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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Using GIMP's Perspective Clone Tool

In this simple exercise you'll see how to use the Perspective Clone tool. This tool allows you to clone in an image with distinct perspective lines. First, set the wanted vanishing lines in the same way as with the Perspective tool. Then clone a source area in the same way as with the Clone tool.

In this image there are strong parallel lines receding from near to far. There's a blemish in the middle of the image which can be fixed using the Perspective Clone tool.

Download this image.

1) First, duplicate the background layer. You'll have new layer named "Background Copy".

2) In the Tools palette, click on the Perspective Clone tool icon.

From the tool options, choose Modify Perspective as the Mode.

Then click anywhere in the image to show the tool.

3) By grabbing the corners, drag the perspective lines to match those in the image, as shown here.

4) Next, in the tool options for the Perspective Clone tool, change the Mode to Perspective Clone. Be certain the source is set to Image. Select a brush large enough to cover the area you are going to fix.

5) Set the clone source by Control-clicking on the "Background Copy" layer.

6) Create a new layer named "Clone" with the Layer Fill Type set to Transparency.

7) Be sure the "Clone" layer is the active layer. Click near the center of the area you want to cover. Don't worry if the cloned image is not quite lined up the way it should be.
8) Select the Move tool set to Affect: Layer and adjust the "Clone" layer to the desired position.
9) That looks better, but the cloned area obviously doesn't blend too well. I just used the Brightness & Contrast tool to make a quick adjustment to the brightness to get a better overall match. There are better ways to do this, but they're outside the scope of this example.

10) Finally, in the Layers palette, right-click on the "Clone" layer and merge it with the layer below.

This has been a very rudimentary example of using the Perspective Clone tool. To get a really good result, you would need to experiment and make some variations. Still, I hope you found it useful.
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brushes and Fonts for GIMP

Sources for GIMP brushes and fonts

GIMP brushes at deviantART

GIMP and PS brushes from BlendFu

Extensive collection of fonts at dafont.com

To install on a Mac:
Simply download and extract the brush or font files and put them in the appropriate folder.
~user/library/application support/gimp/brushes
~user/library/application support/gimp/fonts

For Windows users, click here.
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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lomographic Effect

Lomography emphasizes casual, snapshot photography. Characteristics such as over-saturated colors, off-kilter exposure, blurring, and alternative film processing are often considered part of the Lomographic Technique. Users are encouraged to take a lighthearted approach to their photography, and use these techniques to document everyday life, as the Lomo LC-A's small size, simple controls, and ability to shoot in low light encourages candid photography, photo reportage, and photo vérité. The 35 mm LOMO LC-A Compact Automat camera was originally created and produced by LOMO PLC of St. Petersburg, Russia. (Wikipedia)

There are numerous methods for achieving a lomographic effect through post processing. After exploring several of these, I developed the following relatively simple process using GIMP to create the desired effect.

This lesson includes the following:
  • Creating a rectangular selection with rounded corners
  • Feathering a selection
  • Duplicating and creating layers
  • Setting layer modes and opacity
  • Using the Curves Tool
  • Using the Unsharp Mask filter
  • And more

Choose an appropriate image or download this one.
Begin by duplicating the background. I always like to duplicate the background image. In case anything goes horribly wrong, I can easily recover my original layer.

PART 1 Create the lomo trademark dark vignette

1) Create a new layer named vignette

2) Use the Rectangle Select Tool to create a selection several pixels inside the edges of your original photo.

3) Next round the corners of the selection by 10%.

From the image menu, Select > Rounded Rectangle ...

4) Now feather the selection by about 100 pixels.

Again, from the image menu, Select > Feather...

5) The next step is to invert the selection.

Using the image menu, Select > Invert.
6) Now use the Bucket Fill Tool to fill the whole selection with black (FG color).

7) In the Layers palette, set the Opacity of the vignette layer to 60%

8) From the image menu, turn off the selection, Select > None.

This is what you should have at this point ...
PART 2 Create the hard, brassy color effect.
1) Flatten the image to a single layer, Image > Flatten Image.
2) Duplicate that layer and rename it as curves.
3) Using the Curves Tool , Colors > Curves...,

... adjust the color curves to an s-shape as shown here ...

4) Create a New Layer called grain using the Foreground color (black) as the Layer Fill Type.

5) For the grain layer set the Mode to Grain merge and the Opacity to 20%.

This is about where you should be now ...
Part 3 Sharpen the image a bit and finish.

Again, flatten image to a single layer, duplicate the layer and rename it sharpen.

1) From the image menu, Filters > Enhance > Unsharp mask...

2) Use the settings shown below, Radius: 20, Amount: 0.7, and Threshold: 0.

3) Flatten the image once more and Save.

Your finished product should look something like this ...

I hope you acquired at least one new skill or idea from working through this lesson. If you liked it, please share it.

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