Archive: A GIMP Tutorial

Discussion in 'The Academy' started by jon-monon, Oct 13, 2003.

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  1. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    In the Corel Draw thread, we were discussing a drawing program called the GIMP. From the GIMPs web site, I'll paste in the description, then the part of the thread that got onto the GIMP discussion:



    TC - if you want to get an updated program, without shelling out all that hard earned clown money, you might check out The GIMP. The GIMP for Windows is darned near as good as the original Linux version.. The GIMP is a professional grade graphics program and the gold standard for such programs in the Linux world. Hollywood has been using it for animations for a long time. Shrek comes to mind, but they also have used it for special effects in regular movies too. It's the only drawing program I use. The only drawback of the Windows version I've discovered is it won't do gifs without a plugin. This is documented on the website, and a download is offered. Read up and enjoy!

    The Windows Installer is here, but check in at the above links too.;)

    There is also the GIMP Users Manual on-line:

    GUM
  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Now, I'll begin the tutorial, with a brief explanation of the tool box. The best thing to do would be to get the GIMP and install it, so you can practice and play with what you learn. Links are on the first post of this thread.

    When you open the GIMP, you get a splash screen followed by one or more small windows. This one is the main window, which I call the toolbox:

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  3. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Before going into the tools, you should open an image to work with. You could start with a blank image, but a real image would be more fun. If you don't have one somewhere on your computer, you can right click on an image on the web and save it. Just remember where it is.

    Then, to open it in the GIMP, click on "File" at the top of the main window (the toolbox) and select open. It will look a little different, because it's a Linux program, ported to windows, but your directories are on the left and files on the right. If you double click a directory, it will open up on the left. Double clicking ..\ will go up a directory. Don't worry, this is about the hardest part. Navigate to your image, and click it when you see it on the right. It's name should appear on the bottom of the window, and if you click "generate preview" it will create a thumbnail for you. Click OK to open it.

    If the image you opened is of any value, you should now save it under a new name: On the image, right click and select "File" then "save as" from the menu. At the bottom, yoiu will see the name of the image, you can just edit it to temp.jpg or such.

    I'll go left to right, top to bottom amd tell you what I know about each of these tools. Some of this knowledge will fit in a very small place. Not all the tools are shown in the toolbox, but the more common ones are. Hovering the mouse over a tool in the toolbox will offer a brief descritpion of the tool.

    The top six are all selection tools and do similar taks, each in a differetn way. The purpose of each is to select an area within an image to perform some task on, such as cut, paste, darken, lighten, or apply some enhancment filter. It's much like selecting text in a word processor.

    On the top left, is the (1) Rectangular Selection Tool. If you click on it and then click and hold on a drawing, you can move it and it draws a rectangle until you release, and hopefully the rectangle is over the area you want selected. With little practice, it will.

    The next, top center, is the (2) Elliptical Selection Tool, it works the same, but draws a circle.

    On the top right, is the (3) Freehand Selection Tool. It also works the same, but allows you to draw any shape you want.

    As an example of what you can do with a selection tool, use the Rectangular Selection Tool, or another if you like, and select an area (click the image holding the mouse button, then drag a rectangle across part ofhte drawing). Then right click on the selected area, and from the menu, choose "edit" then "cut". Now you see why we saved it as temp.jpg! ctrl+Z (undo) will put it back :)

    The next three selection tools are more advanced, powerful, and take some practice to use and understand. The fuzzy selection tool (aka the magic wand), works very well to automatically select an area of higher contrast, such as a silloette of a person. Click it to select it and try it on your image, just cleck here and there and see what it does.

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  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Now were on the thrid row down, the (7) Move Tool, looks like a 4 way lug wrench with arrows. If you select an area with a select tool, as we covered above, you can use this tool to move that selection around. Click the tool to select it, then over the selected area, click and hold the mouse button, move hte selection to where you want it, and release.

    Next to that, the (8) Zoom/Magnify Tool, just zooms in. I never use it, I just use hte "+" and "-" keys (unshifted) to soom in and out as needed. % of zoom is shown on the top of the drawing window.

    To the far right is the (9) crop/resize tool. It works like a rectangular select tool, but when you draw your rectangle, it opens a seperate dialog box, and if you click crop, it lops off the area outside the rectangle.

    The rest of the tools get more fun. The next one is the (10)Transform Tool. This is used for Rotation, Scaling, Shearing and Perspective. If you select an area, click it using this tool, it will look a little different, then you can grab a corner with the mouse pointer and rotate it. Again a dialog box opens and you can commit the change by clicking rotate.

    The (11) Flip Tool, the double arrowed gizmo just flips the selected area or the whole image around backwards. Click hte image once, you flip it around backwards, click it again, and it goes back.

    The last tool for tonight is the (12) Text Tool. Select this tool, then click on the drawing where you want the text. A window opens up where you pick a font and size, then type something in. Clcik OK and it appears on the drawing. You can then use the (7) MoveTool, to locate exactly where you want the text. Clicking off the text "anchors" it.

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  5. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    Before getting too carried away, I should probably mention there's a GIMP Users Manual on-line:

    GUM

    And an on-line tutorial should be on it's way too.

    Those who wonder why they should consider the GIMP over another program, may want to look at the chapter called "Don't Underestimate The Power Of Gimp..."

    [​IMG]
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    The (13) Color Picker Tool, looks like a eye dropper, and after you select it, you can grab any color from an image by just clicking it. Very useful. After you click it, it becomes the color of you paint or ink. If you image is greyscale, it becomes the shade.

    The (14) Bucket Fill Tool is the oposit of the Color Picker Tool, if you click a selected area, it fills it up with your current ink/paint color. Also very useful.

    The (15) Blend Tool fills an area witha color gradient, much like, The (14) Bucket Fill Tool but not a solid color.

    The (16) Pencil Tool draws sharp lines like a pencil
  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    With the introduction of the drawing tools (i.e. pencil tool), it is a good time to note the other windows that may have opened by the program, namely the brush selection window. If you do not see it, or if you have closed it, you can right click the image you have open, and on the menu that opens, select Dialog, then brushes. 99% of the time you would select one of the dots or fuzzy dots. Usually medium or smaller ones are about right for me.

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  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    The (17) Paintbrush Tool, appears to me to work the same as the Pencil, but it is said to "paint fuzzy brush strokes". Perhaps if you mess with the setting it will.

    The (18) Eraser Tool, works like an eraser! It will erase any part of the drawing. It takes it down to the background, which defaults to white, but can be set differently.

    The (19) Airbrush Tool, works like an air brush, grdually coloring the area being sprayed. Hold it in one place and it will become solid there, like if it were brushed on.

    The (20) Clone Tool, looks like a camera. I haven't used it much, but I have some. It seems like a powerful tool, and I'll get into it more later.

    The (21) Blur/Sharpen Tool, works like a blur/sharpen filter, but only where you apply it. Used like a paint brush, it's even effected by brush selection. It does an awesome job if you rub it on modeled bricks or an LPB. LPB will grow a face outa nowhere! I'll demonstrate it later too.

    The (22) Ink Tool, looks like an old fountain pen, and works like one! It draws in varying widths.

    The (23) Dodge/Burn Tool works like dodging and burning in a darkroom, darkening or lightening an area, depending which you have it set to.

    The (24) Smudge tool is invaluable for smoothing out edges of images pasted onto another image. Like if you were to copy/paste an 11th finger onto a picture of your hand, so you could be just like me! It works as if you are smudging wet ink or paint with you finger. Also nice to hide unwanted blemishes, spots, etc.

    Last (whew) The (25) Measure Tool works to measure the distance between two points in pixels. Never used it; I just eyeball it off the rulers at the margins.

    When opening the tools, you may see a Tool Options window. It has settings for most tools, and sometimes it is manditory to operate the tool. For example, The (21) Blur/Sharpen Tool is set to either blur or sharpen in this dialog. There are often slide bar settings and options that might not seem to mean much, but htey can just be played with to see what happens. All of these have a "reset" button, which sets the particular tool back to factory default. If you don't see the window, just right click the drawing, select "dialogs" then "Tool Options..."

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