Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

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Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

David Hall-13
As I mentioned tagging onto another newbie thread, I've been using,
rather...trying to use, GIMP for about an hour.  I have version
2.2.7.  I thought I'd start with the first tutorial at

http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/The_Basics/

So I'm well into the first paragraph and do not understand, nor can
I find help to help me understand, what this sentence means

"Start with a plain white picture, black as the foreground color and
open the layer dialog!"

By clicking File->New I got a blank picture which seems to have a
white background.  How do I set the foreground color?  I assumed the
foreground color was set to black as default and continued as if I
knew what I was doing.  Next item: open the layer dialog.  My eyes
scanned across the menu items from left to right and stopped on
Layer.  Knowing I'm supposed to open the layer dialog, I clicked on
Layer.  No layer dialog.  That seemed stupid, but wait, I found the
Dialog menu item, found the Layers dialog, and opened it.  I'm not
sure why I had to do that yet, but I'm still hoping this will come
together.  Next...

I got through the next two sentences just fine.  I added text.  Then
we come to this one.

"You can use the move tool to move the selection where you want to
have it."

I eventually found the cleverly hidden move tool, although I can't
seem to find it again now when I'm looking for it.  Ahhh, now I
found it.  And now, knowing what I'm looking for, I found the same
icon on the Tools icon list.  Too bad the tutorial didn't help me
through that little 10 minute frustration.  Next sentence...

"You can anchor it at the white layer under it by clicking outside
of the selection with the move tool still active. You will notice
that the pointer changes into a down-arrow when you're outside of
the floating selection and into a 4-arrow when inside it. "

BUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZ!  Wrongo bucky.  
Anchor?  What's that?  
Outside the selection?  Where's that?  
Down-arrow?  BUZZZZZZ!  Nope!  

I see a finger pointing left.  Anyone else see a down arrow?  I seem
to have a selection rectangle around my text that has no effect on
the finger pointer whether I'm inside or out of that rectangle.  The
cursor does change to the 4-way arrow when I'm actually on the text
but that's not what I'm reading in the tutorial.  Skip over the next
two sentences in the tutorial and I come to my next problem...

"Using <Image> Layer -> Colors -> Invert you will achieve something
like the picture above."

The picture above was black background with white letters.  When I
follow those instructions I get white background with white
letters.  We all know what that looks like.  

So I was able to get all of 2 paragraphs into THE BASIC FRIGGIN
TUTORIAL before I came to a slamming halt (yes I was shouting,
screaming actually).  I am by no means a computer novice (I'll spare
you my credentials), but this program is confounding me.  I shudder
to think what the other more advanced tutorials have in store.  Now
I've gone in search of the help file and found many to choose from.  
Nooooo, they are not called Help, they are called gimp-help-2-0.8.  
And they don't come with the software, they come separate, hidden
elsewhere on the Internet.  And they are not called downloads or zip
files like every other download or zip file on the Internet, they
are called tarballs, and so, seemingly, is every other file
associated with this program.  I saved what seems to be the latest
help version on my drive, unzipped it, moved it to the GIMP program
file folder, and it doesn't work.  That just friggin figures.  I
asked how to install it on another thread so please don't help with
that here.  In fact I don't expect any help from this rant.  I just
wanted to add that little tidbit here to seal the conclusion that my
first several impressions of The GIMP are pretty poor ones.  

It seems like The GIMP is a program for a minority of people small
enough that you probably all know each other personally.  You people
know what a tarball is and prefer to use that term freely instead of
a more meaningful term from a dictionary.  The hope of a "free"
photo retouching program is still a dream.  Nothing is free.  I
realize the learning curve for a photo retouching program is a long
one, a really, Really long one; but this program starts out with a
step-function instead of a curve.  If you don't have a certain
knowledge of how to use the program, you cannot even start to try
using it.  I am reminded of the introduction of Adobe Illustrator
and the confounding idea of Bezier curves.  It was easy once someone
SHOWED you how to do it, but there seemed to be no way to figure it
out without the demonstration.  I'm getting the same impression with
GIMP.  If the tutorials are incomplete, not updated, or are written
without a basic command of the language or willingness to use it,
this program is going to be relegated to a very small community of
users.  

I'm willing to give GIMP another hour after I get the help files
installed.  I better be able to complete the first tutorial in an
hour, or my Master Frustration light will go on and I'm outta here.  
I'm sure you're all very threatened (LOL).

David Hall




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Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

Bob Long
On Monday, May 23, 2005 3:27 AM [GMT+1=CET],
David Hall <[hidden email]> wrote:

> As I mentioned tagging onto another newbie thread, I've been using,
> rather...trying to use, GIMP for about an hour.  I have version
> 2.2.7.  I thought I'd start with the first tutorial at
>
> http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/The_Basics/

I'm using 2.2.4, and it seems that the tutorial is written for a version of
the GIMP earlier than either of us has. I guess it would be handy for the
tutorial to indicate the version to which it applies; but I see it is dated
2002, so that is a bit old.

> So I'm well into the first paragraph and do not understand, nor can
> I find help to help me understand, what this sentence means
>
> "Start with a plain white picture, black as the foreground color and
> open the layer dialog!"
>
> By clicking File->New I got a blank picture which seems to have a
> white background.  How do I set the foreground color?  I assumed the
> foreground color was set to black as default and continued as if I
> knew what I was doing.

Correct assumption! But on the toolbox, under the tool icons, you'll see a
black rectangle superimposed on a white one. They are the fore/background
colours, respectively. Double click on them to change.

>   Next item: open the layer dialog.  My eyes
> scanned across the menu items from left to right and stopped on
> Layer.  Knowing I'm supposed to open the layer dialog, I clicked on
> Layer.  No layer dialog.  That seemed stupid, but wait, I found the
> Dialog menu item, found the Layers dialog, and opened it.  I'm not
> sure why I had to do that yet, but I'm still hoping this will come
> together.  Next...

Yeah, the menu structure has changed.

> I got through the next two sentences just fine.  I added text.  Then
> we come to this one.
>
> "You can use the move tool to move the selection where you want to
> have it."
>
> I eventually found the cleverly hidden move tool, although I can't
> seem to find it again now when I'm looking for it.  Ahhh, now I
> found it.  And now, knowing what I'm looking for, I found the same
> icon on the Tools icon list.  Too bad the tutorial didn't help me
> through that little 10 minute frustration.  Next sentence...
>
> "You can anchor it at the white layer under it by clicking outside
> of the selection with the move tool still active. You will notice
> that the pointer changes into a down-arrow when you're outside of
> the floating selection and into a 4-arrow when inside it. "
>
> BUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZ!  Wrongo bucky.
> Anchor?  What's that?
> Outside the selection?  Where's that?
> Down-arrow?  BUZZZZZZ!  Nope!
>
> I see a finger pointing left.  Anyone else see a down arrow?

Nope. But Layer|Merge Down seems to be what is needed (but I'm no expert
with layers, so there may be a way to get that "down arrow").

> I seem
> to have a selection rectangle around my text that has no effect on
> the finger pointer whether I'm inside or out of that rectangle.  The
> cursor does change to the 4-way arrow when I'm actually on the text
> but that's not what I'm reading in the tutorial.  Skip over the next
> two sentences in the tutorial and I come to my next problem...
>
> "Using <Image> Layer -> Colors -> Invert you will achieve something
> like the picture above."
>
> The picture above was black background with white letters.  When I
> follow those instructions I get white background with white
> letters.  We all know what that looks like.

That's probably because the layer was not merged at that time.

> So I was able to get all of 2 paragraphs into THE BASIC FRIGGIN
> TUTORIAL before I came to a slamming halt (yes I was shouting,
> screaming actually).  I am by no means a computer novice (I'll spare
> you my credentials), but this program is confounding me.  I shudder
> to think what the other more advanced tutorials have in store.  Now
> I've gone in search of the help file and found many to choose from.
> Nooooo, they are not called Help, they are called gimp-help-2-0.8.
> And they don't come with the software, they come separate, hidden
> elsewhere on the Internet.

Well, as you are presumably using Windows, if you follow the download links
for Windows binaries, you should end up at
 http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/stable.html. There is an installer under
"Addtional packages" for the help. Worked for me.

[...]

> In fact I don't expect any help from this rant.  I just
> wanted to add that little tidbit here to seal the conclusion that my
> first several impressions of The GIMP are pretty poor ones.

[...]

I'm not an expert graphics user, and I've used only a couple of other
packages, and each one, including the GIMP, had me nearly tearing my hair
out. But I've stuck with the GIMP, still have some frustrations, but have
been able to do all I want.

> I'm willing to give GIMP another hour after I get the help files
> installed.  I better be able to complete the first tutorial in an
> hour, or my Master Frustration light will go on and I'm outta here.
> I'm sure you're all very threatened (LOL).

Not sure you'll read this before your hour is up, but I hope it helps a bit.

Bob Long

> David Hall



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Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

catfish
In reply to this post by David Hall-13
> I have version 2.2.7.  I thought I'd start with the first
> tutorial at http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/The_Basics/

First this tutorial is based on the older 1.x versions of gimp and there
have been a few changes in the newer 2.x series, escpecially with text.

> "Start with a plain white picture, black as the foreground color and
> open the layer dialog!"
>
> By clicking File->New I got a blank picture which seems to have a
> white background.  How do I set the foreground color?  I assumed the
> foreground color was set to black as default and continued as if I
> knew what I was doing.

When you start a new image it has a white background (unless you change it).
And you also start with a Black Forground. If you check the toolbox (window
with all the buttons with tools) there is the Color Area like this page:
http://docs.gimp.org/en/ch04s07.html . This shows what is currently your
forground aand background colors. Double clicking them let you change each
but does not change current image but used for Future stuff.

> Next item: open the layer dialog.  My eyes
> scanned across the menu items from left to right and stopped on
> Layer.  Knowing I'm supposed to open the layer dialog, I clicked on
> Layer.  No layer dialog.  That seemed stupid, but wait, I found the
> Dialog menu item, found the Layers dialog, and opened it.  I'm not
> sure why I had to do that yet, but I'm still hoping this will come
> together.  Next...

Layers is a VERY powerfull feature, You want to keep this dialog box open
all the time (it will remember if you leave it open).

> "You can use the move tool to move the selection where you want to
> have it."
>
> I eventually found the cleverly hidden move tool, although I can't
> seem to find it again now when I'm looking for it.  Ahhh, now I
> found it.  And now, knowing what I'm looking for, I found the same
> icon on the Tools icon list.  Too bad the tutorial didn't help me
> through that little 10 minute frustration.  Next sentence...

I think most tutorials assume you know atleast what tool does in general. :)
I suggest you download the help docs and read though it, especially Section
4: Toolbox.

> "You can anchor it at the white layer under it by clicking outside
> of the selection with the move tool still active. You will notice
> that the pointer changes into a down-arrow when you're outside of
> the floating selection and into a 4-arrow when inside it. "

One of the biggest changes is a more flexable Text tool. Instead of making a
unchangable floating layer (a special type of layer) it creates an another
special Text Layer. These layers show a white sheet of paper with a "T"
sticking out of it. Since there is no floating layer you can completely
ignore using the move tool. Instead you want to Right click on that Text
Layer in the layer dialog and choose Merge Down. This merge the text with
the white background and will take you to the point they want in the
tutorial.

> I see a finger pointing left.  Anyone else see a down arrow?

The left finger is telling you that you are moving another layer and not the
one you are working on (in this case the white background). The down arrow
is the old icon to Anchor a floating selection (which is now a boat anchor)
but we are not working with floating slections so ignore that.

> "Using <Image> Layer -> Colors -> Invert you will achieve something
> like the picture above."
>
> The picture above was black background with white letters.  When I
> follow those instructions I get white background with white
> letters.  We all know what that looks like.

Once the image has been Merged Down this will work correctly. Since the text
was on a different layer from the text you only inverted the text's black to
white.

> So I was able to get all of 2 paragraphs into THE BASIC FRIGGIN
> TUTORIAL before I came to a slamming halt (yes I was shouting,
> screaming actually).

Relax, take a deep breath. :)

> Now I've gone in search of the help file and found many to
> choose from. Nooooo, they are not called Help, they are called
> gimp-help-2-0.8. And they don't come with the software, they
> come separate, hidden elsewhere on the Internet.

> And they are not called downloads or zip files like every
> other download or zip file on the Internet, they are called
> tarballs, and so, seemingly, is every other file associated
> with this program.

Tarballs (.tar.gz) are *nix's equivent of zip files. Gimp originally came
from from the *nix and most (?) of the creators and gimp users are from *nix
so it's understandable it would be in their format.

> I saved what seems to be the latest help version on my drive,
> unzipped it, moved it to the GIMP program file folder, and it
> doesn't work.  That just friggin figures.

The help file you want to get is on the same download page as the windows
version of gimp in a windows frendly .exe install so you don't have to
extract or copy them anywhere. You can also find the docs online at
http://docs.gimp.org/

> It seems like The GIMP is a program for a minority of people small
> enough that you probably all know each other personally.

I understand the frustrations but attacks just gets everyone pissoff :)

> You people know what a tarball is and prefer to use that
> term freely instead of a more meaningful term from a dictionary.

tarball is a file type like zip, I can't think any other way to refer to it
outside of it being a Compressed File which doesn't help you extract it.


And just to finish up here are other issues you may run into finishing that
tutorial:

- Ignore if the names of the layers you have don't match the pictures, you
can change them if you want by double clicking them

- There is going to be a lot of "<image>" items, this was because there was
no menubar in the 1.x series so you had to right click the image to get the
menu. Just ignore it.

- Blurring, Bumpmaping are types of filters (kinda like plugins) and can be
found under filters. Sometimes you need to dig around looking for some.

- Gaussian blur is under Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur (fill both hz/vt boxes
with the number they state, leave the rest).

- You can create a new layer by hitting the plain paper button on the bottom
of the layer window

- Selected layer will only be blue when it has focus otherwise it's light
grey or beige.

- Plasma is under Filters->Render->Clouds->Plasma (I usually just hit New
Seed until it looks good).

- Bumpmapping is under Filters->Map->bumpmap. Choose the Black/White Text
layer from the "Bump Map" dropdown. Play with the options and see what it
does in the preview. If you don't see changes make sure you picked the text
layer and you may have to move the preview window image around to get to the
right part (it doesn't update when it move though)

- Activating anything (like a layer) means to click it so it's blue, it's
the layer you are going to work with. With masks they have a White border
around it.

- After copy/paste on that mask you will have a real floading selection.
Press the Boat Anchor button on the bottom of the layer's dialog to anchor
it. You can't merge down like they say anymore.

- Change the forground color using the Color Area (as above) before using
bucket fill. Click around the ranbow vert bar first then click in the larger
boxes, or move the sliders around.

- The up/down arrows in the layer dialog move the actived layer up and down.

- Right click the layer to see "Apply Layer Mask"

- Preserve Transparency is the checkbox to next to a grey-grey checkerbox,
left of the Mode dropdown.

- Clicking little bottom-left black-white icon in the Color Area changes the
colors back to black forground/white background.

- Where it created the shadow skip the rest and do these instead:
1. Make sure Preserve Transparency is checked
2. Click the eye icon in the first layer (hides the layer)
3. Activate the 2nd layer
4. Make black the forground layer
5. Edit->Full with Forground
6. Uncheck Preserve Transparency
7. Blur like you did before
8. Choose the move tool (4-way arrow) and move the shadow a little down and
to the right, make sure the cursor shows the 4-way arrow and not the left
finger
9. Click the area where the eye was in the first layer in the layer dialog
to bring it back.
10. If you want to move the shadow some more use the move tool again and
make sure you get that 4-way cursor. Tip: if you hold down shift you will
never get the left finger and always move the active layer.
11. Use the Opacity Slider to make the shadow semi transparent.
Done.

Heh, it would have been easier to just rewrite it...

I suggest you look into the Grokking the Gimp online book at
http://gimp-savvy.com/BOOK/ . Again this was from the 1.x series but it does
cover more of the basics and in better order then the help files. I tend to
skip the math/forumlas parts though and just play with it to get the basic
idea.

Also suggest you read ALL of the "Tip of the Day"s!!!

Good luck.



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Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

shytudnut1
In reply to this post by David Hall-13
David:

First, the program has been advancing in leaps and bounds of
late...so much so, that I fear all the extant tutorials and free
books are left in the dust.  Since 2. came out, it's virtually an
entirely different program...and no one seems to be bothering to
rewrite any of the old stuff!  (In all fairness, maybe it's going so
fast that they don't want to rewrite things, only to have the NEW
revisions out of date by the time they finish them!)

Second, although it's a wonderful program, I must admit that a great
many of the tutorials and whatnot weren't written all that well.  
Stick with the forum for awhile and you'll discover one of my pet
peeves:  too many programmers, and not enough people that speak
English!  Still, as someone else suggested, check out the "Grokking"
book.  It's good...though written for a 1. version.

Third, considering all the above...it occurs to me that 90% of
learning an image program is learning the basics of the IMAGE in the
first place, not how to use the program itself.  With that in mind,
and the fact that all these "useful" things weren't written for the
new version, maybe you'd be better served by downloading an old
(1.2?) version, and then following along obediently.  It was STILL a
great program back then, and you'll learn one HECK of a lot about
image manipulation by, say, reading "Grokking".  If you know exactly
WHAT you need to do to an image, it's WAY more than half the
battle.  From there on it's just a matter of finding the tool
location.

                                    -Jake

P.S.  Hope you're still around right now, well over your hour
limit!  NOTHING gets learned in an hour!




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Re: Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

Michael Schumacher
Von: "shytudnut1" <[hidden email]>

> First, the program has been advancing in leaps and bounds of
> late...so much so, that I fear all the extant tutorials and free
> books are left in the dust.  Since 2. came out, it's virtually an
> entirely different program...and no one seems to be bothering to
> rewrite any of the old stuff!  (In all fairness, maybe it's going so
> fast that they don't want to rewrite things, only to have the NEW
> revisions out of date by the time they finish them!)

Carol Spears has rewritten a lot of the tutorials:

http://carol.gimp.org/gimp2/


HTH,
Michael

--
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Ab 4,99 Euro/Monat: http://www.gmx.net/de/go/dsl


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Re: Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

Neil Turner
In reply to this post by shytudnut1
David

I would tend to agree with Jake. Gimp is very powerful and very flexible
- which means it often offers you several ways to make modifications at
a very detailed level.

There is a  steep learning curve for image processing (Gimp or the full
version of Photoshop) because it "is" a complicated business. However,
it is certainly worth persevering with Gimp if you want that level of
control.

However,  there are also a variety of  open-source/free/lowcost programs
that you "can" learn in an hour and which will probably do most of the
key photo processing that many people need.

It's up to you to choose the right tool for "your" needs. Personally I
think Gimp is brilliant but it may not be the tool for you.

Neil

shytudnut1 wrote:

> David:
>
> First, the program has been advancing in leaps and bounds of
> late...so much so, that I fear all the extant tutorials and free
> books are left in the dust.  Since 2. came out, it's virtually an
> entirely different program...and no one seems to be bothering to
> rewrite any of the old stuff!  (In all fairness, maybe it's going so
> fast that they don't want to rewrite things, only to have the NEW
> revisions out of date by the time they finish them!)
>
> Second, although it's a wonderful program, I must admit that a great
> many of the tutorials and whatnot weren't written all that well.
> Stick with the forum for awhile and you'll discover one of my pet
> peeves:  too many programmers, and not enough people that speak
> English!  Still, as someone else suggested, check out the "Grokking"
> book.  It's good...though written for a 1. version.
>
> Third, considering all the above...it occurs to me that 90% of
> learning an image program is learning the basics of the IMAGE in the
> first place, not how to use the program itself.  With that in mind,
> and the fact that all these "useful" things weren't written for the
> new version, maybe you'd be better served by downloading an old
> (1.2?) version, and then following along obediently.  It was STILL a
> great program back then, and you'll learn one HECK of a lot about
> image manipulation by, say, reading "Grokking".  If you know exactly
> WHAT you need to do to an image, it's WAY more than half the
> battle.  From there on it's just a matter of finding the tool
> location.
>
>                                     -Jake
>
> P.S.  Hope you're still around right now, well over your hour
> limit!  NOTHING gets learned in an hour!
>
>
>



--
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Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.322 / Virus Database: 266.11.15 - Release Date: 22/05/2005





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Re: Help with the basic tutorial - paragraph by paragraph - my first rant

Roel Schroeven-2
In reply to this post by Bob Long
Bob Long wrote:

> On Monday, May 23, 2005 3:27 AM [GMT+1=CET],
> David Hall <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>>As I mentioned tagging onto another newbie thread, I've been using,
>>rather...trying to use, GIMP for about an hour.  I have version
>>2.2.7.  I thought I'd start with the first tutorial at
>>
>>http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/The_Basics/
>
>
> I'm using 2.2.4, and it seems that the tutorial is written for a version of
> the GIMP earlier than either of us has. I guess it would be handy for the
> tutorial to indicate the version to which it applies; but I see it is dated
> 2002, so that is a bit old.

It is much worse than what you think. ;)
  As I pointed out a few weeks ago to a new user having problems with
the same tutorial (see the thread about "anchoring a text layer"), this
tutorial dates from 1998. 2002 is the date when the layout of the page
was changed.

Best regards,

Olivier.



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