GIMP and other image manipulation programs

Hey @01101111, or is it as you imply the complexity of Gimp that puts you off? Hope I can change this for the better and if allowed can I paste in here some none FOSS photo edit software that runs okay under wine? PhotoPlus from Serif which was cheap enough in it’s day at £20. Serif now produce I presume to be first class easy to use; Affinity products. ( admin please delete this post if inappropriate - thanks)
I force myself to use (FOSS) GIMP most of the time even though Shotwell organizer will adjust, crop and rotate or level the horizon – and revert back too! So here goes with a well over exposed rubbish photo. Using Curves drag the left hand corner of the graph to the right and notice how the picture improves greatly before your eyes! Oops, all detail on the blackboard and dark areas have vanished so use the dodge tool to magic this detail back – hey presto; job done - save image. Wanted to mark up photo for you guys with notes, arrows and thought bubble – er not with Gimp! Nor export optimizer either. Still in the near future……

Went quickly with same picture and processes with PhotoPlus and noticed that whilst dodging far more detail was revealed than with Gimp. I was then able to easily mark up with thought bubble, arrows and text and also crop and paste from another picture onto another layer then stretch to size and move into corner – easy peasy – no art or skill required.

So have a go at simple stuff like curves, dodging, burning and montage. When this becomes easy move forward – remember, you can’t break it or the photo: bomb out and have another go. :grimacing:

Yet I am mortified by the thought of partitioning a drive, vm or swap file! :confounded:


perhaps for you it seems like no skill is required, but i appreciate that it takes time to learn how to do what for you has become easy. if you were more of a beginner like me you could read things like “curve” or “dodge” and realize how lacking in description they are for what you have described them doing. in the same way i get that you feel similarly about the vocabulary and steps involved in working with partitions, vm’s and swap.

i think if i had more use for such skills and were planning on exercising them regularly (like i do with partitions and vm’s), it would make more sense to learn the terminology and more advanced software. since my use case is probably 90% crop and maybe 2% make a color photo black and white, i can do that with much less complicated programs.


Hey @01101111 and all – By way of a thank you for your helpful input on this post and elsewhere on FOSS; I had tried to show how to easily rescue an overexposed photo; we all get them from time to time when Auto messes up and the usual lighten or darken tools on offer usually in my experience tend to dull the photo. I agree that terminology can look daunting but Colour Curves, Levels and Dodging are common to all photo editing software but hey – no worries – take no notice - click that button – drag that slider – see what it does? Don’t like – click the undo icon or Ctrl+Z then try something else. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Marked up this screenshot using LibreOffice Draw – surprised to find that I could not save out as a jpg or png so had to take a screenshot of the screenshot! :grimacing:

Actually you have much more control: you can place points on the curve, and drag them too, not just endpoints.
See my screenshots:

Preview deactivated, thus the original:

Saving as .jpg or other fromat from GIMP is called exporting. If you SAVE, the project is meant to save, which can be a quite complex stuff.

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Excellent @kovacslt thank you - had tried export but did not notice jpg or png options - my mistake. Great to see GIMP make a good photo even better just like it is meant to. Bye the way what sort of specification is your computer that you are running Mate on and are you happy with the performance? Thanks again. :slightly_smiling_face:
Any more good GIMP tricks please post :+1:

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Sorry, think I misread that - It was after marking up screenshot in LibreOffice Draw that I was surprised at not being able to save as jpg or png file.

@Andy2, I don’t have many tricks. I used to use more layers with masks, etc.

My trickiest trick is probably to use an inverted grayscaled image as mask to itself. This is for background removal for hairs :slight_smile:
Just recorded this for you:

I start here with a cropped image of my son in law. In lack of studio lighting and background he just stood in front of a wall in our living room. I used the “intelligent scissor” to mask him, but this does not work for hairs. This is the trick, that does :slight_smile:
I show here only the hair part.
Note, that from 2:58 I paint on the mask, rather than the image, regardless of the mask itself is visible, or just applied to the image.

Me too. I was quite sure you are confused about exporting/saving from GIMP, because -according to my experience- this is very common for newbies, especially coming from Windows.
I used LO Draw to slightly modify contents of pdf files,so it’s not in my everyday use. But I found there GIF/BMP/JPG export too :wink:

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Seems like this thread turned into a thread about picture manipulation. I did not read everything so I’m not sure. Should I move the image manipulation related posts to a dedicated thread, so people don’t get confused? Especially the title is confusing when reading the actual content.

I have split my most recent post, so that the one part that is ontopic, can stay here.
The rest you can move to another thread if you whish to.


Thanks @Akito, that needed doing :+1:
Should I be able to view YouTube Clip above - I am using Abrowser (FFox) derivative at moment?


There should be no problem. I don’t know Abrowser, but it works on Firefox here, just like any other youtube clip…

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Hey @kovacslt I followed link to YouTube and enjoyed watching your trickiest trick. It has inspired me to have a play with masks myself - think that you may need a brush without too much feathering for the bottom right? Liked video of Aston M too though do not like straight roads - hey did you “mask” out all the potholes. Here in UK roads are full of potholes! :grimacing:


Yes, I took the hardness way too low. But I just wanted to show the principle, so this does not have to be perfect.
Regarding Aston: I did not really made that video, just cut it. A friend runs a business which renews old english cars in a horrible condition, and they will look and and work like a brand new. Some of my friends cars appear in a TV show time to time, and I was given the raw material because my friend wanted a short spot of his -that time recent- car without the usual “stupid talks” that the TV show attaches.
So you want potholes? Look this from last year:

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I’d consider myself, formerly, to have been a reasonably skilled user of Photoshop, up to Version 7 (so many features got added after version 7, and name changes)… I used Photoshop from about Version 3.x on Macs and Windows 3.1…

I’ve never found anything that I could do in Photoshop 7.x, that I wasn’t able to do in GIMP… having said that, I’m no photographer or anything…

As for Vector Graphics, same goes for Inkscape, I never got my head around Adobe Illustrator, but I’d consider myself a “power user” of Corel Draw - and there’s only one feature that Corel has, that Inkscape doesn’t and that’s multiple page documents… In fact, I often find myself cropping photos in Inkscape, Vs GIMP, using the “vector” drawing tool (bezier curves), create a new object, fine tune it till it’s the same shape as the part of the bitmap you want to crop, then do some boolean on the bitmap, using your vector shape… no good? Undo and tweak the vector shape till its perfect…

I’d love to see multiple page documents in Inkscape… Tried “SK1” which is another “open source” vector editor, but it’s flakey, and I don’t even know if it’s being maintained…

For my money, Inkscape feels every bit as professional as Corel Draw…

And for common “tasks” with images or photos, what can be automated or scripted, I do using old faithful “imagemagick” (most commonly accessed using the “convert” or “mogrify” tools, and just about every website in the 1990’s used imagemagick through CGI-BIN)…

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I started with Photoshop CS2, I believe it’s version 9 or 10? There are mainly 2 features in it I miss from GIMP:
-1. is that PS can transform a text, versus GIMP cannot. Of course I can transform the text in GIMP too, but at first it rasterizes, so after a transformation the text will not be possible to edit. Also text input and choosing a font is a bit uncomfortable in GIMP compared to PS.
-2. is that PS has adjustment layers. This is kind of non-destructing editing, it’s possible to change brightness/contrast/curves/tonality/etc. without applying to the image.
It’s not that something would be impossible with GIMP and possible with PS, just few things can be done way much more comfortable with PS.


Well @daniel.m.tripp as I noted before about arrows and thought bubbles; can I also add the additional shapes and an easy to use elastic warp suite of tools - Yes I know Cage Transform. Ah, and the Export Optimizer. This is from £20 Serif PagePlus9 from 17 years ago which had these features in earlier releases! :flushed:

Not quite fair to compare free Gimp with an expensive piece of software like Photoshop but is quite valid to compare with ancient cheap and so easy to use PhotoPlus. :+1:

Well @daniel.m.tripp this may come as a bit of a surprise then from 10 years back! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Why would anyone want to fire up another package when you can get it all sewn up in PhotoPlus. None destructive adjustment layers too. RAW and all file formats and 360 Panorama - what more could you need? :thinking: Better head on over to for some answers on current state of play.

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Apologies GIMP – I found an Export Optimizer under Save As; Advanced Options but alas the information that I required was missing – file size: unknown. I often resize as in number of pixels and reduce quality for exporting a large quality photo down to a more reasonable size for posting or for email. Why GIMP says file size: unknown I do not know as this is just the information I need to know – is this a software bug? As you have seen before (above) PhotoPlus gives you the file size for any export options you are considering.

It is also a little perturbing that the files size shown next to background at 6.8MB is way in excess of the actual file size of 240kB – any explanations welcome. Presume size of native GIMP file? :thinking:

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Try click “show preview”.
Thus, you will see how the quality slider affects your image before actual saving :smirk:

The actual file size is the encoded jpeg file, while the big number is the amount of memory needed by the decoded image stored in memory by GIMP.

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