Tip of the Day: Creating Image Maps with GIMP

gimp-logo

There are actually a lot of cool online tools to aid with creating image maps but for those users of GIMP you have a pretty easy to use and configurable image map tool right at your finger tips!

In this video I show how easy it is to use GIMP to create image maps for web sites.

Make sure you check out the Image Map Plugin Page to learn more about this cool feature.

My second day with the Microsoft Surface – fully loaded

Screenshot (2)One thing I did not mention in yesterday’s post was when you log into Microsoft Surface and use your Microsoft Id you get all of your cloud settings for your account. So my tablet immediately got all of my pictures, documents, and social network accounts automatically configured. It was literally like I just logged into my Windows 8 Laptop.

Today however, I spent time getting my favorite applications loaded on the tablet. Since this is a work tablet I had to get the IBM connection setup through the VPN and then of course I copied Lotus Notes to it. Lastly, I got GIMP, Eclipse, and started getting my MS Office suite over to it.

I will say if you plan to use these applications you will definitely need a keyboard and possibly a mouse. While the stylus works well, it takes a lot of getting used to, especially with re-sizing sashes and side bars. I may go and get the video adapter and keyboard this weekend. I can easily see this replacing my laptop for customer presentations, plane rides, and demo’s. I am not ready to take a leap and claim it will completely replace the laptop eventually but right now it is very close.

Where GIMP 2.8 went wrong

I have used GIMP for many years, too many to count or remember actually but I know it was in the early 1.x time frame. This latest release has me a bit confused in the Save As, Export area.

I rarely ever save a file in the native GIMP format (XCF) and usually save the images as PNG or JPG. Given that, I always use short cuts like CTRL+S to save the image and in GIMP 2.6 in “just worked”. Now, you are forced to use the Export function from the menu any time you want to save the image as anything outside of an XCF file – very bad! The shortcut key doesn’t work like it did and now I can’t just edit an existing PNG or JPG and just click “Save”. I really don’t understand this change because the save dialog is almost identical – they didn’t make it smaller or optimize it in any way. Check out the images below.

Save Dialog in GIMP 2.6

Save Dialog in GIMP 2.8

My new Pinterest board for some GIMP work I have been doing

Check out my new Pinterest board, I play with GIMP a lot in my spare time.

Link to board is here.

I followed this video I found on YouTube, I think this is the best video showing the mask layer concepts in GIMP. It is amazing how easy it is to do something like this in GIMP.

Open Source, graphics, and me – not a good mix

Because of IP laws and such, I had to create an icon for the attachment viewer project so tonight I decided to figure out how I will do this.  I am no artist by far but I do have some pretty easy to use and free tools at my disposal.  I figured the best way is to use some kind of presentation editor like Symphony, then use GIMP to actually size and save the image as a jpeg.  The paste into GIMP was not very good so I basically scaled it down and took a screen shot to get a good icon sized image.  In the end, this was pretty easy but I would be interested in hearing how some of you artists do this stuff.

Click to make larger

In the end the icon looks pretty good in the Notes client – I am no Picasso so this will have to do!  Check out a screen shot of the new view icon in the upper left of the viewer:

Click to make larger

Getting better with GIMP

So I have been using GIMP for all of my graphic needs for the past year or so. Unfortunately for me I am not a graphics person so 90% of what I do is very basic.  My youngest son just had his first communion and I decided to make a picture for his gift table to show the holiness of the occasion.  I used GIMP to merge the two photos of him and Jesus but the hardest part was cropping out him from the original picture.  I took his picture near my stair case (he put on his most holy of faces), here was his original photo:

In the end I took a picture of Jesus, made it black and white and put some what of a haze over Him by making a circle that was filled with a gradient from white (in the center) to black (the edges) and then setting the transparency very high.