GIMP is one of the programs that took the world by storm, creating an impressive range of functionality in a free application. It’s not just about removing zits from supermodels – the world of image manipulation grows to new heights constantly but conquering the top of the mountain is always the giant, Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop has been around for a long time but remains at the pinnacle of its field. GIMP clearly feels the pressure and their latest release, GIMPshop, has rejigged the whole interface of the original to create a more Adobe-style appearance. It’s not as though GIMP is new to the scene, having been around for a couple of decades already, but their desire to grow and develop seems indefatigable. In the past, GIMP have been criticised for the rather chaotic layouts they used and the multiple interfaces and they have made some great improvements simply by focusing on one main application window.
Fundamentally, GIMPshop has not changed the software itself but simply the way it is displayed for the user. The idea seems to be to help encourage Photoshop users to try the free alternative, or at least make it easier for users to switch between the two. The menu system of GIMPshop has been reordered to resemble the Photoshop layout, while many tools have also been renamed to the more familiar Adobe versions. Nevertheless, many of GIMP’s best features remain unaltered and it is still aimed at helping users create or alter their images with tools such as airbrushing, cloning and gradients. More advanced users can even create their own brushes so they have more control over the desired effects and outcome. Similarly, you can still crop, add text and create layers – functions Adobe Photoshop users will be more than familiar with. GIMPshop even enables you to animate your images should you so choose. While it may have one or two less features than Adobe, for a free version, it’s impressive and substantial, providing enough for most intermediate users to keep busy with. While the open source option is fully polished, the GIMPshop download is looking sleek and shiny and, best of all, it’s still free!