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GraphicsMuse: Mastering Gimp - Part III

Dec 04, 1999, 00:13 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

[ Thanks to Michael J. Hammel for this link. ]

"In part three of this four part series I'm going to cover blend modes and layers, imaging for the Web, and Image Enhancement issues."

"Working with layers is key to any Gimp project. I'm going to use my own terminology here. An image is a single picture which may include multiple layers but exists within a single XCF formatted file. A project is a set of one or more XCF files used to generate a final, flattened image. The distinction is important when working on a project. You need to be able to design the project based on distinct sections which may or may not overlap in the final image. By reducing the final image to these smaller sections, and working on them separately, you increase the performance you cansqueeze out of a lower end system. Each section is an image that has a smaller width and height (usually) than the final version so you won't chew up as much memory. The final version will then consist of just a few layers, the composites of the images you made for the smaller, distinct sections. Smaller images, less memory. Fewer layers, less memory. It's just good project management."

"So you've broken your project into smaller, more manageable pieces. That's a good plan. The next thing is to think about your ability to make changes easily. Without a doubt, some client will at some point ask you to make some minor change long after you thought you were done with the project. It happened to me while working on the Linux Journal August 1999 issue. I was able to make the changes fairly easily because of three things I did in my design: breaking the project into smaller images, saving the XCF versions of these smaller images, and using layer masks and layer blend modes instead of making actual changes to pixels in the image."

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