Posts Tagged ‘GIMP’

Why GIMP? Why not Photoshop?

June 6, 2010

Well, Gimp is TOTALLY free! Photoshop costs something like $800 PLUS about $200 per year for UPGRADES. GIMP is said to be only 2 or 3 releases behind the abilities of Photoshop at any given time. GIMP is likely to be around forever whereas proprietary Photoshop might in theory be BOUGHT out and then shelved or radically changed. Also, GIMP offers the ability to install it on a Thumb-Flash-USB drive and use it on ANY computer. GIMP has a much smaller footprint than Photoshop and demands less computer speed and resources. Also, a majority of photographers only use a fraction of what is available in Photoshop. Some are well advised to purchase PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS rather than full Photoshop and thereby save hundreds of dollars. But, if GIMP can do it all or most of it then who needs Photoshop? And there are TONS of tutorials and how-to guides for GIMP as well as IRC chat channels and message boards.

It is true that Photoshop implements Pantone Colors which are proprietary and Gimp cannot implement Pantone if it is to remain open source. Furthermore, some professional MUST have the Pantone Color ability.


GIMPTRICKS – making cartoon text balloons

June 5, 2010

Moving and resizing in GIMP

June 4, 2010

Addendum at 3:59pm gmt -5

I just found this link to a tutorial which seems to be helping me:

Here is the passage which helps me to understand:

Some common rules for tools and selections

With the comand “ctrl + i” (or with the menu selection -> invert) you can invert a selection.
You can make a selection invisible while keeping it active, very practical because you won’t be distracted by the dotted line and you can concentrate on the retouch. Use the command “ctrl+t”
You can shrink a selection: hold down ctrl and define the section you want to remove with any of the drawing tools. The defined section will be removed from the original selection
Much in the same way, you can add to a selection by holding down the “shift”. (both of these work with the fuzzy selection tool)
You can “unselect” everyting with the command “ctrl + shift + a”.
You can move a selection with the “alt” key pressed, otherwise you cut the picture.
You can modify a selection, enlarge it, reduce it, soften it, refine it…

I just successfully posted the following to GIMPtricks tutorial on GIMP

Yesterday, Youtube would not allow me to post for some reason. I think it is necessary for me to view COMMENTS and then to post from there.

MY BIGGEST PROBLEM AT THIS VERY MOMENT IS UNDERSTANDING HOW TO TELL GIMP TO STOP doing whatever I had been doing with ellipse or lasso select and to simply revert to the way it is when I first open it (other than closing all abandoning changes and then reopening.)

I feel confident that if I persistently bang my head against this GIMP wall for enough hours, days, weeks, months, I shall eventually assemble the set of basic skills and understandings to begin to make some progress.

I viewed this yesterday in hopes of learning how to MOVE AND RESIZE a colored circle after I have created it. My chief difficulty is understanding how properly SELECT the circle. Yesterday youtube would not let me post comment. I see that I can move and rotate the LAYER itself and wonder if that is the answer to moving the image or should one seek to move image WITHIN the layer. But still I wonder if there is an easy way to RESIZE. Thanks!

Another problem I notice is that once I select a tool such as LASSO free select, I have no idea how to UNSELECT everything and stop the little line from following the cursor about (I have no idea how to UNSELECT DESELECT the tool other than to close all and discard changes and then reopen).


I cannot understand how to UNSELECT all tools once I have something selected. My only recourse is to close all , abandoning changes, and then reopen.

I start by loading the full-sized image into gimp. But I’ll need
to work with both the full sized version and a scaled-down copy,
so the first step is Image->Duplicate to make a second copy.
(Of course, I could also use cp in the shell, then open that
file in gimp.) Then I scale the copy much smaller, 550 pixels wide.

The next step is to go back to the original image and select the
kayakers. I’ll use the simplest selection tool for this: the
rectangular selection tool, the very first tool in the gimp toolbox.
(It’s probably already selected by default when you start gimp.)

Go to the large image, and select as though you were using the
Crop tool: start at the upper left of the area you want, mouse down,
and drag down to the lower right. Gimp will draw lines to show you
the box while you’re dragging out the selection, and when you release
the mouse button, the selection is shown by a black-and-white dashed
line where the blacks and whites continuously change. In gimp
parlance, this line is called the “marching ants”.

Gimp’s selection tools aren’t as smart as crop, so you can’t change
a selection’s size easily once you’ve made it. (You can move it;
I’ll talk about that later.) So if the selection you made isn’t quite
right, click somewhere outside the marching-ants box (this will cancel
the selection) then try again, until you get the selection where you
want it. (Be careful about clicking inside the selection: if you
click inside a selection then drag, gimp moves the contents of the
selection and leaves a white rectangle behind, which is almost never
what you want. If this happens accidentally, Undo will fix it.)

When you have a selection, lots of things act a little differently in
gimp. Most filters (for instance, the brightness tools discussed in
lesson 2) will only act on the selection, not the rest of the image;
and most drawing tools won’t draw outside the selection. We’ll use
that for some useful effects later.

For now, though, what I want to do is copy the selection from the
big image, then paste it into the small image. So I copy it:
Edit->Copy, or just ctrl-C.

Now I can go to the small image, and paste it: Edit->Paste, or ctrl-V.

GIMP – Selecting and resizing Objects

June 3, 2010

I decided to make this a separate blog.

The following link seems to have some helpful hints (elementary things one should know):

The GIMPtricks tutorial on LAYERS (using colored circles) is what sent me on this quest. IS there some way to select, move and resize a colored circle after it has been created.

A second question comes to mind: WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF LAYERS THAT ONE MAY CREATE in GIMP? Is there no limit? I can see how one might achieve a composite image using a composite of a multitude of layers. Obviously, I can experiment with creating dummy layers and see if I reach a limit. I am google searching on the question and not coming up with any answers.

The following link shows me how to DRAW a circle in a transparent layer using STROKE SELECTION. The color will be the color selected for the FOREGROUND. Once the circle has been painted, the question is whether that image can ever be reselected and changed in size and position.

A corollary question is: Can MOVING an image be as simple as moving the layer around?

Is it theoretically possible to have say 1000 layers for 1000 components of an image?

My first lesson in GIMP image editor

June 1, 2010

Posted to youtube: This tutorial is VERY helpful. One suggestion: Where you mention ALPHA TO SELECTION it sounds like you are saying some exotic French word like “marchinent.” It took me an hour in Google to find a GIMP glossary which explained that you are actually saying “MARCHING ANTS” … so if you put a little pop-up in the video, then that confusion will be removed. But I watched your FAQ so I know you are overwhelmed with things to do.

NOTE: I have one other question. In the middle of the tutorial, you hover over one of the layer icons at the right and IT SUDDENLY ENLARGES. How do you make it enlarge briefly so that it is more readible?

ANSWER: I found my answer to the above question. If I left click on one of the right-most LAYER icons and HOLD down on the mouse button it enlarges.

I have a Twitter account called ReadGreatBooks which I never follow. It is automatically fed by my PLURK posts.

But now I have started following:


Miss Tricks | The Netherlands

because she is the author of a wonderful beginners tutorial on GIMP.

I am blogging this to say “Thanks” and also to relate my amusing experience (below.) I will create a tiny url of this blog post and post it in her Twitter: GIMPtricks

GIMP is a free open source image editing program which can do everything that Photoshop (proprietary $800) can do.

Here is her tutorial in Youtube:

Her English is excellent but there was one mystifying phrase which sounded like “marchients.”

Here is what I posted in Facebook:

Cant make out what she is saying.. around 4 minutes 53 seconds into the video..”I am going to be making a SELECTION around the text … clicking ALPHA TO SELECTION” … “its called a MAR-TI-ENS [this M word is what I cannot quite make out].” So if anyone plays this tutorial and can recognize this mysterious word and write it out as a comment, I would be much obliged. I the course of futile searching I did discover that a search on “ALPHA TO SELECTION” yields a number of other GIMP tutorial pages.

I searched and searched in Google, mostly on “ALPHA TO SELECTION” (which by the way yields many other useful tutorials).

I decided to search for GIMP GLOSSARY in hopes of discovering this mystifying term.

Here is the Glossary which unlocked the secret of the “MARCHING ANTS” –

Marching Ants –
The name for the dotted line which delineates a selection.

P.S. to Giri Alam on Facebook:

As I remember you are a big Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) fan. In the USA the job ads ask for experience in proprietary software such as Photoshop, Adobe In Design, Illustrator, etc. But as I will never be able to afford the $800 I decided I should just plunge in with the open source GIMP (and Scribus publishing software). It sounds like GIMP remains several releases behind Photoshop, but that just means I am using the Photoshop of several years ago. Switzerland and other countries have standardized on Linux for their school systems. I imagine that countries like India and Indonesia as well as African nations will make the Open Source choice for various practical as well as aesthetic reasons. I have even found links on how to make GIMP look and feel like Photoshop (to WEAN people away!) The fact that Gimp can be automated and customized with 3rd party plugins and Perl scripts seems like a big plus.
5:22pm GMT-5

I have watched the tutorial about 20 times, and have redone the project 6 times in an effort to really understand and remember what must be done in the exercise.

Here are the cheat notes that I need to jog my memory:

text border
right click
alpha selection
grow (by 2 pixels)
click on text border layer
change foreground color to white
click on BUCKET FILL icon
click on text image GIMPTRICKS
select NONE (to see results)
to add drop shadow
Light & Shadow
Drop Shadow (untick resizing box)
create a new layer called BORDER
select all
select SHRINK (20 pixels)

I will continue to repeat this exercise until I do not have to look at any notes.


What is actually happening when I click on the TEXT layer and click ALPHA SELECT (and then click on the text border layer…) I suppose I am PASTING what has been selected into the text border layer, but I am not certain.