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Photoshop vs GIMP


Zenevive
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I'm only just beginning my adventures in basic clothes making and texturing using GIMP but I'm wondering if it's possible to make very high quality clothes without the use of Photoshop? I'm pretty fussy as a shopper in SL so as a creator I aspire to learning all I can to make great products. The cost of Photoshop is a huge consideration but I'd be willing to save my pennies if it meant the difference between "good" and "great". I'm aware quality has a lot to do with experience and knowledge and I'm absolutely not looking for any shortcuts in my learning but I just wanted to hear people's opinions on the pros and cons of Photoshop vs GIMP for clothes-making in SL (so I can start saving lol!) 

Look forward to getting your point of view! Thanks :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:

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Hi Zenevive, I'm a gimpster. Have been for 2 years now using it to design clothing layers for Second Life (I'm on the Marketplace if you want to see the kind of work I've done with gimp). I think it's the best free program out there :). As far as I know there really is no difference in quality of the result (depending on your skills with drawing, texturizing, matching seams, etc). The biggest difference that I know is that in Photoshop the layers can be organized into nice files. That's not possible in gimp. There are some terminology differences and some "plug-ins" for different effects (filters), but usually a quick search in google will help explain the differences in language or point you to a source for filters.

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If you can use Gimp, all the power to you but I find it does so little it's near worthless. I've been using Photoshop for about 12 years now and can't think of using anything else.  It's worth every dime.

I can create thousands of effects that I could not even think of doing in Gimp while the ability to manage my layers is near endless and critical for what I do.

I can create ice, chrome, shadows and nearly any thing I need on my textures in minutes and all look sharp and professional.  If you want to see a lot of PS images, feel free to stop by my shops and see.  Many of those textures you simply could not do in Gimp.

 

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You can do pretty much the same work in GIMP that you can in Photoshop....in the same way that you can tighten screws with a butter knife. Photoshop is the better choice, and, as you have noted, the more expensive. But GIMP is a pretty advanced program itself. Also consider that the majority of professionals use Photoshop, so if you have questions you're not going to get a lot of professionals helping you if you're using GIMP.

 

The best advice I could give though, is simply pick one, learn it, and live with that decision. You'll produce a lot higher quality work with just GIMP, than you would trying to learn both.

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I have used them both and for SL use there are only a couple of Photoshop tools I could really use that the GIMP doesn't have. Or have YET. I haven't upgraded it lately.

Also, if you work with the GIMP and get good at it, then switch to Photoshop, you won't find it hard to switch. They do the same stuff with different menus and names, but they use layers, masks, bezier curves and all that stuff.

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I so much want to add something here but I don't see how I can top the butter knife. :smileyvery-happy:

I use Photoshop at work and totally love it! :matte-motes-inlove:

To spend that much money to get it at home just seems crazy to me though. So i use Gimp at there and it is like using a butter knife but the results are the same if you know what you are doing. ;)

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Old argument and it pretty much lands the same way every time.  Photoshop appears to come out ahead.  I use GIMP and I actually don't think I would switch to PS even if someone gave me a fully licensed copy for free.  No only because I already went through the "pain" of learning GIMP but because, when I accomplish something I'm proud of, I can honestly say I did using somewhat less and mine looks as good as those made in PS.  I maintain that it takes more artistic capabilities and talent to do some chrome effect or highlight effect without using a filter to do the "hard work".  Photoshop is used by professionals.  It's very well suited for professionals.  It caters to professionals.  That's all well and good because professionals need those filters to produce their graphics quickly (most professionals have a project assigned or taken on that require meeting some deadline).  And a graphics program that enables speed by the use of filters would be the best and most economical choice.

 

But, for amateurs like me, $800 USD is pretty steep on the cost verses need basis.  I don't need the speed.  I don't want to make my textures all shiney and spiffy by running it through a few filters.  I want to make my textures by creating the look myself..........not some plug-in doing it for me.  I don't consider myself an artist.  I know I have some artistic talent but that does not make me an artist.  I can look at textures in-world and envision what I would have to do to get a similar effect in GIMP...........and, in all probability, the textures I'm looking at are done in Photoshop using a filter to get that effect.  To me that isn't talent..........that's knowing how to run a filter across a texture (any mechanic and do that).

 

I ruffle feathers with my position, I know.  I've been agrued with by some well know texture artists in SL.......but I haven't changed my stance.  It's what I call an artist and what others call an artist.  There's only so much anyone can do with the making of truly unique and artistic textures for use in SL.  The platform can only deliver the quality it's designed for and it has the built in limit of 1024 by 1024 pixel resolution..........paint.NET can produce a texture beyond SL's ability to show the highest quality the texture can be made at.  "GIMP's a little harder to use..........but is it really?  I think not.  It's more challenging to learn how to produce the effects almost any novice to PS can do.........and that is not a bad thing, in my opinion.

 

If you are doing textures for fun then don't let the Photoshop crowd intimadate you.  You can do anything they can do......it takes effort and a certain level of stubborness.  And it's so much more rewarding when you accomplish what you set out to do.  If you are trying to make a living with your textures then go PS............you won't have to work near as hard and you can produce more, faster  (time is money, so to speak).

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Yeah that was rather cute.  :matte-motes-smile:  But the butter knife in this case would be more like paint.NET.  GIMP would be more like that 9 in 1 screw driver.  A perfectly good tool for tightening a screw (or lossening one).  So, it's better to go out to Home Depot and purchase that $200 Mikita impact driver.  It works and it's easier........but the 9 in 1 costs $6 and does the job perfectly.  If you have a use for the impact driver, that's fine.......you need it anyway.  If you don't, why spend the $200?  Is the screw tightened any better?  Can you justify the expense?  If you didn't have the impact driver could you still get the screw tightened?

 

Disclaimer.................I own a Mikita impact driver.  :matte-motes-big-grin:  I also own a 9 in 1.........and I use it much more than the impact driver.

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You know. You ask a few question here. So I will simply and quickly adress those.

You are asking about clothes making and all I can say about clothing is what I have seen: mesh is coming, clothes making is changing and photoshop does have an ability to handle 3D objects withing it and use it's easier (or just more popular) lighting system to light them, bake the textures and obviously you can paint and clone paint on it. But, you can paint up 3D meshes in blender. Gimp....well, I am not aware of it having this ability in 2.6. I didn't see it, never saw a plug in that I can remember right now.

Photoshop can do more and has a more stable 3D .obj set of tools. That is NOT from experience, it is from what others say.

Now, you have other programs that handle 3D painting. Blacksmith, deep paint and you can even use 3D tools that allow painting or baking. I mean, 3D painting and baking is in blender, zbrush, maya, 3DS..um...sculptris and possibly several more....3d coat...mudbox? Yeah. there are many options. BUT, this is up to you. It is like saying "whichis better, using sable brushes or nylon?" and all anyone can say is "what are you painting with? Sable is supposed to be better...but waht are you even painting with? PLus, what size of brush will you be using?" IF they where to think about it. BUT, most don't! They assume you are working with traditional medium and simply say "Sable!" and...well, maybe it isn't good for you, and not all use it....wait....why a brush even! There is ONLY good art made with sable brushes? What about pastels? I mean, this is still even traditional as it can get, who doesn't encounter pastels when learning about 2D art?

I don't know which would be better and you know what happens? The ones with teh best stuff sometimes do NOT talk, do NOT share what they use openly and simply use whatever works for them and it is not always what is common. If you can use 3D software you start to think about the materials and baking...this is fast, can add more realism OR more toon look...all in the settings. BUT, if you think the world of PS and don't know anything about 3D other than make sculpt CS4 (or was it 5?) will make shaded bits' then....well, you will just look at a 3d coat ad and figure it is for game devs...and you are not one of those, you are a SL clothes designer. Uh...that is the same stuff really! More so now we have obj models. People don't think they can use 3D stuff now...but of course they can. 3D rendering makes a image and you can use these images to make anything from buttons to full outfits and then project paint them onto the avatar mesh in a 3D prog....who needs photoshop or even gimp? Wel...sometimes there are bit sthat  dont' match up, so you might hand paint, clone paint, warp, liquid rescale or whatever a part here and there OR the whole edge ect. I know this from slapping down a brush on the avatar in blender. There are other issues as well. My mind is not organized enough right now to edit this all and make a great leap in coherence via paragraphs. Many software packages have demos, btu I reccomend lots of videos first and even taking notes on paper (screens are to flickery, paper can help you learn things more steadfast) So I will end it here with this one sentence.

YOU are the only one that will know what works and not all paths are discovered as we enter into a different era of SL creation with COLLADA mesh support.

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Very inspiring to hear that you use GIMP, Arwen! I was already a fan of your clothing line before I ever decided to stick my toe in the water and learn to create so it's great to know that you can produce such detailed, rich textures with a free program. Thanks for sharing how you work :matte-motes-smile:

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Thanks for your comments Poenald - you've given me lots of extra food for thought and more to research! I'm just trying to get to grips with the basics and I know that new developments are occurring all the time as I learn so it's a never-ending cycle but it's great to see the potential behind all these different methods of creation. 

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Thank you, Zenevive! I know everyone is different and has different needs and resources available to them. My comments are strictly limited to the use of Gimp for SL Clothing Layer creation. If you just want to dip your toe in the water and experiment with clothing Layer creation, Gimp's a good way to start. Someday, I'd love to be able to experiment with PS and the 3D programs mentioned, but for now I'm still experimenting and learning new things everyday in gimp. It does what I need it to do.  The gimp website does indicate that upcoming releases will have a lot of exciting new features, so check back there for updates. Nice thing about Gimp is that it is a very effective, free program. There are tons of youtube tutorials and blog tutorials to help you get started (and don't be afraid to just plain "play" - that's what I do everytime I open the program).  Then, as you discover whether you like the "creation biz", you can always decide to invest in more professional programs to either replace or complement Gimp. Definately use either the Beta grid or one of the TPV with temporary uploads to see what you've created before uploading for real to be sure you like the way seams match, or colors match, or patterns stretch. Best of luck to you on your new adventure!

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tako Absent wrote:

"the same way that you can tighten screws with a butter knife" I love it! haha;)

This is funny. When I hear this it reminds me of the lighting thingy in gimp. This is a big part of some work flow because it is better than a bump map (for soemthings) and also the warp tool has to small of a window. I have used both successfully..but not flexible as the stuff I have seen in PS. I think Paint shop had a neat warp tool with points and a grid you can move around...it was really neat and worked great! The light in gimps lighting thing goes haywire, totally buggy in the older releases. Sad to say it still did the same thing now and then with 2.6 gimp.:(

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Another alternative to Gimp and PS is CorelDraw Graphics Suite.

For about half what you would pay for PS you get an entire suite of professional graphics applications.  Corel Photo Paint, one of the applications, is a full blown paint program that not only supports filters and layers, but you can open and save native psd files if you choose. 

CorelDraw, another application in the suite, is a kin to Illustrator and is my main graphics creation tool.  The only thing not supported by Corel are 3D objects and the PS program that does this is their highest level program.  Quite expensive.  Take a look at CorelDraw.  I love it.   :matte-motes-sunglasses-2:

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  • 1 month later...

Really? I actually prefer the bump mapping tools in GIMP! It's one of about five things that I think it does better -- the PS bump maps always come out "shiny" no matter how much I smooth out and gaussian blur my alpha, or what settings I use.

That said, I got CS5 Extended through my college program for a little over $200. I do like it better than GIMP -- I've found that when I'm experimenting with filters or trying to do something a little funny, I tend to be able to get the effect I want a lot more easily in Photoshop. Fewer buttons pressed for the same effects, smarter auto-correct and fill tools, the "stroke" effects in PS always seem to come out a lot better, and, most importantly (for me), when I find myself confuzzled, there's tons of support on the web for PS users, and shiploads of tutorals. GIMP... not so much. Also, the 3D tools in CS4+ Extended are to die for. I remember I used to get so, so angry trying to make the straps on dresses straight, or panties that cut across the butt not have bizarre jagged edges, and while Photoshop can't do much to make up for the awful UV mapping that happens in some places, in many cases having a 3D painting option built in is a lifesaver.

That said, GIMP is an amazingly versatile tool, especially for the price. 

To me, Photoshop is worth $200 more than GIMP... but not $800 more.

If I hadn't been able to get student pricing, I'd probably still be using GIMP... at least until I turned a profit in SL and felt like it was worth the investment. 

 

 

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