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Linux or Windoze freeware to create an animated GIF image

 
 
James Gagney
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      09-07-2012
On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 16:14:05 -0400, alan1browne wrote:

> Yep. download here:
> https://www.dropbox.com/s/g4g1c9brhl...P-GIF-Demo.gif


While The Gimp, like ImageMagick, will do almost anything ... my main
problem with The Gimp is the complexity of extremely common simple tasks.

Compare, for example, these daily tasks done on almost all screenshots:
I) Draw an outlined circle in The Gimp versus using, say, KolourPaint
II) Now text the inside of that circle in The Gimp versus, say, Paint.NET
III) Then try drawing curved arrows in The Gimp versus, say, Paint.NET

These simple tasks are trivial to accomplish in Kolourpaint (Linux) or in
Paint.NET (Windows) ... but, IMHO, they are way too complicated in The
Gimp.

So, The Gimp is my program of last resort ... if and only when nothing
else will do the trick.
 
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James Gagney
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      09-07-2012
> While The Gimp, like ImageMagick, will do almost anything ... my main
> problem with The Gimp is the complexity of extremely common simple
> tasks.
>
> Compare, for example, these daily tasks done on almost all screenshots:
> I) Draw an outlined circle in The Gimp versus using, say, KolourPaint
> II) Now text the inside of that circle in The Gimp versus, say,
> Paint.NET III) Then try drawing curved arrows in The Gimp versus, say,
> Paint.NET
>
> These simple tasks are trivial to accomplish in Kolourpaint (Linux) or
> in Paint.NET (Windows) ... but, IMHO, they are way too complicated in
> The Gimp.
>
> So, The Gimp is my program of last resort ... if and only when nothing
> else will do the trick.


I realize I mixed operating systems so allow me to clarify:

Annotating Windows screenshots:
1. I draw outlined circles with Kolourpaint.
2. I text inside those empty circles with Kolourpaint.
3. There is no good curved-arrow drawing programs on Linux so I draw my
own curved arrows with Kolourpaint.

All of these can be done with The Gimp - but the process is horrendously
complicated for the empty circles and for the curved arrows and texting
can be done by all programs - yet The Gimp isn't anywhere nearly as easy
as Kolourpaint for texting.

Annotating Linux screenshots:
1. I draw outlined circles with Paint.NET.
2. I text inside those circles with Paint.NET.
3. The Paint.NET curved-arrow drawing is the finest in the world (IMHO).

Again, all of these can be done with Gimp but with a complexity that
rivals that of enriching uranium.

The "perfect" screenshot editing program would be:
a) As easy to draw outlined circles as Kolourpaint or Paint.NET,
b) As easy to text as Paint.NET (where you don't even have to define the
box!)
c) And as easy to draw complex curved arrows as Paint.NET

Maybe Adobe Photoshop CS6 can do these three things as easily?
 
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tony cooper
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      09-07-2012
On Fri, 7 Sep 2012 22:27:58 +0000 (UTC), James Gagney
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 15:01:49 -0400, tony cooper wrote:
>
>> It's FastStone, not FastOne.

>
>But how is it properly pronounced?
> Fast Stone or Fast One?


I have only written the name and read the name. I would use "fast
stone", but I'm not an authority on this.

>> As far as batch operations, hold down Shift and select a group of
>> thumbnails. Control A selects all thumbnails.

>
>It would be an interesting test to see if FastStone has the same bug
>where it lets you move to the batch before the thumbnails have resolved.


I have never noticed, when opening FastStone, that the thumbnails are
not already resolved. That may be because my computer is slow and
gives FastStone a head start, or it may be because FastStone does not
have the bug.

You'll have to try it to know.


>Remember, it's not the SELECTION that causes the problem (Irfanview
>selects them all quickly); it's the fact that each thumbnail has to be
>painstakingly resolved before the OPERATION will work on the selected set.
>
>If FastSton's algorithm is slicker than Irfanview's ... that would be an
>improvement (and an example of the fact that even the best freeware isn't
>the best at everything so you need a bunch of freeware if you want the
>best).


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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James Gagney
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      09-08-2012
On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 14:47:41 -0800, Floyd L. Davidson wrote:

> you've discovered that GIMP is an image editor and not a paint program
> (kolourpaint and Paint.NET aren't worth a darn as image editors either).


Well, I'm not complaining about The Gimp. I'm just saying it generally
takes a simple tasks (such as drawing an arrow) and makes it complicated,
whereas other programs simply make drawing an arrow as simple as drawing
an arrow.

If the 'reason' for this complication is that The Gimp is an "image
editor" while the other programs are "paint programs", well, that's the
reason then.

GIMP is wonderfully powerful. I never said it wasn't. I just said this:
a) I'm looking for an animated GIF assembly tool
b) Some folks suggested, for example, Ulead's GIF animator
c) Others suggested The Gimp

In my personal experience, for what I need to edit (and now to animate)
screenshots, I've found The Gimp to be vastly more complicated a use
model than what you call the "paint programs".

That's not to say there is anything wrong with The Gimp; it just says
it's complicated to do what you call paint program style actions with it
so I wouldn't think it creates animated GIFs any easier. That's all.

I do not mean to start an argument as data is what I'm after.
 
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James Gagney
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      09-08-2012
On Sat, 08 Sep 2012 00:14:40 -0800, Floyd L. Davidson wrote:

> For quicky one time text on an image, a paint program is far easier than
> an image editor... Unless you are doing real production work,
> In that case I'd stick with the image editor.


This is sound advice!

Most tools do all the basic tasks - but some make it easier than others.

FWIW, when I need to edit a screenshot on Linux, the "easiest" program
for that is Kolourpaint because it's easy to perform most typical
screenshot-editing actions (but not all).

Likewise, when I'm editing screenshots on Windows, the "easiest" program
(and by far the most powerful) is Paint.NET, but it too suffers in some
categories.

Here's what you need to do for most typical screenshots:
1. Draw colored empty ellipses & rectangles to highlight fields
2. Fit & modify colored text easily without having to guess at sizes
3. Point to various things using a variety of curved arrows
4. Cut and paste and refill and recolor cut areas to match
5. Crop and resize the results

If I had to grade the tools on those five key areas, I'd give them:
1. Circles==> Kolourpaint:great Paint.NET:great
2. Text==> Kolourpaint:good Paint.NET:best-in-class
3. Arrows==> Kolourpaint:barely adequate Paint.NET:best-in-class
4. Cleanup==> Kolourpaint:great Paint.NET:barely adequate
5. Crop/Resize==> Kolourpaint:lousy Paint.NETk (Irfanview is best in
class here)

As I said, using freeware, you have to use multiple programs to get done
what you need - and - if you go for payware, you at least know what
features you want before you buy.
 
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Albert EinsteinThe attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only
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      09-08-2012
Bear,when did you stop lying to ACF?

 
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tony cooper
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      09-09-2012
On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 11:22:14 +1200, Eric Stevens
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Sat, 8 Sep 2012 14:01:48 +0000 (UTC), James Gagney
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 08 Sep 2012 00:14:40 -0800, Floyd L. Davidson wrote:
>>
>>> For quicky one time text on an image, a paint program is far easier than
>>> an image editor... Unless you are doing real production work,
>>> In that case I'd stick with the image editor.

>>
>>This is sound advice!
>>
>>Most tools do all the basic tasks - but some make it easier than others.
>>
>>FWIW, when I need to edit a screenshot on Linux, the "easiest" program
>>for that is Kolourpaint because it's easy to perform most typical
>>screenshot-editing actions (but not all).
>>
>>Likewise, when I'm editing screenshots on Windows, the "easiest" program
>>(and by far the most powerful) is Paint.NET, but it too suffers in some
>>categories.
>>
>>Here's what you need to do for most typical screenshots:
>>1. Draw colored empty ellipses & rectangles to highlight fields
>>2. Fit & modify colored text easily without having to guess at sizes
>>3. Point to various things using a variety of curved arrows
>>4. Cut and paste and refill and recolor cut areas to match
>>5. Crop and resize the results
>>
>>If I had to grade the tools on those five key areas, I'd give them:
>>1. Circles==> Kolourpaint:great Paint.NET:great
>>2. Text==> Kolourpaint:good Paint.NET:best-in-class
>>3. Arrows==> Kolourpaint:barely adequate Paint.NET:best-in-class
>>4. Cleanup==> Kolourpaint:great Paint.NET:barely adequate
>>5. Crop/Resize==> Kolourpaint:lousy Paint.NETk (Irfanview is best in
>>class here)
>>
>>As I said, using freeware, you have to use multiple programs to get done
>>what you need - and - if you go for payware, you at least know what
>>features you want before you buy.

>
>What file format do you use when transferring images from one
>application to another?


I know you didn't ask me, but when is an image transferred from one
application to another? My assumption is that the image file is
*opened* in one application, something done in that application, and
then the file is saved. Then, the file could be opened in another
application.

I do this all the time. As long as the format is openable in the
other application, there's nothing to it. In some cases, the native
file is different, but the file can be exported in a common format.


--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
 
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James Gagney
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      09-09-2012
On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 11:22:14 +1200, Eric Stevens wrote:

> What file format do you use when transferring images from one
> application to another?


That's a good question - and - for many things, it matters greatly
whether it's a lossy format and whether all the features (e.g., layers,
transparencies, etc.) carry forward.

In general, I snap screenshots - so a simple GIF would suffice. Nothing
fancy.

Normally, the Linux snapshot tool, snaps PNG, which converts easily (if
lossly) to GIF. Likewise with JPG to GIF for screenshots, which are all
as small in file size as can be made possible.
 
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James Gagney
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      09-10-2012
On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 20:43:02 +1200, Eric Stevens wrote:

> First, screenshots (say 1200 x 800 or there abouts) can be no more than
> a caricature of what may be the original image (say 4897 x 3265).


In general, these are screenshots of user interfaces, e.g., a Nikon
camera program, or a GUI for organizing digital photos, etc.

So, the "original image" is whatever the resolution of the screen, e.g.,
1920x1080.

> if you end up snapping screenshots you will end up throwing away the
> majority of the useful information of which the original information was
> constructed.


Hmmm... I'm not so sure screenshots will be throwing away all that much,
because there isn't that much there in the first place in a computer
interface GUI.

> These conversions all throw away image information.


Agreed. That's why I wouldn't do it for a digital photograph of the kids
playing baseball - but for a screenshot showing buttons in a user
interface, it should work just fine.
 
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