Evaluation Notes - Photo Composing

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These raw notes are provided as our documentation and for your insight and entertainment. They are not meant to start a flame war. Wait for our complete analysis before reacting.


Composing images from multiple photos.


  1. Zoom can have the Other… menu item, but also after double-click on the %dropdown, you shall be able to type the value of the zoom level.
  2. Sticky Zoom. Pressing Z key would make Zoom tool active, release the Z and you are back back in the latest used tool. If user wants to keep Zoom tool active, he can click on the icon in toolbox, or maybe press the shift key.
  3. We don’t want to have Shift + for zoom in, just the key where the + is on. this would not work if the + and - are on the same key.
  4. We shall put + and – buttons next to the zoom popup.


all transformation icons are almost indistinguishable.

Navigation dialog

  1. 3 last icons are the same, they need to be fixed.
  2. You should be able to draw a rectangular, to set the magnification you need.
  3. There is no possibility to type your own magnification.
  4. There is no concept integrating the navigation dialog, the quick popup in the img window, and the zoom in the bottom bar of the window.
  5. There could be a small vertical line between 100% icon and the point on the slider, where 100% magnification is.

Move tool

We shall get rid of 3 modes, because Gimp should know what we want to move either it is layer, selection or path. You press sth, you drag it.

Idea: User could drag an object from one layer and drop on another layer. Or drag and drop on a new layer.

Scale tool

  1. Scale tool should get the same look and feel like selection rectangles.
  2. There should be bigger area in the middle to grab it and move.
  3. Return doesn’t always work properly.
  4. The small window for scaling: opportunity to replace with a heads-up display.
  5. Combining Rotate and Scale tool would be an intuitive solution. It could have for ex. mouse pointer icon.

key short cuts

Maybe we shall change those key short cuts: Brush tool (paint tool) P, Path tool B.

Gaussian Blur

our question: why are there horizontal and vertical parameters, and not just one with the same horizontal and vertical values?

Blur Tool

  1. we would like to see a strong relationship[ between the blur tool and Gaussian blur
  2. this means that the blur tool should have similar blur parameters to Gaussian blur.
  3. If you learn one concept - Gaussian blur, you should be able use it here.

Selective Gaussian Blur

Call it De-noising blur instead of Selective Gaussian Blur.

Adding noise

  1. A useful noise algorithm wouldn’t hurt GIMP.
  2. The noise filters that are available now are to technical in their parameters (HSV, RGB Noise.)
  3. Hurl doesn’t have a preview.

To be furthered discussed: Filters without any parameters could be applied as modes.


  1. Clicking out of selection should work like Select None (instead, often a mini rectangle is created with a tablet).
  1. There should be Lasso tool which will make auto shrink in situations where you have transparent/uniform bg. this way one could select a non transparent shape on a layer and immediately copy it.
  2. We shall have a tooltip saying you need to click on Return or click inside the selection.
  3. If you want to copy an element and paste it on a new layer, you need to do to many things, that is too difficult and unacceptable. After pasting there would be a possibility to transform the object immediately, but it would not be a floating selection like we have now. If floating will be on layer basis we could have multiple things float.


  1. We are quite surprised by the modes (layer/selection/path), but probable there is nothing we can do about it.
  2. idea: heads up display with a button that would centre the rotation point again and display the offset
  3. combining with moving (for a quick rotate): a rotate icon in the selection rect, working like a checkbox to go into rotate mode.
  4. We are not sure if to remove the Rotate tool completely, for more specialised rotate operations, with more options.


  1. Implement rotate icon here too.
  2. There are no handles, and you don’t know what to do. We need 2 handles for horizontal and 2 for vertical shearing.
  3. It shears in one dimension only now, it would be good if it could shear in two dimensions.
  4. Dialog disappears to easily, and only Shear magnitude X changes sth.
  5. if you only allow shearing in one dimension, then there should be one magnitude and two icons for horizontal and vertical shearing.
  6. If we implement 4 handles, the rest of the area might be used for moving.

Perspective tool

  1. Matrix is a nonsense.
  2. There should be constrains possible on the horizontal/vertical handle movement.
  3. No need for dialog at all, transform committed with Return


  1. only required: 2 push buttons in tool inspector, or in the heads up display of the ‘unified geometry tool’.

unified geometry tool: move, scale, (quick) rotate, flip in one tool.


  1. idea: a history list of picked values
  2. allow averaging, either for multiple picked points or average over the pixels covered by drag with the eyedropper.

Blend - Gradient tool

  1. Blend tool should be called Gradient.
  2. If gradients are not editable we shall not show them as editable.
  3. non-editable gradients have option for saving which is useless.
  4. There are a lot of tacky gradients.
  5. We actually just need just FG to BG and FG/BG to transparent, plus around 5 powerful gradients to show possibilities for aluminium look, etc.
  6. Gradient from FG to BG - from A to B with different transparency for both end-points . Opacity of a blend for point A, B should be set in the tool options.

Layer mask

  1. User should be able to see layer mask (show layer mask) by one click. He shouldn’t look for it in the menu (show layer mask).
  2. There is no direct way to apply a gradient to the alpha channel. User shouldn’t be forced to involve the layer mask for this purpose.

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