GIMP Gets an Interface Makeover in New Version 2.6
We've written about GIMP, the outstanding open source graphics program originally developed at U.C. Berkeley, several times before. The application has had a robust community of developers behind it for years, and now a new version 2.6 is downloadable. Here's what's under the hood in the update, including a whole slew of interface enhancements.
You can find the release notes for version 2.6 here. According to the developers:
"GIMP 2.6 is an important release from a development point of view. It features changes to the user interface addressing some often received complaints, and a tentative integration of GEGL, the graph based image processing library that will eventually bring high bit-depth and non-destructive editing to GIMP."
Many of the more important user interface changes are shown on the release notes page. You can pan beyond image borders now, and the Toolbox and Docks are more flexible. You can also make use of many new kinds of brush dynamics when working with images.
GIMP 2.6 also has many enhancements aimed at plug-in developers, including better handling of errors in plug-ins. The application has a thriving community of plug-in developers, and advanced users make significant use of the many plug-ins.
If you're new to GIMP, there are many good tutorials online for getting going with it, in addition to many tutorials found on the GIMP.org site. HowtoGimp is a good place to start. It features general tutorials on how to use the application, and very targeted lessons on granular topics such as images and effects. Also check out Gimp-Tutorials.net, which includes video tutorials and much more. This collection of 22 GIMP tutorials is also worth looking into for creating specialized effects.