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The Inkscape and GIMP Project

Overview: You will make a graphics file of your initials, an animated GIF and some bitmap manipulations.

Topics: Chapters 2-3, Computer Graphics, GIMP, Inkscape

Project Template: Project 2 Template

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please read all instructions thoroughly and carefully before calling on the instructor for help. Please remember that your neighbors, the Inkscape and GIMP help menus, and the internet are also all resources that you can consult.

Before You Begin

Copy and paste the following template on your Project 2 page: Project 2 Template.

Part I: Create Your Initials

1. If you want to work on your own computer, download Inkscape 0.48 from the Inkscape website and GIMP 2.6 from the GIMP website. You are also welcome to use other image editing programs, but this class only supports the aforementioned software.

2. Using TextEdit (text software found on the Mac) or a similar word processing program of your choice, create your initials in upper case (mine would be JC) using the following specifications:

  • A type other than Times New Roman or dingbat fonts (HINT: Sans-serif fonts will be easier to trace.)
  • Very large font size (such as 144 or thereabouts, depending on the font chosen)
  • Color other than black, white or gray

3. Take a screenshot of your initials.

  • On a Mac, you can use Grab or the Command-Shift-4 keyboard shortcut.
  • On a PC, you can use the Print Screen (sometimes called the PrtSc) button, but you will have to crop out the rest of the desktop.

4. Save this file as an uncompressed .tiff.

  • Use a naming convention that uniquely identifies the file as yours, such as CuneoJoshua_Initials.tiff.
  • The keyboard shortcuts for screenshots on a Mac will automatically create a PNG image file on your desktop, so you can open it in Preview or GIMP and save it as a .tiff file.
  • On a PC, the Print Screen button copies the screenshot to the Windows clipboard, so you'll have to paste it into an image editing program and save it that way.
  • Some screenshot programs save screenshots as compressed .tiffs. To uncompress your .tiff, please do the following:
    • Open your .tiff file up in GIMP
    • Go to File-> Save As... and select "TIFF image" from the "Select File Type" pull-down menu. Hit Save.
    • In the pop-up window, be sure that "None" is checked under "Compression." Hit Save.
    • Upload your uncompressed .tiff to your Project 2 wiki page, ignoring any warnings the wiki gives you. Be sure that your page is updated to reflect the uncompressed file size and that the download link leads to the uncompressed version of your file.

5. Save this file again as a .png if one does not already exist.

  • You'll be displaying the .png version in your template because .tiff will not directly display in a wiki.
  • Use a unique naming convention for this file, too.

5. Start Inkscape and import your .tiff file (File -> Import).

  • If it asks whether to Link or Embed the image, select Embed and click OK.

6. Using the Bezier curve tool, trace the letters in your image, creating two closed shapes.

  • Put your trace on a different layer from your imported .tiff file. You will need to delete the .tiff file in a later step.
  • I recommend putting your trace for each initial on a different layer, giving your file three layers (background, first initial, second initial).

7. Choose a color and apply it to both letters (bottom row).

8. Delete your imported .tiff file. Save your two letters as a .svg file (a vector graphic file format).

  • Use a unique naming convention for this file, too.

9. Upload the .tiff, the .png and the .svg file to the wiki.

Part II: Create an Animated .gif

Despite the proliferation of more advanced animations on the web, many web surfers still prefer animated .gifs under certain circumstances. They're especially popular as avatars on discussion forums.

1. Using Inkscape, create eight simple vector images of your choice. These will be the frames of your animation. These images must meet the following criteria:

  • They use a combined total of at least two line thicknesses and/or two different shapes
  • They use a combined total of at least three different colors
  • Each represents the same object from one of the following eight angles:
    • Front
    • 45 degree right
    • Right
    • 45 degree rear
    • Rear
    • 45 degree left
    • Left
    • 45 degree forward
  • NOTE 1: You can draw your images from scratch or import and trace a series of images.
  • NOTE 2: Using layers can make it easier to re-use image elements from different frames.

2. Save each of your eight images in .svg format.

3. Using GIMP, string these images together into an animated GIF.

  • Use File -> Open for the first frame and File -> Open as Layers for the rest.
  • When opening, click OK if you get a pop-up menu.
  • Save your file in GIMP XCF format first. This is the GIMP project file format and will allow you to come back and make changes to your animation later, if necessary.
  • When saving to GIF, remember to select these options when they pop up:
    • Save as Animation
    • One frame per layer (replace) (found in the "Frame disposal where unspecified" pull-down menu)
    • Keep "Loop forever" checked
    • OPTIONAL: Adjust the Delay between frames.
    • And, of course, don't forget to give it a unique file name.

4. Post both the animated GIF and your individual .svg frames to your Project 2 template.

  • NOTE: If your .svg frames do not display correctly on your wiki page, export each of your frames to a .png or .jpg file. Upload these exports and post them where the template asks you to post your frames. Keep the corresponding download links for your .svg files.

Part III: Manipulate a Bitmap Image

1. Go online and find a photograph of your choice (or use a photograph of your own) that meets the following criteria:

  • It has a size of at least 300x200 pixels (although bigger is better)
  • It is in color
  • It was taken in a well-lit area
  • It has a clear, sharply defined foreground and background (i.e. neither is very blurry or pixelated).
  • The foreground and background are distinguishable from one another.
  • It has had no apparent manipulations done to it already

2. Save your original image as .jpg file (File -> Save As... -> Select File Type) if it is not in that format already.

3. Take your original image and blur the background only.

4. Save this as a new jpg image.

  • NOTE: If your GIMP file has layers, you may get an error message saying JPG doesn't support layers. Select Export on the pop-up menu. You can leave all other options to their default values.

5. Take your image from step 3 and make the background black and white, keeping the foreground in color. Save this as a new image.

6. Take your image from the previous step and add motion blur to make a stationary object in the photo look like it's moving. This can be done by either adding motion blur to the object itself or by adding motion blur to the rest of the photo. Save this as a new image.

7. Take your image from the previous step and add a border to it. (Be sure to use a color that makes it distinct from the rest of the photo.) Save this as a new image.

  • There are several ways to do this. One way is to create a new layer above the others, fill it in with a color and use the selection tool to delete the stuff you don't want.

8. Take your image from the previous step and add your name to it. (Be sure to use a color that makes it distinct from the rest of the photo.) Save this as a new image.

9. Upload all six images to your Project 2 template.

Grading Criteria

  • Part 1: Max 15 points

Create a vector version of your initials.

  • Part 2: Max 45 points

Create eight frames and turn them into an animated gif.

  • Part 3: Max 20 points

Perform the five manipulations (4 points each).

  • Tidyness: Max 10 points

Your images do not look like they have been thrown together at the last minute and are reasonably “tidy.”

  • Completion: Max 10 points

All files and images are uploaded to the wiki with the correct formatting and file types.

Additional Tips and Resources

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