free photo manipulation software

Started by Allan, April 03, 2009, 09:44:04 PM

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Hi fellows,
What I want to do is turn my color model photos into black and white or that cool washed-out sepia color, perhaps with a wavy white border and the German/Japanese words "Top Secret" in one corner. I also want to add convincing detail like a runway or perhaps grass.
I have downloaded free software from the net, paint.NET and picasa3. Can I use them to achieve this or is there any other kind of free (and free stuff is the only one I would like to use for the moment) software I can download?
Allan in Canberra


You can do both with paint.NET.
They have a help page that explains the various tools:


Use the Adjustments Menu to convert to Black & White:

I'd suggest going through the overview and tutorials on the help page,
especially the User Interface stuff as that will show you how to use the tools.



Thanks Jon,
Can't wait to play with it!!!! It makes our What Ifs look so much more convincing. Can I cut and paste Japanese script from another source and attach it to a photo as well?
Allan in Canberra


They have a user forum as well as plug-in downloads etc:


Any script that you 'cut' from a different photo will 'paste' into your photo as an image rather than as text,
so whatever it has as a background will come along, unless of course the background is transparent
or you've selected only the characters with the Magic-wand tool.

However, if you have Chinese/Japanese fonts loaded on your machine they should show up in the font selection area of the text-tool.

Note that I don't use paint.NET as it is a PC only tool, I use Photoshop CS2 on a Mac, however, the interface and tools are similar to Photoshop.
paint.NET looks fairly straightforward to learn, so go have fun and definitely make use of their forum and tutorials.



There's also GIMP, which is basically a Photoshop clone. Well worth looking at. :)

Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<


Second on Gimp, especially the 2nd version.

John Howling Mouse

Yeah, I think Gimp has the Corel and Photoshop boys worried.  That's a lot of features to pack into a piece of freeware.   :thumbsup:
Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.


Thanks fellows, I've downloaded GIMP and am looking forward to trying it.
Once my Japanese Dornier is finished I want to pose it on a fake runway with some hangers in the background, make it black and white or sepia and have the Japanese and German words "State Secret" in one corner.
Allan in Canberra


Instead of using photo manipulation software to place your model in an airfield setting with a runway and hanger in the background have you thought about making a photobase for taking pictures of your models? Building a photobase is not that hard to do if you can get a small piece of plywood and some model RR layout supplies to make the grass portion of the airfield and you can use painted poster paper glued to the photobase for the tarmac. The hangers could be scratch built or you can check out the Walthers model RR catalog for airplane hanger kits and modify them for your needs, the current catalog has a hanger kit listed. Backdrops can also be purchased from Walthers, I use some of them in my pictures or you can paint your own backdrop. Painting a backdrop does not take that much time to do, last year I painted my latest backdrop in about five hours time (including changing colors in the airbrush and cleaning).
All of the above sounds like a lot of work (it is) but the advantage to it is saving time when taking pictures of my new models, I can set up my photobase outside, take pictures of the models, and upload the pictures and manipulate (age) the pics on my computer faster than I could cut and paste one entire image using nothing but the photo manipulation software.
Not only are photobases useful in saving time when getting pics of your models but they are fun to construct too!

Looking forward to seeing your Do 335 in some 'aged' sepia toned images. :thumbsup: