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Image distortion and merge.

Feb 19, 2012, 17:18
Post: #1
Image distortion and merge.
Hi all, I'm a relative newbie to Gimp and though making progress I could do with help with a couple of things. Firstly and probably easiest, what's the difference between merge layer and flatten image?Especially in terms of saving the image. I understend that flatten image simply takes things down to one layer but what is partucularly different about merge?
The other thing is is it possble to distort just a portion of an image rather than the whole thing. Say for example to lengthen someones neck only? The only way I've found is to cut a selection then move things around leaving a gap that has to be filled using clone etc. Is there some way of stretching and compressing just portions of the image? Cheers.
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Feb 19, 2012, 18:01 (This post was last modified: Feb 19, 2012 18:04 by ofnuts.)
Post: #2
RE: Image distortion and merge.
(Feb 19, 2012 17:18)superste66 Wrote:  Hi all, I'm a relative newbie to Gimp and though making progress I could do with help with a couple of things. Firstly and probably easiest, what's the difference between merge layer and flatten image?Especially in terms of saving the image. I understend that flatten image simply takes things down to one layer but what is partucularly different about merge?
The other thing is is it possble to distort just a portion of an image rather than the whole thing. Say for example to lengthen someones neck only? The only way I've found is to cut a selection then move things around leaving a gap that has to be filled using clone etc. Is there some way of stretching and compressing just portions of the image? Cheers.
Flatten image is just a succession of merges. However, when you "save" the image, save as XCF and keep the layers. If you "save" it in a format that flattens it (JPG/PNG/GIF) you are losing the layers (as well as selections/paths...) and will not be able to further edit the image. In coming versions of Gimp, "save" will always be to XCF. To obtain another format you'll have to "export" in most cases.

AS to the distorsions, there are tools for that. If you use Gimp 2.7, there is a "cage tool" that does that. But it applies to everything, so you still have to extract the subject from the background if you want to avoid the "Facebook PS noob syndrome" (*). This kind of editing requires skill and work, even with the right tools.

(*) where pictures of human bodies, usually taken in the bathroom mirror, are self-enhanced without regard for the wall tiling in the background.

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Feb 20, 2012, 20:47
Post: #3
RE: Image distortion and merge.
(Feb 19, 2012 18:01)ofnuts Wrote:  
(Feb 19, 2012 17:18)superste66 Wrote:  Hi all, I'm a relative newbie to Gimp and though making progress I could do with help with a couple of things. Firstly and probably easiest, what's the difference between merge layer and flatten image?Especially in terms of saving the image. I understend that flatten image simply takes things down to one layer but what is partucularly different about merge?
The other thing is is it possble to distort just a portion of an image rather than the whole thing. Say for example to lengthen someones neck only? The only way I've found is to cut a selection then move things around leaving a gap that has to be filled using clone etc. Is there some way of stretching and compressing just portions of the image? Cheers.
Flatten image is just a succession of merges. However, when you "save" the image, save as XCF and keep the layers. If you "save" it in a format that flattens it (JPG/PNG/GIF) you are losing the layers (as well as selections/paths...) and will not be able to further edit the image. In coming versions of Gimp, "save" will always be to XCF. To obtain another format you'll have to "export" in most cases.

AS to the distorsions, there are tools for that. If you use Gimp 2.7, there is a "cage tool" that does that. But it applies to everything, so you still have to extract the subject from the background if you want to avoid the "Facebook PS noob syndrome" (*). This kind of editing requires skill and work, even with the right tools.

(*) where pictures of human bodies, usually taken in the bathroom mirror, are self-enhanced without regard for the wall tiling in the background.
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Feb 20, 2012, 20:55
Post: #4
RE: Image distortion and merge.
Thanks, the flatten image makes total sense. I actually suspected that was the case but thought I may be missing something important.
I was hoping there was a specific tool for detail distortion but as you say these things are a difficult process. I've found ways round it using warp and perspective distortion and as you say, remembering to extract the image first!
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