I have decided to sticky this information. I hope it helps someone out there!
I use a great free program called the Gimp and have recommended it to many others over the years. Tutorials are available for The Gimp on the net and fairly easy to find. I have provided links to a few sites that have tutorials below. It is definitely HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for you to try to find one appropriate to what you are trying to do. Also, you will need a program like WinZip or WinRAR to extract most of the files. The files that you will need said extraction programs for will have the extension â€œ.zipâ€ (without the quotes, of course).
Downloading, installing, and using The Gimp:
To begin with, I am assuming you are running Windows 2000 or newer!!! For those with other operating systems, see This Link for your system. Also, these links are for The Gimp 2.2 only (the version I use). The Gimp 2.6 is now out, so please see the above link for information regarding this version.
To install The Gimp 2.2, please use the following instructions:
First, Click Here. This is the GTK+ runtime environment that you need to install. Make sure to install this before anything else!
Second, Click Here. This is The Gimp program you need to unzip then install. Make sure to install this before the help file.
Third, Click Here This is the Help file you will need to unzip and install.
(Optional) If you plan on creating animations (.mov, .gif, etc), then you will need The Gimp GAP file (Gimp Animation Package). Click Here to download the GAP then unzip and install it.
If you have any have issues, there is a decent FAQ for troubleshooting Here.
Once installed, you will WANT to check out the tutorials Here.
Last, but not least, other tutorial sites:
Cutting Out Renders Using the Paths Tool Click Here
GIMP FORUMS - GIMP help, tutorials, general gimp discussion & new features Click Here
PSPI: Running Photoshop plug-ins in GIMP Click Here
Well, that should be enough to get you in trouble. Hope it helps!