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Scroll Saw Portraits Using Gimp - L8

gimp class pattern making video tutorial


Welcome to our final lesson! Up to this point, we should have a pattern that is for the most part finished. All that is left is to make sure it will cut OK. So this lesson, we'll talk about quality control (sounds so corporate, huh?).

Print and Check
Whenever I get a pattern to the point where I'm happy with the result, I will print a copy. Make sure you print it the size which you'll be cutting it. It will make checking that much more accurate. Then I'll take a red pen and circle any problem areas that may need attention. Areas like very thin peninsulas that may need thickening. Long peninsulas that may be a little too delicate for cutting may need a bridge to add extra support. Also check for islands. Then go back to your pattern and make the changes. I might do this process 2 or 3 times before I'm done checking.

Here's a little tip to save yourself some ink. Click the visibility off for all layers except for your white background layer and your pattern layer. Select your pattern layer and turn the opacity down to 30% or so. This will make your pattern into a light gray. This will save you a lot of ink and money. After you're done printing your pattern, bring the opacity back up to 100%.

Bucket Fill Check
Remember, the white areas indicate the wood. So if you did the pattern right, everything should be connected with white. Here's a quick way to check for islands. In your tool palette, click the bucket fill tool. Select your pattern layer and click the white area with the bucket fill tool. This will fill all the white areas in with black. Your image should be pretty much black. If you see any white areas, this would indicate islands that are not bridged. Just undo (Ctrl+z) the fill, and bridge the island.

Marking Your Pattern
If you intend on distributing your pattern, it is a good idea to mark the pattern with your name. This allows other scrollers to give credit where credit is due, and it also marks the pattern as yours (you now own the copyright to that pattern!). You can easily add text to the pattern by clicking the Text tool in the toolbox (looks like an 'A'). Then click in your image. This will pop up a dialog box where you can add your information. I usually include the title of the pattern, my name, and any additional info like email or website. Remember to check the tool options dialog box for font options. Click the Close button and your text will be placed. Use the move tool to move your text to the final location.

You may want to share your pattern with the rest of the scrolling community. Many online communities allow you to attach JPG files to posts. Scroll Saw Village has special gallery software where you can upload new patterns. To get your pattern in a JPG format, first save your project (as an XCF file). Then go to File>Save As. This will pop up a dialog box where you can name your file. You can tell GIMP to save the file in two ways. First, you can click the plus sign next to Select File Type (By Extension), and you will be given different file options. Choose JPG and you'll notice your file name will now have the extension ".jpg". The other way to do this is to simply add the .jpg extension to your filename. GIMP is smart enough to know to export the file as a JPG. When you click Save, it will pop up a warning message saying that JPG doesn't support transparencies and will flatten the image. This is OK. Just click Export. You will get another dialog box with compression settings. JPG are compressed files. Just keep the quality at the default of 85 and click Save. You now have a JPG of your pattern.

Important Note: If you save your project as a .jpg so you can upload it, your project settings will change. So before you close down your program, be sure to save your document again with the .xcf extension. Hopefully GIMP will fix this for future releases so we won't risk losing our work. But until then, we have to be extra careful.

One Extra Touch
I often like having a gray pattern with a black outline. For me, it makes it much easier to see and cut. I have created two tutorials that uses another free program, Inkscape, to clean up your pattern. Check them out if you're interested.Assignments:
-After your done with your pattern, post them in this thread. It would be interesting to see how different artists approach the same base photograph.


Here's a copy of the pattern I made. You can see the video demonstration here.


Attached Files

  • Attached File  Bill.jpg   141.55KB   257 downloads
I liked the shadows in the suit so I included it in my version. This was fun and a great learning experience.
Hey, Travis...How do you add your name to your pattern? Thanks, Don P.S. You did a fantastic job on your tutorial.
Thanks Don! :) The series was a lot of fun to do.

Adding text to a pattern is pretty easy. Unfortunately, I didn't cover it in the video tutorial. But I do have it in the written tutorial. Check out the section called Marking Your Pattern above. Hopefully that will help. If you're still having trouble, let me know. I'm always glad to help.
well travis here's my feeble attempt at kirk. i don't think it turned out to bad all in all, still needs some touching up here and there. well thanks for looking....brianAttached File  Untitled.jpg   127.83KB   296 downloads
That looks great, Brian! I like how you handled the collar too. It won't be long before folks are pounding down your door for custom patterns! Nicely done!
I have sent a couple pics and one is a pattern I made. Please let me know what you think. I know that it is an inside pic and needed more light. Also I am not done because I have a few islands to take care of.


Attached Files

That looks great, Joe. Pix of children are tricky to do. I think you are on the right track. Like you said, you have a few islands to take care of. Take a look at the Bucket Fill Check section in the written instructions above. That will immediatly show you where the islands are. I'd also look at some delicate areas and bridge them over too. The right side of his face (left side of the page) has one continuous line from shoulder to hair. This will create a very delicate area on the rest of his face. I'd create a bridge where his hairline meets the face. Maybe another where his cheek meets the shoulder. That will give it enough support while you're cutting. Keep working it and I think you'll have a great portrait on your hands. Let me know if you run into any problems. I'm always glad to help.
hi travis here's another one i tried tonite. is there anything i could do differently especially with the mouth. i'm just playing around trying to get the hang of all this so critique away....thanks brianAttached File  nixon.jpg   91.28KB   311 downloads
Thanks Travis!!! I appreciate the help.

hi travis here's another one i tried tonite. is there anything i could do differently especially with the mouth. i'm just playing around trying to get the hang of all this so critique away....thanks brian[attachment=0]nixon.jpg[/attachment]

Hi Brian. That looks great! I'm not sure what advice I can offer without seeing the original picture. Nixon is kinda known for his toothy grin. This is exactly how I approach teeth too. Maybe the upper part of the teeth smooth out the bumps and just keep the bumps on the bottom to indicate teeth. Other than that, it looks great! Good job! You're really getting the hang of this. Great job on the hair too! :thumbs:
thanks travis that means a lot coming from you...could u explain again how you turn the pic to gray i think i missed something somewhere i kind've like that look better myself
Sure. Check out the written instructions in Lesson 5. Look for the section called Creating A Base Pattern and check out the Grayscale section. Hopefully that will get you what you're looking for. Let me know if you run into any probems. I'd be glad to help. ;)
I finished the baby pattern that I posted a few days ago. I used Inkscape and followed your tutorial. Everything worked great till I got to the point of turning the pattern gray and then outlining it in black. That would not work. I tired several times making sure I followed your directions. I had the photo selected and choose gray with no luck. I then tried several different colors with no luck. Could it be that when I made it a vector picture that I deleted the wrong image? I just thought about that as I was writing this.

Yup, that's probably exactly what happened. A trick to see if you have the correct picture selected is to overlap the pictures. a little. The vector graphic will be black only with transparent where the white was. So if you can see through your picture, you have the right one selected.
Okay, thanks!! I will try to re-do it tonight.
travis why is it sometimes when you hit "shift T" to scale the pattern some of the faces are not proportioned they're scrunched......brian(is that even a word)
Hi Brian. You can constrain the aspect ratio in two ways. First, you can click the little linking chain next to the width and height fields. Then you can grab a corner node and the image will scale equally along the X and Y axis. Alternatively, you can hold down the Ctrl key while dragging a corner node. That, too, will scale the image equally along the X and Y axis. I hope this helps. :cool:
oh ok i'll try that i must have missed the part about holding the control button thanks travis
I have been working on various pattern and I have started a new one. My question would be, what do I do with this hair!! Very curly!! I have done no work on this portrait yet.


Attached Files

Hair can be a pain in the rear sometimes, you just have to keep playing around with it until you get something that you are happy with. This is what I came up with.
Okay, thanks!! That will work!!
Hair is the most forgiving too. It can be a lot of fun to work with. It's just a matter of starting in one area and start working it. Try not to overthink it too much. If you have to take liberties with it, nobody will be the wiser. Just start in an area and start filling in the lakes and before you know it, you'll have a great pattern on your hands.
    • DEVON BOY likes this
Feb 20, 2011 06:57 AM
Thanks again, Travis for taking the time to put these tutorials together. They have been very fun and incredibly educational. Here is what i have come up with so far.I still need to practice more on the eyes. Any other tips or suggestions would be welcome.

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Looks like you're well on your way. Good job! I look forward to see what else you come up with. :thumbs:

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