Tessisamess

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Hey there, I'm Tess!

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I do not offer assistance with any sites other than IJ and DW unless it is for general HTML and CSS (ie. custom hosted pages and similar.) I cannot convert a code to a new site's rules because there are a lot of niche RP sites, and I have no way of knowing each one's limitations and caveats. Sorry about that!

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Hey there, I'm Tess!

Welcome to my blog; I make lots of different layouts, codes, tutorials, and other resources for Insanejournal and Dreamwidth RPers! There's a lot to choose from and brand new content goes up every week!

Take a look around, and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it!

Can't get enough resources? Why not subscribe to my Patreon for exclusive monthly content, or support the creation of more content by leaving a tip on Ko-Fi! ♡

Need an invite?

If you're unable to comment on my journal to ask for help now that anon has been turned off due to serious spam issues, don't worry! Just shoot me an email and I'll send you an invite code for Insanejournal. I've got plenty to spare!
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February 2020

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Please Note:

I do not offer assistance with any sites other than IJ and DW unless it is for general HTML and CSS (ie. custom hosted pages and similar.) I cannot convert a code to a new site's rules because there are a lot of niche RP sites, and I have no way of knowing each one's limitations and caveats. Sorry about that!

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Recoloring Screencaps in GIMP




Let's learn how to correct screencaps in GIMP!

A lot of times when we download or create screecaps of movies or TV shows to make icons and other PB resources from, they need some work. Even screencaps with really decent lighting sometimes end up muddy once they're cropped and scaled down to an icon.

I know, I know, I'm not an icon maker, but I use GIMP constantly, and I do a lot of work with it, as well as making icons for myself when I need them. I do a lot of color and level correcting, even when I'm not specifically making icons.

GIMP is often seen is extremely inferior to Photoshop, and there was definitely a time when that was true, but these days it's pretty far from the case. The only thing I often find myself wishing GIMP had is the ability to use smart objects, which is admittedly a huge drawback if you use them often, so I'd say how good GIMP is really depends on what you're using it for.

In the realm of recoloring, I'd say the only real drawback--and this is very situational--is if you need such extensive recoloring that actions are needed. GIMP, unfortunately, does not have actions like PS does. It does, however, have a dropdown menu on every popup dialog with a recent history of uses, so you can redo the same settings on as many files as you need with a couple of clicks. (Or you can save a function's settings as a reusable preset if it's something you'll be using a lot.)

That's enough prefacing; let's look at some base tools that are often crucial to correcting screencaps!

Some starter tips

Tip #1 For this use of GIMP, you'll be working exclusively in the Colors menu, more likely than not. I have a couple of layer mode tips, but your focus is going to be in this menu and the dialogs within it. My #1 tip for learning to recolor and correct in GIMP? Open a screencap and start going down the line in this menu. Open a setting, play with it, close without saving, and repeat until you have a basic understanding of what each one does. It will also help you mentally eliminate the ones you know you're unlikely to need so that when you open the menu to work you're tuning out any of the options you don't need.

Tip #2 There are tons of hotkeys, but the ones I use the most aside from Undo are CTRL+S to save the working file and CTRL+E to export an image file (Windows); COMMAND+S to save the working file and SHIFT+COMMAND+E to export an image file (Mac).

Tip #3 Always check off Split View on a dialog's options. It gives you a visual before/after and makes it much easier to adjust as needed before running an action. You can drag the middle point of the split view left or right.

Tip #4 If you want to drop multiple screencaps into one canvas to go down the line editing them, open the first one in GIMP and then select your files and drag and drop them in; they'll drop into the canvas as new layers. If you open GIMP but don't have a canvas open when doing this, they'll open as individual canvases.

Tip #5 Making a set of icons or caps? Consider installing the BIMP plug-in for batch editing options!

Color Temperature


One if the biggest issues we see with caps is extremely yellow or blue tones that look fine while watching the media in its intended form, but for screencaps just causes an annoyance we need to correct. GIMP makes this super easy, actually! I've only had one case that wasn't fixed by using the color temperature tool, and there was almost no saving that movie's lighting in GIMP or PS between me and a friend, so that's really not a program shortcoming lmao.

So, when a screencap is way too cool or way too warm, what do we do to hit a middle ground? Colors > Color Temperature!


You'll get a dialog like this:


The settings depend on the scene you're correcting, but if you slide each one a little you'll find it's pretty intuitive and visual, knowing which way to go on Original and Intended temperature.

Shadows & Highlights


In Colors > Shadows-Highlights you'll find a dialog that focuses on shadows, highlights, and your common white point, as well as fine-tuning sliders for each.


For this example, I just dragged the common white point to completely to the high end and then boosted the shadows a little. Again, it's going to be wholly dependent on the image you're working with.

Curves


Obviously for this specific image, Shadows-Highlights is the better option for better levels with less work, but let's say for a different image's lighting it isn't. Using Colors > Curves is another way to adjust your levels!


If you've never worked with curves before, I'd suggest just playing with it for fun to get a handle on how to use it. Essentially, you're able to create points on the line and start (ahem) curving it to change the various levels in the image. You'll most likely stay on the Value channel (right above the curve display), but there are also channels for red, blue, or green.

Another option is to use Colors > Levels, but I almost always pick Curves over Levels for screencaps.

Exposure


The Colors > Exposure tool is one of my most used. For this specific screencap after using this, I'd probably go back to Color Temperature and cool it down a little more again, but for the sake of this demo, I'm just showing you some basics. In this dialog you can increase or lesson the black levels and increase or lessen the exposure.


I personally like this a lot more than the Contrast tool, because I feel like it gives me a nicer result. As always, though, your mileage may vary and you might still prefer Contrast. That's fine!


A comparison for fun! You can see the differences but preference and the image you're working with will probably dictate which one you'd rather use.

Screen


Let's check out something that isn't in the Color menu. Sometimes, especially with night scenes, I'll duplicate my layer and set the top layer's layer mode to Screen, then I can lower the opacity of the screened layer if needed. It makes a huge difference with next to no effort. Once you have it how you like it, you can merge the layers and keep going. Additionally, sometimes I'll make color adjustments on the screened layer before merging to add subtle color adjustments.


Hue-Saturation



Sometimes when combining some of the above tricks, you still end up with some funky areas that are too yellow or blue. To tone these down, I like to go into Colors > Hue-Saturation and choose the color that's too strong, then reduce the saturation on it. You'll definitely know when you've gone too far, because you'll start seeing artifacted gray areas.


Thanks for reading!

The Color menu, of course, has quite a few other options, and you might love some of them for recoloring, so I can't stress enough how beneficial it is to go through them all when you aren't specifically working on a project just to test drive them. The above are just the ones I use the most for correcting lighting and levels in photos and screencaps. I use a lot of the other options and other menus for more artsy and/or extensive recolors, and I'd be super happy to do some more specific tutorials for image editing if there's an interest!


♡ Happy Recoloring! ♡

Comments

Jan. 28th, 2020 11:46 pm (UTC)
You are the BEES KNEES! Thank you so much for doing this! I can't wait to play :)
Jan. 29th, 2020 01:14 am (UTC)
Aw, absolutely!! 💖 If you have any questions let me know.
Jan. 28th, 2020 11:48 pm (UTC)
Ooh, this looks nifty!

What version of GIMP do you use? The version I have installed doesn't seem to have the temperature tool, but I've had it for several years so I'm not particularly surprised.
Jan. 29th, 2020 12:57 am (UTC)
I'm running the most recent version, 2.10.14 on Windows! I used an older version for YEARS just because I was too permanently tired to relearn the program lmao, and it was totally different by then so I was VERY used to the old one with the separate windows for each panel, but it stopped working right one day and I had to upgrade and after a few days I was like wow, my dumb ass... 😂 The newest version of GIMP is extremely comparable to PS in terms of power, better in a couple of areas, and has plug-ins for many of the areas where PS has things that GIMP doesn't.

Anyway, all that to say: I didn't have color temperature until I upgraded either LOL.
Jan. 30th, 2020 07:07 pm (UTC)
It has color temperature?? Oh man, I got all sulky because my version of photoshop doesn't have, and it's apparently one of the tricks to make images hella cyberpunk.
Jan. 31st, 2020 09:57 pm (UTC)
OHHH NEAT. Yah, honestly I'm a big believer in having GIMP even if you do have PS. I know a lot of designers will go back and forth between the two for some things. I don't have PS, but if I did I have a feeling I'd be doing the same thing because that's exactly what I do between Illustrator and GIMP haha.
Feb. 10th, 2020 10:39 pm (UTC)
this is awesome, thank you! i think i need to update my program because i've never seen split view before!
Feb. 10th, 2020 11:34 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking the same, yeah haha. I didn't used to have it in the long span where I refused to update GIMP and now it's one of my favorite things in the program. 😂 That and the main panels all being in one window instead of separate mini windows were such nice changes lmao.
Feb. 10th, 2020 11:46 pm (UTC)
Ahhh man good timing then because I was debating going through and doing a bunch of icons for the Witcher soon.I have a feeling the update is going to be a moment of #mindblown. Thanks again and hope you have a great day/night! C:
Feb. 23rd, 2020 11:40 pm (UTC)
HEY so I just downloaded it and this is a hugeeee improvement vs 2.8. The only question I have for you is: what do you do about images that you need to sharpen? Whenever I make icons, I definitely find that I need to sharpen it after resizing and futzing around with the image to make it look somewhat more presentable. Now I see they got rid of the sharpen with the bar/scale you could adjust, and it's just a click option with no real noticeable difference. I don't like using unsharp mask as a default, though it does have its place.
Feb. 24th, 2020 11:57 pm (UTC)
Oh hard same, I really don't like the unsharp mask for icons; I use it sometimes for other things, but it just isn't great for such small pictures haha. So what I actually do is something I've done since my old version of the program. I use the brush blur tool set to sharpen, and it's usually one of my very last steps (so definitely after scaling my square crop down to 100x100.)



And then what I typically do is focus on just the eyes, lips, hair I want in focus, and sometimes metal if there's jewelry etc. (But you could easily just use a large brush size to cover the whole icon depending on preference!)



(100x100 icon zoomed to 400% for precision while spot treating. Please ignore the gif quality LOL, my program's being ornery right now.)



I'll also sometimes switch back to blur, lower the opacity, and nudge the background out of focus if it's super busy.
Feb. 25th, 2020 12:17 am (UTC)
Aah thank you for this! C: You're so sweet to cap it all out - I really appreciate that!! And I agree, unsharp mask is just the worst thing ever with icons. I had a moment where I was like NOOO do not tell me this is my only option now haha.