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Krita vs. GIMP

Which Photoshop alternative suits your needs?

While open source software has many advantages, anyone can create and publish an application, so there may be multiple options that appear to be performing the same task. An example of this is a graphics program with GIMP and Krita as one of the leaders. However, the purpose of these two programs is slightly different and explains exactly what they mean.

Due to the negative implications of the name “GIMP”, some developers have created a “fork” called Glimpse. These currently have similar functionality, but this is subject to change in the future as the new Glimpse team decides.

Krita vs GIMP: General Conclusion

GIMP

  • Generally more mature.

  • Wide range of functions.

  • Familiar palette-based user interface.

  • Wide selection of export formats.

krita

  • Newer and faster development.

  • Improved ready-to-use support for opening files.

  • More advanced brush motor.

  • Better graphic tablet support.

  • The macOS version is only available in the “development” version.

Both of these applications are high-performance graphics programs that sit on top of entry-level programs such as MS Paint. They are even listed among the best Photoshop alternatives. And they both provide the ability to put them in the same class. However, there are minor differences that can give one priority over the other.

GIMP and Krita: both open source and free

These two applications are completely free because they are open source projects. In addition, the additional tools and features you can add are likely to be free, so you can keep high price tags and monthly subscription fees.

Compatibility: Krita has excellent support for drawing tablets

GIMP is available on major desktop platforms including Windows, macOS, Linux (and other Unix-based operating systems). Krita’s “master” branch (that is, the “stable” version) only supports Windows and Linux. You can get the program for macOS, but you need to use the trial version. You can also get Krita from the Microsoft Store, and the money will help you further support your project.

Neither app has a direct port to iOS or Android. If you want to work on your graphics on the go, look for an app that supports one of your favorite app’s file formats. This is explained in the next section.

Apart from OS support, Krita is said to have better support for drawing on tablets. This makes sense. For example, the main target of the app is a digital artist, not someone who wants to edit a few photos. However, although GIMP also supports tablets, many operational issues have been reported, and users have reported that the configuration of these tablets (such as response to pressure) is not as developed as Krita. ..

File format support: Krita’s system is more intuitive

The main difference between the two apps in this regard is that Krita provides more intuitive file support for your work files or the files you review and save daily.

GIMP Export Graphic Format Selection

For example, Krita can directly open Photoshop PSD files that GIMP needs to import / convert. This makes exchanging files and collaborating with other users even more cumbersome. Also, GIMP doesn’t support RAW files that don’t use plugins, so photographers may pause.

However, both files have excellent support for the export file format. GIMP has a few more options, both of which cover the options needed by new and intermediate users, such as .JPG, .GIF, and .PNG. Again, GIMP has a wide range of choices as a more general graphic tool.

Features: GIMP has more, but Krita is better

The main difference between these programs is not the functionality, but the quality of the implementation. On the one hand, Krita has tools such as brushes and pop-up colors that make it easy to create images from scratch, especially using a graphic tablet. Conversely, more general features such as filling a frame area with a selected color are not as accurate as GIMP’s.

Krita context tools for choosing colors and brushes

In contrast, GIMP takes a wider hit. Many of the features, such as filters, are aimed at more image editors, so Krita’s options are also included. Unfortunately, there are painting tools such as pencils and brushes, but they aren’t as rich and structured as the ones in Krita.

User interface: mixed bag

Those looking for a Photoshop alternative will find a mixed bag when it comes to GIMP. You may be using the familiar “floating palette” metaphor, but there are many controls in the left panel (Photoshop users will get used to it on the right). This combination of familiar and different things can be confusing at first.

GIMP and Floating Palette

Krita also needs to be relearned, but for a slightly different reason. As a more focused program, designers preferred to simplify the interface, which focused on painting / digital art. Tools that are not directly related to this purpose may be embedded further below the menu structure or additional dialog boxes.

Krita vs. GIMP: Final Verdict

If you want to edit a variety of images and graphics, GIMP offers you the tools of choice. However, if your goal is to create digital art, Krita will help you get the job done the most.

However, one of the benefits of open source software is that it is (usually) free to use. So you can install both and try them out to see which one you like. Both can occur.


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Krita vs. GIMP

Which Photoshop alternative fits your needs?

Open-source software provides many benefits, but because anyone can simply create an app and release it, there are sometimes multiple options that may appear to perform the same task. An example of this is graphics programs, where GIMP and Krita are among the leaders. However, these two programs serve slightly different purposes, and we’ll explain precisely what this means. 

Due to some negative connotations of the “GIMP” name, a number of developers have created a “fork” of it called Glimpse. These currently have similar functonality, although this may change in the future based on the decisions of the new Glimpse team.
Krita vs GIMP: Overall Findings
GIMP

More mature overall.

Larger range of features.

Familiar, palette-based UI.

Expansive options for export formats.

Krita

Newer, more rapid development.

Better out-of-the-box support for opening files.

More advanced brush engines.

Better drawing tablet support.

macOS version only available in “development” releases.

Both of these applications are highly-capable graphics programs, positioned above entry-level programs like MS Paint and the like. They are even listed among the top alternatives to Photoshop. And they both provide functionality that puts them in the same class. However there are minor distinctions that may cause you to choose one over the other. 

GIMP and Krita: Both Are Open Source and Free

Both of these apps are open source projects, and therefore are completely free. In addition, any additional tools or functionality you may add will likely be free as well, so you can leave big price tags and monthly subscription fees behind. 

Compatibility: Krita Has Better Drawing Tablet Support

GIMP is available on major desktop platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux (as well as other Unix-based operating systems). The “main” branch of Krita (i.e. “stable” releases) only support Windows and Linux. You can get the program for macOS, but you’ll have to use a testing version. You can even get Krita from the Microsoft Store, and the money will help to further support the project.

There are no direct ports of either app to iOS or Android. If you’re looking to do some graphics work on the go, look for an app that supports one of your preferred app’s file formats, which we’ll discuss in the next section.

Aside from OS support, it’s also worth noting that Krita reportedly has better support for drawing tablets. This makes sense, as the app’s main target is digital artists rather than individual who want to touch up a few photos, for instance. But even though the GIMP does support tablets as well, there are a fair number of issues reported regarding their behavior, and users report that the configurations for these tablets (e.g. how they react to pressure) isn’t as well refined as Krita.

File Format Support: Krita’s System Is More Intuitive

The most important difference between the two apps in this regard is that Krita has more intuitive file support for your working files, or the files you revise and save every day.

For example, Krita can directly open Photoshop PSD files, where GIMP needs to import/convert them. This makes file exchange and collaboration with others more cumbersome. In addition, GIMP doesn’t support RAW files without the help of a plug-in, which may cause photographers to take pause.

Both files have excellent support, however, for export file formats. GIMP offers slightly more options, but both will cover the ones most beginner- to intermediate-level users require, such as .JPG, .GIF, and .PNG. Again, GIMP has the wider selection of options here as a more general-purpose graphics tool.

Features: GIMP Has More, But Krita’s Are Better

The main difference between these programs isn’t so much what features they have, but rather how well certain features are implemented. Krita, on one hand, has tools like their brush and color pop-over, which make it easier to create images from scratch, especially using a drawing tablet. The flip side to this is that more generic functions like filling an outlined area with a selected color aren’t as accurate as those in GIMP.

In contrast, GIMP takes more of a broad stroke. The majority of its features, like filters, contain more options Krita’s, as it’s targeting a wider image editing audience. Unfortunately, while it does have painting tools such as pens and brushes, they’re not as numerous or well-configured as the ones found in Krita.

User Interface: It’s a Mixed Bag

Those looking for an alternative to Photoshop will find a mixed bag when it comes to GIMP. While it can use the familiar “floating palette” metaphor, there are also a large number of controls on the left hand panel (Photoshop users would be used to them on the right). This mix of familiar and different may result in some initial confusion.

Krita will also require some re-learning, but for slightly different reasons. As a more focused program, the designers made the choice to simplify the interface, and this is focused on painting/digital art. Tools that aren’t directly related to this goal may be buried further down in menu structures or additional dialogs.

Krita vs GIMP: Final Verdict 

If you’re looking to do a wide range of image editing and graphics work, GIMP will give you the best selection of tools. However, if creating digital art is your thing, Krita will provide the most help in getting your work done.

That said, one of the great things about open source software is that it’s (generally) available for free. So you can install both, try them out, and see which one you like best. It may turn out to be both.

#Krita #GIMP


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