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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> GIMP vs PS Elements
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11/30/2005 04:53:03 PM · #1
I've got the GIMP and I've seen a reasonably priced copy of PS Elements 4, is it worth my money paying for this?

All I'm really after is some nice borders and some interesting effect, what does everyone think? Thanks.
11/30/2005 04:54:36 PM · #2
Elements has a free trial download. You could test it out and see how you like in comparison.
11/30/2005 04:56:47 PM · #3
In my experience, gimp is MUCH more powerful than elements. The only noticable thing that I think gimp is missing is adjustment layers (which elements has). But like mk said, just download the trial version and try it out.
11/30/2005 04:56:58 PM · #4
I have both...I used Gimp for a few months and then switched to PS elements.

For me...they both have their strong points. I loooved Gimp, and the only reason I switched was because I got Elements for free. I find that Elements is a little smoother and I like the Dodging/Burning tools a lot more. I still use Gimp for things like curves and stuff though.

I'd say it's a toss up, If you have to pay for PS Elements I suggest you stick with Gimp. But that's just my opinion...
11/30/2005 05:06:42 PM · #5
Originally posted by stare_at_the_sun:

I have both...I used Gimp for a few months and then switched to PS elements.

For me...they both have their strong points. I loooved Gimp, and the only reason I switched was because I got Elements for free. I find that Elements is a little smoother and I like the Dodging/Burning tools a lot more. I still use Gimp for things like curves and stuff though.

I'd say it's a toss up, If you have to pay for PS Elements I suggest you stick with Gimp. But that's just my opinion...

I agree with you on gimp's dodging and burning - terrible, it's almost impossible to get a natural look using it (and I've used the photoshop equivalent and been much more successful).

But hey, for a free program gimp's pretty amazing, almost as powerful as photoshop.
11/30/2005 05:09:00 PM · #6
Originally posted by justin_hewlett:

In my experience, gimp is MUCH more powerful than elements. The only noticable thing that I think gimp is missing is adjustment layers (which elements has). But like mk said, just download the trial version and try it out.


I keep wondering just what exactly are adjustment layers... How do they differ from 'regular' layers? (In plain English, please!! Me no compuspeak/PS-speak very well!)
11/30/2005 05:15:49 PM · #7
Originally posted by saracat:

Originally posted by justin_hewlett:

In my experience, gimp is MUCH more powerful than elements. The only noticable thing that I think gimp is missing is adjustment layers (which elements has). But like mk said, just download the trial version and try it out.


I keep wondering just what exactly are adjustment layers... How do they differ from 'regular' layers? (In plain English, please!! Me no compuspeak/PS-speak very well!)

Adjustment layers are a way to apply an effect to a photo, and control the opacity (strength) of the effect as well as turn it on or off, and delete it. So if you wanted to adjust the levels of a photo, you could use a levels adjustment layer. Then, if you save the file as a photoshop .PSD you could come back to the photo days later and tweak the very same levels adjustment or get rid of it all together - it's not set in stone, in other words. Normally you would not be able to undo or tweak that same levels adjustment of a photo that has been saved and opened again if you didn't use an adjustment layer - so adjustment layers are very convenient.

Also, they contain no pixel data so they're perfectly legal in basic editing. If you're using photoshop, they're available in the layer palatte with an icon of a circle that is half black and half white.

Message edited by author 2005-11-30 17:18:02.
11/30/2005 05:21:52 PM · #8
So the main diff b/t GIMP and PS in regards to layers is that in PS you can go back later and change your layers?
I'll have to see if I can work this one out in GIMP. Right now I'm having to flatten image (and losing the ability to later change those layers) before I save as jpeg, but I haven't tried saving with a different file extension. I know you can save individual layers, and I know you can save something as a layer, so maybe this can be worked out.

Also makes me wonder if I should install GIMPShop and see if they've 'fixed' this particular problem...

*edit - forgot to say THANKS!! (oops!)

Message edited by author 2005-11-30 17:23:13.
11/30/2005 05:35:44 PM · #9
I'm not familiar with adjustment layers in PS, but can you get similar functionality in GIMP by saving a file as a GIMP XCF image?

Nordlys

Message edited by author 2005-11-30 17:36:22.
11/30/2005 05:42:13 PM · #10
Nah, GIMPshop only solves the interface problem, it's still built on top of the original GIMP.

Another advice I can give you is to wait and/or buy another photographic equipment (scanner, camera, almost anything) because most of these bundle the latest version of Photoshop Elements for free. And you get to keep the equipment :D Of course you should check with your retailer before you buy...
11/30/2005 05:47:13 PM · #11
Originally posted by Nordlys:

I'm not familiar with adjustment layers in PS, but can you get similar functionality in GIMP by saving a file as a GIMP XCF image?

Nordlys


Just went and played with the GIMP for a moment, and yes, if you save the file with the xcf extension, you can fiddle with the layers even after you save your pic. Neat.
So now what does PS do that the GIMP won't? :P
(If I remember right it has something to do with color channels? Or maybe 8 bit color vs 16 bit? Can't quite recall...Oh well.)
11/30/2005 06:03:21 PM · #12
Originally posted by saracat:

Originally posted by Nordlys:

I'm not familiar with adjustment layers in PS, but can you get similar functionality in GIMP by saving a file as a GIMP XCF image?

Nordlys


Just went and played with the GIMP for a moment, and yes, if you save the file with the xcf extension, you can fiddle with the layers even after you save your pic. Neat.
So now what does PS do that the GIMP won't? :P
(If I remember right it has something to do with color channels? Or maybe 8 bit color vs 16 bit? Can't quite recall...Oh well.)

Off the top of my head...CS2 has 16-bit color editing, adjustment layers, a few neat features called Vanishing Point and "Merge to HDR," and will also process raw files...and much much more...but it all comes with a hefty price tag.

The workaround in gimp to adjustment layers (at least for me) is to make a duplicate of the layer before I do any changes such as levels, hue/saturation, etc. Doing this I end up with around 10-12 layers sometimes, which allows me to step back to previous states later if I want to (if saved in gimp's native .XCF format). However, it's nowhere near as convenient as adjustment layers, and having so many layers which ALL contain pixel data makes for HUGE files.

As mentioned earlier, gimpshop only changed the names of a few of the tools and menus to resemble photoshop (as well as put everything in one window), no other changes are made. I tried it out one time but it had a lot of bugs on my machine so I ended up getting rid of it and going back to regular gimp.

Message edited by author 2005-11-30 18:05:19.
11/30/2005 09:05:46 PM · #13
Originally posted by saracat:


So now what does PS do that the GIMP won't? :P


So far, I have been able to do everything that PS can do in GIMP, including the signature Grunge look. Its just that you cant really think in Adobe when you use it. Play around with ALL the features- GIMP pretty much leaves you to figure a lot out manually rather than simple terms or one click solutions.
11/30/2005 09:18:15 PM · #14
Originally posted by saracat:


So now what does PS do that the GIMP won't? :P


The GIMP won't take $600 out of your pocket.
11/30/2005 09:19:03 PM · #15
Hate to stir the pot but this little free program is also very good.

Great free editing program
11/30/2005 10:21:59 PM · #16
Originally posted by drz01:

Hate to stir the pot but this little free program is also very good.

Great free editing program

I've never used Paint.NET. I looked into it when it first came out but was put off by the fact that it is built on Microsoft's .NET framework, which means that the download is actually 42.9 MB for a program that is 3.39 MB. That's a large download with broadband let alone for dial-up. And even if it's free I'm not sure I want to give another 39 MB of my hard drive over to Microsoft's security vulnerabilities and privacy invading crap.
12/02/2005 06:13:41 PM · #17
bump...
12/02/2005 06:15:51 PM · #18
I have no problems with the GIMP, especially for free. I did notice dodge and burn was useless, but have very limited experience w/ elements.
12/02/2005 08:16:10 PM · #19
Ummm,

Gimp does have adjustment layers...

If you go to the layers dialog box, and under 'mode' you can set what the layer does...

Options are:
normal
disolve
mutiply
divide
screen
overlay
etc etc etc..

I assume this is what you mean by adjustment layers?

BTW, I find that using a layer for dodge and burn rather than the tool gives similar results to the PS tool, and you can set the opacity of the effect afterwards...

Cheers, Me.
12/03/2005 10:34:26 AM · #20
Originally posted by KiwiChris:

Ummm,

Gimp does have adjustment layers...
...
I assume this is what you mean by adjustment layers? ...

Cheers, Me.

Actually I'm not talking about different modes of blending two layers together, I'm talking about layers that contain no pixel data and provide an edit such as levels, curves, hue/sat, channel mixer, etc. that is editable later. For example, If I set the saturation of the blues of an image to +20 and later, after hours of editing, decide I don't like it, I can turn off, delete, or modify that adjustment layer. It's not the same thing as the duplicate of background layer.

Maybe this picture will help: 256659.jpg

Also, I agree with you on using layer modes and duplicate layers for dodging and burning, much more feasible thant the tool itself and easily undone later.
12/03/2005 01:44:38 PM · #21
Originally posted by justin_hewlett:

Maybe this picture will help: 256659.jpg


Oooo, Dat's a cool feature. :-).


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