14/2/12

What is Gimp Painter? Part 1. Introduction


Help!
"GIMP, GIMPshop, Gimphoto, GIMP Painter, GIMP Paint Studio... It's a mess, isn't it? It's impossible to get it right"


Have you ever felt this way? This article will explain the differences between all of them in a simple manner.
First we will leave GIMPshop and Gimphoto aside. They were variations or "forks" of GIMP that tried to imitate the UI of Photoshop. Currently, according their websites they are outdated and they haven't been updated to the 2.6 series (if this isn't correct please let me know).

What do we have then?
GIMP, Gimp Painter and GIMP Paint Studio.

GIMP
GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a bitmap image editing program. It's a free (as in speech and as in beer) software.
It's part of the GNU project and it's available under the GNU General Public License (GPL). More information here [link].

GIMP Painter
It's a "fork" of the official GIMP that offers 2 extra tools: "G-Pen" (a stabilized ink tool) and "Mixbrush" (a paintbrush tool with pigment mixing on canvas and the ability to use textures), pose some modifications in tools like the "power" and "min.scale" parameters, which we will se later.

GIMP Paint Studio
(also known as GPS)
It's a painting suite consisting in resources (tool presets, brushes, gradients, etc.) that works on top of GIMP or GIMP Painter.
It's not a program itself. To understand it better, it's like vitamins. They don't do anything by themselves, they need a living host, a person to decide where to act. GPS is the same: itneeds GIMP or GIMP Painter as a base, and it makes painting a more complete experience.

Where I do begin?
Choosing between GIMP or GIMP Painter shouldn't be hard. If your interest is photography, stay with GIMP. But if you're an illustrator and want to take advantage of painting-oriented features, then GIMP Painter is the right choice. We'll add GIMP Paint Studio later to enhance the default resources.

In the next article we'll se how to install each package properly. I hope to have clarified some frequently asqued questions. Don't hesitate to send me your comments or suggestions, critiques or invitations for a beer :)

Original article in Spanish
Translated to English by Guillermo Espertino (gez)