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 Post subject: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:16 am 
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Good news and bad news on this one. First, good news: the GIMP is easier to use than Blender. It's a 2D graphics program, so there's just less complexity to handle.

The bad news is that there just isn't as much info in video form out there.

Grokking the GIMP is not a bad reference, but it's more of an encyclopedic/index format than anything tutorial-like.

The official documentation does seem a bit more newbie-friendly than Blender's.

Here's how to create your own brushes in GIMP. Sadly, GIMP cannot dynamically rotate brushes, but it's possible to create a rotating brush with this.

And for those interested in using GIMP in addition to or instead of Photoshop, you'll want to have a look at Handy Tweaks to Make GIMP Replace Photoshop.

This isn't a tutorial, but you'll definitely want the Resynthesizer plugin when creating tiling textures. It gives vastly better results than GIMP's "make seamless" option. This alone is a good reason to have the 32 bit version installed even if you use the experimental 64 bit version (I use both). The GIMP also has a free normal map plugin, but with Poser/DAZ items you're usually better off creating black and white bump maps instead. Be sure to have a look at the other things in the free plugin registry while you're there and see if there's anything else you might want or need.

Always remember that in addition to letting you create your own brushes, GIMP can use Photoshop brushes and read the .psd format. This means there are TONS of free or inexpensive resources to add to your workflow (be sure and check licensing on them before using in a commercial product, however; most of the free brushes on deviantart are for non-commercial use only).

Sadly, unlike the plugins, hardly anybody will allow free commercial use of their brushes. I've been very happy with Obsidian Dawn's pricing for commercial use of their brush packs.

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:14 am 
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Oh if you find a good tut on how to create a gradient in GIMP, I'd love to see it, as the information in the manual just didn't do it for me at all.

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:29 pm 
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You mean something like this?

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:27 am 
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SickleYield wrote:
You mean something like this?


EXCELLENT!! That's EXACTLY what I was looking for. The silly manual tells you to do it with the Gradient Editor, and I couldn't for the life of me get the colors in there correctly. This was perfect. :mrgreen:

I also bookmarked the site and will check out their other GIMP tuts. I've been using Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop for years so I'm not new to image creation/manipulation, but I've had a few problems with getting used to GIMP, and so far the manual has been a huge letdown. I supposed I shouldn't have been surprised as most manuals that come with software are rarely inspiring.

Edited to add: OK, this isn't working out as I thought it would. I followed the tutorial and created a gradient. Easy enough from that tutorial. Now I want to create another new gradient, and as I change the foreground and background colors, the gradient I already created changes to the new foreground and background colors. Does GIMP base all their "new gradients" on the foreground/background setup, and if so, what do I have to do to get GIMP to retain the new gradient's colors so I can create a few more? Just "color" me curious. ~please excuse the pun~

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:25 am 
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You should be able to stick to the colors you used to create the gradient by toggling the "use color from gradient" option on and off when you're using the gradient fill. Is that not working?

And yep, GIMP is a very different interface from an Adobe product. :lol: Actually I prefer it, but that's probably because I "grew up" with it so to speak (I've only used PS et al. briefly and infrequently). It being an open source program, tutorial support for it tends to be extensive but widely scattered around the web. A google search will often find a page for a specific process that won't be in a compendium or manual.

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:21 am 
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SickleYield wrote:
You should be able to stick to the colors you used to create the gradient by toggling the "use color from gradient" option on and off when you're using the gradient fill. Is that not working?


That's only available if I use the paintbrush, pencil or airbrush. That option's not available if I want to use the gradient fill. What my problem seems to be is that I can create a gradient and use it in the same session, but once I close GIMP and go back, the default Foreground to Background is White to Black, and the gradient I created ALSO shows up as White to Black. IOW, the colors I had assigned to the gradient aren't saved to the gradient as I assumed they would be so I could use them again at a later date. If there's another "trick" in addition to what was in that tutorial, then that's what I'm missing.

Edited to add: OK, I just tried again, and when I reopened GIMP, the Foreground and Background colors were as they were when I closed GIMP. However, if I want to reset the Foreground/Background colors to White and Black again, the gradient I created changes to White and Black too instead of retaining the two colors I used to create it.

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:16 am 
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Hm.

How about Palette to Gradient? This page says if you create a new palette and save that, you can then use the command to make the gradient pick up the saved palette.

Kinda kludgy, but it'll work for what you want to do.

I've added a link to another useful page to the first post.

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:05 am 
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OK, this is really weird. I just opened GIMP and decided I'd try and take the colors I wanted in my gradient and import them as a palette to see if that was better. Well, when I clicked on the gradient I had created (which by default showed up as White to Black because I think that's what it was when I last closed GIMP yesterday), the gradient showed up as the colors I had used to create it. Now that's not something I expected, but it's there, it just doesn't show up that way when I change the Foreground/Background colors to work on something else. That's a little disconcerting to say the least, but now I know it did save the colors.

BTW, thanks for the link to the Palette to Gradient info as I'm going to try that and see how that works. I'll let you know if the colors in the Gradient dialog look right that way. I can certainly create palettes first if that works better. It just surprised me to see it change to White/Black, even though when I clicked on the new gradient the colors I wanted showed up. Hmmmmm, I wonder how the GIMP developers get the gradients that come with it to show up correctly. ~scratches head~

Edited to add: OK, this is why I really hate the GIMP manual. On that page you linked to, about 2/3 of the way down, is the follow:

Palette to gradient

With this command, all the colors of the palette are used to form the current gradient which is saved in the Gradient Dialog. The created gradient is build (sp.?) with segments just as much as the number of colors on the given palette.


Unfortunately, NO WHERE in the manual does it tell you how to access that command. I checked the menu(s) accessed from the Palette dialog and don't see it anywhere. Is it a keyboard shortcut? Is it hiding somewhere else? Any enlightenment would help. I was able to import the gradient colors to a palette easily, but now I want to be able to move it back to a gradient and see how that works.

Thanks for your help. Maybe in 6 months from now (or longer) I may actually be able to use GIMP as easily as I do PSP and PS. ~sigh~

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:37 am 
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Nope, the manual is not a productive learning tool. Honestly it isn't for most of my commercial products either (the DAZ figure setup tools one sucks, for example). First rule of thumb with GIMP or Blender is always to google it first. :D

You right-click the palette dock and you get a list of commands. "Palette to gradient" should be on the list. I'm not having it show up on mine for some reason...

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 Post subject: Re: The GIMP Tutorial Sites, Necessary Plugins and Resources
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:49 am 
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SickleYield wrote:
Nope, the manual is not a productive learning tool. Honestly it isn't for most of my commercial products either (the DAZ figure setup tools one sucks, for example). First rule of thumb with GIMP or Blender is always to google it first. :D


Oh you had to go and tell me that. I FINALLY bought the figure setup tools and haven't played with them yet. ~shakes head~

I often Google for tutorials no matter the software (especially online downloadable software), but I often have problems finding what I want. More often than not, I find similar questions on a forum, but not always answers are given. Also, I sometimes think I just don't pose the query correctly.

SickleYield wrote:
You right-click the palette dock and you get a list of commands. "Palette to gradient" should be on the list. I'm not having it show up on mine for some reason...


OK, here's a a couple of screenshots (and comments) of what I get when I try that --> http://missbgraphics.com/gimp/

BTW, I'm using version 2.6.7 in case that means anything.

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