Upgraded WordPress and now using ImageMagick for images!

I just updated this blog to WordPress 3.5 and I also enabled the ImageMagick plugin for my image re-sizing for better quality. I don’t really post high resolution images (photos) but I figured I would check it out and see how it works. I then re-sized all of the images with the tool and saw little change – I am sure if they were photos there would have been a big difference. Here is a high resolution image that I sized with the new tool. The original image was 2848×4272, this was resized to 500×750.

IMG_0002

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Online and FREE Image map tool for HTML

I was poking around the internet and thanks to Google I found very quickly this Image Map Tool site that lets you create image maps for your graphics. I quickly created a simple graphic, uploaded it to the tool and create maps for different tag categories on my site. I then copied and pasted the HTML into my blog post and viola, works like a charm!

Feel free to check it out and donate if you like it!

Online Image Mapper
Online Image Mapp Tool


Where GIMP 2.8 went wrong

I have used GIMP for many years, too many to count or remember actually but I know it was in the early 1.x time frame. This latest release has me a bit confused in the Save As, Export area.

I rarely ever save a file in the native GIMP format (XCF) and usually save the images as PNG or JPG. Given that, I always use short cuts like CTRL+S to save the image and in GIMP 2.6 in “just worked”. Now, you are forced to use the Export function from the menu any time you want to save the image as anything outside of an XCF file – very bad! The shortcut key doesn’t work like it did and now I can’t just edit an existing PNG or JPG and just click “Save”. I really don’t understand this change because the save dialog is almost identical – they didn’t make it smaller or optimize it in any way. Check out the images below.

Save Dialog in GIMP 2.6

Save Dialog in GIMP 2.8

QuickTip Video: Adding Hot Spots To Graphics In Lotus Notes Email

In this quick tip I show how you can send cool images with hot spots to your colleagues. You can also check out the entry over on the Lotus site for VideoFest.

Open Source, graphics, and me – not a good mix

Because of IP laws and such, I had to create an icon for the attachment viewer project so tonight I decided to figure out how I will do this.  I am no artist by far but I do have some pretty easy to use and free tools at my disposal.  I figured the best way is to use some kind of presentation editor like Symphony, then use GIMP to actually size and save the image as a jpeg.  The paste into GIMP was not very good so I basically scaled it down and took a screen shot to get a good icon sized image.  In the end, this was pretty easy but I would be interested in hearing how some of you artists do this stuff.

Click to make larger

In the end the icon looks pretty good in the Notes client – I am no Picasso so this will have to do!  Check out a screen shot of the new view icon in the upper left of the viewer:

Click to make larger

Getting better with GIMP

So I have been using GIMP for all of my graphic needs for the past year or so. Unfortunately for me I am not a graphics person so 90% of what I do is very basic.  My youngest son just had his first communion and I decided to make a picture for his gift table to show the holiness of the occasion.  I used GIMP to merge the two photos of him and Jesus but the hardest part was cropping out him from the original picture.  I took his picture near my stair case (he put on his most holy of faces), here was his original photo:

In the end I took a picture of Jesus, made it black and white and put some what of a haze over Him by making a circle that was filled with a gradient from white (in the center) to black (the edges) and then setting the transparency very high.