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© 2002-07 AFHS
21 Mar 2005

 

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Using a Graphics Package for Your Family History Work

 

by Judith Rempel, 8 June 2002

Software

Paint Shop ProPaint Shop Pro - from Jasc (ca $150 CDN)

Settings

Jargon:

  • .gif - 256 colours - good for drawings
  • .jpg - 16 million colours - lossy - good for photos
  • .tif - 16 million colours - lossless - good for varied uses

Resolution

  • 72 dpi for screen
  • 300-600 for print
  • 600-1200 for press

Height & Width

  • 100 pixels is approximately 1 inch

Other

Vector graphics (vs raster graphics)

Tools

Applied to following photos: Gerhard, Ruth, Anna. Not all tools will be demonstrated, but those in bold are more likely to be illustrated and are the ones I use much more often. Keystrokes are noted as series separated by commas (sometimes there are simultaneous keystrokes - they're shown with a plus-sign between them). Menu Bar selections are separated by the right-caret (>) symbol.

Skills Used

  • Selecting
  • Cropping
  • Feathering
  • Colour-Adjusting
  • Grey-toning
  • Annotating
  • Image-Cloning
  • Inverting
  • Adding 3D (e.g., drop shadow)

Samples

  1. Crop out a small section of a photo
  2. Crop out an oval-shaped photo
  3. Crop out a soft-edged, oval-shaped photo
  4. Crop out an irregular, soft-edged photo
  5. Reveal details hidden in a scanned image
  6. Stitch together two photos
  7. Make something new - a postcard
  8. Annotate a photo

 

Pointer
Magnifying Glass
Deformer
Cropper
Mover
Selector
Lasso
Magic Wand

These tools are used to identify or clarify the part of the image that you want to work with.

A. Crop to a small rectangular head - Select, Shift+R

B. Change shape of selector tool (elipse) to crop to a old fashioned oval portrait - Select, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

C. Change feathering of selector tool (10) to crop to a soft look oval portrait - Select (Feather=10), Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

D. Want an irregular soft portrait - use the magic wand to select the image - Magic Wand (Feather=10), Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V

E. Want to lighten & reveal details. Crop to size (Select, Crtl C, Ctrl+V), then from Menu, select: Colour > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast (here used 60 - 20)

Colour Picker
Paintbrush
Clone Brush
Colour Exchanger

F. I've used these tools to create this merged photo of Gerhard & Anna with her family. First I copied a feathered irregular selection (Ctrl+C) from Gerhard's photo (see above) & pasted it into a new layer of Anna's photo (Edit > Paste > As New Layer).

First both images were made to be the same kind of colour - they were made into grey-tones ( Colors > Greyscale)

Then, I used the color picker to determine the colour of his suit (this loads the colour into the "brush"). then I SET the clone brush's memory (select the clone brush, right-click and drag some 'material' with a NW to SE motion), then with the clone brush I 'painted' more suit (again with a NW to SE motion).

Then, I oriented to the background layer (Layers > Layer 1) and did the same set of steps to pick up "material" from the son's coat and cover up the awkward pale area.

Touch-Up
Scratch Remover
Eraser
Honestly - I never use these!
Picture Tube
Spraycan
Paintcan (floodfill)

Picture tubes are just too much fun - you HAVE to try them and FIND a reason to use them.

G. Here's a sample postcard made in just a few minutes that used a feather-cropped photo that was colourized (select colour to apply, Color > Colorize), and then pasted onto a new canvas (600 x 425 px to fit on 1/2 sheet). the Shape-drawing tool (see left & below) drew a rectangular empty box onto the card and then the picture tube dropped two kinds of 3-D images onto the card. Top it off with something nice to say (text tool, drop shadow effect from below) and you have a more celebrative tribute.

Text tool
Line-drawing tool
Shape-drawing tool
H. Combine the Text tool with Effects to annotate your photos: Text Tool (click on Standard Text), Effects > 3D > Drop Shadow (do twice with some negative values to get shadow all around text)