September 4, 2017

Fiddling with GIMP, dumping Corel PhotoPaint

As I indicated in the previous blog entry I got fed up with the Corel PhotoPaint bug of crashing every time when attempting to export images as .png-files, I began practising with GIMP. The latter is an open source image editor which is completely free. Png files are important because they are lossless files, which means they do no lose quality after each time they are opened, like jpg. It is possible to define the resolution and colour profile - these are necessary functions for artists who intend to have their work printed.

I start this blog entry where I left off while creating the Mark Twain portrait project. I resized it to 40 x 40 cm and changed the resolution from 72 dpi to 300 dpi. This required some work on the details since it basically made the image 20 times bigger - 5 times because of the rescaling and 4 times because of the increased resolution. GIMP had no problem whatsoever exporting the image native format into png.

I am still getting used to the program's interface and functions, but I feel I'm getting there. The main thing I appreciate is that the program is stable and actually does the export job very well. GIMP took its time (approximately one minute) to convert the native format (xcf) to png. So far the file size is 8.74 MB. I resized the file for the blog to 888 x 888 pixels, resulting in a 547 KB file size. I work on a computer with an i7 CPU and 16 GB RAM memory. The graphic card is an NVIDIA GTX 750Ti.

I had to create custom brushes to render the skin pores texture, which works quite well once I got the hang of it. I created animated custom brushes, because emulating the skin requires an organic texture. GIMP allows to create very complex animated brushes, but I discovered that an animated brush based on three different layers will do the job. The skin pore texture is made with a transparent background and three layers with different dot patterns that rotate randomly when drawing. The spacing (space between rotations) is kept at a default setting of 20.

I placed the date and time in the captions below the images of different stages. The oldest will be at the bottom, the newest on top.

The final stage was made in Affinity Photo that I purchased a while ago after dumping Corel and Adobe - the first for being buggy, the latter for being hugely overpriced. The Affinity products, Designer for vector drawing and Photo for bitmap creation and editing, are very competent replacements for the leaders in the graphic market, available at a very low price (50 Euro each). Its functionality isn't yet on par with that of Corel and Adobe, but they are closing in rapidly and have some advantages over their competition that make them shine.

Added hair detail and colour filter layer Dec 2018

Sep 05 2017 17:25

Sep 04 2017 22:30