Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas GIMPing

School finished yesterday for the year and within an hour of that I was told – “I haven’t bothered you cause I know you were busy but I want our Christmas Cards done like last year. I have a Christmas picture and I want our faces put into it.”
This was a time for GIMP again I figured. Last year this exercise taught me about layers but I remember that I had trouble with resizing moving images around inside of a layer. I was concerned that I had not used a graphics program much during the year – how much would I remember?
Well it was a piece of cake and this year I have the moving and resizing of layers down pat. I had some issues with resizing a brush so I made a new one – easy as. This brush could very easily be modified. I also discovered the clone tool and used it to advantage.
I am still very happy with GIMP as my primary graphics editor


  • At 3:19 pm, Blogger Jason Plunkett said…

    As far as selection tools go, how did you find selecting "unusual shapes" for example a human body. In photoshop you would make use of the magnetic lasso. I have been unable to find an equivelant tool in GIMP.

  • At 7:21 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    'photoshop', 'magnetic lasso' - are these real words or are they made up?

    I do not have a strong background in graphics. I selected rectangles and resized then. I used an eraser tool to remove the background to transparency where needed. I did see a lasso tool but have not tried it.

    Doing a quick search of the GIMP help files I found this

    The Fuzzy Select (Magic Wand) tool is designed to select areas of the current layer or image based on color similarity. It starts selecting when you click at a spot in the image, and expands outward like water flooding low-lying areas, selecting contiguous pixels whose colors are similar to the starting pixel. You can control the threshold of similarity by dragging the mouse downward or to the right: the farther you drag it, the larger the selected region.

    The Wand is a good tool for selecting objects with sharp edges. It is fun to use, so beginners often start out using it a lot.

    Well, I'm a beginner and I haven't used it. Giving it a quick go though, it seems to work better on solid more uniform objects. Hmm, might play with this a bit more but I must acknowledge that I got the job done quite easily and well without it.

    Thanks for the clue Jason.

  • At 8:56 am, Blogger Jason Plunkett said…

    The Magnetic lasso if different to the magic wand. As you suggested the magic wand selects areas that are similar in colour.

    The Magnetic lasso is a very clever tool, similar to the regular lasso. Instead of needing a steady hand to trace around the shape however, you only need to be in the relative vicinity.

    Where you said you used the eraser, you could make the same selection, and remove the background in a much shorter amount of time.

    I see selection tools as a very important step in graphic manipulation.

    I guess the magnestic lasso could be seen as a bell or whistle, but I believe anything that reduces laborious tasks as a good thing. (you can move onto the really creative tasks then!)

    My issue at the moment with the GIMP is the amount of time it takes to produce a piece of work.

    I had a student from our magazine committee evaluate it for me. As selection tools are a large part of the work they do this was the first tool that she missed.


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