SeaShore is a free open source, pixel-based image editor for Mac OS X’s Cocoa framework. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It also supports multiple layers, alpha channel editing and uses the same native file format as GIMP. It sports a much slicker OS X friendly user interface that definitely looks better than GIMP.
GIMP is one of the best free photo editors out there but it’s not to everyone’s liking. That’s why SeaShore has been developed as a simpler, easier to use photo editor. It’s a bit closer to Photoshop in the way the menus are laid out. The downside of this, however, is that it’s not as powerful as GIMP and lacks certain advanced editing features. In fact, even basic features such as Color Balance and Levels are missing from SeaShore. But it still offers more than enough power for many users and can also use GIMP brushes and textures. Suitable for basic image editing, Seashore for Mac offers some useful tools and options that will appeal to less experienced users.
Stability can also occasionally be an issue but it usually manages to carry out most functions without any problems. Yet, the slick OS X Cocoa style interface and a simpler GIMP style functionality will make SeaShore popular with anyone who has struggled with GIMP.
SeaShore supports the following formats: TIFF, PNG, JPEG, JP2000, BMP, PICT, PDF, XBM and GIF
An advantage of Seashore is that it is a native OS X application and as such has a coherent interface that integrates neatly with the operating system. Everything is kept very simple with the main tools lined up across the top bar of the application keeping them in easy reach at all times, while layers and image data are found in the sidebar.
While Seashore allows the installation and use of GIMP brushes and textures, there is no facility within the user interface to manage this content, so it has to be carried out through the Finder. Because many application files are hidden in the Finder, this may be an unfamiliar process for many potential users.
For users looking for simple monotone effects, there are Sepia and Monochrome tools in the Selection menu which makes this very straightforward. With so many free pixel-based image editors now offering red-eye reduction tools, the absence of such a feature in Seashore is a minor disappointment, though it is a relatively easy fix using the available image adjustment tools, such as Hue, Saturation and Value. Digital photographers may miss the inclusion of Dodge and Burn tools, though it is possible to replicate the effects using layers and erasing parts of the layer.
More of a problem is the apparent lack of control over the opacity of the Clone tool which does rather compromise the tool and make it very difficult to blend cloned areas into an image. A possible work around may be to use GIMP brushes with different alpha transparency, but this could become quite a cumbersome solution requiring a wide range of brushes of different sizes and transparencies to be installed.
Mac OS X