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  • Pattern Making using Photoshop Elements, Gimp and Inkscape

    Thanks to John S. for sharing this tutorial.
    Pattern making using Adobe Photoshop Elements, Gimp, and Inkscape Tutorial

    By John S.


    Here is a job aid using either Gimp or Adobe Photoshop Elements. I use Adobe Elements, but have tried Gimp and had fairly good luck with it as well. Gimp is a free software program you can download. Some of this information was derived from other postings in other forums.

    Here are the steps with GIMP, but the same applies to Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is almost exactly the same.

    1. Open GIMP and go to File and Open
    2. Find your file you want to make a pattern with and "double click" it
    3. Your image should be displayed on the screen
    4. Go to the toolbar and select "Image" ..."Mode" ..."grayscale"
    5. Your image should now be a grayscale image
    6. Now pick your "paint fuzzy brush tool" (I call it the paintbrush)
    7. Make sure you select the white color and start removing the background with that paintbrush.
    8. You can vary the size of the paintbrush by selecting the "black dot" by the word "Brush".
    9. You also have the option at the bottom of the page to zoom in on the picture to refine your cleanup. (at this time you are only interested in cleaning up the unwanted background) (it is important to remove this since it has an effect on the next steps)
    10. Now that you have your background removed, click on Filter, Artistic, and Photocopy
    11. Your Photocopy window is better viewed if you Maximize the window to full size by clicking on the square in the upper right corner of that screen.
    12. Here is the handiest tool in GiMP as well as in Adobe Elements. You can manipulate the potential pattern with the sliders. I try to pay close attention to details like the eyes, ears, nose, and lips to get what I want. Do not worry about any unwanted skintones or blotches that you do not want in the pattern. We will remove them next. PLEASE NOTE: If you can NOT get a good balance of all items in your pattern, you will need to use LAYERS which is a totally different topic.
    13. Click on OK in the Photocopy window and you should be returned to your main pattern with the changes that Photocopy has made.
    14. Now start using your Paintbrush and the white/black colors to cleanup your pattern and tie all parts together. You will use both the white and black ink to perform this. Be sure to change the size of the dot for more accuracy.
    14. Once you have the pattern the way you think you want it, pick the Paint bucket and the black color. Now click in the white background to flood the the black color on the picture. If you have all floaters removed, the picture should be completely black.
    15. You now need to "UNDO" the flood tool by clicking on the Edit tool and clicking UNDO. The keyboard command Ctrl Z will do the same thing as UNDO. PLEASE NOTE: CTRL Z is your FRIEND!!
    16. Continue touching up your pattern and using the Flood tool to see if anything is left and then undo.
    17. When you have your pattern the way you want it, click on File and Save As, Name your pattern and use the JPG format.
    18. You should now be finished with GIMP or Adobe.

    19. Open Inkscape and click on the ICON on the toolbar on the right end. It will have a wrench and a square sheet of paper underneath it. If you hover over it, it will tell you "edit properties of this document".

    20. Set the Default units on this window to "in"
    Make sure the dropdown window above "fit page to selection" is set to "in"
    The Width to 7.00
    The Heigth to 9.00
    Make sure there is a checkmark in the Show Page border checkbox

    Now make sure you click in the window that has the width set to 7.00(you do need to click in this window as a final step before closing)

    21. Close that window
    22. Go to File and "IMPORT" and find the file you saved in GIMP or Adobe Elements and double click on it. (these steps with Inkscape are the same no matter what program you saved your pattern in)
    23. Your pattern should be displayed in that window
    24. You will need to resize your pattern so it fits within the "paper" that is displayed. Hold down the Ctrl key and click on one of the corners and resize your pattern to fit within the white page. You can move it around by clicking inside the pattern and move it where you want.
    25. Now go to the toolbar and click on Path and Trace Bitmap
    26. Make sure the Brightness cutoff is checked and set your threshold between .500 and .800. You can click on "preview" to see if the changes are too dark or light. I have had good luck using .550 to .750.
    27. Make sure that Smooth and Stack Scans are both checked
    28. Now click on OK
    29. You may not know it, but there will be two copies of your pattern on the screen. To verify, click on the top one and drag it to the side. Look closely to determine which one was the original. Usually it is the bottom one but that is not guaranteed. Right click on the "original" and "delete" it.
    30. You should now have the "new" document to save.
    31. Click on File, Save As, and name your file, select the folder you want it in, and select the format to be "PLAIN SVG(*.svg)
    32. You are now done with Inkscape and will need to open Corel PSP
    33. In Corel PSP, click on File and Open and find the file you just saved with the .svg extension, double click on it.
    34. Your file should open and display.
    35. Now for the final time flood the screen with the Paint bucket to make sure you do not have any floaters. To UNDO this click on CTRL Z and then fix if needed with the paintbrush.
    36. Use the text tool to add your name to the the pattern.
    37. Click on File, Save AS, and save the pattern as a GIF format. GIF is best since we are using only two colors and it reduces the bit size of the pattern to save disk space. It is also good so that you can keep your allotted memory on the MSN forums at a minimum.

    37. You are now done.

    Good luck!
    John
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

  • #2
    gimp

    Hi John I'm afraid I need your help, I get up to pagraph eleven and every thing is great but then I loose the plot.You will have to excuse my stupidity but what do you have to do to get from the line drawing to the pattern, manipulate the pattern ??? how I do realise I'm probably looking at the answer but sorry I can't see it , HELP Mal
    Last edited by countrycrafts; 02-05-2009, 08:06 AM.

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    • #3
      Mal and John

      I got lost in the same place.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think I figured it out.

        Once you have the image in photocopy mode and your background is cleaned up (I did it out of photocopy mode) you have to go back into photocopy mode (repeat step 10) and that's where the slider bars are to sharpen/darken everything up.

        That's as far as I've gotten so far.
        Kelly





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