Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Create Point Form Notes With Scribus

Scribus is an open-source program similar to Adobe's InDesign. It has an excellent feature set, but I'll admit that it's not the easiest program to learn. There are also some shortcomings that don't appeal to new users, such as the inability to add point form notes.

Also called "bullet points", those dots or symbols are a handy way to create lists of information. However, the process to create these notes is not a simple one, unlike the simple press of a button we are used to in Microsoft Word. The official website tells users to use Paragraph Styles, while a Python script is also available to complete this task. Both of those methods are confusing and really designed for advanced users.

Of course, I'm going to teach you a easier way do so in Scribus. Here's a sample document of gibberish I just made (Figure 1).

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Change Exposure in GIMP

The "Exposure" setting in Photoshop (Image → Adjustments → Exposure) is a feature highly regarded by photographers as a quick and easy way to change the lighting of a shot. Unlike the Brightness and Contrast sliders, the exposure control simulates the actual changing of the shutter speed of the camera. An example is below.

Brightness V.S. Exposure Settings
Original Photo, Brightness Adjusted, Exposure Adjusted (Using Photoshop)

As you can see, the brightness adjustment does not change the lighting of the scene realistically. It's almost like adding white paint to the image to make it brighter, which makes it look washed out and unrealistic. In contrast, the Exposure adjustment looks much more realistic - almost as if you made the shutter speed slower.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

GIMP: Using Transform Tools Properly

One of the major problems people face when using GIMP is their poorly designed Transform Tools. Compared to Photoshop, the tools seemed slow and not at all user-friendly. I've seen people quit GIMP just because those tools are too hard to manipulate. Nevertheless, there are ways to use the tools more effectively and quickly. Let's look at Photoshop first to see what's good about their setup.

If you select a shape in Photoshop using the Move Tool, handles on the sides of the bounding box make it easy to resize, stretch, or move the object. Meanwhile, additional tools are found in Edit → Transform, such as Perspective and Warp.

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