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Topic: Software for editing ATC photos  (Read 1308 times)
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Katxena
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« on: January 21, 2008 12:22:56 PM »

I'm not talking about digital ATCs or about editing photos to be used in ATCs -- I'm talking about software for editing pictures OF ATCs.

My editing needs for pictures of ATCs are very simple.  I need to be able to crop photos, straighten them, and sometimes merge them so that multiple ATCs appear in the same photo (next to eachother, not in layers -- for example, I might want all 3 cards I made for a swap to appear in one photo all lined up.).

I used to be able to do this.  At home, I used to use HP image pro (software that came with my HP computer).  At work I sometimes use Microsoft photo editor (if I have time during lunch).  But now I have a new computer, and I can't find any simple software that does what I need -- and I'm not always able to steal time at work to do it.

I've tried Picasa -- it doesn't let you merge photos (although it's great for organizing them!).

I've tried Gimp -- it's way too complicated for what I need.  It can probably do what I'm trying to do, but I can't figure it out.

I've tried photoshop -- like Gimp, it's just too complicated.

Can you suggest a simple, easy-to-use software that will do what I'm trying to do?  I'm willing to pay for it, although of course free is good!  I want software that I can install on my computer, I don't want an online editor. 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2008 12:23:44 PM by Katxena » THIS ROCKS   Logged
ariaya
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008 12:37:06 PM »

Picasa will merge photos, but only as squares.  As for software that will do the merging for you ... All the ones I can think of will force the image to a square before merging it.

Unless there's something I don't know of, you'll need one of the more complicated programs to do the merging part if you don't want the images as squares.

Here's a merge I did in Picasa so you can see what I mean ... the images were originally rectangular like regular digital photos.

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Victoria
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Katxena
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008 01:15:32 PM »

Cool ariaya -- I'm going to PM you to find out how you did that.

I'm still open to other suggestions!
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008 09:07:45 PM »

Maybe I'm not getting the whole "picture".  Can't you just line up your photos on the scanner bed?
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Katxena
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2008 06:26:22 AM »

Maybe I'm not getting the whole "picture".  Can't you just line up your photos on the scanner bed?

I can, but sometimes I might want to show the front and the back of the same card next to each other.  Or, because I'm a scatterbrain, I might make them at different times and send one before the last one is done. 

I can also take two pictures and just set them next to eachother in my post, but it would be nicer to have them in the same picture.

What I really want is HP image pro on my new computer, but that's not possible (HP only loads it on their computers).  I seem to recall that there used to be a "junior" or "home" version of photoshop -- I'll have to check and see if that's still available.
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008 06:35:17 AM »

Gotcha'
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Tee
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ariaya
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008 06:54:42 AM »

There is a 'junior' version of Photoshop, it's called 'Elements' .. it's still very complex and is used by a lot of amateur digital artists. 

Personally, I use Paint Shop Pro by Corel and love it.  It's a little cheaper than Photoshop Elements and does everything I need.
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Victoria
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Katxena
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008 07:08:28 AM »

Thanks ariaya -- I'll look for both of those!
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FishStikks
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008 07:45:51 PM »

I have been eyeballing this thread looking for something myself, I have been avidly watching the replies so Katxena, when you land on something you think is going to work please share, I'm very interested!
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Katxena
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008 05:41:07 AM »

Thanks Babbetto, I will!
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HippieKender
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008 05:12:32 PM »

As requested:  Mini tutorial for GIMP.  You can get GIMP at http://www.gimp.org for FREE!  I am using version 2.4 and running Windows XP (Though the tutorial should apply no matter what OS, as far as I know).

To make a single image showing the front and back of an ATC you will need to open a new document that is twice as wide as the original, but the same height as the original.  For example, if your image is 200x300 you will need to open a new document that is 400x300.  Do this by going to the main GIMP window and choosing FILE>NEW.  A new window will pop up asking for the dimensions you would like the new image to be.  After you have put in your desired dimensions, click OK.
Yay, now you have a new blank image!
On this new image window, go to FILE>OPEN AS LAYERS.  A window will pop up.  Navigate to where you have your ATCs saved.  Choose one of your ATCs and click OPEN.  Your ATC should now be centered on what was your blank image.  You are going to choose your MOVE TOOL (it looks like a 4 sided arrow).

Click and drag your ATC to either the right or left.
On your image window, choose FILE>OPEN AS LAYERS again.  Now choose your second ATC image.  Using your move tool again, click and drag on your second ATC image to the opposite side as the first.  You can fiddle with their placement using the move tool until you are happy with it.
Once you are happy with the final result, you are ready to save!  On the image window, click FILE>SAVE AS.  You can navigate to whatever folder you would like to save your new image in.  Name your new image (eg "January_ATC.jpg")  adding the extension (.JPG) is important!  If you do not type the extension, GIMP will save it in it's native format (.XCF).  This is good if you want to go back and edit this image later, but not good if you want to show it off to your friends.

That's it!  Feel free to ask questions.
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Katxena
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008 08:03:41 PM »

Oh wow HippieKender, this is very clear.  I'm off to try it right now!!!

Edited to add: It worked!  This isn't front and back, but I put these two ATCs together next to each other.  Thanks so much for your help.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2008 08:20:13 PM by Katxena » THIS ROCKS   Logged
bushbaby
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008 01:19:42 AM »

There is a really good series of books for Photoshop called Photoshop WOW!

The show you how to use a the little tricks to lighten/edit/alter your images as well as giving basic instructions - it's worth finding it in Borders and having a quick look.
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kaleesi
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008 07:52:50 AM »

I just wanted to add my kudos to HippieKender - great tut!!
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HippieKender
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« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2008 08:22:01 AM »

Thanks!  I'm glad it was easy to follow.  Sometimes I get carried away and add all kinds of unneeded information that just confuses people.
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