Every now and then, I need to work with images in a way that goes beyond the use of MS Paint. Unfortunately, 3Sharp hasn’t seen fit to keep me updated with a license for the latest and greatest version of Adobe Photoshop, and I’ve never really liked using the GIMP or any of the other commercial contenders.
One of my favorite SF authors, John Scalzi, maintains not only his own popular blog The Whatever, but also does a paid blogging gig for AOL Journals (their version of blogs). This morning on his AOL journal By the Way, he linked to a free .NET image maniuplation program with some features that are usually the mark of more advanced packages, such as layers and built-in effects. It even includes a plug-in architecture.
I’ve not used it yet, but I’m downloading it right now and will let you all know how it goes. Frankly, while I love Photoshop, there’s so much functionality I don’t understand that I always feel slightly guilty for using it, like I’m somehow taking away a license that some genius kid in Portugal could be using to become thenext Einstein. Having a lighter alternative (less than 4MB download!) will be nice. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Note: this only works on Windows machines, BTW, since it requires .NET 2.0. The download page has a link to a “full” version of Paint .NET that includes the .NET 2.0 runtime, if you don’t already have it installed.