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The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling

Jul 9, 2011, 16:31
Post: #1
The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
I'm finally getting a good grasp on using GIMP, but there are a couple features that really irritate me to not be able to find.
I recall once reading somewhere that there are some kind folks who are willing to help add new features to GIMP, but we have to be clear in describing the features because they might already exist.

The first tool I'd want is a spray can.
Basically, I want to be able to draw random dots on my image. Even Windows' Paint can do something very near to this with it's cheap "airbrush" tool. But not in GIMP. Here, the airbrush delivers a solid stream of color, which is nice and smooth, but not the randomness and splatter that I often want. There are a couple brushes that have "Splatter" look to them, but the brushes just stamp the image in a long stream, rather than actually creating a randomized image. Honestly those brushes seem useless to me.
I've composed an image showing the effects I can get to do this with tools in MyPaint and Paintshop to give a good visual aid of what I'd like to be able to do. It is attached to this thread.

The next tool (or tools) I'd like to be able to have are some one to aid in creating tilable/seamless patterns. Honestly it boggles my mind to think that no artistic program has tools like these when they are so critical for 3D artwork.
The fist one is simple: some way to easily view how well an image tiles. And the best way to view that is to tile the image. It is so remarkably simply, ancient, and easy, but yet there is only one program that does this, (Wally, and it isn't designed to handle modern graphics very well.)
So yes, I'd like GIMP to be able to take my image and show it to me in a big repeating tile.
And since I might be working with a large image that doesn't repeat very often on my screen, it would be nice if I could adjust the point of origin for the repeating tile. Maybe let me just grab it and drag it around. I also can imagine having it automatically scroll continuously, although I cannot honestly imagine why that would be needed, only that it would look cool.
Also, being able to adjust the zoom on the tiling just as I can normally vie my image is a must.

There is one other tool I'd like for aiding in creating tiling images. I have never seen this anywhere. I would like to be able to grab my whole image and drag it over, all the while having it wrap around to the other side. For example, let's say my image is a map of the world, and currently Australia is on the bottom-left edge of the image. The tool would work and feel like moving layers, so let's say I grab the image and slide it over to the left. With normal moving layers, Australia would then slide off the edge, and the right side would be blank/transparent. With this tool I am imagining, instead Australia would show up on the right side of the image. This way I can just pull the whole image over and clearly see the seam between the two sides of the image, so I could then work on cleaning up that seam so that it tiles easier.
In this same example, if I then dragged the image up, I would see the seam between Antarctica and the north pole.
I can image that this process could be VERY heavy on the processor to cut-paste-move whole portions of the image on-the-fly, especially if I have several layers. I'll say that it would make no difference to me if the image was actually moving around or if it was only how the image was being displayed. If this was just a visual trick and when I save and re-open the image I find that it still is aligned as I originally had it, I wouldn't care. What I would care about is that when I use tools across those seams that they would behave as if the image was moved, and if I paint right on the edge of the image it shows up on both sides (and if the corner then all four sides.)
I recall reading tutorials for Photoshop to create seamless images, and they described a tool in Photoshop that would wrap-move the whole image over in one direction according to how many pixels you tell it, but that is not as easy-to-use as a tool where you can just drag the image and have it wrap-around.

Alternatively if I could view the image tiled and then use tools directly onto the tiled image so that they work without stopping or stuttering on the seams, that would work fine too. Altogether the point is that I need to be able to edit the edges of an image in a wrap-around fashion.


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Jul 9, 2011, 17:05
Post: #2
RE: The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
Spray can: use the brush tools (especially the airbrush or the plain brush with a fuzzy round brush) in "Dissolve" mode. Otherwise you can make up your own brushes (or look for more brushes on the net). An "image hose" brush with a hundred different images isn't very different from a random one. the "blend" in your image looks a lot like "Filters/Noise/Spread"

Tiling: there are plugins for that (not an expert, I don't use them). Check registry.gimp.org. Also check "G'MIC : GREYC's Magic Image Converter" which is a does-it-all plugin. I don't see much difference between you "tile viewer" wish and duplicating a layer (which could be a "new layer from visible", putting the duplicate on the side (or on top) and moving the result?

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Jul 10, 2011, 02:01
Post: #3
RE: The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
Duplicating it, as you suggest, requires duplicating a layer, carefully moving it to an exact position so that each pixel is lined up, and then repeating that process at least two more times, (then perform that same task again for any additional layers you have,) and then finally increasing the canvas size to match.
Yet it would be remarkably easier to just press a command to view the image tiled.
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Jul 10, 2011, 11:14
Post: #4
RE: The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
(Jul 10, 2011 02:01)Marscaleb Wrote:  Duplicating it, as you suggest, requires duplicating a layer, carefully moving it to an exact position so that each pixel is lined up, and then repeating that process at least two more times, (then perform that same task again for any additional layers you have,) and then finally increasing the canvas size to match.
Yet it would be remarkably easier to just press a command to view the image tiled.
Not really, you just create "new layer from visible" so you only have a layer to process. Careful moves don't need to be so careful if you use guides. And you can auto positions guides around a layer: "Layer/Transparency/Alpha to selection" and "Image/Guides/New guides from selection".

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Jul 11, 2011, 03:54
Post: #5
RE: The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
It still is a long list of commands for something that should just exist as a single-command feature.
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Jul 11, 2011, 08:11
Post: #6
RE: The GIMP Features I want: Spray can & Tiling
pareto's law says that 95% of the software is used by 5% of the users and conversely that 95% of the users use 5% of the software. In Gimp all the special needs are covered by plugins and scripts. If you think it's a long list of commands, script it...

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