Monday, November 29, 2010

GIMP is no gimp!

G.I.M.P. (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an amazing piece of software.

If you are interested in photo editing, artwork, advertisement or any other use you may have for digital images, this program can change them in any way you see fit.

If you are a graphic design student you know Adobe Photoshop and GIMP intimately.

What's special about GIMP?

GIMP can quite literally do everything Photoshop can do, minus the very expensive price.

Adobe's Photoshop runs at about $199.00 for the professional version.

GIMP is free.

It's hard for me to do an decent job describing just how usefull this program is, being I don't personally use this software very often, or for much more than simple tasks, so here is what the programmers have to say about their unique image editor:

"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."

The feature list: (not complete)

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

If you are interested in GIMP the official website is here.

(Thank you for the reminder, Andrew.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

picascii not picasso

In my search for unusual or opensource software, i found a unique website.

If you have ever seen "ascii art" then you know what i mean.

If not here is a small demonstration:

Notice how the picture is made of keyboard characters? (0-9), (a-z)?

That's ASCII art.

As Wikipedia states:

"ASCII art is a graphic design technique that uses computers for presentation and consists of pictures pieced together from the 95 printable (from a total of 128) characters defined by the ASCII Standard from 1963 and ASCII compliant character sets with proprietary extended characters (beyond the 128 characters of standard 7-bit ASCII)." is a website that takes photos and turns them into ascii art.

If you are interested in making a picture of yours ascii'd, here is the website: