August 5th, 2009, 04:32 PM
[RESOLVED] How to put together 3 photos into just 1 photo
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post in or not, but I am sure someone will tell me if I need to move somewhere else.
I do a lot of photo editing to my digital pictures. I have several different editing programs that I use--some do some things better than others, so a lot of times I might use more than one program just edit just one picture.
What I am trying to figure out how to do is to take 3 different photos, crop them and then put them together so that they look like just one picture. I am trying to make a photo like this for my step daughter because she needs one that shows both her, her husband & 2 kids together, but I don't seem to have one photo that shows them all together at the same time. I have experienced around with the editing programs I have, but none of them do what I want them to do, or either I just don't know how to use the program to do this. Below is a list of all the editing programs that I have on my computer--and some of them are so hard to use that I still don't know how to use them:
1. PhotoScape (the one I use the most)
2. Paint.net (the one I use the second most)
3. GIMP (still can't figure out how to use)
4. Serif Photo Plus 6.0
5. Photo! Editor 1.1 (haven't tried it yet)
6. Picasa 3 (can't seem to use it correctly)
7. S10 Red Eyes 3 (does the best job on red eyes!)
Any suggestions or directions would be greatly appreciated.
August 6th, 2009, 10:32 AM
You could just select and cut out the person to be added to a photo and paste it into the new image but gimp at least has a much more powerful option of using layers to achieve that.
As you can see i have added two photos, an old shack to be the background layer, and a second photo a portrait that i want to add into the background.
I want to erase everything around the portait to reveal the background.
Right click the portrait photo in the layers layers/channels/masks panel and select Add layer mask
In the layer mask dialog select the default white (full opacity)
So it looks like this.
Now we want to paint around the portrait in black, which will erase the photo and show the background.
Make sure black is selected.
Click on the top (portrait) layer in the layers panel to make sure its active.
Then using a paintbrush "paint" over the photo, to reveal the background, zooming in and using a smaller brush around fine details.
If you make a mistake, painting with white will bring back the foreground.
When finished Layer -merge down, then save as a new file (always work on a copy, never on an original, for safety)
Obviously if the photo to be merged is a lot bigger or smaller or of a radically different colour ie if a pale faced winter child is to be added to a warm sunny barbecue picture, then you will have to either live with it, or edit the photo adjusting the size and colour beforehand.
Last edited by General Winters; August 6th, 2009 at 10:34 AM.
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August 6th, 2009, 03:04 PM
First thank you for going to so much trouble on how to do this with GIMP. I have tried to use GIMP in the past and could not figure out how to use it. One of the problems I have with photo editing programs is what some of the features mean--such as layering. I thought layering was only when you wanted to layer, say a duplicate photo, over and to the side of it. Never could understand what that would do to improve a photo. And color grabbers or color pickers, I have never been able to make those work. Anyway, I am going to print out your whole post and when I come back from taking my husband to work (75 miles away from our house), I am going to start following your directions & trying to make it work. It may be tomorrow before I can post back.
And the last part of your post where you mentioned size of photos and color of skin tones, I had already thought of that & have been working on several photos trying to do just what you suggested so that if I do ever merge them they won't look so fake.
I will post back after I have tried everything you suggested or if I have any more questions about something I don't understand.
Thank you so much,
August 7th, 2009, 12:46 AM
It is almost midnight here & I have been working for hours on just trying to combine 2 photos together--I can't even tell you how many mistakes I have made--and then couldn't figure out how to undo the mistakes, (undo under editing did no good), and then I would have to start all over again! One of the main problems I had at first was just how to get a photo into the program. Once I right clicked on a photo and told it to "open with", then I got to chose GIMP. I finally figured out to drag another photo on top of the first one, but then it covered up all of the first photo! So I started all over again but made the second photo really small so it would not cover up the first photo. But then when I dragged the smaller photo onto the second one, it would not let me place it where I wanted to place it--it dragged the second one right in the middle of the first one! Then it took me a while to figure out how to move it around (after more mistakes and having to start over again!). Right now I am just too tired to think any more and am going to bed so I will be of a fresher mind tomorrow. But I have 2 doctor appointments tomorrow, so it will be late again tomorrow night before I can try and start this project again. So if you don't hear back from me right away, just know that I am still working on the project, just may take me awhile to figure things out. This has been the hardest photo editing program I have ever tried to figure out. I like all the different features that I see in the program, just have to learn how to be able to use them. One thing I don't understand is why it has to have two different windows open to work on a photo--one window has a blank screen with all types of editing tools at the top of it, and the other smaller window is where I am having to put the photos--just does not make much sense to me why it is set up that way.
Will get back to you later,
August 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM
How did you get 2 photos to open in the same window in Gimp? I've tried it a hundred times and can't figure it out. FRUSTRATING!!!!!!
There has to be a better way than this. Isn't there any free software that makes this type of thing easy? I can figure out most programs but GIMP is difficult well beyond the norm. If gypsy63 and I can't figure out how to open 2 photos at the same time, how can we use it beyond the "basics"?
Last edited by HAN; August 7th, 2009 at 05:33 PM.
August 7th, 2009, 06:59 PM
I got up at 6 this morning & started again! I finally got a finished product, but it was not perfect or what I really wanted. This is what I had to do. First I had to find a background photo to put the portraits of people I wanted to place. The best I could come up with was of a firework that I took last month that only showed half of the firework. Which meant that half the background was in black with some of the firework on the other half of the background. Then I found 2 photos I wanted to add to the black part of the background. I had to choose something with a black background because by following General Winter's instructions, I had to black out the background around each of the portraits. And that was unbelievably hard to do because I could never make the brush small enough to black out around faces, arms, etc. I had to undo a lot and the do again trying not to black out the skin. One of the photos was of my step-daughter with her husband and little boy all standing together, and then the only up to-date photo I had of her daughter showed her sitting down--with a white background. So I blackened everything out round all people, then resized both photos, then I dragged the bigger portrait of the 3 people together, up into a blacken area of the firework background. Then I took the daughter, and had her sitting at their feet. It was not a great photo when I finished, but it will just have to do until I can experiment more with all the features & learn how and when to use them. I will attach the photo so that you can see what the final results were. The portraits took a lot of editing.(Note: I don't know how to post the photo into this post & when I opened the attachment to see how it looked, it did not look like this on my PC-it was not blurry on my PC)
Last edited by gypsy63; August 7th, 2009 at 07:01 PM.
August 8th, 2009, 11:08 PM
I Finally Got It Right!!
After 100s of mistakes & re-reading over and over again General Winter's instructions, I finally figured out what I was doing wrong! I was not interpreting the instructions correctly so everything I tried to do was wrong. I have been so excited that I have spent 10 hours today doing nothing but making photos with layers. I am still making mistakes, but not about how to make the layers--just from experimenting around with some of the other features. But I tell you one thing that I learned, something that may help others--when you are making a second layer with a portrait, try not to use one where someone is wearing a navy blue shirt and the original background with that photo was black! When I was erasing the black background from around my grandson's pic, it was almost impossible to see where to erase next to his navy blue shirt--it was almost the color of the black background. Did a lot of undoing with that problem! Next time I will make sure either the clothes are dark with a light background or the clothes are light with a dark background before I paste a second layer! I also found a site that has lots of instructions for using GIMP if anyone is interested in it. Here is the link:
I guess we can call this thread solved, at least until I get stumped about another problem I can't figure out with GIMP--will just post a different thread if I do.
August 9th, 2009, 02:17 AM
Thanks for the update. My experience with the GIMP was the same as HAN's and yours. A totally incomprehensible user interface, and I was never able to get anything useful done before I gave up on it.
August 9th, 2009, 04:16 AM
Once you have the main or background pic in the editing window, if you File - open and try to add a new pic it gets opened in a new window.
So either, File - open as layers and the new pic becomes a new layer, or easier, open a folder in explorer where the file is and simply drag it out into the editing window and it becomes a new layer automatically.
While you are erasing around the top layer to reveal the background, if you want click the eye icon on the background layer to hide it.
That way as you erase, the background becomes the checker board pattern which may be easier to see especially if the background image is dark.
For fine erasing, zoom the picture and from the paintbrush tool use the scale option to increase or decrease the brush size.
Last edited by General Winters; August 9th, 2009 at 04:28 AM.
August 9th, 2009, 08:48 PM
General Winter: I just printed out your 2nd set of instructions to go with the 1st set. But I do have to tell you, some of the pic that you show I have not seen since using this program. In your first pic in your first posting, I have not see anything that looks like the side pic next to the main picture--the one that shows you both the portrait and the background picture--and with that showing the brushes beneath it.
And it took me a long time to figure out how to save a photo. I once tried "Merging down" and it left little marks on the photo. So next time, I tried flattening the photo and that worked and let me save it. One of the problems I have with saving is that even though I drop down the menu and choose JPEG, it saves it with some unreadable extension. After that, I learned to change the file extension itself in the save box, then click the menu and choose JPEG--that has been the only way I have been able to save the photos with an extension that other programs will be able to read. I learned on my own to drag a photo onto the top layer--that is, after I had already edited the second photo and cropped it as much as possible. I don't remember seeing an "eye icon" on the background layer, but I was not looking for it so I probably just did not notice it. If what you say is true about turning the background into a checkered background so that a dark top picture can be more easily edited, how do you get the background layer back when you are through? When scaling an image, how can you just scale the second active layer that you are working on rather than the background layer? I ask because I tried this feature a few times & only once did it scale the active layer--usually it scaled the background layer. I know it seems like I have a million questions, but I really would like to learn to use this program--wished there were videos on how to use GIMP--a video would be worth a thousand words!
August 11th, 2009, 02:34 AM
Gypsy, gimp can have tools docked and moved around the screen, the way you see mine is the default used in gimp portable, so depending on your version the layout might be different.
To see the eye icon, just mouseover the layer where the eye should, and you will see two blank boxes, click in the left most box and the eye will appear, click again the eye will disappear, the eye shows the layer is visible, so no eye means the layer is invisible.
That way you can turn off a layer so you will not be distracted.
You can have multiple layers, the layer at the top ( in my pictures the one called stockvault..) is always regarded as the topmost layer, the ones below it behind it, ie like laying a set of photos down, one on top of each other.
To scale a layer, just click the layer in the layers list to make it active,
Then click the scale tool, tick keep aspect and preview grid.
Then just click in the main editing window, and the layer you are about to scale will show up with a nice grid to help you ( you will also get a new window scale window pop up, partially off screen to the top left in the image below)
Since you ticked keep aspect ratio, left click on one of the corners, and drag the image to rescale, the grid will shrink or increase as you do but will still show the original image as a guide.
If you can't see the corners to click on them, zoom out of the image via the selection tool on the bottom on the editing window.
While scaling, if you click the middle of the image ( the circle ) you can hold the mouse and drag the entire layer you are scaling around to position it better.
Once you are happy, then, hit the scale button in the scale window that popped up and gimp will rescale the image for you .
If you are unhappy, remember you can always use ctrl-z to cancel things you have done, indeed, you can continue to ctrl-z multiple times, gimp remembers everything you have done ( at least till you save or shut down the program )
Last edited by General Winters; August 11th, 2009 at 02:36 AM.
August 11th, 2009, 06:40 PM
Thanks for more good advice on how to do things. By the time I finish printing out all your instructions, I will have me a small book--which is what I need! Yesterday I was invited to give a review about GIMP on C-net because that is where I downloaded it from, and I was amazed at so many people posting that it was very easy to use! One member even said he learned out to use it in 10 minutes--hard for me to believe! Every day I learn more and more on my own as well as from your instructions, so maybe sooner or later I will have learned how to use the program. I don't have the portable, so that is probably why some of your Pics with your instructions were a little confusing to me.
August 11th, 2009, 06:45 PM
Gimp tutorials should help then.
Got a bunch of them listed there.
and post back. Let us know if it worked.
[ Book mark this post to find it again]
August 12th, 2009, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the link, but I already had it, just have not had time to read it all. I just has surgery on my spine so I am not allowed but to sit up for more than 20 minutes at a time--so I am slowly reading a little at a time, but I am getting there. Thanks.
August 12th, 2009, 12:51 PM
You are Welcome and wish the best with the back!
Found lots more tutorials with this search.
and post back. Let us know if it worked.
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