GIMP First Steps.

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1 GIMP First Steps Preliminaries Create a folder named GIMP on your C: drive (e.g., C:/GIMP ). In an Firefox web browser enter the URL below: You will see a list of links to image files. Click on the first link (Airplane.jpg). This will show the picture in the browser. Right-click on the image and and select Save Image As from the menu. Save the picture in the C:/GIMP folder you created above. Repeat this process for all images in the list. Editing Images with GIMP 2 When you open GIMP, you will be see a Startup notice, which will be displayed for a few seconds. Three windows will appear when GIMP is ready. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 1

2 The Toolbox The GIMP toolbox has three sections. Tools: icons for the various tools. We will learn about several of these tools in these lessons Color swatches: lets you change the foreground or background color Tool options: this section allows you to choose options for the tool that is active Different Image File Formats Digital images can be saved in different formats that use different types of compression. The file format is specified by the file extension after the period in its name (e.g., Old_Main.jpg is a jpg format file). Compression reduces the size of the file. If no detail in the image is lost during compression, then the scheme is said to be lossless. If detail is lost, then a compression scheme is said to be lossy. In the latter case, the smaller the size of the compressed file, the more the image has been degraded. There are two common file formats used for images on Web pages.gif files and.jpg files. Both of these formats involve lossy compressions. JPEG (.jpg): Files with.jpg compression retain up to16 million colors, but do less well with detail. If you are more interested in subtle variations in colors, a.jpg file is best. Pictures taken with digital cameras usually are.jpg images. GIF (.gif): A.gif file only uses 256 colors, but does retain most of the sharpness and detail of the original image. If you have a picture with text on it, a.gif file is the best to use, because the text often is blurry after a.jpg compression. XCF (.xcf): This is the native GIMP file format. XCF files are not compressed and retain all of the GIMP features. You always should save files in the xcd format when you are working on them in GIMP. When you have completed manipulating the image, you then can save it the format that fits your needs. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 2

3 Opening a File If you need to find one image in a folder that contains several files (as is usually the case), browsing is the best way to find a file. Select File, Open from the main menu. Migrate to the GIMP folder you created on your C: drive and filled with the image files. Double-click on the GreatOaks.jpg image to open it. You will see the image in the Editing window. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 3

4 Saving a File When we work with files in GIMP, we want to save them in the XCF format. XCF files are not compressed and do not degrade when they are saved, even if they have been saved several times. To save the image as a XCF file, choose File, Save As from the main menu. Click on Save File Type (by Extension) Select the XCF extension and click on Save. The file will be saved as GreatOaks.xcf. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 4

5 Rotating an Image by 90 o To better frame a picture, you may hold the camera vertically rather than horizontally. In this case, the initial image will be on its side. We need to rotate the image by 90 o. Select Image, Transform, Rotate 90 o counter-clockwise from the main menu This will orient the image properly. Save the image and close it (File, Close). Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 5

6 Cropping an Image Open the image Old_Main.jpg and save it as Old_Main.xcf, We will improve this image by cropping it removing some of the top, bottom, and sides so that the image is more effective. We want to remove portions of the image so it looks somewhat like the illustration below. We need to remove the wet sidewalk, which detracts from the image. We also need to think about the composition of the picture. One important guideline is the Rule of Thirds. Generally the center if interest should not be centered in the picture. Think of lines dividing the picture into thirds horizontally and vertically. o For example, the straight lines in the picture below. Place the center of interest at the intersection of these lines or lined up with one of these lines. If we crop the picture as illustrated here, the portion of the building not obscured by trees lines up fairly well with the right vertical line. The tower is close to the upper right intersection. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 6

7 To crop the image, select the Crop Tool from the toolbar (the scalpel blade icon). Holding the mouse button down, sweep the cursor over the image so it looks something like the illustration at the right. The bright portion will remain after the cropping and the dark portion will be removed. You can grab the squares on the corners of the cropped image to adjust the dimensions of the cropped area. When you have adjusted the cropped area to your satisfaction, double-click on the image to crop it. Save the cropped image as Old_Main.xcf and Close it. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 7

8 Freely Rotating an Image A not uncommon problem in photography is a picture with a horizon that is not quite level. A tilted image usually is due to one of two things: The camera was not held quite at the correct angle when the picture was shot. A picture or slide was not oriented properly in the scanner when it was scanned. Luckily a non-level horizon can be corrected by freely rotating the digital image. Open Horizon.jpg, which is a rather extreme example of a tilted image. It is so badly tilted that it looks like the cars are going downhill and the trees all are slanted. We would like to rotate the image so that the horizon is level. Save this file as an.xcf file. Before we rotate the image, we will superimpose a grid over the image so we can tell when the horizon is horizontal.choose View, Show Grid from the main menu. You will see a grid superimposed on the image. Select the Rotate tool in the Toolbox. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 8

9 In the Tool Options section choose the following settings: Direction = Corrective (Backward) Preview = Grid Click the mouse cursor inside the image. You will see a second grid superimposed over the image with a circle in its center. Grab the grid by placing the cursor over the image and holding the mouse down. Move the grid until it is parallel with the road on the image. When you have the grid positioned where you want it, click on Rotate in the information box that appeared when you clicked on the grid. Uncheck View Grid so the grid is not visible. Notice that there now are transparent sections on the corners of the picture, which were added when the picture was rotated. This is normal. If you look at the picture above, you will see that the grid lines extend beyond the image. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 9

10 Use what you have learned in the previous section to crop the image and remove the transparent sections. Save the image and close it. Practice Exercise: Open WindowDisplay.jpg and save it as WindowDisplay.xcf. Improve the image by rotating and crop it. Undoing Things That You Have Done If you are unhappy with an operation you just used, click on Edit, Undo the reverse this operation. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 10

11 If you would like to reverse an earlier operation, click on Edit, Undo History. This will display various states of the image in the right window. Clicking on Base Image, for example, will return you to the original image before it was rotated. Zooming In and Out on a Picture You can magnify or reduce the size of an image with the Zoom tool. The icon for the zoom tool is a magnifying glass in the Toolbox. When the Zoom tool has been selected, the cursor looks like a magnifying glass when it is over the image. Clicking on the image will zoom in on (magnify) the image Clicking on the image with the Ctrl key pressed will zoom out on (reduce the size of) the image. Open the Old_Main.xcf image and try the Zoom tool. Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 11

12 NOTE: The Zoom Tool does NOT change the actual size of the image file. It just magnifies or reduces what you see on the screen. When you magnify an image, you may no longer be able to see all of it within the image area. You can move the visible portion of the image around with the slider bars. Practice Problems Before you go on to the next lesson, plan how you would improve the following images and then make the improvements. 1. CountryChurch.jpg 2. Pisa.jpg 3. Lawrence.jpg 4. ChopWood.jpg (crop the photo to tighten up the image and put the man more in line with the Rule of Thirds) Lesson 1 GIMP First Steps 12

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