24th February 2021

Graphics Course for Crafters. Part 1.

Opening and Exiting Images.

Opening and Exiting Images.
Opening and Exiting Images..

Opening and exiting image an Paint.net is the same as opening a file in just about every programme on your computer. Simply select File from the Main Menu and then choose open. A pop-up box will appear which will enable you to select the correct image file off your computer.

Paint.net can open a wide range of image file types including: jpg, gif, bmp, png,tif and more. There are also plug-ins available to allow it to open more specialised files (we will talk about plug-ins in a later session) such as ones created by Photoshop etc.

Use the pop-up window to select the correct file off your computer
Use the pop-up window to select the correct file off your computer.
Saving an image.
Saving an image. Graphics Course for Crafters.

Graphics Course for Crafters, Saving An Image.

Saving an image is again quite simple although this time you have two choices. If you click save it will save on top of the image you opened (or last saved it as). If you choose “Save As…” it will give you the chance to save a new copy of the image.

Which you choose will depend on what you are trying to do. If you open a family photo and are working on it, when you reach time to save you will probably want to choose “Save As…” and give it a different name from your original file. This way your copy of the original family photo  will remain untouched and you will have a second images with your changes in it.

Creating A New Image.

Once again creating a brand new image isn’t too difficult. To start with go to the Main Menu and select File / New. Now you will see the pop-up window on your right.

This box will let us set up the size and resolution (quality) of the image we are going to make. Don’t worry you can always cut the size down later, better to go larger rather than smaller. I only ever use 3 resolutions; 72 ppi (Pixels per inch) for web images, 150ppi for the vast majority of my craft images (as this example on the right shows, this is an A4 portrait sheet at 150ppi) and 300ppi  for photos or craft images with highly detailed photos in them.

Issues around ppi/dpi can get a little complicated. We will come back to it but in the meantime we have listed two articles which you may find useful.

Image Sizes, File sizes and DPI.

Whats all this about 300dpi.

Working with Layers
Working with Layers.

Working with Layers.

The ability to work with layers is one of the things which makes Paint.net such a good program. There aren’t many free graphics programs which have this ability (GIMP does as well).

The image on the left is made up of 3 layers although because we are looking down from above you can’t see them.

Graphics Layers Explained.
Graphics Layers Explained.
The Layers Window
The Layers Window.

The Layers Window in Paint.net will show use what layers are in an image, will let you select which layer to work on, which layers to see and even make and delete layers.

Layers are useful because they let us work on different parts of the image without affecting what is on the other layers. In this example (and you should have a copy of the file to place with, I am able to move the nurse or ambulance, resizes, recolour , lighten them, darken them, in fact do a lot to either of them without it changing anything else in the image.

The same applies to the background, I could even delete the background and bring another in without it affecting the nurse or ambulance. Just why this is so useful will become apparent latter in the course.

After the first part of this Graphics Course for Crafters you should:

  • Be able to Open and Save a file.
  • Be able to create a new blank image.
  • Be aware to the range of tools available and that each of them have a set of options.
  • Have a basic understand of what layers are and what they are used for.

We hope yo have enjoyed the first part of this Graphics Course for Crafters. Free free to over it as many times as you like until you feel you have the hang of it. There’s no rush.

File/Images used in the First Lesson (zipped folder download).

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