An Introduction to Layers

Hello and welcome to this video on the Gimp. And on this video, we’re gonna be touching base on the layers. And this is our Layers Dialog Box here. Now, if you don’t have your setup similar to the way I’ve got mine here then you can get your Layers Dialog Box by several ways but one you can go over here to File because this is all it’s gonna be up here. Go over here to File and then Dialogs. And there you go. More than likely we’d do is you could just like what I did over on the right-hand side of the screen there.

layers

You can just go up here to “Create New Dock” and then this one here. And that’s what I did kinda. This is one that I did before. I’ll just bring this one up here in place of that one. And then we’ve got the layers here, and we’ve got the Undo, we’ve got the Paths Tool, and we’ve got the Channels Dialog here. Actually, that was pretty cool. I might just leave that one up there. Anywho, that’s how you can get to the Dialogs Box. Now this one here just kinda go over a little bit of what else is involved with the Dialog Box and all the little cool things. Actually, I better move this down so I’m not confusing the issue too much. Here we’ve got the icon. We click on this to create a new layer. And we can use these up and down arrows to move the selected layer up and down and I’ll show you here in a second to kinda emphasize the importance of these.

layers

And here we can simply duplicate a particular layer that we’ve got selected and if we’ve got a floating layer around or somewhere and I’ll show you. We’ve covered that in prior videos but if we got a floating layer around here and you kinda like what you’ve got and you want to make a part of your image then you click on the anchor and boom. That floating is no longer a floating. It is actually attached to the layer in question. And then of course we’ve got the dumpster here, the trashcan where you can either drag this to the trashcan or just highlight it and then click on the trashcan and poof! It’s in the trash. It’s gone. Now we’ve got some other items up top here . They are also pretty nifty. The opacity, well that’s pretty cool. You can add some special effects really easy to in existing image that you’ve got like some of the other tools we’ve got over here. We have a Mode selection where you click on the drop-down arrow. We’ve got a lot more options you can play with here to affect the said layer or image and let me just kinda show you here like for example right here I’ve got this CD selected and that’s this guy right here and you can see all the eyeballs are off here.

layers

That means these layers are not showing. They are there, they’re not just showing. So if I were to save this right now, then it would save it without these layers involved in this image. In other words, you get what you see. If I were to click on Save and Save As, then this is what the image, the end result will be. Only one CD. Now this one right here, one of the beauties behind layers. Let me just kinda mention that too. One of the benefits behind, say, the Gimp or Photoshop is the ability to work in layers. And so you just don’t get with any other type of image manipulation software. For example, you’ve got this layer of the CD is on top of the layer of this box, the software box.

layers

So as you can see it’s in front of and you can move around all over the place. Now that’s one of things about these up and down arrows is you can adjust this. For example, let me create a new layer and click on the New Layer icon. And over here it’s always good to name these two. That way you can stay somewhat organized and it gives you the width and the height  and you can choose from the foreground color which you can see right now is dark blue, background color which is white, or you can have this either or white or transparency depending on which you are about to create. But for the sake of this example, I’m gonna leave it foreground color so it creates a dark blue layer. And basically it’s gonna be the same size as this so it’s gonna set on top of this. Again, one of the beauties behind layers.

layers

Now everything below this is affected by this. Look at this; this is a blue blanket on top of all these guys here to cover them all up. Now one of the cool things about this is you can affect the opacity or the transparency of these individual layers. So for example, I’m going to decrease this opacity. As you can kinda see through this blanket like so. So you can see how it affects everything below it with the darker blue hue or tint. Now then with this layer selected, the dark blue layer selected it didn’t kinda transparent. Let’s move it down. Okay so now this layer here is on top of the blanket. It’s on top of that blue blanket so it’s shining through. So let’s keep moving it down. You can kinda see things are starting to come to a light here a little bit. Now then this box is on top of the blue blanket. Basically, you can see that it’s affecting the background now.

layers

And now then the background, the white background, it’s on top of the blue. So basically, the blue is not having any effect whatsoever. So again, that’s one of the cool things about layers is that you can just kinda pile stuff on top of one another, give it more of a depth to your image, a lot of cool things  you just cannot do with simple image software. So I’m not really sure how to put it. One other thing too. If you didn’t notice, of course this is the Gimp and this is a Photoshop extension. A “.psd” extension. So without having a three or four or five or six hundred bucks for a Photoshop software, you are able to manipulate and work with Photoshop images. So again, I just wanna point that out to you too. One of the things too I wanna mention here is that let’s say we’ve got this one CD selected. As you can see it’s kind of a beige, either way where there’s dark blue or beige that means it’s selected. This layer is selected. Let’s multiply this up a couple of times here and they are all just kinda hidden right behind here.

layers

And then of course if you didn’t want them to be shown, maybe you wanted to save one image with just the box then you take the eyeballs out. You can save this as whatever, you’re gonna give it a name, and then you’re only going to get this software box. If you want those CD images back in there or DVD images, you just turn the eyeballs back on. And there you have it. Now then you can save it as and you’ve got this as your image. So that’s kind of a quick overview of some of the things you can do with the layers aspect of your Gimp software. Hope you learned something and hope you’ll be able to profit immensely from this little tool. Thank you much for watching, folks!

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.

The Text Tool

Hello and welcome to this series of videos on the Gimp. In this video, we’re gonna be touching on the Text tool and you can get to all the options here for the Text tool by clicking on this icon in our toolbox which is probably this just or hit the letter T as in Tom on your keyboard. Now one thing I wanted to point out here is I’ve added a couple of extra Speed tools for like a better phrase to my toolbox here. And you can do this because their basically their default set or you can either tick on or tick off and how I had them added here is by going up to file, preferences and this is how you can setup different items within your Gimp software.

text tool

And if you happen to screw something up in amongst here, just go to the reset button and that will fix it all up for you just like it came out of the box brand new. Speaking of box, we go here to the toolbox and just tick or untick the items that you want and your toolbox speed tools or what I call and we’re good to go. So click on OK and we’re out of here. Now then, just going to touch on some of the items here in our Options box for the Text tool is the Font and this is the list of all the fonts available on your system. So pick one that you’re happy with and that’s the text font style that will show up on the image you’re going to be adding text to. And this gives us a little description of what that font is and here you can increase or decrease the size of the text by this up or down arrows or just by highlighting and putting in whatever number you’re wanting. And over here I would just leave this as Pix or PX rather and that stands for Pixels. Or if for some odd reason you wanted to change that to inches, millimeters, points, picas, or more then you’ve got those options here as available.

text tool

These three items here I’ve never messed with. They’re basically fine-tuning points to the point of something that I’ve no need for but they’re basically fine-tuning for like smoothing the edges of the text that you’re entering on to your image. Possibly if you’re gonna be using humongous sized text like 50, or 60, or 70 pixels then this might come into play but I don’t so I won’t so if you find the need go ahead and play around with them until you’re happy with them but I would just leave them alone. In so far as me using this for creating header, graphics or footer graphics, or EBook covers, or video cover type graphics this works fine for me so I’ll just leave that alone. Now of course you can change the color by clicking on this and it brings up your Text Color chooser and you got several options up here you can use to change the color of the text and whenever you’re happy with the color then just click on OK and it changes the color of the text here. Now if you notice it also change it here and here. What I do instead of this is I just go over here in my color dialog box and make the decision on what color text I want. And as you can see as I’m choosing it, it makes changes both in the foreground color here as well as the text color here and so on. Now another way is right here is the foreground and here’s the background color.

text tool

You can alternate this by just clicking on this arrow here and then those are back and forth. As you watch this here, you can see it changes that as well. So well that’s that. Again, I don’t mess with these too because if I want to move my text from this justified to the left, to the center, to the right and filled. If I want to do that then I’ll just use the Move tool. But that’s just how I roll. Anyway, this is the indentation of the first line and you may find a need for that and if so you can adjust the amount of indentation by using these buttons here. And these increases or decreases the space between the lines of your text and also between the text themselves, the characters themselves. Now these guys here they are not highlighted. These are pretty cool tools that allow you to transform, deform, or however you want to put it the text you’re putting on your image. Once you start typing your text or you’ve entered the text onto the image then these guys will become active and what they will do is similar to this Bezier or Paths tool up here, that’s name Path down here, is it provides you with handles and you just grab those handles and pull out them or move them around and it transforms, deforms, or warps whatever you call it the text that you’re working with that that time. So again that’s gonna come in handy you know as far as playing around with different text styles. But let’s go ahead and open up an image and start playing around with it ourselves and add some text. Let me see here.  Let’s go to one that I’ve already played with here before and this is a header image. And if you notice it says PSD extension which means it’s a Photoshop image. One of the cool things about the Gimp besides the fact that it’s free is that you are able to manipulate, or alter, change, work with the Photoshop images without having to spend three to six hundred bucks for the Photoshop software. As you can see over here are the different layers that make up this header image.

text tool

And just to demonstrate, you can just click on the eyeball there to disengage that image and they go away. And alternately, you can click on it and make them come back. So that being said, let’s go ahead and add some text. Now once you’ve got the text chosen or the way the style setup here the way you want it to appear on your image then you just click anywhere on your image and you’ve got some options here. Well the text editor pops up and you can either go to open the file and if you got some text stashed away somewhere like say for example the copyright information. The Gimp people have told me that if you hit the Alt key and something on your numbers pad on your keyboard that it will open up the selection of the special characters. Like for example, the TM for the trademark or the C within the circle for the copyright emblem. I can’t get that to work for me so what I’ve done instead is I will type that information out on a word document or text document, save it and this is one way you can get to that information. You can open the file up here, highlight it, copy it, and then just paste it in here. And then you just close this or you can hit the Clear and that will eliminate, or delete, or clear the text that you’ve already put in the text editor.

text tool

And the LTR and RTL is simply the direction that the text is being entered from left to right or from right to left. Mainly English and this is some of your pin languages like Arabic for example. Let’s go ahead and type in some text, Freehand, and then we can click on close and there we have it. Once the text is in here, you can go to some of the other tools we’ve touched on before. Like for example, the Move tool. And once I click on this icon, I wanna make sure that this radio button here is ticked, the “Move the Active Layer” because otherwise if this was ticked it will still work but you gotta play around with it and sometimes you have a tendency of grabbing the wrong layer even though the mouse is right over this character here. So have that one ticked that way the active layer being the hand here or the freehand, the one you just made, is picked and we can just move this guy around anywhere we want. And if we want to rotate it, we rotate it any way we want. There we have that. Let’s try this Perspective. And again, you can just play around with things that way and that’s pretty much the Text tool and some of the different ways you can play around with it; increasing the size. And again don’t forget that you can copy and paste from other documents the text that you want to enter into your image here the once you’re done you can go here to File, Save As, and you can save it as a PSD or a Photoshop file.

text tool

But here’s what you wanna do. You go down here to the plus sign and this is how you decide what you want to save it as. Gimp, you can save it as this extension, the XCF and this is kind of a generic extension where you can save it. You can open it up in Gimp, you can open this up in Photoshop but this is what I typically do is I’ll just save it in whatever format that I open it up then. So if I opened up a PSD, I’ll save it in PSD. Let’s go down here and find our PSD and then click on Save. And of course where you’re gonna be saving it at. You just hit the plus or minus key down here to select the file type and hit Save. That’s it folks. Thank you very much for watching this video. I hope you learned something and have fun entering text to your image.

 

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.

The Measure Tool

Hello and welcome to this video series on the Gimp. In this video, we’re going to introduce you to the Measuring Tool in our toolbox. Quick shortcut to get to this tool in addition to just clicking on this icon will be to hold your shift key down while at the same time pressing the letter M, as in Mary, on your keyboard. And that will get here just as well.

measure tool

As you can see down in our dialog box, there’s not a whole lot of options. Actually, there’s only one option to choose from and that is to tick or untick the “use info window”. And if we go over here to our little heart image and if click and hold down my left mouse button I want to go ahead and measure up to where the angle starts.

measure tool

And that’s basically what this tool does is it measures distance between points and also provides you the angle or the degrees of angle. So between this point and this point, we’ve got a 110.9 pixels and the angle between the horizontal plane and the line that I drew is 62.05 degrees. Now this information in our status bar can also be shown in the “use info window”. For example, I’ll just go back a step here. Let me get rid of that and let’s go ahead and see what pops up in our “use info window” if we do the same thing. There’s the “use info window” and as you can see the same numbers that show up here also show up here in our info window. And just close this up. That’s pretty much it folks. That’s all there is to the measuring tool in the Gimp. I hope you learned a little something from this. Thank you again for watching and have a great day!

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.

The Zoom Tool

 Hello and welcome to this video series on the Gimp. And on this video, we’re going to introduce you to the magnification or zoom tool. And a quick shortcut to get to this is you can hit Z, the letter Z as in zebra, on your keyboard.

zoom tool

That leads yo to the same spot we are now. As you can see down here on our dialog box, there’s not a whole lot of options to choose from. As you probably already familiar with magnification tool, you’re gonna zoom in or you’re zoom out and not a whole lot of a in between.

zoom tool

Now we’ve got the auto-resize window and you get to zoom in radio button and you zoom out radio button. So let’s go ahead over here. Zoom in, make the image larger. Now if we hit our control button on our keyboard we can also toggle back and forth between those two functions.

zoom tool

And another is we go up here to the toolbar or the menu bar up here and under view, put on the zoom menu. As you can see, we’ve got some exact options here. They are not made of a little over under the dialog section. Go back here. So you can zoom in, zoom out, you can fit image to window,  and  you can increase the size. Two to one or two-hundred percent and so on. So that’s just a quick overview of our magnification tool. There’s not a whole lot to it but hopefully you learned something out of this and I wanna thank you very much for watching our video.

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.

The Foreground Select Tool

Hello and welcome to this video series on the Gimp. And on this video, we’re going to be touching base on probably our last select tool up here on our toolbox. This one is called the Foreground Select Tool and since I’ve already got us selected this are the options or additional functions that accompany the foreground select tool.

foreground select tool

And for the sake of this demonstration, we’re going to leave the feather edges off, the contiguous unchecked as well, and this is the default the mark foreground and the small brush these are the defaults right about in here. I’m going to go ahead and keep it closer to the small brush but not only works to dinky but I’ll show you here in a second why. Then the smoothing, this basically default right here is number three. You get much higher then it affects adversely some of the accuracy of what we will be extracting because what this foreground select tool does basically is it allows you to extract the foreground from the active layer or, in this case, from the selected item. The other items here too, the preview color, you have three.  No big deal, these are really irrelevant so just leave it or whatever it is setup as. The color sensitivity, I just opened that up just to take a look at it. I would leave that again. I’ll just leave that alone and whatever it is defaulted at.

foreground select tool

So let’s go ahead and open up an image. Let’s get this zebra guy out of there. So now then, as you can see with the foreground select tool, close to my mouse pointer we got the little what looks like a lariat just like this guy here. And we don’t have to be accurate at all. Just kind of select around the item we want to extract. I’m not going to go all the way back to the beginning. Just for demonstration purpose, I’m going to let off my mouse button now and it finds the beginning point itself but it does so on a straight line. Be aware of that. Just make sure you’ve got it out here. Of course, it would have been easier for me and better for me actually to go up this way but for demonstration purposes here we go.

foreground select tool

Now after we’ve done the selection, it gives the paint brush. You can kind of see that there a little bit just below my pointer’s paintbrush. What we want to do is just run the paint brush down the item we’re going to be selecting and again we’re just highlighting it. We’re not trying to fill in all, just letting the tool know what we want to extract. Not to grasp but this item right here, the zebra. Striped donkey. As you can see, there’s some blue right in here and what we’re going to do because we copy this out now or extract this out now then this will be basically invisible spots or holes in our selected item. So we can kind of eliminate that a little bit by saw the paint brush in here. Just painting over these items here. Nothing exact here then let the tool do its thing and it brings him up. Okay cool.

foreground select tool

Now you see we got some extra garbage up here and down here and it’s not perfect down here. Let’s go and add a little bit more of its leg here. That’s cool. We get a little bit more here. You can see as we do this, it’s adding more and more garbage that won’t need to be cleaned up what we background or the images we place this guy on. But I’m happy with this for the time being. So I’m going to click my enter button and you see all the marching ants, well we’ve got it selected now. You can use the control keys on our keyboard or we can right-click and go to our edit function. You can use the copy, cut, paste, or whatever. We’re going to go ahead and use the and this are the control functions on our keyboard we could use in place of what we’re doing now but I’m using the mouse.

foreground select tool

So let’s just go ahead and cut this guy out of here and let’s open up another image to paste him onto. What have we got? Yes, the desert. We’ll really freak this donkey out. Anywhere you paste him on here; just right-click, edit, and again we can use the control V like “Victor” on our keyboard or just use this here. Now we paste him on here. You can see all the garbage up here. Now what we want to do is we want to clean that up a little bit and do so while these items are still selected. So while it’s still selected, go over here to the erase button or erase tool and just already erasing our way. And the reason why you want to do it while it is selected because then the background of this image being pasted onto shows up versus erasing the entire background as well. Let me show you what I’m talking about here. Of course, you can spend time cleaning that up. Okay so we are going to deselect this guy now. So now it’s deselected, now screw over here the eraser tool and I’ll show you what I was talking about. You can see that it is erasing the background of the image as well. It’s pretty close because I’ve chose the background color to match this background as closely as possible. But so it’s kind of scurry. Again do the clean the app or the erasing while it is still selected. And there you have it. Now we can go over here to the move tool. I’m going to hit my control Z because you can always hit the control Z and go back and finish up your cleaning and everything.

foreground select tool

But now I’m going to move this guy over here to the side and kind of down a little bit. This way it looks… Yeah there you go. Go back up here and select my foreground tool and my mouse button deselect them. Now that is one scared-looking donkey. He’s wondering, “What the heck am I doing at the desert here now?” Hey, that’s just our quick introduction to the Foreground Select Tool. Hope you learned something from this video and the old imagination used are flowing on us on how you can this particular tool as well. And that pretty much brings to a close the videos on the selection tools. Next, we’re going to get in to some additional tools here and show you how those functions can help you with your Gimp. Thank you very much for watching. Have a great day!

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.