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2.7 Image Editing

As web designers, our image and photo editing requirements are not necessarily as steep as for photographers or print designers, but we do need solid image editing software specific to our own work nonetheless. In this lesson we’ll look at some awesome image editing software currently available on Linux.

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2.7 Image Editing

Hey, welcome back to Linux for Web Designers. In this video we're gonna go through some of the software that you can use on Linux for editing images. So here we're focusing pretty specifically on working with photos. And we wanna cover two categories of photo work. One is actually modifying the images themselves. So, doing some stylization and what have you and the other is just basic image processing, so just your everyday run in the mill cropping and rescaling. The first couple of applications that we are gonna look at here are not that widely known but they're actually really, really good. First up here we've got Pixeluvo which is an application you can use on Windows and on Linux. It's available for a one time purchase, it's quite inexpensive it's $34. And you can download a 30 day trial to see if you like it or not. So, when you come to this download page, this download button here, that would give you an XE for Windows, scroll down a little further and here you can download a dev or an RPM file. And we went through how to install those a little earlier. So here we are in Pixeluvo. Now, bear in mind I have the window shrunk down quite small at the moment so you can still see all of the interface clearly, but normally you'll have this at a larger size, so this navigator here won't overlap the image that you're working on. Now Pixeluvo is a really great application for modifying and sort of stylizing your images. So if you just wanna quickly add some style to something, one of the fastest ways that you can do it is just to go up here to the color menu and then choose Quick Color. And then from here, you can just easily pick any one of these effects and see how they look on your image. So that gives you a really quick and easy way to add some style to your images. I'll just cancel out of that and what you also have is the ability to add a whole bunch of different effects layers. So for example, if I want to choose, sorry this is cut off, the bottom of the screen. But I'm gonna choose color balance. And from here, I can change up the color balance of the image. However I like. I'm just gonna put some random things in, pretty much just to show you how it's all operating. And now I can turn that effects layer on and off. Or, I can come back and I can re-edit it at any time that I like. And there's a very long list of effects that you can choose from. And each one of these effects, you have the ability to create a stand alone layer for it. Pixeluvo also has a very good magic wand function. You can just click and drag and you can create selections for different areas. In a fairly straight forward way. It also has an effects brush that you can use for painting in different effects. So that's great for things like saturating and desaturating different areas of color, smoothing skin out, and modifying how clear or blurred a certain area is. And then you've got also the standard things that you would expect like a flood fill tool and different types of select boxes, some basic paintbrushes. This is not really designed for digital painting. It's more for painting onto an image, and of course, your dodge and burn tools. So between those quick color tools and all of the other more in depth photo editing tools, this is an incredibly powerful piece of software for the amount of money that you're paying for $34 dollars. Speaking of low cost software, the next option photo editing on Linux that's really great is Pencil Sheep. Pencil Sheep is actually free of charge. And you can do some really cool looking stuff with it. So to download this one, once again, it's the same thing. Download Dev file or an RPM file depending on what type of distro you are on. And by the way, if you're on an arch-based distro you'll find Pixeluvo will be in the arch user repository. However at the moment I don't believe Pencil Sheep is in the arch user repository. So this is Pencil Sheep, to me one of Pencil Sheep standout features is its very interesting and fun to use collection of filters. So for example, let's try out the rays filter effect. This thing is really cool, because you see as I move it around the image, I get a different effect. It picks up the content of the image, And then it modifies the effect of these rays depending on what it finds in here. So you can actually make this look, with a little bit of playing around, like there is sunlight streaming through in between these trunks. Obviously, that's a little but garish, but just to show you how it works. There's a whole bunch of really interesting and fun to use images in here, so if you're just trying to give some life into an image, this is a really good set of tools that you can use. You also have a whole bunch of adjustment tools. So if you need to switch up the hue and saturation, all the kind of things that you would expect to find in an imaging application. And the really cool thing about this program is that all those adjustment properties and filters can be used in a non-destructive way. If you go up to create, and you can see that you can create sampling layers for each one of these different types of modifications. So if we do what we did before and we apply a raise filter but we do it as a layer, now this has its own stand alone layer. We use it in the same way. But we can turn it on and off at will. And we can come back and change the properties again later on. And as you can see here, there are a lot of different types of layers that you can work with here. So, that makes this software really, really powerful and it's quite incredible that it can do so much when it's a completely free piece of software. So, if you do any image manipulation as part of your work, definitely check out Pencil Sheep. I should just let you know though, that I haven't been able to find out who actually makes this software. There's no attribution anywhere in this software, no contact details. So you do have to put a bit of trust in this software in order to use it. However I've been using it for a while and so far I haven't had any issues with it. But of course whether that is an issue for you or not is up to you to decide. And the finally, the next image editing software that we're gonna look at is, of course, GIMP. You can install GIMP from any distro's official repositories. So I'm just going to grab it here. And install it All right, so here we have GIMP. lot of people report they don't really like the user interface of GIMP. And I was the same. I tried using it several times and never really took to it. But then when I switched to Linux I decided to sit down and really put some time into getting accustomed to the interface. And once I did that, and also once I spent some time taking advantage of its customization options, I ended up with a program that I found that I actually really liked. I still think that right now, GIMP is not quite the best option for the type of image editing that we just looked at because it doesn't yet have any form of non-destructive editing. If that doesn't bother you, then you might wanna go ahead and work with GIMP anyway because it does have a lot of powerful image processing features in it. Or you can wait for a little while because non-destructive editing is on the roadmap in the not too distant future. I believe it's two or three versions from now and non-destructive editing will be in GIMP. And when that happens, GIMP is probably gonna shoot to the top of the list for image editing software in Linux. So even though I don't use GIMP for that top of image work, I still find that and I use it all the time because it's actually my favorite application for cropping and resizing images. I'll show you how that's done in GIMP. It's a little bit different to other applications but it has some really cool perks too. So, this is an image from Onsplash. I'm actually just gonna copy that image, and now that I have it in my cache, I'm going to go to file, create from clipboard. And now that sorta make me created a new document in here for me, and put the image into it. And I'm gonna crop this down. So the way I'm gonna do that is by actually selecting the marquee and dragging at my selection. And this might seem like a pain compared to using crop tool, but the thing that I really like about this, is you have these really useful handles that you can use on the sides of your selection. And on the corners of your selection to get really, really fine control over exactly where you want your cropping to happen. And then once you've got it perfect, you just go Image > Crop to Selection. Now I also really like its resizing functionality because, I'll show you, gonna go to Scale Image. And you can see here, you get to choose from three different types of interpolation methods and a lot applications don't offer you that. You only get to choose from whatever it decides to do with your image. So what I find is that I can come in here and I can find the interpolation method that gives me the best quality of image once that scaling has been done. I find that images with text typically need a different type of interpolation to images without text in order to get the best results. And so that's a quick little demo of a couple of reasons why I think even if you don't use GIMP for full blown image manipulation, it's still a really awesome tool for simple changes to images and for that reason I use it all the time. And like I said, watch this space because across the next three versions of GIMP, there are new features coming that are going to make this application a really serious contender. All right so now we've covered the design portion of the web design workflow. Now we're gonna move into the tools that you need for the coding stage, and we're gonna start by looking at code editors. We'll be doing that in the next video, I'll see you there.

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