If you’ve done enough work with photography or drawings, you’ve probably already heard about the GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP as it’s called. If you haven’t and want to do some image manipulation, you might want to give it a look.

GIMP is a fully featured freeware image manipulation package similar to Photoshop. Indeed, if you’ve ever used Photoshop you’ll immediately notice that GIMP feels very familiar to you. While GIMP does not have as much functionality out of the box as Photoshop does, there is a plethora of plugins that can be easily downloaded and installed into GIMP that make up for any initial lack. Since GIMP is open source, writing plugins for it (provided you know how to program them) is rather easy, so there are hundreds of plugins available online to fill various needs that are not initially available in the software. The modular nature of the program makes customizing it to your needs fairly pain free.

GIMP is also multi-platform, with distributions available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBD, and MacOS, so odds are good that you’ll be able to install it on whatever platform you’re currently using (unless you’re using an Amiga, bummer). Beyond that, I don’t know what else I can really say about GIMP other than it’s basically a freeware, opensource Photoshop with an active community of coders. It’s a very well established program that has been around for a decade now, so there are no worries about malware in the program.

One of the most useful plugins I’ve found for GIMP is David’s Batch Processor (DBP). This allows batch processing of images which include: Rotation, blurring/sharpening, colorizing, resizing, cropping, renaming, and file conversion. This is HUGELY handy for somebody like myself who takes all their pictures in the highest resolution possible but then needs to resize the images to better fit into my blog or project files. It’s been a time-saver for the yarn-ball winder project, as all my 10 mega pixel images need to be resized to fit into my figure PDF, which doing individually was taking forever. Other image resizing programs that I’ve used take much longer and produce shoddier looking results when compared directly to DBP, so if you’re looking for a good way to batch resize a lot of pictures, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?