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Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image

Apr 15, 2011, 11:30 (This post was last modified: Apr 15, 2011 11:32 by sja785.)
Post: #1
Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
Hello, I am trying to create a puzzle from an image but I am having some trouble with the edges of each puzzle piece. Basically in short what I am doing is this.

1) I load my image in gimp (image layer).
2) Create new white layer (puzzle layer).
3) Use Filters -> Render -> Pattern -> Jigsaw...
4) From the Jigsaw windows I select; Bevel width; 0, Highlight; 0, Jigsaw style; curved.
5) I then select the white area from the puzzle later, copy this area from the image layer, and paste this on a new layer (piece layer).
6) I duplicate the piece layer (duplicate layer).
7) Paint the piece in white in duplicate layer.
8) In duplicate later I select Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur
9) In piece layer I select Filters -> Map -> Bump Map
10) I select the duplicate layer as layer.

And my result is as follows;

   
(click on image to see problem better)

My problem is that the edges look really bad. Is there any way how I can make them look better? That is, not so much crippled?

My aim is to have each puzzle piece in a different layer since I have to save them in different files. I checked several tutorials on how to create puzzles but all give me similar results.

Does anyone know how I could solve this?
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Apr 15, 2011, 12:26
Post: #2
RE: Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
I think the problem is that the jigsaw pattern you get is "blocky" from the beginning (look at it at 400% zoom...). You can try to mitigate this by generating it on a white layer, blur it 5x5 (there is a compromise between division width and "blockiness"), and then add a layer mask to it, initialized to greyscale copy of layer, inverted. The cuts are a bit wider but a lot cleaner. You can use the wand on this layer to generate selections for each part to stamp it out of the main image (maybe after growing the selection by a couple of pixels). The blur on the division will naturally create a soft selection, and therefore a soft cut.
[attachment=292]

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Apr 17, 2011, 21:34 (This post was last modified: Apr 17, 2011 21:36 by sja785.)
Post: #3
RE: Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
Hi ofnuts, thanks for your reply. Tried your suggestions and I did get better results. However I feel I am still away from perfection. I can't understand what I am doing wrong. Here is my current result;

   

As you can see it is not even as good as the puzzle piece you attached in your post. I achieved that result by following your steps (note; when creating jigsaw Bevel Width = 3, and Highlight = 0.50), then continuing from step 6 of my post (in order to get that round effect).

Is it just a problem related to the size of my puzzle? or there are other things I could do to get it better?

p.s. - I think the problem is in the way I am trying to get that round effect (step 6 onwards of my original post), but not sure of that or how I can get such an effect in another way.
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Apr 17, 2011, 21:54
Post: #4
RE: Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
If you want something smooth you need a partial transparency on the border of your piece, that you then merge down on a white layer. Partial transparency is obtained if you have a partial selection, which is itself achieved thanks to the blurred divisions my method produces. Otherwise you can try in a layer that contains your piece:
- add layer mask (transfer existing alpha channel)
- blur the mask 2x2
- apply mask back

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Apr 20, 2011, 23:44
Post: #5
RE: Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
Hi ofnuts, thanks again for your reply. I tried what you told me but still got a somewhat pixilated result. I am sure that this is because of my lack of experience with Gimp. However I tried something else and it seems to have worked.

What I did is followed your steps up till when you say to grow the selection by a few pixels. I then used Select > Feather and clicked Ok, went to the original image and copied, created a new layer and pasted. To my surprise my puzzle piece was not pixilated. Here is the result;

   

I am not sure why it worked. I was just trying random stuff! However the result looks pretty good to me.
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Apr 21, 2011, 00:20
Post: #6
RE: Problem with curved edges when creating puzzle from image
"feathering" the selection is one way to obtain partially selected pixels. In you case 2-3 pixels should be enough.

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