A Geek and her Babies

How one geeky Mom combines technology and old fashioned values to raise her babies.

Add-ons to Make Life Easier April 24, 2009

Add-ons to Make Life Easier

Now that you’ve learned how GIMP works and created your first layout, I will show you how to add some plugins and scripts to make your life easier and add some coolness to your digital scrapbook pages.

In order to add stuff to GIMP you will need to know where to install them. Plugins and brushes do not come with install scripts. Instead, you place the scripts and brushes directly into the GIMP folders. The GIMP folders are found under C:\Documents and Settings\your name\.gimp-2.6

Brushes

Gimp 2.6 allows you to natively use Photoshop (.abr) brushes as well as native GIMP (.gbr) brushes. Thousands of brushes can be found for both GIMP and Photoshop just by doing a Google search. Some of my favorite sites are:

•    Deviant Art has a large amount of brushes. Just type GIMP brushes in the search box.

•    Techzilo has 1400 brushes as well as other GIMP plugins.

•    Blendfu has many Photoshop brushes.

All you need to do is download the brushes, unzip the files, and copy the .gbr or .abr files into your brush folder under GIMP. The next time you open GIMP the brushes will be there for you to use.

Scripts

There are also many extensions for GIMP. They are called scripts and are either written for GIMP natively (.scm files) or in Python (.py files). To install the .scm files, you will place them in the scripts file. To install the python files, you will place the .py files into the plugins folder.

Script can be found at:

•    The GIMP Plugin Registry
•    Deviant Art
•    Farcry Designs

I mentioned that I had a better way to add drop shadows to your photos and elements. One of my favorite scripts is the Layer Effects script. It has the option to automatically merge the drop shadow to the layer, instead of placing the drop shadow and merging them manually.

Photoshop filters

In order to use Photoshop filters, you will need a specific plugin called PSPI which can be found at GIMP.org. You will also need to download the MSVCRT10.dll and Plugin.dll from the Paint Shop Pro Users Group. You will place the PSPI file in the plugins folder and the .dlls in the C:\Windows\system32 file.

You can find free Photoshop filters at Photoshop Filters.com.

You should install the filters in a separate folder, I call mine simply “photoshop”. You then point the PSPI script (found under < Filters ->Photoshop Plug-in settings >) to that file.

You cannot, at this time, use Photoshop actions, but it is in the works. However, since the actions are calls to filters, you can recreate them.

Gimp Actions

There are sets of actions for GIMP. But, instead of being called actions, they are called curves and are placed in the curves folder. You can find them on Deviant Art.

That is an overview of the things you can add to GIMP to make it make your digital scrapbook pages more interesting. If you haven’t figured it out, a good place to find tons of add-ons is Deviant Art.

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