Something I've noticed said about GIMP is that its not as good as photoshop: Missing key filters, Layer effects, etc etc etc.... well I've been getting around lately (lol If you looked for me you could probably find me across about a dozen+ places around the internet) and I've discovered that, while GIMP can't possibly work as well as Photoshop, it can get pretty dang close if you have the right things. Here are some things that will help.
First off, I suggest reading This Article
by Blair Mathis at the Smashing Magazine site (If you don't feel like reading it, don't worry, parts of it may be quoted in this post). He has 8 things that will help greatly, but depending on what you do, it may or may not help as much.
After reading that (If you decide to), I suggest that you download the following:
*Pspi.exe (Linux and Windows only. No Mac compatible version yet. Homesite is here
*Download the GIMP Layer Effects Plugin
*Add Photoshop Brushes
Those two things can greatly help you with making GIMP work closer to that of Photoshop.
Here is what the earlier reffered to Smashing Magazine article says about the Pspi.exe filter:
[quote=Blair Mathis' Article]The PSPI plug-in allows GIMP to use Photoshop plug-ins. This increases the number of filters available to GIMP and allows Photoshop users to not have to sacrifice their library. If an equivalent GIMP plug-in can’t be found, assembling a kit of Photoshop filters is an potential option.
To start, download the PSPI plug-in from Gimp.org
In the program folder, copy and paste the entire contents of the PSPI plug-in download into the Plug-ins folder. If you’re running Linux, make sure you copy both the PSPI plug-in and the PSPI.exe, or it will not work.
Restart GIMP and open the Filters menu. At the bottom, you will see a new entry: “Photopshop Filters Plug-In Settings.” Select that to open the Photoshop dialog box, and point it to the folder where your Photoshop plug-ins are located. Add all future Photoshop plug-ins to that folder.
After downloading, I highly recommend you go to This site
. It contains many of the Photoshop filters in .8bf form, which is great, as this gives you many of those missing filters. Also, if you look around you can find various other filters that you can use. Just make sure they are in .8bf form Receiving an error about missing Plugin.dll? They have that also. Just download it and move it to the correct folder (Google it to learn how), and your problems should be fixed (:
Next, you should download the GIMP Layer Effects Plugin. This plugin gives you the same sort of effects as photoshop layers. Its a bit more work, but at least you'll now have those layer effects you've always wanted (:Heres what the Smashing Magazine article says about the Layer Effects Plugin:
[quote=Blair Mathis' Article]Layer Styles are a beloved feature of many Photoshop users, and living without them can be a difficult adjustment. Layer Styles are called Layer Effects in GIMP and include: Drop Shadow, Inner Glow, Outer Glow, Gradient Overlay, Stroke, Bevel and Emboss, etc. These can be used to quickly apply effects to your layer(s) without having to jump through hoops.
Download the Layer Effects GIMP plug-in from Gimp.org. There are two versions: Script-Fu and Python. The Python version allows for live previews of the effects; the Script-Fu version does not. No matter which version you choose, save the plug-in in GIMP’s Plug-in folder and restart the program.
If you download the Python version, Layer Effects will be added under Image > Layer > Layer Effects. The Script-Fu version will be listed under Script-Fu > Layer Effects.[/quote]
Another thing that you can do is download photoshop .abr brushes. Starting with GIMP 2.4 (Either 2.4 or 2.2, sorry, cannot remember currently) GIMP has the added ability to use photoshop brushes, as long as they are in the default .abr brush form. Now those additional brushes that you've always wanted can be yours!Heres what that article says:
[quote=Blair Mathis' Article]GIMP comes with far too few brushes; and the ones that are there are small, basic and not all useful. If you’re planning to author graphics, you’ll need a new library of brushes to accomplish anything. Installing brushes in GIMP is as simple as copying the brush file into the Brush folder and restarting GIMP.
Brushes can be downloaded from numerous locations, depending on what you’re looking for. That said, an excellent repository of free brushes of all types — including grunge, fire, splatter, stone and more — is at Blendfu.
[/quote]Additional brushes can be found around the web if you're willing to search. Some such sites that may contain brushes are Brusheezy and DeviantArt
Need photoshop patterns? Download the Photoshop Pattern Loader (Linux/Windows) for GIMP
. This script allows GIMP to open any photoshop patterns that are in .pat form. You will just need to save each pattern individually (One layer per pattern) to your patterns folder.
Seen a good photoshop gradient that you couldn't take your eye off of, or just wanted to make your own? Well, if your up to a bit of work, all you have to do is follow This Tutorial
. It explains how to make that gradient that you've been eyeing, and even though its not specifically for how to make gradients in GIMP, it can help with that also.
Want some filters that were made for GIMP? I suggest downloading the Fx Foundry
set. It has many various filters that may or may not be what you need. Otherwise, check out the GIMP Plugin Registry
. They have many various plugins and scripts that that may be what you need.