In a local LUG, we're trying an "App of the Month" format with GIMP
as the first app, and I thought it might be helpful to people if
I posted some ideas for projects to get them started.  I'm reposting
it here in case anyone's interested, either in project ideas for
yourself, or for friends who are interested in learning gimp but
aren't sure how to start.

Anybody have any other fun project ideas to suggest, at any level?
Preferebly general sorts of things that can be recommended to anyone.

Also, what are some good project ideas for younger groups?  There aren't
any kids in this particular LUG, but it's possible that some day I might
find myself in front of a roomful of kids armed with a computer and GIMP ...
I thought maybe things like, "put your teacher's head on Godzilla's
body" (checking it out with the teacher first to make sure they have
a sense of humor!) or use a digital camera to take pictures of the
students and then iwarp/perspective them in various ways ...


----- Forwarded message -----

In case anyone wants to play with GIMP for our App of the Month club
but doesn't have a particular project in mind, here are some ideas
that might help get you started:

- Take a picture of something, and put Tux in it.
  Make Tux sit on your shoulder, type at your laptop, etc.
  A search for tux.gif at will find lots of tux
  images with transparent background so you don't have to worry
  about making complicated selections.
  (In gimp, if you see grey checkerboards that means transparent.)
  (Warning, this can get to be addictive, get started on this and
  pretty soon your web page will be full of Tux everywhere!)

- Take an image and put some text in it.  Maybe make a greeting card.

- Play with the Curves and Levels tools and see what they do.
  They're more complicated than simple brightness/contrast sliders,
  but they're actually not much harder to use (especially Curves).
  Remember, you can always hit Cancel, and ^Z does Undo!

- Play with the transform tool (rotate-perspective-shear).  Remember
  you can doubleclick on a button in the toolbox to get a tool options
  dialog.  What useful stuff can you do with transforms?

- Now that you know how to add text, try putting a drop shadow on
  that text.  This will require learning how to use layers.

- Take an image that has something in it you don't want (that tourist
  who got in the way of that nice waterfall picture -- or your thumb
  in the corner of the frame :-) and experiment with using the
  Smudge and Clone tools to fix it.  Which one do you like better?
  (Hint: it took me forever to figure out how to use the clone tool:
  turns out you have to select the region you want to clone with
  control-click before you can paint with regular click/drag.)

- Make an image that fades to transparent (or to white) around the
  edges.  There are lots of different ways to do this, using a layer
  mask (in the layers dialog) or using quickmask.  What's the easiest
  way you find to do it?

- Use the Bezier Path tool to make a complicated selection (e.g. cut
  a person or animal out of a busy background).  Try to add, subtract
  and edit points, then do path->selection.  Hint: it's easier if you
  use ctrl-= a few times to magnify the image while you're making the

- Download a gimp 1.2.5 tarball and build it.

- Stitch a few images together as a panorama. 
  Layer masks are helpful here: see the tutorial.
  (Note: doing really *good* panoramas with lots of images is advanced.
  Don't expect perfection right away.)

- Choose a plugin from (or anywhere else), download
  it and build it.  (You'll probably need gimptool, which is usually
  packaged as part of the gimp-devel or gimp-dev package, often not
  installed by default on most distros.)

- Enter one of the "photoshop contests" on the web, like or  Tell 'em you used gimp
  and not photoshop. :-)

- Download the latest 1.3 tarball (that's 1.3.17 right now) or CVS
  and build it.  (This may require upgrading gtk2 and autoconf and
  other packages, if you don't have a very current linux distro.)
  Play with 1.3.  How does it compare to 1.2?

- Use blending modes and layers to achieve 3-d glass and metal effects.

- Write a simple plugin.  It's usually easiest to take an existing one
  (probably one in the gimp source) as a template to see how it's
  done, then modify it.  GIMP supports several scripting languages,
  including scheme (aka script-fu), perl, and python, as well as C. 

- Write a patch for the GIMP. :-)  This is a great time to get involved:
  just in the past week someone posted a list of bugs that need
  volunteers to help out, if a feature is to make it in before the
  upcoming feature freeze.  I'm not sure how much time we have left
  (not much) if we want to contribute, but if you have time, check
  out the gimp-devel archives and see if there's anything that
  interests you.

----- End forwarded message -----
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