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icosahedron
03-09-2009, 05:05 PM
Well, I've looked right through this forum for information about Paint.NET, and I've found nothing.

If anyone is familiar with it I'd like to get some idea of what it can/cannot do.

Also, assuming it does what I want, I'd appreciate it if someone could provide me with a link/zipfile for a version 2.7 or earlier, cos the current version won't talk to anything prior to XP. :(

It's a free program so there shouldn't be any copyright issues with a zip.

Currently, I'm using MS Paint, but I've been outgrowing it for a while. I need a bit more functionality, but I really don't have time to learn the big programs.

Mainly, I want to create some tiles and objects with transparent backgrounds, cutting and pasting from drawings, photographs etc. Nothing very complex, but a bit more than MS Paint can handle.

If there are any alternatives that are One Small Step up from MSP I'd be pleased to hear about them, too.

Cheers.

Steel General
03-09-2009, 05:06 PM
Why not use GIMP? It's also free, and a lot more popular here at the guild then Paint.net.

Ascension
03-09-2009, 05:13 PM
GamerPrinter swears by Xara and that looks like a good choice for this.

icosahedron
03-09-2009, 05:17 PM
LOL, that's the second time today you've replied almost before I've finished posting. :)

Quick service!

I've heard via lurking on various sites that Gimp, Photoshop and Inkscape, to name three, are difficult to learn, with a steep curve. I don't have the time. I tried CC2 once and gave up.
By the time I'd recapped what I'd learned last session, this session was over.

The advantage with Paint.NET (I think) is that it works very much like MSP and I'm already familiar with that.

icosahedron
03-09-2009, 05:20 PM
And another reply whilst I'm replying to the first reply. :)

Again, Xara has a reputation for some complexity. I'm a raw beginner, I'll never be a professional, and all I want for now is Paint with a couple of extra functions. Even Paint will probably do things I don't need.

Simplicity is the name of the game.

Thanks for the suggestions, though. :)

Ascension
03-09-2009, 05:22 PM
Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Elements then. While PSP is more akin to PS it's much easier to learn and the bonus stuff is there if you ever get around to wanting them. Elements is kind of like a stripped down version.

Gamerprinter
03-09-2009, 05:40 PM
And another reply whilst I'm replying to the first reply. :)

Again, Xara has a reputation for some complexity. I'm a raw beginner, I'll never be a professional, and all I want for now is Paint with a couple of extra functions. Even Paint will probably do things I don't need.

Simplicity is the name of the game.

Thanks for the suggestions, though. :)

Select the app that's best for you, but as Ascension says, I swear by Xara. Where did you here it was complex - I taught me nephews how to use in one afternoon, just an hour or so, it they are 8 and 10 years old. Its very easy to learn and use, believe me.

You can download a free trial, use one of my tutorials and you'll be convinced fairly quickly. Once you get comfortable using it, send me a PM or post a thread regarding Xara and I'll pop my head in to guide on your specific project.

Only if you want to try!

GP

Ascension
03-09-2009, 07:05 PM
I've seen a lot of these speed painter guys...this one does the Mona Lisa with MS Paint. If you have skillz, you can use anything.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk2sPl_Z7ZU&eurl=http://dangerousintersection.org/2008/02/22/how-to-paint-the-mona-lisa-with-ms-paint/

jfrazierjr
03-09-2009, 07:50 PM
I've heard via lurking on various sites that Gimp, Photoshop and Inkscape, to name three, are difficult to learn, with a steep curve. I don't have the time. I tried CC2 once and gave up.
By the time I'd recapped what I'd learned last session, this session was over.

The advantage with Paint.NET (I think) is that it works very much like MSP and I'm already familiar with that.

Why not pick something MORE powerful and use what you need. I would say go for GIMP as it's free and while it has many advanced features, you can keep it simple also until your ready to step up.

What specifically are you looking for that MS Paint can't do?

NeonKnight
03-09-2009, 07:58 PM
I agree with others here. I will stand by CC3 until the end of time, but I will not suggest it to folks if it is not something they fear.

ravells
03-09-2009, 08:26 PM
Isoc! hi!!!!

I use photoshop and Serif drawplus....the former has a big learning curve the latter is like Xara....jump in and you'll be making traveller maps in no time! Great to see you here!

icosahedron
03-10-2009, 05:39 AM
Well, I can't remember where I heard Xara was difficult, the info was just tucked away in my head. However, there are several quotes here to say it isn't, so maybe I'll check it out as an alternative.

There are two main deficiencies with Paint that are becoming more of a problem to me (no doubt there are more) and I don't think any amount of skill (which I don't have anyway) would overcome them.

1) No negative zoom. It's extremely tiresome trying to get an overview of a large drawing, when you can only see one corner of it at a time.

2) No facility for transparency. A major project will be to create simple objects to drop onto maps and they look pretty awful surrounded by white rectangles. I have a version of Paint on one machine that will create jpegs but not pngs, however my latest one won't handle anything but bmps. ????

The problem with over-complex and unfamiliar software is that I have to wade through a lot of stuff I don't need, in order to find the stuff I do need, and that takes time I don't have. It's like trying to find the switch for the mapreading light on the pilot's console of a 747. It's much easier and quicker to find the same switch in a Landrover!

Great if you need all those professional doo-dads, but if you don't even know what they're for, much less how they're used, they're just so much additional clutter and more of a hindrance than a help. A lear jet isn't the transport of choice if all you want to do is pick up your groceries from the supermarket. ;)

The reason I was asking about Paint.net is that it claims to be based on Paint, so I shouldn't have to waste time relearning the basics, just figure out the extra controls I do need - If it has them.

Which brings me to my original question...

icosahedron
03-10-2009, 05:42 AM
Hi Ravells,
BTW, thsnks for your tip about exporting MS Word Draw into Powerpoint to get a jpeg. I've used that a couple of times already. MSWD is the best thing I've got for gradients at pres. :)

jfrazierjr
03-10-2009, 09:08 AM
The problem with over-complex and unfamiliar software is that I have to wade through a lot of stuff I don't need, in order to find the stuff I do need, and that takes time I don't have. It's like trying to find the switch for the mapreading light on the pilot's console of a 747. It's much easier and quicker to find the same switch in a Landrover!

Sorry, I don't mean to sound belligerent, but I believe you may be over complicating things.
11146

One big difference with GIMP is that there are multiple windows. It took me all of an hour to get totally comfortable with this paradigm(long than the switch from Windows XP to Vista for sure.)

Note that if you compare the toolboxes, almost everything that is in MS Paint has a direct equivalent in GIMP and the few things that are not toolbox items are simple 1-3 step changes that take seconds difference.

I believe GIMP can do everything Paint.Net can, and is just as easy to learn and has more features you CAN use to boot. However, in no way are those features in your way until you learn how to use them. On top of that, there are far more people here who have experience with GIMP than with Paint.net. Of course, I "think" Paint.Net has their own forums if you really want to stay in that direction.

PeaceHeather
03-10-2009, 09:58 AM
Paint.NET (hereafter called PDN) does have transparency as an option, does have negative zoom, and does have the "render clouds" option that seems so darn useful for randomizing one's coastlines and such (I've been memorizing tutorials since signing on a few days ago). Oddly, since folks have suggested Corel PSP and others, I've been hunting through my programs and test-driving them again. Turns out I have used Corel before, but hang me if I can find the clouds option or any random render, fractals, any of that..!

Those more familiar with other programs may want to help us beginners, by http://www.getpaint.net/ (checking it out) and giving us a comparison with GIMP and the rest of them.

The only thing I haven't found so far in PDN is a layer mask, but I seem to be able to approximate them (or at least, what I think they're supposed to do) without too much trouble.

Cheers!

Also, from what I'm reading here, GIMP supports user-made scripts and such, yes? PDN does also.

icosahedron
03-10-2009, 06:08 PM
Sorry, I don't mean to sound belligerent,

Neither do I, and re-reading my post, I may have seemed to be. I apologise to anyone who might have been offended.

It's just that I had a bad experience with CC2, which FAR outstripped my time and patience, and now anytime someone says 'steep learning curve' (an accusation which has been levelled at a number of programs used here, including GIMP) I'm afraid I switch off - sometimes a little too abruptly.

I still don't have a lot of confidence that something described as easy by experts and industry professionals will necessarily be easy to old 'all thumbs' here. :)


I just looked at the Xara website, and found the only version listed is Xara Extreme (as you can imagine, the title is immediate anathema to me) and it says it won't talk to anything older than XP.

Now if I could find 'Xara Elementary for Win9x', I might give it a whirl...


Thanks for the info on Paint.Net, Heather. :)
It's looking promising if I can find a version old enough to talk to my machine.

Redrobes
03-10-2009, 06:28 PM
Ico, I use PSP but its got a lot more in it than you need really. What you need is the old Deluxe Paint from the old Amiga days. Well it seems there is a clone of it here.

http://www.memecode.com/image.php

It runs on Win98 and is a lightweight image editor. I havent used it but I used DPaint a lot and it was fun at the time. Very easy to use.

Its open source LGPL for those interested in that kind of thing.

Redrobes
03-10-2009, 06:44 PM
I tried that DPaint clone and I didnt get on well with it. This one is much better tho.

http://www.artweaver.de/index.php?en_version

In fact I really like this. It has a minimal set of stuff but all the right stuff. Even includes a few filters like clouds which is needed for all the dirt and stuff we need. Another Freeware job too.

Edit -- its really good and fast and I was getting quite excited by it. Then "Im sorry Artweaver needs to close..." lost it right there.
Dang. Almost.

jfrazierjr
03-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Neither do I, and re-reading my post, I may have seemed to be. I apologise to anyone who might have been offended.

It's just that I had a bad experience with CC2, which FAR outstripped my time and patience, and now anytime someone says 'steep learning curve' (an accusation which has been levelled at a number of programs used here, including GIMP) I'm afraid I switch off - sometimes a little too abruptly.


That's ok. I can understand your frustration with CC2 as I had the same and did not have tons of time to devote to learning it. I went first with Fractal Mapper instead. After a while, I realized I wanted to try to learn to do something more painterly, came here, switched to GIMP and did all the GIMP tutorials and away I went. Unfortunately, if your stuck on Windows 9x, then GIMP(Win2000+) is out anyway as is Fractal Mapper(WinXP+), at least the latest versions.

I will repeat though, if you ever get a new machine, I would highly recommend GIMP as an increadible image tool which you can't beat for the price and features it offers. I tried Paint.Net a few months ago after having learn GIMP and there were just to many features I rely on heavily in GIMP that were missing with no "easy" workaround in PDN. Also, unfortunatly, there are very few people who use PDN here, so while we might be able to help you make the most of your talent in making maps, there will likely be little help in the way of how to do something specific in PDN.:(

icosahedron
03-11-2009, 03:58 AM
Thanks guys. I downloaded that memecode thing, I'll have a look at it. The Artweaver one says on the website that it's a WIP with some problems. It might be worth taking another look at that when they are ready to publish V1.0. :)

It would be nice if these software manufacturers would keep an archive file on their websites where those of us without the latest computer technology could download older versions.

icosahedron
03-11-2009, 12:12 PM
What a day! The computer doesn't know just how close it came to being 'recycled'.
My time-budget for mapping has gone so far in the red I'll probably not be able to justify drawing anything for a month.

I spent half the morning trawling round the net to find an old version of Paint.NET that would run on my machine. I found two and downloaded them both, just in case.
Cynic, me? - let's just say it's a matter of experience!

Then I tried to install the newest one and found that it wanted something called a NET framework v2.0. The Paint software is 5MB, the framework to run it is 20MB. That was annoying to begin with.

The framework had to be downloaded from Microsoft, so I closed down the installation, fired up explorer and off I went to do that. Then I closed explorer, went back to the installation, tried to install the framework and a few seconds later it said it needed MS Installer 3.0...... from Microsoft.

So I closed down the installation again, fired up explorer, visited Mr Gates again and tried to download Installer 3.0.
But then Mr Gates insisted that before he would let me have it, he wanted to poke his nose into my computer to an even greater extent than he is able to do without my permission. I mentally told him to f - off and decided to install the older version of Paint.NET, cos it might be easier.

Out of explorer, into the installation, try to install - oh dear, it says I need to install Net Framework 1.1.
By now, I'm picturing that 'Fork Handles' sketch from the Two Ronnies...
Off I go to Mr Gates again, download NET 1.1, back to the installation, Yay! this one loads with the native installer.

Except it doesn't.

Halfway through the installation it runs into an 'exception', whatever one of those is, and refuses to install. Several more tries confirm it.

So, Paint.NET is dead in the water - at least until Mr Gates declassifies Installer 3.0 (whatever that is) from 'Above Top Secret' and lets me have it without an interrogation. Then I can see if the later version of Paint.NET runs into an exception too.

Back to square one. Looking for something to draw with that doesn't need XP and doesn't have a manual/tutorial the size of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.

If you've derived some amusement from this, at least the day hasn't been completely wasted!

Oh, and for the record, I have nothing to hide from Mr Gates, everything's kosher, it's just a matter of principle - I don't want to go cap in hand to Mr Gates and have him noseying into my affairs every time I want to download something - and that's more important to me than Paint.NET.

It's also the main reason I haven't got XP.

When I retire, I'll have time to learn how to operate Linux...

Redrobes
03-11-2009, 02:53 PM
I abjectly refuse to put any version of .NET framework on my machine. So paint dot net was out of the question for me before I even looked at what it could do. The framework installs loads of stuff which can be requested from the app to do things like load up bitmaps and networking etc. The problem is tho that your target audience needs to have the right version of the framework to run. Like the controversy over DLLs and their version, MS has blown it again and done exactly the same thing with .net. If you have a program that needs 1.1 then it might or might not run on 2.0 Thats a killer. It means that when your new app only runs on 2.0, all your 1.1 only ones go in the bin. Consideration ends right there. 2.0 was supposed to have all the functionality of 1.1 plus more which is what the old COM stuff was all about but then COM was designed by DEC not MS which says it all. So when your app writers get Vista and Win7 and 2.0 becomes 3 and 4 etc then more and more of your stuff goes in the bin. I am not playing that game.

In this respect Linux does better and worse. Its better because you can get a version of your app that is compatible. But its worse because the expectation for it is that you need to build it against the version of the OS that you are running. Now if your ok with compiling up your software before running it then its cool. Geeks are quids in. But if thats not something you enjoy doing then its a rats nest of interoperability there. To some extent ubuntu have gone a long way to solving this by having set versions which are guaranteed compatible with a number of apps which get installed as part of the distro. They have a dedicated and paid team to check the interoperability unlike most of the linux world. Still, I have set up a number of ubuntu machines and not one so far has worked 'out of the box' without me getting real dirty on the command line shell. Its good, its getting better, but its just not quite there yet. I am hoping that it gets good enough before I am forced to move off of Windows. My XPx64 will be the last version of windows I run.

My opinion, keep your machine off the net, don't upgrade it other than to install the big service packs and run a small number of trusted apps. If your on Win2K then install the huge Service pack 4 but don't do the security updates etc. They were all bundled into the service pack and they're not doing any more anyways. You don't need packs 1-3 if you get 4.

If you do put it on the net, accept its going to be insecure (its win2K) and at the very min go via a cheap router. If you don't do a router, expect your machine to be 'owned' in about 5 mins. :roll:

I have been looking for a PSP replacement but I am not seeing exactly what I need either. I think it might be Gimp in the end too but for now ill stay with PSP.

Service pack 4 DL:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1001AAF1-749F-49F4-8010-297BD6CA33A0&displaylang=en

If you really don't trust MS or have problems then its here too. But now you have to trust this download instead ;)
http://www.download.com/Windows-2000-Service-Pack-4-SP4-/9241-2098_4-10210714-6.html

Heh - just come across this site which is well cool.
http://www.filewatcher.com/m/W2KSP4_EN.EXE.135477136.0.0.html

waldronate
03-11-2009, 04:11 PM
Wait until you need to run a Java app...

Redrobes
03-11-2009, 04:34 PM
Heh - I don't do Java either.

In fact I seem to be going backwards and going more luddite as time goes on and I seem to stare at the command prompt more and more these days. Compiler, make, perl etc. Most of my tools now are command line. I just cant stand the faffing about with frameworks and other 3rd party stuff. I don't know if that says something about me or the state of software in general. Maybe both. :?:

RobA
03-11-2009, 08:28 PM
I would try running ubuntu on your old machine Icosahedron. if you have a spare hd, drop it in, and install it, then plug your old drive back in (it will find it automatically). You will still be able to access all your win9x files on the other hard drive, that way. For older (video challenge) hardware I'd suggest using the XCFE version of Ubuntu called Xubuntu http://www.xubuntu.org/

The only problems I have had (on old notebooks, mind you) is support for "winmodems".

It uses the same application installer, so getting things like gimp are a simple click-click in a GUI.

-Rob A>

icosahedron
03-12-2009, 09:14 AM
LOL, sounds like you're a man after my own heart, Redrobes. I'm getting more Luddite as computers 'progress', too. Unfortunately, I don't know the first thing about programming, so I don't have the option to go it alone or tweak things until they work. Most of the discussion in the last couple of posts is over my head.

I keep the important stuff well away from the web. I do my surfing from an even older and simpler machine. A six foot gap makes an effective additional firewall. :)

Like you, I'm hoping that by the time MS forces me out of its market, Linux will have developed enough that you don't need a postgrad in computer science to get it working. And if it does develop for the masses, any time I spend now learning to program the source code will have been time wasted.

I'm assuming that Ubuntu is a form of Linux? Thanks for the tip Rob, but unfortunately if Redrobes' analysis of it is correct, anything that doesn't work 'out of the box' is a non-starter for me. I don't have the skills to poke about with it and I don't have the time to learn. What little learning time I have needs to be spent learning to map, not learning how to program the software that supports the software that enables me to draw the maps I need to play a game...

Sheesh, all I want to do is draw a few cartoon floortiles, a couple of top-down cars and the odd desk and chair.

wormspeaker
03-12-2009, 11:30 AM
Jumping in at the tail end of this, but I get by with MS Paint. MS Paint used to do transparency back with Win98. The option to select a transparent color diapered after that. So I use TransWeb to make my GIFs transparent. (You need to upload the GIF to a web server, so that makes it a lot harder than it needs to be, but since I can't be installing other graphics programs on my work PC, it gets the job done.)
http://stuff.mit.edu/tweb/map.html

Redrobes
03-12-2009, 02:44 PM
Sheesh, all I want to do is draw a few cartoon floortiles, a couple of top-down cars and the odd desk and chair.
Your probably best off using Gimp and just glazing over all the buttons and widgets that you don't need. The only downside is that every time you ask for a bit of help around here using it your gonna get bamboozled with features you cant pronounce let alone use. Still, thats a small price to pay huh ?

Oh and my advice for drawing top down cars is to find a tall building with a balcony and take your camera with you ;)

Ascension
03-12-2009, 05:00 PM
I learned how to draw by drawing cars in 4th grade so I had 3 favorite magazines...CarToons, HotRod, and Road & Track. So I'd start there. Plus you can almost always find the technical drawings and concept drawings with a Google search or car magazines.

icosahedron
03-13-2009, 09:38 AM
Back again, guys.
I've found several free possibilities for my limited needs:

Ultimate Paint:
http://www.ultimatepaint.com/

Vicman's Photo Editor:
http://www.vicman.net/vcwphoto/

Paintbox:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Viewers/PaintBox.shtml

Image Forge:
http://www.cursorarts.com/ca_imffw.html

Has anyone had any experience with these? I could download them all and try them out, but if anyone has a 'don't let that thing anywhere near your computer' warning, I'd rather find out beforehand. :)

Meanwhile, I'm taking a look at a few online photo editors. My needs are so simple that almost anything will do - apart from MSPaint.


Wormspeaker, I've got Paint on Win98 doing jpegs, but not transparency. However, on my new Win2k it doesn't seem to handle anything but bmps - there's progress for you!


As a sci-fi gamer, the cars I want top-downs of haven't been built yet. I might be able to adapt a few photos, or take pics of Matchbox cars, but the problem with photorealism is it raises the game. Once you have one photorealistic object, they all have to be like that, otherwise they just don't look right. And adapting a photo with MSPaint's 'splodge fills' is beyond my skill. This is why I want to stick to a cartoon style, so that I can fill in a bit more plain red to extend a roof, or add a bit more plain grey to extend a windscreen. No way can I do that with photo textures, it's just too complex.

Up until now, I've been working with 20x20 pixel tiles because I have some small chance of adapting them with my meagre skills.

Maybe one of the other applications will allow a breakthrough.

Notsonoble
03-13-2009, 04:59 PM
I'm assuming that Ubuntu is a form of Linux? Thanks for the tip Rob, but unfortunately if Redrobes' analysis of it is correct, anything that doesn't work 'out of the box' is a non-starter for me. I don't have the skills to poke about with it and I don't have the time to learn. What little learning time I have needs to be spent learning to map, not learning how to program the software that supports the software that enables me to draw the maps I need to play a game...

Sheesh, all I want to do is draw a few cartoon floortiles, a couple of top-down cars and the odd desk and chair.

Ubuntu is a linux, but its focus is "working right out of the box"... you might give it a shot anyway... Kid you not, I give ubuntu boxes to people who've never touched a machine before... and they pick things up pretty fast. Find someone to burn you a copy of Ubuntu or Xubuntu... (I can't remember if Xubuntu comes gimp on the live disk... but I know it comes with some image editor)... and just boot your machine from the CD and play with it. I think you'll be surprised... and if you don't like it, no harm done.

Notsonoble
03-13-2009, 05:42 PM
Back again, guys.
I've found several free possibilities for my limited needs:

Ultimate Paint:
http://www.ultimatepaint.com/ -Not actually free: 35 dollars for a single use license

Vicman's Photo Editor:
http://www.vicman.net/vcwphoto/ - clunky gui, and windows all typically actually only means 2K, XP, and Vista, their unnecessarily java heavy website and obviously vista screenshots only expand on this impression

Paintbox:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Viewers/PaintBox.shtml - with a so gui far away from anything you've already used... why not simply use one of the already suggest programs that comes a lot closer to what you're used to?

Image Forge:
http://www.cursorarts.com/ca_imffw.html - see Paintbox

Has anyone had any experience with these? I could download them all and try them out, but if anyone has a 'don't let that thing anywhere near your computer' warning, I'd rather find out beforehand. :)

Maybe one of the other applications will allow a breakthrough.

I think you're best bet is GIMP... but I'd also suggest getting off that 95/98 pc anyway... especially if its the machine your using to surf/post... there's all kinds of things wrong with exposing a OS who's been unsupported security wise for over a year to the internet...

As for breakthroughs... GIMP will help with that simply because there are tons of tutorials from simple to expert here for it... many of which are designed for people who installed gimp, then came to read the tutorial... If you go with something obscure... then that help isn't there... (there's also btw, at least a few tutorials for older versions of GIMP, PSP, Photoshop, and Paint.Net (although I see very few for p.net) here)

I came here with no map making experience or ability at all. In the last 3 or 4 months I've been here I've made regional, and combat maps that are at least as good as ones I've seen in game modules, and campaign setting books. The main reason for not posting them is I'm a little squeamish, I intend to use them (or perhaps the ones I make after them, for the same area) in a book, with hopes of actual publishing...

icosahedron
03-15-2009, 06:41 AM
Thanks for those pointers, Notsonoble. I did briefly experiment with something called Puppy Linux which was supposed to be another 'out of the box' type.

Given more time to experiment, I could probably make a go of one of them. I just keep limping along with MS for now, though, cos its the path of least resistance - for now.


I've been doing some checking out, and none of those freebie programs will do what I want. :(

Strangely, the best I've found so far is an online drawing tool called Aviary. It looks really close, but I'm really not convinced that I want to go down the online route. It remains a fallback option, but...


Well, I WAS going to download and poke about with the GIMP this morning, I figured I'd give it a try, cos I'd be sooooo happy to eat my words if my fears proved unfounded.

...until I saw this quote from the Gimp website FAQ:

"How can I draw a straight line with GIMP?

See Drawing a Straight Line in the GIMP user manual or see our nice tutorial."

<Icy bead of perspiration forms in nape of neck>
Now why on earth would I need a manual/tutorial to draw a straight line???
In Paint, you just click the line button and drag the cursor across the page - intuitive!

If I need tuition to draw a straight line, how will I cope when trying to draw something complex?? Do I even want to start down that route?

Or this quote:
"How can I create an outline around text?

Place some text somewhere. Then click "Create path from text" in the "Text tool option" window. Then use "Edit" -> "Stroke path" and select the appropriate options in the following dialog. Please also see the Paths section in the user manual."

Four steps to open a dialogue box that presumably contains a further series of steps that you have to follow in a manual??
This is a text-box, FFS! A one-click operation in Word, or a simple click & drag square in Paint.

This is already confirming my worst fears about the Gimp before I even download it. It looks like another CC2.
I don't think the Gimp is what I'm looking for either.

Photoshop is out of the question purely in terms of cost. I'm guessing it would be my third most expensive purchase after the house and car - and if I then found it unuseable, they'd find me dangling from a rope - or with a kitchen knife in my back... ;)

<sigh> MS Paint - with negative zoom, transparency, and two or three simple layers. Pre-XP. Is it so much to ask?

Aviary is starting to look good, and they may have an offline Adobe Air version shortly - whatever that is...

Am I alone in this, or are their other newbies lurking here who don't have a clue about drawing, and are looking for a comprehensible (as opposed to comprehensive) software package?

Redrobes
03-15-2009, 07:06 AM
Whilst I think its going to have too many options, I really think it will do what you need and it probably will do it without too much fuss. Its just that there's going to be twenty other ways you could have done it and there's loads of options to find the easy one. Also people are going to offer help using their preferred way of doing it which might be complex or vary.

To draw a straight line you hold shift key down before you drag out with the mouse otherwise it draws all the points between too. In PSP (Paint Shop Pro) you have a straight line tool but then you have to change the settings of it to match the not straight line tool you were just using so actually the shift key way is easier and better. You can press shift key on the eraser as well and it erases in a straight line. PSP has an eraser tool but no eraser line tool, so you cant erase a straight line therefore cutting out shapes is harder in PSP.

I looked up the help file for this straight line too and it was very clear and basic. They have a section in the help file for it because it involves pressing a few keys. So they detail everything very verbosely.

icosahedron
03-15-2009, 09:03 AM
Ok, Based on recommendations here I'll download it. At least its only costing me time, and I'm spending too much of that already, trying to AVOID Gimp.

I'll be back in a month or two... ;)

jfrazierjr
03-15-2009, 12:53 PM
Well, I WAS going to download and poke about with the GIMP this morning, I figured I'd give it a try, cos I'd be sooooo happy to eat my words if my fears proved unfounded.

...until I saw this quote from the Gimp website FAQ:

"How can I draw a straight line with GIMP?

See Drawing a Straight Line in the GIMP user manual or see our nice tutorial."

<Icy bead of perspiration forms in nape of neck>
Now why on earth would I need a manual/tutorial to draw a straight line???
In Paint, you just click the line button and drag the cursor across the page - intuitive!

If I need tuition to draw a straight line, how will I cope when trying to draw something complex?? Do I even want to start down that route?


Because MOST painting tools believe that people don't want to draw straight lines SO often that they need to create a specific icon and tool for that. In any event, drawing a straight line with the pencil or brush tool is as simple as clicking, push the shift key, move the mouse and click again to complete the line segment. It's exactly the same as in MSPaint with the addition of the shift key, so not exactly rocket science.11295




Or this quote:
"How can I create an outline around text?

Place some text somewhere. Then click "Create path from text" in the "Text tool option" window. Then use "Edit" -> "Stroke path" and select the appropriate options in the following dialog. Please also see the Paths section in the user manual."

Four steps to open a dialogue box that presumably contains a further series of steps that you have to follow in a manual??
This is a text-box, FFS! A one-click operation in Word, or a simple click & drag square in Paint.


Ummm.. no... you are confusing terminology. The above is for adding a glow around an EXISTING bit of text. Yes, that is a tad more complex not not overly so, perhaps 5-10 seconds extra time to get the glow. Note that the one on top is as simple as clicking the "Text" tool (as in Paint) and clicking where you want the text to start on the image (as in Paint). Done... Exactly the same. The second set of text are following the process you quoted which is as I said a bit more complex, but not hard by any means. And as far as I know(I opened Paint to try) there is no way to get such an effect in Paint accuratly as you don't have enough control.
11296



This is already confirming my worst fears about the Gimp before I even download it. It looks like another CC2.
I don't think the Gimp is what I'm looking for either.


I will unequivically state my opinion that for what you are trying to do, GIMP is far easier than CC and that likewise CC is overkill in terms of time spent vs gain. Not trying to be a GIMP schill or fanboy, but for free and based on the things you have stated you need it is the tool you need, though from what I understand, you can't use it anyway since what I know is that it requires Win2000 at least (assuming you don't find an older version.)

I will say that my wife tried it out a few months ago and had no problem doing the basics. Though she has been using computers for 10+ years, she constantly asks me how to do thing over and over, particuarly things having to do with how to do stuff in Word because she only uses it once every 2-3 months or so.

icosahedron
03-15-2009, 04:15 PM
Ok, for 'month or two' read 'hour or two'.

I've loaded Gimp and had a play. It doesn't look as scary as I thought. <starts looking for the salt and pepper for those words>.

I imported a picture I'd done previously and within ten minutes or so, I'd succeeded in adding a non-directional drop shadow to it without looking at the Help file. (which is fortunate, cos I haven't found the download for it on the website yet).

I haven't figured out how to draw geometric shapes yet, but I suppose the next step is to do some reading.

This might just work. :)

I'm likely to be using Gimp every few months myself. It won't be often that I need to create a new mapping element, and I'm doing the map assembly in Viewingdale.

RobA
03-15-2009, 06:06 PM
yeah! Welcome to the Gimp side.

Iwas going to say I put it on my 12yo kids' compter and they were wizzing about in no time, but didn't want to scare you off ;)

-Rob A>

icosahedron
03-16-2009, 05:53 AM
Hmm. Look who those kids have got holding their hands.

Besides, at 12yo with the freedom of childhood, they've probably got more 'flying hours' on computers than I have!

And kids learn quicker anyway, and...

I'm just making up excuses now. ;)

lynx_child
06-15-2009, 05:11 PM
I really like Paint.Net for its simplicity (specifically for inking artwork and using smooth lines), though the .Net framework requirement is obnoxious.

I have a lot of problems with Gimp. I don't like the interface, I don't like a lot of complexity, and I hate how annoying it is to use the brushes. However, there are some things it *can* do fairly well, and for a free program it's pretty decent.

For my first map, I used Sumo Paint. The advantage there is that it is a free browser-based paint program. As in, no installing anything. You can save your pictures to a free account online or to your computer. It's also a good blend between being complex enough for you to do some cool things, and simple enough for it to be easy to figure out. It does have some annoying things, however... If you are using layers, and you make a layer invisible, then save the file to your computer, the layer will be visible. Also, I can't get "paste" to work, so a lot of elements of my map I had to do over and over again rather than just copy-->paste. Lastly, if you transform things (which means if you rotate, re-size, squash, stretch or flip an element of a picture rather than the entire picture) that portion of the picture becomes a bit blurry.

EDIT: I just noticed that this thread is a few months old. Sorry. :(