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The Gimp GUI Software

Usability Eye for The GIMP Guy 353

TuringTest writes "The GIMP has recently signed up for evaluation by 'Many user interface decisions are being made by developers who often have little experience in user interface design. In order to improve this, we need the help of experts. To find them, GIMP has joined the OpenUsability project. Here's a platform where Open Source developers and usability experts get together.' They also report their first experiences with the paper prototyping of a new Import PDF dialog."
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Usability Eye for The GIMP Guy

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  • Great. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Poromenos1 ( 830658 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:45AM (#13415635) Homepage
    It's true that many times the developers that make the GUI decisions aren't fit to, because the average user doesn't have the same view of programs as a developer does. It's great that they're partnering with another site to promote usability (especially for the GIMP, which I find to be a bit overwhelming). I wish more programs did that.
    • I agree (Score:3, Interesting)

      by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) *

      You're right. The interface for The GIMP is very different from any other application I've used. It's not really bad, it's just different and it takes a lot of getting used to.

      I just started using The GIMP not too long ago. I don't want to spend the money to upgrade my old copy of Paint Shop Pro if there's software that's just as good for free. If it takes me a little longer to learn how to use it, that's fine. (Unlike most people, my time is worthless...) But if they could improve the interface, I

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @01:19PM (#13416236)
        I'm not too sure about this. We've seen a lot of column space on devoted to PhotoShop shills and their flames about the Gimp, and I find them a bit tiresome.

        If the openusability thing actually makes changes which are demonstrably an improvement then I have no problem with it.

        However, if all that happens is that they turn the interface into a clone of PhotoShop's then the developers will be doing the Gimp (and us) a disservice. Personally, I find the "classic" Gimp UI perfectly approachable (and I actually use it on a daily basis).

        Incidentally, IIRC I heard (probably on /.) that there is some sort of extension or whatever that is supposed to emulate PS's UI already in existence, but a quick google just now failed to find it...

        • Re:I agree (Score:5, Informative)

          by ptlis ( 772434 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @01:23PM (#13416267) Homepage
          It's called GimpShop [].
        • You're right, too. Keep in mind that I've never actually used Photoshop, so I'm not qualified to compare the interfaces to each other. What I meant was that the interface for The GIMP is different from pretty much any other application that I've used, with at least three entirely separate windows being required by default to do any productive work. My layers and tools windows always seem to get buried under others and I have to hunt for them in my taskbar. I've gotten used to it by now, but I still don'

          • Re:I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jandrese ( 485 ) *
            I started out on the GIMP and now find Photoshop's interface infurating at places. There are some things the GIMP just does better, and some of the interfaces just seem to work better.

            A lot of the griping probably comes from people who just are expecting Photoshop. OTOH, there are some things you can do in Photoshop that you just can't do in the GIMP, and some of the interface decisions are a result of needing to accomodate additional features.
        • GIMPshop - It was an inconsequential patch job. I installed it and the GIMP and compared the interfaces. The only differences were changed labels on tools to be more comfortable to Photoshop users. Big fucking deal. It didn't fix any problems on a deeper level than that.
    • I agree.

      I just wanted to add that I really think that openusability is a great project and really needed.

      Rock on guys!
    • The problem many developers have is they write interfaces based on what the program does, while the user is concerned with what they want to accomplish.

      For example, using Konqueror for file management on my Linux box. A friend occasionally sends me files, so I gave him an FTP account on my server. I'm logged in, I want to move the files from his user directory to mine. Security wise, I know that my user account shouldn't have access to his user account. But I'm admin so I have access to root.

      Looking at it
  • Question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:45AM (#13415638)

    When the report comes back saying that it should have a proper window instead of floating toolbars, will they say "they weren't using it right, they are just used to Photoshop!" like they usually do?

    Seriously, people have been complaining about the interface since day one, and the GIMP developers don't pay any attention. That's their prerogative of course, but if they aren't willing to listen, why are they signed up for this?

    • Re:Question (Score:2, Insightful)

      On a Mac, floating toolbars instead of a "proper window" is standard interface design. Mac applications are supposed to be document-centric, not application-centric like Windows. For many people (myself included) this seems like a much better way to handle things, and better fits the original desktop metaphor introduced with the Mac.

      Of course I agree that the GIMP needs some improvement in the UI department, but the floating toolbars are good, at least in the Mac version.
    • Re:Question (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hazzey ( 679052 )

      The developers probably want a professional, concise, consistient report. Not the random mess of thousands of emails and message board posts about some nit-pick that one user has that anther user loves. There is a lot to be said for having a clear direction to work towards.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:51AM (#13415663)
    They totally redecorated a wheel chair ramp in like 3 hours.
  • by darkwhite ( 139802 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:52AM (#13415669)
    I have used GIMP many times and tried to do useful things with it. Overall the feature set is acceptable. But I will never be able to use it for actual work until they fix the big one.


    With dockable tool palettes.

    Every time I bring this up to anyone who knows gimp, they tell me to run it in its own virtual desktop. I don't use virtual desktops, and I don't want an app to have a ton of toolbars floating around anyway.
    • by quantum bit ( 225091 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:55AM (#13415689) Journal
      I don't mind that so much, as long as it's an OPTION.

      The thing about MDI schemes is that they make it impossible to efficiently use multi-monitor setups. Even if the tool palettes can be undocked, it makes it so you can't have different "document" windows on different heads.
      • In the newest version of Photoshop (CS2) you can move even the "document" windows outside the main window, including to other monitors.
        • I'm not sure I see the point of having an MDI window if it doesn't contain the document windows. Is it just to keep the task bar tidy on MS Windows? Any decent *NIX window manager can already use window groups for that, and even Win XP can do some form of grouping.
          • It will also raise all the windows when you choose one, probably. I have the Gimp installed under Windows, and even though I'm happy with most of the Gimp (even most of the UI!) I almost never use it when I'm in Windows. The reason is that I find it very annoying that if I have another application open, switch to that, and switch back to the Gimp (not minimizing anything, just changing z-orders) I have to go through and manually raise the window with all the tools, the document(s) I'm working on, and the tw
            • In KDE at least, using KHotKeys, you should be able to set a mouse gesture or keyboard shortcut to raise all of the GIMP windows. In the KDE Control Center under Accessability, open up KHotKeys, then add a new group of shortcuts for GIMP using the window class of "gimp" (all the GIMP windows appear to have this), then just set up a shortcut to raise all of the GIMP windows. This probably sounds pretty opaque right now, but it should be reasonably self explanatory when you're looking at it.
            • IMO, raising one of them should raise them ALL, and I have yet to find a way to do that. If you know of one (Windows OR Linux), please tell me.

              Use a window manager that support window groups and group your GIMP windows. Enlightenment does, I'm not sure about others. I have a proposal for a decent way to do window groups easily here [], with advanced features if you want to offer something new for power users. Basically the principle is this: all your GIMP windows belong to a group, and actions applied to a mem
          • The MDI is a hack that dates back to the days before Windows 3.0 Back in those dark days there was a technical limitation in Windows that allowed each application to have only one top level window. So if you wanted to open more than one Word document for example, you would have needed to open several copies of Word. The result was that Microsoft invented the MDI to get around the technical limitation and sold it as a feature.

            Then a mear ten years after the limitation in Windows was lifted, even Microsoft ab
        • Photoshop Essentials 3 doesn't have a main window either. All tools and windows default to one screen, but they can be moved to any screen.
      • Any radically different new GUI would be appreciated as an option and only as that. While the GIMP's interface is nt perfect, I like it much better than the approach Photoshop takes (cramming everything down your throat so you either buy a book on how to use the program or spend half an hour trying to find out how to draw a straight line).
        The GIMP is intimidating, but I find that once the initial "omg, so many windows!" shock has worn off it's easier to use than certain commercial offerings.
        • My big complaint about The GIMP starts with the huge number of overlapping windows it opens by default. Let's say you're just learning it and use it to view a .jpg. You get all those unneeded windows. Not being afraid to close a window, you close the extras. Next time you use it, you're planning to do some editing, and those windows are still gone. Not only that, it's hard at first to find out how to reopen them. There should be a place to specify which windows open every time, and which don't, and th
    • Usability (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mark_MF-WN ( 678030 )
      The usability of the Gimp is actually a lot better if you are using more than one monitor (which a lot of graphics artists do anyway). It's only in the far more common scenario of using a single monitor that the Gimp becomes hideously ackward.
      • Re:Usability (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ford Prefect ( 8777 )
        I've been using The GIMP for about seven years now (it's the reason I originally became interested in Linux). It's quite possibly my favourite program ever, and until recently I would have agreed that the lack of a Windows-style MDI was most definitely a good thing.

        It's brilliant with virtual desktops. It's great with multiple monitors. The interface works really well with KDE's window manager; it works really well with on my iBook.

        Of course, I then recently installed in on Windows, having until the
        • I'm really not sure what a correct, elegant solution would be. I loathe the usual Windows container-window MDI, and I do realise that GTK has very little, if any support for writing applications in such a manner, but I do wonder how the situation could be improved for Windows users.

          GTK doesn't have support for MDI for a very good reason - it just isn't its responsibility. A widget tollset shouldn't be implementing its own separate window management scheme, which is what MDI as part of GTK would amount to. H
      • Unfortunately, on windows at least, I'm still stuck with 8 or 9 separate taskbar buttons when there really should only be one per document. Why the hell would anyone be working in another program and then decide they want to switch to the history palate? If I'm going back to the gimp, I want the whole damn thing to come back up, not just one toolbar. At this point, after going to another program, I have to either alt-tab through all the palates (which doesn't always work) or select them all in the taskbar a
        • Unfortunately, on windows at least, I'm still stuck with 8 or 9 separate taskbar buttons when there really should only be one per document. Why the hell would anyone be working in another program and then decide they want to switch to the history palate? If I'm going back to the gimp, I want the whole damn thing to come back up, not just one toolbar. At this point, after going to another program, I have to either alt-tab through all the palates (which doesn't always work) or select them all in the taskbar a

        • Along the same lines... why does the tools palate have to have a menu at the top of it? That should be located in a central place as well, like the document's menu bar.

          What do you do when there's no document open?

          The tools window is The GIMP. Its (few) menus are operations which do not act on any currently opened document. Conversely, a document window's menu actions act on that particular document.

          If The GIMP's interface annoys you so much, try using vi, Windows Media Player 10 (WHO STOLE THE MENU?), Blend
          • Don't get me wrong, I do understand the reason for having the menus there currently and that there's a definite hurdle to get over trying to remove them, it's just something that bothers me personally. I guess I've just really fallen for the Mac way of things where there's always that toolbar at the top of the screen until you fully quit it. That does have it's own issues, though, especially with regards to multi monitor setups.

            As for your other arguement, I realize that there are other applications out the
      • In a focus-follows-mouse setup (Default on WMs like Blackbox) GIMP works pretty well on a single monitor.

        Maybe is just because I started with GIMP and have always used it, but I find the Photoshop interface more awkward, sometimes I just want the toolbar to get out of my way! I haven't tried the new CS so I can't really comment on it.

        For that reason I hope if they do make interface changes that they leave the old one in as an option.
    • I will never understand this complaint. i can't imagine anything more annoying than having to constantly minimize and restore, minimize and restore, alt+tab alt+tab alt+tab back and forth to the GIMP every time i want to look at something else.

      it's much easier just to point my mouse at the window i want to use, and start working.

      by the way... last time i checked, the tool palettes were dockable. and they still are, unless they've removed that since 2.2...

    • xnest -- :1
      export DISPLAY=:0
      metacity &

      There you go.
      • I'm sorry to ask, but what the hell does those commands do? Oh, and the only lines that worked for me on my Mac OS X install was #2 and #4, and it still looked like crap. I guess that only the very last line works for Windows users.
      • Thanks, I know about that fix. My problem is, it's a bit too ugly for my taste. The GIMP devs say that window management of the app's windows is not their problem but the WM's problem... and I say bullshit.

        I wouldn't even mind having one window per each open image (MS Office style) as long as the toolbars are all dockable to each window, or at least are all raised with each window.
    • My big gripe about GIMP right now is that after you run "Script-fu" it doesn't put things back how they were... some of the scripts might add layers, some might leave a selection (different than the original selection) behind, etc. It's annoying as hell. "Script-fu" items should run the same as plug-ins in Photoshop... it does its work, it leaves the work area *the exact same* as it found it, and you can undo the whole she-bang with a single selection of Edit->Undo.
  • by yakhan451 ( 841816 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:52AM (#13415670)
    I used to think the usability of the GIMP was bad, turns out it's just different from what i was used to. The more i used it exclusively, the more i figured out how nice it was.

    Nowadays, if i go back to a windows system with photoshop or paintshop pro, it feels really cluttered and i get 'clausterphobic'.

    Of course, i'm speaking as a casual user who does pretty basic operations. Maybe it's different if you work with it professionally?
    • I used to think the usability of the GIMP was bad, turns out its just bad compared to what the rest of the world is used to.
    • The trick is creating a clear and nagivable path for people new to the system to learn it. I work with professional graphic designers who are married not only to specific programs but older versions of those programs because learning the new interface would just cause too much headache and hurt their livlihoods.

      If GIMP and other mass user Linux products (read, X) want to get users to convert they need to make the transition much easier than it is now otherwise the less savvy professionals in less technica

  • by TorKlingberg ( 599697 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @11:53AM (#13415684)
    Will they be able to take criticism on interface decisions they have taken years ago and argued for many times since then? Many open source projects have these really stupid things hanging over them because developers can't admit they have been wrong all this time. Take this one in Firefox [] as a prime example.
    • Or, for that matter, this one []. Admittedly, that's not a UI design bug, but it's a very good example of the arrogance that some Mozilla users unfortunately show at times.

      It's been open for six years, there's more than 750 votes (IIRC, it's the single most voted-for bug in Mozilla's bugzilla), and patches have been provided and kept in sync for a long, long time.

      Still, it's not implemented because it might cause the default installer to grow by 50 KB. Sad.
    • It seems that the easiest way to solve that bug would be to prevent windows from opening that don't have a menu bar/address bar/button bar/status bar.
  • Thank $Deity for that.

    As good as the gimp is, it can be nightmare finding tools when you start using it.
  • Oops. (Score:2, Funny)

    by seramar ( 655396 )
    At first I thought this referred to the way that icon looks at me every couple of seconds. It still freaks me out.
  • I use only a small subset of GIP operations, like most people, though each of us has a different subset. I have to hunt through lots of sub/menus and button palettes to find the operations I use, especially when I go for months without using it. I'd love to have a custom palette that I can populate with my own menu items/buttons, and maybe even a library of values/settings, all in just one palette that I can set to open when the app opens. Stored in a config that I can easily email or otherwise transfer to
  • by tuxliner ( 589414 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:04PM (#13415750)
    1 - You want a GUI which looks like Photoshop? Get Gimpshop [] and stop whining! 2- Now, what about comparing GimpShop to Photoshop?
    • 1 - You want a GUI which looks like Photoshop? Get Gimpshop and stop whining! 2- Now, what about comparing GimpShop to Photoshop?

      Unless GimpShop for Windows is different that's probably not going to make people as happy as you'd think, because GimpShop (the Linux and Mac versions anyway) was altered by a Mac Photoshop user... which means floating (dockable) tool palettes and multiple individual image windows, just like Photoshop on the Mac, and many of the complainers really just want an MDI like Photoshop
  • Getting used to it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AtariAmarok ( 451306 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:10PM (#13415786)
    I'm getting used to it. But there are some flaws, like that you don't get a standard file selector from "Open" that lets you enter a file name: you have to use "Open Location" instead (it should be one function), and the oddity of having two "Rotates", one crippled and one not. The more useful one is buried deeper.
  • by hasst ( 852296 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:12PM (#13415803)
    By excellency, in OSS, the Inmates are running the Asylum []. Usability is by far the biggest problem OSS software has right now. Not security, since security does not matter that much. Yeah, it does not matter. Microsoft gets away with the biggest security stunts in history of modem society, but this only because their products are a lot more USABLE by the end user. And the user will obey and put up with the mistreating, just to be able to use the darn COMPUTER.

    Gimp is the epitome of wrong UI in OSS, I can barely use it without online howtos, and I'm experienced. Now, imagine Av. Joe ... Learn how to develop USABLE stuff, not USEFUL stuff, since there are hundreds of applications for almost every darn task out there.
    • I'm not sure I agree with that. Once they conceded and put a menu bar in image windows in 2.x, it's not so bad anymore. Most operations I don't find any more difficult than using Photoshop or the like. Don't forget that advanced image editing is an inherently complex task. No interface can make it easy eithout sacrificing flexibility.

      The only thing I can think of that is a bad interface is the gradient editor. It's awful. Look at Corel PhotoPaint for an example of what a good gradient editor is like.
  • by Rahga ( 13479 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:13PM (#13415811) Journal
    A link to Sven Neumann's blog has more on this [].

    In fact, it's probably a lot better than any of the other comments, the dead openusability website, or whatever that site may or may not have posted about this. Simply put, it looks like the gimp is merely a project that has been registered by one of the developers to see what or if any good can from from those guys. That's all. No massive throw-in from the collective force of Gimp users and developers.

    I've got a ton or respect for the dude (I've fixed far fewer bugs in GNOME bugzilla :) ), but honestly, I've not yet seen OpenUsability do anything worth bragging about. At all. Just a couple of flimsy "ooooh boy this is great KDE is JOINING FORCES with OpenUsability, which is GRATE because everyone KNOWS programmers don't no jack about usability." stories.

    Feel free to call me the stop-motion energy guy... I'm just skeptical.
  • People might be interested in Krita ( []) as an alternative to GIMP. It has an interface similar to PaintShop Pro where all the interface windows are contained within one main window and it integrates well with KDE.
  • by BioCS.Nerd ( 847372 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:26PM (#13415878) Homepage
    For those of you using OS X that have an interest in GIMP, I ran across Seashore [] the other day while reading Drunkenblog []. It's a major improvement over GIMP for OS X. Definitely something to keep your eye on.
  • by dmaxwell ( 43234 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:28PM (#13415895)
    Make it work exactly wacktly like Photoshop or I'll...or I'll...or I'll whinge. Yeah! That's it! I'll whinge and then I'll whinge some more've had enough! And then I'll post some flames!
  • Make a MDI clone, but make it act so that windows inside it move with it, but windows outside it do not. Kinda like Winamp, where things docked to the main window move with it, but things that aren't don't. You could then pull all the toolbars out and maximize the document window inside the faux MDI parent, and it would act like normal GIMP. Or, you could leave them inside the MDI parent and it would act more like Photoshop. Make it tweakable for the nitpickers (How much of the window has to be inside f
  • Text manipulation? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shazow ( 263582 ) <andrey DOT petrov AT shazow DOT net> on Saturday August 27, 2005 @12:50PM (#13416036) Homepage
    Anyone find that the ability to manipulate text in Gimp is... lacking? I was trying to make a basic logo in Gimp a few weeks ago, an operation that would take me five minutes in Photoshop, ended up taking me almost two hours in Gimp.

    It's really difficult to resize text to fit the shape you want while maintaining good quality, while I believe Photoshop does this by maintaining the font's vector information until you rasterize the layer.

    Also it was very difficult adding simple effects to it, such as a outline, glow or shadow. And at the same time, having it adjust dynamically when I alter the parent layer.

    I found it very frustrating, and I've been using Gimp for many months now. >.< Maybe I'm missing something and still have more to learn, but I don't think many people would disagree that some of the interface on Gimp is unintuitive.

    I'm happy to hear that they're trying to improve.

    - shazow
  • Best experience with GIMP:
    Use lazy window focus and a single linux desktop (e.g. Desktop #4). Isolated on its own desktop, it has an mdi-like feel to it.

    Worst GIMP:
    Running under windows, you don't get lazy focus or seperate desktops, it gets messy. Hence the call for MDI-ness.

    Also, file open dialogs still kinda suck, esp under windows.

    GIMP's great feature set is masked to newcomers by its 'horrible' UI. But like anything else, you can get used to it if you need to. It doesn't make the whole app broken,
  • And I will STFU and never use Photoshop again...
  • My wife's experience (Score:4, Informative)

    by xrayspx ( 13127 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @02:00PM (#13416497) Homepage
    Usability reasons are largely why my wife hates the Gimp. She makes her living on Photoshop, but I use the Gimp for all my random junk. One weekend I decided to try her out on it and her experiences were like this:

    -- Dialogs were inconsistent and many times didn't properly explain their function (filters)

    -- Layers are handled 'quaintly'. No layer grouping, which takes it totally out of the running for her day-to-day stuff. She will often have documents with 100+ layers, grouped and folder-ized.

    Those were two of her biggest compaints, most of the others were "this feels different from Photoshop", which you can't do anything about. But the large compaints were all layer and user interface related.

    She didn't care about CMYK because she wasn't doing anything destined for print, but that would have killed her too.

    Most of my personal beefs have to do with palettes that get behind other objects (like my workspace) and I have to track them down. But I'm not an artist.

    Most of her compaints exist in previous versions of Photoshop too, to be fair, but if I even joked about "hey, why don't I install Photoshop 6 for you on that new machine", well, I wouldn't eat for a month.

    The experience of trying to get her to use Gimp for a day scared me off of ever trying to get her using Inkscape or any of the other vector stuff, even for 5 minutes, instead of Illustrator.

    Usability lab testing can only mean good things for this project, I hope a lot of good comes of it!

  • Artist feedback (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PromANJ ( 852419 ) on Saturday August 27, 2005 @04:28PM (#13417270) Homepage Journal
    I'm an artist who paint a lot in Photoshop. Some of you might have seen the Flying Spaghetti Monster vs Adam (Sistine Chapel) painting I did.

    Anyways, I've been trying to give feedback to GIMP(shop) for quite a while, but I can't find any feedback emails or forums.

    I failed to register at "open usability". I couldn't activate my account, because of an error or I just got my password wrong (which I wrote down clearly). I also tried to register another account, but that didn't work since my email was taken by my previous inactive account.

    So my feedback will have to go here. It concerns mostly my painting technique. Maybe someone could drop this in a relevant inbox?

    1: Colorpicking has to be easy. I prefer temporarely shifting to the colorpicker while holding down a key. The colorpicker should be able to handle average colors too, in case you colorpick from an area with a lot of noise.
    In GIMPshop it seems I have to switch to the colorpicker tool manually, then when I colorpick a dialog comes up that I have to click down. This takes several seconds and kills workflow. Basically thing single 'feature' alone makes it practically impossible for me to paint in GIMP. I need to be able to colorpick once or twice per second. Yes I paint fast and I blend by using a 50% transparent brush and dabbing several times if I want opaque color, or I dab and colorpick if I want it more transparent. I use a wacom but have pressure sensitivity set to size so I can reach narrow places or fill large areas without having to change brush. Workflow and accesability is VERY important.

    2: Brushes. It would be useful to be able to make several brushes that are just a click of a button away. When painting I generally use a few hard brushes and a few soft airbrushes, and some for multiplying on base colors onto line art. I do not want to manually set these up everytime I'm changing brush.

    3: Photoshops 'Fade' is very useful. It brings up a slider which allow you to fade the last change, which can be a brushstroke, a curve/level, a hue/saturation change, or almost anything. This is very handy since it's realtime and you can fade your change until it looks balanced.

    4: Photoshop's history can be useful. Some artists also make a new layer to experiment, paint a little and if they're happy they merge, otherwise they delete it. I use the history brush occasionally to erase changes I made with a soft or hard brush. This is useful if I for example painted a lot of cool armour details, but ruined the head, then I can just history erase the bad changes to the head. Theoretically this can be done with layers though, if the old layer without the changes is perserved somewhere.

    5: Brushstroke quality is important. There might be an option for it but my version of GIMPshop made irregular little blotches on my lines. Giving any changes to pressure some sort of weight might prevent this, so transitions to thinner lines goes smoother somehow. Flimsy and chaotic does not look good unless you're Pollock.

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.