Saturday, May 12, 2007

A shift from Photoshop to GIMP

[Commentary]: It seems like whenever I read conversations about Photoshop I discover something that bugs me. You see, I'm a part of a great group of gals on a private, online, moms group that is all about digi-scrapping. But it seems like about 95% of them use Photoshop and they always start their digi-scrapping projects with a BLANK DOCUMENT. I'd like to take a peek at Photoshop sometime, to see if they could start a page the way I do in GIMP, but I just haven't been curious enough. [End Commentary]

If you are shifting from another software program to using GIMP, OR if you're just starting out in the digi-scrapping world and decided to use GIMP from the get-go, here's how to get a project started.

1. From your tools window, choose "File" and then "Open" from the drop-down menu.
2. Find the background paper you want to use for the major portion of your layout, select it, and then click "Open". You will now have a page that consists of one layer, your background paper, that is the same size as your background paper.

Note: most people I've run across scrap square pages and will either buy 3600 x 3600 pixel digi-papers (a 12" x 12" book), or sometimes 1800 (6") or 2400 (8") pixel square papers. If you like to scrap for an 8.5" x 11" notebook-style scrapbook, I am not familiar with the pixel dimensions for that size paper, but it would be easy to figure out. If you need more help with this please ask.

3. In your image window, from the drop-down menu, click on "File" and "Save As". Rename the file to something relevant to you, such as the topic for your scrapbook page.
4. Make sure it is going in the appropriate folder. If not, find the right folder by either clicking on the drop-down window, or click on "Browse for other Folders".
5. Now click on "Browse for File Type". Here you will change the file type (likely from a .jpg extention) TO a .xcf extention. This will allow you to save your file in the middle of working on it, close it, and come back to it another time, with all of your layers still in place. This is VERY important!
6. Now click "Save".

FYI, when you layout is complete and you have no more changes to make, save your file one more time as a .xcf. Then go back and choose "Save As" and save it as a .jpg. This will give you a file format that can be printed out for later display in your book. Then, if you want to show your page off in an online gallery, choose "Image" in the drop-down menu, then "scale image" and shrink it down to about 800 x 800 pixels. Then choose "Save As" one more time from the "File" drop-down menu, and save it with "small" added to your file name so you know it is the small version of your layout. Now you will have 3 files all virtually the same. One GIMP file, and two JPG files, one smaller than the other. :D

I hope this helps some. I really gotta go feed the kids! ~Jen


Summers Camp said...

I don't know if you forgot to add this, or if I'm the only that does this, but if I am going to display something on the web, then I not only scale it down (to about 25%, perfect size for viewing on my blog, etc.), but I also scale the image down to 72 dpi. You only need 300 or more dpi if you're going to print it. Otherwise, for computer viewing, 72 dpi is best and anything more is unnecessary. So I save my pages as:
1. an xcf; 2. a 72 dpi at 25%.
Then, I upload my pages at 2peas as #2 and they automatically rework the file so it's about 110 KB, which is what most other galleries, such as DigiShopTalk, limits your uploads' sizes to. So once my page is uploaded at 2peas, then I right click on the uploaded image and save it and rename it as "smaller ______".

And I open up my files the same as you, starting with my background. But I just save the time and type in ______.xcf instead of browsing for the file type... I'm lazy like that! :)

Oh, and I'm also crazy and made a total digitized page consisting of 85 layers!!! Thanks to dropshadows, of course! ;) Thought you might like to see what your knowledge has spurned! *B

Tara said...

Well here it is... my first digi layout. Thanks so much for the help.

the GIMP 4 Digi-Scrappers said...

Yes, 72dpi is the way to go. Thanks for adding that good piece of info, Beth. As far as your "85 layers" goes, you can also choose the "top" layer you want to merge, and merge it with one layer below it. For instance, if you want to take a layer and merge it with your shadow, once you get it just right, go ahead! Then you have one layer instead of two. Just one way I cheat a little... :P

Summers Camp said...

Oh I know that, haha! I was just changing it so much that I didn't dare merge anything until I was done, you know? Yeah, I'm crazy like that (more crazy than lazy...)!

Hey Jen, thanks so much for having this here blog. It's fantastic!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! *B

PS- great first layout Tara, good job! Thanks for sharing and I'm so proud of you for sticking it through with GIMP! :)

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for your blog! I think I know the basics of Gimp scrapping, but you have brought up somethings I hadnt even thought of.

Thank you again!!!