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Copy, paste, and move a selection

Mar 28, 2011, 20:58
Post: #1
Copy, paste, and move a selection
I'm a longtime Photoshop user in the process of switching to Gimp. I've successfully used Gimp for very simple things like brightness/contrast, color adjustment, and sharpening of single-layer images. What I'm trying to do now involves creating a copy of the background and placing it next to the background image, and I can't figure out how to make it work.

Here's what I'm doing:

1. Resize the canvas to twice the width of the original image, leaving the original image at left. This creates a "blank" area to the right which displays as a checkerboard pattern.

2. The area of the original image is already selected (i.e., it already has a frame around it), so I copy and paste it. This creates a floating selection, duly noted in the list of layers.

3. But when I try to move the floating selection to position it to the right of the original image, in the blank area, it appears to disappear behind the checkerboard pattern. Huh???

Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction. The Gimp learning curve is steep for ex-Photoshoppers!

expshop
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Mar 28, 2011, 21:32 (This post was last modified: Mar 28, 2011 21:37 by ofnuts.)
Post: #2
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
(Mar 28, 2011 20:58)expshop Wrote:  I'm a longtime Photoshop user in the process of switching to Gimp. I've successfully used Gimp for very simple things like brightness/contrast, color adjustment, and sharpening of single-layer images. What I'm trying to do now involves creating a copy of the background and placing it next to the background image, and I can't figure out how to make it work.

Here's what I'm doing:

1. Resize the canvas to twice the width of the original image, leaving the original image at left. This creates a "blank" area to the right which displays as a checkerboard pattern.

2. The area of the original image is already selected (i.e., it already has a frame around it), so I copy and paste it. This creates a floating selection, duly noted in the list of layers.

3. But when I try to move the floating selection to position it to the right of the original image, in the blank area, it appears to disappear behind the checkerboard pattern. Huh???

Many thanks for pointing me in the right direction. The Gimp learning curve is steep for ex-Photoshoppers!

expshop
Because you have a floating selection, and Gimp expects you to "anchor" it to the layer below once you have determined its position, and you cannot position it outside that layer, so it crops it.... if you want to put it outside the limits of the original layer, it has to become a full layer. Using "New layer" when there is a floating selection creates the new layer from that selection. In your case, since you are dealing with complete layers, duplicating the layer (Layer/Duplicate layer, or Shft-Ctrl-D) would be even faster.

The real name of this piece of software should be GINP (GINP Is Not Photoshop)... the user interface is different (for people like me, PS is the alien) the tools may be a bit less polished (but there is an Internet stock full of them, and you can easily make you own), but the basic principles are the same, and in the long run you grow used to it.

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Mar 28, 2011, 22:24
Post: #3
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
Many thanks, ofnuts. I appreciate it.

Your suggestion to duplicate the layer was helpful. What I was missing, though, and only just figured out, is that you have to use the move tool to move things (duh). I couldn't find a hand, and the select tool doesn't move things, etc.

Gimp is certainly not Photoshop; nor should it be. I'm just used to one thing, and I feel like I'm going back to kindergarten while I learn how to use the other.
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Mar 28, 2011, 22:39
Post: #4
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
(Mar 28, 2011 22:24)expshop Wrote:  Many thanks, ofnuts. I appreciate it.

Your suggestion to duplicate the layer was helpful. What I was missing, though, and only just figured out, is that you have to use the move tool to move things (duh). I couldn't find a hand, and the select tool doesn't move things, etc.
There are some tools where you can switch implicitly to "move" (because the Move tool isn't restricted to layers, it also moves the selections and paths). By default the move tool move the first layer that isn't transparent where you click, so its behavior isn't always predictable, there is an option to move the active layer which can prove useful.

(Mar 28, 2011 22:24)expshop Wrote:  Gimp is certainly not Photoshop; nor should it be. I'm just used to one thing, and I feel like I'm going back to kindergarten while I learn how to use the other.
If you use the Layers dialog you are already an advanced userSmile In the education metaphor department I would find it closer to moving to another country and following classes in a new language.

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Apr 6, 2011, 10:04 (This post was last modified: Apr 6, 2011 10:42 by markingegno.)
Post: #5
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
Hi,
I'm a new Photoshop -> Gimp user too.
Gimp is driving me crazy, and I have to decide if there's a not-so-complicated way to do what I've ever done with the "Alien P" Big Grin

The question: is it possible to keep a selection between layers? My (very basically) problems:

I have an image, let's say 800x800 on a layer. Then I put a small one (100x100) in a new layer. I want to make a layer mask on the bigger layer (800x800) as big as the small one.

Furthermore, I want to move the big layer keeping the mask on its position.

Am i asking too much?

Thank's,
Marco

(Mar 28, 2011 22:39)ofnuts Wrote:  
(Mar 28, 2011 22:24)expshop Wrote:  Many thanks, ofnuts. I appreciate it.

Your suggestion to duplicate the layer was helpful. What I was missing, though, and only just figured out, is that you have to use the move tool to move things (duh). I couldn't find a hand, and the select tool doesn't move things, etc.
There are some tools where you can switch implicitly to "move" (because the Move tool isn't restricted to layers, it also moves the selections and paths). By default the move tool move the first layer that isn't transparent where you click, so its behavior isn't always predictable, there is an option to move the active layer which can prove useful.

(Mar 28, 2011 22:24)expshop Wrote:  Gimp is certainly not Photoshop; nor should it be. I'm just used to one thing, and I feel like I'm going back to kindergarten while I learn how to use the other.
If you use the Layers dialog you are already an advanced userSmile In the education metaphor department I would find it closer to moving to another country and following classes in a new language.
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Apr 6, 2011, 12:16
Post: #6
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
(Apr 6, 2011 10:04)markingegno Wrote:  Hi,
I'm a new Photoshop -> Gimp user too.
Gimp is driving me crazy, and I have to decide if there's a not-so-complicated way to do what I've ever done with the "Alien P" Big Grin

The question: is it possible to keep a selection between layers? My (very basically) problems:

I have an image, let's say 800x800 on a layer. Then I put a small one (100x100) in a new layer. I want to make a layer mask on the bigger layer (800x800) as big as the small one.

Furthermore, I want to move the big layer keeping the mask on its position.

Am i asking too much?
A layer mask is always as big as its layer...

When you create the layer mask, you can initialize it in a number of ways, one is the current selection (what is (perhaps partially) selected is (correspondingly) opaque, the rest is transparent), or from a channel. This channel can be a saved selection (Selection/Save to channel), or the copy of a color channel in some image layer (the same layer or another one). The selection (current or saved in channel) can be produced in several ways, including alpha-to-selection in another layer or using the quickmask... So there is always some way to drive some image into the layer mask of any layer.

Last, moving the layer always moves the mask, but when editing the mask you can move it without moving the layer.

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Apr 6, 2011, 20:43
Post: #7
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
I've tried to save a selection to a channel, and then "load" from a different layer, but it seems to to work. Selection seems to be as big as my image, even if I have a smaller area selected when I create a channel with the selection.

Moving a mask while background stay on its position it's not so useful. Much more is resizing a layer having a non anchored mask on it. I've done it many times in Photoshop, ie when you have a fixed place (mask) and you want to fit a bigger image in the best way.
Ok, 'GINP', but It's a pity Gimp can't do it, I think It's only a basic interface feature and not a sophisticated Photoshop function.

And It's a pity I have to keep a Win VM (or playing with Wine) just for Photoshop.

(Apr 6, 2011 12:16)ofnuts Wrote:  
(Apr 6, 2011 10:04)markingegno Wrote:  Hi,
I'm a new Photoshop -> Gimp user too.
Gimp is driving me crazy, and I have to decide if there's a not-so-complicated way to do what I've ever done with the "Alien P" Big Grin

The question: is it possible to keep a selection between layers? My (very basically) problems:

I have an image, let's say 800x800 on a layer. Then I put a small one (100x100) in a new layer. I want to make a layer mask on the bigger layer (800x800) as big as the small one.

Furthermore, I want to move the big layer keeping the mask on its position.

Am i asking too much?
A layer mask is always as big as its layer...

When you create the layer mask, you can initialize it in a number of ways, one is the current selection (what is (perhaps partially) selected is (correspondingly) opaque, the rest is transparent), or from a channel. This channel can be a saved selection (Selection/Save to channel), or the copy of a color channel in some image layer (the same layer or another one). The selection (current or saved in channel) can be produced in several ways, including alpha-to-selection in another layer or using the quickmask... So there is always some way to drive some image into the layer mask of any layer.

Last, moving the layer always moves the mask, but when editing the mask you can move it without moving the layer.
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Apr 6, 2011, 22:20
Post: #8
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
(Apr 6, 2011 20:43)markingegno Wrote:  I've tried to save a selection to a channel, and then "load" from a different layer, but it seems to to work. Selection seems to be as big as my image, even if I have a smaller area selected when I create a channel with the selection.
The selection can apply to any layer, so it's always as big as the image. This is indeed true of every "channel" in the Channels dialog.

(Apr 6, 2011 20:43)markingegno Wrote:  Moving a mask while background stay on its position it's not so useful. Much more is resizing a layer having a non anchored mask on it. I've done it many times in Photoshop, ie when you have a fixed place (mask) and you want to fit a bigger image in the best way.
Not sure I see the purpose of that move. The mask is a transparency control, and you usually want to associate it with some feature of the image. I do see why I would want to move a layer under another layer with transparent areas, but I don't see any purpose in moving a layer against its own mask. If the mask is fixed, then it's related to the features of some other layer (or should be some other layer itself). Or would you have some real-life example to attach here?

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Apr 6, 2011, 22:53
Post: #9
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
Imagine to have a picture with a wall and a window.
Let's say you import in your project a huge image of a guy, and you want to make it visible just (and only) throu the window (and so the mask).
The mask you have to create is the window area (and you have to pick up the selection from an existing layer).

The real life example is this. Resizing and moving a background layer (the guy), while mask doesn't move (the window in the wall) gives you a real time overview, so you can easily decide where to position the bigger (masked) image of the guy and how much to resize it.

Hope It's clear... it's not so simple to describe (also in english!).

(Apr 6, 2011 22:20)ofnuts Wrote:  
(Apr 6, 2011 20:43)markingegno Wrote:  I've tried to save a selection to a channel, and then "load" from a different layer, but it seems to to work. Selection seems to be as big as my image, even if I have a smaller area selected when I create a channel with the selection.
The selection can apply to any layer, so it's always as big as the image. This is indeed true of every "channel" in the Channels dialog.

(Apr 6, 2011 20:43)markingegno Wrote:  Moving a mask while background stay on its position it's not so useful. Much more is resizing a layer having a non anchored mask on it. I've done it many times in Photoshop, ie when you have a fixed place (mask) and you want to fit a bigger image in the best way.
Not sure I see the purpose of that move. The mask is a transparency control, and you usually want to associate it with some feature of the image. I do see why I would want to move a layer under another layer with transparent areas, but I don't see any purpose in moving a layer against its own mask. If the mask is fixed, then it's related to the features of some other layer (or should be some other layer itself). Or would you have some real-life example to attach here?
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Apr 7, 2011, 00:05
Post: #10
RE: Copy, paste, and move a selection
(Apr 6, 2011 22:53)markingegno Wrote:  Imagine to have a picture with a wall and a window.
Let's say you import in your project a huge image of a guy, and you want to make it visible just (and only) throu the window (and so the mask).
The mask you have to create is the window area (and you have to pick up the selection from an existing layer).

The real life example is this. Resizing and moving a background layer (the guy), while mask doesn't move (the window in the wall) gives you a real time overview, so you can easily decide where to position the bigger (masked) image of the guy and how much to resize it.
Exactly.... but the mask that determines the partial transparency of the window isn't applied to the layer with the guy, but to the layer with the wall & window... furthermore you want the mask of the wall layer to match the window, so you don' t want the mask of the wall to move with regard to the wall & window, otherwise that would create transparent bricks and opaque windows.

What you describe is very doable with Gimp. The only difficulty is that the background layer is hard to pick with the mouse by default (you have to find a spot where the top layer is totally transparent), so it's best to make the background layer the active one and check the "move active layer" in the Move tool so you can click & drag anywhere to move the background layer.

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