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JimC
Post subject: Linux and Image Editing  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 04:49 AM




Joined: Mar 16, 2005
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We started drifting Off Topic in another thread. So, I'll start this one to continue the dicussion...

Original thread:

http://kanotix.com/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-19171.html

I have not yet switched from XP to Linux, although I do spend some time "playing" with Linux distros to try and find one I'm comfortable with.

I switched my wife to SimplyMEPIS quite a while back, and she likes it just fine (most of the time anyway, although lately, more sites requiring Flash 8 Player to see content have drawn some complaints about wanting to swtich back to Windows).

Chances are, I'll ditch Windows at some point in favor of Linux, too. As more software becomes available for Linux, it's becoming more attractive.

I've also been surprised at how easy it is to get some Windows specific software running in Wine.

For example, I've had the FastStone Image Viewer running under Wine with no problems (installed just as easily as it did under Windows). You just need to make sure MS Truetype fonts are installed for best menu readability. I got it running under one of the release candidates for Kanotix 2005 a while back (along with Bibble and a few other products -- just to see how practical switching to Linux would be).

Even Google has come out with a Linux version of Picasa based on a run time version of Wine.

http://picasa.google.com/linux/

Krita (an image editor that's part of KOffice) also seems to be heading in the right direction (support for 16 bit editing, ICC Profiles, support for layers, and more). It's not quite "there" yet. But, I've been surprised at how much progress is being made, and it's well it appears to be integrated into the KOffice suite:

http://www.koffice.org/tours/1.5/

Of course, you've got the Gimp (but no support for 16 bit editing, and a lot of users that have tried it don't like it's interface from what I see in the forums).

Eric Hyman's Bibble is also available for Linux if you want a commercial raw converter (although there are a number of free solutions based on David Coffin's dcraw.c, and chances are, some raw conversion plugins for Gimp based on it are already installed in many Linux Distributions).

But, a number of photographers want to use either Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. These are well supported applications (plugins, tutorials, support from other users), and Adobe Camera Raw is considered to be a much better tool for raw conversion by many photographers (the handling of blown highlight detail, and the ability to maximize dynamic range are some of it's strengths compared to most raw converters).

Many photographers like Photoshop's workflow better too (especially with Bridge in PHotoshop CS2).

But, Adobe seems to be shying away from the Linux market, even though some surveys I've read indicate that it's the most requested application for Linux.

From my perspective, it would be an easy port for them (they've already got versions for both Windows and Mac, so how hard could it be to port it to Linux).

It's not just pros using Photoshop either. The digital photography forums are full of amateur photographers that want the best tools. They're spending a lot of money on the latest gear, best lenses and want the best software to maximize the potential of their images. I see it every day (I'm a moderator on a Digital Camera forum).

As cameras improve and make shooting in raw more practical (and faster DSLR models are dropping in price rapidly), I think demand for products like Photoshop with Adobe Camera Raw will most likely increase (despite Photoshop's high initial cost)

So, why would Adobe leave Linux out? Is it only the numbers (too much effort, too little return)? Or, is there something else going on (concerns over the GPL, no integrated color management in Linux other than via projects like LittleCMS, or do they have an agenda that favours Microsoft for other reasons)?

One thing that I couldn't help but notice is the lack of Flash 8 (and now Flash 9) player support in Linux (at least not so far from what I've been able to find out).

Perhaps I'm trying to read too much in between the lines. But, I just don't understand that approach.

Anyway, I just wanted to continue the discussion from the other thread, since we were drifting a bit off topic. I figured others might want to comment on where image editing is heading with Linux, and what role it plays in Linux adoption on the desktop.

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h2
Post subject: RE: Linux and Image Editing  PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 05:18 AM




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Quote:
So, why would Adobe leave Linux out? Is it only the numbers (too much effort, too little return)? Or, is there something else going on (concerns over the GPL, no integrated color management in Linux other than via projects like LittleCMS, or do they have an agenda that favours Microsoft for other reasons)?


thanks for starting a new thread on this. I'd say it's a bit of most of these except probably the gpl one.

The numbers simply don't warrant it. Just because someone does a survey of linux users or prospective linux users and that survey says that say 1000 respondents out of 1500 or whatever want photoshop ported doesn't mean that's the actual percentage that wants it ported, it just means that of the people who took the time to respond to the survey [usually people do that who already feel something is lacking, people who don't won't respond, so the survey is already very skewed, by design] want photoshop more than any other application.

Given the current real world linux desktop market share, that's just not a whole lot of licenses sold. Plus adobe is well aware of linux users lack of enthusiasm for paying for commercial software as a general rule. So it's not the ideal market at the moment. Keep in mind that around 2000 or so, maybe a year or two later, adobe stopped releasing some of their main apps for mac first, because at 3-5%, they simply couldnt' justify not serving the windows market first. And the linux market is much smaller. And much less interested in commercial software I suspect.

I think your suspicions about flash 8, microsoft, and possible underhanded dealings are most probably right on the money, it's typical practice for large software houses to act like that.

No integrated color management, sure, that's a good reason, competing desktops and libraries, gtk and qt, that's gnome and kde, that's another reason, lots of reasons.

Personally, I have to admit, as I said in the other thread, I just don't see the problem, no one says you have to use linux, and if you want to go the full on commercial software route, then why not just use mac? That's all commercial stuff.

I'm actually happy that photoshop isn't being released, that simply drives the products you mentioned to improve faster than they would otherwise have done, which will drive the development of products that can do more or less what people need to be done, for about $600 or so less.

It's really amazing to see what you can do now in linux, today. I find that much more interesting than worrying about what I can't do. I think the photo apps are great for non pro level use, they are fine, and for the very rare times I need fireworks or photoshop I just run them in wine, but I'm completely happy with the old versions, I don't need the latest and greatest stuff to put images up on the web.

Personally, once I took the time to learn a different work flow, I find that I'm faster now for the stuff I need, which is much more basic than advanced hobbiests or pros need, but it's still commercial stuff.

There is a magic market penetration number in the adobe corporation, they know when they will release a linux port, and like I said, I would guess they already have linux ports that run fine, more or less. Apple was testing intel macs for 4 years before they released that new hardware, I'm sure adobe isn't dumb enough to not do something similar with linux. But that doesn't mean it's working, or that there aren't serious issues, or color management things, whatever.

Re the gimp: as far as I can tell from reading far too many photoshop fans attacking it, its main sin is being differently laid out than photoshop. Personally, I've always hated adobe's layout logic, I think it sucks, I never liked it, I never got used to it. The gimp's makes sense to me, I like not having the overall container, I like my images being free standing. Dual monitors show these strengths really well. From what I can see, a lot of the gimp interface critiques are basically exactly the same as windows users criticizing linux for not being windows.

The gimp doesn't support what some pros and advanced users need, which is fine, they can use photoshop, it's there, it runs fine on windows and mac.

I would say, like many consumer desktop products, some parts are rough around the edges, some parts are better than their commercial equivalents, but most reflect the needs and wants of their programmers, who are largely volunteers.

In all those threads you've read, how many of those photoshop users have ever shown any interest in helping out on some graphics program or project? I'd guess not very many.
 
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eco2geek
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 07:36 AM




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h2, your opinion please:

  • If Adobe did release Photoshop for Linux, how much do you think they could sell it for? (As a reference point, at Fry's Outpost, it's currently going for $600 for Windows and $650 for the Macintosh.)
  • Also, how much of the code do you think they'd be forced to release, due to GPL requirements?

(As strongly as Linux users hate Microsoft, you'd think they'd hate Adobe just as much, given Adobe's part in getting Dmitry Sklyarov arrested and jailed. Anyone remember that? Anyone at all?)

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Cathbard
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 09:43 AM
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There's a brand new package that you should check out. It's a vector art program similar to Illustrator but with a revolutionary front end. It is still very new and is under heavy development. It promises to be something very special.

apt-get install xaralx

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Gowator
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 09:43 AM




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This is pretty complex and raises many questions which are speculative.
Firstly Photoshop vs Gimp there simply is no comparison from a digitial photography POV.
Im not talking about advanced tools simply 16 bit color support. Im not a pro or anything close but I would never take a picture as a jpg ... even if iots going to end up on a web site at 640x480 just on the offchance.
Secondly the present raw format is just the tip of the iceberg.... there is no reason excepting memory and storage that time series cannot be applied to the images as well. In other words the actual time variant data from each sensor pixel such that if the image is over exposed then over parts of the image the window of the exposure can be shortened.

(This makes sense to me since I worked in seismic processing where this is standard but basically what I mean is instead of summing all the image data in a single image you would record all the data at ms intervals so that the data can be extracted and manipulated later)

For me gimp isn't even an option for today's raw images ...
I have some processing exampes I did for a friend (these are not selected for artistic content but because we both took the same shots to make a comparison and he used to be a professional photographer - well still is when he has time)
These are all done in bibble in pretty minimal time ...probably less than a minute each photo.

http://linuxmigrations.hd.free.fr/galle ... amp;page=1

Quote:
But, Adobe seems to be shying away from the Linux market, even though some surveys I've read indicate that it's the most requested application for Linux.

From my perspective, it would be an easy port for them (they've already got versions for both Windows and Mac, so how hard could it be to port it to Linux).


I agree, especially now we have intel mac...
Is it cost?
I dunno, there seem to be plenty of people willing to pay for bibble on linux.. OK its only $160 or something but a digital camera worth the name is ¤1000 and lenses anything from ¤250 to ¤3000 ... so it seems unlikely people don't want to pay for the software once they invest a couple of thousand in a semi-decent digital SLR and a couple of lenses.
Heck I was absolute minimum, I bought the body only and use the lenses from my old SLR's but I viewed buying bibble just like another lens ... something to exploit the camera.

It might be interesting to poll bibble or ask about the number of linux users vs others...?

Quote:
I'm actually happy that photoshop isn't being released, that simply drives the products you mentioned to improve faster than they would otherwise have done, which will drive the development of products that can do more or less what people need to be done, for about $600 or so less.


It hasn't happened yet... Gimp in particular is still 8 bit and I don't see it changing EVER.
Gimp has gotten outstandingly better but in terms of usability and image functionality but the engine remains steadfastly 8 bit and hence unusable for 'real' digital photography in the same way a cheap point and click camera is unusable....

I have nothing against either inteface, that is not the point at all, my gripe is colorspace handling.
It costs about ¤40-50 to get a single photo printed professionally with full colorspace management. So im not talking about advanced functionality but proper color management is absolutely necassary for digital photography.
 
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Cathbard
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 10:01 AM
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I'm afraid I have to agree Gowater. I use Gimp whenever I can but there are times when I just have to use photoshop. There are very few packages that keep winblows on a partition. Obviously there are a few games that refuse to play ball with Cedega but it's the Adobe suite that is the real bugbear (Dreamweaver is the other.) It's a pain.
Adobe do other things too that are quite unpalatable. The deal they did with Nikon is a prime example. They have definitely been taking lessons from M$, it's not suprising they haven't embraced Linux.

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drb
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 10:41 AM




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I've never considered the extortionately priced photoshop. I have two versions of elements (supplied with printer / scanner) which I found to be very limiting. I used to use Paintshop Pro 7 /8 on XP which allowed me to do everything I wanted. I have a Nikon camera and objected to paying extra for Nikon Capture so I used to use Rawhooter Essentials (free and gets very good reviews when compared to commercial alternatives).

I still occasionally switch back to XP for photographic workflow (PTGui + panorama tools photo stitching - more features than hugin and PTGui is too slow under wine) but I have been surprised with how much I can do with the GIMP. I've always used 8bit as my slide/negative scans are over 50MB in 8 bit and my monitor/printer can't 'see' the difference. I have been inpressed with the GIMP raw plug in for NEF files; conversion is much better than Rawshooter (which works under wine). I have also been inpressed with the output from my Epson 1290 printer - I always had to use corrections (different for every paper type) with the Epson printer driver; the Linux drivers just work for premium gloss, semi-gloss and matt papers giving almost exact representation of what's on my monitor.

What an awful interface the GIMP has though!

drb

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Cathbard
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 11:39 AM
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I don't see what people see wrong with the gimp interface really. Every package is different and I quite like the lay of gimp. I guess it's all a matter of taste. Some people don't like Kai's interfaces either whereas other people think all graphics interfaces should be done his way.
If you want to see a really good interface imo check out xaralx. It's quite different from anything else but I'm sure there are many people that won't like it because it looks different to Illustrator.
I know vector art isn't what we are talking about here but the two are closely related. If one is to actually draw things from scratch (like my penguin avatar) you need both.

PS: I just read about what happened to Dmitry Sklyarov. That is atrocious. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is perhaps the most blatant example of corporates running the US government ever. The concept of fair use just isn't in the corporate vocabluary is it?

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 12:39 PM
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If you are a professional you are often confronted with a given workflow and (mostly) given tools. Although Photoshop is widely sold, it is actually not really a pro-tool. Some people who love the interface (I never did) strive hard to convert it into a usefull pro-tool by adding and tweaking necessary extensions and plug-ins. Photoshop out of the box is nothing more than an aged, expensive consumer application, and does not provide any more functionality than other competing products.

By the way, there are several good working solutions around for using and integrating Photoshop-Plug-Ins into Gimp, if this was the inital problem for you. But please be aware, the best tools are not free - actually some of them quite expensive, and need learning and configuration.

If you are a photographer your talent is shooting, not manipulation, which is really a separate art and needs other skills. You should also be aware of your hardware limitations - photographers tend to spend all their money for equipment, not for a computer graphics workstation. Most profi photographers I know even stay completely away from that and deliver their material as it is with instructions to others who simply know better, are faster and better equipped for tricky manipulations. That way they get fast and perfect results, and save a lot of time - which is money for a photographer.

For the hobbyist the situation is different. He usually does not need perfect results (most of them would not see the difference, anyway). He likes to play and to experiment, and he is the target market for Photoshop. However, I have met just a handfull of them who would really know how to correctly calibrate a monitor, so why bother about color management? Winken

I would say, Gimp as it is today is a fine solution for them. Krita will be another competitor in this sector shortly. And XaraLX is on the way to storm this sector in a few months. I also guess that Adobe/Macromedia will follow with their products, but probably beeing too late by then.

Greetings,
Chris

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slam
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 12:59 PM
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Forgot to add a link to one of the best solutions for using Photoshop Plug-Ins in Gimp:
http://www.gimp.org/~tml/gimp/win32/pspi.html
Greetings,
Chris

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Cathbard
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 01:28 PM
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Kai's Power Tools are a classic example of pro plugins slam. Once you load the plugin it totally changes the look of the Photoshop, and I do mean totally. This is a very popular pro plugin and demonstrates how many pros don't like the Photoshop interface at all.
I have been meaning to try Photoshop plugins in Gimp. I'll give it a go before long.

As a side note ...... notice that the only deb on that link is for Ubuntu? Looks like alien to the rescue again. Yet another example of how Ubuntu is bad for Debian. Winken

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Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 01:31 PM
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If you give me a day or 2, I will package it for Kanotix. Don't try the alien path!
Greetings,
Chris

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Cathbard
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 01:35 PM
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OK sounds good. I'm in no hurry, I'll keep my eye out for it. Thanks.

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drb
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 01:41 PM




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Thanks for the gimp plugin link. I'll give it a try.

Two things to improve GIMP (which I presume they don't want to do in principle) :
Workspace and menus/tools in one window to avoid continual window searching, resizing.
Toolbar which includes change parameters for the selected tool

In general, photo libraries don't want any manipulation which might generate artifacts so my major use of an image manipulation programme is to produce screen JPEGs or Print TIFFs. Neither my monitor or my printer demands 16 bit.

drb

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jackiebrown
Post subject:   PostPosted: Jul 04, 2006 - 05:19 PM




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eco2geek wrote:
h2, your opinion please:

  • Also, how much of the code do you think they'd be forced to release, due to GPL requirements?


none. just because you make / sell a program for linux doesn't make it GPL.

Doom3 comes to mind as well as the ati and nvidia drivers.

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