Saturday, September 29, 2012

Your First Scrapbook Layout with GIMP - Part 3

If everything is copacetic, your image should look like this right now:

It does?  Great!  That means I must be communicating in a somewhat understandable way, right?  (If the whole thing thus far has been Greek to you, leave me a comment and I'll help you get it squared away.)

Ready to add your picture?

Hopefully you have one at the ready, since that was... uh... your homework from a few posts back.  If you don't, stop now, and go get one.  Get the cutest one you can find, the one that makes you look back at that special day with a tear in your eye and just a twinge of sadness at how fast those little whippersnappers grow.

Or, you know, download something off the net of Ricky Schroeder.  Either way.

I'm planning to use a picture of my own cutie pie--Brandon.  He is now almost fourteen and has mastered the art of arguing his point (probably genetically unavoidable) and backsassing.  I guess I should have seen it coming, since my Mama told me long ago that paybacks would be rough.  He has also, however, mastered the art of being thoughtful and kind, and an A student, and he has a wicked sense of humor, so I still have the tear and the twinge. 

Anyhoo... I digress.

Let's get to adding a picture, shall we?  We'll do that in the same way that we added the letters.  Navigate to the folder on your hard drive where you have said digital memorabilia stored, click on the picture you're planning to use, and drag it onto your Gimp work area.

Once it's there, your image should look like this:

Oh. My. Word, y'all!  Can you stand it?  Doesn't it just bring those sweet memories flooding back?


I could spend all day looking at it, but I won't--out of respect, since you're trying to learn something here and all.

Though it's a darn cute picture, and whoever took it obviously (feel the sarcasm here) has mad photography skills, what I see in this picture that I do NOT want in my finished product is a date stamp.  I mean, it's great that it's there to tell me when this picture was taken (unless I forgot to update the date when I swapped the battery out and then who KNOWS when this might have been taken...), but I really don't want to see the big yellow numbers in my finished product.

So let's do some tweaking.


Cropping in Gimp is not, on the surface, as simple in some other programs that are just built for photo editing alone.  But I'm willing to forgive a lot of shortcomings given how many other amazing things Gimp can do.  And I don't need to get super fancy here.  I just want to crop that date stamp off of the bottom.

I would recommend you do something similar to your photo.  Maybe it's a little off center.  Maybe there's a whole lot of blank wall space above someone's head.  Maybe some other person in your family (who shall remain nameless) felt the need to be in the picture and there's a head or arm or hand or foot or whatever other appendage he or she could get in there in the bottom right corner.  Maybe part of your finger was in the way of the lens (this has NEVER happened to me, by the way... ahem).  Whatever it is, pick some top, bottom, right or left area of your photo you want to be outta there.

Got it in your head?  Good.

First things first - let's make sure that we have the picture layer selected in the Layers dialog.  It should already be selected since you just drug it into the image, but it's better to verify before we start cropping.  You should see it listed first in your Layers Dialog and it should be highlighted, like this:

Then let's go to the Toolbox, and click on the Rectangle Select tool.  It's the icon that looks like a dotted rectangle, up in the top, left-hand corner.  See it?

Kinda looks like a TV screen.  And after you've clicked on it, when you hover over your image, you should see your pointer change into what looks like crosshairs, with that TV screen floating just out to the right of it.  That means you're ready to select.

Click and drag anywhere on your image (the big image, not just the picture of your kiddo).  I like to start outside of the picture, so I can make sure I get all of it that I need.  This time, I started with a cropping area like this:

See how it's a little bit above the top of the picture?  And a little bit to the right of the right side?  And a little bit to the left of the left side?  I don't think I want to lose anything from the top or from either side, so that ensures that I won't.  And because I am working on this layer, and only this layer, the cropping I'm doing won't affect anything else on the page, just this picture.  Sweet!

Another beautiful thing about this rectangle select tool is that it's not set in stone.  It's not like some other tools where you have to get it exactly right or start all over.  See the squares in the corners?  If you hover with your mouse in between those squares--top, bottom, left or right--you'll see that a yellow box appears, like this:

And if you click inside that yellow box, hold down your mouse button and drag, you can change the cropping boundary.  You can make endless changes if you want to.  I love that because my eye-hand coordination seems to be slightly less accurate than a two-year-old's, so being able to change things makes all the difference.  Play with it a little.  Move the boundary in and move it back out.  Move it until you're satisfied that what's inside the cropping boundary is what you want.

I moved my boundaries in a little on the left, because I decided that I didn't really need that extra space there.  I moved it in a little on the right, just because I felt like it.  And I moved it down a little on the bottom, because I really want to get as much of that enormous Spiderman backpack in the image as I can.  Now it looks like this:

And I am ready to commit to the crop.  You?  Let's do it!

From the work area menu bar, select Edit and Cut.  There should be a lovely white space now, where the parts of your picture that were inside the cropping boundaries used to be.  Like this:

Does that freak you out a tad?

I know.  It did me too, when I first undertook learning Gimp.  But let me mention a couple of things.


First of all, Gimp has an awesome feature called Undo.  I LOVE Undo.  I love lots of things, and definitely my husband most, but I mean, I really do--truly, genuinely--LOVE the Undo function.

And?  This is a digital image, that you drug in from the folder where the original is still stored.  So even if you made horrible choices with the picture inside of Gimp, your original is safe and sound.  Isn't that the best news ever?  No need for the Mylanta after a horrendously bad cut, on a photo for which you have no negative, with real scissors (like when I accidentally cut part of my husband's head off in a wedding picture... ack) anymore.

So... right now, if you're totally concerned that something has gone horribly awry in this cropping exercise, you can undo what you did by selecting Edit and Undo Cut from the work area menu bar.  See?  Your picture is back, just like you never cut at all.  Isn't that fabulous?  Even better than the fact that you can Undo one thing, is that you can Undo a whole lotta things.  Gimp has a pretty extensive Undo history.  Check it out by selecting the Edit option from the work area menu bar again.  Now it should say Undo Rectangle Select (don't click on it, just note that it's there).

Cool, yes?  It's keeping track for you!

Anyway, we really do want to cut, and get on with the cropping business, so select Edit again from the work area menu bar, and select the Redo cut option.  Yes, Redo is pretty amazing, too!  And now you should be back to the white space where your picture used to be. 

The next step is to paste the area we cut back into the image.  In order to do that, select Edit from the work area menu bar and hover over the Paste As option.  You should see four options to select from.  There are times when pasting as a New Image is great (if the area you cut will stand alone as its own image), but we want this to be part of the image we're already working in--with the notebook paper, letters, and so on--so select New Layer here--that tells Gimp to paste that picture into the image we're working on, as its own layer.

Your cropped picture should now be pasted into your image, in the upper, left-hand corner, like this:

After the Crop

Points of interest - your rectangle select area is still flashing away, like it's waiting for you to select something else.  There is a big, giant white space where your picture used to be, with some ugly cropped area around it, and the picture you want to use is in the wrong spot.  Let's deal with all of the above.

To get rid of the rectangle select, because we're all done with that, select Select (ha ha) and None from the work area menu bar.  The rectangle and it's little flashy boundaries should  be gone.

Next, we want the white space and leftovers from the picture (imagine the little curly edges that are left over after you cropped your picture with scissors--that's what we have here, just in digital format) to be gone.  Notice in your Layers dialog that you have the layer for your picture still listed, and above it a layer called "Clipboard".  The "Clipboard" layer is the cropped image we just pasted.  The old picture layer, with the original file name, is what we cropped from. 

Presently, the "Clipboard" layer is selected (highlighted) because we just pasted it and it's active.   We definitely don't want to delete that one, since we just went through all of this effort to get it perfect.  To deal instead with the leftovers of our cropping, click on the layer below the "Clipboard" layer--the one with the original file name--to highlight.

Then right-click on that same layer (the picture we cropped from--NOT the "Clipboard" layer) and select Delete Layer from the popup menu.  It should disappear like magic.  And your image should now look like this:

It does?  Awesome!  If it doesn't, or if you have questions, leave me a comment and we'll get you up to speed.

All that's left to do with the picture right now is to move it to the center.  Remember how to do that?  Select (click on) the Move tool from your Toolbox.  It looks like this:

Then click on that picture and drag it to the middle of the image where it should be.  Like this:

Make sure to save your work here.  Select File and Save from the main work area.

And stay tuned.  Next we'll learn how to resize and rotate that picture, so it doesn't look quite so straight up and down.


Teaching by Mom said...

Help! Okay, I have pasted the picture which is HUGE. I thought I would deal with that later and crop it. When I crop and 'paste as- new layer' it, it still shows the whole picture un cropped with the highlighted crop option box showing. Rachael

Mia Marie said...

Hey Rachael! When you look at the Layers dialog to the right, do you see the picture layer highlighted? Click on it, if not, and then do your crop. Did that work?

Post a Comment