November 21, 2010

GIMP, a novice's (beginner's) version


Is the short for GNU Image Manipulation Program where GNU = GNU is Not Unix (a recursive acronym).

To me the most noteworthy thing about this assemblage of computer lingo is that it is open source and subsequently free to download. One must have heard about the Firefox thing which too is one such brilliant model of an open source software package. One of the most prominent benefits of open source software is that there are no upper confines for enhancements. Community keeps on incorporating improvements as well as encoding plugins on their own which are then shared on equal opportunity basis among the associates.
I am essentially a mechanical engineer and was on the look out for something better than Picasa which too is a convenient collection of easy to use image enhancement packages bundled together by Google for the sole purpose of tweaking images shot through a Canon SX100IS. Though GIMP is not as powerful and refined as Photoshop I suppose but I wonder if a novice like me needs that hyper functionality with an equally outrageous associated cost.
Another important thing about the software is its mascot named Wilber which looks like a small puppy to me.

GIMP download page offers software packages for Mac as well as Windows. Moreover, user manuals in different languages as well as FTP and Web Mirrors for faster downloads in respective locations can also be found on the same page addressed as below,

Following is an array of plugins that I have found very useful and interesting for editing images with one click in most of the instances.

All of these plugins can be downloaded from the GIMP Plugin Registry that acts as a depository of such packages shared by the esteemed users which in fact is the real beauty of open source software.

I came across this terminology while on the look out for adding top gear effect (called Lomo Effect) to the digital imagery. It was rather surprising that those tunneling dark and light shades are in fact an imperfection caused by some Russian cameras. But who cares as long as it looks good to the eyes.

Anyways, the plugin can be downloaded from the following link.


National Geographic Script
An interesting plugin which livens images with increased contrast and nearly untainted National Geographic colours. The script is available at,


Fake High Dynamic Range Effect
Another very useful plugin that is best suited for highlighting minute details in images of buildings employing crisp bright colours. The said plugin can be downloaded at,
Another flavor recently released with increased functionality is available at,


Wavelet Denoise
Digital and Colour noise in images acquired through cameras becomes quite annoying at times. To me this was another factor for choosing GIMP as a potent image editor which is definitely capable of removing noise in one click provided right choice of plugins is made. Following is an example of such a script,

Che Guevara Script
This script enables one to recreate the Che Guevara phenomenon which has stormed the world in recent past when everyone was wearing a T-Shirt with the said imagery. The esteemed plugin is available at,

Note: Batch edit options of above referenced plugins are also available which can be used to edit multiple files at a time.

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