Saturday, February 26, 2011

GIMP and Paint.NET

John Marine | 2/26/2011 07:05:00 PM |
Not everyone can afford Photoshop to edit or make pictures. I have two programs I want to introduce to you if you are editing art and want free alternatives to Photoshop- GIMP and Paint.NET. GIMP is a very powerful program with all kinds of functionality. Paint.NET can be thought of as a substantial (and free) upgrade from Microsoft Paint. If considering alternatives for paint programs, try these two programs. I will bring light to both of these programs to all of you here in this blog post.

--- GIMP ---
^ from: - GIMP is a powerful tool for making/editing pictures.

GIMP is an acronym meaning the "GNU Image Manipulation Program." You can create all sorts of amazing effects and touches for almost any kind of application. It is completely open-source, and you can add many things to enhance the GIMP and make all kinds of other effects. Among other things, you can download extra brushes for you to use to make and edit all kinds of lovely images. I am using GIMP right now to edit my blog's header. The majority of work on the header was done with GIMP. Here is a look at what I have done:

^ the header I am working on. Actually, it is just a Beta header for my blog.

As you well know, blue and gold are the official colors of my blog and most of my other online work. So you know I would never alienate my blue and gold colors (unless I wanted to have my alternative red and gold colors). The effect is very simple in making this header. I created a gradient, downloaded one or two brush sets, and used the Create tool to make the golden "John's Blog Space" text.

* I began using a wide-enough header to fill the space properly. I then went ahead and made an appropriate gradient to make the effect of nighttime.

* You may say that it's girly, but I downloaded two sets of sparkly brush sets from Obsidian Dawn. One brush set is a Glitter Brush set of glitter brushes, and another is the Sparklies brush set from Obsidian Dawn. I picked these two because I needed a set of brushes to make the classic display of stars and space. The stars and sparkles GIMP provides only allows you to do so much. So I needed to use a set of brushes to make lovely sparkle effects. Both the Glitter and Sparklies offer a great package for anyone wanting sparkly effects for their art in GIMP.

* Making the "John's Blog Space" logo involves using the Glossy Logo tool. I changed the font to a lovely one in keeping the logo classy. I wanted to find a golden color gradient to use in making the lettering golden. I made the background white for the best effect. Then in editing, I added an alpha channel to the background just to make it easier to make a transparent graphic. I merged down the whole resulting image and saved it as a PNG file.

* When applying the "John's Blog Space" text to my main header, I made sure to add extra sparkles so the graphic would look lovely in addition to the sparkly background. I added some extra glitter or sparklies effects to make the logo stand out a bit more.

All in all, GIMP is a solid tool to use and is quite powerful. Learn more about this program (and download it) by

--- Paint.NET ---
^ from: - Paint.NET Sample screen.

Microsoft Paint takes you only so far. If you want something you can better work with, try Paint.NET. This is a bare essentials paint program that can be upgraded to include many more kinds of images to edit. It is a very solid and reliable program to use. You can even edit in layers (as well as in GIMP). Paint.NET is ONLY available for Windows. Microsoft .NET framework required.

More information: Paint.NET

These are just two programs you can use that are solid in editing images. Don't have Photoshop money? You don't need Photoshop because both GIMP and Paint.NET are two great programs to use. Here are links to where you can download either or both programs, in case you didn't see the links in the two sections:

* Paint.NET

I mentioned getting brushes for GIMP. To get brushes for GIMP, as well as Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, one site you can visit is I want to send special credit to Obsidian Dawn for the brushes they provide for Photoshop and GIMP.

Thank you for reading!

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John B. Marine said...

I love the GIMP! I've been using it for digital scrapbooking for awhile now, and it works great!

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