I’ve probably mentioned that I don’t use Photoshop for my art — can’t afford it, wahh.
And yes, I’ve seen the latest news that Adobe is adding a subscription-based distribution format, so you can basically rent the software for a low monthly fee. Frankly, I’d rather rent a refrigerator from the local Rent-Your-Life-Away Center. At least they apply the rental towards owning the thing…at three times retail. Adobe doesn’t do that. You rent and rent and rent, and you never, ever own a license outright, no matter how long you pay. If you want to switch to buying a licence, you start from zero.
But that’s ok. I use GIMP, the Gnu Image Manipulation Program. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it doesn’t do CMYK, it only does RGB, so I can’t go to some of the higher-end printing houses. I have to stick with the ones I’m using, that support RGB, convert to CMYK, or get Photoshop, which supports it natively. I can get a plugin for GIMP that produces CMYK separations if I need them. I don’t need them, at least not right now. If someone knows a more compelling reason, feel free to comment. (Also feel free to buy me a copy of Photoshop. *grin*)
But that’s not the good part. Today, I happened across a cool add-on set for GIMP that increases my ability to do Cool Stuff. It’s called GPS, Gimp Paint Studio. The site describes it as: “a collection of brushes and accompanying tool presets. Tool presets are a simply saved tool options, highly useful feature of the GIMP.” Sounds simple, almost trivial. It’s not. Part of the problem with any tool like GIMP, or Photoshop, is the massive amount of “knobology” involved, how to tweak and set and poke it into doing all the really nifty and cool stuff, like how to make the brush look like graphite, or like an exploding fire, or like a glowing sunset. If you’ve taken a dozen classes, or worked with it for ‘steen thousand hours, or were one of the devs and know every little tweak, you probably can do it all in your sleep and make it look easy.
“Just renoberate the jitter slider on the bump map redirector, set the layer mode to decomfistulate with a 50% instil level, and make sure the tweeter isn’t overdriven, and you can make something that looks exactly like radioactive gummy worms.”
Yeah, just that easy.
Or you can install something like GPS, that collects a pile of tools and brushes and tool presets (stored knobology), and you’ve got some great starting points for some nifty work. That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to learn. I spent the morning and half the afternoon watching tutorial videos and reading the manual, trying stuff with my jaw hanging open. About the sixth time you say “oooh, WOW, so that’s how they did that!”, you realize you have something really neat. And when you try doing it yourself and see that it’s not something you need Commander Data next to you to replug all the isolinear chips every time you want to change options — nor will you cause an EPS conduit rupture, blow up your production system, and scuttle your only means of producing actual work, it’s really a boost to your morale.
I expect that over time, I’ll be able to produce even better artwork using this tool, and produce it easier.
Watch a sample video: GPS Presets Samples