GIMP is one of the best image and photo editing programs, next to Photoshop. The main difference between the two is that while Photoshop is an expensive (very expensive) program developed and maintained by a giant like Adobe, GIMP is completely free and open source software. That this software has achieved everything it has achieved without being controlled by a multinational has a lot of merit. However, it is true that its development has begun to stagnate a bit, and Photoshop is increasingly taking more distance from this editing software that, little by little, is going to the background.
The people in charge of this project have already been working on GIMP 3.0 for more than a year, the next major update of the program. Although important changes and improvements are coming to the program, there are still many loose fringes, aspects that should be improved if you really want to remain a real alternative to Photoshop.
Improve GIMP’s use of layers to match Photoshop’s
Of course, GIMP allows you to edit all kinds of layered images. However, these layers have nothing to do, in terms of functionality, with Photoshop. Yes we can use them to do simple editing and place “things” on top of other “things”. However, when we begin to ask these layers for more professionalism, this program is when it shows its main weakness.
The community has long been asking developers to work more seriously on these layers. However, the years go by, and the versions, and although they have received some changes, these do not even reach the wake of what Photoshop offers.
A bigger bet on AI
The latest versions of Photoshop have a very advanced Artificial Intelligence: Adobe Sensei . It is capable of intelligently selecting objects, changing skies, adjusting colors and even opening eyes and modifying facial features without leaving a trace that they have been modified. Some features that greatly simplify our day to day.
GIMP, however, does not have any AI traits. Obviously for a free project, getting a neural network like Sensei is very complicated, but there are excellent open source frameworks that can allow us to obtain some basic touches of Artificial Intelligence to improve the usability of the program.
Advanced features in GIMP
It is true that for a basic use, GIMP can be worth and offers the same as Photoshop. But as soon as we get into advanced functions and features, things change. GIMP lags far behind Photoshop in terms of what the program can offer us. Without going any further, the RAW development functions do not even reach the shadow of what Camera RAW offers us.
That, not to mention the connectivity with other programs. It is rare that a person only needs GIMP, but it is normal that they also need to use other programs. Adobe, thanks to Creative Cloud, has all its programs connected to each other, and we can move a project from one program to another with total freedom to tweak it and send it back.
Lots of community, but little activity
Although it is true that GIMP has a large community, in reality this is not by far one of the best. The first thing that strikes us is that there is hardly a single hint of advertising. While the web is plastered with Adobe, nobody wants to give GIMP a nudge. Therefore, between known and unknown software, the choice is obvious.
In addition, although there are a series of GIMP tutorials and tricks on the net that explain how to do certain things in this program and get the most out of it, most of them are obsolete, or downright crappy. Adobe has professional tutorials throughout the network and, if that were not enough, its users have the right to specialized technical support that will help them carry out any edition.