Graphics App Categories:

Omitted from these files (so far) are CAD apps, 3D animation and modelling apps, video/movie editing apps, renderers, and (most) Macromedia Flash generators.

Graphics Apps, Bitmap (Raster)

Graphics Apps, Bitmap (Raster) — Details


CinePaint is a collection of free open source software tools for deep paint manipulation and image processing. CinePaint is used for motion picture frame-by-frame retouching, dirt removal, wire rig removal, render repair, background plates, and 3d model textures. It's been used on many feature films, including The Last Samurai where it was used to add flying arrows. It's also being used by pro photographers who need greater color fidelity than is available in other tools.

Studio Users

Studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks and many smaller studios use CinePaint. Disney, DreamWorks, and Pixar funded Crossover (Wine) to make Adobe Photoshop for Windows run nicely on Linux and that's what they use. Some studios use proprietary or internally developed tools. CinePaint is open source software. Nobody is obligated to tell us they use it. Studios use many Linux motion picture applications, not just CinePaint.

What's Special about CinePaint?

CinePaint is fundamentally different from other painting tools because it handles high fidelity image formats such as Kodak Cineon, SMPTE DPX, and ILM-NVIDIA OpenEXR. To do that properly requires a 32-bit per channel color engine core so that data isn't crushed into 8-bit color channels. The CinePaint core is 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit as needed. It's different from GraphicsMagick which also supports different color depths but only as a compile-time switch. (GraphicsMagick has better support for film industry file formats than ImageMagick.)

As with audio editing, more bits is better. That is, provided you understand how to use them. If you can't hear the difference between transistor radio and a studio sound mixer, you may not be able see the difference between CinePaint and ordinary 8-bit paint tools either. If you're a filmmaker or professional photographer then CinePaint may be your best and only choice. Although conventional monitors are limited to 8-bit, output to motion picture film, digital cinema, gallery quality prints, or lithography is capable of significantly better.

So Why Not GIMP?

We get this question a lot. Because CinePaint handles 8-bit images in common image formats such as JPEG, TIFF, and PNG, that makes CinePaint an alternative to ordinary image editing tools. However, CinePaint has fundamentally different design goals from projects like GIMP. We have the interest, expertise, experience, professionalism, and pro users needed when developing successful software for the high-end.

Ever since CinePaint launched as a public project on SourceForge on July 4th, 2002, there's been quite a bit of hostility towards us from GIMP hackers. There seems to be a misconception that we're competitors. In our primary market, the film industry, our position is #2 and Adobe Photoshop is #1. GIMP is practically useless for filmmaking since it can't handle CIN, DPX or EXR files.

GIMP has pursued an architectural overhaul called GEGL that's a very different design from Glasgow. They've been at it since 2000. Glasgow began in 2004.

Is CinePaint a Video Editor?

CinePaint is a deep paint tool that's used for retouching movies, not a movie editor like Avid or Final Cut Pro. Avid Composer, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Adobe After Effects and Apple Shake are all great tools when matched to the task at hand. Our plan for CinePaint includes more features in that direction, but we're far from that now. Nobody should be asking whether CinePaint, or for that matter any other open source project, is about to equal popular movie editing tools. At best the answer is, "not soon".

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 14:25:41 -0700
From: Rick Moen,
Subject: Re: [buug] Raw image processing tools

Quoting Ian Zimmerman (

> GIMP has a lot of these algorithms, but it can (currently) only work on
> 8-bit images, which means you lose some color resolution before you even
> start, and GIGO applies.

CinePaint is a GIMP fork for 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit raster images. Might be useful in conjuction with, say, UFRaw.

My understanding is that the big problem with raw raster formats is that they aren't standardised. Adobe's Digital Negative Format (DNG) might become a commodity standard for that purpose, but hasn't persuaded the camera manufacturers, yet.


Introduction to GIMP

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

GIMP is written and developed under X11 on UNIX platforms. But basically the same code also runs on MS Windows and Mac OS X.

Features and Capabilities

This is only a very quickly thrown together list of GIMP features. You can also have a look at the illustrated features overview.


GIMPshop is a modification of the free/open source GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.

It shares all GIMP's advantages, including the long feature list and customisability, while addressing some common criticisms regarding the program's interface: GIMPshop modifies the menu structure to closely match Photoshop's, adjusts the program's terminology to match Adobe's, and, in the Windows version, uses a plugin called 'Deweirdifier' to combine the application's numerous windows in a similar manner to the MDI system used by most Windows graphics packages. While GIMPshop does not support Photoshop plugins, all GIMP's own plugins, filters, brushes, etc. remain available.

Due to the changes to the interface, many Photoshop tutorials can be followed in GIMPshop unchanged, and most others can be adapted for GIMPshop users with minimal effort.

GIMPshop was created by Next New Networks' (formerly Attack of the Show!'s) Scott Moschella. It was originally developed for Mac OS X. The Mac OS X version is a Universal Binary, and requires to run on that OS. GIMPshop has also been ported to Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The only change to the normal GIMP, other than the menu layout and Photoshop naming conventions, is that it adds a background window to the user interface. This background window causes significant bugs in the Windows version, however, often causing windows to gray out or become unresponsive.


JDraw is a pixel-oriented graphics editor designed especially for small to medium-sized pictures used to decorate Web pages. It is completely written in Java, simple to use, and saves (animated) GIFs, ICOs, and PNGs.

I started writing this tool because it took me ages to do little things like changing a couple of pixels, making a colour transparent, or adjusting some RGB values. Most graphic tools irritate with hundreds of sexy filters, but have steep learning curves or just don't care about simple pixels. So it's high time for a good old pixel editor.

Programming language: JDraw is entirely written in Java. Originally written for JDK 1.4, it now supports JDK 1.3, as well.

Supported Platforms: So far, I have developed and tested JDraw under Windows XP and SUSE Linux 8.1.

Features so far:

License: GNU General Public License


What is KolourPaint?

KolourPaint is a free, easy-to-use paint program for KDE (a desktop environment for UNIX).

It aims to be conceptually simple to understand; providing a level of functionality targeted towards the average user. KolourPaint is designed for daily tasks like:

It's not an unusable and monolithic program where simple tasks like drawing lines become near impossible. Nor is it so simple that it lacks essential features like Undo/Redo.

The main difference between KolourPaint and most other "simple" UNIX paint programs is that KolourPaint actually works. See the Product Comparison page for details.

KolourPaint is opensource software written in C++ using the Qt and KDE libraries. It is developed in the KDE SVN repository and is shipped with KDE releases.