The members of the former Imaging Artists newsgroup, which was a WebTV-MSNTV only group, share their expertise and discoveries with each other. For those who had never looked in on this newsgroup, here are some of the tips for working with images at the Image Magick studio.

Shaving a Wave
Find That Spot
Saving Details
Beware of Shadows
Save Time with Preview
Information Center
Crop & Shave
Get Rid of the Center
Simple Crop
Color Patch
Colormap vs. Output
Hex Codes for Chocolate
Background Images Inside Draw
Making Pattern Backgrounds
Transparent vs None
Outputting Transparent Gifs
Transparent Draw
Input Resizing
Cubic vs Quadratic Beziers
More About s, q & t
Drawing Leaves

READ THIS FIRST! From Flo (tonebytone):

Josh (moondogee) has collected, with Mr. C's permission, all the IM ReadMe files for our convenience.

Also, for tutorial writers, here are the IM templates, also with Mr. C's permision. These templates illustrate, but do not actually work.
SHAVE A WAVE - From Jean (lnjweaver):

I found this neat frame on the net... so I decided to WAVE it... before I WAVED it... I put a 50x50 transparent border around it ... then I waved it 20x350 .... rotated it to the right and waved again at the same #'s ... then I SHAVED it 50x50 .... and got this...

[NOTE: to prevent that funky outer line that is caused by the WAVE... bordering it first with a wide border... and after the WAVE ..SHAVING it off... makes a nice crisp edge..... ]

I cropped an image..... sized smaller and added enough trans border to accept the frame...and C/over it with the frame ... result below...

FIND THAT SPOT - From Sleeper (SLEE_per):

When cropping an image or for draw . To get the exact location for the crop or draw . Click onto your image where you want the crop or the start of your draw to be.

When the page comes up it will show exactly where you clicked onto the image ... The first number is how far over from the left and the second number is how far down it was ... The next number is the color you clicked on.

It`ll look something like this at the bottom.. 253,163 #000000

This means you clicked 253 pixels from the left. And 163 down from the top. Now you know exactly where to crop or start your draw ..

Hope this makes sense ... I think it`s Kewl and a big time saver to boot.
SAVING THE DETAILS - From Susan (ERsigs):

When you resize a large image down, especially down enough to fit your tv screen, you're going to lose a lot of "detail" and there's really not much you can do about it.

That being said, there are a couple of things that might help a little-- always crop away "extraneous" stuff before you resize, ie decide what interests you in the image and how much of it you really need to make it work for you. The more you can crop off, the better the rest of the details will be once you do resize.

You can also try sharpening the image, then save/upload and use that to work with instead of the "original".

Normalize can bring out some details-- it can also do other, funky things, all depends on the image!-- and Brightness and Saturate are always worth a try.

Finally, a little "texturizing" trick of mine-- once you've got your image resized and ready to work with, use Gray Shade at about 35x35, 35x40, to create a gray embossment and save/upoad that for later.

Once you're all "done" with your imaging, negate that finished image and save/upload.

Comp the gray embossment "over" so that it replaces your image, then "threshold" comp the negated image onto that (once or twice, depending on the depth you want to attain.

(Use gamma at 1.2 to 1.9, or so, if you need to "lighten" up the image a bit before that second threshold comp!).

For those who may not know-- when you threshold comp an image, it negates that image. So, by negating the image first, and then threshold comping that over the gray embossment, the colors are laid on in their "natural" hues (which the gray doesn't interfere with much, except to darken it a bit, hence the oft-needed "lightening" step mentioned above!).

Alternately, you can do the gray shade embossment at about 45x55 or so (higher number, lighter gray), and then multi comp the un-negated finished image onto that.

I find the threshold method better for pure "detailing," but the multi comp way has its own charms.
BEWARE OF SHADOWS - From Diana (BDiana):

Whenever an image casts a shadow, it is most likely designed to be on a white background. Sometimes it can be darkened with a Contrast filter. IM has one under ENHANCE.

For a quick one you could simply play around with PAINT, Floodfill and change the FUZZ numbers. The trick is to click on different parts within the image to find the best fuzz spot.

Like so:

Fuzz= 2500
fill color= whatever you want
border color=none

The perfect way to get a perfect clean edge though, is to draw around the entire image a path and create a mask. Comp that mask on top of the original.

An easy quick way to see what your image is going to look like when using a certain category without going back and forth using different coords, is to use Preview.

Take an image to IM ~

Click Output tab at top of page .. on Storage Type, click Preview button.

Scroll down where it says Preview again and choose the Category you wish to Preview ... It`s already set on Gamma. Choose Roll, or Swirl, etc.

Now click Output button and a page will come up showing you 9 or 12 images. Click on the image to see it full sized. In small print below each image it gives you the coords for that image and effect.

It`s way kewl and a big time time savor!
INFORMATION CENTER! - From Jean (lnjweaver):

I have been 'delving' in the info at IM... there is a 'plethora' of very useful info there for the taking .... go there... (you won't need a URL to get in ).... once there... access the word IMAGE.

The next page will bring up a 'rose' for you to play around with.... but don't bother with that just yet... unless you just gotta do one more .... at that page click on the word in blue ...Image Magic.

The next page will give you so many options of 'things' to do... along with coords for Draw..etc .. etc ... etc. There is also an Image Magic Image Gallery ..

I have 'learned' many new things there... so I thought I'd mention it... just in case , many of you were like me... to busy to read anything for the want of instant imaging .... I have been missing out all this time on some useful info that could have saved me alot of grief & time... but I intend to 'peruse' it at length ... who knows what I might discover....
WRAPPERS ON WRAPPING - From Moonbeam (DetC1):

When you do a colorwrap the first step always covers the whole image with the background. That won't disappear until the final composite. How I do it.

Chose Image with black bg
Go to IM
Enter BG
Comp Image Diff
Comp Image Displace/Rotate 180
Comp Image Bumpmap/Rotate 180
Transform Flip

There should now be a black bg with a bright image. Finish as wanted.

ANOTHER WRAPPER - From Scarlet (scarlet09)

Stranjer, the author of this amazing technique, and I used to work on this for countless hours together. Rotation is strictly and option!!!! It is not mandatory. I have made plenty of wonderful colorwraps without using rotation in the composite step.


When you rotate, especially at 180 degrees, you tend to get, e.i., lips on foreheads, etc.

***In fact, at one point, Stranjer was debating taking the rotate step entirely out of the tutorial, because it tends to scare people off, and is less necessary than more.

However, sometimes the rotating does help, like Moonbeam said. It is entirely up to:

-What graphic you are using
-What bg you are using

Do not go according to what you are seeing until your final step. You have no way of foreseeing how it is going to turn out until then.

At that point, if it does not, then back up and try some different things.

Other options:

-You can also rotate at degrees other than 180. I.E.:


And also all the negatives that are there.
Which = a whole lot of variables

If you are just trying this, I strongly suggest taking one of the nude graphics from Ersigs "Images for Imaging" page along with one of the fractals from Stranjer's "Colorwrap" tutorial:

Which we ALLLLL know work -and get used to going through the motions and seeing what to expect.

JEAN WRAPS IT UP - From Jean (lnjweaver):

I simply comp/multy the colorwrap to the image... on occasion I have to comp a second time... but most times it works just fine with the first comp.... FOR ME.

WRAP THE SPANISH WAY - From Annie (SpanishLadyRider):

My colorwrap (method) uses these 3 steps:


This was developed by Stranjer a long time ago....You don't have to use rotate, but these 3 steps are mandatory.

The above information Copyright © 2007 by the above authors

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