way the filter displaces the Applied Image on a new layer.
There's no auto Apply Image on GIMP, no problem, just make a new layer and label it whatever you want. The go to Edit>Copy Visible(Ctrl+Shift+C), then do to Edit>Paste, then just anchor the image to the new layer. That is my way to an alternative Apply Image, in photoshop you do not have to worry about Copy All and paste. It has a Apply Image command in the Image menu for faster making of an apply image on a project.
Gradient Maps vary in this programs, they are in the Color>Map option int he top project menu bar, unlike ps where you select a gradient map and it auto makes a new layer. GIMP requires you make the apply image method I showed you. Before you apply a gradient map, if you are using the background and Foreground colors, you need to set those up. You can also use the ones in the Gradients Window(Ctrl+G). Or you can use a Alien Gradient Map which gives you the options to modify the Red, Blue, and Green channel, each of this channels has 2 options. The 2 options are to lower or intensify Frequency and Phase Shift. Takes time to master this filter, but a good alternative to using the gradient maps sometimes. Also to add a mask to any layer, since Gradient Maps are not masked automatically, go to Layer>Mask> Add Layer Mask. The mask allows you to hide or show again on a layer. To hide brush in black on the layer mask, to show just brush in white again. This is good to hide colors, shadows, or effects you do not want, also you don't always have to be undoing what you did not wanted to do.
This are all of the Tools and Filters I will be talking about today, I have yet to mess with other filters that are available on GIMP. It is fun to always just use them on your own to see what they do and how you can use them in your graphic designs. So don't over look this program just cause you are use to photoshop or heard it is lame. Chances are you might like the program and use it aside from other photo editing programs. Those that use GIMP continue to experiment and have an even better handle of this program.