GIMP Beginner Exercise in Layers

First, I watched this tutorial on how to find the LAYERS should they disappear:

Next: My 2nd venture into learning GIMP is an exercise in LAYERS provided by GIMPtricks of The Netherlands in Youtube.

My very first challenge is to create the first layer which she calls “Table Top.”

I could find the section (on the right side of the GIMP screen) labeled PATTERNS. I could not see the pattern which was used in the tutorial but I chose a similar pattern. I was quite mystified as to how I should proceed to make the selected pattern fill the entire layer.

I found one answer here:

http://docs.gimp.org/2.2/en/gimp-tool-bucket-fill.html


Fill Type
GIMP provides three fill types: FG Color Fill, BG Color Fill and Pattern Fill.

FG Color Fill sets the fill color to the currently selected foreground color.

BG Color Fill sets the fill color to the currently selected background color.

Pattern Fill sets the fill color to the currently selected pattern.

I right clicked on the initial default layer “Background,” clicked upon PROPERTIES, and renamed it as “Table Top.” Of course, such names are arbitrary but one should understand HOW to rename things.

With “Table Top” as the active selected layer, I clicked upon PATTERNS and selected the wood pattern. I am certain that one may search and find other patterns to be uploaded into GIMP but that is an exercise for another day.

Next, at the left side of the screen, I click on the BUCKET FILL tool. Then, below, I select FILL WITH SELECTED PATTERN. And Voila, I now have my “Table Top” layer filled with that wood pattern.

Next, I must create four transparent layers and place different colored circles.

I have created a second transparent layer (named RED), selected ELIPSE, drawn a circle, changed the foreground color to RED and used bucket fill to fill the circle with red. Now I am totally mystified as to how to select just that circle and move it about.

SOMEHOW I seem to have gotten into quite a mess. In my efforts to learn how to create a first layer called TABLE TOP and fill it with a pattern, and then create a second layer called RED and place a circle and bucket fill it with red,….. I became lost as to how to SELECT that red object and move it about, AND NOW, I have permanently changed something with regard to HISTORY, such that even if I close GIMP and then relaunch it, I cannot get GIMP back to the way it originally looked at the RIGHT, with the layers etc. So here are two fundamental obstacles for a beginner. ONE is how to get GIMP back to the starting point should something become disturbed… and TWO, how to easily select and move some object in a layer such as a CIRCLE. These would seem to be very simple fundamental tasks. And the ANSWER is NOT to say “go out and buy Photoshop” because the funds are simply not available.

Well, somehow, I don’t know quite how, I have relaunched GIMP and started from scratch, getting the right window to look as it did before. I have created my first layer which by default is BACKGROUND and I right click, select properties and rename it to “Table Top”, select a “Pine” pattern, click the bucket fill tool, set to fill PATTERN, and fill that Table Top. Then I create 4 layers named Red, Green, Yellow and Blue. In each I use the Ellipse tool at the left to create a circle, and only at that creation stage do I have the option to CHANGE THE POSITION, so that the circles more or less overlap as in GIMPtricks tutorial. I change the FOREGROUND color to the appropriate color and use BUCKET FILL to fill each circle. Finally, I change the order of the layers to demonstrate how the circles appear.

So now my task is to learn HOW to select each circle in its layer, reposition it, and also change its size.

I use two different computers for this exercise. On the Dell XP I have my WordPress blog open, and add to it as I progress. I do the actual GIMP exercise on an Ubuntu machine running 9.10 Karmic Koala. On my Ubuntu Desktop is a folder called Gimp Exercises. Within that is a folder for each exercise: T0001 GIMPtricks for the first, T0002 Layers and Circles for THIS CURRENT exercise, and within those exercise folders I save each effort as GIMPtrickes01, GIMPtricks02, Circles001.xcf, Circles002.xcf, etc, so I may revert back to some previous effort.

I return to GIMPtricks’ channel to see if there is a tutorial to help me move and resize my circles. I intuitively feel that THIS tutorial has something of what I need, but after watching it, I have no clear understanding of how I would use these features to achieve my goal of moving and resizing my circles.

I do see that I can MOVE the entire layer which will effectively move the position of the circle but I have an instinctive desire to return to the drag ability which I experience when I FIRST create the circle. I do not understand why one cannot return to that ability after the circle is created and filled with color. I DO understand that one may simply DELETE a layer such as YELLOW and then recreate it but such an effort seems a very primitive way to control the position and size of the circle.

I am searching and searching for an answer. This link LOOKS AS IF it might be helpful but so far I cannot get any of the suggestions to function:
http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/gimp/

Resizing and Moving Selections

Resizing selections is one of Gimp’s few weak points. In many draw and paint programs you simply drag the selection. It’s not as simple in Gimp. In fact, it’s tough enough that you might want to try extra hard to get the selection exactly right the first time.
Moving a selection

To move a selection, without moving the content it encloses, press the Alt key and drag the selection.
Be aware that dragging a selection moves the actual content contained by the selection. That’s probably not what you want.

Because moving a selection is much easier than resizing one, and because resizing can be done only one side at a time, it’s best to move the selection so one of its corners is in the exact correct place. Then you’ll need to resize at the most 2 sides. If you didn’t move first, you might need to resize 3 or 4 sides. So always move the selection until one of its corners is in the right place. The easiest way to exactly position a corner is to move it close to the correct location at no magnification, then press the equal sign several times so each pixel of movement is obvious, and position it exactly.

To enlarge a selection

The only way to enlarge a selection is to move one side at a time. The side isn’t really moved. Instead, an additional selection is drawn such that the additional selection will be “added” to the edge of the first one. That implys that the second selection must be exactly the same width as the first, and it must be exactly aligned. Exactness implies great (like 8x) magnification. Because Gimp scrolls the screen to accommodate dragging, the magnification is practical.
So here’s the procedure for extending a rectangular selection farther down from the bottom:

Magnify the screen 6-8 times with the = key.
On the toolbox, click the rectangular selection tool ().
Locate the lower left corner of the existing selection.
Place the mouse pointer a few pixels straight up from the bottom left corner, meaning the pointer is on the line defining the left side of the existing selection.
Depress the shift key, and note that the mouse pointer now has a plus sign (+).
Drag several pixels down and to the right. Note that the new selection grows as a square, not as a rectangle.
While still holding the mouse button, release the shift key, and note that you can now drag down or right as you please.
Drag down to the the desired bottom of the grown selection.
Note the exact number that the left hand triangular ruler mark rests on. This is how you will make sure that when you drag right you don’t drag up or down.
Drag right until the right side of the new selection overlays the right side of the original selection.
Drag up or down until the left hand triangular ruler mark rests on the same number as it did when you dragged down the desired distance.
Release the mouse button, and note that you’ve grown the rectangle perfectly.
Reduce the magnification with the minus key (-)
A few comments on the preceding procedure. First, you could have used similar procedures to grow it right, left, or up. Second, in any type of dragging, the rulers on the top and left are your friend. The higher the magnification, the more likely those marks will be exact to the pixel.
To shrink a selection

The procedure to shrink is basically the same, except you use the Ctrl key, which gives the mouse pointer a minus sign, and also you start from the point you want to be the bottom:
Magnify the screen 6-8 times with the = key.
On the toolbox, click the rectangular selection tool ().
Locate the lower left corner of the existing selection.
Move up the left edge of the original selection to the point that should be the new bottom, and place the mouse pointer at that point on the left side of the original rectangle.
Depress the Ctrl key, and note that the mouse pointer now has a minus sign (-).
Drag several pixels down and to the right. Note that the new selection grows as a square, not as a rectangle.
While still holding the mouse button, release the shift key, and note that you can now drag down or right as you please.
Drag down to the the desired bottom of the grown selection.
Drag down until the bottom of the new selection overlays the bottom of the old selection.
Drag right until the right side of the new selection overlays the right side of the original selection.
Release the mouse button, and note that you’ve shrunk the rectangle perfectly.
Reduce the magnification with the minus key (-).

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2 Responses to “GIMP Beginner Exercise in Layers”

  1. GoldenSpirit Says:

    Hey Dio, how are you?
    WHere have you been all the time?

    Greetings

    Golden

  2. Carolyn Says:

    Thanks for the video. It sure made things a lot clearer for me.

    Carolyn

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