Writing GIMP Plug-ins and Scripts

Location: D136
Presentation: external link
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)

Much of the power of GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation program, comes from its plug-in architecture. Most of the functions you use in GIMP, including everything in the Filters menu, are plug-ins.

In this talk, you’ll learn to write your own GIMP plug-ins in two languages: Python and Script-fu.

Python is rapidly becoming the language of choice for GIMP plug-ins because of its flexibility and clean API. You’ll see how Python’s access to raw pixel data in an image gives it a huge advantage over Script-fu, and how you can use Python-GTK to create user interfaces far beyond GIMP’s usual plug-in dialogs.

Script-Fu is GIMP’s native language, installed in every version of GIMP. Script-fu is a variant of Scheme, but you don’t need to be fluent in Scheme or Lisp to write Script-fu. You just need to know a few basics of Lisp syntax and how to find the right GIMP call to do what you need. I’ll also cover some of the script-fu changes introduced in 2.4, how to update older scripts, and how to make sure your new scripts will run on all GIMP versions.

Akkana Peck


Akkana Peck is a freelance software developer and writer, and the author of the book “Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional.”
She has been an open source software developer for some 20 years and has contributed to Mozilla, GIMP and an assortment of other projects.
Her web site is http://shallowsky.com

Comments on this page are now closed.


Mark Nutter
07/27/2010 3:34am PDT

I wasn’t able to make the workshop, but the files are worth a 5-star in and of themselves. A couple tips to anyone downloading them cold like I did: they’re in .tgz format, so if you’re on a *nix system, append a .tgz to the filename and then untar them. The result is a directory full of html files: go to index.html in your favorite browser and then use the right and left arrow keys to see a nicely javascripted slide show in action.

Kim Reverman
07/22/2010 4:01pm PDT

Thank you! I enjoyed your presentation, it was the one session I took for my enjoyment and hobby. I’ve always wanted to know about doing scripts but have never had the time to learn. I hope you didn’t think I was falling asleep, the lights and the screen were a bit too much, so I just closed my eyes and listened. Thank you.

Brian leverich
07/22/2010 2:52pm PDT

Extremely well done. I’ve never hacked a Gimp plug-in or script, and I now feel confident that I could gracefully get started - and I’m motivated to do so. ;)

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