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GIMP vs. Photoshop Elements
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Comparing GIMP with Photoshop Elements
Article written using GIMP and Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 with Vista
A layer program is a must for digital scrapbooking. Most often, Scrap Girls articles present tutorials based on Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Today, I’d like to take you on a journey of comparisons between the Photoshop family of software and GIMP, a program you may not be familiar with. Each has their pluses, and if you have knowledge of both programs, you can make the choice that’s right for you and your digital scrapbooking needs.
Let’s talk about our wallets first, because cost can be one of the hindrances to getting into digital scrapbooking in the first place. If the expense of Photoshop Elements or Photoshop is a hindrance to you, then take a look at GIMP.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It’s a free download (available at http://www.gimp.org/), it’s constantly being improved, and anyone can download updates for free, too! When I first discovered digital scrapbooking in 2008, I wanted to try it first as cheaply as possible to see if I liked it. Using only GIMP and freebies, I dipped my toe into the world of digital scrapbooking and quickly found I loved it!
After six months of using just GIMP, I realized editing photos would be easier and more successful in Photoshop Elements (PSE), so I took the plunge and bought PSE 6. I found I really liked PSE 6 for photo editing, styles, and brushes. Four years later, I am still using both GIMP and PSE 6. Why do I still use GIMP?
There are three things I especially like about GIMP: free upgrades, guidelines, and a measuring tool.
Experts are continually improving GIMP, and all these upgrades are free, unlike upgrades for PSE or Photoshop. Just a few weeks after I purchased PSE 6 in 2008, PSE 7 came out. Bummer! I wish PSE had free upgrades. So from a financial standpoint, GIMP gets my vote!
As a former math teacher, I like to precisely cut and place papers and elements on my pages, so guidelines are extremely helpful. GIMP has guidelines that I really like and I use guidelines for almost every layout I create. Let me show you how I create guidelines for a layout in GIMP.
First, I start by creating a gridwork of horizontal and vertical lines spaced at 1200 pixels and 2400 pixels on a 3600-pixel page. This divides my page into thirds, which is important for design.
These guidelines automatically show the four places on your page to which your eyes are automatically drawn, the spots that are one-third from two edges. You could mentally divide your page into thirds and find these four spots, but I like the precision of guidelines.
One way to design a page is to place important parts of your layout at one of these four spots. For example, here I placed my baby's face where two guidelines meet.
Another way to use guidelines is to line up papers or elements along them. Since an element automatically "sticks" to the guideline, either on the element's side or in the middle, it is easy to create a straight line of elements across a page. I added a line of squares along the top of my layout. Notice I placed the square with my baby's photo on one of the four key spots where the guidelines meet.
Thus, using guidelines alone, I developed the basic design of my page. I use guidelines in other ways, too, but this gives you an idea of their versatility.
Later versions of PSE have a guideline function, so if you have PSE, have you checked to see if you have them turned on? Go to View> Grid to toggle them on. If you want to change/set guidelines at specific intervals, go to Edit> Preferences> Guides & Grids.
As a stickler for precision and accuracy, I like to measure things on my pages. A measuring tool makes this very easy, but Photoshop Elements 6 does not have a measuring tool. However, GIMP does. On the page above, I wanted to check that the squares were a set distance from each other and the side of the page. You could eyeball this to make corrections, but a few quick measurements made the job easier. It was a snap to place the squares 30 pixels apart. The screen shot below is highly magnified to make it easier to see.
So when you want precision, GIMP works well, but in almost every other way, Photoshop Elements is better for digital scrapbooking. GIMP was developed by geeks, with a user's guide full of technical terms that are difficult to understand. Photoshop Elements was especially developed to be user friendly, and the help provided online through guides and tutorials makes it much easier to use than GIMP. GIMP is slower than Photoshop Elements, especially when you load a lot of brushes. When there are too many brushes added, GIMP can crash, destroying your unsaved work. Photo editing is much easier in Photoshop Elements than GIMP, and produces better results, too. Finally, GIMP doesn't have styles, while Photoshop Elements does.
It all comes down to choice. Which layer program is right for you? Whichever program you use, share your beautiful pages by uploading them into the Scrap Girls Gallery for everyone to enjoy! Happy Scrapping!
Article written by Sue Maravelas
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The Scrap Girls Club contents are released on the 1st day of the month (or the closest business day to the 1st).
With the Scrap Girls Club, you will receive:
January's Scrap Girls Club designed for you by Jen Reed
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High Noon Crop
Wednesday, January 9th - 12 Noon ET
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 12 Noon ET for the High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week.
On January 9th we'll do a Circle Challenge. Create a page using at least one circle. It can be a circular embellishment, polka-dots, brads- it is your choice!
Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
Monday, January 14th - 8:00 p.m. ET
Do you struggle to get your words on your layouts? This is the crop for you! Join Carla (CRS) in the Chat Room for a Journaling Crop at 8 pm et that is sure to help you get journaling! This month we'll talk about using Amanda's ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Notebook Journal Mats. It's a great template set to help make your journaling part of your layout and not an after thought!
January's Forum Game: Jumpstart January!
It's time to kick off the new year with some fun and a focus on scrapbooking! Join us on Scrap Girls Forum for "Jumpstart January!" This is a game and challenge that focuses on taking time to scrapbook regularly despite the little "speedbumps" of life. When the month is over you'll have completed several layouts and been treated to some fun along the way.
A Welcoming Committee Member will post a task each Monday through Saturday from January 1-31. The tasks will be formatted in a LARGE PURPLE FONT for ease of locating them in the game thread as it grows. Some tasks will require message board participation, email responses or gallery posting. Read each daily task carefully to see what is required of you.
Those who complete all the required tasks and submit or post required participation by 11:59 pm (ET) January 31st will be entered in a drawing to win one of three $10 Gift Certificates to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Those who complete all the layouts will be entered in a drawing to win one of two $5 gift certificates. Each person who completes a layout will be entered – once for each completed challenge page - into a drawing for one of three $3 gift certificates.
For complete details, visit the Monthly Forum Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
January Monthly Layout Contest: Our scrapbooks are full of the holidays, birthdays and special events. But what about those little, everyday moments? For the January Layout Contest, we'd love to see your layouts featuring everyday moments or habitual tasks that would otherwise go undocumented. Please post your layouts in the January Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight ET on January 31st and you could one of the two people who will win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Please be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties.
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our Forum calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in the Eastern Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-New York-New York' as the location for the Eastern time zone.)
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