Help me get my GIMP on
November 28, 2009 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Teach me how to download plugins for GIMP as if I were a person with no computer experience at all.

I'm actually not a complete idiot but for some reason, I can't figure out how to install plugins for GIMP. I'm a new GIMP user and I've figured out the basics of using curves and I'm slowly figuring out how to use layers, but I'd like to find some plugins for better black and white conversions, as well noise reduction and a lomo script. Could you walk me though it, step by step, as if you were teaching a child? I'm using GIMP 2.6 on a machine with windows 7. Or, alternatively, you could point me toward some websites and videos that do so. I have found some tutorials but they just seem like gibberish to me, so obviously, the simpler the better. Thanks!
posted by dchrssyr to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It doesn't look good. Apparently most of GIMP plug-ins available on the web are in the form of source code, to install them you have to get a compiler and learn how to use it.

Quoting this page from the GIMP documentation:

"Windows is a much more problematic environment for building software than Linux. Every decent Linux distribution comes fully supplied with tools for compiling software, and they are all very similar in the way they work, but Windows does not come with such tools. It is possible to set up a good software-building environment in Windows, but it requires either a substantial amount of money or a substantial amount of effort and knowledge.

"What this means in relation to GIMP plugins is the following: either you have an environment in which you can build software, or you don't. If you don't, then your best hope is to find a precompiled version of the plugin somewhere (or persuade somebody to compile it for you), in which case you simply need to put it into your personal plugin directory. If you do have an environment in which you can build software (which for present purposes means an environment in which you can build GIMP), then you no doubt already know quite a bit about these things, and just need to follow the Linux instructions.

"If you would like to set up a build environment, and are ready for the heroism involved, you can find a reasonably recent description of how to go about it in the GIMP Wiki, at HowToCompileGimp/MicrosoftWindows [GIMP-WIKI-MS]. Since it is a Wiki, anybody is free to edit it, so please keep it up to date by adding advice based on your own experiences."

GIMP plug-ins are mostly written in Scheme or Python, which you'll need to know if you want to get somebody to compile it for you.

- Sorry. I wish that wasn't the answer.
posted by nangar at 4:32 PM on November 28, 2009

If it's a standard GIMP scheme plugin, you only have to copy it to the Scripts directory. To find where that is, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Folders, then expand that tree until you see 'Scripts'. Note where that is, and copy the script (such as the GIMP Lomo Plugin) to the Scripts folder.

You may have to restart to see the plugin. Scripts have the ability to define where they go in the menu tree, so for example the Lomo one lives under Filters -> Light & Shadow.

No compiling required.
posted by scruss at 7:27 PM on November 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Seconding scruss, most gimp plugins are not c files, but guile scheme files interpreted by the embedded interpreter in gimp (kind of like how vb is built into MS Office apps).

What this means is that for most of the plugins out there, you just need to put the file in the right directory, and next time you run gimp it will be available.
posted by idiopath at 8:01 PM on November 28, 2009

Yay! Thanks to you guys, I figured it out!
posted by dchrssyr at 11:36 PM on November 28, 2009

I was wrong!(fortunately.) I'm sorry!
posted by nangar at 4:40 AM on November 29, 2009

no problem, nangar. I'm grateful that you tried and I found out somethings about GIMP from the link you provided.
posted by dchrssyr at 5:36 PM on November 29, 2009

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