Chapter 1. What Is GIMP?

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding GIMP's capabilities and limitations

  • Becoming familiar with GIMP's interface

  • Looking at preferences and customization

GIMP, GIMP, GIMP... oh what a name for an image editing program! With a name that's an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program, GIMP is the foremost application for raster graphics in the Free Software world. It's used for a variety of tasks ranging from photo editing and digital painting to batch image processing and traditional-style animation. If you have any interest in creating digital images, chances are good that you've at least heard of GIMP and perhaps even tried using it.

Whether you're a digital artist on a budget, an aspiring student, or just someone who needs a graphics program with more advanced features than those found in the simple paint program that may have come with your computer, GIMP is well-suited to helping you turn your ideas into images. You can start with a digital photograph, artwork from a scanner, or work from a blank canvas and create complete graphics from scratch. It's a great tool for getting the job done.

GIMP was born as a university project for two developers, Peter Mattis and Spencer Kimball, to fill the need for an advanced image editing program in the Unix and Linux environments when none existed. It has since grown to be an extremely influential force in the Linux world. In fact, the toolkit that was used to create GIMP's interface has been extended and expanded to become ...

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