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Old 06-17-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default Answered: GIMP help?

I just downloaded GIMP and I really need help working it.
Please give me some tips on how to work it and make cool stuff

Thanks (:

Kristen
krislia is offline Female
Best Answer - Posted by Hedgie
Oh my gosh, I couldn't find any tutorials on using the basic interface and tools . There are tutorials for MS Paint on that stuff *sigh*. I don't completely remember what's in GIMP, because my computer won't let me start up mine, but I know it's similar to Photoshop, so I'll run through what I can.

Putting aside the basics, like using brushes and creating a new document, there are multiple useful tools I can think of.

The selection tools:

GIMP should have several tools for selecting certain parts of an image, they are as follows; the freeform lasso, the polygonal lasso, the magic wand, and probably some basic selection shapes like a circle and a square. The lasso tools are the most accurate manual way to select an image, because you pretty much draw around the area with them. I personally prefer the polygonal lasso, because the freeform one, even with my tablet, wiggles around a lot and causes a messy selection. The magic wand is a non-manual selection tool; basically, the computer wil determine where to select based on what the "tolerance" level is set to. A high tolerance level will select more, and a lower will select less. The selection tools will likely also have a "feather" option. Feather softens the edges of your selection, which can be used for all sorts of things, but generally I don't feather more than 1 pixel unless I've got something particular in mind.

The gradient tool:

The gradient tool basically creates a blend of colors, depending on what gradient you have selected. You drag the mouse to determine where your gradient will appear; the start and end point of where your mouse dragged will be the starta nd end point of the gradient, except in the case of the linear gradient, which will go from the edge of the document to the end point of your mouse drag. There are several types of gradients; linear, radial, diamond, reflected, and angle (or there is in Photoshop anyway). Linear has already been explained, radial craetes a circle, the start and end are determined by your mouse drag. Diamond is similair, only a different shape. Reflected creates a line across the document, and the thickness is determined you where you dragged your mouse. I can't explain angle, because I haven't used it enough, but odds are, you won't either. The gradient color is determined by the color you chose, or if you select a pre-colored gradient, like the "rainbow" gradients, then that will be the color.

The Pen Tool:


You might not use this if you don't plan on drawing, but I'll explain it anyway. You click to create "points" for the pen line to follow. Dragging the mouse around (without letting go) after making a point will let you change the angle of the line an make it curve in various directions, much like the curvy line tool in MS Paint, only fancier. Once you're finished with making the pen outline, you have to tell it to "stroke" along the line (I don't know how to find that in Gimp, but in Photoshop I usually left click on the image to get the Pen Tool options). It may have a "simulate pressure" option, which narrows the ends of he line, but usually I find it does a messy job of it, and don't use that feature often.

Layers:

These are extremely critical, and frequently forgotten, because Gimp doesn't have an obvious way to view them. To acess them I go to "Dialogs > Layers". Creating multiple layers allows you to work on one layer without harming anything on the other layer, thus reducing time needed to fix up messes. Remember that you can always merge layers together later, so if your'e uncertain, making another layer will never hurt.

Pasting:

This is usually a simple function, but I just thought I'd run through it anyway, because Gimp is a little abnormal when it comes to pasting in images or parts of images. It will effectively create a "floating layer", that can be pasted and moved around, but nothign else until it is "anchored". This will be visible when you have the layer pallette open. To anchor the floating layer, you just press the anchor shaped button in the layer pallette. The layer will anchor to the regular layer below it; if you want it on a different layer, create a new one while it is still floating, and it will automatically anchor to the new layer.

Layer Masks:

These can be a little complex, and unfortunately I only learned about them after my Gimp stopped working, so I can't say for sure if they exist in Gimp or not. If they do, they are extremely helpful in multiple ways; there and two common ways I use them. Way number one: you can choose to reveal or hide a certain part of the image. Layer masks are applied to the layer you create them for, and can be used to modify images in certain ways without causing any change to the image itself. So, if you deleted them, it would be as if the image had never changed at all. To reveal or hide certain parts of the image, first sue the seelction tools to make a selection, then it should give you the option to reveal or hide that selected part of the image upon creating the layer mask. The second way I use them is to "blend" images. Layer masks work in black and white; black will hide parts of the image, and white will reveal it. This technique is commonly used (at least in Photoshop) to make images appear to fade into each other. If you're going for signatures, banners, avatars, etc. then you'll find this technique ideal, but even when drawing it can prove indispensable. The best way to fade the images is to use a black to transparent gradient on the layer mask. If you make a mistake and drag the gradient too far, you may either undo it, or use a white to transparent gradient to reverse the process.


That's all I could think of in terms of the basics . Hopefully that's sufficient. The rest is pretty much practice, and Googling tutorials if you have something very specific in mind. Feel free to PM me if you need any further help.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: GIMP help?

I found this site and think it will help you out: GIMP - Tutorials

I do not have the program so this is all I could do. Best of luck!
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: GIMP help?

If you go to the official GIMP site, gimp.org, they have a bunch of info you might find interesting. I am learning too. Conatact me, and we can learn together! Lolz

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Old 06-18-2009, 12:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: GIMP help?

I don't use GIMP, but I did teach myself how to use my program (Paint Shop Pro) just by googling for tutorials. I learned almost everything I know about making graphics that way. Google 'GIMP tutorials' and add in the addition you're using...I bet you'll find tons of great tutorials for GIMP since it's a popular program. Hope that helps at least somewhat.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: GIMP help?

i don't use Gimp i have it but don't use it... try Lunapic.com...does the same stuff but user friendly
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: GIMP help?

Oh my gosh, I couldn't find any tutorials on using the basic interface and tools . There are tutorials for MS Paint on that stuff *sigh*. I don't completely remember what's in GIMP, because my computer won't let me start up mine, but I know it's similar to Photoshop, so I'll run through what I can.

Putting aside the basics, like using brushes and creating a new document, there are multiple useful tools I can think of.

The selection tools:

GIMP should have several tools for selecting certain parts of an image, they are as follows; the freeform lasso, the polygonal lasso, the magic wand, and probably some basic selection shapes like a circle and a square. The lasso tools are the most accurate manual way to select an image, because you pretty much draw around the area with them. I personally prefer the polygonal lasso, because the freeform one, even with my tablet, wiggles around a lot and causes a messy selection. The magic wand is a non-manual selection tool; basically, the computer wil determine where to select based on what the "tolerance" level is set to. A high tolerance level will select more, and a lower will select less. The selection tools will likely also have a "feather" option. Feather softens the edges of your selection, which can be used for all sorts of things, but generally I don't feather more than 1 pixel unless I've got something particular in mind.

The gradient tool:

The gradient tool basically creates a blend of colors, depending on what gradient you have selected. You drag the mouse to determine where your gradient will appear; the start and end point of where your mouse dragged will be the starta nd end point of the gradient, except in the case of the linear gradient, which will go from the edge of the document to the end point of your mouse drag. There are several types of gradients; linear, radial, diamond, reflected, and angle (or there is in Photoshop anyway). Linear has already been explained, radial craetes a circle, the start and end are determined by your mouse drag. Diamond is similair, only a different shape. Reflected creates a line across the document, and the thickness is determined you where you dragged your mouse. I can't explain angle, because I haven't used it enough, but odds are, you won't either. The gradient color is determined by the color you chose, or if you select a pre-colored gradient, like the "rainbow" gradients, then that will be the color.

The Pen Tool:


You might not use this if you don't plan on drawing, but I'll explain it anyway. You click to create "points" for the pen line to follow. Dragging the mouse around (without letting go) after making a point will let you change the angle of the line an make it curve in various directions, much like the curvy line tool in MS Paint, only fancier. Once you're finished with making the pen outline, you have to tell it to "stroke" along the line (I don't know how to find that in Gimp, but in Photoshop I usually left click on the image to get the Pen Tool options). It may have a "simulate pressure" option, which narrows the ends of he line, but usually I find it does a messy job of it, and don't use that feature often.

Layers:

These are extremely critical, and frequently forgotten, because Gimp doesn't have an obvious way to view them. To acess them I go to "Dialogs > Layers". Creating multiple layers allows you to work on one layer without harming anything on the other layer, thus reducing time needed to fix up messes. Remember that you can always merge layers together later, so if your'e uncertain, making another layer will never hurt.

Pasting:

This is usually a simple function, but I just thought I'd run through it anyway, because Gimp is a little abnormal when it comes to pasting in images or parts of images. It will effectively create a "floating layer", that can be pasted and moved around, but nothign else until it is "anchored". This will be visible when you have the layer pallette open. To anchor the floating layer, you just press the anchor shaped button in the layer pallette. The layer will anchor to the regular layer below it; if you want it on a different layer, create a new one while it is still floating, and it will automatically anchor to the new layer.

Layer Masks:

These can be a little complex, and unfortunately I only learned about them after my Gimp stopped working, so I can't say for sure if they exist in Gimp or not. If they do, they are extremely helpful in multiple ways; there and two common ways I use them. Way number one: you can choose to reveal or hide a certain part of the image. Layer masks are applied to the layer you create them for, and can be used to modify images in certain ways without causing any change to the image itself. So, if you deleted them, it would be as if the image had never changed at all. To reveal or hide certain parts of the image, first sue the seelction tools to make a selection, then it should give you the option to reveal or hide that selected part of the image upon creating the layer mask. The second way I use them is to "blend" images. Layer masks work in black and white; black will hide parts of the image, and white will reveal it. This technique is commonly used (at least in Photoshop) to make images appear to fade into each other. If you're going for signatures, banners, avatars, etc. then you'll find this technique ideal, but even when drawing it can prove indispensable. The best way to fade the images is to use a black to transparent gradient on the layer mask. If you make a mistake and drag the gradient too far, you may either undo it, or use a white to transparent gradient to reverse the process.


That's all I could think of in terms of the basics . Hopefully that's sufficient. The rest is pretty much practice, and Googling tutorials if you have something very specific in mind. Feel free to PM me if you need any further help.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: GIMP help?

You could ask Foreign here on WI, I know she uses it

Good luck!

Haha, I'm downloading it right now...
I guess we'll both have to learn how to use it!

Last edited by dotdotduck; 06-18-2009 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: GIMP help?

I think I figured it out!
But thanks anyways guys, reps for all
krislia is offline Female
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