Performing Magic Editing Photographs with Graphic Filters

You can find all of GIMP's filters in the Filters menu. The script-fus are also found there. Script-fus are output sequences, so-called macros, that work according to a defined yet adjustable procedure. Actually, most filters in GIMP are script-fus, written in the GIMP scripting language Scheme and saved as scm-files.

You have already become acquainted with some effects and even filters for editing your photographs, such as the Gaussian Blur filter (Filters > Blur) and the Sharpen filter (Filters > Enhance > Sharpen). We will take a closer look at the Sharpen filter and also have a good look at the Unsharp Mask filter (Filters > Enhance > Unsharp Mask). The Unsharp Mask filter can help you find edges and contours even with blurry, high-resolution pictures and enrich them with details. The Selective Gaussian Blur filter, in contrast, is capable of flattening photographic noise and adding contours and surfaces to an image.

With the Noise filters (Filters > Noise), you can reinstate strongly compressed JPEG data (compression artifacts) by adding noise. The image remains slightly noisy through the added color pixels, but they do cover up the compression artifacts.

So far we have been using filters to edit whole images with just one background layer. If you apply filters to images with multiple layers, you have to keep in mind that the layer that you are using has to be activated.

Some filters can't be used on individual layers, but you can copy one layer to a new picture, apply the filter, and reimport the layer afterward. If you wish to use the filters evenly over an entire image, you have to reduce the image to a single layer. Choose Merge Visible Layers or Flatten Image in the context menu of your Layers dialog (right-click on a layer in the Layers dialog). Make sure the layers that shouldn't be visible are made invisible by clicking the eye symbol. You can also delete the layer if you prefer. Be sure to work with a copy of your image. I will explain the fundamentals for working with layers in section 3.3 in more detail. You can use several filters in succession for the same picture.

GIMP has a variety of artistic and graphic filters in store. I would especially like to point out the GIMPressionist (Filters > Artistic > GIMPressionist). It's a real filter laborato ry!

Keep this information in mind and try things out. Experiment with your pictures. Have fun!

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