Saturday, April 03, 2010

Fun with The GIMP

Today I've been playing around with The GIMP a little bit and I thought I would post my little project. GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It started out in the Linux computer world (hence the "GNU") but it's also available for us Windows users. I've been using it now for a few years, but since I finished school I've been able to spend much more time with it (sometimes to my wife's chagrin).

Yesterday I met a friend up in Tokyo and we went to visit a part of town called Akihabara. It's a famous electronics district. The place was amazing, but it's a post for another day. One of the stores we explored was a model store. They had lots of fun little models and I decided to buy one. It was a small model of an F-18 Hornet. I work for the Navy, and it's a Navy plane so I thought it might make a nice desk trinket.

After I got it home and started looking at it I was really impressed by the level of detail that it has. It was only 700 yen (about $8.00) and it's only about 5 inches long so I didn't expect it to be very realistic. After I put it together I thought it might be neat to take some pictures of it. I set up a little backdrop using a pillow case and took a handful of photos. Here's the one I chose for my project.Since I had taken the pictures with a white background I figured it would be pretty easy to replace the background with some sort of sky so that's what I set out to do.

The first thing I did was get rid of the little support piece at the bottom. That was no problem thanks to the clone stamp tool. Next I used a tool called threshold that makes everything turn black or white. It makes a nice outline of the airplane where the airplane is all black and the background is all white. Then I tweaked a little and made it a layer mask, which means that it would show the airplane but not the background.

The next step was to find some sky. Fortunately, I've taken lots of pictures recently here in Japan and lots of them include some sky so it was easy to find. I opened the sky picture as a layer, did some more tweaking, and before I knew it, had an airborne F-18.
I also added some cool afterburner.

Thanks GIMP!


At 9:52 PM, Blogger Chelsea said...

Good job dude!


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