Last Updated: April 8, 2011
[color=ffff75]Welcome to The Ultimate GIMPers Guide! A place to find out what's new on the latest version of GIMP, take your first steps in GIMP with downloading it and following Saiyuki's excellent full signature tutorial, and learn of some good places to start getting resources from! So let us begin![/color]
[color=ffff75]To download GIMP is real easy. Just visit their website, gimp.org, and click on the download button. If you're a Mac user, you need to go to that same page, scroll down to the bottom, and click on "Mac OS X" under "Downloads", and follow the instructions.
Oh, and how can I forget, GIMP costs absolutely nothing!! It's FREE!! So if you're just kind of interested in making some fanart on the side, then GIMP is the perfect image manipulation program for you or even if you think you really want to get into graphics, GIMP is excellent to start out with because it has several similarities with Photoshop (PS).[/color]
[color=ffff75]In this section I will be giving out brief little reports about the new versions of GIMP as they become available for download. So if you are thinking about downloading GIMP or have downloaded GIMP this can be a very interesting section to keep an eye on because you never know what they might bring out in the latest version of GIMP.[/color]
[color=ffff75]*Note: GIMP 2.8 has not yet been released. However, GIMP.org has begun beta test with GIMP 2.7 (Odd decimal points are beta tests and even number decimals are solid versions). I just wanted to caution users that attempting to use a beta version is difficult and stressful at times, and it is not recommended that you try to use a beta version unless you really know what you're doing in terms of programing and code. GIMP 2.8 will probably be released sometime next year.
Update (January 11, 2011): After a long period of silence from the GIMP developers about the progress of GIMP 2.8, they finally released an update of what they're currently working on along with what they will be working on this year. Here is what they had to say:[/color]
[color=ffff75]GIMP Developers wrote:urrently GIMP team is working on finalizing the new stable v2.8 with many improvements such as layer groups, improved brush dynamics, a new unique transformation tool, optional single-window mode and more. There are two big obstacles in our way right now: missing specification on the last change in user interface and broken graphic tablets support in GTK+.
Update (April 4, 2011): The developers have just announced that they now have a webpage to track the development progress of GIMP 2.8. They say this was done to meet the need of their most commonly asked question which is, "When is the next version of GIMP coming out?" This is a really neat feature and allows people to casually check on their progress and see if they're on schedule or not. As of right now, they project to finish the product toward the end of October.[/color]
Released October 1st 2008, GIMP 2.6 has gone even further to enhance the GIMP environment to make it more user friendly and also to once again bring the user closer to a PS style environment.
One of the major changes made to GIMP in this release is the changes made to the GIMP layout in general. Now the main dock is called "Toolbox" and every time you open GIMP there will always be three windows, "Toolbox", "GNU Image Manipulation Program", and "Layers, Channels, Paths, Brushes". Also, the options that were once in the main dock, have been blended with the "GIMP" window. The GIMP window used to only show up when you opened a new canvas, but now the window is open all the time. This window also serves as a "drag and drop" area for pictures that you want to open.
Also, in 2.6 you can pan beyond the image border without extending your image window by pressing and holding the space bar, which is really cool to do. And just like 2.4, the developers have added a ton of new options and tools to GIMP 2.6, but there are so many that it's hard to list. However, one of the major changes is the tentative addition of GEGL which will eventually bring "high bit-depth and non-destructive editing to GIMP".
To find out more, go read the GIMP 2.6 Release Notes.
GIMP 2.4 really started the GIMP reformat revolution. It brought a new and more stylish look to GIMP trying to make it it's own, but also bring users closer to a PS environment. One of the neat aspects that came with the new 2.4 look, was the fact that this look could be modified. With the development of 2.4 came the development of skins/themes to go for it. A wide range of different types of themes are available for everyone so that everyone can have their own more personalized working environment. (Links to good theme sites found below.)
Also, with the release of GIMP 2.4 the developers tried to fix several of the problems from the old GIMP and also make GIMP even more like PS. With this, the developers gave GIMP 2.4 several new features to make it more user friendly, and more like PS:
* Scalable Brushes
* Better Selection Tool Options
* Align Tool
* Improved Zoom Quality
* New Cropping Tool
And many, many more. GIMP 2.4 has really come out with a lot of improvements to the GIMP and has really changed the way you work with it. Also, in version 2.4.6, the developers made it so that GIMP could use PS brushes where it never could before. All GIMP versions can open PS file type (.psd), but PS can not open GIMP file type (.xcf).
To find out more, go read the GIMP 2.4 Release Notes.
GIMP, Beginners Guide: The Basic Full Sig Tut
-- By: Saiyuki
Link to Thread
As this question keeps coming up...
"i just Downloaded Gimp, and haven't a clue what to do next"
I've written this tutorial where I can put all the useful GIMP related links we have on the board here to help you, the Gimper, make your very own works of art...
PS (Photoshop) users may wish to view Kitty Michaels' intro to CS3...and I can also recomend JessicaRae's Hints and tips for PS thread...
useful tid-bits first...some Menu guides (...the one's you're most likely to need...)
"Edit"..."Undo" >>> Cap simply undoes the most recent funtion/brush/effect you added to your canvas...
"Edit"..."Undo History" >>> Cap 1...Cap 2..want to undo a bit more tha just one mistake?...go back further and start over by selecting a previous stage of your piece.
"Filters"..."Enhance"..."Sharpen" >>>Cap...sharpens your images, do not set too high as it will make the pixels more prominent and can mess with the colours.
"Colours"..."Brightness/Contrast" >>>Cap...brightens up your selected layer and can add extra depth with altering the contrast, too much and your image will disappear into pure whiteness
"Dialogues"..."Layers" >>> Cap 1...Cap 2...this brings up a seperate window with all your layers, you can now see which is "active", as it will be highlighted, and what order your layers are in...you can move your layers around using this window...IE: put a lower layer on top instead...simply single click and "drag" the layer to the point you want.
This might come in handy aslo...when it comes to using brushes etc...
adding a tab...in my Screenshots you might note that i have the tool menu and brushes within the main Gimp box...thing...I did this by adding "Tabs" to my menu...Screencap 1...Screencap 2
Basic banner...step by step
you could also try Mina's blending tut
Load up The Gimp...then open a new canvas...
...I've set mine at 600 pixes wide by 200 pixels high
...then you'll need to start adding your images...easiest way?..."open as layer"
Screencap 3...simply click the image you want to use from those in your computers files...it will appear in the "Canvas"
...now to scale the layer, if you need to...follow the layers menu down then change the numbers to fit your canvas better
...I've simply adjusted the hieght value to 300...so my image is still 100 pixels taller than my canvas...<<I hope that makes sense...
...then i'll be wanting to move he image around a bit...I've put mine over to the left side...
then of course you'll want to add another image...just do the same agaion...from Image as layer
once you've got your second image added. re-sized. and positioned...you'll be needing to blend the edges, probably...simply use the "Lasso" or "Free select" tool and set it to feather
...selecting the area you want gone and "cutting" it away...I do it a little different to Mina
Screencap 8...Screencap 9...you can also do Screencap 9 by simply right button clicking your mouse then going to "Edit" then "Cut" from there
if your images aren't blended enough, you can repeat the above and take away more of the overlaping image...if you've taken too much away simply go to "Edit">>>"Undo"
if you're not sure/can't tell how well your images are blended you can "Merge" the layers to see..."Image">>>"Merge visible Layers"... then... "Edit">>"Undo" if they still need work....
...and this sounds quite complicated by the way
...you can add a layer in between your current ones and merge down the top one onto it...that way the edge of the layer is visible (No annoying yellow line)
...go to "Dialogues" and bring up your "Layers Dialogue" now highlight the layer below, right mouse click and Add new layer...in the box select "Transparency"...Cap 1...Cap 2...go back into the Layers Dialogue and highlight the upper layer...then right click it and select "Merge" Cap 3
...if you want to do this throughout making a banner the easiest/quickest way is to "Layer">>"New layer">>"Transparency" ...then..."File>>"open as layer" your image and once re-sized, etc, simply merge it down to your blank layer
My basic banner result...
now...you've got your basic banner...you can add more images using the previous stages...or you can move on to add effects, use some brushes...add some text even...
Deviantart is a great place to Down Load brushes just put in a search for, say, "Star brushes" and they shall appear
...see Seths thread on how to install your brushes
...the great thing about the new version of Gimp is that you can now use Photoshop brushes too...so they don't have to be specifically made/converted for Gimp
if you're having trouble finding your brushes folder (as the tut sheet thing doesn't give exact directions) follow this guide...(this is for Windows)
Start>>>Computer>>>HDD (Disc/Boot C:)>>>Program files>>>Gimp-2.0>>>Share>>>gimp>>>2.0>>>brushes
....and that's where you'll need to put the new ones once you've extracted the files...
add a new layer...select the paintbrush tool
I'm using some particularly fancy brushes ...sorry
after applying the brush...in whatever colour you like...go upto dialogues and get your Layers Dialogue box up...highlight the layer with the brush work on it...then change it's "Mode" ...this is fun to play with...you can use this on regular images too, not just brushes/texture layers, you'll get some interesting results i'm sure
Play around with it...try different layer modes mixed together...I tend to favour "Overlay" and "Soft Light" ....and get as many pretty brushes as you dare
You don't have to change the layer modes of course...you can leave the layer as it is when you brush on it, or you could alter the "Opacity" or play with Colourise ...if you dare <<Select and area using the lasso tool (Feathered edges) and then go to "Colours">>"Colourise"...that area will change colour and you can alter the strength of the colour and the lightness etc...
My result after adding brushes/playing with the layer modes/colourising and enhancing the images some more...
Adding a neat white border...
add a new layer "Trasparency"....then Bucket fill it white...
Zoom in to 800%...use the rectangle selection tool to select the area, 1 pixel in from all sides...start in the top left corner, 1 pixel in from the left, and 1 pixel down from the Top...then drag your cursor all the way down to the bottom right hand corner and stop 1 pixel in from the right, and 1 pixel up from the bottom ....now "Edit">>"Cut"....Border complete
Add a new Layer, "Transparency"...get the "Text tool" menu in your box thingy...now simply click on your banner roughly where you want your text to go...then start typing...you can change the size, colour and font by altering the selections in the main box thing...you don't have to start again everytime you change your font as it'll change automatically if the text layer is still active...
if you accidentaly click on somthing and your text layer is no longer active simply click the big A for the text menu again, then find the right layer, and click back on the text you've done...it should let you edit it like this at least a few times
when you're happy you can simply merge it down or play with the colours/layer modes as with the brushes etc...if your text needs to be moved don't delete it and start again, make sure you have the correct layer selected then use the "Move" tool
or you can "Cut" and "Paste" it ...Paste is under the same section as Cut
My end result..
SNnat17's tut for a more interesting text effect
You can Download lots of great interesting fonts from DaFont.com
VV a font Dowloading guide...not a spoiler :pVV
- [+] spoiler
- Go to a font site...My favourite for great Free fonts is "daFont.com"
Search through the list of fonts until you find one you'd like to Download...simply left click on the DL link on the far right of the screen...
this box will come up...click on save
it will come up with a file folder on your HDD (Downloads/document etc...)
find a place to save the new font...perhaps creat a new folder in Downloads called "New fonts" to put it in...that way you'll know exactly where to look when installing later...
this saving/DLing box will apear for a while on your screen, unles like myself you have so many folders open you can't see it
Next step, once you've saved the font is to install it, you don't have to do this straight away of course
click start then find you Control panel
now click on and open your comps main "Fonts" folder...if using Vista it's easier to find the fonts folder if you put it in "Classic view"
now go back to your Downloaded font file...bring it up on the screen...This part is easier if you have both "Windows" shrunk down a little
now you'll need to "Extract the font from its "Zip" folder to do this simply Right buttn click your new font with the mouse, then Left click "Extract all"
another Window will apear asking you again...so just click "Extract" in the corner there
A new folder with your extracted file and probably a "Read me" will now apear....Simply Drag the font file with your mouse over to the Main Fonts file (The one from the control panel) it should automatically install, or ask for your permission to install font and voila...that's it
PS: some fonts have more than one font file...follow the steps in the same way but you'll need to drag all the "Font files" into the "Font" folder...not just the one in those cases
i have a tut up about adding colour to eyes and enhancing images...might come in handy when you get to grips with layering more than a couple of images and really want your work to "Pop"
...you could also try playing around with curves....which i only recently discovered thanks to Seth
Saving your work
You can save it as either .jpg (most common), .png (often regarde as better quility) or .gif (use .gif for animataions...when you get to that stage )
...but you can also save your work as an .xcf file...this means that you can save your work in progress and with the layers still seperated and fully re-workable when you Open it up again in Gimp
In more detail>>
- [+] spoiler
- to save your work...
when ou've finished yur piece to save as a plain (flat) 1 layered piece go to File (on your "Canvas" not the main box thing) then go to Save if you're finished or Save as.. if you wanna carry on for a bit (It'll save what you have so far)
a box should pop up..at the top you type in the file name you want it to be EG: Banner1.jpg
then from the list of files underneath you pick where you'd like it to save to..EG: Pictures...SNstuff...
then click on Save near the bottom...or cancel...if you've changed your mind
another box will pop-up asking you the quality you want it to be saved at...I alsways go for 100% otherwise it looses that sharpness and can look dull and pixelated.then just click save again..and it's done
If you save it as EG: Banner.png...you pick a folder as before and click on Save it will come up with a different box this time...but i've never changed anything on that box..I just click save again ...if your banner hs more than one ayer then select merge/flatten layers...then save...
when saving as .gif:
select your destination folder and click save as before the box it comes up with this time will ask if you want to flatten image or Save as animation tick animation and then click on Export
...another box will pop-up asking you how long you wnat each "slide" to show for before it moves onto the next one...you have to experiment with timings to figure out how long you want each layer to be shown for but for video speed animations I set it to just 10 Millesecond
then just click save again...
...after a while you will feel like you have progressed as far as this tut can take you...in which case you may wish to try out Seth's intermediate/advanced sig tut
before you get to that stage you may wish to try out making moving avatars etc...
Try out Mina's moving avatar tut
My Animation tutorial >>is up<<
everything from basic image switching icons to full video like banners
Getting the right images
For the best results, use the best images...The higher quality (Larger) the image the better your result is likely to be...
Exellent sources for HQ TV screencaps
if i've missed something, you have further inquiries into the inner workings of The Gimp or some of that just doesn't makes enough sense, just let me know...I'll try my best to help you along
BTW... my current sig and Avatar were all created in Gimp 2.4
...including the vid banner
Even More Resources
[color=ff6136]Screencaps & Other Stock Supernatural Pictures:
Supernatural Knight Thanks to JessicaRae for hosting
Princess-of-Shadows's on DeviantArt
GIMP Tutorials - GIMP Themes for Windows[/color]
[color=ffff75]And that's all! I hope you have enjoyed and have found some of the information useful. Make sure to check by every now-and-again for further updates and release notes from GIMP.
Senator Seth of the UGS
Fanart Forum Moderator[/color]