Image editor needed - Jay Maynard

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Saturday, 29 December 2007

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1805 - Image editor needed

Once upon a time, I sprung for Photoshop. I used it on my desktop and my laptop. When I upgraded to Photoshop CS3, I couldn't do that any more. I'm not about to pay $900 for a second copy. Photoshop 7 won't run on Leopard. Neither will Photoshop Elements 4, the latest version of that program. Thus, I'm looking for a cheap or free image editor for OS X.

The GIMP, at least in its usual form, need not apply. Perhaps I've been corrupted by Photoshop, but regardless, the GIMP just feels unusably arcane and clunky. Nothing is where I expect it to be, and I spend too much time fighting the interface. I'm going to keep using Photoshop on the desktop machine, and I really, really don't want to have to expend a lot of mental effort on switching back and forth. (Update: I tried GIMPshop, which is supposedly reworked to be much closer to Photoshop, but the latest version of that is based on the GIMP version 2.2.11, which isn't compatible with Leopard.)

I've tried several editors, and one, Acorn, almost works for me. It's small, quick, cheap ($39), and works as I expect. Another, Pixelmator, has a user interface that's closer to Photoshop, but with added flash; it's a bit more expensive ($59), though.

There's only one problem: One task I perform regularly is to take an image from a camera, crop it while preserving the aspect ratio, then resize it to 640 pixels on the long dimension, again preserving the aspect ratio. This is simple in Photoshop: you select the Crop tool, use it to select the entire canvas, then hold down option and shift while dragging a corner of the crop frame.

None of the editors I tried (in addition to Acorn and Pixelmator, I also tried Pixel (a very different program), Seashore (a cut-down GIMP with a somewhat reworked user interface), and LiveQuartz) made that operation even possible. Those that allowed altering the crop frame had no way to constrain its proportions; some didn't allow altering the crop frame at all.

Grumble. Any other suggestions out there? I'd rather not spend over $100 if I can help it.

current mood: [mood icon] discontent

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I just use the GIMP. I find it neither less nor more arcane than Photoshop itself, just a different interface.
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
The problem is that that interface is different enough to come across to me as arcane.

Now, if GIMPshop would work, it'd be a candidate...
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
The GIMP does all you request.. albeit with a different interface... It's not so bad.. I actually prefer GIMP to Photoshop for the little bit of editing I do.

Plus, you have a built in helpdesk right here on LJ..
[User Picture]
Date: - 0000
I hate the GIMP. Its interface is madly counter-intuitive, and I do very badly with counter-intuitive interfaces.

Lately I do whatever cropping of photos I need to do with gThumb image viewer, but that may be too little functionality with your needs.
Date: - 0000

Toolbox can do that

I have just released a Mac program named Toolbox, that can do what you describe, and I have recorded a video of just that. Its intended to be used for photos and making textures. Hopefully it over time can be helpful. Ideas for improvements are very welcome.

Video here:

My program can be downloaded from here

Happy new year :-)

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