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GAP Beginner Tutorial Set

#1 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:37 AM

Note: This tutorial attempts to help you start using GIMP Animation Package (GAP). What you are about to do can be done manually without GAP. This is just a tutorial designed to help you learn to do some basic things with GAP. Where GAP has a nice advantage is when you are working with animations with a lot of frames, or developing videos. Doing those sorts of things manually is time consuming. GAP helps you greatly reduce your time and effort on those types of projects. But it is best to begin learning simple things before jumping in to do a video or larger animation. :h:

Now on to the tutorial ------->

This is a very simple beginners tutorial to get you started using GAP (GIMP Animation Package). It is not a beginners GIMP tutorial. Some familiarity with GIMP is necessary and recommended.

Here is what you will be learning to do on GAP:

Posted Image

A very simple animation to make , just moving a square from one side of the image to the other.

First begin with a new image 400x300 with the default White background color.

Add a New Layer with default settings

Select the Rectangle Selection Tool and set it to Fixed Size and use a Width of 150 px and a Height of 100 px

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Select the New Layer and make a selection somewhere inside the image window.

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Now fill the selection with either the bucket tool or by dragging the Foreground Color into the selection. If you want to follow the tutorial exactly use color d92828.

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With the New Layer still selected and the rectangular selection still active, do

Layer | Crop Layer

Select | None

Edit | Cut

Layer | New Layer


Edit | Paste

Layer | Anchor Layer


What we just did here is take the layer, crop it, and then by cutting it and then pasting it back into a new layer we got it centered in the image. We could have used guide lines to make the original selection centered too. If you prefer that, please do. (Having objects centered makes it much easier when placing the object later on)

Rename that Layer to Box1
.

Open a New Image Window in GIMP also 400x300 and also with a White Background.
Save this image into a working folder and name it background_000001.xcf

Now in Image (background_000001.xcf) window do

Video | Duplicate Frames


Posted Image

In the window, make N times 19 then click OK.

This will give us 20 frames for our animation. (Remember, we saved the file as background_000001.xcf, so we already have one , we need 19 more copies of this to make a total of 20 frames) :h: Note: There is nothing magic about the number of frames I am using. I could have decided to use a total of 5 or 500. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. More frames does give smoother motion results, but also increases final file size. So it depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Then do

Video | Move Path


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The Move Path tool is the workhorse of GAP.

I have highlighted the sections for you to set. First check the Instant Apply (A) checkbox. This allows you to see what you are doing in the preview window/canvas. Next, make sure that in Source Image/Layer (B) that the red box that you filled in is selected. If not, click on the drop down box and choose the red box Layer that you named Box1.

Note: In the Move Path window, notice my Source Image/Layer is named box2.png-1266/Box1-11004. The part before the forward slash (/) is the Image name. I arbitrarily named my image box2.png so I could use various images for this tutorial. Your Image portion will likely be named differently. What you are looking for is the Layer section after the foward slash (/). Notice in the above image, it is named Box1-11004. Box1 is the Layer name and 11004 is a unique ID number that Gimp applies to keep track of which Layer (or Image) is which. Your unique ID number may not be 11004, so the number is not important, just the Layer portion of the name. This applies to all other Move Path window images shown throughout this tutorial. What you are always looking for is that the Layer section is correct.

Next set Step Mode © to None. Just click the drop down box and to make your selection. Handle (D) select Center from the drop down box. Then for the X and Y values (E), place them as X: -75 (that is minus 75) and Y: 150. For an extra twist, place the image at X:200 Y: 150. This places the red box at the center of the image. Then you can click on the little down arrow in the X slider window and as you watch, your rectangle move towards the left side of the screen and then eventually off the screen. Stop when you get to a value of -75 for X.
(For the curious, a little explanation here for using the value of minus 75 for X . The box is a width of 150. We are using a centered handle, and since our original layer was centered as above, that means that our handle will be at 75 px for the box since half of 150 is 75. So when the X value is at zero, meaning the Center handle point is at zero, there is still 75 px from the box sticking out beyond that. So to get the object completely off screen, we need to move it another 75 px which results in a value of -75 for X. :h: )

Posted Image

Next in the above image, click on the Add Point button (A). When you start the Move Path window, GAP automatically starts you at the first point. The first point of your animation. We are now going to move the box to it's final point, so we need to add a point. (in many animations you likely will add several points for your animation. The points are basically keyframes for those familiar with that term for animation.) After clicking the Add Point button, change your X (B) value to X: 475 or click the little up arrow and watch as your box moves across the screen to the right and eventually out of sight again until you reach a value of 475 for X.

Then click the Anim Preview button ©. Another window opens, select Exact Object on Frames and click OK. This will create a preview of your box moving across the screen. Watch the preview then close it out and close out the little image window created and click Don't Save. Return to the Move Path window and click OK.

Once the Move Path tool has done it's work, click:

Video| Frame To Image

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Just click OK, accepting all of the defaults for now. This will create a multilayered image. Then do:

Filters | Animation | Optimize (for GIF)

In the new image that gets created from that process click

File| Save and save as moving_box.gif

Another window will open up:

Posted Image

Select Save As Animation as shown above, then click OK. Another window will open, just accept the defaults and click OK. This will make your animation.

Please continue on down to Part 2 now if you are interested in learning and doing more.
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#2 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 11:08 AM

In part 2 we will be making this:

Posted Image

We will be adding the orange moving box to the already animated red box. Notice that the orange box passes under the red box in this animation. Since GAP uses layers to make animations, this gives us a hint that we will be placing the orange box on a layer below the red box layer. Thus giving it the appearance of going under the red box.

Go back to the image with the Box1 Layer. Select the Box1 Layer. Do

Layer | Transparency | Alpha to Selection

Copy that Layer and fill the selection in the new layer with another color. If you want to follow the tutorial exactly, I used color ea9c22 Rename that layer to Box2.

Select | None

Go back to your background_000001.xcf image window and click:

Video | Move Path

Posted Image

In the above image again check the Instant Apply checkbox (A). In Source Image/Layer (B) select the layer named Box2 from the drop down selection window. Stepmode © is None. Handle (D) is Center. X and Y positions (E) will be X: 475 Y: 150. If you notice in part 1 above, these are the ending values for the red box. If you wish you can start your box out at X:200 Y: 150 and click on the little up arrow for the X positon and slide the box over to the right until it reaches the value of 475.

We are now using a feature we didn't use in Part 1: Layerstack (F). In GAP. as GIMP, you place items on varying layers. The topmost layer in GAP is layer zero. This means, whatever is on layer zero will be shown above everything else. Layerstack 1 will be below Layerstack 0. Layerstack 2 will be below Layerstack 1. And so on. In regular GIMP, you may think of layer zero as the bottom layer and the next layer above it as layer 1 and above it as layer 2. Just remeber GAP is opposite that. The topmost layer is layer zero. Layers 1,2,3 etc are below layer zero.

Originally the background_000001.xcf would be seen as Layerstack 0 from GAP viewpoint. However, once we added the first red block from Part 1 of this tutorial, the red block became Layerstack 0 and that moved the background_000001.xcf to Layerstack 1.

We want to pass the current orange box under the red box. Therefore we need to change the Layerstack value to 1. If we left it at zero, it would pass over the red box since it would become the new layer zero, meaning it would be on top of all other layers. By default, when you add a new layer with GAP, it automatically becomes layer zero, pushing all other layers down one layer. If we set the layerstack for the orange block to 2, it would pass under the red box and the white background layer, and thus would not be seen (the red box would remain layer 0, the background would remain layer 1, so those layers would be above it and the all white background would just block it from view. So set the Layerstack value to 1 (one).

Posted Image

Just as before, we need to move the box to it's final point. Remember, when the Move Path tool first opens, it is at point 1 or keyframe 1. So click the Add Point (A) button. This adds a point in the animation. Now change the X value to X: -75 (minus 75) or click the little down arrow button for the X positon slider and watch your square move to the left and out of site as you reach -75 for the setting. Then click Anim Preview © and in the window that opens, select Exact Object on Frames and click OK. A preview of the animation will be created. You will see in the preview window how your animation will look. Close out the preview and the little image that gets created and select Don't Save. Back to the Move Path window, click OK.

When the Move Path tool is done with it's processing, do:

Video | Frames to Image


Just as in Part 1 accept the default settings and click OK.

This will create a multilayered image. In that window do:

Filters | Animation | Optimize (for GIF)

In the new image that gets created from that process do:

File | Save

And save your image as moving_boxes.gif

And as before in the window that pops up select Save As Animation

Posted Image

Then click Export. In the following window that pops up, accept the default settings and click OK. You now have your moving boxes gif.

Finally let me recommend visiting the GIMP Tutorials and Tips Section. There are a number of excellent tutorials on there by various Gimptalk users. Before I joined gimptalk, I found those tutorials extremely helpful for learning to use GAP. Another excellent resource is http://carol.gimp.org/gimp2/animation.

Thank you.
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#3 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 03:28 PM

Part 3 Will be the last of these beginner tutorials.

Our final result:

Posted Image

In this final animation tutorial the grey box is moving from the top to the center of the image. Then it fades to transparent. So this animation will involve adding two keyframe points for the grey boxes animation since the box does two things - first moves to a new point and then fades to transparent. Also notice that the grey box moves behind both the red and the orange boxes. That gives us a hint that the grey box will have to be placed on a layer behind the red box and orange box layers.

Go back to the image where you made your Box1 and Box2 layers. Click Box2 layer and do:

Layer | Transparency | Alpha to Selection

Layer | New Layer


Then fill the new layer selection. I am using color 97949b

Rename the new layer Box3

Select | None


Now to the background_000001.xcf window:

Video | Move Path

Posted Image

In the Move Path window check the Instant Apply box (A). Source Image/Layer (B) select the Box3 layer from the drop down menu. Step Mode © set to None. Handle (D) is Center. X and Y values (E) to start are X: 200 Y: -50 (minus 50). This time we start with the square out of the image, but at the top of the image. Layerstack (F) value is set to 2. ( Notice in the above animation the grey box goes behind both the red and orange boxes. Since the red box is still at layerstack 0 and the orange one is at layerstack 1, the grey one must be set to layerstack 2 to go behind the first two boxes, but remain in front of the background, which becomes layerstack 3 now.)

Posted Image

As always, GAP automatically sets the first point or keyframe of the animation. We now need to add a point for moving the grey box from the top down to the center of the image. So click the Add Point (A) button. Then change the Y value (B) to 150. You now will see the grey box in the center of the canvas in the Move Path window.

Posted Image

Finally, we need to add another point to make the box fade to transparent. Click the Add Point (A) button again. This time we change the value of the Opacity slider (B) to 0.00 (this makes the object transparent). Then to view our animation, just as before click the Anim Preview button ©. In the window that opens, select Exact Object on Frames and click OK. Then preview the animation in the preview that opens. When finished, close the preview window out and close the little image that gets created and select Don't Save. Returning to the Move Path window click OK.

When the Move Path tool has finished processing:

Video | Frames to Image

Accept the default values in the window that opens and click OK.

In the new image window that gets created do:

Filters | Animation | Optimize (for GIF)


Another new image window gets created. From that window do:

File | Save

In the window that opens save your file as more_boxes.gif

Again choose Save As Animation in the window that opens and click the Export button.

In the window that pops up, accept the default values and click OK.

You are done and so is this tutorial.

Finally, here is a real example using the original blocks plus a couple of other objects applying what we have learned in the above examples.

Posted Image

Each object in the animation has 4 "points" (keyframes): Starting point, a second point for where the objects move to, the third point duplicates the second point (you duplicate a point by just pressing the Add Point button and making no changes for that newly added point) because I want the objects to remain at that spot for a bit before the fourth point, which as you may have guessed, is the fading to transparency for all of the objects. The animation was build starting with the grey block, adding the red block, the orange block, then each separate text object, followed finally by the gflare object. Sounds complex, but you do it a layer at a time.

Just learning to apply the few basic tasks learned in the above tutorials you could create some complex animations that you could do manually. However, the more complex your animations, the harder they are to do manually. Yet they are reasonably manageable tasks using GAP.

Some excellent tutorials have been posted on gimptalk for using GAP. They helped me greatly to understand and use GAP. If my tutorials do not help you to get started or if you would like to go beyond these basic steps, please check out some of the other excellent tutorials on using GAP:

by Sean-Michael:

(GAP)Advanced Animation Simplified
(GAP)Inserting Animated .gifs Painlessly
(GAP) Fading Transition

by fencepost:

Animated Border Highlight
Animated Flash Text

by saulgoode:

GIMP-GAP Overview (with BlueBox)

by swmiller6:

GAP Tutorial
Animated Progress Bar

by Carol Spears

http://carol.gimp.org/gimp2/animation/
Happy GAP-ING!!! :h:
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#4 User is offline   El-Plastku 

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:53 PM

wow! thats nice! I finished the first step, but I'm tired, so I'll do the next two steps tomorrow! :w:

But I've got a little problem, the X won't go longer down than 0 ... So I can't get -75 ! :s:

EDIT: I can't get it longer up than 400 either, so the box won't go out of the image...

You see?

Posted Image
Posted Image

Quote

I'm the king of the Plastku thing!
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#5 User is offline   Ali Imran 

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:57 PM

A long way flash has ruled, but now is almost dead, I never receive flash based projects and my flash templates sales came down, I would love many such tutorials to be posted, so that I can understand GAP and migrate from flash tools to gimp without any huge curve of learning.

Thanks alot for the valuable document.

regards
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#6 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:25 AM

Quote

X won't go longer down than 0 ... So I can't get -75


Posted Image

On the Move Path tool, if you use the slider (labeled A above) then it will only go down to zero or up to the screen width value of your background. Use the little up or down arrows (labeled B above) to move your object lower than a value of zero or higher than the background width value (which is 400 for this example). You can also just type in the number, but I find that using the little UP or DOWN arrow buttons helps position the object better visually. Hope that helps. :h:

Btw, looks good otherwise El-Plastku and thank you for trying the tutorial. :h:
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#7 User is offline   Ali Imran 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:31 AM

btw if points could be added jsut be clicking within preview area, that could help animation creation much faster. or may be there is a way I don't know.

regards
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#8 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 02:09 AM

Quote

btw if points could be added jsut be clicking within preview area, that could help animation creation much faster


You have to use the Add Point button before moving your object to it's next "point" or keyframe as far as I know. If someone knows differently, please add to this discussion. :h:

However, you can click within the preview area for where you want your object to move to after clicking the Add Point button. Where your object will be positioned depends on the Handle you choose for that object, and also how it is placed against it's original background. Using a Center Handle on an object that is placed in the upper right hand corner of it's original window will alter where it gets positioned on the new background that you are copying it to for the animation. I have found that the easiest approach is to have things centered (which I show you how to do for the rectangles used in this tutorial) before starting the process of placing them into the animation.
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#9 User is offline   Ali Imran 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 02:36 AM

No no am not talking about the timeline, am tlking about the motion path to be created using mouse clicks.
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#10 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:20 AM

Note: If you are someone new to using GAP, the information below may confuse you. I recommend learning to successfully follow the above tutorials and gain confidence in using them. The Grab Path and Rotate Follow options are useful for more advanced users, but there is a lot, and I do mean a lot you can do without ever using these options. Thank you.

OK, I tried an experiment.

Essentially, what you can do is make a path inside your background window (in the above tutorial that would be background_000001.xcf).

Posted Image

Then when you run the Move Path tool, there is a button in that window named Grab Path. This will grab the control points of the path you created in the background_000001.xcf window and move the object from control point to control point. If you made a complex path with curves, press down the SHIFT button along with clicking the Grab Path button and GAP will recreate control points for the animation so the objects path of movement is now following the curved path that you created. You may need to adjust your control points once you have the Move Path tool open or add more points. Also if you want your object to say rotate about the various control points of the path, there is the Rotate Follow button in the Move Path tool. This would be useful for say animating a car moving along a path or road.

Posted Image

Above is an example using both the Grab Path and Rotate Follow buttons. I did not edit the path, so the motion is not very smooth, but then I also only used 20 frames for the animation. More frames would have made for smoother motion.

Another example using a slightly less complex path:

Posted Image

I do not use those buttons a lot, but I hope perhaps this is what you refer to Ali Imran? Thank you.
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#11 User is offline   El-Plastku 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:10 AM

thanks! It worked!
Posted Image
Posted Image

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I'm the king of the Plastku thing!
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#12 User is offline   Ali Imran 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:14 AM

Thanks alot for the tips.

I will try it and let you know results.

regards
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#13 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 11:47 AM

El-Plastku glad it worked. :h:

If you would like to slow down the movement of your text so it can be read more easily while moving across the screen, when you are doing Frames to Image, there is a section that says:

Layer Basename and beside it is a box with something like frame_[######] (41ms).

Change that 41 to a larger number, say like 66 (for 15 frames per second) or even 100 for 10 frames per second and as your text streams across it will move slower so it can be more easily read.


Ali Imran you are welcome. I have not worked much with the Grab Path or Rotate Follow options. It became a way for me to learn something new and interesting with GAP as well. Glad you mentioned it. Thank you. :h:
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#14 User is offline   El-Plastku 

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 01:38 PM

okey, thanks a lot! this tutorial is really great! easy to follow! it's the first animations i've made with GAP, so I never thought it would be this easy!
Posted Image

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I'm the king of the Plastku thing!
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#15 User is offline   MattGIMP 

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 01:23 AM

thanks for the tut, very, very, very detailed
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#16 User is offline   Blazeboy 

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 10:08 PM

I can't believe you usurped the spot of Tutorial of the week! :o:

This tutorial deserves it though, great work. I can tell already that you will be a great member to this site :w:.

I'll try this out as soon as I learn how to install GAP for the GIMP development version.
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#17 User is offline   Fl4m3d_Sky 

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 03:30 AM

Great tut.
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curly rocks so hard.
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#18 User is offline   narutard 

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 01:19 AM

when i do it, the saved image doesn't move................

i used the mpeg conversion one, but i tried this afterwards and it still didn't work
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#19 User is offline   barracca 

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 05:24 PM

This tut is absolutly awsome, id recomend any nub like me to use it.

after i made the box i adapted it ever so slightly and made

Posted Image


its only the second thing ive done using gap.

thanks for this tut. again awsome work! :l:

i tried to make it on a transparrent background but for some reason it came out on a white background.

is there a simple solution to this?
Posted Image
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#20 User is offline   ccbarr 

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 09:01 PM

Thank you for the kind comments all.

Quote

when i do it, the saved image doesn't move................


narutard, I am sorry I am not sure why it is not moving. Could you provide a little more information so that I might be able to help you?

Quote

i tried to make it on a transparrent background but for some reason it came out on a white background.

is there a simple solution to this?


Nice job on the animation barracca. Thank you for trying the tutorial.

Regarding your transparent background, I apologize that I am not sure why it came out on a white background. Perhaps someone else here knows that answer. I tried a test making one on a transparent background and it worked. (Meaning my background_000001.xcf was Transparent and not the default White background) From my understanding, one thing that may need done with a transparent background is to use mode replace for the layers, rather than combine. For instance in a layer you may see something like:

frame_000001 (100ms) (combine) that needs changed to:

frame_000001 (100ms) (replace) for each layer

Doing it manually is a lot of work if you are using a lot of frames. Saulgoode has a nice script that lets you automate those changes. Hope this helps. Thank you. :h:
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