david.atwell

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Everything posted by david.atwell

  1. Image Umbrella: Abstract Images

    Image Umbrella: Abstract Images Post your weird-looking stuff here! Things to keep in mind: - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. Make Salvador Dali proud!
  2. (Inspired by this thread.) Advanced Critique While deviantART is the best place to put your work for advanced critique, there's no reason we can't have a little bit of it here. Post your images here for advanced critique. Some rules: 1. Of course, all forum rules apply here. Also, all pictorium rules. 2. All images posted in this thread must have been edited in Paint.NET in a major way (though not necessarily exclusively). 3. Users may post no more than two images per post. 4. Users may not post an image until the previous image has received at least three valid comments. 5. Users may not post a comment of less than fifty words. This is ADVANCED Critique. 6. Users may not become angry if others have a low opinion of their work. This is Advanced CRITIQUE. 7. Users may not be mean about their critique. No Biting rules still apply. Find a way to say "Your Image Sucks" more kindly. All right! Go to it!
  3. Image Umbrella: Image Modification/Manipulation Post your devious photographic fakes here! Things to keep in mind: - Please post links to your source images here; that way we'll be able to see how 1337 you really are. - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. - It bears special mention that nothing hateful, pornographic, or otherwise rulebreaking will be tolerated. Now, go change the world!
  4. The Image Hospital Problems with your image? Get advice here! Welcome to the Image Hospital! We're here to help! Have you ever been stuck with an image? Have you been certain that something just wasn't quite right, but you couldn't put your finger on it? Well, this is the place to ask questions about it! Things to keep in mind: - The purpose of this thread is mostly just to help with aesthetics. If you're looking for technical help (that is, if you don't know how to do something) use search to try and find the answer to your question; or, if you can't find the answer to the question, post the question in this forum. - Most of us aren't professionals, so keep in mind that our opinions aren't necessarily coming from an "expert." If you disagree, don't take it personally. - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. - Only one image per person per day. This is absolutely essential, or no one else will get a turn! :-) Be courteous to other users. Anyway, good luck; and happy healing!
  5. A Note on Spam

    Hey everybody! So, you may have noticed that there's been a lot of spam around here recently. Sorry about that. Looks like some Korean spammer has identified us as a good dumping ground for their Google-gaming. (If you're one of those spammers, Hi! Get out.) The mod staff has tried several things to stem the tide, which I won't go into here, but we do want to be sensitive to legitimate users joining for legitimate reasons. In the meantime, we're just playing whack-a-mole with the spammers. Please bear with us; we have moderators covering most of the globe, so if there's spam there's probably a moderator available soon to take it down. We're doing our best, but we're humans and they're robots, so it's going to be a difficult battle. If there are any updates that we feel the community should know, we'll make them in this thread. (And seriously, spammers? Out. Now.) Lots of spam? Can't find your post? If your question is buried under tons of spam, we're sorry. Rest assured, there will be a mod around soon to get rid of it. In the meantime, you can find your post by clicking your username in the top-right corner of the site, then hitting "Your Content." All of your posts should be there. Thanks for bearing with us! - - - Incidentally, as of December 8, our mod staff had zapped over 10,000 posts from hundreds of spam accounts.
  6. Image Umbrella: Signatures and Avatars Post your Paint.NET sig or av creations here! Things to keep in mind: - Keep in mind that signatures and avatars are very small; for instance, on this forum, signatures may be no larger than 500 pixels wide or 150 pixels tall, and avatars no larger than 120px wide or 160px tall. Anything that's too much larger should go under a different umbrella. - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep The Rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. Have fun with your mini-art!
  7. Image Umbrella: Interfaces

    Image Umbrella: Interfaces Post websites, programs, and other computer items you've created or edited here! Things to keep in mind: - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. - Skins are allowed, but please note what program or site you've skinned. We don't want any copyright problems. Now, show those programmers who's boss!
  8. DPI and YOU - Understanding Resolution for Print and Web So you've just hit the Paint.NET "New...," "Canvas Size" or "Resize" option. And suddenly, to your horror, you see...THIS! ...or something like it. (This, specifically, is the "Resize" option from the "Image" menu.) Holy cowbirds*! An array of options! How do you deal with this? What is "Resolution?" What is going on here? Maybe you've just stuck with the "By Percentage" option, to be safe. I'm going to teach you to expand beyond the basic "Shrink by 50%" reflex and show you how to maximize your printing power with Paint.NET's DPI tools. 's fantastic "Printer+" plugin (in this plugin pack) and @I Like Pi's incredible "OptiPNG" plugin (available here) to maximize the quality of your print and web images. I'm not going to use them in this tutorial, though.] Also, you'll find footnotes denoted by linked asterisks (*) and carets (^), including multiples and combinations thereof. Click on them, and they'll link to the footnote at the bottom of the post. So! Now that we've got that out of the way, Here's what we're planning to look at today. Contents 1. What is this "DPI" thing anyway? 2. How can I optimize my image for print? 3. How can I optimize my image for the Web? 4. How can I make an image higher-resolution? (Or: CSI has LIED to you!) And off we go! 1. What is this "DPI" thing anyway? To understand DPI ("Dots Per Inch"), you need to understand the basics of raster imaging. Paint.NET is a raster image editor. This means that it uses pixels (small blocks of colors) to build up an image. What are pixels? Try opening a photo and zooming in really, really closely. For instance, take this picture** (Go ahead! Take it! It's public domain!): and zoom in really close on the red square around her eye (this is 1000% zoom): That, my friend, is the DNA of this image. The building blocks. The LEGOs, if you like that sort of thing (and who doesn't?!). The blocky pixels are shown on a computer screen in rows and columns so small that the naked eye doesn't see the individual pieces (though if you get close enough to a projector screen, you'll probably be able to identify the individual pixels fairly easily). Instead, the tiny little blocks of color flow together to create the beautiful lines and curves of a photograph or drawing. How does DPI fit into all of this? Well, here's the secret of DPI: it's really a huge scam. Oh, sure, it does affect the printing, and sometimes the display, of the image. But it doesn't actually change the image itself at all. No kidding. It's just a number that Paint.NET (or Photoshop, or Paint, or Corel Draw...) saves alongside the image so that the computer knows what size you mean for the image to be. So, take a look at this image***: Now, that image, which is 100 pixels wide, was shown at 96 DPI (Dots Per Inch), meaning that its 100 pixels should be filling slightly more than one inch on most monitors^. But, if we were to change the DPI - say, to 50 or so - it would expand those 100 pixels to fill 2 inches of space (100 / 50 = 2, get it?): Notice that the image got choppier. The individual pixels are much more visible now, and the image doesn't look as good. We'll talk about ways to fix that in section 4. Or change the DPI to 200. Now it will shrink those pixels to fill a half inch of space (100 / 200 = .5): Holy Glossiness, Batman! The image got a lot higher-quality! That's because, since the individual pixels are so much smaller, they're less visible. that means that the overall curves and lines are more prominent. (Ok, you caught me. The image is still at 96 DPI, and I just resized it to make it look like it was at 50 DPI and 200 DPI. That's because most programs (including your browser, most likely) render images based solely on their pixel size, not their resolution. But if they did, that's how they would look.) But you get the concept, right? To review: -Paint.NET is a raster image program. -Raster means it uses pixels. -Pixels are the tiny little blocks that make up an image. -DPI doesn't change the image, it just changes how it's displayed. -When DPI is higher, the image is smaller because the pixels fill a smaller space. -When DPI is lower, the image is larger because the pixels fill a larger space. -The higher the DPI, the better the image quality. (And vice versa) We clear? Feel free to comment with any questions you have, and come back to the rest later if you need to digest. 2. How can I optimize my image for print? So this is the nuts and bolts. This is what DPI really boils down to. See, your printer will print out the image at the size dictated by the image's DPI. Remember how the image above got smaller with a larger DPI? Same thing applies to printers. Now, while typical monitor resolution is 96 DPI, a printer typically runs anywhere from 150 to 600 DPI. If you have a typical InkJet printer, it's probably capable of 300-600 DPI, but if you are taking it to a professional printing house (like Kinko's FedEx Office), they probably have a color LaserJet printer capable of resolution well up into the 1000 DPI range (some even as high as 1800 DPI). The human eye is usally satisfied with something at 300-600 DPI, so it's a good baseline for most work. No problem, right? We'll just change the DPI to 300 or so. No worries. Except that if you do that, it will make this image^^... ...about this big on the page: Humph. Well, that sucks. Moral of the story? Work bigger. Much bigger. As big as possible, and don't shrink it down until you're absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt DONE. And always, always, ALWAYS save the full-size .PDN with layers, because you never know when you'll need to change something later. Because if you print it out at 96 DPI, it'll look like this: Yuck. That's because a dot of ink is much smaller than a pixel, meaning more fit in an inch. Resizing it up will just make it look nasty. We'll talk more about how to fix that (kinda) in section 4, but for now, let's review. -DPI tells the printer what size to print the image at. -Your InkJet printer can probably print at 300-600 DPI. That's good enough for most work. -Work as big as possible. -Work as big as possible. -Work as big as possible! -Don't resize down until you're ready to print, and ALWAYS keep the full-size, layered .PDN file. Take a breather before going on to... 3. How can I optimize my image for the Web? This section is going to be much smaller, because the fact is, resolution doesn't do much for web-based images. They'll most always display at 96 DPI, no matter how you save it. (See the footnote for the first section where I admit publicly that I lied stretched the truth a bit). For proof, look at these images*^*. The first is saved at 96 DPI, the second at 300 DPI, the third at 14,400 DPI: While they all look the same on your screen, they would look vastly different on paper. The first one would be slightly more than an inch and a half in size, the second one would be around half an inch, and the third one (if I've done the math right) would only be about the size of one pixel at 96 DPI. So, how can I optimize my image for the Web? Well, some of the principles we've learned above will apply here. First of all, remember that a larger DPI (more pixels in a smaller space) means higher quality. So, similar to the Print section, work with the image in a large size before sizing it down for web. Adjusting the actual DPI does nothing, but you can fake this with image size: For instance, if you are making a signature for the forum, work with it at 1000x300, and right when you get done, shrink it down to 500x150. This is half of my current sig, at the size it was when I was working on it^^^: And, after resizing down: Notice that it got a lot less jaggedy. The lines became smoother, the image looks better...overall, it's a much nicer image. This is the dirtiest secret in image editing: Work big, then shrink down. It's the easiest way to cover mistakes at the pixel level, because the eye just can't see them anymore. [NEW] Another thing to keep in mind - you'll probably want to work at 200%, 400%, 800%... (keep doubling) because pixels look best when cut in half, rather than in thirds or fifths. 200% or 400% should most often be big enough. For instance, sigs on this forum will eventually be 500x150, so working at 1000x300 is the simplest way to resize. It looks the best when it goes down exactly 50%. So, when you start off a project, increase canvas size by 200% or 400%, and when you're done, resize down to 50% or 25% to get your desired size. The computer works best that way. And ALWAYS keep the full-size, layered .PDN in case you need it later. Quick review: -DPI doesn't do anything for web graphics. -Work with a high image size, then shrink it down to save it. -ALWAYS keep the full-size, layered .PDN on hand in case you need it later. (How many times can I say it?) We're in the home stretch now! 4. How can I make an image higher-resolution? (Or: CSI has LIED to you!) Short answer: You can't. Long answer: Yyyooouuu cccaaannn'''ttt... Have you ever seen this scenario played out on TV? The CSI shows do it as often as . Even (and literally everything that comes out of his mouth is gibberish in that clip), though I'm willing to forgive him since it was the 80's and NO one knew what they were talking about. (But this is probably the funniest parody of Hollywood's computer illiteracy.)Anyway, they're lying to you. There's no computer system in the world that can do what the computers in CSI are depicted as doing. While an image can easily be resized smaller, it can never satisfactorily be made larger. Why is that? Because the image is made up of pixels, remember? At its core, this image*^^... ...is just this: A bunch of pixels. So what do you get when you blow up a grainy surveillance photo^**? You get a close-up of a grainy surveillance photo. Asking the computer to "enhance" it, like on CSI, is like giving someone a book with three out of every four pages missing and asking them to reconstruct the story. It can't be done very accurately, because the information isn't there, and there will never be any technology that will let us do that.**^ So, what can you do if you need the picture to be bigger? Well, the easiest way is to just take a bigger picture. You'll never make an enlargement look as good a picture that was taken at the size you want. But there are tricks you can employ. First, leave the drop-down menu in Paint.NET on "Best Quality." It'll automatically choose the best way of "guessing" at the missing information. Second, try running Gaussian Blur, followed by Sharpen. Repeat several times, and you'll get something passable. Keep in mind, though, this really only works at images that have been doubled in size at best. More than 200%, and you're getting into impossible territory. And if you come up with a technique that works better, share it below! I am open to suggestions, most definitely. But, to review... -You can't "enlarge and enhance" like they do on TV. -The writers of CSI are dirty rotten liars. (Well, they don't know computer graphics as well as they claim to. Same thing.) -The best way to have a bigger picture is to take a bigger picture. And there you have it! You've learned all there is to know^^* about resolution and DPI in images. Congratulations! I know there's really not much of an outcome here, but feel free to ask questions, comment, and show the Before and After images you've resized. Bon voyage! Footnotes: * My roommate says this. No, I don't know why. ** This image is "Girl with a Pearl Earring," by Johannes Vermeer. Image found here. *** This image is a detail from "Rayons du Soir (Sails at Sunset)," by Charles Cottet. Image found here. ^ Well, almost. If your monitor isn't displaying at native resolution, it won't. If your monitor isn't a 96 PPI monitor, it won't. But for most monitors and most people, 96 pixels equals 1 inch. Also, technically, this is PPI (Pixels Per Inch), not DPI (Dots Per Inch), because it's shown on a screen, not printed on a page. But I'm using the same term all over for simplicity's sake. ^^ This image is "The Singing Butler," by Jack Vettriano. Educational use: Image not public domain. *^* This image is a detail from "Lydia Leaning on Her Arms in a Theatre Box," by Mary Cassatt. Image found here. ^^^ Parts of this image from still shots of the Destiny, from Stargate Universe. Educational use: Image not public domain. *^^ This image is a detail from "L'Estaque," by Paul Cézanne. Image found here. ^** Image modified from "Surveillance, by William Betts. Educational use: Image not public domain. **^ At least, not with our current understanding of technology. ^^* Not even close.
  9. Image Umbrella: Realistic Images

    Image Umbrella: Realistic Images Things to keep in mind: - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. Now, put Leonardo da Vinci to shame!
  10. Paint.NET is getting noticed!

    Paint.NET gets a shout-out in the latest Computerphile video! Only 7 seconds in. The video is complicated, but super useful for visualizing how image resizing works.
  11. Image Umbrella: Desktop Art

    Image Umbrella: Desktop Art Show your Paint.NET Desktop Image skills here! Things to keep in mind: - Try not to post your image right after another user's. Allow some time for people to reply (or give an opinion yourself!) - Utilize constructive criticism. Being mean is not welcome or tolerated. - Try for criticism that's more helpful than "looks good" - say why. Say what works, say what can be improved. It'll make everyone's skills better (including yours)! - By the same token, keep the rules in mind. They will be enforced here just as much as anywhere else. - Special note from the rules: This is a family-friendly forum. Beautiful women are welcome. Unclothed women are not. Keep your desktops clean. - Also, please post your desktop image directly (that is, not a screen shot); we want to see your skillz, not your icon slobbery. - Keep in mind that some users use slower connections. Please post images wider than 800px as thumbnails or URLs. Have fun with your large-scale beauties!
  12. I've also heard good things about Backblaze.com .
  13. If you're running Windows XP, your Paint.NET problems are the least of your issues. Microsoft discontinued security support for that OS over two years ago, which means that if your system hasn't already been compromised (that is, hacked), it likely soon will be.
  14. Very cool. I'll have to take a look at that. You get used to it after a while, if you use it for a while. It becomes an extension of your hand after some time. At least it did for me. For sure. The best in class for screen-based tablets is the Wacom Cintiq, which runs somewhere in the $1,000 USD anyway.
  15. Only just. Your best bet would be a used Wacom Graphire 4, which can be found on Amazon for $40 USD (around €35 EUR). Nothing new in that price range would really be worth buying. Other than being mapped 1:1 with the screen (where, as you say, if you touch the top left corner of the tablet it will click the top left corner of the screen), the Wacom Tablet works just like a mouse. The pointer moves around the screen as you hover your stylus above the tablet, and when you press down, it "clicks." I'm not aware of any. Since tablets work just like mice, Paint.NET is fine for the purpose; the only downside is that it doesn't support pressure sensitivity. Good luck!
  16. Problems saving large images

    Moved to troubleshooting.
  17. Moved to Troubleshooting.
  18. Hard to draw a rectangle?

    When you paste something in, it is automatically selected. You do NOT have to flatten the image. You just have to deselect the pixels or choose the correct layer.
  19. Question about what plugins do

    "Common" is used as a basic repository of code that the plugin authors in question use in all of their plugins, so that they can develop more quickly. No plugins actually appear in the program for those files, but they are necessary for other of their plugins to function. As for standalone effects, you'll need to check the Plugin Index. Some plugin authors make their plugins available as standalone downloads, some don't. I believe Ed is in the latter category, but I'm not sure.
  20. Shape Folders

    Yes, absolutely it would. Well, it would speed up launch, at least. PdN checks every plugin for compatibility every time the program opens, so the more plugins you have the longer that process would take. You can always pull plugins out of the root /Paint.NET/Effects folder and put them into a subfolder - such as /Paint.NET/Effects/Archive - where they won't be seen by the program but will be easily available if you find that you need them later.
  21. Hard to draw a rectangle?

    Not quite. You don't have to flatten the image, you just have to deselect the pixels you have selected from pasting in the screenshot. Hit Ctrl+D. Or, potentially, you're working on a layer that is covered up by the screenshot. Take a look and make sure the layer you're trying to draw upon is at the top. Paint.NET, like other image editors, only affects the pixels within the selection area on the selected layer. This doesn't violate Principle of Least Surprise, as it's standard for all image editors.
  22. Ukrainian localization

    That rule doesn't apply in the Localization forum.
  23. I'm using Avast with no PdN install problems.
  24. Turn a head

    Alternatively, if you have a photo where someone is looking to the right and you want to make them face the camera...that is impossible.
  25. Mini-tuts - Discussion

    Mini Tuts discussion This is the discussion thread for the Mini-tuts tutorial thread. For the Mini-tuts themselves, click here. Ever seen something that a user posted in reply to another user's question - something that looked awesome, but really wasn't enough for a full tutorial? Well, every post in the Mini-tuts thread will be one of those! Moderators (mostly me, probably) will be copying posts from other threads to this one; if you'd like to recommend one, or if you have questions about one of the Mini-tuts, ask it below. To ask or answer a question: The Mini-tuts are numbered at the top of each one, like this: Mini-Tut #1 If you have a question about it, refer to that number in your question. To nominate a post: In the top-right of every post, there's an icon that looks like this: . If you click on it, it will open a dialog box with a link inside. Copy that link, then post it in this thread with a sentence or short paragraph explaining why you think that deserves to be a Mini-tut. A note on rules: Since these MIni-tuts were never intended to be full tutorials, they're naturally going to break a few of the Tutorial Posting Guidelines. My personal guidelines for this thread are that it should include at least one image, and be well-written and unique. But other mods may post different things, so don't get too hung up on rules. All Mini-tuts will still follow the forum rules. A note on rep: Moderators are going to be copying the original post from the thread in which it was posted into the Mini-tuts thread. So don't rep the post in the Mini-tut forum! (Unless you're trying to say that we copied it particularly adeptly) If you think the tutorial was really good, follow the link at the top of the Mini-tut that looks like this: Original post: 408433. That link will take you directly to the original post. Rep that one instead! Image of little mummy (a mini-Tut!) by TheReapersApprentice on DeviantArt, released under CC-BY-SA 3.0.