Category Archive How To Get It Done

Gimp Beginner – Straight Line, Circle

This tutorial shows you how you can create straight lines and circles with GIMP. Using the shift key a straight line can be drawn, instead of relying on the imprecision of the mouse. A perfect circle can be drawn by setting the aspect ratio of an ellipse.

  1. Lets start by creating a new file. Open up Gimp, A window titled GNU Manipulation Program as seen below should pop up.
    Gimp - GNU Manipulation Program
  2. In the upper left hand corner click on File then New… The following window appears.
    Gimp - Create New image
    I just left the settings at 640×480 pixels because that should be all we need for this tutorial, if you plan on making something more high resolution or of different dimensions you can adjust these settings. Click OK and you will have your work space.
  3. To draw a straight line click on the pencil Icon in the toolbox, place the pointer over the white surface and place a dot where desired.
    Gimp - Toolbox Tool Options Pencil
    Gimp - Workspace Pencil
  4. After placing the dot move your cursor to the desired end point, hold shift and click to place a line.
    Gimp - Workspace Draw Line
  5. The thickness and different effects for line creation can be adjusted in the “tool options” Pane on the left hand side located in the tool box. See how adjusting the thickness to 7 made a thinner line?
    Gimp - Toolbox Tool Options Pencil
    Gimp - Workspace Line Thickness
  6. Now to create a perfect circle! Instead of having the pencil selected, you’ll want to change to the ellipse select tool in the toolbox. To make it a perfect circle, in the tool options part of the toolbox you’ll want to check fixed aspect ratio.
    Gimp - Toolbox Tool Options Ellipse
    Gimp - Toolbox Tool Options Circle
  7. Click and drag in your drawing area until you create a circle of the desired size, and release the mouse button.
    Gimp - Workspace Draw Circle
  8. You should be left with a moving dotted line marking where your circle will be.
    To fill the circle with color, leave the circle selected and go up to the top row and choose Select, then choose selection editor.
    Gimp - Workspace Fill Circle
  9. After opening the selection editor you’ll want to select the paintbrush in the lower right hand corner.
    Gimp - Workspace Fill Circle Paint Brush
  10. After opening the choose stroke style window you may adjust the settings which will adjust thickness, color, style and other more advanced options. Click stroke to draw your circle.
    Gimp - Workspace Paint Brush Stroke Style
  11. Exit out of the selection editor and click outside of your circle to deselect it, and you have your circle!
    Gimp - Workspace Paint Brush Stroke Style Circle

A straight line, a circle, hey no problem and you thought this was going to be as painful as going to the dentist.

Gimp Beginner – Complex Shapes

This tutorial shows you how you can create filled squares, circles and free form complex shapes with GIMP. Using the toolbox options we can control whether we have a rectangle or square and similarly an ellipse or circle. The toolbox also helps us pick the fill color for any shape.

  1. Lets start by creating a new file. Open up Gimp, A window titled GNU Manipulation Program as seen below should pop up.
    Gimp - GNU Manipulation Program
  2. In the upper left hand corner click on File then New… The following window appears.
    Gimp - Create New image
    I changed the settings from 640×400 to 800×800 to have a larger work surface. If you plan on making something more high resolution or of different dimensions you can adjust these settings. Click OK and you will have your work space.
  3. We’ll start by drawing a solid square and a solid circle. To start with a square you’ll need to select the “rectangular select tool” as seen below.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options rectangle
  4. If you would like to draw a perfect square select the check box marked “fixed aspect ratio” in the toolbox tool options further down where the tap labeled “tool options” is located.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options square
  5. Click and drag the left mouse button to create a square of the size you desire, you may also uncheck the “fixed aspect ratio” box to create a rectangular shape.
    Gimp - Workspace draw square
  6. To fill in the selected rectangle or square click on the “bucket fill tool” as seen below in the toolbox.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options fill.
    You may select the color you wish to paint your square by clicking on the large black box located on the bottom of this image or the middle of the toolbox.
  7. After you have selected your color you may now fill in your shape, click once with the paint bucket inside of your square selection to fill it with color.
    Gimp - Workspace draw square and fill.
    To deselect, click on the “rectangular select tool” once more and click outside of your square in the white area once to deselect the square.
  8. To draw a circle repeat the technique learned above but instead of using the “rectangular select tool” use the “ellipse select tool” as shown. Be sure to check “fixed aspect ratio” if you desire a perfect circle.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options bucket fill.
    Now we have a circle and a square.
    Gimp - Workspace fill circle and square.
  9. Now let’s draw something a little more complex, a horseshoe shape, just for demonstration’s sake. To begin select the “free select tool”.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options free form select.
  10. Begin drawing your desired shape. To get a straight line click once and release, and move your mouse to the desired next point. To get a free form line click and drag the mouse in the desired pattern, when you’ve outlined everything click back on the starting point to select the shape.
    Gimp - Workspace draw free form.
    I used a combination of straight and free form lines to create a horse shoe shape, where the lines look less neat is where the freeform was. Which is a problem with free drawing with a computer mouse, it’s not very accurate and it’s very easy to make mistakes.
  11. Let’s finish by filling the horseshoe in with the same techniques we used to fill the square and circle. With the “bucket fill tool”.
    Gimp - Toolbox tool options bucket fill.
  12. Select a color by clicking the black box on the bottom of this example or in the middle of the toolbar and selecting a color. Then, using the “bucket fill tool” fill it in with the desired color.
    Gimp - Workspace fill circle, square and free form.
    To remove the selection click on the “free select tool” and click outside of your selection.

Complex shapes are now just childs play once you see how easy they are to do.

Gimp Beginner – Red Eye Removal

This tutorial shows you how easy red eye removal is using GIMP (Gimp – Open source image retouching and editing tool.). Red eye removal is so simple, it is just a matter of selecting the right filter.

  1. First we need to locate a picture to remove red eye from. Do this by opening the picture with the red eye by: Go to File then Open…
    Gimp - Open file menu.
  2. Locate the file you need to correct, In my case it was located on the desktop, click “open”.
    Gimp Select image to open.
  3. Now you have your Red eye image that needs to be corrected. Now, to get down to business, getting rid of those demonic eyes. To do this go to Filters, then enhance, then select “Red eye removal…”
    Gimp - Selecting Red Eye Removal from enhanced filters menu.
  4. After opening this, you should immediately get the following window with options to remove your red eye.
    Gimp - Red eye removal preview.
  5. Adjusting the threshold slider will give you different color ranges and results. For us, using around 50 seems to do the trick without altering our color too much. Click “ok” to apply the filter.
    Gimp - Red eye removal preview with low threshold.
    Gimp - Red eye removal preview with high threshold.
    Gimp - Red eye removal preview with medium threshold.
  6. See how the red eye is removed? That’s what we’re aiming for, normal blue eyes without any red lasers shooting out of them.
    Gimp - Red eye removal filter applied.

Wow that was easy, even a tennager can do it. Oh right, your teenager already knows how and now so do you.

Print Screen on Steroids

For many novice users, not realizing that the PrtScn key (Print Screen on some keyboards) was not printing their screen became a revelation when they understood that it was instead sending the image to the clipboard. Combining ALT with the PrtScn key brought them a new nirvana when they realized that would capture the active window. Capturing multiple active windows or one screen of a multiple screen setup did not seem possible unless you knew about Microsoft’s Snipping Tool. The Snipping Tool comes with Windows 8, 7, and can be installed on Windows Vista and XP via the Microsoft Experience Pack for Tablet PC.

  1. On Windows 7 we need to open the Snipping Tool and there are several ways to do this. Using the Windows menus we select Start → All Programs → Accessories and the Snipping Tool appears under the Accessories folder. The tool can also be opened by clicking on Start and then typing Snipping Tool followed by Enter in the Search box.

    Snipping Tool location in Accessories menu.

  2. In Windows 8 open the Snipping Tool by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you are using a mouse, pointing to the upper right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), enter Snipping Tool in the search box, tapping or clicking Apps, and then tapping or clicking Snipping Tool.
  3. If you can not find the program, press the Windows key, type Programs and Features, and press Enter to open the Programs and Features control panel applet. Click “Turn Windows Features On or Off” in the left pane and then click through the User Account Control dialog Box, if necessary. Check Tablet PC Optional Components, click OK, and then close the Programs and Features applet.
  4. If you wish to pin the tool to the Taskbar then right click the program name Snipping Tool and select Pin to Taskbar.

    Snipping Tool Pin to Taskbar

  5. A short cut can be created on the desktop by right clicking the program name Snipping Tool and then select Send to → Desktop. You now have handy access to this tool at any time.
  6. If you are a little more adventurous you can also create a Shortcut for the Snipping Tool. Right click the program name Snipping Tool or its shortcut and select Properties. A window will pop up, click in the Shortcut key box under the Shortcut tab, enter your chosen key combination (CTRL-ALT-P is popular) directly by clicking on the keys you want to have as shortcut keys and then click OK or Apply.

    Creating a Shortcut to Snipping Tool.

  7. In the Snipping Tool, tap or click the arrow next to the New button, choose the kind of snip you want, and then pick the area of your screen that you want to capture. The snip is automatically copied to the Snipping Tool window. You can copy the snip from the snipping tool to the clip board by just clicking on the Copy icon in the Snipping Tool workspace when it is open.

    New area to use Snipping Tool on.

  8. You can capture the following types of snips:
    1. Free-form Snip. Draw any shape around an object with your finger (Windows 8), mouse or tablet pen.
    2. Rectangular Snip. Drag the cursor around the object to form a rectangle.
    3. Window Snip. Choose a window – like a browser window or a dialog box.
    4. Full-screen Snip. Capture the entire screen.
  9. You can capture a snip of a menu by doing the following
    After you open the Snipping Tool, press Esc, and then open the menu that you want a picture of.
    Press CTRL + PrtScn.
    Tap or click the arrow next to the New button, choose the kind of snip you want, and then pick the area of the screen you want to capture.
  10. When you capture a snip from a browser window and save it as an HTML file, the URL appears below the snip. To remove it:
    Tap or click Tools, and then tap or click Options.
    In the Snipping Tools Options dialog box, clear the Include URL below snips (HTML only) check box, and then tap or click OK.

    Snipping Tool options.

  11. Another big feature of the Snipping Tool is its ability to mark up the Snipped image. This means you can create just about anything on the image such as a circle around content, or an arrow pointing to the content. This markup is limited so if more professional markup is desired then you can use the Open Source program Gimp. Just draw on the image to accomplish this.
  12. If you want to customize the color, thickness or tip of the pen then click on the down arrow next to the pen and then click on the Customize drop down choice. Once you have the changes you want you can then select Custom Pen to use your changes for document markup.

    Snipping Tool pen color.

Capturing multiple active windows or one screen of a multiple screen setup did not seem possible unless you knew about Microsoft’s Snipping Tool, so now you know.