GIMP 2.8

I’ve been waiting for this update for literally years, it came out a few weeks ago, but I’ve been too busy with work to try it out. Despite still being ridiculously busy, I couldn’t resist any longer.

The most obvious visible update is the single window mode option. While the multiple windows never particularly bothered me as much as they seem to bother other people, I’m very grateful for a single window mode, it just makes everything cleaner. There are also image tabs along the top of the screen with a small preview which makes working on multiple images easier.

The first thing I checked when I installed this update is the Preferences, and I was overjoyed to discover that I could finally make use of my RAM (the previous version would only use up to 4GB). Once I increased this setting accordingly I noticed that large texture brushes that used to lag drifted smoothly across the screen.

I’ve not noticed many new features as of yet, however one major new tool is the Cage Transform Tool. I think this will be most useful for photomanipulation, but it could be useful to enforce a perspective or change the shape of a face. After playing around with it, I discovered that it is spectacularly amusing to deform faces and I may use this to help me create caricatures in future.

There are some new textured brushes provided by the wonderful Ramon Miranda, as well as a variety of brush presets to help make the most out of tablet settings. I love textured brushes and anything that simulates traditional media so I’ll definitely try some of these out in my next painting.

You can’t really know a software until you push it to its limits, so I’ll be putting this new GIMP through its paces when I speedpaint Thor.

Over summer, I’ve decided I’m going to record a series of GIMP video tutorials. Let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’d be interested in learning.

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