Updated: April 11, 2014
GIMP is a pretty nifty image manipulation program, available for people who do not feel like spending tons of money on proprietary solutions, as well as Linux users, for whom some of the payware options are not really an option. All that said, GIMP is not an easy program to use.
However, it can be made easier. In my 2.8 review and the subsequent plugins guide, I did show you how you can improve the basic feel of the software with additional scripts and filters and whatnot, using the GIMP Plugin Registry. But there's more you can do. Enter GIMP Paint Studio, or GPS. Follow me.
This is the trickiest part. You might be confused about when and how and why. The thing is, GPS was hosted on various sites across its lifetime history, and the updates came at rather random intervals, so you could not really be sure you were using the latest version, or that the version you were using meant anything. Would it be updated? Is this still relevant? What the hell is Gimp Paint Studio?
All right, let's simplify things. GPS is an addon for GIMP. It does not replace your original installation. It builds upon it. The software is just a collection of brushes and tool presets that you can add to your profile, so that you have a more colorful and accessible installation. Nothing more, nothing less.
Therefore, first head to the original site and download the package. Then extract it into the GIMP directory in your user profile. Windows or Linux, it's pretty much the same thing. That's it. By doing this simple thing, you've just configured GPS.
Can I claim a wow effect from the start? Well, no. GPS is a very humble and subtle toolbox, and you will need to spend some time working with the software to figure out all the details. But it works well, and the additions are most welcome. In addition to my short screenshot tour, I also recommend you take a look at the official gallery, showing some of the stuff created with the help of GPS. Combined with all the plugins you've found earlier, this makes for a handsome set.
This is a fairly short article, so there is not that much to add. Overall, GPS is one of those can't-hurt extensions for a default program. It won't render miracles or make your own art any better, but it just might help you a little, and save some time finding nice brushes and other cool presets.
The usage model is simple. Just throw the contents of the archive into your profile. Back the original stuff first, if you want. Moreover, do not pay any attention to the slow release schedule. It's not important. GPS has been updated for GIMP version 2.8, and that's what really counts. You don't get any binaries and libraries that need fixes, so you can keep using it, and only periodically check for new stuff. I guess that would be all.