Explanation needed from a graphic artist.

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Schnitzengiggle

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I have been futzing around with both Gimp and Inkscape lately. A long time ago in a glaxy far-far away, I had Photoshop 5.5 (or something, difficult to work with IMO). I thin both of these programs for the most part are very user friendly and they can be used to create some very cool designs.

It is my understanding that Inkscape is used more for creating an image such as a banner or globe, etc...and Gimp is more for manipulating an image, although certain functions can be done with both programs.

Is this correct?

I know alot of users use these two programs in conjunction such as Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop to reach a desired result.

Is Inkscape used more for creating or illustrating, and gimp used more for altering and manipulating?

Mainly, why not use one over the other?
 

machinelf

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The images that each one produces (and works with) are in two different worlds: Vector and Raster. Vector images (Inkscape) are defined by math, so the artwork can be scaled as much as needed without any degradation. Raster images (Gimp, Photoshop) are defined by the pixels, which limits the size of the image and how you manipulate it.

Each one has its pros and cons depending on what you're trying to do, but in general, logos, type, labels, etc. should be done in a vector program like Inkscape. You should really only need to use Gimp for manipulating photos.

Does that help?
 

beergears

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The images that each one produces (and works with) are in two different worlds: Vector and Raster. Vector images (Inkscape) are defined by math, so the artwork can be scaled as much as needed without any degradation. Raster images (Gimp, Photoshop) are defined by the pixels, which limits the size of the image and how you manipulate it.

Each one has its pros and cons depending on what you're trying to do, but in general, logos, type, labels, etc. should be done in a vector program like Inkscape. You should really only need to use Gimp for manipulating photos.

Does that help?

Yep, what he said!

Some vector formats behave better than others.
Photshop more advanced work allows combining vector/bitmap, but here is a learning curve
 
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Schnitzengiggle

Schnitzengiggle

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The images that each one produces (and works with) are in two different worlds: Vector and Raster. Vector images (Inkscape) are defined by math, so the artwork can be scaled as much as needed without any degradation. Raster images (Gimp, Photoshop) are defined by the pixels, which limits the size of the image and how you manipulate it.

Each one has its pros and cons depending on what you're trying to do, but in general, logos, type, labels, etc. should be done in a vector program like Inkscape. You should really only need to use Gimp for manipulating photos.

Does that help?
Yes that does help out greatly, leads me to one more question.

If you convert a Gimp file to an Inkscape file then it is automatically changed to a vector based image correct?
 

machinelf

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Alas, no. While it's possible to open a vector image in a raster program (and, like beergears mentioned, they can co-exist in Photoshop sometimes), and vice versa, once an image is raster, the only way to make it vector is to redo it. If it's simple you might be able to run a trace function on it to help get you there, but it's never easy.

I know it can be confusing, since an Illustrator (Inkscape) file can contain a photo (which is a raster image), and a Photoshop (Gimp) file can contain vector shapes, but the only direction that one can cleanly convert from one to another is from vector to raster.


If you convert a Gimp file to an Inkscape file then it is automatically changed to a vector based image correct?
 

Bobby_M

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There are two ways I know of to convert a raster to vector. At least in illustrator, there's "autotrace" which does its best to find the shape boundaries and creates paths on those boundaries. Of course, the higher the resolution and contrast, the better it does. The more time consuming way is to literally trace the lines on top of a raster image opened in illustrator. I don't know if inkscape does any of this stuff. I've used autotrace succesfully before but my ability to manipulate paths is horribly inadequate.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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In Inkscape the trace bitmap tool is used for converting raster to vector. With some practice you will learn to manipulate the program so it produces the images you want.
 

Edcculus

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I went to school for printing, and I work at a printing company as Prepress Manager/Color Management Specialist. Unlike some of the beer knowledge I do my best to spout, I feel 110% correct in my ability to answer this question:


First, lets define the terms:

Raster:
A raster image is made up of pixels. The resolution of a raster image is based on ppi (pixels per inch), and therefore device independent. In the printing industry, when we refer to a raster image, it is usually a continuous tone image (picture). Resolution is very important when dealing with raster images. A high resolution image is crisp and will print clean. The printing industry usually likes to see 300 ppi images. This is because our presses are capable of producing an image with a lpi (lines per inch) of 1/2 the dpi of an image. Additionally, you can't siimply go into Photoshop and make a 72 dpi photo 300 ppi. Yes, the program will let you do it. That does not make your photo 300 ppi!

Photoshop (and Gimp) are raster image editors. In a perfect world, everyone would only use Photoshop to edit photos. This is what the program was intended for. They have added some vector functionality to the program. IMO, it doesn't work well. Unless you REALLY know what you are doing, Photoshop will rasterize all of your vector art anyways. Trust me, I see this EVERY day!

Vector
Vector art is considered "device dependent". Vector art, as mentioned above is based on algorithms. You can make a vector image 200 feet or .0625 inches. It does not matter. The resolution of a vector image is not set until it is sent to an output device. This doesn't seem significant if you are outputting to a inkjet at home. We output our art to an imagesetter, which images film at 2400 dpi.There are some new lasers that can image around 4000 dpi.

When I get a file, I like all text to be vector. The lines are crisp, and my artists can trap and add strokes to them if they are under spec. Once you get the hang of it, vector art is a LOT easier than raster. You can draw shapes, resize at will, change colors easily and much more. Also, vector program s like Illustrator dont work on layers like Photoshop. Anyone that has designed in Photoshop knows that it puts text on separate layers. You have to have that layer selected to move a line of text. In Illustrator, you can grab any object, or text and move it without selecting its layer.

How this applies to you

Obviously, you are designing labels that will likely be output on a consumer inkjet printer, or even office laser printer. Do you have to have 300 ppi photos and all vector text/art? Probably not. Long answer short, each program is designed for a specific type image. Edit your photos in Photoshop or Gimp. Import those images (at the correct size and resolution) into Illustrator (or Inkscape). Then, design the rest of your label. You don't have to make a raster image vector either, unless you are looking for a cartoony effect in a picture.
 

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