Lots of Features
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In terms of painting and drawing images, the GIMP includes a full suite of drawing tools (all of which produce smooth drawing effects thanks to powerful anti-aliasing technology) such as pencils, brushes, airbrush, and cloning. The program of course supports custom brushes and patterns, as well as gradient and blending tools. For adjusting, manipulating and cleaning up images, there are many different tools, and most importantly the program supports multiple levels of undo and redo, so if you make a mistake, you can easily recover from it.
The GIMP has its own native file format for saving images, known as XCF, which retains layers and the other sophisticated editing features that you need to keep for work’s that are still in progress. However images in GIMP can also be loaded, saved, or converted to and from a wide variety of popular file formats including bmp, gif, jpeg, png, ps, psd, tiff and numerous others.
Another powerful aspect of the GIMP, is that like top-end commercial graphics programs, the software is both extensible and can be automated:
* Extensibility means that programmers can enhance the software with add-on modules (“extensions” or “plug-ins”) that provide extra features over and above the basic program. For example, typical extensions may add support for loading or saving images in different file formats, or provide extra effects and filters for manipulating images.
* The automation features of the GIMP allows scripts to be set up to perform common procedures that you might otherwise need to do again and again. For example, if you have a large number of images to convert from one file format to another, a script can be set up to do this in automated way, rather than you manually have to load and then re-save each individual image.
Obtaining the GIMP is easy. The GIMP is actually an open source program, which means you can download it (including the source code, which you can review or even edit if you have the programming skills) for free. That said, if you’re not a technically-orientated type of person, this may not be the best option for you. The other way to obtain the program is to purchase a commercial distribution of the program (these are mostly very reasonably priced) – the advantage of which is usually a straightforward and easy installation procedure, documentation, support, and in many cases, useful extras bundled with the basic program, such as tutorials or clip art libraries.
First of all, create the target image that you would like to use for your jigsaw pieces and open it with the program. Next, figure out the desired pixel height and width of your image. You can do this very easily by selecting the IMAGE tab, and after that, the IMAGE PROPERTIES option. Now, create a new, blank image that has the exact dimensions. In order to do this, click on the FILE tab and after that choose NEW. Next, type in the pixel height and width of your image.
The jigsaw puzzle has to be made on the newly created, plain background. You can do this by clicking on the FILTERS tab located above your blank image, and after that select: RENDER > PATTERN > JIGSAW. Now it is time to adjust the options shown in order to fit your desired amount of pieces (select 1-20 rows and columns), piece shape (curved or square), bevel width. After doing so, save the image.
It is now the time to add your target image as a layer to the base of the jigsaw and for doing so, you must select the FILE tab, and click on OPEN AS LAYER and pick out your target image. If you take a closer look at this new image you will notice that at the top it now has two layers. You will have to toggle between them. In order to do so, you have to open up the layers dialog and click on the DIALOG tab and then click on LAYERS.
You will have to select the puzzle layer and switch the target image layer off for now. In order to accomplish this, click on the “eye” next to the target image to set it as invisible. Next up, while you are still in the layers dialog box, you will have to click on the puzzle base layer, highlighting it. Now you are ready to edit the puzzle base layer.
You will have to select your “fuzzy select tool”, which you will find on the main tools panel. It resembles to a magic wand that has a yellow tip. Click on it in order to activate it. You must now click one of the puzzle pieces on the main base and one of the individual pieces should be now highlighted. Set the base image back to visible by clicking the eye in the layers dialog box. To select it, click on the target image. Now you should see the puzzle piece outline on your target image.
Next, select EDIT > CUT, in order to cut a jigsaw shaped piece out of the target image. Create a new window by clicking on FILE > NEW and paste (EDIT > PASTE) the jigsaw piece image into that new window. You will have to repeat this process for the rest of the puzzle pieces.