Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your First Scrapbook Layout with GIMP - Part 6

We left off here:


... with your ribbon and your vellum quote right over the top of your cute kiddo.  Can't leave it like that, can we?  Let's work on the ribbon first. 

Remember we discussed the way that layers are reflected in the Layers Dialog?  Whatever is listed first is on top and everything thereafter is just below the item on top?  Kind of like a pile of elements.  Let's take a look at the Layers dialog, here:



Our Back to School quote is listed first, and then the ribbon.  Then after the ribbon, the frame.  And after the frame, the picture.  Makes sense to have the frame on top of (or above in the Layers dialog) the picture.  But it doesn't make sense to have the ribbon on top of the picture.  It's meant to be an embellishment, not a distraction.  So what should we do with it?

If you guessed that we should drag it down the list in the Layers dialog, until it's just below the picture layer, you are correct!  Let's do that now.  Click on the ribbon layer and drag it down the list.  Let go of it when it's just below the picture.  Your Layers dialog should look like this:


And your image?  Should look like this:


See how the ribbon is now "underneath" the picture?  Perfect!  You may want to move that ribbon around a little.  Maybe right in the middle just isn't working for you.  Select the Move tool from your Toolbox and click on it to drag it where you'd like.  I think I want mine a little nearer the bottom of the picture and frame, like this:


Now that we have gotten the ribbon layer moved to underneath the picture, and we've moved it around until we're satisfied with its location, let's move our vellum quote.

You should still see the Move tool selected in your Toolbox, like this:


Click and hold your vellum quote and you should see a solid line appear around the outer edge of the layer, like this:


While still holding the mouse button down, drag it to where you want it, like this:


You may want to make it larger, and you may want to rotate it.  I find that doing both would make the image a little more interesting.  Let's resize first.

To do that, click on the Scale tool in your Toolbox.  The Scale tool looks like this:


 Then, take a look at your Layers dialog and make sure you've highlighted the correct layer (Back_to_School_Quote.png), like this:


Once you've selected the Scale tool, and clicked on the correct layer in the Layers Dialog, you should see a dotted yellow line around the layer boundary for the vellum quote, like this:


Click on the vellum quote itself, and you'll see the grid across the layer, as well as a Scale dialog, like this:


Change the unit of measure to inches. Note here that the chain next to width and height is unlinked.  That means that if you adjust height, width will not be adjusted automatically and proportionally.  That would be no bueno with a vellum quote.  So go ahead, if your chain is showing unlinked, and click on it so it is linked again.

Then you can resize with any of the following methods:
  • Drag the outer edges of the grid on the vellum quote until you like the size and click the Scale button; or
  • Enter specific numbers in the width and height boxes on the Scale dialog and click the Scale button, repeat until you like the size; or
  • Click the up and down arrows to the right of the width and height boxes on the Scale dialog and click the Scale button, repeat until you like the size.

I like the click and drag method for things that don't require precision, but any of the above will work.

Note:  If, at any time in the future, you start to resize something and realize that you accidentally left the chain unlinked, you can always cancel and start the resize again.  Even if you clicked the Scale button and the deed is done (and your photo looks all crazily askew, or the letters in your quote are WAY fatter than they are tall), you can always Undo.  Undo is your friend.

Anyhoo, once you've resized, your image should look something like this:


Now let's go ahead and rotate that sucker, shall we?

Click on the Rotate tool in your Toolbox.  It looks like this:


Then click on your vellum quote (you'll see the same kind of grid you saw when you scaled, as well as a Rotate dialog).  You again have three options to do the rotation:
  • Drag the outer edges of the grid on the vellum quote until it's turned the way you want it and click the Rotate button; or
  • Enter the specific angle you want in the Angle box on the Rotate dialog and click the Rotate button, repeat until you like the angle; or
  • Click the up or down arrow to the right of the Angle box on the Rotate dialog and click the Rotate button, repeat until you like the size.
Remember that this dialog is a little bit squirrely, so you'll have to start the rotation with the click and drag method before you can type an angle in the box.  Just like with scaling, I like the click and drag method for things that don't require precision, but any of the above will work.

Once you've finished rotating, your image should look something like this:


All that's left is to move it where we want it.  Select the Move tool from your Toolbox.  It looks like this:


Then click and drag your vellum until it's where you like it.  When you're done moving, your image should look something like this:


It's coming together, yes?  Let's add some staples to make this look really nice and 3D.  Go back to the folder where you extracted the School Days files, grab the Staple.png file, click and drag it onto your work area.  Once you've done that, your image should look like this:


See that lovely staple just hanging out in the middle of the picture like that?  Yeah, that's not going to work at all.  Lucky for us we have some great Gimp skills under our belts already.  We know how to move and how to rotate.  We also know how to duplicate a layer, so if we wanted, say, three staples, we could make that happen.

Let's start with duplicating. 

Remember we do that magic from the Layers dialog.  First, make sure that Staple.png is first on the list (on the very top of the pile).  Then make sure it's highlighted (it should be since you just drug it in from the folder).  Finally, right-click on that layer in the Layers dialog and select "Duplicate Layer".  Do it one more time so that you have three staples.  When you're done duplicating, your Layers dialog should look like this:


It looks like you have a single staple in the actual image, but remember that's because they're just stacked on top of each other.  So let's move each one (click on the Move tool in your Toolbox before you click on the staple to move it) to where we want it, and let's rotate each one (click on the Rotate tool in your Toolbox before you click on the staple to rotate it) until we're happy with where they are.

When you're done moving and rotating, your image should look something like this:


A challenge you might have faced while doing your moving and rotating:

You may have found that selecting the right layer while trying to move the staple was tough.

The staple layer is pretty small, and the part of the layer that is selectable image is even smaller.  Make sure when you click on the staple to move it you a) take your time and get right over the image of the staple itself; b) take a look at the layer boundary (the solid box that shows up around the layer) to evaluate whether or not you have the right layer; and c) look at which layer is highlighted in the Layers dialog while you're clicking and holding on that staple--should be Staple.png or one of the copies you made.

And there is always Undo.  Undo is your friend.  I have moved the picture and the background plenty of times just in the making of this tutorial, and I have been using Gimp a long time.  So don't worry if you do that.  Just Undo.

Spend a little time doing some finish work on your image.  You may want to move things down a little, or to the right a little, or to the left a little.  You'll have the best eye for how you want your layout to look.  Rearrange to your heart's content.

One thing I found as I was working along on mine was that I really wanted the vellum quote edge to be underneath the picture and frame.  So I moved it down in the layers dialog, until it was under the picture layer.  You can do the same.  Or you can leave it alone.  Whatever tickles your fancy.

When I was pretty much done, mine looked something like this:



Does your look similar?  Are you happy with it?  If not, if you're running into problems, leave me a comment and we'll figure it out.

Make sure when you get to a stopping place that you save.  Use the File and Save selections from the work area menu bar.  Don't want to lose all of your efforts!

Can you believe you've completed your first scrapbook page in Gimp?  For free?  F.R.E.E. free!  Woo hoo!


Are you excited?  Feel accomplished?

Awesome!

Next time I'll cover a little bit on text, how to convert your page to a printable image file, and where you can get such lovelies printed.

2 Comments:

Teaching by Mom said...

I DID IT!! I love it! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I am super excited to learn how to print and where to get images. This is so wonderful. Looking forward to more.

Mia Marie said...

Good for you, Rachael! Love the way it came out!

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