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Gimp 101
#1
A list of very useful things to learn to use in Gimp

Gimp is a very comprehensive piece of software and getting fully acquainted with it is a long process, especially when one is self-taught.

Here is a list of things you should learn to use. Some are fairly basic, but could have been overlooked. Some are pure knowledge, but this helps understanding how Gimp works and why some things are done in strange ways. The order is a bit arbitrary, it's a mix of usefulness (most useful first) and skill level needed. Some of it is more useful for those doctoring photos.
  • Basic brush use (photo: Clone/Heal tools)
  • Image transformations: Scale/Rotate, Color mode
  • Knowledge: image file formats: XCF, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF: differences, uses
  • Photo: the Crop tool
  • Knowledge: pixel components: RGB and the "alpha channel" for transparency
  • Layers, and basic transparency concepts
  • Knowledge: anti-aliasing
  • "Exploration" tools: Measure tool, "Pointer" dialog, photo: Histogram dialog
  • Basic selection tools: rectangle, ellipse, freehand, magic wand, color. Saving selections in channels. Combining selections (add, substract, intersect)
  • Basic paint tools: Bucket-fill, Blend
  • Basic filters: Blur/Gaussian blur (photo: "Enhance/Uunsharp mask")
  • Levels, Curves, and Threshold tools
  • Basic geometry transform tools: scale/rotate/shear/perspective
  • Keeping the UI manageable: dockable dialogs
  • Extending the Gimp: adding fonts, brushes, gradients, plugins...
  • Using guides, and the Align tool.
  • Knowledge: Colors: the HSV model
  • "Quick mask" selection editing
  • More filters:
    • Map: Bump, Displace
    • Render: Clouds, Pattern, Lava
    • Distorts
    • Noise
    • Blur
  • Advanced transparency control and layer mask
  • Modes for layers and paint tools: normal, multiply, divide...
  • Paths (and path editing)
  • Applying geometry transforms to selection and paths
  • Creating your own brushes, gradients, palettes.
  • Writing your own scripts (for those with some programming background)
If you think I'm missing something (I'm also self-taught) please post and I'll update the list
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