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Thread: Help for Paint.NET etc, please

  1. #31
      Notsonoble is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    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.

  2. #32
      Notsonoble is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    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/Multime...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...

  3. #33
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    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?
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  4. #34
      Redrobes is offline
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    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.

  5. #35
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    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...
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  6. #36
      jfrazierjr is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    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.Help for Paint.NET etc, please-paint-line.png


    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    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.
    Help for Paint.NET etc, please-text-glow.png

    Quote Originally Posted by icosahedron View Post
    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.
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  7. #37
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by icosahedron; 03-15-2009 at 04:18 PM.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  8. #38
      RobA is offline
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    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>

  9. #39
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    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.
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  10. #40
      lynx_child is offline
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    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.

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