The Digital Image Project
Due: Monday, February 11, 2013, 11:59 pm
Overview: You will complete several graphic design artifacts, including a desktop wallpaper, an animated GIF and an Instagram-style photo.
Topics: Chapters 1 - 3, Digital Images, GIMP, Inkscape, GGC Wiki
Project Template: Project 1 Template
IMPORTANT NOTES: Please read all instructions thoroughly and carefully before calling on the instructor for help. Please remember that your neighbors, the Inkscape and GIMP help menus and the internet are also all resources that you can consult. Please begin early to give yourself time to ask questions and resolve any technical difficulties.
If you want to work on your own computer, download Inkscape from the Inkscape website and GIMP from the GIMP website. You are also welcome to use other image editing programs, but this class only supports the aforementioned software.
If you want me to look over your project before you turn it in, please see me in person during class or during my office hours. I will not review projects submitted via e-mail.
I will edit this page over time to provide clarifications and additional resources.
Before You Begin
1. Edit your Student Profile page to include a link to your Project 1 page. Give this page the name LastnameFirstname_2110_Pjt1 (ex. CuneoJoshua_2110_Pjt1).
2. Copy and paste the following template on your Project 1 page: Project 1 Template.
Part I: Make a Desktop Wallpaper
A desktop wallpaper image is the image that sits behind your icons and windows on the desktop of your operating system. You may have had experience setting your wallpaper using custom images from the internet, but you can design your own as well.
1. Go to http://www.whatismyscreenresolution.com/ and get the screen resolution of your current monitor.
2. Open up Inkscape and set the properties of your document to the same width and height as your screen resolution (File -> Document Properties, Custom Size window, Width and Height, Units = px).
3. Now create a custom wallpaper using the shapes, fill and curve tools found in Inkscape. Your design can be whatever you wish (but not obscene or offensive) so long as it has a coherent pattern or design and contains at least the following:
- A background color other than plain white.
- At least four distinctly different shapes types (including freehand shapes) not drawn with the Bezier Curve tool. Each shape type counts as one shape. For instance, all rectangles count as one shape, as do all freehand shapes.
- At least three curved Bezier Curves. (Straight lines do not count.)
- At least three different colors.
I recommend a separate layer for the background, each shape and each Bezier Curve.
4. Save your wallpaper (early and often!) as a .svg file (a vector graphic file format) with the name LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_Wall. .svg is the native file format that Inkscape uses. Do not save in another format until you are finished with this part of the project, or you may lose some of your information.
5. When you are finished with your wallpaper, save it, then save it again in .png format.
6. Open your .png file in GIMP and save it out as an uncompressed bitmap (File -> Export, then choose "Windows Bitmap" under "Select File Type (By Extension)").
7. Upload your .svg, .png and .bmp files to the wiki. Please do not panic if your .svg file does not display correctly after uploading. This is normal.
8. Edit your Project 1 template to display your .png file and link to your .svg and.bmp files. (Wikis cannot display .svg files correctly - see previous step. .bmp files are not well-suited for web display.) Scale you .png file to about 300 px in width when you display it. Add the file size of each file.
9. List at least four shapes and at least three Bezier Curves that you use in your wallpaper.
Part II: Create an Animated .gif
Despite the proliferation of more advanced animations on the web, many web users still prefer animated .gifs under certain circumstances. They're especially popular as avatars on discussion forums.
1. Using Inkscape, create eight simple vector images of your choice. These will be the frames of your animation. Your frames may or may not have a background, but it should have at least one foreground object that meets the following criteria:
- It uses a combined total of at least two line thicknesses and/or two different shapes
- It uses a combined total of at least three different colors
The frames themselves should also meet the following criteria:
- No two frames are identical.
- Each foreground object is in motion.
- NOTE 1: You can draw your images from scratch or import and trace a series of images.
- NOTE 2: Using layers can make it easier to re-use image elements from different frames.
2. Save each of your eight images in .svg format (LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_svgX, where X is the frame number) and again in .png format (LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_pngX).
3. Using GIMP, string your .png images together into an animated GIF.
- Use File -> Open for the first frame and File -> Open as Layers for the rest.
- When opening, click OK if you get a pop-up menu.
- Save your file in GIMP XCF format first. This is the GIMP project file format and will allow you to come back and make changes to your animation later, if necessary.
- When saving to GIF (File -> Export, then choose "GIF" from "Select File Type (By Extension)"), remember to select these options when they pop up:
- Save as Animation
- One frame per layer (replace) (found in the "Frame disposal where unspecified" pull-down menu)
- Keep "Loop forever" checked
- OPTIONAL: Adjust the Delay between frames.
- Save it as LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_Animation.
4. Post both the animated .gif and your individual .png and .svg frames to your Project 1 template. Note that you will be displaying your animated .gif and .png files and linking to your .svg files.
Part III: Make an Instagram
Instagram is a mobile phone app that allows users to apply digital filters to images before uploading them. These same filters can be found in most professional image editing programs.
1. Go online and find a photograph of your choice (or use a photograph of your own) that meets the following criteria:
- It has a size of at least 300x200 pixels (although bigger is better)
- It is in color
- It was taken in a well-lit area
- It has a clear, sharply defined foreground and background (i.e. neither is very blurry or pixelated). The background should not be black, white or another solid color.
- The foreground and background are distinguishable from one another.
- It has had no apparent manipulations done to it already
2. Open your photo up in GIMP and save it in GIMP's native .xcf format (the name doesn't matter, since you won't be uploading this file). Be sure to save early and often! Export your original image to a .jpg file if it is not in that format already. Use the name LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_GIMP1
3. Find a second image online with a clearly defined foreground and background. Open that image up in GIMP, cut out at least one foreground object and paste it into your first image, so that the object looks like it's part of your first image.
4. Export your image as LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_GIMP2.
- NOTE: If your GIMP file has layers, you may get an error message saying JPG doesn't support layers. Select Export on the pop-up menu. You can leave all other options to their default values.
5. Apply at least three digital filters of your choice to your image. One filter must alter the color of your image (ex. a grayscale or sepia tone filter), and the other two are up to you. Export out another copy of your image after you apply each filter (LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_GIMPX, where X = 3, 4, or 5).
NOTE: You may want to merge your layers if you want to apply the same filter to both foreground and background. You are also welcome to keep your layers separate and apply your filters to just one layer.
6. Now add a border and a digital signature to your image. (Be sure to use a color that makes it distinct from the rest of the photo.) Export this image out as LastnameFirstname_Pjt1_GIMP6.
- There are several ways to do borders. One way is to create a new layer above the others, fill it in with a color and use the selection tool to delete the stuff you don't want.
- Resource: Adding Text to a Picture Using GIMP
7. Upload all six images to your Project 1 template. Below each image, list the filter or modification applied.
How do I create a Project 1 page on my profile?
Take a look at the syntax on the example student profile to see how it's done.
Can I use Inkscape and GIMP on Windows? Are the programs the same on both Windows and Macs? Can I transfer files back and forth between Windows and Macs?
Yes to all. I encourage you to keep your project on a thumb drive. Then you can plug it into any computer running Inkscape and GIMP, regardless of the operating system.
How do I create a colored background in Inkscape?
You cannot simply "fill" in the background in Inkscape. To create a colored background, draw a rectangle that covers the entire page and then fill it with the background color of your choice.
How do I construct an open Bezier curve in Inkscape?
Draw your curve, and when you get to the last point you want to draw, double-click the mouse.
Additional Tips and Resources
- The instructor's submission of this project is available here: CuneoJoshua_2110_Pjt1.
- Jim Rowan's Captured Videos from last semester - Dr. Rowan also teaches Digital Media and captures all of his lectures to video, including walkthroughs of most of the software we use in this class.
- Official Inkscape Documentation
- Official Inkscape Tutorial
- Inkscape Tutorials Blog
- Inkscape Wiki
- Inkscape FAQ
- Assorted Tutorials from Chuck Elliott
- How to Create an Abstract Wallpaper - Please do not turn in this specific wallpaper for part I of this project.
- Spiro Swirls in Inkscape
- Spiro Swirls in Inkscape - Another tutorial
- Cropping in Inkscape
- How to Trace Your Initials in Inkscape
- Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program
- Misc Software Tutorials
- Some submissions from previous semesters. Please note that these students may have completed different projects with different requirements. These submissions are here to serve as inspiration only.