1. Basic operations after scanning

In this section you will learn how to rotate, crop and stretch your scanned photo.

When you want to manipulate one of your photos on paper, as a first step you must scan it into Ultimate Paint. Choose File / Acquire... from the menu, then put your photo in the scanner and start scanning. The resulting image would look something like the picture beside.


One of the basic operations you often do after scanning a photo is rotating it to a straight position. Choose Image / Rotate from the menu and try different angle values. In our example Angle = -4.10 and Lock size was checked. The result can be seen on the picture.


Then you probably want to cut off the extra space around the picture's borders. Just choose Cut rectangle from the toolbar and draw a rectangle that contains the image. Now if you select Image / Crop from the menu, a new image will be created with only the selected area in it. As a last step you can make your image bigger or smaller by choosing Image / Stretch/Mirror from the menu. When you are satisfied with your picture, you can save it in various formats.


2. Basic enhancements

In this section you will learn how to improve the quality of your photo by applying Brightness/Contrast, Remove Noise and Sharpen filters.

Take a look at our example photo on the right side. Its quality is rather poor: it is quite dark and its contrast is low. There are some filters in Ultimate Paint which can significantly improve the overall quality of a picture.


To get the second image from the first one, you should follow these steps: 1. Increase the picture's contrast (and brightness if necessary) by selecting Brightness/Contrast filter from the Color group in Image menu. If you click on Optimize Histogram, the optimal values of brightness and contrast will be set. (In our example Brightness = 0, Contrast = 15.) In most cases these automatically computed values are the best choice for a given image, but of course you can change them freely according to your needs. 2. Remove noise from the picture by choosing Image / Noise / Remove Noise from the menu. (In our example Threshold = 200.) Always apply this filter before sharpening your image unless you wanted to strengthen the noise as well. If your photo is still not sharp enough, select Image / Filter / Sharpen. (In our example Strength = 70.)


3. Fixing up small errors

This section describes how to make small repairs, like red-eye problem, missing or corrupted pixels, unnecessary patches of light, etc.

This section's example picture has an ugly bright patch in the lower-right corner. Now the problem is that only a small part of the photo is damaged, so you need to apply filters or tools only to this specific part, not the whole image. Fixing up small errors is very time-consuming and much more difficult then the basic enhancements. This work requires some artistic skills, but don't be afraid, if you ruined your picture, just use the Undo function.


The main task is to make the ugly patch disappear. On the toolbar you find an icon named Brightness/Contrast. Click on it and hold down the mouse button for a while: more icons will appear containing the filters which can be used locally. This means that the selected filter will be applied only to the area of your current brush. The brush is the graphical object you draw with. It can be circular, rectangle or any unshaped graphical object. So, if you want to change the brightness of a part of your photo, select the appropriate tool from the toolbar, set its parameters, choose a brush from the toolbar and now if you draw on your picture, you will see the effect is only applied where you are drawing. Following this method on our example photo we used Brightness/Contrast, Blur and Sharpen. Sometimes you may need to change the color of certain pixels (i.e. red eyes). In this case you must pick a sample color somewhere from the neighbouring pixels with the Get Color tool. When you have to repaint a bigger area, we suggest you to use the Airbrush tool which paints "smoothly". During these pixel-operations you will probably need to zoom in the working area. To zoom in, press '+', to zoom out, press '-' button.


4. Creating "fake" pictures

In this section you will learn how to cut something from an image and paste it into another one using the extensive brush handling methods Ultimate Paint offers you.

On the first picture you can see a big ancient greek theatre. How impressive would it be if it had a big videoboard in it, like modern stadiums do.


On the second picture we have an attractive, colourful videoboard made by Megalux Ltd. It is easy to cut this board from the second image and put it into the theatre like it was always there.


As a first step you must select the object that you want to cut. Hold down the mouse button on the Cut Rectangle icon and select Cut freehand from the appearing icons. Then try to draw round the object. You'd better leave some extra pixels at the contour of the object instead of cutting into the object by chance. Next, choose Brush / Get selection / Full selection from the menu. Now create a new image by selecting File / New... from the menu and place your brush (containing the cut image) on it (simply click with the left mouse button). Here comes the time-consuming work to precisely remove the extra pixels from outside the contour of your object: change to a small brush (e.g. 3x3), zoom in and remove those unnecessary pixels using the background color (draw with the right mouse button).


Now select Brush / Get all from the menu, then switch to the picture you want to paste your object into. Make sure Paint is selected in the Options menu (letter P is shown in the lower-left corner). This means that the brush's background colour will be transparent. Now try to paste the object into the proper location. It is possible to stretch, mirror, rotate, bend or shear your object before pasting it by choosing the appropriate option from the Brush menu. If you are satisfied with your new composition, as a last step, you may need to blur the edges of the newly pasted object or change its colors a bit so that it would look like it has been always there.


5. Adding text to a picture

This section describes how to add attractive text to your photo.

You can see on our example picture that we wrote some text on the "fake" photo created in the previous section. Writing text in Ultimate Paint is easy: select Write text from the toolbar. There are several self-explaining options and parameters in the appearing dialog box (if you are in Expert mode, more options are available). Type in your text and change the parameters as you wish. To place your text, just click somewhere on your image. When you are satisfied with the appearance of your writing, click Ok on the text dialog. The text will be automatically selected, so some filters may be applied to it rightaway. (If you have a valid selection on the image, all filters are applied only to the selected part.) We used Image / Color / Color Gradient to make the beginning of the text a little brighter. Feel free to experiment all the numerous effects under the Image menu which are provided in Ultimate Paint.


6. Creating funny images

This section is a small demonstration of the many image manipulating effects Ultimate Paint offers you.

On our example picture you can see a beautiful castle. Let's turn it into a futuristic dream! There are a lot of effects you can apply that alters your image dramatically. It is sometimes hard to decide which one you need. Although you can use the Effect Browser: under the Image menu in each effect group there is a Browse... option. In the appearing dialog box you will see how your picture would look, if you applied a specific filter.


In our example we used Fun / Unreal Glow, then Stylize / Waterdrops. Finally we applied Transform / Page Curl to make the illusion that this is a paper photo of which one corner is curled. There are almost infinite possibilities to manipulate the pictures by using the filters, changing their parameters and combining them.

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