Image Analyzer examples
Image Analyzer allows you to work in virtual layers immediately after most editing operations. These include color adjustments, filter effects, and 8bf plugins. It also includes images pasted onto your primary image. There are always two layers available after these operations. The current layer is what you see on the screen. The underlying layer can be seen by clicking the UNDO icon.
You can blend layers immediately after any of these operations:
To blend layers, click on the FADE icon.
- Color adjustments
- Filter effects
- 8bf plugin adjustments and effects
- Recalling the original disk file (F5)
- Pasting the Windows clipboard onto the image
- Using the Pen, Clone, Push, Smooth, Sharpen, and Fill brush tools
- Flipping or Mirroring the image
- An earlier blend
The FADE option lets you blend the two layers by fading the opacity of the upper (most recent) layer, thereby allowing the lower (prior) layer to show through. It also lets you choose among three blend modes.
In each of these blend modes, when you fade to zero, only the lower layer shows through. When you hold down the Original button, all the pixels of the upper layer are displayed. To see the full effect of the blend options, set the opacity to 100 and select either Darkest or Lightest. Holding down the Original button always shows all the pixels of the upper layer.
- All = begin the blend (opacity at 100%) with all the pixels from the upper layer and the lower layer
- Darkest = begin the blend (opacity at 100%) with only the darkest pixels from each layer
- Lightest = begin the blend (opacity at 100%) with only the lightest pixels from each layer
A reliable way to see all the effects of blending is to set the opacity to 50 and then switch between All, Darkest, and Lightest. Move the opacity slider to higher and lower numbers each time to see the range of blends possible.
The Darkest and Lightest blend options are especially useful for applying masks and for artistic effects. Masks can be used, in conjunction with the Paste to selection operation, for borders, textures, and signatures in either black or white. Check out the blending possibilities immediately after applying an artistic effect. Create your own effects by blurring your image and setting the blend mode to Lightest or Darkest. If you have sharpened an image too much, try setting the blend mode to Darkest for a more pleasing look. The possibilities are endless.
To get the most from blending images, explore the COPY, PASTE, and PASTE TO SELECTION operations, which allow you to blend two or more separately edited images.
When you choose to PASTE TO SELECTION, you need to have a selection active. If you are working on multiple copies of the same image, you will want to select the whole image by pressing Ctrl(+). Then press Ctrl(E) or click the PASTE TO SELECTION icon to paste the image you copied onto the active image. If the image in the clipboard is not the same size as the active image, IA will shrink or stretch it to fit your selection.
COPY an image at any stage of editing if you think you may want to blend it after further editing. You can PASTE this copy as a separate image to be used later, or you can PASTE it onto your main image later using the PASTE TO SELECTION icon on the toolbar.
- COPY a separate image to be pasted onto (and blended with) your main image. You may want to work on two or more separate instances of your image. In IA you can open the same image multiple times. Just remember that the UNDO, FADE, and REDO options are lost when you switch between images.
You can open IA more than one time. This allows you to COPY and PASTE between instances of the program without losing the UNDO, FADE, and REDO editing options when you switch between images. If you are careful in your work, this shouldn't be necessary.
Stamps and Watermarks
When I have finished editing an image, I can easily add a signature stamp or a watermark. This techinique works well with any kind of symbol or lettering. It's especially nice with Chinese characters.
The first step is to open the file I want to stamp onto my image. I will use a file that contains my initials.
After I open the file of my initials, I click on the COPY icon on the toolbar.
Now I make the image of the gull active by clicking on its title bar. With nothing selected, I click the PASTE TO SELECTION icon or press Ctrl(E). This places a selection marquee in the upper left corner of the image.
Now I move the selection to the lower right corner by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the selection. I'm not going to change the size of the selection, but I could do that if I wanted to reduce or enlarge the size of the stamp.
The signature file is now pasted into the selection.
Now I click on the FADE icon. Set the image opacity to 100, and set the blend mode to Darkest. When I press OK, I see the result below. I haven't removed the selection marquee from the image.
If I prefer a white signature, I begin by inverting the colors of the signature image so that the initials are white. Pressing Ctrl(I) inverts the colors. From this point, I follow the same procedure as above, but choose Lightest blend mode in the Fade dialog.
As long as the background color is either black or white, the color of the signature can be any you choose. If it's gray, it will be more of a semi-transparent watermark than a stamp. The same is true for any other color. You will get the best effect if you use a light color with a black background or a dark color with a white background.
Last updated 2008-03-17
by Jim Clatfelter