Any professional designers using Gimpshop instead of Adobe?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eclipse, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #1
    Hi all,
    a friend has assured me that Gimpshop is heading towards "as good as" Photoshop at a very fast rate.

    I'm still doing my own design training... my wife is the master/guru, but hey? There's no harm asking.

    How long until designers AND printers can download the latest "open source" version of "Quark look-alike" and "Photoshop look-alike" for FREE?

    Keep in mind all those times as a designer you've upgraded Quark, but been frustrated and slowed down by printers that could not upgrade it fast enough for you. Those print houses wanted to save some money a bit longer, and slowed you down, especially when you worked in one version and had to backsave to another.

    How long until open source becomes an industry standard simply because it's free, and bugs seem to get fixed quicker, and customers/users get to have a real say in the development?

    2 years? 5 years? Never? Now?

    Who uses open source in their professional design work?
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    I'd say it's most likely the answer is zero.

    Who would trust their living to applications that aren't used by the industry? Ask people how much Corel Draw and Photo-Paint are used?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #3
    OK — at this stage.
    But remember when people bagged Linux?
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #4
    Quake/InDesign look alike I use RagTime Solo, now that can compete bc of all the functionality it offers.

    Gimpshop/Gimp - Nothing like Photoshop, I'm sorry, but there setup is too difficult to use on such a small screen like mine (1024x768) so I don't use it.

    Illustrator - Sorry, maybe I'm thinking Inkscape, but that's X11 so.. yeah Inkscape is ok, but has lots of work.

    GoLive - NVU still has a lot of work, its kind of bulky, and does crash a lot.

    That's the main products, oh and Adobe Acrobat, RagTime Solo can do some PDF marking security kind of things, but I'm not sure if Acrobat has a freeware competitor.

    That kind of help with the Adobe Suite?
     
  5. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    No open source software here. The programs I have work fine and I have no problems with vendors. I am happy to pay for them.

    As a starting up designer you should want software to cost something. The design field has become over-saturated, one of the primary reasons for that is the cost of starting a design business keeps dropping, software/hardware get cheaper by the year. Less capitalization = more competition. If the design field standard switched to free software, the start up design businesses would only multiply. If you can start a business for next to nothing what have you got to lose? A starting designer would find it even harder to get a foothold. Careful what you wish for. ;)


     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    chasemac

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  7. Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    As long as you don't have to love it.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #8
    I love Adobe. Must buy software, must pay $2000 for Adobe Calendar. lol. Seriously though, I love Adobe, they do a great job.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #9
    Hey, I love them too... GoLive is the first thing I ever really learned.... part of my oil campaign thing. And Photoshop (the little I know for scanning and a bit of cropping etc for my lovely wife) seems to run well.

    Just wondering where it's all heading, and if it's going to be for free, what the heck does this mean for our industry?:eek:
     
  10. Moderator emeritus

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    #10

    Your friend hasn't a clue what they're talking about and betrays a complete lack of knowledge of what Photoshop's real capabilities are.

    Open-source page layout software is unlikely to happen as an industry standard. Look at how many years of development it's taken to get InDesign and Quark to where they are... let alone Adobe to get CS3 out the door.

    What many small shops don't often appreciate is the extendible architecture behind these two apps, and how they integrate with their various bolt-ons into a larger publishing workflow. No publishing business is going to risk their workflow on an app that has no discernible technical support.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

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    #11

    Ditto. I've opened gimp and played with it, and it's VERY crippled compared to PS. Whatever the linux/opensource community would like to pretend, they are still waay behind adobe.

    Granted since adobe's buyout of macromedia I would like to see another player on the field just to keep adobe on their toes.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #12
    Thank you for your comments.

    I guess the thing that amazes me is that there's even free software out there at all. I once saw an economist arguing that the US economy would power on if the US Government made everything open source, and paid 20 thousand hackers as full time developers. Then the government would have access to completely free software, and the world would benefit from it as well.

    So while open source is "behind" isn't it amazing that it has come this far this quickly? I mean, Linux is now moving into government circles, Open Office is on many PC's, it's happening in these more administrative areas.

    Is design really immune?
     
  13. ATD
    macrumors 6502a

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    #13

    Immune from what? For the first 10 years of my career I designed with a pencil, an easer, a tracing pad, a ruler and a triangle. I made a good living then and I make a good living now. Focusing on the tools of design misses the point. That's not design.

     
  14. Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    Yes. Because the technical complexity and testing required to produce reliable production-ready software is far higher than an Office app. Otherwise we would have seen Microsoft release something a little more ambitious than Publisher.

    Besides, it's a self-reinforcing circle. The industry itself needs a supply of industry-ready juniors competent in industry-standard apps... attempting to enter a crowded job market with fluency in Gimpshop and Ragtime Solo on your resume would be a waste of your time and everyone else's.

    This idea of open-source software becoming an industry standard is a complete flight of fancy and doesn't bear much further discussion...

    I've also never worked anywhere where OpenOffice was the standard Office software suite.
     
  15. macrumors 65832

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    #15
    There is a big difference between software that works and professional grade applications.

    Often times this has to do with platform... for example Gimp is a perfectly good replacement for Photoshop on SGIs. Why? Because the newest version of Photoshop for SGI is version 3.0.1.

    When looking at my work, what I do and what I need, I know (from years of experience) what I can and can't get away with with applications. I can't substitute for Photoshop in my work... but I can get away with an older version (in my case 7.0.1). But because of the limited amount of illustration work I do and the type of page layout I tend to do, I've been able to replace both Illustrator and QuarkXPress/InDesign with Stone Design's Create.

    Now what I'm willing and able to do isn't something that I've even considered recommending for any of my professional clients. For them, their really is no substitute. And to some degree, because I provide training with professional applications, I too am locked into keeping some version of most of this software around to maintain my overall familiarity with it.



    So the question you have to ask yourself is... "what do I really need given my means?"

    This is an important question. Professionals can afford professional applications because those apps are how they earn their money. But if you are semi-professional, or have need of professional-like applications but aren't planning on using them to make a living... then finding alternatives becomes an option.

    Sadly, there is a wide gulf between the beginner apps (like Pages or even AppleWorks for document creation) and professional apps (like QuarkXPress & InDesign). Adobe has given us a version of Photoshop that helps bridge the barrier gap between novices and experts with Photoshop Elements. For the areas of illustration, page layout and web design I tend to recommend Create... but I do try to provide as many choices as possible (I'm not a one size fits all type of person).

    These are a handful of page layout apps that are available:So you can see that QuarkXPress and InDesign aren't the only games in town... but you can also see by their price that they are the major league apps in this area.


    One of the things I've noticed in the page layout area when working with clients (and I support a very wide range of Mac users) is that there are generally two types of people... there are the ones who see a blank page in horror wondering how they are going to even get started, and then their are the ones who see a blank page as a world of possibilities.

    The first type of person I almost always point them towards Pages. It removes much of the fear of the nothing that some people have by providing what looks like a finished document to start with. For the second type of person, generally I try to gauge how adventurous they are... and what their budget can handle.

    In getting back to the open source as a replacement part of the topic... in some cases, yes you can substitute a free app for a professional one.

    TextEdit, NeoOffice and AbiWord are all fine replacements for Word for graphic designers. But then again, Word isn't one of the primary tools of graphic design. And I think that is pretty much where a lot of alternatives are going to come into play. They can replace professional applications that are actually only playing a supporting role in a designer's professional tasks.

    For example, if your primary job as a designer is to create ads in magazines, then you can do your work with Photoshop and Illustrator, and can pass on the expense of paying for QuarkXPress/InDesign (which are tailored for larger multipage layouts). And by getting some alternative software for assembling PDFs, you could cover the few times that you may need to do multipage layouts.

    So there is always room for alternatives... if you know the requirements of your primary tasks. And in the cases of people just starting out, sometimes finding alternatives to fill the gaps until moneys starts coming in is needed.

    It is the whole chicken and the egg thing. You need money to buy the apps, but you need the apps to make money. Alternatives can always help with this.

    :rolleyes:

    Of course you could also do what I did in many cases... I downloaded the demo versions of apps I thought I needed. You get around 30 days to work with them, so I would set out to earn the money to pay for the app in the 30 day window I had with the demo app. In that way I could make sure that the app paid for itself. Most of my major apps paid for themselves that way.

    Just something to keep in mind.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #16
    Actually my old HS, this next year, they may be moving to OpenOffice because it does all the functions they need. Some offices may adopt OpenOffice too, I mean honestly, its very very very comparable to Microsoft Office. The difference between Word 2004 and Word 2005?2006? was the blue color theme, that's the only difference I saw, is with Word 2005?2006? they just made the color theme blue.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #17
    And governments are now adopting Linux because they can see the code. (It's free AND they can be sure there are no CIA back-doors.;) )

    So there's momentum gathering around the whole Open Source thang.

    And don't forget 03 magazine... it's looking pretty good, and it's to be designed about Open Source only using open source.

    OS may not be there yet, but in time... what can say 40 thousand part time programmers not do that 400 full time programers can do?
     
  18. macrumors 603

    gekko513

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    #18
    They have a much harder time focusing on a common plan and goal.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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    #19
    But there's over 100 to 1, or even 1000 to 1 of them working on it.

    It's not there yet, but I think it will happen... just as Wikipedia is constantly evolving. In this game of evolving IT systems, never say never.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    Linux is a good choice for servers, as always, but still has a ways to go in usability as a desktop operating system.

    Part of the problem is that programmers are poor designers. Despite the thought that you don't need design, artwork, or documentation, they make things work smoothly.

    Good design means that you rarely have to read (the acronym could have been placed here :D) to do the job. It also means that you don't have to jump through hoops to get things done. Apple could still use some help here, especially with the firewall.

    There could be a time when open source software will be the majority of the market, but until there is more of a focus on usability and not just adding features, it won't be.
     
  21. macrumors 65832

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    #21
    Got news for ya... it isn't the CIA that put the back doors into Windows, and it isn't the CIA that uses those back doors.

    No matter what you think of the CIA (and it wouldn't be the CIA for that type of thing, your thinking of the NSA), the people who have access to your data on Windows are far worse.

    So stop worrying about Langley and start worrying about Redmond. :eek:
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    eclipse

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  23. macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Oooohh ooooh, pick me, pick me. Those are two solid programs right there. Plus, they are a little bit easier on the wallet.
     
  24. macrumors 68030

    slooksterPSV

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    #24
    Most government agencies still use DOS because of its security. Now, I'm not sure if some use Linux, but they may have had to develop their own security policies with Linux if they do.
     
  25. zim
    macrumors 65816

    zim

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    #25
    Actually, if you were to ask my wife she would tell you that she is constantly running into factories overseas that work with Corel products vs. Adobe. Not saying that it is so here in the states but I do also know of some smaller studios that use Corel as well as some artist who use Photo-Paint. I don't think it really matters as to who made the application but rather more does it do what the desiner/artist/studio wants. Corel can export and accept most major formats just as Adobe products can... This is no way an endorsement for Corel.. just saying that there might be more using it then we know.. :)

    Regarding Open Source...
    Here is MA the state house voted in favor of open doc over .doc (word) as the default standard for all text documents.. not sure when it the decision becomes enforced or if they ever will but I know that it came of shock to some people.

    What we need is some sort of standardization with page layout. We have one for bitmap images, vector images, text.. to a degree, web encoding, but nothing for page layout. I feel that an xml based system, as I know Adobe is using inside In Design, could lay a foundation for a rock solid open source format for page layout... someday :rolleyes:
     

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