Copyright Brush - Watermark


After learning how to create a brush, if you want to watermark your images with a copyright, simply create in black the image you wish to use. Convert it to grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale) and then create it as a brush (mentioned on other posts). I suggest creating ones very large to very small. Mine are 900 pixels at the largest to 100 pixels as the smallest. Above is one of my copyright brushes in white. It's the same brush. In the toolbox there is a setting for the brush called opacity. The upper-right is white at 100, bottom-left is white at 55, top-left is dodge clicked twice, bottom-right is burn clicked 5 times.

You can create brushes as the top border of a package preview for your blog, your avatar (keep that as RGB when making the brush so you don't lose your colors), and anything else you might want to use over and over again that isn't part of your kit. It's obvious to make flowers and doodles, though many don't think to make things you use for each and every kit. Even that plastic package look can be a brush that you stamp over your preview of goodies. Instead of having it a pasted layer, a brush would be simpler and quicker.

Cropping Alphas and Elements

Note: Click on the Post Tags to see other posts regarding the guillotine (crop) tool after reading this.


To avoid repetitious tasks, it might be easier to make a sheet of alphas or elements and add the filters and scripts to it then cut them apart later. I save these sheets, like the one above, in case I need it again. I also name the lettered sheet after the font I used.


I space out the letters or elements so I can get a guide between them. To add a guide, drag your mouse (which will change into the move tool automatically) from the ruler down for a horizontal line or from the left across for a vertical line.


By selecting Image>Transform>Guillotine you'll get the image above, several new images or offspring of the larger image you added the guides to.

You can alter your image with bucket fills, script fu's, filters, drop shadows, layers, etc. all with the guides in place. Make sure before you use the guillotine tool you don't have the blue guides across a shadow or it'll appear in the next image over. Also, you might want to merge your layers first (do not flatten if you are wanting a transparent background). If you guillotine before merging, you'll have a new image in layers and will have to merge or export when saving.

One of the other posts talk about the naming of the offsprings.

Color Image to Transparent PNG - Making Stickers

There's two items in this tutorial - one cutting the image from the white background, the other making a sticker from your element.


1. Open Image
2. Layer>Transparency>Add Alpha Channel


3. Use Wand Tool to select white area
4. Select>Grow> (I used 3px for example - all you need is enough to get inside the image and past the white sections).
5. Edit>Cut
6. Save image as name.png or add drop shadow or other alterations, then save.

TO MAKE STICKERS:

1. Open Image
2. Layer>Transparency>Add Alpha Channel
3. Use Wand Tool to select white area


4. Select>Shrink> (I used 20 pixels for this but you can go larger for a bigger border).
5. Edit>Cut

Note above and below there's a white box around the shape as well as the border around the flower.


There's two ways to get rid of that box border:
1. Select white area with wand tool (click on the white) and select Edit>Cut or 2. Just use the crop tool (knife) to crop the whole image, getting rid of the border.

EDIT TO ADD: During the shrink process there's a box to uncheck that says shrink from image border. That will prevent the square from appearing.

Save as name.png after you do any alterations or adding drop shadows.

Black and White JPG to Transparent PNG


To create an image with a transparent background that's black and white, the process is simple. Open your image. Select Layer>Transparency>Add Alpha Channel.


Now select Layer>Transparency>Color to Alpha. Since you are removing white, you don't need to change the color. Note: if this was a color image, any color containing white, the white will be removed, giving the colored areas an opaque effect, or in the digital scrapbooking world - vellum quality.


If you want this new image to be a brush, then go to Image>Mode>Grayscale. In 2.2 you go to Script-Fu>Selection>To Brush. Name the brush and the script will create it and add it to your currently selected brush. In 2.4 go to Edit>Copy>Paste As Brush. Name it and it'll pop up in your brushes tool box. Making it grayscale will allow the brush to take on the currently selected color in your palette. More about brushes were posted elsewhere.

Be sure to save your finished product as name.png - if you save as a jpg you'll get the white background again.

New Image With Transparency - PNG Elements


If you want to create an element or an alpha that has a transparent background you should start with a transparent blank image. In another post I talk about sizing your items for the digital scrapbooking world. For this example I have chosen to create an element 1200x1200 pixels in size. I set the dpi to 300, made sure I was in RGB mode, selected transparency from the drop down menu and added my copyright information (this gets recorded in the exif data of the image - also another topic mentioned here on the blog). You can put anything in the comment section, but I would keep it simple. You can put your blog address here, though I'd skip the http part. In my case, I'd just put brainsongimp.blogspot.com though I just choose to put my name and a small note.

To get this box above, go to the main Gimp window, select File>New and this box will popup. Click the button next to advanced options to see the whole box.

iVillage Gimp

You might want to refresh the search for Gimp as this page ages, but this is a link using the search for Gimp on iVillage. There's a bunch of tips and tuts for Gimp here.

Exif Data and Copyright Info


When creating image templates, open up your image template dialog box, select new template and fill in your information, like what I have. Name your template for it's purpose. Set your transparency/background preferences, size, resolution and color mode (digital scrapbooking you'll want RGB). Click okay to save.

Now a little bit about piracy and why doing the above is important:

People steal images. It's not going to stop. But you can help prevent yourself from being a victim by learning different things.

Exif data can also be known as comment info. For this post, I am using it interchangably, yet exif data has oh so much more than your input. It records the program used to create the image, cameras and scanners involved, apertures, etc.

One way of prevention is to add your copyright information in the exif data of an image. This happens when you open up your template to create an image. You've just programmed that into your template and it's permanently set into your image, and when using guillotine, every offspring image. This information isn't typically seen by anyone unless they are using a viewer that allows them to see it, like ACDSee, even some forums will. Most image theives do not see it and do not know how to change it. There is an easy way, but it's not what you'd think and I'm not advertising it here. It's not something you need to know to protect yourself anyway.

Saving your edits in some form is another good way to prove that you are the author. Case in point, two gals in a forum post something darn near identical about a year apart. A mod caught it and didn't know what the deal was. Everyone thought the second poster was the pirate but she wasn't. First off, she had her brushes, a few trials and an unfinished psd file in layers. And of course the exif data. She proved her case.

Poor (very talented and awesome designer) Lilybelle is going through a similar issue. And it seems so many pirates are from another country.

Some will steal your download links and they can even find a way of stealing them for shopping cart related downloads. In the case of Lily, they stole her download link and possibly also renaming files, rezipping and hosting them on their own. You can rename a file, that doesn't change the exif data.

I have altered an item for my use and then deleted the image but used the image space to create something else. I should not have done that, because now I know the comment info was from the first image and not mine. I was in a bad habit of using select>all>edit>delete and then creating. Never again.

I once had someone steal my photobucket pictures, hotlinking them. These were PB photos I had under a password protected account that I paid for - I paid for the bandwidth they were taking as well as the fact those photos were in that file for a reason. So I swapped the image out with another one that said "I steal images". That showed their readers what they were made of. I've also added files to my freebies that said "if you didn't find this via the Freebie Vault and my hoster, than this was illegally downloaded". I have downloaded a file that had a blinkie that at first glance is no big deal, but if you waited, it had the information on their about her terms of use. I got it from her site, but had it been pirated, meaning I got it other than from her sources, I would have known how to reach her to let her know someone had her stuff.

Being popular also helps with the piracy issue. The more people who know you and your stuff, the more likely the person will think twice about it, but popularity alone won't keep you from being a victim. I think, though I have no proof, that if you offer a freebie of a store kit, then the store kit may be safe and depending on the severity, maybe theft of a freebie can be "let go". Not without letting them know they have been caught and making them remove it. I mean, go as far as contacting each and every person on their blog that you can that had said thanks for the freebie and let them know. This way they can give proper credit to you instead of the pirate.

If you want to know more and to find some great links visit the Stop Piracy Blog.

That's all I have for now. I've spent way too much time on the computer today, lol!!

Making Stitches

Open up a new image with a transparent background 3600 pixels wide and 600 pixels high.


In any color (I used pink f44871), use the text tool to make a dashed line using a hyphen in any font that looks nice, rounded ones will look more like a stitch. Space your hyphens to your taste. If you are wanting to make a crosstitch, then use the letter x. In the example I am using both simultaneously. If you don't like your letter as you are typing it you can change the font size or font without deleting what you have typed. Just keep your Text Editor box open. For this tut, I am using the Orange Fizz font. Note that I have made it so there are about 3 stitches per 500pixels. You don't want to go much smaller than 4 per 500 because they become too small unless tiny is what you want.

[Another way you can do a crosstitch with more added depth use / then copy that layer and then layer>transform>flip layer horizontally. Now you have an x. Don't merge these. After you embellish, you will add drop shadows between that make it look like they are separate.]

When done adding your text, select image>merge visible layers so you are left with a single layer.


I'm going to make a glittered stitch. You can use bumpmapping to make your stitch appear like fabric by bucket filling a new image with your texture and bumpmapping your stitch image. This is where you can experiment. For my glittering, I'm adding noise filter>noise>scatter rgb, then filter>generic>erode followed by filter>light effects>sparkle. My settings are in the pic below.

Add a new layer from the layers dialog box or layer>new layer>transparent. You will want the dialog box open because you will be switching. Make sure you have the new layer selected. It will be highlighted as in the image below.

With black and a circle brush, dot your ends of the stitch. Now go to filter>blur>gaussian blur> (anything between 5 and 25 will do, depending on your taste here, I used 20).


Using the layer dialog box image above, you can see the word opacity, move that slider until dots fade to how you like them. Mine is set at 70. Now hit the arrow down in the layers dialog box to lower your layer. Then select the background layer. From the image select (in 2.2) script fu>shadow>drop shadow. My settings are 3/3/6/60. You can play here or even skip it if you don't want to shadow. And you can tweek your dot opacity and blur to your taste too. Before you close out your image, save it and test it on a scrapbook page. If you like it then proceed to the next options - recoloring. Click on the hue tool in your Gimp Tools window, click on your image and tweek the slider. "Save as" for each color combo you like. If you have two elements on a page like I did then use the my quick crop method - guillotine.


TO GUILLOTINE:

Take your mouse and left click and hold, sliding down until you are betwen your elements, this creates a horizontal guide. Same can be done from the left for a vertical guide. Now go to image>transform>guillotine. This will cut your image apart. Note the auto-renaming. You might want to name and save your parent image before you cut because the offspring will take on the name with some numbers. It makes it easier for saving and renaming later. I just click on the x on the new image and then gimp will ask me if I want to save, then I click Alt-S. Image saves to the same folder the parent image was saved in. I then use my ACDSee program to do a batch rename.


Your done.

Now make your previews, terms of use and who to give credit to images. Once you zip it up, you are good to go with your blog or store. A tip - have your name on the file and images. Lots of pirating going on. Also see the post about Exif Data.