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defending the GIMP & Co.

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A multimedia-related blog I sometimes read had a post today about how the writer had sketched out an illustration of a [rather silly looking] superhero, and scanned it in so she could trace and colorize it. The blog post was not very good, so I'm not linking to it, but she apparently meant the post to be an Adobe vs. Gimp & Inkscape deal, and Adobe in the end won. She didn't go into detail about what she tried in each application, but she posted the results and Adobe's result was glitzy and full o' bling, whereas GIMP and Inkscape looked raw and simple.OK, so, just because you don't know how to do something in a F/OSS application does not mean that it cannot be done. Ah, I know what you're thinking, "Yes but the fact that she could do it so easily in Photoshop and Illustrator means that they were more intuitive" -- but no, that only means that she was trained on Photoshop & Illustrator so it seems more intuitive to her than GIMP & Inkscape. Put a total moron in front of any of those apps, and nothing is going to seem intuitive except maybe grabbing the pencil icon and drawing some scribbles...if they even can figure out how to open an empty document...And just because something is done in a different way in GIMP or Inkscape, this does not mean it is more complicated than Photoshop. Now, I'm not saying GIMP is better in Photoshop (although it is in the sense of being Free Software) but I am saying that if you are actually trying to say that you cannot achieve the same results with the GIMP and Inkscape as you can with Photoshop and Illustrator, then all you are saying is that you do not know GIMP & Inkscape. To which I tell you, if you want to learn, open up your terminal.app (because I know you're on a Mac and don't try to convince me otherwise) and do a rm -rf /Applications/Photoshop.app and start using GIMP. And if you still can't figure out the differences between the two, go out and purchase a book on the GIMP. You didn't learn Photoshop just by screwing around with it; either someone taught you about gamma levels and curves and layer effects and all those advanced things, or you took a class, or you read a book. Same applies for GIMP.In short: don't approach Free Software as if it's a clone of its closest propreitary equivalent. Give it the respect it deserves and actually take the time to learn it.

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