This is where I write about writing, languages, literature, my books and publishing endeavours, and my academic musings. You might also catch me blogging about pokemon, or Ingress, or showing pictures of the local wildlife or places I visit, but mostly it'll be writing.
Writer Life: Starting Over with GIMP (Part 1 - Creating a New Canvas)
So, today, I
downloaded the newest version of GIMP—figured I couldn’t do a useful how-to for
folk new to the program without having the version they were most likely to
have downloaded. So, with great trepidation, I uninstalled the version of GIMP
I was using – 2.8.0 – and downloaded 2.8.18.
I’d read the
changes the developers had noted, and they looked pretty daunting. GIMP has
never been an easy ride for me. And then I took the ‘Download GIMP 2.8.18
directly’ option, and crossed my fingers.
One of the
things I noticed after the uninstall, was that all my GIMP picture files
remained, but were blank. This is pretty scary for someone who is as much a
know-nothing when it comes to this sort of thing, so I kept those fingers
crossed and let the download complete, before hitting the setup.exe file, and
following the directions all over again.
That part was
Of course, the
first thing I did was to click on a recently created file to see if it would
work with the new version. I figured if it didn’t, I could always do another
uninstall and then reinstall the old version. Fortunately, I don’t have to do
that; the files from 2.8.0 open just fine in 2.8.18. Phew!
Next thing was
to get moving on testing out the new interface, and that’s what today’s blog
post is all about, so, here we go.
First thing, this
new version of GIMP looks very similar to the older version I’m used to. This
is a big relief. I note it does have
the option for putting the picture and the docks in a single window, though. I
prefer having the image window separate because I usually use two screens.
Today, though, I’ll put everything on one screen so you can see how this looks.
NOTE: I used the
single window option under the ‘Windows’ tab to see what it looked like.
I don’t like it,
but you might. I unticked the option, and discovered that the separate ‘docks’
or menus remained together. I kinda like that,
so I think I’ll keep it. That, and I haven’t worked out how to separate it yet.
Give me time; I already have an idea of how to do this, but I just want to get
moving on the whole ‘how-to’ thing.
This is how it
looks when you untick the ‘Single Window’ box.
Creating a Cover in GIMP
To start with, I’ll
just go through my normal cover creation steps, and see how they look in this
great, because I’m not sure I am. So, here we go.
Step 1: Create a
You do this by
clicking on the ‘File’ tab at the top of the picture screen.
This creates a
drop-down menu, which I can’t work out how to snip, but I’m sure you can find
the first option down ‘New’. Click ‘New’.
This gives opens
a pop-up window titled ‘Create a New Image’.
You will see
that it has a space for a template. This is very cool, but doesn’t have the
settings I usually use for a cover. I will see if I can create a template for
that, though. When I do, I’ll let you know. For the moment, ignore the Template
you have ‘Image Size’, followed by ‘Width’ and ‘Height’. It is set to a default
measurements of ‘px’ (or pixels).
Width is where
we are going to make the first change. If you double click on the numbers in
the box beside Width, you can highlight the whole number and type in the number
you want. For a cover, I use a width of 1875 px.
Height is where
I make the second change. Change the current measurement to 2850.
The pop-up now
looks like this:
Under the Height
and Width options, you will see a header titled ‘Advanced Options’ with a
little square next to it. Click on Advanced Options. Your pop-up window will
expand to show the resolution of the final picture. Resolution helps measure
how clear your picture will come out when it is printed or displayed.
A cover requires
a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. The default setting for the X and Y resolution
of your image is 72. This is not acceptable as a cover resolution for most of
the platforms selling e-books. You will need to change it.
resolution is 300 dpi for most sites. I use 600 dpi. dpi stands for ‘dots per
inch’. A pixel is a dot. The default setting in GIMP is pixels/in. I leave this
as it is.
To change the X
and Y resolution, you triple click in the box next to each setting. This will
highlight the number inside. Do this for the X resolution box, and then type
600. This will change the number in the Y resolution box, as well. You will
notice a little chainlink to the rightof the box. If you click on this, you
will break it, and then the number in one box will NOT change when you change
the number in the other box. In general, though, it is best to leave this link
resolution, you will see Color space. It is automatically set to RGB color.
Leave this as is, since it is the color scheme compatible with the most web
For the moment,
I leave the ‘Fill with’ option set to its default, but I’ve noticed an option I’d
like to experiment with, so I will fiddle with that later, and then blog the
The Comment box
has ‘Created with GIMP’ for its text. I usually leave this, but then add ‘by
C.M. Simpson as the cover for’ and then I put in the title of the story I’m
creating the picture for.
happy with the details for the new image, click ‘Okay’.
You will end up
with a screen like this:
I was originally going to post this as one very long post, but Blogger got a little grumpy, so it is not in four parts. I'll post two today, and two tomorrow.
This report is actually going out on
time. It’s been a busy week, and, with exams approaching, it’s only going to
get busier. This is what happened the week just gone.
Week 1 ProgressNew
words produced: 67 + poetry and flash handwritten
and Notes: NilWorks
completed: 14 (7 poems, 7 flash fiction)Works
edited: 1 (CS initial edit for Army Boots & Stilettos)Covers
created: 0 (CS format done for Army Boots & Stilettos)Works
Entered: 0Bloggery: 1,829University
Prep and Assignments: 3,392Writing News The week just gone saw me trying to
complete a second assessment item. Unfortunately, it proved more complex than
expected, so, although I completed the words required, with 30-40 references in
place, I’m not completely happy with the result, and have decided to go over it
this week to see if I can tweak it into something more satisfactory. I also
completed the initial edit and format of Army Boots & Stilettos, but want