5 Useful and Fun GIMP Plug-ins

For those of you who use GIMP, you know it is a really great alternative to Photoshop. Like any program, free or not, there is always room for improvement. Plugins are a an easy way to add functionality.

GIMP has two different types of plugins, Script-fu and Python-fu. Right out of the box, you can add Script-fu plugins. To add Python based plugins, there is some additional steps and add-ons needed.

Get Some Plugins

To find more plugins than you can shake a tick at, go to the GIMP Plugin Registry. The different plug-in scripts are tagged pretty well so you can type in the keywords for what you are looking for in the search bar to the right side of the page.

When you find something that catches your eye, download it by clicking on the link usually at the bottom of the page. The file should end in [.scm].

How to Install

Installation is super simple. Locate the downloaded file and drag it to this folder C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\share\gimp\2.0\scripts. If you have GIMP open, simply refresh the scripts by going to Filters then Script-fu and click on refresh scripts.

1. Pencil Draw

Pencil Draw is a a pretty cool effect. It is fun for the occasional profile picture. In a nutshell, the pencil draw plug-in traces the outline of the main shapes and fills in the open areas with a gray shading.

To use this effect, select the area you’d like to change then select Pencil Draw from the filters menu.

Before:

gimpplugin-pencildraw1

After:

gimpplugin-pencildraw2

2. Auto Rotate

Auto Rotate is a handy plug-in to fix your photographic faux pas. If you need to straighten a picture quickly this is is what you have been looking for.

All you need to do is trace a  line in the picture using the paths tool. Go to the tools tab and scroll to and click on Auto Rotate.

The middle picture shows the line.

Before:

gimpplugin-autorotate1

During:

gimpplugin-autorotate2

After:

gimpplugin-autorotate3

3. Motivational Poster Maker

I know you have all seen these online, funny pictures with an even funnier caption underneath. This plug-in gives you an easy way to create them.

Load a picture into GIMP. Click on Filter then Moti-Maker. In the pop-up, you can fill in the caption, then add something clever to go in the second line.

Before:

gimpplugin-poster

After:

gimpplugin-poster2

4. Phoca Save Icons

Whether you make icons for your website or your desktop, or you simply need to resize a picture to multiple sizes; this is you will love this plug-in. With one click, you can save your final product to the 8 different sizes listed below at the same time.

- 512 x 512px
- 256 x 256px
- 128 x 128px
- 64 x 64px
- 48 x 48px
- 32 x 32px
- 22 x 22px
- 16 x 16px

gimpplugin-resize

5. Draw Arrow

This may seem like a really simple tool. However, if you do not have it in your arsenal of tools, it will be missed.

Using the Path Tool, make a line. The first point will be the head of the arrow, the second is the end of the tail.

When you click the Arrow option in Tools, you will see all kinds of settings to tweak the size and shape of the arrow.

gimpplugin-arrow

What plugins have you added to GIMP?

Intro image: alternatePhotography
Image credit: missbossy, Dan Dickinson