Image editing using FOSS tools

I’ve already explained in a previous entry that I like to tweak images, extract them from backgrounds and so on. However I didn’t like that I needed Windows to perform my actions, as I want to use that operating system as less as possible. I tried then to use FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) tools available on Linux to see if I could do the same job.

Notice that this is not meant to be a tutorial, just a description of what I did: I’m a beginner myself, though I can answer questions if anyone (if any) posts them here. Don’t bring comparisons with Photoshop, either. It doesn’t run on Linux natively.

The two most famous image manipulation programs I know in Linux are the GIMP, GTK+ based, and Krita, which integrates into the KDE environment. I like Krita a lot more than GIMP, because it has a much saner user interface, however it’s still under heavy development and some features are not yet present (but it’s evolving at a very high pace, the developers are doing a fantastic job). Therefore, I had to stick with the GIMP.

For the job I picked up an image from My-HIME. Very nice art, but again a disappointing series. Here’s how it looked at the start.


I found this image somewhere on the net. It’s quite big, so it was perfect for my needs. In GIMP, I created an additional layer so I could avoid ruining the image. Then I selected a blue color and started painting around the contour of the figure of Mai, like this:


I know there are probably better ways to do it, I’m doing what I’m used to, that luckily is Photoshop-agnostic. Once I finished the contours, I merged down the layers and selected the blue area with the magic wand. The tool tends to keep a smaller contour than expected, so I grew the selection by three pixels using the Grow command. After this I inverted the selection, cut the figure out of the background and pasted it into a new image. The contour had been damaged, so I used the Layer Effects script to add an outer glow with a small blur:


All I needed to do then was to resize the image, cut out the white background and save it as a PNG image. Here is the finished result:


I have the original XCF (GIMP’s layered file), if anyone wants it.


Dialogue & Discussion