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Hands on with Seashore, an open source image editor

8 July 2010 4,338 views No Comment

Whether you’re looking at its $600 retail price, kitchen-sink-plus feature set or bloated system requirements, for the great majority of people, Photoshop is overkill. Whereas Pixelmater and Acorn are fine products, they aren’t free. Seashore is based on GIMP, the open-source Photoshop replacement that’s been in continuous development for 15 years.

Like Photoshop, GIMP is great if your needs are complex, system resources plentiful and you need specific plugins, filters, etc. Contrariwise, Seashore’s full installed weight is just 15MB and with a couple small images open it occupies only 38MB of RAM.

Underscoring Seashore’s compact nature is the fact that I’m writing this review on a Dell Mini 10V Hackintosh with just a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and generally pathetic Intel GMA 950 graphics — this app is still quick and responsive.

See also: Top 10 open source Mac apps [and their friends]

For Photoshop refugees, there’s common functionality missing from Seashore, like the Healing Brush and Save for Web. Further, there are rather limited options and controls vis-a-vis saving images, especially for the increasingly popular .png format.

Still, you do get fast n’ easy crop, resize and save, plus gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. And, yes, layers and alpha channel are also in there, as well.

Also to the plus is the availability of a series of video tutorials on YouTube.

And, yes, the price is very right…

Tried Seashore? Prefer a different image editor? Share your impressions below…

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