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Need help with magic wand tool

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Hey there, so I'm entirely new to this program and honestly to graphic design in general.  I need some help figuring out why the magic wand tool isn't doing exactly what I'm aiming for and any advice would be MUCH appreciated :)


Alright, so my buddy has a food truck called Cheese Cubed where he sells gourmet grilled cheeses (yes, I know, delicious) and I work with calligraphy so I drew him up a little logo to throw on a sticker.  I scanned the logo in a 600 DPI, and it will be the picture attached here.


So what I want to do with this is select the word "Cheese" and the number 3 and turn them yellow.  I also wanted to select the word "Cubed" and the banner outline and fill them in with a solid black, just to kind of digitize them if that makes sense.  I wanted to eliminate the color variation that can be seen and make the logo look as if it were done on a computer rather than with brush pens.  I figured I would use the magic wand to select the bodies of black and just fill them in with yellow.  This was done with a brush pen, so there is some color value differentiation, thus, I turned up the tolerance to 50%.  This worked decently, but there is still a pixely black outline around everything.  I turned the tolerance up further, and while this did get rid of the black around the now-yellow words, there's still a distinct border of jagged pixels around everything.


I'll also attach pictures of the pixely black and just-plain-pixely outlines.  The second attached picture has a 50% tolerance on the Cheese and the 3, the second picture has a 65% tolerance on the Cheese and 3 (notice the black is gone, but the outline is still pixelated) and a 47 tolerance on the black banner outline (notice the extreme border pixelation).


Essentially, whenever I try to select anything with the magic wand and color it in, regardless of the tolerance, it's creating a pixely outline around my selection.


What's the problem here?


EDIT: The pixelation doesn't look as bad on the attached pictures as it does in my Paint.net window, but I'd still like some tips on how I can smooth out the edges and make it look more digitized, especially on that black banner outline, that thing still looks pretty pixelated around the edges.




Edited by AlexAndAHalf
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As much as I like paint.net, but this kind of thing (simple shapes of single color) is usually done with vector graphics.


Within about 3 minutes, I was able to import your jpeg into Inkscape, and use the 'trace bitmap' function it to convert it to a vector object. Then I used the paint bucket tool to change the color of "cheese 3".


Exported back into a raster png file:



If you really want to do this in paint.net, I'm sure someone will reply to assist you with it.

Edited by toe_head2001
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Toe_Head gives a good example. But, if you want, I could still tell you some ways to re-color the logo in paint.net. If you are content with inkscape though, that's fine too, since both programs are great programs.


But just as a quick word about the magic wand tool, yes, it is guilty for often leaving things with "rough" edges. Sometimes using the paint bucket tool without the magic wand tool gives better results. There are also lots of plugins that can help smooth edges, or there's even the Alpha Mask plugin that can act as an alternative to the magic wand tool when you know how to use it. Paint.net is able to do a lot of things, and it has endless amounts of amazing plugins, but, keep in mind that it is still a program that renders most things in the form of pixels.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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toe_head, I downloaded Inkscape because I wanted to make sure I could replicate what you did, and I started with the original image.  I traced the bitmap, but when I try to fill it in with yellow, I'm left with a (non-pixelated!) black border around the part that I use the paint bucket on.  Any ideas on what I need to adjust to fix that?

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toe_head, I downloaded Inkscape because I wanted to make sure I could replicate what you did, and I started with the original image.  I traced the bitmap, but when I try to fill it in with yellow, I'm left with a (non-pixelated!) black border around the part that I use the paint bucket on.  Any ideas on what I need to adjust to fix that?


You'll need to delete the nodes of that black border around the yellow letters. See the private message I sent to you.

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Hello Alex,
I think Toe_head's idea of using vector lines (via Inkscape) is a good one, however I find Inkscape surprisingly difficult to use. Perhaps I'm too used to Paint.NET
If you want to stay within Pdn, try installing 'TR'sSplineMaster' plugin here:



Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings



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I'm going to assume you'll be using Inkscape for your picture. And that's fine, because for a logo, you'll probably get the smoothest results from a vector program.

However, in case you want to use paint.net still or for future projects, or in case someone else finds this thread and wants a paint.net answer, below are some ways of doing things with paint.net. I'm not sure if the image you uploaded is exactly the same as what you are trying to work with, but I'll use it as an example picture, if you don't mind.



Re-create the picture by tracing.
For better quality, sometimes using layers and re-creating a picture by manually tracing it will give you decent results. A good tool for manual tracing is the line/curve tool :LineTool:, or you can try the plugin Red ochre suggested above (how to install plugins?). Unfortunately, the idea to re-create and trace the picture might also be the choice that takes the longest to do. So instead of re-creating the picture, keep reading if you just want to stick with the idea of modifying the picture.


Modify the picture.
With a closer look at the picture, the picture has artifacts on it. This is normal when you scan sketches, drawings, and doodles into a computer. Before we re-color the picture, we're going to want to remove the artifacts as best as we can.


Zoomed out the picture looks black and white and nice. But if you zoom in, the picture has noticeable artifacts and specks on the white background.


Here are some options to remove the artifacts and specks :


Option One.
You can cut the image out from it's background. Since most of the artifacts are on the background, removing the background would get rid of the artifacts.
You can learn how to remove backgrounds/cut out objects from these tutorials :
- http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/13796-cutting-out-images/
- http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/28305-mini-tuts/?p=409110

Option Two.
The artifacts on the picture aren't very severe, so if it feels too time consuming to cut the image out from the background, you can actually fix things up by just using adjustments, effects, and plugins. (how to install plugins?)
1) Go up to the Menu Bar > Effects > Noise > and click on “Reduce Noise”. Slide both sliders all the way to the right.
2) Use the Remove Dust plugin, and set it to the black setting.
3) Use the Two Tone Threshold plugin to turn the text and lines into solid black and remove the white background.
Use these settings :
Lo Threshold 72
Hi Threshold, leave it at default 255
Keep “Preserve Ratio Between Thresholds” check-marked
Type of conversion, leave it at it's default setting
Set the Colors setting to  “1. Black   2. Transparent”

Now let's re-color the Cheese and 3.
1) Make a selection around “Cheese 3”. I suggest you zoom in close and use the lasso selection tool.

2) Once you have a selection, zoom back out to 100% (there are zoom controls at the bottom of paint.net to the right). Then cut (ctrl + x) and paste the objects onto their own layer (ctrl + shift + v).

3) Change the object's color....
You can either set your primary color to yellow and use the threshold plugin again, but change the color setting to “1. Primary   2. Transparent”.
Or you can re-color using other adjustments from the adjustments tab. To re-color using other adjustments...
- Try playing around with levels and curves.
- Alternatively, you can try turning your text gray with hue/saturation's lightness slider, then use sepia, and then use hue/saturation again to turn things into the color you want (you might have to run hue/saturation several times to get a good saturation of your color).


4) If you want, you can keep your background transparent, or you can give yourself a new background by adding a layer and filling it in with white. Then when you are happy with how things look, save as a png. (note, to keep your layers, save as a pdn first, then re-save in another format, such as png.)


Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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  • 9 months later...

I know this is an old thread but I thought I might chime in here as a newbie, since everyone else is helping me so much.


Like the guy above says, the source image isn't too messy.  I've found you can use vectormagic.com to convert your images to vectors or in the least clean them up to put them into paint.net.   It strips a lot of the rubbish out of pics.

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I like your tip. I'm glade you shared it. Unfortunately, I'm sure the mods won't like you digging up an old thread.
Here are the forum rules for future references : http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/2932-read-first-the-rules-yes-you-read-this-2013-12-21/?p=22025 (check out rule #11)


A work around to making a comment on an old thread, is post a new thread and then give a link to the old thread that you are referring to/commenting about.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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