There are a lot of great free Graphics software applications out there, so how do we know what is different or will accomplish more than the standard, renaming files, painting, changing color or effects? What will give users an advanced, as well as basic graphics editing capability? Well, I will list a few that I consider to be among the best out there and in combination can be a great Photoshop alternative.
First up is Gimp. What is Gimp? Definition from the main Gimp site: GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
What does it do? What doesn’t it do may be a better question. I have used Gimp to do all my graphics work and from my experience, Gimp is only limited to your imagination. Gimp is not as automatic as Photoshop but will accomplish the same results with different methods. Gimp has some limits compared with Photoshop, although they are minor and won’t affect most users.
Gimp can be anything from a basic image editor, to a professional editor with the ability to manipulate, save to and work with numerous formats. It will even compile icons, create animated gifs, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
For numerous plug-ins to enhance Gimp, you can go here
Next up is Inkscape. What is Inkscape? From the Inkscape main site: An Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) are basically XML scripts at heart. To read more on SVG and how versatile it is, go here.
This is very similar to Photoshop and others that support or use SVG and like Gimp, it’s free. This comes in extremely handy for icons and other images but the uses are endless. Some may like the Bitmap tracing features, I know I do and use it all the time. It may take some getting used to but once you do, you will be hooked.
3. Blender 3-D
Then finally I want to mention Blender 3-D. From the main Blender site: Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.
I won’t lie and say it’s easy to use right off, however, with patience and time, you can begin to create some really awesome 3-D graphics. You can put your 3-D creations into movies, even create your own 3-D movie, pictures, models for games and many other things too lengthy to mention here. It may not be an “easy use” type of 3-D creator, however, it’s far more powerful and quite limitless when you get to know it and is very much worth learning.
You may need the Python programming language to run Blender which is a very small install and you will never know is there, it’s used for Blender and other applications to run correctly.
I would like to mention that there are numerous great freeware image editors, manipulators and creators but impossible to mention them all and these few are my personal favorites.
Also, please read tutorials, PC requirements and help guides, there is a lot of help for beginners out there. In the long run, you will be thankful you did.
Note by Avinash – This Guest post is by PChammer who is a regular contributor here at Avinashtech. Just like to mention the awesome image he created (GIMP one in this post). Hope to see more from him in future.
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