Antique Film Effects with The GIMP
Now that we have an artistic-looking black-and-white photo, let's sepia-tone it to add a more timeless and classic look. In the Layers dialog, make sure the Film Grain layer is selected, and click on the duplicate layer button at the bottom of the dialog; the entire layer is duplicated, including the layer mask. Double-click on the name Film Grain copy and change it to Sepia Tone. Change the blend mode of the new layer to Color; this applies the hue and saturation of the Sepia Tone layer with the value (luminance) of the composite layers below. Finally, click on the layer thumbnail icon in the Sepia Tone layer to select it, as opposed to its layer mask.
Click on the foreground color swatch in the main GIMP toolbox to bring up the Color Selection dialog, as you did before. Dial in the color (red = 162, green = 138 and blue = 101) and click OK. You should see the color swatch change to a hue of brown. Once you have this technique down, you can experiment with different tinting colors, but this is a good starting point.
Select the Fill tool (paint bucket) in The GIMP toolbox window and move your mouse focus to the image window. Do a select all (Ctrl-A), and click once in the window to fill it with the new color. Your Layers dialog should look something like Figure 10, and the image should take on an overall sepia tint, as shown in Figure 11.
The use of the same layer mask in the Sepia Tone layer as the Film Grain layer is deliberate. In the traditional wet-darkroom process, the sepia toning occurs most in the mid-tones, and the lighter and darker areas appear to be less brown. You can use the same Ctrl-click trick on the layer mask to see its effect on the sepia toning. If you prefer the stronger sepia cast that you achieve without the layer mask, simply right-click on the layer and select Delete Layer Mask.
Time to add our final effect to make this image really stand out. We'll add a vignette, a sort of spotlight effect that draws the viewer's eye to the subject of the photograph by creating a gradual darkening moving radially away from the main subject. If a vignette is done subtly and properly, the viewer is not consciously aware of the manipulation. It is a technique particularly well suited to portraits.
In the Layers dialog, make sure that the Background layer is selected and click on the duplicate layer button at the bottom of the dialog. Double-click on the name Background copy and change it to Vignette. Right-click on the Vignette layer and add a layer mask with White (Full Opacity).
In The GIMP toolbox, click on the tiny versions of the black and white color swatches to restore the default foreground to black. Now double-click the Blend (Gradient) tool to select it and open the Tool Options dialog. In the dialog, select Radial as the Gradient type. Go back to the image window and click down in the center of the area where you want the center of the vignette spotlight to be, then drag outward toward a corner and release. In this example, I clicked in the baby's chin and dragged nearly to the upper-right corner. The only change you should notice is a radial gradient that appears in the layer mask icon, as shown in Figure 12.
Go back to the Vignette layer in the Layers dialog and click on the layer icon to select it instead of the layer mask. Now, go to the image window and bring up the Levels dialog (RC→Image→Colors→Levels). Move the middle (gray) slider to the right a bit and release it, as shown in Figure 13. Check the effect in the image window and readjust the slider until you are satisfied with the effect, then click OK. You can see my final result in Figure 14; the vignette draws the eye to the baby's face and adds a pleasing shadowy contrast overall.
If you need to redraw your gradient to try a different spotlight effect, simply select the Vignette layer mask icon, click the Blend tool and try again in the image window; the new gradient replaces the old.
Time to sit back and have some fun evaluating your handiwork. Try clicking the eye next to the various layers in the layers dialog to toggle their visibility on and off—an easy way to preview the different effects we have discussed. If you like the image better without one of the effects, delete that layer by selecting it and clicking the trash can icon.
If you want to do further image editing on the photo, it might be a good idea to save your work under a new name at this point or duplicate the image (Ctrl-D) and flatten it (RC→Layers→Flatten Image).
It's a good idea to give yourself a check-pointed result that you can start over with if further edits go awry. You can experiment with changing the hue and saturation, punch up the contrast with levels and curves or do any other desired edits at this point on the flattened version.
I hope I've given you a sense of the power of image layers in this article. Although a layered approach to image editing requires more memory resources, it pays off in great flexibility. So, slap some extra memory in your Linux box and build yourself a layered antique masterpiece.
Eric Jeschke (firstname.lastname@example.org) holds a PhD in Computer Science from Indiana University and has worked as a software engineer, university professor and freelance consultant. He lives in Hawaii with his wife, kids and an overweight cat. Eric enjoys his family, outdoor adventures, taking photographs and running Linux.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide