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Hello everyone. I'm completely new to graphic design. I had tried using Inkscape to produce what I want but I wasn't getting the features to work they way there were supposed to and I was advised Paint.net is easier to work with so here I am. I've gone thru a couple of the Paint.net tutorials which were not really related to what I need to do. I think it would be better if I just describe the project I'm wanting to do and get advice as to which tutorials I would specifically need to go thru to accomplish what I want to do.

It seems like the tutorials are more oriented to toward working with a landscape document when what I need to have is a portrait document. I need to produce a digital file that will be printed on both T-shirts and posters thus the portrait document. The design is actually very simple. I have a free clipart photograph I want to use that would go in the upper left hand corner then have text in the upper right hand corner next to the photograph and more text underneath the photo and the right hand corner text. The photograph is of a solar eclipse and the edges of the photo are a very dark purple, almost black which I would like to have as the background color for the whole document. Or I could have it just shade into black, I just don't want the edge of the photo to show. The text would be white. I would need to know about importing photos to Paint.net (I've saved the photo I want to use on my computer), how to move photos and other objects around, how layers would work with what I want to do how to shade colors so that I don't have any edges where I don't want them and so on. What directions should I go in?

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It seems like the tutorials are more oriented to toward working with a landscape document when what I need to have is a portrait document.

Most digital art here has a landscape orientation because that's how our computer monitors are. Really, though, it doesn't matter how you orient your image when you are following the tutorials here.

The design is actually very simple. I have a free clipart photograph I want to use that would go in the upper left hand corner then have text in the upper right hand corner next to the photograph and more text underneath the photo and the right hand corner text.

Be sure to use a separate layer for each element of your image. That way, you can edit them without changing anything about the other pieces.

The photograph is of a solar eclipse and the edges of the photo are a very dark purple, almost black which I would like to have as the background color for the whole document. Or I could have it just shade into black, I just don't want the edge of the photo to show.

If you don't want edges to show, I would go with a completely transparent background. That way, you don't have to worry about matching the color up with the shirts.

That brings up a question about the poster, however: are you sending the image to some print shop to be printed? If so, you will need two final copies, one with a transparent background and one with the colored background. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do in paint.net. Simply create your transparent-background image, save it, then add a new layer underneath all the others and fill it with the desired color and use the "save as" option to save it as a separate copy.

I would need to know about importing photos to Paint.net (I've saved the photo I want to use on my computer), how to move photos and other objects around, how layers would work with what I want to do

Check the paint.net documentation file HERE

how to shade colors so that I don't have any edges where I don't want them

Like I said, make the image on a transparent background so that it fades into whatever color the T-shirt is. To fade into transparent, take a look at this tutorial

I hope this has been helpful! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Happy image editing!

Edited by pdnnoob

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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Pdnoob & Jim100361:

Thank you both for your help! I did look at the suggested tutorials and I think I have a basic understanding of how things will work for what I want to do and I will try it. Before I start I still have a few questions:

It is true I wanted to create the digital file to give to a printer. Why would I need to create a file with a transparent background and a file with a colored background? The printer will be producing the one with the colored background.

If the file with the transparent background is really needed then since the text will be white will that not show? Would the only thing showing then be just the photo I want to put in the upper left hand corner?

I understand the photo would be one layer and the background would be another layer. Would the text be part of the background layer or would it be a 3rd layer?

If I understand the color picker tool description correctly I should be able to hover over a pixel on the photo and set the primary color to that pixel which would work for creating the background color. Is that really how it works? Remember that this is a photo coming from outside of paint.net and when I tried this in Inkscape it wouldn't let me do it.

Is there a tutorial for taking pictures you've downloaded (or even that are still on the web) and correctly putting them in your document? When I downloaded the photo I want to use it put it in the middle of a white space. I just want to put the photo itself in the document I'm creating howc is the best way to o that?

I hope I haven't completely misunderstood things and that these questions aren't too stupid. Thanks again!

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I'm actually not clear on how T-shirt prints are made, but it seems logical to me that the T-shirt will be the background color, so you don't need to include the background in your image. However, with the poster, the background will be printed, so you will need it in the image file.

With a transparent background, your white text will appear invisible in the preview because transparent areas are automatically filled with white. However, if you made sure to save as a .png file or some other image file that supports transparency, the white text is still there, you just can't see it.

Once you are done, layers are irrelevant. The reason to use layers is to help you keep objects separated while you edit. That said, go ahead and put the text on its own layer. As long as you don't run out of RAM, it won't hurt ;)

To use the color picker, make sure you have selected the layer containing the pixel of the desired color, then simply click on the pixel with the color picker tool.

Putting the downloaded photo into your document is actually quite simple. Go to the Layers menu (at the top) and click "import from file." Browse for the file and open it. Paint.net will automatically create a new layer for the image and paste the image in the top left corner. It should also automatically select the photo and the move tool so you can move the image around as desired.

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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I made a little progress but have hit a couple of roadblocks. I was able to import the photo and put it in the upper left hand corner like I wanted. I was even able to use the color picker tool to choose a pixel near the edge of the photo and make it the primary color so I could fill the background. No matter what I do though I can't get rid of the edge of the photo completely. The closest I got was the right edge of the photo is almost gone but the bottom edge of the photo is still clearly visible. I tried using the gradient tool but that didn't help to smooth out the photo edges. Not sure what to do now.

I tried typing some text. I selected the text tool positioned it next to the photo up at the top tried typing but nothing came out. The text tool description says I'm supposed to change the primary color to what I want the text to be which in this case is white so I did but it's still not typing anything. The carriage is advancing just nothing's coming out. What am I doing wrong?

I really need someone to walk me thru this, is there a number I could call to have someone help out? Thanks!

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I made a little progress but have hit a couple of roadblocks. I was able to import the photo and put it in the upper left hand corner like I wanted. I was even able to use the color picker tool to choose a pixel near the edge of the photo and make it the primary color so I could fill the background. No matter what I do though I can't get rid of the edge of the photo completely. The closest I got was the right edge of the photo is almost gone but the bottom edge of the photo is still clearly visible. I tried using the gradient tool but that didn't help to smooth out the photo edges. Not sure what to do now.

They say, "A picture is worth a thousand words". My recommendation would be to post an image (or a couple of images) of what you are encountering. One of the ways you can do this without interfering with the present situation is to grab a screenshot and paste it onto a new canvas. Effectively you would hit the "Prt Sc" key on your keyboard then go and open a new canvas and then press "Ctrl" + "V" to paste the image. You can then save this screenshot and upload and post here the issue. The link below provides instructions on posting images:

http://forums.getpai...es-and-avatars/

I tried typing some text. I selected the text tool positioned it next to the photo up at the top tried typing but nothing came out. The text tool description says I'm supposed to change the primary color to what I want the text to be which in this case is white so I did but it's still not typing anything. The carriage is advancing just nothing's coming out. What am I doing wrong?

Normally when this occurs it is because we have something selected elsewhere. Ensure you've deselected by pressing "Ctrl" + "D" or using the "Esc" key before you try to add text.

I really need someone to walk me thru this, is there a number I could call to have someone help out? Thanks!?

Do you mean like a help support line in India or somewhere? No, there isn't. If you're suggesting contacting any specific individual by phone, I don't think this is a good idea in any online circumstance. Though people try to be helpful here, it would be unwise for anyone to give out personal info to any stranger.

If you press "F1" while in the program, it will open an online webpage that will five you some insight into features of Paint.net But for the immediate need, you can go directly here (the very same link that you would be directed to when you press "F1"):

http://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/index.html

Also, this is available to gather more insight into Paint.NET when you've got more time available:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009IFBA5W

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I made more progress tonight. I was able to finally get it to type white text like I wanted. I noticed once I typed anything after a while I couldn't change or correct anything, is there a way to do that? I have saved everything I've done and will upload it tomorrow so you can see it, I don't have time tonight.

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Once text is committed to a layer it ceases to be editable characters and is instead made into groupings of pixels. It is not editable with the text tool once this occurs.

For this reason we usually recommend placing your text on its own transparent layer. Editing the text is a simple matter of deleting the contents of the old layer and retyping the text (using the same color, font, size and formating). I generally place these bits of information in the layer name (press F4 with the layer active) so I can see at a glance how I wrote the original text.

For longer pieces of text, keep a copy of the text in a word processor!

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The only way I could get everything to come together was to put everything on the same level. 1st, I did the background color then I uploaded the photograph I wanted and finally typed in the text. I had noticed when I had 3 levels that the photo I had placed in the upper left hand corner was appearing in the layers window on all 3 levels and I wasn't sure if that was right. Shouldn't it be only on one level and then have background color on one level and then finally a blank 3rd level where I would type the text? Then I would merge all three levels to bring the document together? Or perhaps I'm not understanding the whole thing.

One other issue was that I want to have 3 or 4 columns of information (not sure yet which would be the best fit) beneath the photo and text right next to the photo. I tried this last night and while the left hand column came out OK I had trouble with the center and right hand columns. I couldn't get even spacing between the rows in those two columns. I did have to space over between columns to get the effect I wanted. Is there a way to easily create rows and columns that come out evenly? Is there a way to use tabs to do that?

So far I think there are some things that could be better explained in the documentation such as how the text will affix to the document as pixels after a while. It does say that in the documentation but it says to fix it you have to do 'undo' until you can back up enough, If like me you are typing near the bottom of the text and you notice something incorrect at the top of the document you are basically stuck unless you want to start over.

I really do appreciate everyone's help and pardon my dumb questions. What I want to do is completely doable I think and when I have something that looks like the finished product I'll upload it.

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The only way I could get everything to come together was to put everything on the same level.....

....Shouldn't it be only on one level and then have background color on one level and then finally a blank 3rd level where I would type the text? Then I would merge all three levels to bring the document together?

Yes, that is the correct process. One image element to each layer. Each layer should be otherwise transparent.

Is there a way to easily create rows and columns that come out evenly?

No not really. Use a word processor to write your text. Cut-n-paste it to your image via the text tool - one column per layer. That way you can adjust the spacing and alignment of the text.

...If like me you are typing near the bottom of the text and you notice something incorrect at the top of the document you are basically stuck unless you want to start over.

For long sections of text I recommend using a word processor and importing the text via the text tool - as mentioned above. Before the text is committed to the layer you can use the arrow keys or click inside the typed text to reposition the cursor.

I really do appreciate everyone's help and pardon my dumb questions.

Not a problem! We're here to help.

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I typed out some test text in Wordpad. The recommendation above was I use the text tool to cut and paste the text into the document but that's not working. I clicked on the text tool while in paint.net then went out to the Wordpad document cut the text and tried to paste it into the paint.net document. It created a box in the left hand corner but there wasn't any text. It doesn't make sense that the text tool would work outside of paint.net. But then how do I get the text from Wordpad into paint.net? Or was Wordpad not the right thing to use to create the text?

One thing I've noticed is that once I've created the background color I can switch layers but the background color remains I would think it would show whatever I had put into the layer. If I hadn't put anything there then it would be just a white space but like I said I just get the background color when I switch layers. So what do I need to do to get the text into the document and get the layers to work so I can see what's in them?.

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think of layers as those plastic transparency sheets used for old fashion overheads. they are clear until you write on them with markers, and you can stack them to make things overlap. In the case of paint.net, the one on top takes priority, so if you have something there covering the same area as something from a different layer, the top layer will be what you see.

It sounds like you have your background color layer above the other layers, so it is covering up anything you have elsewhere

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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So do I need to move the background layer to the bottom and then that will make everything on the other layers show or do I need to start over and not do the background layer until the the last layer? When I have all the layers the way I want how is the best way to merge them from the top down or the bottom up or does it matter? Can I merge all of them at one?

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The below picture shows the buttons on the bottom of the Layers pane. You will notice the Up/Down arrows. The layer which is highlighted in the pane is the one which will be acted upon when you use the buttons. To highlight the layer, simply click on it in the Layers pane.

Layers2_zps42df9d86.png

When you create a new layer, it puts it on top of the current position in the Layers pane (the layer that is highlighted/selected). So if you're already working with 3 layers as an example and the currently active (highlighted/selected) layer is the third one, it is created on top of that layer. If this is the case, use the "Move Layer Down" button to move it to the bottom by clicking on it 3 times.

Also, I mentioned previously that when you were typing the text that maybe you had something selected elsewhere while you were typing and that you needed to de-select it. This holds true with the layers as well. It is possible that a lower layer is selected in the Layers pane and so while you think you're working with the top layer, you are actually working on a lower layers that is covered by some image on top of that and so it appears nothing is typing. Ensure that you've selected the proper layer to type on and that it is on the top.

In the example picture you will notice that the "Background" layer is selected. Also notice that "Layer 2" is represented by the checkerboard thumbnail which indicates that "Layer 2" is transparent and because of it's position, it sits on top of the "Background" layer. So when "Layer 2" (being fully transparent) is selected and you begin to type on it, it will place the text on top of the image of the "Background" (using this example of course).

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I did it! I finally got the document composed the way I want!

See it here: http://s1307.photobucket.com/albums/s589/Celestine16/

What I want to do is produce T-shirts and posters for each state that is in the path of the 2017 eclipse plus a shirt and poster with a map of the entire US showing the path of the eclipse which will go clear across the US from Oregon to South Carolina. The only issue left is I think you'll see that I haven't completely eliminated the photo edges is there a way to do that? To create the background I used the color picker tool in a corner of the photo to try to get the darkest color I could.

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Things aren't working again. I tried to do another document with a different design this time with the photo in the center and then I would put the text at the top and bottom and along the edges. I'm not getting it to fill the background color. I used the color picker tool to get the color I wanted then was able to put the photo in the middle of the document but when I went to fill the background I clicked on the paint bucket but it absolutely refused to fill the background no matter what I did. I tried to create text but this time it wouldn't type anything and I had made sure to click on the text tool. I had made sure I was on a transparent layer and the layer was up at the top. What's wrong now?

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Make a separate layer all the way at the bottom for the background

Make sure you do not have an active selection before you try to type (press ctrl+d to deselect)

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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I was able to get a 2nd document composed and uploaded to Photobucket. This one has the eclipse photo in the center with the annoucement information along the top and then the cities listed in columns surrounding the eclipse. The columns of city names don't look even because I have to give the space in the left hand column for longer city names one at least I can think of would extend to the edge of the bright part of the eclipse. The columns should look more even when I do this for real with the actual city names.

Does anyone know of the correct order to merge layers? I think I've gotten everything merged somewhat by accident. When doing the 2nd document I tried merging layers and got only the text in at the top to display. Later I hit one of the layers I'm not sure which one and suddenly the rest of the text popped in. When i have everything in the different layers ready to merge should I have the laeyers arranged by number and then the background at the bottom then start at the top and just merge each layer below it until I've finally got to the bottom and merge in the background last or is there some other way that is faster or better?

Has anyone gone out to the Photobucket link I posted in message #16 yet?

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Is this what you're having an issue with?:

Eclipsetestdocument2_zps5204d061.jpg

If you're using a stock photo you found on the internet, I would recommend using something that's more appropriate to the layout you're using (vertical vs horizontal) such as this:

eclipse06.jpg

From this point, create your text on transparent layers on top of this background layer, then there won't be a mismatch.

EDIT: Here is an example (partial) of how it will appear (the background on this I created):

Eclipse_zpsd5d4d4e7.png

Edited by jim100361
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Jim100361:

That's the issue I was having the edges of the photo still showing.

The photo you are showing was it vertical instead of horizontal to start with? The one I used was horizontal to start with and it was the best I could find on the internet that was free. I thought it would look strange if I rotated it to vertical. I had thought of using a vertical one then I wouldn't have to do a background but I couldn't find one right off that I liked. Yours is pretty good was it free? I could go back on the net and look again or possibly pay for one which I was trying to avoid. The background you created to do the 2nd one, how did you do that? I'm guessing you put a black filled circle on a purple background, how did you create the corona effect?

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The photo was already vertical.

On the one I created, the corona is from a variety of tools and plugins all blurred with gaussian blur after they've been applied.

I used gradient, a few white filled ellipses, a plugin called highlight and another called lens flare, plus the line tool. Most of the effects are done on thier own layer beneath the circle except for a couple where it "bleeds over" on the edges of the circle. These were again small white filled ellipse.

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http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx228/pdnnoob/solareclipse.png

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx228/pdnnoob/solareclipse2.png

How well-blended does it need to be? I softened the edges a bit, but from a distance, the rectangle is still faintly visible.

 

what I do all summer Emote Cursor Pack 'noob gallery

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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It has occurred to me even if I use a free clipart eclipse photo then if the T-shirts are successful could the owner of the photo come back and try to enforce a copyright and ask for compensation?

If I try to create the eclipse where would I get the highlight and lens flare plugins? How do I make those work in Paint.net? I know there are the line and gradient tools what other tools in Paint.net would I need so I could read up on them?

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