Each task requires a different environment and GIMP allows you to customize the view and behavior the way you like it. Starting from the widget theme, allowing you to change colors, widget spacings and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox. The interface is modulized into so called docks, allowing you to stack them into tabs or keep them open in their own window. Pressing the tab key will toggle them hidden.
GIMP features a great fullscreen mode allowing you to not only preview your artwork but also do editing work while using the most of your screen estate.
Numerous digital photo imperfections can be easily compensated for using GIMP. Fix perspective distortion caused by lens tilt simply choosing the corrective mode in the transform tools. Eliminate lens' barrel distortion and vignetting with a powerful filter but a simple interface.
GIMP is ideal for advanced photo retouching techniques. Get rid of unneeded details using the clone tool, or touch up minor details easily with the new healing tool. With the perspective clone tool, it's not difficult to clone objects with perspective in mind just as easily as with the orthogonal clone.
GIMP includes a very unique support for various input devices out of the box. Pressure and tilt sensitive tablets, but also a wide range of USB or MIDI controllers. You can bind often-used actions to device events such as rotating a USB wheel or moving a MIDI controller's slider. Change the size, angle or opacity of a brush while you paint, bind your favorite scripts to buttons. Speed up your workflow.
The file format support ranges from the common likes of JPEG (JFIF), GIF, PNG, TIFF to special use formats such as the multi-resolution and multi-color-depth Windows icon files. The architecture allows to extend GIMP's format capabilities with a plug-in. You can find some rare format support in the GIMP plugin registry.
Thanks to the transparent virtual file system, it is possible to load and save files to from remote locations using protocols such as FTP, HTTP or even SMB (MS Windows shares) and SFTP/SSH.
To save disk space, any format can be saved with an archive extension such as ZIP, GZ or BZ2 and GIMP will transparently compress the file without you needing to do any extra steps.
GIMP 2.10 is the result of six years of work that originally focused on porting the program to a new image processing engine, GEGL. However the new version ships with far more new features, including new and improved tools, better file formats support, various usability improvements, revamped color management support, a plethora of improvements targeted at digital painters and photographers, metadata editing, and much, much more.
Updated user interface and initial HiDPI support
One thing immediately noticeable about GIMP 2.10 is the new dark theme and symbolic icons enabled by default. This is meant to somewhat dim the environment and shift the focus towards content.
There are now 4 user interface themes available in GIMP: Dark (default), Gray, Light, and System. Icons are now separate from themes, and we maintain both color and symbolic icons, so you can configure GIMP to have System theme with color icons if you prefer the old look.
Moreover, icons are available in four sizes now, so that GIMP would look better on HiDPI displays. GIMP will do its best to detect which size to use, but you can manually override that selection in Edit > Preferences > Interface > Icon Themes.
GEGL port, high bit depth support, multi-threading, and more
The ultimate goal for v2.10 was completing the port to GEGL image processing library, started with v2.6 when we introduced optional use of GEGL for color tools and an experimental GEGL tool, and continued with v2.8 where we added GEGL-based projection of layers.
Now GIMP uses GEGL for all tile management and builds an acyclic graph for every project. This is a prerequisite for adding non-destructive editing planned for v3.2.
There are many benefits from using GEGL, and some of them you can already enjoy in GIMP 2.10.
Linear color space workflow
Another benefit of using GEGL is being able to work on images in a linear RGB color space as opposed to gamma-corrected (perceptual) RGBcolor space.
Here is what it boils down to:
- You now have both linear and perceptual versions of most blending modes.
- There is now a linear version of the Color Invert command.
- You can freely switch between the two at any time via Image > Precision submenu.
- You can choose which mode is displayed in the Histogram docker.
- You can apply Levels and Curves filters in either perceptual or linear mode
- When higher than 8-bit per channel precision is used, all channels data is linear.
- You can choose whether the gradient tool should work in perceptual RGB, linear RGB, or CIE LAB color space
Color management revamped
Color management is now a core feature of GIMP rather than a plug-in. This made it possible, in particular, to introduce color management to all custom widgets we could think of: image previews, color and pattern previews etc.
GIMP now uses LittleCMS v2, which allows it to use ICC v4 color profiles. It also partially relies on the babl library for handling color transforms, since babl is simply up to 10 times faster than LCMS2 for the cases we tested both of them on. Eventually babl could replace LittleCMS in GIMP.