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Author Topic: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.  (Read 2804 times)

NERV Agent

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Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« on: May 25, 2016, 11:26:27 pm »
This may not seem ROM hacking related, but it is. Some of us use graphic editors to make custom graphics to be inserted into a game (as opposed to doing it all in Tile Molester or Tile Layer Pro).

I remember a long time ago using JASC Paint Shop Pro 9, and being able to paste something into another file and have it aligned to the canvas center, horizontal center, or vertical center.

I tried doing this today by copying and pasting an image into a blank file, but all the options under Objects --> Align are grayed out. WTF? I can get text to align this way, but not an image selection I pasted in.

How would one go about doing this?

Or are there other free alternative programs that can align pasted in selections on a canvas?

dougeff

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 11:59:39 pm »
I know you can turn on grid lines and rules and guidelines, but that can only align edges, not align center. I used to do this with Vector programs (Illustrator), but not sure about PSP.
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Grimlock

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2016, 01:16:16 am »
Do you have access to Photoshop or Photoshop "elements"?  If you have snap activated and move an object across a guideline it'll snap to center (after first snapping to the edge).

FAST6191

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 04:30:39 am »
Gimp also has the option.
If something is either a floated selection or another layer you can align it or move it (and have it snap if you put guides in).

It is fairly standard in all higher end image editors I have seen, I can't imagine it is all that different for paintshop pro. If you pasted it into a blank file it might have made the pasting the size of the canvas. Paste it to another layer and make sure that layer is smaller than the canvas and align tool might work. Alternatively if you can align to an object instead of canvas you could make a canvas size layer move.

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2016, 09:42:51 pm »
Where do I find this feature in GIMP?

FAST6191

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 03:00:49 am »
The align tool?
The white square with arrows going each direction.

The guides? Image menu, guides (somewhere down the bottom), new guide by whatever you want.

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 11:15:39 pm »
Eh, I just tried it right now in GIMP, and just like Paint Shop Pro, the option to align is also grayed out. :(

FAST6191

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2016, 03:46:34 am »
It might not assume you are trying to align the active layer. Select the tool and then click on the thing (text, layer....) you want to align and it should then give you the option.

tvtoon

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2016, 08:19:19 pm »
I didn't understand whether you are trying to work between layers, but if you are, make sure that the format supports it (hence the grayed part)! ;)

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 11:43:43 pm »
This layering stuff is above my head. Since this is a "newcomers" board, can someone explain it to me?

Otherwise, I came up with a rudimentary MacGyver way of doing this. When you go to Edit --> Paste, it automatically pastes it into the center, and has it selected. Click the Move Tool, and use your keyboard arrow keys to move it to where you need it to be.

FAST6191

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 03:43:12 am »
Any graphics editor worth its salt will use layers (in the case of gimp you can click layer -> new layer or the symbol with a plus on it in the layers toolbox/tab). In their simplest form they do much as the name implies and allows you to stack images together and where things are (partially) transparent, or if you prefer where the alpha channel or layer mask says there is alpha, they show through to lower layers.
Most would first meet this in text tools where text tends to be given its own layer (that way you can change the text more easily than having what amounts to a custom paintbrush). It is also a nice example of layers not needing to be the same size as the image/canvas. Two nice functions here are layer > layer to selection size which does as it implies and layer -> autocrop layer which will hopefully crop a layer to the size of the content of the image and get rid of any wasted space. Smaller layers are also where the align tool is most useful, though there are other modes where it aligns to other objects in the image.
Next up is layer blending. You can select how transparent a layer is independently of any pixels in it. You can also tell it to blend with the layers below in a whole host of ways, I will leave you to look up and play with those. Other than construction (make a layer above or below half visible so you can trace or align or have multiple versions of an animation to quickly see) they are not so useful in times when you have a limited palette of colours, much like you would not be using a gradient tool. Outside of hacking I use this sort of thing all the time.
To get rid of layers you then use the flatten tool (image -> flatten image) or in my case I tend to want to keep my layers to play with and will instead click layer -> new from visible and cut and paste that to a new image (ctrl shift and v).

Finally and not really for GIMP but definitely in photoshop is the layers as action history workflow/metaphor. In most things layers are incredibly useful but photoshop takes this a step further and calls each action/filter a layer and allows you to go back and change things -- you change brightness/contrast and you can click that "layer" again and continue to tweak it, for GIMP (which has a wonderful brightness/contrast tool) you would have to open the tool again or undo to that stage and tweak it again. You can't really do this in GIMP or others I have tried (I am a bit behind the times in paintshop pro and the other once big competitors of photoshop) unless you design to do it and think about it at every stage. Watch basically anything on https://www.youtube.com/user/PhlearnLLC and you will see it in action. For my money this and far better RAW support are the main things photoshop has over everything else in terms of functionality, though you still have the set in your ways/knowing the UI (which adobe have poured a lot of time and effort into making very slick) problem for many as well.

There are some further things like some people use photoshop layers to make websites. Adobe did not encourage this but you go where the customers are so they have improved it in recent times. I think I would sooner use an old version of MS word myself and call myself a professional using it. I think I would rather see a million largely stock theme wordpress sites than a single photoshop made whole website (I can live with a single page) but I will leave that there.

NERV Agent

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Re: Aligning objects in a graphics editor.
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2016, 10:10:49 pm »
Hello again.

This is just a frustrating mess. So I am just trying to make a test image with some text aligned to the top, bottom, left, right, whatever in Paint Shop Pro 9. I know this is possible, as I've done this a long time ago.

But all the options under Objects --> Align are grayed out, even if I promote the selection to a new layer.

I searched Google and Youtube, and found no answers.

How do you do this? I know it's possible, I just can't remember how. This is fucking frustrating as Hell.

July 10, 2016, 10:28:30 pm - (Auto Merged - For my 100th post, I shall sexually identify as an Evangelion and merge with Rei. For now, at least.)
Okay, to save future generations this headache, when putting in text, under "Create as:" select "Vector". The text can be aligned now.

But I still don't know how to do this with images I copy and paste! I promote them to another layer, and still cannot align them! I've done this in the past, so I know it is possible. I just can't remember.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2016, 10:31:34 pm by NERV Agent »