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  • GIMP the Basics Continued

    GIMP the Basics Continued
    Making a Montage
    How many times have you gone onto Coolminiornot or some other sites where people have albums and seen single photos of the same mini, annoying isn’t it?
    So moving on from last month we are going to use some of the things that we learnt and put them to use with some new skills and make a montage of photographs, this makes it a lot easier to see the different images in one go and will also stop some people voting on one image and then getting fed up and voting the other images down. This isn’t really what I would call difficult and is actually a lot simpler than it sounds honest so stop hiding behind the sofa and pay attention!!

    4 up.jpg
    First off launch the GIMP program as normal and then from the “File” drop down menu select “Open” and from the menu box that opens select some suitable photos for this tutorial, by using the “Shift” or “Ctrl” buttons on the keyboard you can select more than one photo at a time (I have chosen four photos of the Medusa model from Kabuki that I painted last year) but you can choose as many as you want to use so long as it is more than one. Once you have your chosen photos on screen you will need to crop and adjust the levels of each one and then resize each photo, there is no need to go through the steps for saving the images at this stage unless you really want to that is.

    I have made all four of my images the same pixel width and also tried to keep them a similar pixel height although in both cases we will have a little space to play with.


    The next stage we need to consider is how we want our montage to look, do we want it to go vertical one photo on top of the other or do we want to make it two images wide and in this case two images high. Remember we want to make our photographs look the best they can for maximum impact and still stay within the limitations of websites when we have finished, if you know that you have a top quality paint job on a bust or larger figure then there is no point trying to make the photos small so go vertical.

    Medusa is only a 28mm figure and although I know I could make this into a vertical montage and get away with photos 800 pixels wide for the purpose of this tutorial I am not going to. When you resize the images you are going to use make a note of the height and width of each, don’t worry if you didn’t do this or you forget to do this when you come to carry out this step in the future because each image you have open in GIMP will tell you the image size in the top information bar.
    Info Bar.jpg
    You don’t have to make them to fit a particular websites specifications at this time as it is easier to see what you are doing with larger images than it is with smaller ones but at the same time you don’t want them to be too large, the images I am going to use are all 600 pixels wide and have heights ranging from 696 to 720 pixels high.

    Decide at this point how you are going to arrange your images for the montage, I am going to use these four images for a 2 x 2 montage using the front on view as image one and going clockwise around the figure. I know the width of each is 600 pixels so I am going to need a canvas size of 1200 pixels and image one and three are 709 and 696 pixels high respectively so this will depict the height of my montage as image 3 is also the shortest of all four images and I don’t want to see whit space, this means that the canvas size is going to be 1200 x 1405 pixels (2 x image widths by the height of image one plus the shortest image height) if image one is your shortest height then you will need to adjust this formula to suit your needs.


    New Image Box.jpgFrom any of the images menu bars we have open at the moment choose “File” and then choose “New” from the drop down menu to bring up the “Create a New Image dialog box.

    Don’t worry about the template option or the advanced options for now enter the width and height of the canvas size that you are going to need and then click the “OK” button. This will open a new window on your screen with nothing in it but white space.


    When the new canvas opens on the screen grab one of the corners and drag it to enlarge it slightly so that you can see the white space boarders this will help us line up our photos. Next got to the window of the image that you have selected to be the first image and from the menu bar of this window click “Edit” and choose “Copy” from the drop down menu.


    Go to the blank canvas and from the menu bar in the blank canvas window choose “Edit” and from the drop down menu choose “Paste As”
    and from this menu choose “New Layer.Layers.jpg In the Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo window make sure you have Layers selected. With our first image pasted in as a new layer in the layers window you will see we now have a background layer and a layer called clipboard which represents our first image dropped in.

    Move Tool.jpgIn the new canvas window we can now select the “Move” tool from the toolbox window and left clicking on the image move it to the position that you want it (use the white space boarders to position the edges of the image, remember that the new canvas is not at 100% size so the images you are putting into it will look smaller when they are pasted in and in order to see if we have the image in the right place you may want to enlarge it.

    Carry out this procedure for each of your images until you have them all on the new canvas and in the position that you wish them to be in, each time you paste an image onto the canvas in the layers window it will tell you the new image as a layer such as clipboard, clipboard 1 and so on. Each new layer you paste in will appear on top of the first one but just move it to the position that you want it to be in. Don’t worry if you have all your photos in place and you have a little bit of white space still showing despite jiggling everything to get rid of this, we can adjust our canvas size.


    Go to the main menu bar and select “Image” then choose “Canvas” from the drop down menu and from the box that appears enter in a new width or height to get rid of the white space that may be showing, it is advisable to do this in small increments to start off with until you get used to it because once you have clicked the “OK” button on this window you will need to adjust each image in turn switching between them. At this point we can also bring specific images to the front or move them to behind another photo if part of one is coving detail on part of another or if you want to try and square things up a bit between the images to make the whole thing look nice.


    Stacking.jpgTo move an image forwards or backwards select it from the layers window and a dotted line will appear around that image to let you know it is selected then on the main menu bar select “Layer” and from the drop down window select “Stack” and in the next drop down window you will see some options with bright green arrows next to them. If you look at the photo I have showing these options you will see that under the boxes one of my images isn’t quite level with the image next to it (this is my top left image) and I want to line the bottom of the image up with the top right image, this new position is shown by the dotted line which is showing that the bottom of the image is covered by the bottom left image. By choosing “Layer to Top” from the drop down menu I can bring the top left image forward. Have a play with these options as well as adjusting the canvas size so you get used to what you can do, you can always use the Edit Menu to undo anything you have done.

    With our images now in position we are nearly at the end, the next step is to tie all the images together and resize the image, go to the main menu and chose “Image” from the drop down menu choose “Flatten Image” this will then tie all the layers together. I am not going to repeat all the next steps from last month’s tutorial so I will leave you to finish this off by re-scaling the image and then saving it, if you can’t remember what to do then just follow the steps for this from Portal issue 7 or from the tutorial itself.


    My finished image:
    Medusa Montage.jpg
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. shanerozzell's Avatar
      shanerozzell -
      Thats a good little tutorial WG. Nice one!
    1. Ulfgrimr's Avatar
      Ulfgrimr -
      Many thanks WG, useful stuff as always.
    1. Captain Sprout's Avatar
      Captain Sprout -
      Really cool WG, nice work.