Gimp-Savvy.com's Objectives and Goals

Gimp-Savvy.com seeks to provide high-level educational and practical resources for the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, a.k.a. the GIMP, and to promote its skillful and knowledgeable use. The GIMP is a premier image editing and painting program rivaling any commercial package, but developed and distributed in the best open-source software tradition.

The GIMP user interface is well designed, having many convenient time-saving features -- keyboard shortcuts, tear-off menus, and drag-and-drop colors just to name a few. However, the effective use of the GIMP doesn't depend on the qualities of the user-interface. To gain access to the real power of the GIMP, some image manipulation concepts must be understood, and some familiarity with basic image editing methodologies must be learned.

Fortunately, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to be a power user of the GIMP, and the resources found on this site provide the required know-how in an easy to digest format.

On Site Resources

Gimp-Savvy.com offers two major resources to the community of GIMP users.

Grokking the GIMP

The first resource provided by this site is an intermediate/advanced guide entitled Grokking the GIMP. Written by Carey Bunks and published by New Riders, it is available in its entirety on this web site under an open publication license. To facilitate its use, this online version comes complete with an interactive searchable database.

Grokking the GIMP covers the use of the GIMP's core tools, explaining methods for performing operations with layers, selections, and masks. The basic concepts of colorspaces and their uses in image editing are developed in detail, and in-depth instruction is given on the best ways to perform high-level tasks such as color correction, photo touchup, image enhancement, collage, and photo montage.

In addition to its conceptual approach to image manipulation, Grokking the GIMP also presents nine major projects. These are invaluable aids in illustrating how the GIMP's tools are used to accomplish more sophisticated image editing tasks and give a clearer picture of how tools interact and are used together.

Photo Archive

To express an idea or a design concept, most image projects need to find appropriate raw photographic materials. This can often be one of the most significant challenges of the project. There are many online stock-photo companies which host images and provide materials for a fee. However, to promote and accelerate the use of the GIMP, it would be useful to have a readily available, copyright-free, photo archive.

Thus, as a practical resource, Gimp-Savvy.com provides an archive of over 15,000 copyright-free photos and images in an easy to browse format.

The original sources of the image materials found on this site are United States governmental agencies such as the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). These images are made available as a public service for both private and commercial use without copyright assertion.

So, if they are already freely available on other sites, why offer them here? The main reason is to regroup them in a convenient location and in an easily browsable format. The presentation of the images found here has been optimized, as much as possible, for rapid browsing.

The Construction of Gimp-Savvy.com

We are proud that Gimp-Savvy.com was built and is maintained with the exclusive use of open-source software tools. Grokking the GIMP was written in LaTeX and was converted to HTML format using LaTeX2HTML and a collection of home-grown Perl scripts. Most of the book's figures were created using Xfig and converted to web presentable graphics using Transfig.

The photo archive was constructed with the help of ImageMagick and, again, some home-spun Perl scripts. The searchable database was created thanks to the open-source search engine ht://Dig.

Finally, the site design was implemented using the GIMP, of course! The interactive navigational and informational components of the site are hand-coded Javascript functions. This avoided the code bloat typically seen on sites created with whiz-bang WYSIWYG web-layout programs.

Gimp-Savvy.com Viewing Requirements

This is a site about image editing, and, as such, is graphics intensive. For the best performance you should set your monitor's graphics adapter for at least 16 bits of color depth (that is, thousands of colors). Those of you using only 8 bits (hundreds of colors) will have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous dithering and color map flashing.

In addition, when using Gimp-Savvy.com, you should be prepared to download, at times, files of a megabyte or more. Some sections of Grokking the GIMP are quite large, and the photo archive consists of pages containing many photos. Again, due to the nature of the subject, this cannot be avoided.

Finally, this site is best viewed with a recent version of Netscape Navigator. Internet Explorer will work, but not all the JavaScript used on this site renders 100% correctly with the Redmond browser. Sorry Bill!

The Gimp-Savvy.com Logo

The Gimp-Savvy.com logo displays Wilber the GIMP in his thinking cap. He is often mistaken for a fox or a mouse, but he is neither of these: he is a gimp. Created by Tuomas Kuosmanen (a.k.a. tigert), he is also the official mascot of the Gnu Image Manipulation Program.

On this site Wilber wears his thinking cap, whose electrodes occasionally glow and give rise to electrical discharges. The thinking cap symbolizes the fact that this site is about the savvy use of the GIMP, based on a deeper understanding of its concepts and a knowledge of the effective use of its tools.


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