I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Color Pop Photo Tutorial for Paint.NET

One thing that has bothered me about the available tutorials for Paint.NET is that people write to those who are already experienced with photoshop type programs. I will be writing tutorials for first-time users, ok? So we'll start really basic. I will assume you know nothing. I hope you're not offended.

The first step is to download Paint.NET. It's a free program and you can find a download link here. Let me preface this tutorial by saying how sorry I am that these pics are loading so small. I did upload them at the largest size, but they're still small. Sorry!

Once you've downloaded it, clap your hands with glee, because you are going to have so much fun using it! There's LOTS of stuff you can do, and I am just hitting the very tip of the iceberg today with this one tutorial. I may have to do more in the future for other things. There are just so many options!!

Anyhoona, let's get this show on the road. First, open up Paint.NET. This is what the open screen looks like.
There are three boxes labeled: To...(which I think is short for tools)- it's the skinny one on the left side of the screen, Layers (at the top right), and Colors (underneath the layers box)-bottom right side.

We will only use the 'To...' and the 'Layers' boxes in this tutorial, so if you want to close the Colors box, that would be fine. Then it won't be in your way later. The next step is to open the picture you want to use.

You do this by clicking on the little file folder at the top of the screen under the word Edit.

This will open your file folders. Click on the file name where you saved your image, and click 'Open'.

There, now we're ready to get started. I can't wait for you to learn this! It'll make your photo taking so much more fun! So, the first step is to copy your photo and paste it into a new layer. How do we do this? The short cut way is to hold down CTRL and press 'A'. This selects everything on your page. Next you want to hold down CTRL and press 'C'. This copies what you've just selected.

To paste it into a new layer, hold down CTRL and Shift, then press 'V'. This will make your exact same picture show up in a new layer so you can fiddle with it. How do you know it did it? Look at your Layers box. You should see this: (without the red circle)From here on out, Layer 1 will be called L1, and Layer 2 will be called L2. Now, see how the box behind L2 is blue? This means this is the layer that any changes you make will show up on.

Let's take a minute and talk about layers. What are layers? Think of them as transparent pages (like you'd use for an overhead projector) stacked on top of one another. You can see changes made to any layer through all the other layers stacked on top. For example, if I click the box so that my L1 is highlighted, and draw a red circle, you'll be able to see it through L2, even though L1 is on the bottom.

There are check marks next to the layer names. If you un-check L2, it will disappear, and you'll only see L1. This is helpful when you're doing other kinds of stuff to photos, but we won't use it today. I just wanted you to be aware you can close a layer if you need to.

Does that make sense? Ok then, let's move on.

Click on the word 'Adjustments' at the top of the screen. Then click on 'Black and White'.
Your L2 will now be in black and white. Now we're going to start the fun! Look at the 'To...' box on the left side of your screen. Click on the eraser tool. (circled in red below.) Then you'll look at the brush width. (circled in yellow below.)
What the brush width does is decide the size of your eraser. You can adjust this after we've zoomed in and you can see what size you need.

This is the where the zoom tool is located. You can zoom in or out from here.
So let's zoom in so we can see close up where the edges of the strawberries are. I've zoomed in to 200% which is the same as clicking the zoom button four times. Now we can adjust the size of our eraser so it's easy to handle. You can see at the top that the eraser width is now set to 25.
Ready to start erasing part of L2? It's easy. Just position your eraser so it's close to the edge of the area you want to be in color. In this photo, that would be my strawberries. To erase you can either make individual clicks with the left mouse button, or hold in your left mouse button and drag inside the area you want in color.

Keep erasing until you have the bulk of it done. If you need to adjust the size of your eraser to fit into smaller areas, go ahead. Keep working until you've got everything you want in color 'popped'.

If you make a mistake (as is illustrated below), just click the 'undo' button at the top of the screen. It's a little blue arrow curved to the left. If you accidentally undo something you want to keep, click the one next to it that curves to the right. That's the re-do arrow.
When you're all done, you'll want to save it as a Jpeg file, so you can open it in other photo programs. You do this by going to File in the top left corner, and clicking 'Save As'. This will bring up a box with where your file will be saved, what you'll name it, and what kind of file you want it to be.Type whatever name you want your picture to be called, then scroll down in the box beneath the file name and click on Jpeg. It will ask if it's ok to flatten your image. Click OK. (This just puts all the layers into one picture.)

Voila! You're done!
Was this helpful? Would you like to see other tutorials? Let me know!

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