I think I figured it out. I think I'm okay, but I need to be sure. Thanks.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 4:49:05 AM
Hey Designers,

Thanks so much for the help you have given me. It gave me a lot
to think about.

After I got info that I didn't have before- the actual size of
the graphics needed (pixels by pixels), confusing and conflicting info
on resolutions, and info stating that enlarging graphics yield poor
quality pictures when printed, I was not sure what to do and considered destroying all of my computer drawings. I tried creating in Gimp,
but I had so many problems, including the fact that when I click "Help,"
Gimp crashes. After days of trying to figure things out, I have
come to these conclusions.

1) My graphics are not beautiful and elegant...at least not right now.
I never thought they were. They are cute and whimsical. That is their charm. Maybe I don't need anything more than I have now, as long as I'm careful.


2) The reason why I heavily enlarged my graphics was because Gimp shrinks
them so much when I use Gimp to give my MS Paint grahpics 300 pixels per inch. So when Gimp shrinks them, I'm assuming the quality I lost comes back...?


3) If I note the size of the graphic Gimp shrinks it to, and do not
go beyond that size when adding it to an item, I should be okay. I can
stretch it in the edit mode, but don't pick items that do beyond
the size guides. I can have a graphic that is 10 inches by 8 inches
and still need to stretch it for a 5 by 7 card, (although I don't
know why), but don't pick a card that is bigger than 5 by 7. To make even bigger graphics once shrunk in Gimp, I can go back to the original in Paint and add a thick border of color before the shrinking- add a border in a nice way (with designs), not something that looks like it was added to make it bigger. Then I can shrink in Gimp.

4) Buy a few items I created before selling to check out the visual
quality.

I think if I do all that, I would be okay. I just have a few questions
left.

a) Do I have to change the dpi of my computer? I read that I should and
that low dpi make terrible files. But if Gimp turns my files in
300 ppi and Zazzle does the printing, not me, can't I leave the Dpi of the
files AND of my computer alone?


b) In Paint, should I save the file as a bitmap or png or jpeg, before
uploading it to Gimp and then exporting it as a JPEG? Does it matter?


c) Can I make many alterations to the file and upload it multiple times to
Gimp? Will that change the quality if save it as a bitmap and keep altering
it for various needs and then keep uploading it to Gimp as a bitmap and extort it as a JPEG? If so, should I keep saying the files in Pain as a Jpeg
or Png before uploading multiple times to Gimp?

I'm very comfortable with Paint for now. If all I need from Gimp is to
convert it to 150 or 200 or 300, then I choose to stick with paint, or maybe
try Paint.net, if it's possible. As long as the large files don't overwhelm may computer, I'll shoot for 300. For clothes, the files have to be too large in order to shrink them down to the needed size for 300 ppi. Clothes have to be at at least 150 ppi. I'll make them 200 ppi.

Thanks a bunch.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 5:54:51 AM
I don't use Gimp so I can't give you any help on that but I can tell you do not change any settings on your computer.

Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:24:35 AM
Thanks. And by the way, that raccoon profile pic of yours is simply lovely. Maybe with lessons, one day I will be able to do that.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:30:36 AM
·▽·


I'm too lazy to read your essay. So let me put in short what you can't do.

You can't inflate a small bitmap in gimp. If your image was too small in MS Paint, it doesn't help to open the file in gimp and inflate it with 300 DPI because it causes artefacts and flaws in the bitmap.

I strongly suggest you learn to use gimp as soon as possible. It is not hard and you will never look back to MS paint, I can promise you that.

The option you have in gimp are far superior to that of MS paint and there are a lot of tutorials on youTube to help you with learning gimp. Don't be afraid it isn't that complicated. It is really fun to use a professional tool.

·△·


Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:31:55 AM
Thanks. Hope you get it figured out.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:34:10 AM
I am not sure why Gimp is shrinking your images when you export them. It is probably that you just don't know how to keep that from happening.


You should be able to choose the size and resolution you want then export it as either a .jpg or better a .png

When you export a .jpg set the image quality slider to maximum to minimize the compression level.

When you export to a .png you can set the compression level to 0 or anywhere between 0-9.

don't change you computer settings!

Gimp has built in settings in the software... Gimp is not as easy to learn as some other graphic software, it has taken me about 6 years to learn what I know and I am far from mastering it.

But the good news is there are lots of great tutorials on the internet.

If you just Google what it is that you want to do most of the time there is a Youtube video for that, like this one...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iTmGr9YDVw

I hope this helps you.

One thing that video doesn't show is when you have selected "export as" then the settings window I mentioned above will pop up.

This is where you want to set the compression level.

On .png it actually says "compression" and you set that to 0

but on .jpg it says "quality" and you set that to 100%
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:49:54 AM
Quote:
b) In Paint, should I save the file as a bitmap or png or jpeg, before
uploading it to Gimp and then exporting it as a JPEG? Does it matter?


Gimp should be able to open your bmp files. As stated above though enlarging them too much will destroy the resolution, so make sure your ms paint files are already large enough before you open them in Gimp to convert them to another format.

in Gimp you can set the print size resolution (x and y) to 300 and choose the size by either pixels or inches and then export as either .jpg or .png with compression off.

if you are scaling down the size you will be okay..

if you are trying to scale the size up you will likely lose some sharpness and if you go too big it will pixelate. (look chunky)

so start with files that are larger than what you need whenever possible.

Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:52:14 AM
·▽·


Use JPG as little as possible and if you do, don't save and open it over and over again, because JPG compression even at 100% reduces the quality every time, when you save the image. So if you work with JPG use save as and save under a new name and don't use the new file again and save under a new file name again unless you really have to.

Use tif or PNG for work in progress since these formats save lossless and keep their file quality.

At the very last you can safe as JPG for file size purposes and then you may even look for the sweet spot where the file compression won't show any visible loss in quality but the file size is easier to handle.

·△·


Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:58:47 AM
vivendulies wrote:
·▽·


Use JPG as little as possible and if you do, don't save and open it over and over again, because JPG compression even at 100% reduces the quality every time, when you save the image. So if you work with JPG use save as and save under a new name and don't use the new file again and save under a new file name again unless you really have to.

Use tif or PNG for work in progress since these formats save lossless and keep their file quality.

At the very last you can safe as JPG for file size purposes and then you may even look for the sweet spot where the file compression won't show any visible loss in quality but the file size is easier to handle.

·△·




I was just going to say the same.. save as .png and you can reopen and manipulate to your hearts content without worrying about it.

there is even a wonderful option "open recent" on the Gimp menu! Then you can export each version as a .png or export to the same image to overwrite the last version.

Remember, with Gimp "Save" is not the command you want "export" is!

in Gimp "save" will save the whole project as an .XCF file in a folder so you can come back later and start where you left off.

"Export" will save your files to your hard drive in the format you choose to the folder you choose as a finished image.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 7:15:02 AM
Thanks. To be clear, exporting the image doesn't shrink it.
It's changing the graphic to 300 pixels per inch-that is what shrinks
the graphic. That's why I made the graphics really big in Paint,
because the Gimp shrinks it soo much. Another thing is that
there is way more clicking involved in Gimp, which is not
good for my hands. Simply drawing a
circle takes me around 5 clicks.

I do a lot of work on computer, even though it hurts my hands and
then I have to stay off for a while.

Not afraid of hard work. I have a Masters degree. But the
excessive clicking would be hard for me. Maybe I'll look around
for another program, one I can buy. I may get a drawing pad for
computer. Maybe I learn Gimp better by getting a book.
I will look into various things.

In the meantime, I will try some of my graphics by putting them
on Zazzle and buying them myself. If I like them, I will sell them.


At some point, I do want to get more professional and I will try
different things, maybe even take a class.

Thanks
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 7:37:06 AM
Just woke up and off to the rescues for the next 4 hrs, then up and running the night. I'll jump in later and I'll try to give you some essential starting advice bit by bit so you don't get confused. Just what you need to work on Zazzle. In the meantime, if you can post some examples of your designs or explain what you create, it would be helpful. Don't change ANYTHING on your computer's resolution, FORGET the whole dpi/ppi stuff and empty your mind, and then do what I'll tell you to do and you'll be fine. And no, inflating your images to get your dpi/ppi up, isn't really the way to go, it's completely the wrong path and will give you horrible results. Another thing: today's cams and phones are capable to take photos of at least 3000 to way over 6000 pixel, so if you're using photos for your works you already have raw material you can base your works on. Later.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 7:53:53 AM
Sharon Lee Hudson wrote:
I may get a drawing pad for
computer.

I highly recommend it. After developing a borderline case of carpal tunnel syndrome, I bought a graphics tablet, the pain went away, and never came back because I never, not ever, use the mouse when working in Photoshop.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 8:03:21 AM
·▽·

Creating a circle in gimp takes

  1. select circle selection
  2. drag circle shape (hold shift for a perfect circle)
  3. right click
  4. fill or outline


I come to four clicks not six. Five to six if you want a different color than currently active but you have to pick the circle option and color in paint, too. So there are at three to six clicks involved.

Smile




Though I have several tablets of several degrees of professionalism, I use my mouse for most jobs. Aside from crippled finger knuckles for three years now I never had any trouble and since this Summer my non dominant hand decided to develop arthritis in the finger knuckles, I guess the mouse wasn't the culprit for my now very artistically shaped fingers either.

Grin
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 9:16:33 AM
I was going to try to walk you through converting a .bmp file to a .png file in Gimp but when I opened Paint I noticed that it offers the option to change the size of your image file before you start to paint by using the resize tool.

Then I noticed that Paint also offers you the option to save your image file as a .png

so there is really no need to convert them in Gimp.

if you start off with sizes that work for Zazzle and save as .png

then all you would need to do in Gimp is change the print resolution to 300 if you still want to because the default in Paint is 72

You can do that in Gimp without changing the .png file size. Here is how...

open your .png file in Gimp> click on the image tab and choose scale image from the dropdown.

now set the interpolation to none

and then set the x and y resolution to 300 and click scale

This will change the resolution without changing the size of the image.

now export your image as .png with 0 compression and you can upload it to Zazzle and use it.

I hope this makes sense and helps you.

hint: you can copy and paste the text from this post into a text file to look at later when you might need to see it again.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 12:52:42 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
...then all you would need to do in Gimp is change the print resolution to 300 if you still want to because the default in Paint is 72...

There is really no need to change the dpi/ppi value for Zazzle's designer, 72 works as fine as 300 or 10k. All what matters is the pixel size, the rest of the job is done by the designer application on the whole design content. You can spare yourself that unnecessary extra work. Just sayin' ;-)
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 1:04:55 PM
PetsDreamlands wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
...then all you would need to do in Gimp is change the print resolution to 300 if you still want to because the default in Paint is 72...

There is really no need to change the dpi/ppi value for Zazzle's designer, 72 works as fine as 300 or 10k. All what matters is the pixel size, the rest of the job is done by the designer application on the whole design content. You can spare yourself that unnecessary extra work. Just sayin' ;-)


See how much we have simplified this whole situation? you don't even need Gimp right now for anything...

I do recommend you learn to make graphics in some other software than paint sometime in the future if you plan to continue to sell your designs and while Gimp is Freeware it is not simple out of the box user friendly.

there is an amazing paint program called Artrage and you can try the lite version for free. I love my paid version for painting. there are many others and I think the tablet idea is a good one too, wish I had one.

Good luck!
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 2:55:11 PM
Sharon Lee Hudson wrote:
It's changing the graphic to 300 pixels per inch-that is what shrinks the graphic.

That's actually expected behavior.

An image has a finite number of pixels. Remember, pixels per inch is a measure of density - how tightly their packed into the existing space.

If you change the number of pixels per inch from a low number to a higher number, what you're doing isn't increasing the number of pixels. It's increasing their density - increasing the number per inch by packing the existing pixels into a tighter space.

In other words, the more you increase the density, the smaller the image gets. It's an inverse relationship.

My advice: Don't start by creating with a low pixel density. Use an application that lets you specify the image size and ppi when you start a new file, before you add any of the art.

ETA: Besides Gimp, you might also look at Krita (no cost). There's also Inkscape (also no cost) for creating vector art.
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 3:37:28 PM
.·.

Not free but with an excellent reputation to actually rival Photoshop is "Affinity"

I recommend to invest in both Designer and Photo should you opt for it. Again youTube gives you a good idea of functionality and helps you make a decision.

But then I never regretted to try out new software. It keeps me fresh and makes switching from one program to the next much less painful. I can with moderate ease switch between a bunch of graphic software because I use them just for fun for designs between my regular program which has been photoshop cs6 and corelDraw X5. I currently have ten programs installed that are capable to produce images for print on demand, MS paint, which I don't use, not included, even though I haven't removed it from my computer.

·△·
Posted: Saturday, August 03, 2019 6:29:02 PM
Another free graphics program is Smoothdraw
Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2019 1:51:55 PM
I use Gimp (GNU or Graphics Image Manipulation Program) quite a lot, and what I would do if I were you....

First, open your image...and click on image>scale image.
Now, this will tell you what size in pixels your image originally is.

ETA: Don't use the resizing tool!! This tells you nothing you need to know yet.

Don't worry about those pixel numbers yet.
And, don't worry about the X and Y resolution yet.
You'll see why in a moment.

Next, click on the down arrow next to the px and hold it.
See the word inches and select it.

Now you know what size in inches your image is.

Next, and this goes a very long way in using Gimp with Zazzle and the images you have to work with...

Find out what Zazzle says the image on each product should be.

If it should be 5"x7", then adjust in your Gimp image settings, as per inches not pixels yet. Let the Gimp program worry about converting pixels, and you worry about inches for now.
Next, go down to the X and Y resolution and select the down arrow to pixels/in

It's a whole lot easier to see, and deal with your images and graphics in inches rather than pixels.

Once you see it this way, you'll understand, I think. It can help you enlarge or shrink your graphics to the size you want without worrying too much about pixels at this point.

Now, look at the pixels, and move the arrows up or down. Notice how the size of your graphics image is self adjusting. The smaller the pixels resolution goes down, the image size increases and vice versa, the larger the number the smaller the image gets. And now you're dealing with pixels.

Just remember that whatever image or graphic you start with has a start with size, as I said at the beginning...first find out what that size is in inches before you do anything. I find it helps me work things out in my mind easier this way. I'm just more familiar with visualizing inches than pixels.

Once you get the hang of doing this in Gimp, it becomes a lot easier to work with it.
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 8:59:16 PM
vivendulies wrote:
·▽·

Creating a circle in gimp takes

  1. select circle selection
  2. drag circle shape (hold shift for a perfect circle)
  3. right click
  4. fill or outline



OMG!Shocked Until now I did not know how to make a perfect circle in GIMP! I was putting a circle underneath it to make sure I got it right. Thank you!!!Grin
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 9:10:03 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

there is an amazing paint program called Artrage and you can try the lite version for free. I love my paid version for painting. there are many others and I think the tablet idea is a good one too, wish I had one.


Shelli, how much does the paid version of Artrage cost? Is it a one-time fee or is it a subscription like Adobe?
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 10:39:23 PM
Karen Coffelt wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

there is an amazing paint program called Artrage and you can try the lite version for free. I love my paid version for painting. there are many others and I think the tablet idea is a good one too, wish I had one.


Shelli, how much does the paid version of Artrage cost? Is it a one-time fee or is it a subscription like Adobe?


I think it’s a one time fee and the last time I checked it was $40 but may have gone up since then.
Posted: Monday, August 12, 2019 7:12:42 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
Karen Coffelt wrote:
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:

there is an amazing paint program called Artrage and you can try the lite version for free. I love my paid version for painting. there are many others and I think the tablet idea is a good one too, wish I had one.


Shelli, how much does the paid version of Artrage cost? Is it a one-time fee or is it a subscription like Adobe?


I think it’s a one time fee and the last time I checked it was $40 but may have gone up since then.


Thank you!Love That's not a bad deal. May have to get myself an early Christmas present.Grin
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