I used to use Photoshop allot on windows xp and vista and was not quite happy about the Gimp at first. However after reading some tutorials and just messing with the program I found it to be a decent replacement for photoshop.
The basic gimp isn’t good enough since the brushes are pretty weak, the windows are all over the place and the linux fonts aren’t that great.
But hey, the www is a big place and there is always someone somewhere who has a solution.
To begin you need new brushes, and alot of them. I guess most people already know this but the place to be for gimp brushes (and photoshop brushes) is deviant art. You go to your search engine and type:”deviant gimp brushes”. There are hundreds thousands of brushes available.
There are more brushes for photoshop so you can convert those brushes the the gimp format. I haven’t found a way to do so using linux only, but there is a way to do it on windows. The instructions are here.
After you download the files, make sure you untar them so you only have the .gbr extension anymore. Then you go to your home folder, press “ctrl+h” and search for the .gimp 2.4 folder. Open that one and the look for the brushes folder. Paste the brushes in there. Restart the gimp and the brushes are available.
The same way goes to add fonts to the gimp. After you download them from the best free fonts website in the world “www.dafont.com” make sure to untar them, search for the .gimp 2.x folder and this time paste the fonts in the fonts folder. Restart the gimp and you can use them.
Now to make The gimp look more like photoshop (don’t know if thats a good thing, but still it can be handy to make the transition easier) you can download “the gimpshop” here( ubuntu users look for the .deb installer). I don’t use it myself but I would advise to back up your brushes and fonts before installing the program.
Here is what it looks like (like photoshop).
There are loads of gimp plugins out there. I don’t use them so I don’t know how to install them (a quick google search should give you the answer) but you can download them here.
The final tip I want to give people who are trying to learn to use the gimp is: take online tutorials, they are free and it’s the only way to improve your skills. A google search for “gimp tutorials” gives you hundreds of sites.
You can also download video tutorials from a torrent website. For example on thepiratebay.org.
Be sure to install the packages called “gimp-data-extras” and “gimp-plugin-registry”.
These would install additional brushes and the ever Photoshop important tool: Layer properties that gives you pattern,color,gradient overlay, inner and outer glow and etc.. By default, these were not installed.
This was brought to my attention by aimpau on the ubuntu forums.