GIMP graphics tool zone

The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a free, open source image and graphics editing tool with a flexible scripting facility. It is available for Linux, Mac and Windows.

The original 72dpi Webel animated GIF logo from about 2000 was developed
using some (rather keen) GIMP/Perl scripting. Watch out PIXAR !

The GIMP is not as full-featured as Adobe Photoshop, and not as easy to use as Pixelmator for Mac, and the interaction is not very Mac-like, but if you have patience you can certainly generate high quality graphics with it. It is definitely not very convenient as a drawing tool (it is not as handy as Adobe Illustrator or even OpenOffice Draw), it definitely belongs in the image manipulation family, although it has some handy pattern generators and some plugins that do help with drawing.

One of the best comparison articles I've found is GIMP vs Photoshop vs Pixelmator - Graphics Editor Shootout (Feb 2012) by Nathan Greenstein with some comparison tests and score tables.

I have found it over the years to be less than robust on Mac.

If you are going to install it on Mac, I highly recommend the extended bundles (offered per Mac OS X version) at GIMP on OS X rather than the stock GIMP builds at the main GIMP for Mac downloads area.

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