Photo Editing Software for Making Haiga: Text

The second feature of photo editing software you must absolutely master in order to make photo haiga, is text.  These instructions are for Gimp first and then for Corel Paintshop Photo Pro X3. If you are using Photoshop, please refer to my previous article. Don’t worry, once you have mastered layers, text is easy.

Gimp.

First open a photo. Then you need to choose a colour. Gimp defaults to black on opening but black isn’t always the best choice and definitely not in this case. I would recommend selecting a colour from the image itself using the eyedropper (I have enlarged this section so you can see it more easily):

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I have chosen a yellow from the flower as it is light and will stand out against the foliage:

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Next you need to select the font. If you don’t have a font dialog box open, go Windows>Dockable Dialog>Fonts and click to open. Then click on the big A in the toolbox in toolbox options. Next, chose your font; I am going with Benjamin Franklin:

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Now to add text to the picture. Click on the photo, preferably close to where you want the text but it does not need to be exactly on spot because we will be moving it to its final location anyway. Make it somewhere it will stand out though so we can spot typos easily. In the dialog box choose the increment of size from measuring your font. Do this first by clicking on box to the right of the font size:

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Select pt (points). Next choose your font size. I am going with 65. The box for this is to the left of the red circle in the above image. Next click on this weird looking grid-thingy:

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Then you can type in your text.

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Now this is not the right position, so we need to move it. It needs to go down and to the left. Hover the cursor over the left hand line on the box surrounding the text:

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See how it turns yellow? Click and drag that inside line to where you want the left hand margin to be and release. It should look like below.

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Now to move it downward, click here:

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Then drag downward and it should look like this:

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The we need to repeat this from the top in a downward movement, first clicking here:

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Then it should look like this:

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Now all you have to do is merge down. Go to Layer>Merge Down and select. Now to save it to a useful file format, go to File>Export. Where is say All Files, there is a drop down box; select Jpeg and save away.

Corel:

First open a photograph. Then select the text button:

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The select font, I’m going with Benjamin Franklin again:

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Then the font size; I have chosen 48. Corel automatically defaults to points as a measurement increment for fonts. I find this the most useful on anyway. Corel has the ability to enlarge or contract the text size easily after you have layed it down anyway, so if you get it wrong, no big drama:

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Next select colour using the dropper feature; on this picture, I suggest choosing yellow from the flower:

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In Corel, you will notice there are two windows for colour. Both these must be filled with the same colour if you want your text to be uniformly one colour:

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To fill this second window, click on it and this dialog window will appear:

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Simply use the dropper to pick up colour from the same area you picked it up from for the first window. Click on the text button again and then choose a place to write your text on the photo and click. You don’t need to be too picky, we can move the text freely about the image till you get the perfect spot. Now type away. When you are finished writing, click on the image near the writing and a frame should appear:

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The text is clearly too small and in the wrong position. First we will make it larger. Click and drag on one of the corners:

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Then we need to move the text. Click on the circle in the middle of the frame and drag:

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Then all you have to do is go to Layers>Merge All and then File>Save As and save as a jpeg.

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That’s my lot for this post. Next we will cover more the more creative aspects of making photo haiga.

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