GIMP 2.8.2 released, what’s up with 2.10?

GIMP 2.8.2 released, what’s up with 2.10?

GIMP developers finally released the first update for v2.8. The new version eliminates quite a few deal breakers for Windows users, improves the new save/export workflow and makes a stab at native GIMP.app for Mac.

What's changed in 2.8

First of all, why 2.8.2 and what happened to 2.8.1? The new version numbering scheme uses even numbers of microversions (2.8.2, 2.8.4, 2.8.6 etc.) for final releases and odd numbers (2.8.3, 2.8.5 etc.) for all unreleased code in Git repository.

The new version will be of primary interest to Windows users:

  • File size is now calculated correctly; it's actually a bug in a 3rd party library, so a workaround was found.
  • Finally, page setup options are back to the Print dialog.

A Windows installer of v2.8.2 is already up at Sourceforge. As for general issues, JPEG saving options are now recalled just like before, and the team improved performance of display filters, so you don't have to disable color management anymore to speed up canvas redrawing.

The new save/export model was improved and made more consistent. For instance, the Overwrite menu item stays visible until you either save your image or export it with a different filename.

Also, for imported and exported images the window caption is constructed more sensibly. For example, if you exported an image without saving it to XCF, the window title now will show the exported file's name instead of the nondescript “Untitled”.

Earlier this year Michael Natterer, GIMP's project lead, did a lot of work on GTK+ for Mac, and soon after the release of 2.8 the team got a new contributor who helped making the rest of the work. So now GIMP is capable of running without X11 on Mac. There's already a build from Partha available, and there will be an official GIMP.app too.

What's up with high bit depth support and GIMP 2.10?

While some folks are already excited about changes in GIMP 2.8, a lot of people still wait for 2.10 to be finalized and released — mostly due to ongoing work on high bit depth processing. Well, there are some good news and some bad news there.

The bad news is that the team still needs more contributors to finish this work fast enough. There were very little changes in August (but then again, summer time is not the most active coding period).

On the other hand, the team has a new contributor. Elle Stone volunteered to work on the color management plug-in for v2.10 which involves porting the existing plug-in to LittleCMS v2.

Currently the new plug-in already uses LCMS2 and supports conversions between 8 bit integer, 16 bit integer, and 32-bit floating point, but still needs more work. The code will be merged to upstream source code repository when it's finished.

Elle's persistence gave an additional boost to development of GEGL, and Øyvind Kolås published a draft of color management implementation plan for GIMP. We encourage you to read all of it. In short, ICC conversions will only happen during opening, importing and exporting of images. Inside it's going to be just linear data.

Meanwhile Google Summer of Code 2012 is nearly over, and it looks like all five GIMP and GEGL students will pass. The official results will be published next Tuesday. Pretty much everyone worked on GEGL-based GIMP either way, be it the porting of filters and other parts of GIMP, the unified transform tool, or the node-based GEGL editor.

So far it doesn't seam feasible to say when v2.10 could be released. There still are loose ends around after the final switch to the GEGL-based compositing and processing. As usual, the best way to speed things up is to contribute.

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63 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Great to hear some news, thanks!

    I just compiled today gimp-master, so maybe I will at least spot some bugs. Duuuh, I spotted one already ^^
    I have a lot of work recently, even if it is summer :P and I use mostly 2.8, it works like a dream :)
    2.9 is also fairy usable now.

    Of course the Unified Transform Tool is incredibly awesome to use! xD Perspective transform handles are a bit too big, but at last I want to transform pixels \o/ no tedious workflow when transforming!

    Sorry for this weird explosions of happiness but I had to. There is just too much cool things that I can be happy about :)

    Now I’m waiting to play with nodes :]

  2. Great news, thanks for the coverage.
    I’ve been playing with the unified transform tool and it’s working pretty well.
    I wonder why the widgets proposed by the UI team weren’t used. They looked awesome and probably easier to use than the current ones (the perspective and size handlers in the same place doesn’t feel like the best idea).

  3. @alexandre - JFYI: as of today (Sat Aug 25 11:13:23 CEST 2012) the Mac build (McGimp) available for download from partha.com is still the old one (the binaries have time stamps from June 3, 2012) -> obviously not based on the just released GIMP 2.8.2 sources.

    AFAICT based on the bundle architecture, that old build was also not created using the (now officially endorsed) modules ‘gtk-osx’ and ‘gtk-mac-bundler’ (jhbuild-based build and packaging scripts for GTK+ and GTK+-based applications on OS X).

  4. @Gez, How should I do to try unified transform tool? Is incorporated on 2.9 branch?
    Thanks.

  5. I’ve been reading and unified transform tool seems very interesting. But I think that is not what I was looking for. I would like a transformation tool that “automatically add nodes” to “any selection”. Then transform the selection by dragging and dropping nodes. Not sure but I think Photoshop has something like that.

  6. Alexandre Prokoudine 25 August 2012 at 4:14 pm

    You are talking about a different tool that’s called Free Transform ;-)

  7. @YAFU: It’s in 2.9 trunk already. You have to compile it.
    I have a bash script for Debian Testing (I guess it works in derivatives like Ubuntu or Mint) that compiles BABL, GEGL and GIMP and installs it under /opt. Poke me if you want it.

  8. @ Gez, I’ve compiled Gimp 2.9 on Kubuntu in a virtual machine, and yes, there is unified transform tool. Thank you.
    @ Alexandre, it may be what you say, I really do not know :)
    I saw a video where nodes are automatically added around the entire selection. I refer to simple and more intuitive ways to transform and warp. Something like this for example:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iPhagdSKLw
    I know with Cage Tool could be achieved, but the video really seems more intuitive and easy.

  9. Aleve Sicofante 28 August 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I just downloaded 2.8.2 for OSX but it seems it’s compiled only for 64 bit and I have an older Core Duo here.

    Is there any place where I can download a 32 bit version of 2.8.2 for OSX?

  10. UnconventionalT 28 August 2012 at 8:16 pm

    @su-v: My latest build is based on 2.8.2 sources. You can download it here.
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/942685/gimp-2.8.2-dmg-2.dmg

  11. Aleve Sicofante 29 August 2012 at 12:37 am

    @UnconventionalT: would you be so kind to build it for 32 bit too? I just can’t find it anywhere.

  12. UnconventionalT 29 August 2012 at 12:51 am

    @Aleve SicofanteL Doesn’t the build work on 32 bit? Have you tried?
    Also, these builds are 10.6+ only.

  13. Aleve Sicofante 30 August 2012 at 1:44 am

    @UnconventionalT: Yes, I just tried and no, the build doesn’t work here (the icon show barely for a fraction of a second on the dock, then disappears). If I try to run it from the terminal, this is what I get:

    -bash: ./GIMP-bin: Bad CPU type in executable

    That’s why I thought it’s not 32 bit.

  14. UnconventionalT 30 August 2012 at 1:50 am

    @Aleve Sicofante: Then it’s not, sorry. I don’t have a 32 bit machine to test it on.

  15. I’ve wondered about this for a long time:

    While GIMP is a real flagship project for the whole FOSS world, it seems particularly resource-deprived.

    I wonder why none of the companies involved in FOSS development, such as Red Hat or Canonical, are investing in GIMP development. It seems to me that with a moderate financial effort one could make a real difference, and harvest loads of community goodwill!

  16. Alexandre Prokoudine 03 September 2012 at 2:40 pm

    @Alex Well, the question is: where’s the money in that for them?

  17. @Alex:

    IMO, the ones who should invest in the GIMP should be the animation studios. Some years ago I was in charge of a medium sized one (50 seats). I hired a team of four for our internal development. Then I tried to move the studio from Softimage and GIMP to Blender and GIMP and hire more developers to work on those two apps, but the owners refused. To be honest, the tools back then were not that competitive and I had to give up, but today I would have a strong argument to go ahead with my plans.

    @Alexandre: everything that Canonical does might be questioned on the same premises. Their goal is to create a great distro that’s supposed to attract side-businesses. I agree they’re not in the audiovisual/graphics/design business (yet), but I always remember the case with SGI in the 80s/90s: surprisingly their biggest revenue business area was big servers, but Hollywood was their greatest marketing asset. UbuntuStudio might be directly sponsored by Canonical and introduced in the bigger studios. That would push their reputation to new heights as it happened to SGI back then.

  18. Correction: “Softimage and Photoshop to Blender and GIMP”.

  19. There’s somehting else: Not all the developers want to work on these projects full time and for money.
    I suggested something like this some time ago, and surprisingly most of the relevant GIMP devs said that they wouldn’t work on GIMP full time.
    For them (at least for the few of them I asked) GIMP is a fun project, and putting money, schedules and responsabilities in the middle would kill all the fun.
    I think we have to respect that, even if we don’t agree.

    That’s not the case with Blender. Blender Foundation is putting together an infrastructure to make business from Blender Development happen, and most of their developers would happily work full time in Blender. But that’s because there is one person willing to take care of the paperwork and the boring aspects of all the business-related activities: Ton Roosendaal.
    Not all the projects have a person devoted to administrative work like him. It’s a very hard work and not very rewarding.

    As far as I could see, for a project like GIMP (and others like Inkscape too), offering paid development wouldn’t work very well. However, offering resources for sponsored development sprints where devs can meet and discuss, would probably work and motivate them.

    Of course this doesn’t mean that a studio or a company can’t hire a developer for their own needs, but the challenge is how to make the company’s needs fit with the project direction. Not easy.

    There’s room for paid development, though: Bugfixing. The problem is how does this fit in a company’s plans. Individuals and businesses are usually more interested in new features.
    But it would be great if a company sponsors bugfixing. If core developers don’t have to take care of that, they could put all their efforts in new features, optimization, etc.

  20. Very interesting points Gez.

    I guess if GIMP developers strongly opposed full time paid developers, a fork might work (wasn’t that what happened with CinePaint?), but your idea of sponsoring meetings is quite interesting and some studios might be interested. I think I’ll try to check the Spanish industry on this (I’m still involved with a few of the studios here.)

    The bugfixes road is an interesting one too. Most criticism to every software out there (not just open source) from professional studios is based on bugs, not lack of features. For a professional workflow, bugs are a deal breaker, features not so much.

    Interesting ideas indeed.

  21. Alexandre Prokoudine 04 September 2012 at 12:41 pm

    There’s somehting else: Not all the developers want to work on these projects full time and for money.

    Gez, I have a write-up coming on that. Stay tuned :)

  22. @Aleve Sicofante
    it sounds like you have not been around long enough, or don’t have any first hand experience with the situation that lead to the creation of cine paint. i don’t want to rehash the whole sad story. but in a nutshell in the 90s most studios were still useing irix on sgi. when studios started to move to linux on intel there was a great deal of interest in open source and how to to integrate open source into the studio pipeline. we needed photoshop on linux and tools to deal with high bit depth plates. there was a large attempt by a number of studios to help gimp develop into a production capable image editor that could deal with the sort of images that studios deal with. there was paid development work involved and a lot of time and code put into this effort and unfortunately because of a few very narrow minded and bitter key gimp developers the whole effort was destroyed and in a very nasty fashion. essentially all the code was refused admittance into the gimp code base by a block vote.

    that basically destroyed the willingness for studios to invest in open source projects. and it remains that way to this day. and unfortunately will probably remain that way for quite a long time. for studios it makes more sense to hire developers to develop software. this way they know that the money and time they invest will develop the software that is needed. even if you have a contract with a open source developer there is no guarantee that the work the developer does will be accepted into the application unless that developer has complete control of the project. that’s a huge problem.

    the best of the best graphics programmers generally try to get jobs at studios anyways. and the truly innovative graphics software is developed inside studios to meet very demanding and creative problems that the studio’s have. shake, nuke, render man, etc all originate as in house tools. open source graphics programmers are going to have to shoot for that goal if they want to produce that level of software. they need to imitate that mentality and shoot for a very high level from the core graphics routines to the user interface tools. they have to treat bugs like they can cost tens of thousand’s of dollars\euros if they happen at the wrong time. and they have to be at the forefront of graphics research not lagging years behind the curve. in short your going to have to have a ground up change of mentality and project structure in open source graphics in order to make studios want to partner with these projects again.

    there still is some hope. in general studios like open source and release bits and pieces of there code into the open source when they can. exr, alembic etc. so lets hope that new open source developers are excited by the work that is done at studios and cutting edge graphics research. maybe then we will see some positive changes.

  23. Alexandre Prokoudine 18 September 2012 at 11:33 am

    ...and unfortunately because of a few very narrow minded and bitter key gimp developers the whole effort was destroyed

    Except it never was the case, which can easily be proven by tons of publicly available mailing list archives. It looks like you’ve turned your uhnderstanding of the fail of Cinepaint into a system of beliefs closely resembling a religion. So why would I possibly argue? :)

    ...that basically destroyed the willingness for studios to invest in open source projects. and it remains that way to this day.

    Really? Alembic, anyone? The whole bunch of Pixar’s projects?

  24. look Alexandre you will go to the hilt to defend the gimp devs and thats fine i can respect that. i’m not defending cine paint or saying that the failure of sine paint has anything to do with gimp. what i am explaining is the view from a studio point of view from someone who was there through the failed attempt to help bring gimp up to the level where it could be use in day to day studio work. 

    its important that open source developers understand the situation from this point of view because if there is ever going to be any healthy relationship between studios and open source graphics developers, open source devs need to know why the situation is as it is and who they are dealing with and what the expectations are.

    studios have there own teams of graphics programmers and they are very good at what they do. studios have no problems writing there own tools and software. it is up to the open source devs to show that they want to produce mature graphics software. and have the maturity to work with a studio that wants to provide funding for there project. its not charity money. there are certain requirement that the project would generally have to meet. and if they want to pay a dev to implement certain features then the project better well have the structure to let those features be integrated as expected.

    that is how studios work they have a list of things that they need a tool for and set up a team to implementing them. then the tool is polished into a tool the artist’s feel they can use on a day to day basis.

    it needs to sink in that the studios expect professional level tools. and expect open source software projects want to make those tools or else the studios will just keep on writing there own tools and paying for software developed by developers who sell there software as closed source.

    the thing about exr and alembic etc are that they are developed inside studios and then released as open source. those projects did not start as grass roots open source software. i’m not sure how that makes open source look effective. if anything it shows how nice studios are to the larger graphics community. you can be sure that katana, arnold and prman are not open source. and they have dev teams working on those projects because there is no way an open source graphics dev team could effectively develop those tools the way things are.

    you need to chill out a little about the GIMPAGEDDON :) and accept it for what it was. a really nasty black eye for everyone. i was hoping to use what happened as an example not to argue about it again. 
     

  25. In 2001 I was directing a 50 seat animation studio in Spain. Before that, I was pioneering computer graphics in my country, along with a handful of other enthusiasts. I left the direct involvement in computer grpahics only a few years ago, though I still I’m related to that market (I build workstations for them).

    I very much agree with Grubz’s point of view. I did have a small development team and we developed a lot of in house software. I’ve been asking other studios in Spain why they don’t go for Blender+GIMP and most of the time they express sentiments similar to those exposed by Grubz. However:

    There’s no excuse for not forking projects if you think they don’t go anywhere or are not up to your needs. Cinepaint might have been alive and well among the studios that developed it. What happened? I don’t know how it is in Hollywood, but in Spain, most studios are friendly to each other, people know everyone in that small market and there shouldn’t be a problem having a “Spanish GIMP fork”, if the official GIMP didn’t accept code submissions. The same with Blender.

    In fact, the GIMP might be obscured in months if a true professional fork appeared and was properly maintained by a consortium of studios. It doesn’t matter if Cinepaint originated because the GIMP developers were suffering an NIH syndrome or any other of the very common ones in FLOSS development. What should be explained is why Cinepaint stalled or why, if GIMP is not enough, there’s no alternative being baked by the studios.

    Unfortunately, in Spain computer graphics exploded just after Microsoft acquired Softimage, so it has grown in a Windows world. I never used anything but SGI at the time, but we were just too few then. But I know Hollywood is a lot more Linux oriented, so what’s the explanation there? Are they using Photoshop in virtual machines? Are they using Macs? Are they using in-house tools that never make it to the market (save the ones that The Foundry picks up to commercialize)?

  26. there is two parts to that.

    on the gimp code base in particular after the gimp devs voted not to commit the code that was worked on, after all the effort expense and good will everyone was ‘flabbergasted’. a lot of people look really bad. that put an end to the studios involved wanting anything to do with gimp or the code base in general.

    in general most of the bigger studios have a huge task keeping the pipeline tools working and in some cases have entire compositeing packages and renders to develop. so that takes up most of the budget because those tools are core tools. that’s the backbone of the pipeline and there is no way to farm that out. the main users of a general raster paint package are texture artists and some other departments would use it for various tasks. but to add another software to maintain just for one department is going to be much more expensive then to just buy Photoshop licenses for a what is generally a small department. and the other image tasks can be run thorough the composting package or some small specialized tools. artists that need it end up with a dual boot workstation or 2 workstations. one linux and one windows.

    a general purpose image editor developed by a third party would be perfect. because they would not have take on the entire development duties but they could contribute code for some specific tasks when they needed that functionality.

    kind of how studios develop lots of plugins for maya, nuke etc but don’t have to start from scratch.

  27. Alexandre Prokoudine 18 September 2012 at 5:01 pm

    look Alexandre you will go to the hilt to defend the gimp devs

    Is getting a bit tiresome explaining that GEGL was started by the very same team that started HOLLYWOOD branch (FilmGIMP) with intention to do everything properly.

    That’s the only problem I have with your comments really: tons and tons of distorted facts.

    The part about studios, why it’s difficult for them to cooperate with free software projects per se, as well as pipelines that already work etc. is something I understand very well. There really is no need to repeat it again and again.

  28. The part about studios, why it’s difficult for them to cooperate with free software projects per se, as well as pipelines that already work etc. is something I understand very well. There really is no need to repeat it again and again.

    Why do you think there’s no need to talk about that (again and again)? Don’t you think it would be a good thing if GIMP developers took into account what matters to professionals?

  29. Alexandre Prokoudine 18 September 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Don’t you think it would be a good thing if GIMP developers took into account what matters to professionals?

    And thus we are getting back to the old tired discussion why your kind of professionals are the right kind of professionals, and the kind of professionals the team talks to is the wrong kind of professionals :) Can’t you see how incredibly boring it is? :)

  30. i would like to see more open source high quality graphics software. in order for that to happen there has to be some model for companies/studios to invest money into projects to help full time developers. and some ability for professionals to contribute code for features that they need. this would greatly benefit both people who want to develop open source graphics software and all the artist/coders that do not have the money or the positions to use the tools that are developed and large studios. it would advance the tools and it would help the studios.

    there are quite a few programmers at studios that would love to work on open source and bring some of the tool making out in the open for other artists but they can’t do that now. there is no model for that so there is no real benefit for studios to sponsor projects, its incredibly risky for them. that needs to change. there needs to be a more mature model so studios can contribute. the same way companies contribute in other parts of open source software. 

    any studio or group of professionals who wants to support open source graphics is going to have that opinion of the situation.


  31. @Aleve Sicofante:
    I think you asked the right question: What happened to Cinepaint? Where are those forks?

    I think it is a little bit dishonest to charge on GIMP developers as the responsibles of the Film GIMP demise, while GIMP with all its flaws and limitations survived and Cinepaint is almost dead.

    The studios had the code available, I can’t see how a bunch of developers with a bad attitude could stop some big Hollywood names from taking something that is free and make it better for their own.
    They didn’t. And that’s what counts.

    Now GIMP 2.9 is finally addressing a longstanding limitation that prevented GIMP from being used in “professional” work
    Notice that I put quotes around professional, because professional means high-end for Hollywood and high proile houses, but for the rest of us it means “getting the job done”.
    I dare to say that it’s probably more frequent to find work that CAN be done with GIMP that work that can’t.

    I’m well aware of the limitations of editing images in 8bpc in a gamma-corrected space. I know when it’s enough and when it’s not. And believe me, I know several respected designers and CG houses here in my country who don’t, and they still create amazing work that pays the bills.

    Studios and CG/VFX houses can contribute anytime. They just have to communicate their needs and see how to make their own developments fit in the project’s roadmap.
    You don’t just come and say “we’re the professionals, things should be this way, now do what we say”.
    You can do that, but if you want such control maybe forking the project is a better idea.

    But it’s possible to contribute “from outside”. The trick is communicating your plans in a very detailed way to the project’s mantainers, like Elle Stone did with her color management work.
    When it is obvious that your work makes a difference and the code provided fits in the project’s direction, things will happen.

    As far as I know, that’s how you become a Project X’s Developer.

    But for some reason everybody seems to think they know how GIMP developers should do things in order to making it a “professional program”.

    I have several examples of how a stubborn developer changed his/her mind after the evidence was put on the table. See OCIO implementation in Blender, for instance.
    They wanted to “keep it simple” and avoid color management, which was pretty silly. A stubborn user created a detailed wiki page showing why color management is so important and they ended up changing their minds and added OCIO.

    And that’s something big Hollywood VFX houses couldn’t do? Come on!

  32. @grubz:
    What if those developers and VFX houses present a detailed roadmap about the need, a blueprint about a possible course of action and ask the core development team for some guidance about how to make it fit with the current roadmap, coding style and licensing?
    That wouldn’t take a single line of code, just good communication.
    I don’t think core devs would reject that kind of contributions just because. Maybe it’s just matter of defining the conditions for those parties beforehand.
    The studios should accept the project’s directions and the project mantainers should commit to merge the code when it’s ready.

    It doesn’t have to be that difficult, students do it for every GSoC.

  33. @Alexandre:

    And thus we are getting back to the old tired discussion why your kind of professionals are the right kind of professionals, and the kind of professionals the team talks to is the wrong kind of professionals :)

    I honestly don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve met a huge number of computer graphics artists in my life and I wouldn’t be able to tell there are “right” and “wrong” professionals. Photoshop wasn’t considered a professional tool 20 years ago. Quantel’s Paintbox was used then for video and desktop publishing was in its infancy. Today, any professional can use Photoshop for any kind of work. Gimp is just starting to get essential tools for professional work. Any professional can tell you that. Cinepaint was born because there was a need for higher bit depth that is still not available (almost there, I know, but more than a decade later…). There’s an obvious lack of communication between the Gimp team and the professional market.

    If you mean saying that will turn the discussion into the team & friends saying “yes we know the pros workflow” and the pros saying “no you don’t”, then you’re right: it’s boring. But that wouldn’t look too bright from the team’s side…

  34. @Gez

    You don’t just come and say “we’re the professionals, things should be this way, now do what we say”.

    That wouldn’t be elegant, for sure. But if I was a developer aiming at the professional market I would listen very very carefully and humbly to what professionals have to say about my work. And I would definitely provide the pros what the pros demanded… that is, if that was my audience. (Is Gimp aiming at the pros?)

  35. cinepaint was created as an attempt to salvage all the work that was done and rejected for the gimp code base. there was never any intention by the studios involved to create and support a raster graphics paint program. that is why they supported the development for the gimp project in the first place. the point is that gimp is the failure because professionals can not use it as it is and it has not developed into a robust paint package. it is essentially stagnant with no direction or connection to serious graphics artists. it can not deal with large images or high bit depth. no professionals want to use it. and no students want to use it. it has a very small casual hobbyist user base and is fairly obscure at this point. that is no success.

    the studios have invested in other raster tools and for the most part they are superior to anything that is developed by open source projects.

    i think your mentality is exactly what needs to change in open source graphics. open source graphics projects are very immature compared to the projects and code that is developed in studios. open source projects need to aspire to create tools that are equal in sophistication and features to the leading industry tools. professional tools like photoshop, nuke, and others are the current state of the art of graphics software. if your project does not aspire to produce that level of software then your simply creating outdated hobby projects for your own amusement. if you want to make your project a success in the same way the other open source software are successful and get funding and involvement from industry then that is your challenge.

    the fact that some people see a big gap between what some open source graphics projects are doing and what professionals are doing shows that these projects are immature and don’t really have a focus on creating state of the art tools. and don’t really have a good grasp of where and who uses graphics software. these projects are ends unto themselves. hobby projects and social clubs. its sad to see this sort of mentality. 

    to change the situation for open source graphics projects they will have to do there research on current standards and tools. and try to develop projects that are competitive. attract professional artists and programmers with industry experience. and the projects should develop proposals and road maps that make them viable to studios and other who might want to sponsor them.


  36. the notion that studios that have some of the best talent and resources in graphics art and programming are going to come begging obscure open source projects to implement features in there software is extremely naive. if your projects goals are so divorced form what professionals and industry are doing that you feel the need to have a big barrier around what you consider “your code” and what “professionals” want to contribute then you are totally out of touch with the current state of the art and the people who use and develop the sort of software your trying to work on.

    i hope that those sort of projects fall into the history books. and that people who want to really make great open source graphics software that is mature and state of the art adopt a more serious strategy. these projects could potentially attract enough support to fund full time development by open source programmers. and be used by millions of people around the world on the most exciting projects in film, games, animation, fine art etc. there are some programmer with the talent and desire to make that happen i wish them the best. those people need to steer there projects in a new direction and shake off the crusty adversarial mentality that open source graphics developed in the 1990s. and still persists today. most of the other areas of open source has done that and it has been greatly rewarding for these projects. the same thing needs to happen in graphics. 
     

  37. I can only wholeheartedly agree with grubz. It’s been my exact same experience throughout many years in the professional computer graphics market.

    I strive to sell workstations fully loaded with open source software. I just can’t. Not yet at least.

  38. Alexandre Prokoudine 19 September 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Gez, a list of requirements is OK, but, with all respect to present company due, it’s going to be chock full of preconceived ideas. Which is why user interaction architects tend to do full surveys.

    What I think would be great is if the next round of interviews by m+mi works focused on CG professionals.

    How about that?

  39. @Alexandre: That would be great.
    I was part of the first round of the interviews and it was an interesting experience.
    I’m not sure about how useful it was for them, but they did take account of my workflow.
    However those interviews don’t focus on missing stuff, but workflows. Probably they’re great for optimizing the UI for specific workflows but they don’t seem to put much stress in what’s missing.
    I’m sure those interviews are exactly what a professional interaction architect needs for polishing the UI but probably we need something similar but with developers, to discuss with professionals what functionality is missing and what are the weak spots of the application for professional use.

  40. Anyway, maybe I didn’t express myself clearly in my other comment. I meant *if* a company wants to contribute.

    Actually, I was replying to grubz, who said this:

    “there are quite a few programmers at studios that would love to work on open source and bring some of the tool making out in the open for other artists but they can’t do that now.”

    But he said this later:

    “the notion that studios that have some of the best talent and resources in graphics art and programming are going to come begging obscure open source projects to implement features in there software is extremely naive.”

    My problem with this discussion is that every time someone says “professional” or “studios” apparently has in mind big hollywood studios, when most of the professionals and studios out there aren’t that kind of users.

    I think there is room for paid development from small and mid-size design firms or CG houses. They can at least provide a detailed description of their needs and propose changes in a compelling way that sometimes single users can’t communicate.

    These guys, for instance:
    https://vimeo.com/49303977
    Made this video using blender in their pipeline and one of them collected the challenges they had during the making and sent the document to Blender devs. I bet they would pay for some fixes that improve they workflow with Blender.

    I was involved in a small independent movie and we paid for the development of a small script that now is part of the default Blender installation.

    I run a small design firm where we use free software only. Our budget isn’t enough for having a full time coder, but I’d still consider paying for some fixes for things that make my work less pleasing.

    These are small examples, but probably good examples of the type of users free software could target to.

    I’m sure that there’s more people like me out there than big hollywood studios (and even more now that most of the historic VFX firms are going broke :-).

    And please, we have to stop thinking about free software developers as if they were company that has to fullfill some market’s needs!

    It always goes like this “X is used by professionals, if Y devs want their ‘product’ used by professionales they have to do what X does, if not it will be always a crap for hobbists”.
    (replace X with any commercial app and Y with a free software alternative to X).

    Everytime I say that free software can be used for professional work I’m accussed of being naive, but what’s extremely naive is to think that free software born to satisfy a market.
    Free software developers aren’t people making commercial-grade software for companies / professionals for free. It’s a different model and you just can’t apply the same criteria used in big for-profit companies to make it work.

    Ok, enough post hijacking :-p

  41. My problem with this discussion is that every time someone says “professional” or “studios” apparently has in mind big hollywood studios, when most of the professionals and studios out there aren’t that kind of users.

    In my 20 year experience, there’s little to no difference between high end studios and small studios when it comes to what they need from applications used by the artists. The differences are in other places like specific workflows, specialization of each seat or assets management apps.

    It always goes like this “X is used by professionals, if Y devs want their ‘product’ used by professionales they have to do what X does, if not it will be always a crap for hobbists”.

    But except for the “crap” part, it’s absolutely true! You either cater to the pros or cater to the hobbyists. There’s nothing wrong with the latter, just don’t try to mix the two camps, confusing people. In other words, don’t say Gimp is made for pros when you don’t ask them for their needs and aim to fulfill them. Tell everyone it’s a hobby project that will serve the needs of every hobbyist out there and keep developing at your own pace happily.

  42. unfortunately you are stuck in the 90’s adversarial narrow minded mentality when we all wanted to “punch bill gates”. most people have moved on from that and there are a new generation in open source now. that old open source world does not exist anymore. your attempts to build psychological walls and imaginary opponents such as “big studios” and “professionals” who you can fight to protect your contrived notion of open source will not change reality and open source as it exists in the 21st century. it is a small number of ideologically driven “old timers” in these projects who think failure is success. and want to avoid it at all costs. it is damaging the open source graphics community and its progress and success.

    on your points:
    studios large and small share the same people. i have worked at big studios and small studios. all studios strive for the same quality, use the same tools and will not accept the notion that inferior outdated software is acceptable. that is the vast majority of studios. say 99.9%. it is simply not advisable or even possible to use tools that don’t meet the minimum specifications they have, and can not handle the workload. studios who for what ever reason have gone so far out of the main stream that they exist in a world where you use open source for political reasons and sacrifice quality and productivity that the other 99.9% strives for is probably around 00,01% of graphics professionals. i hesitate to call that sort of operation a “studio”. because if you have to produce competitive work on a schedule and you have artists to pay every month as most real studios do then you simply can not survive in that sort of model.

    but then again you don’t care to much about that 99.9%

    “VFX firms are going broke :-).”

    this is a sick comment. you should be ashamed of yourself. these people are phinominally creative and dedicated to computer graphics. they are the heart of graphics. these studios are the people who support all the research in graphics and advance the state of the art. you and everyone eventually benefit from the innovation they create. they are the ones who write the majority of code to implement this research also. to say such things shows you really don’t care to much about computer graphics. and i think this is really at the heart of the rotten mentality of certain people who are poisoning the open source graphics community.   

  43. “I think there is room for paid development from small and mid-size design firms or CG houses. They can at least provide a detailed description of their needs and propose changes in a compelling way that sometimes single users can’t communicate.”

    again you are stuck in the 90’s. in the last 10 years probably the most innovative open source graphics code has been released for free from professional studio, large and small. a good deal of news on this website is about that code. the involvement of studios in open source graphics is only going to increase as it has in other industries. the idea that open source is coded by hobbyists and used by hobbyists in there spare time is totally false now and was never accurate. redhat, canocial, ibm, animation studios and other industries pay tens of thousands of programmers to work full time on open source projects. “open source professionals” are a reality. and that is the future. programmers want to work on open source projects in various industries and can get full time employment doing that. it is what open source graphics needs to embrace to move forward. people who do not like that should get out of the way and let that happen. hobbyists and political protesters should not position crufty old graphics projects to suck up all the limelight. it simply prevents new innovative projects form forming who want to succeed and make mature professional software.

    “And please, we have to stop thinking about free software developers as if they were company that has to fullfill some market’s needs!”

    again this poisonous mentality is keeping open source graphics in the ghettos. and totally false.  practically every field including graphics pays full time open source programmers. the “market” are the professionals and companies who depend on the software and pay the programmers. who on earth are you making software for if not the people who actually use the type of software you make? yourself? a small social club of hobby developers with huge chips on there shoulders? this is precisely the type of open source project that talented programmers are moving away from. programmers want to get paid to work on open source full time and make great software. open source projects that attract great programmers and make mature software do not promote failure and obscurity as success. those old days of the 90’s are long gone and open source programmers have a choice now to work on successful projects and make a living doing that. or at least having there personal projects used in industry and getting praise and a good reputation which come with success.     

    you really could not have highlighted the attitude that keeps open source graphics a relative failure compared to other areas of open source.

  44. If you’re talking about VFX and CG in general then you are leaving all the professions that could use an image manipulation program, like graphic design, out of the picture.
    If you’re talking about any discipline that uses this kind of programs, then I have to disagree.
    Saying that there is a small to no difference between high end studios and small studios sounds like an oversimplification.
    Also implying that anyone that uses a program that doesn’t comply with the standards of a certain industry automatically falls out of the “professional” category is unfair.

    I have a graphic design degree and own a small design studio. I make a living from it and my customers seem to be very happy with the stuff I do for them.
    And I’ve been using free software *exclusively* for the job.
    Does that make me a hobbist?

  45. Saying that there is a small to no difference between high end studios and small studios sounds like an oversimplification.

    Grubz explained it quite well: the people working on both are the same. Quality isn’t judged by the size of a company. Bigger studios can take bigger challenges (say a feature film vs a commercial), but the final quality should be the same.

    Again: I have never found a small studio that would say: “because we’re small, we use worse tools”. That would be stupid. The price of software is negligible for even the smallest companies and pays itself in very little time.

    You don’t seem to work in a very competitive environment. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to compete using exclusively free software for graphics design.

    You also seem to have a political view on using *exclusively” free software. That doesn’t fit my view of a professional (on any profession). Shouldn’t you be focused on using the BEST tools, not the “most open source or free”?

    Graphics design is no different from VFX and CG when it comes to achieving the highest quality. Of course, if you’re being paid just by the sketching of designs, let’s call it “the creative part” (vs “the final execution”), you might as well be using pen and paper. Then you’re right: you are that kind of professional. Even then if you ever hired a graphics consulting company, I bet you’d be advised to use a Wacom Cintiq with the best available sketching software, which won’t be free…

     

  46. Heh, so you can tell what’s my context (not very competitive) and what’s the quality of my work just by knowint what tools I use.

    I’ve just sent a couple of files to the print shop for printing about 50K brochures for nation-wide distribution.
    I do that kind of works every week.

    Of course I *choose* to work with free software. Sometimes it requieres more effort, sure. But I can do my work.
    Some of my clients have several providers and when I don’t get a job it’s usuablly because of the price, not because of the quality.

    Part of my job is creating brands, brochures, signage. I used Adobe products for years. I used Photoshop when it didn’t have layers (I know you’re old too, so you know what I mean :-p).
    I switched to free software and after finding my way to do my job I can say I don’t miss much about the other tools.
    It’s not that I switched to worse software because I’m a masochist. I switched when I found that I was able to do my job.
    As I said, I send lots of files to different print shops every week (which is a big responsablilty) and I’ve been doing that with free software since 2008. I won’t say my skills as a designer are superb, but I do keep an eye on the quality of the execution and I never had any complaints about the quality of the work I deliver.
    That’s what I consider being a professional. Not buying a Cintiq.

  47. “Sometimes it requieres more effort, sure.”

    May I ask why do you choose to use tools that require more effort?

    Wouldn’t using tools that required less effort allow you to spend more time in making your quality higher?

  48. Well, sometimes it requires more effort. Sometimes it requires less.
    I just choose where to put my effort, because I can.
    Also using free software has other advantages that go beyond its immediate utility.
    But that’s probably what you call a political view, and that’s another tiresome discussion.

    Now that you asked a question, may I?
    Why if you think that free software is for hobbists and it’s doomed because of the unprofessional attitude of its developers you keep visiting free software sites?
    That goes to Grubz too.
    Why do you waste your time pointing this hopeless people their mistakes?

  49. in my experience the difference between small and large studios are the scale of the production and the time constraints. not the artists or the quality of the tools. in fact it is more important for small companies to use the most robust advanced tools they can because they offer work flow enhancements that produce the same level of quality faster then less mature solutions. and they have less resources to develop in house tools.the point is that outside of a few one to two person freelance style studios there is no professional studio that could conciser the type of work flow that you have. open source graphics should not be targeting the 0.01% of graphics professionals/freelancers on the fringes. they should target the 99.9% of graphics studios that would love to have profession quality open source tools and would invest in those projects with sponsorship and there own code.  it takes that sort of relationship to push open source into truly robust mature projects. it happens in other industries. graphics is no different.   

    practically any professional graphics studio form photography to print advertising, motion graphics etc are working with enormous files sometimes gigabytes in size and often in 16 bit or higher. these studios want the most mature software they can get. the idea that any professional studio would sacrifice an advanced tool set and robust time saving work flow for any reason seems totally unconvincing. they simplu can’t in most cases. not haveing robust 16/32bit image editing is a showstopper for a lot of industries at this point. i simply do not see any group that fits your idea of a studio or even serious graphic artist. what your describing is a few hobbyists that may have a casual interest in playing with graphics on limited basis. and the 0.01% of professionals like your self that have found a precarious niche where you requirements do not exceed what is available in open source and you get to call your own shots like a freelancer. that is at most 1.0% of the overall graphics software users. the vast majority of studios, professionals, and students are using the best tools they can get, the state of the art in 2012. that is obvious given that the vast majority of great artwork is done in closed source software in all graphics related industries. that huge majority is what can make open source graphics a success. and open source graphics software needs to be for them and target them. not the 1.0% of that exists at the fringes.

  50. you need to understand that computer graphics, computer vision and image synthesis are the sciences that create the algorithms and research that ALL graphics professions use. the centers of that research are major animation studios and universities. that is the community that does the science that makes your business possible. photoshop was created at ILM to solve production problems. most innovation happens within that group of people. they present papers at conferences like SIGGRAPH and after a few years those papers are turned into new features that end up in you applications. that is fundamental. you can’t really talk about graphics software without talking about that group of artists and programmers. there is no equivalent or parallel group of graphics programmers in any industry. the only other group are software companies like adobe, autodesk, the foundry etc, which are often the same people that go back and forth from production to software firms. if you want to take an adversarial stance against those people and companies you are essentially against the graphic community. against the people who develop all the algorithms you use in your software. against the university students that want to develop careers in graphics. against the progress of digital computer graphics in general. that is how you come off. and your comments demonstrate that. you did not address those points because i think the hostility is quite clear. once someone exposes how insidious and destructive it is, not to mention just flat out ignorant of what and who the graphics community really is. then we can see what and who is really the problem with open source graphics. and why is in such a deplorable state compared to the the rest of the open source.

  51. Ok, this is getting personal and it wasn’t the point. I didn’t mean to be hostile, I’m sorry if you felt attacked.
    Obviously your perception of the reality isn’t the same as mine. I appreciate things that you don’t.
    And probably we’re talking about different things. You’re concerned about an industry. Where I live there isn’t such “industry”, so I can talk from my experience.
    And I am probably a naive hippie and my thoughts represent only a 0.001% of the graphics community.
    But I still work from my “precarious niche” and
    I know people that do the same. And I know people that do things like you say.
    I got files from pretty renowned local agencies several times, and several times I found that those big names with highly productive artists usually don’t know the basics of image formats, spot and process printing, compositing, etc.
    I got excellent works too, but after 15 years doing this, I’d say excellence is the exception, not the rule.

    Probably you live in a country with a healthy industry and lots of great artists with a superb technical education. Good for you.

    I’m not against any industry or professionals. I’m not trying to be hostile. I don’t think I attacked you so please stop attacking me.
    You think libre graphics (oh, sorry. Open Source) is a disgrace. That’s very clear.
    Now why are you wasting your time commenting on free software again?

  52. “Now that you asked a question, may I?
    Why if you think that free software is for hobbists and it’s doomed because of the unprofessional attitude of its developers you keep visiting free software sites?
    That goes to Grubz too.
    Why do you waste your time pointing this hopeless people their mistakes?”


    what i would like to ask you is why do you think open source software is only for hobbyists and unprofessional confrontational developers?

    i think you know thats garbage and so do the confrontational developers. they really don’t want the 99% of the programmers and professional artists in there walled garden. challengeing there status in these older projects. they want the small group of people who use the software as more of a fan base rather then a growing number of professionals that create great work on par with professional projects. 

    if suddenly there was very talented artists and programmers attracted to these projects there would be competition for leadership and there efforts may be outdone by the new wave. there voices may be drown out by “superstars” who are better then them. your condescending attitude reflects that mentality. you belittle and eschew professionals and studio involvement in these projects, you have droped every excuse and cliche to to defend that point of view.

    it makes scene a few programmers and fans who have some status don’t want to give that up or share the limelight. they make endless excuses, invent imaginary enemies out of the people who could change the situation. erect imaginary walls to keep those that might outshine them and change the status quo out. they do just enough work on large crufty code bases to make them look fresh to get some press. just enough to make it incredibly hard for a new team to start a competing project and attract attention.

    thankfully projects are breaking through this garbage with serious work. studios are developing there own open source efforts again. i don’t come here to read news about cynical confrontational developers or the 0.01% oddballs who don’t want anyone to disturb them and there fans. i come here to read the growing trickel of news about open source projects that want to be relevant in 2012+. projects that are developed by studios and open sourced. and developers who see themselves as part of the mainstream, state of the art graphics community.

    you see i would never tell people to get lost and get out of here like you just did to me. that is exactly the mentality that has damaged open source graphics and protected the status quo. i want open source graphics to grow and prosper. i want the 99.9% of professionals to get involved. and i want the best programmers to get involved. i want to see state of the art open source graphics software. i know some people don’t want that to happen but i think it is inevitable. 
       

     

  53. @gez

    this has gotten a bit heated and everyone cares about there view and the people they feel are there people. so we can just drop it at this point if you want. thats fine with me. no hard feelings and i hope you did not take anything personal. and i have no grudge or hard feeling against you or your opinion. i do hope the next thread is a bit more friendly and productive. :)

  54. Well, sometimes it requires more effort. Sometimes it requires less.
    I just choose where to put my effort, because I can.
    Also using free software has other advantages that go beyond its immediate utility.
    But that’s probably what you call a political view, and that’s another tiresome discussion.

    Now that you asked a question, may I?
    Why if you think that free software is for hobbists and it’s doomed because of the unprofessional attitude of its developers you keep visiting free software sites?
    That goes to Grubz too.
    Why do you waste your time pointing this hopeless people their mistakes?

    Actually, what you just described is not what I call a political stance. On the contrary, I also believe free software provides additional benefits which are outside the day to day work. You didn’t sound like that before, that’s all. I subscribe your point that sometimes it requires more effort and sometimes it makes things easier (that depends entirely on which app we’re talking about). So I guess we agree on this. I just wouldn’t “ban” commercial apps from my studio (I’m not saying you do). THAT would be a political stance.

    On your question: I already stated I’m on the quest to offer a full stack of free software with the hardware I sell. That’s partially political (yes! I do have political views on this as well and I strive for free software), but also practical (I can imagine a world where I wouldn’t have to sell questionable software upgrades made with just greed in mind). I just can’t -as of today- force my customers into inferior tools just for that cause, though. And that’s exactly why I would love to see a more professional attitude among free software developers.

    If you used to read the Linux Hater’s Blog you would find it’s a fine “devil’s advocate” sarcastic site. The guy actually loves Linux. He’s desperate that so many idiotic moves are made in the name of some “religious” ideas. I’m more or less in the same boat regarding free computer graphics software.

     

  55. @grubz: I find this thread is actually being very productive!

    I don’t personally know the Gimp developers, but if they are not actually in a permanent talk with the studios and artists, they’re just plain wrong. End of story.

    However, what you’ve stated means there’s plenty of room for open source graphics development. Not everything is the Gimp. I can see Blender taking huge steps in the right direction, to the point many pros I know start considering it as a real alternative. (When asked how Blender compares to Maya or Softimage, most replies I get are: each has its pros and cons; Blender today is just another option and a quite interesting one. Others say quite openly: “If I had to start now, and had no experience or baggage with those commercial tools, I’d go with Blender in a blink.”)

    So *if* the Gimp developers are too narrow minded and don’t talk to the studios and artists, there’s nothing preventing other computer graphics projects to do so.

    But if the Gimp developers are indeed open minded and are reading this thread, they might take an idea or two about where to head from now on. Isn’t that productive?

    (I didn’t see any personal attacks throughout this thread. I think I can imagine where Gez is coming from and I also know some markets like the one he seems to be in. The point is he would benefit from tools developed for the highest possible standard as well. He just doesn’t need that now, but I bet he would be fabulously happy if the development went into that direction.)

  56. I didn’t see any personal attacks throughout this thread. I think I can imagine where Gez is coming from and I also know some markets like the one he seems to be in. The point is he would benefit from tools developed for the highest possible standard as well. He just doesn’t need that now, but I bet he would be fabulously happy if the development went into that direction.

    Of course! I’m not saying that I don’t want better tools. I’m not saying that having to manage with 8bpc sRGB is great and that I never need more. I support GIMP developers because I want a better GIMP. Following their news and discussions I see they’re taking decisions that make sense.

    I just wanted to show an alternate view of reality. Not all the countries in the world share the same level of technology, education, resources. There are countries where people have to live with 100 bucks a week, and funny enough, those countries are usually where “industries” move to cut costs (that’s why I mentioned studios going broke, I was criticizing administration, not artists or coders).
    I know you know what I’m talking about. Even though Spain was always in a better situation than Argentina, you’re having hard times now.

    Anyway, there’s something I can’t understand when I read comments like grubz’
    Why charging on GIMP developers as the ones to blame about the lack of interest of the “intustry”.
    It’s just a single project with a couple (literally) of core developers and some eventual contributors.
    You seem to imply that their allegedly bad attitude spooked away the graphics industry?
    How come?
    This is free software. If studios/industry/whatever know better they can create a new application from scratch. They can even pick the code they find useful and build something new around it.
    You make it seem that GIMP developers are some kind of evil wizards that have the power of discouraging people from doing something.
    My point is: Nobody forked GIMP, nobody created a competing application.
    GIMP is the best we have in Libre. You can help to make it better or you can create something different.

    If you think its developers are wrong, just ignore them and do something better.
    But writing comments in a blog is easier than write lines of code. It takes more effort.
    It’s easier saying how things *should* be done than actually doing them.
    (include my comments here too).

    My point is, why bashing GIMP developers? Why I, supporting them, am being hostile, poisonous, naive, silly, etc.?
    I think they’re doing it fine. It takes time because they’re few and of course I’d love to have an awesome application right now.
    Since I can’t contribute with code I just can suggest things, but it’s their call. They are doing the hard work, not me.
    And they’re doing it in their spare time, and I can use the benefits for free.
    Why bashing them?

  57. studios do write new applications all the time. but they are closed source. and the do release some of the projects as open source.

    large open source graphics projects have been shown to be to risky and unstable for studios to engage with. that could change but it has to be the open source projects that change not the studios. gimp was the largest attempt to engage and it was miserable failure.

  58. “improves the new save/export workflow”

    Is it Opposite Day?  The new save/export workflow (and brush size selector) is a usability nightmare.  I guess that’s what we’ve all come to expect from the gimp though.

  59. Katana are indeed fun to play with. I recently purchase a set of batman knives well they are actually throwing stars nevertheless the trajectory of these knives are epic and they are extremely sharp too.

  60. I have found a version of GIMP for OS X (Snow Leopard) 32-bit.

    It is on:

    http://ufpr.dl.sourceforge.net/project/gimponosx/GIMP Snow Leopard/2.8.4/GIMP-2.8.4-SnowLeopard-ia32.dmg

  61. Aleve Sicofante 20 April 2013 at 4:56 pm

    @Daniel Koo: since I was the one asking for that 32 bit version, I thank you.

    I’m no longer using OS X. I’ve moved to Ubuntu 12.04 full time and I’m about to sell this old Mac on ebay, buy a second hand Thinkpad and leave Apple behind for good (I’m really disappointed with the hardware quality).

    Thanks again on behalf of all OS X 32 bit users.

  62. When is “You can Drop Dockable Dialogs Here” going to be removed?

  63. Alexandre Prokoudine 26 December 2015 at 4:43 pm

    @josephbupe, not going to be removed.