I’ve been a GIMP user for several years now. I’ve thought it was an adequate substitute for my outdated version of Photoshop, and it was. Not so for the newer versions of Photoshop, which I now know for certain. I started using the trial of the newest Photoshop a few days ago, and I’m tickled at how much easier it is to do some things that I had a lot of trouble doing in GIMP.
It’s making me excited to spend more time learning more cover design stuff. Honestly, Gimp had begun to frustrate me. The latest update broke the interface a bit and it was annoying. I use a laptop with a smallish screen most of the time, and I love the more compact icons of Photoshop compared to Gimp. Also, right off, I noticed some significant differences in file sizes when I exported my cover in progress.
Gimp: My 1625 x 2600 JPG saved at 100% quality came in at 4,211 KB
I exported the Gimp file as a PSD and opened it in Photoshop, checked the layers and made sure everything looked good, then exported the JPG at 100% quality. Photoshop: My 1625 x 2600 JPG saved at 100% quality came in at 1,078 KB
Both were set at 300 PPI and the image properties show that Photoshop didn’t change that, so that’s not the difference.
Unless there’s something I’m missing, this seems to me like something of note. Now I can upload the same file to NookPress that I upload elsewhere (NookPress has a 2 MB limit) and I can stop saving multiple versions of cover images because of file size issues.
The PSD files are also a bit smaller than the XCF files. I backup to many places, but three of those places are Drive, Dropbox, and a 16 G memory card, all of which have limited storage. Some of my XCF files are over 500,000 KB, not leaving me much room to have duplicates for backup in the main directories (which I prefer to do for safety when I’m making changes).
All in all, I’m pretty happy right now with the change. I’m definitely going to subscribe to Adobe CC. The only decision left is whether or not I’m just going to go for the photography plan at $9.99/month, or if I’m going for the entire Creative Cloud deal at $49.99/month.
I’m just about decided to go with the whole shebang even though I hate subscriptions. I might even give InDesign another shot. ;)