GIMP might be rather unfortunately named – it definitely is not the lame duck that I used to believe it was!
The scissor tool – a game changer
Now that I’ve learned how to use the scissor tool, I will never say that GIMP is not a viable Photoshop alternative again. Since this tool allows you to cut out any shape from an image and superimpose it onto collages or import it as a transparent PNG into a video, the possibilities are endless. Making an eye-catching thumbnail becomes feasible, and I can also create graphics showing pattern pieces and dimensions for my sewing videos.
Mouse-drag scaling is actually possible!
Before this, I used to think that the only way to scale layers in GIMP was via right-click and entering the number of pixels you want to scale to. Well, not anymore! There is now a scaling tool which allows you to resize with your mouse in the same way that you can in PowerPoint or Photoshop.
Text and background effects
Getting a handle on how to create text effects such as drop shadows, and how to change the background colour, were also instrumental towards my hope for better future thumbnails. GIMP has a gradient tool which allows a two-tone background, in addition to selecting from a range of solid background colours. While it still doesn’t have font previews, you can preview the fonts in Word before selecting the one you want to use in GIMP. You can access all your system fonts in GIMP, so expanding your font repertoire is as easy as going online and downloading new fonts.
Learning some new tricks with VSDC too!
VSDC has now got arrows in its free shape menu, which are great for instructional videos and especially my sewing content. With this and the ability to import transparent background images of pattern pieces from GIMP, I am set to create more illustrative explanations of pattern dimensions and the type of sense-checks that I need to do when pattern hacking to ensure that everything matches up.
Also, I realized that VSDC does store all your clips in the Resources window and allow you to drag and drop them to the timeline from there at any time. You still can’t use drag and drop to lengthen your selection of a clip on the timeline (only to shorten) but it does increase efficiency when trying out different clips, versus having to import the clip all over again from your media folder.
Furthermore, the Basic Effects window allows you to access all options for colour correction at your fingertips, and save presets for the RGB curves. That is very useful for applying the same colour correction settings to multiple clips scalably.
#createwithoutcost – Mission possible!
This is probably the best “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” letter I’ve written to my software just yet. Although I am not keen to shell out more big bucks to get into the Photoshop – Procreate ecosystem for thumbnails, I do want badly to upgrade my thumbnail and overall production quality. So, finding ways to start upskilling and upgrading within the tools that I have is always a joy and consolation!