Introduction to GfigGFig is a vector drawing tool for the GIMP. Paint
programs like the GIMP produce raster graphics, which are simply flat bitmaps,
which describe a large set of dots (pixels) with a colour value for each
Vector graphics programs like Gfig instead describe lines and
curves using the points and equations of the lines.
GFig is be used to
create line drawings which can then be turned into brush strokes and applied to
your image. GFig can also be used to Paint using the other tools as well as
create Selections or Selections Filled a choice of colour or pattern.
you just need quick help Gfig has Tooltips for almost all options. To see
these hints hover your mouse over the feature you are interested in for a few
seconds and they will appear. When you have learned how to use Gfig the
tooltips can be turned off using the "Show Tooltips" checkbox in the Options
Gfig can be run by choosing Filters, Render, Gfig from the
The GFig plugin consists of a single dialog window, which has
four main areas, Ops, Preview, Settings, and a row of buttons along the
Table of Contents
- Paint, Brush, Select, Options.
OpsOps is an abbreviation for Operations, it lists the
available Tools or Operations.
Tool for drawing straight
lines. To draw a line using this tool click to select the tool and then click
and hold to create the start point of your line and then release to create the
end point. You can also create a line with more than two points (a polyline). To
create a polyline hold down the Shift Key while you click to create each point,
release shift and click to create the end point.
Tool for drawing a perfect
circle. Click to create the centre of the circle and then drag and click to set
the size of your circle.
Tool for drawing
Ellipses. As with the circle tool you draw out from the centre point but
you can also make the shape narrower on the Horizontal and Vertical axis.
Unfortunately this only allows you an ellipse at the horizontal or at the
vertical, there is no way to draw an ellipse with a diagonal slope.
Tool for drawing Curves or
Arcs. Click to create a start point, a mid-point and an end point. A
regular curve is then drawn along the points.
Tool for drawing regular
Polygons. Click to draw a polygon from its centre to one of its points.
Double click on the Polygon Tool button to get the Tool Properties
dialog where you can specify the default number of sides you want your polygon
to have (you are allowed between three and two-hundred sides).
dialog is labelled "Number of Sides/Points/Turns" because it is reused by the
Polygon Tool, Star Tool and Spiral Tool.
Tool for drawing regular
Stars. Click to draw a Start from its centre to one of its points.
There is a handle/control point to allow you to adjust the angle between the
sides, using the MvPnt Tool.
Double click on the Star Tool button to
get the Tool Properties dialog and where you can specify the default number of
sides you want your Star to have (you are allowed between three and two-hundred
This dialog is labelled "Number of Sides/Points/Turns"
because it is reused by the Polygon Tool, Star Tool and Spiral Tool.
Tool for drawing
Spirals. Click to draw a spiral from it's centre to an outer end
Double click on the Spiral Tool button to get the Tool
Properties dialog where you can specify the default number of turns (you are
allowed between one and twenty turns). There is also the option set
the Orientation of the Spiral to default to Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise
Although the icon looks slightly squared this tool is only
for drawing curved spirals and cannot draw squared spirals.
Tool for drawing Bezier
Curves. Bezier curves allow you more points and more control of the curve
shape than the standard Curve Tool.
Double click on the Bezier Tool
button to get the Tool Properties dialog. You can specify if the Bezier
Curve is to close back to the start point when finished. You can also
allow the line frame of the bezier curve to be shown to help you adjust the
curves more easily.
Tool for moving shapes.
Allows you to move a whole line or shape by clicking and dragging a
Tool for Moving
Points. Allows you to move a single point and reshape lines or shapes by
clicking or dragging on a handle/control point.
Tool for Copying Shapes.
Click on a shape handle/control point to copy it. You should drag before
you release the mouse click, because if you a copy a shape and leave it directly
above the original shape maybe be obscured and no longer be visible. See
Known Bugs section more information.
Tool for Deleting
Shapes. Click on the handle/control point of an object to delete it. Be
careful, Gfig only provides 4 levels of undo by default .
next few buttons behave differently and are not specific tools but rather some
special action buttons.
> Show NextShows only the next Object, all other elements of
the Drawing are hidden.
> Show Previous Shows only the previous shape or line.
== Show All Shows all Objects in the current drawing again.
Preview This is the main drawing area in Gfig. The space is
proportional to the size of the image from which you opened Gfig.
rulers are always shown and cannot be hidden.
Object DetailsShows the current X and Y coordinates of the
position of the cursor. Must be enabled from the Options Tab, using the
Show Position check box.
Collection DetailsShows the Title and filename of the current drawing
Also shows the file name and location on disk for the current
PrevShows a small Thumbnail sized Preview of the drawing object
currently selected from the list.
EditOpens the currently selected drawing object and
displays it in the main Drawing preview area for Editing.
MergeImports the currently selected drawing object and merges it with
whatever drawing is already open. Changes affect the already open drawing,
not the document which was merged on top of it.
Drawing ListA list showing the currently available Gfig Drawings.
Rescan...Refreshes the existing list and scans to see if any new gfig
files have been added to the gfig folder. Any Unsaved changes will be lost
if you choose Rescan.
The Rescan Dialog also allows you to add and
remove which folders are to be scanned for Gfig object collections.
LoadLoad a single gfig Drawing Object.
NewCreate a New Gfig Drawing Object. Prompts you for a Name
for the new drawing and opens it.
Note: this does not create a file,
you will need to save your Drawing using the Save button.
DeleteDeletes the currently selected gfig Drawing Object. Deletes
the file on disk and cannot be undone.
Snap to GridMakes the end points of the line snap to the corners formed
by the grid lines.
Display GridShows a Grid over the main drawing area.
Lock on GridThis feature was not implemented at the time of
writing. It will likely be removed in future versions.
Paint, Brush, Select, Options.
Draw On: Original, New, Multiple.
By default Gfig
will draw directly on the Original image. This option allows you to draw
to a new layer, or even create a new layer for ever line or shape drawn by
gfig. Drawing directly to the original layer is difficult to undo, and it
is easy to run out of undo space. It is recommended that you draw to a New
Layer, because it is easier to remove the whole layer all at once, and you
always have the option of merging the layers together later. See also the
section below labelled "With BG of:".
Using: Brush, Selection,
This option is to specify what tool to "Paint"
Brush allows you to paint using various types of
brushes. The detailed settings for this are contained in the Brush
Selection allows you to use Gfig to create selections, and
Selection Fill gives the extra option of filling the Selection with a Colour or
Pattern. The detailed settings for this are contained in the Select
Tab. The Select Tab is usually hidden, and only appears after you
have selected either Selection or Select Fill, form the list.
BG of: Transparent, Background, Foreground, White, Copy.
If you have selected
either of the "Draw on:" options New or Multiple, this option allows you to
specify the type of Background (BG) to be used when the drawing the new
Layers. Transparent, Background, Foreground, and White use the current
Copy causes the previous layer to be copied before
the draw is performed.
Scale to Image
Using the slider you can
rezise the current stencil to better fit the image. Clicking the checkbox
will reset the stencil to it's original size.
lines in reverse order.
Approx Circles Ellipses
circles and ellipses using lines. Allows the use of brush fading with the
circle and ellipse tools.
BrushThis section allows you to choose which drawing to you want to use
when Rendering your drawing.
The tools include Brush, Pencil,
Airbrush, and Pattern and the lower part of this section changes to show the
available option for the currently selected tool.
SelectThis section allows you to choose a variety of selection
behaviours. The "Fill" options only apply if you are using Selection Fill
In older versions of Gfig this section was hidden
unless you chose to Paint using Selection (or Selection Fill) from the Paint
Tab, then the Selection Tab will appear.
OptionsShow Image will display your original image with your gfig
drawing on top of it.
Reload Image allows you to reload and refresh
the image, in case any changes have been made to it.
include Rectangle Grid, Polar Grid, and Isomorphic Grid.
Grid is a fairly standard box grid made of many paralellel horizontal and
Polar Grid is made up of lines all meeting at a
central point or 'pole' and surrounded by equally spaced concentric rings.
Isometric Grid is made up of paralell vertical lines and a parellel diagonal
lines at thirty degrees to the horizontal (a slope of 2:1 )
Allows you to set the maximum amount of Undo steps you want to have in
Gfig. If you are on an older slower machine you might want to save memory
by choosing a smaller number of undo levels.
option allows you to turn off the cursor position information. This
information shows the X and Y position of the cursor and is shown on the lower
left of Gfig in the section named 'Object Details'.
This option allows you to hide the Control points, or drag
handles. If your drawing has many control points on it can be useful to
hide them temporarily so that you can better see your drawing.
Gfig has extensive tooltips explaining each item which
will appear if you hover over an item for a few seconds a short descriptive
label will appear. Advanced users who already know the features of Gfig
may want to use this to disable Tooltips.
Shows a dialog
containing the version number of Gfig and the name of the Author and
DoneCloses Gfig and warns if any there are any changes to gfig files
which have not been saved.
PaintPaint the Gfig drawing onto the current Image using the currently
specified options. Note that you still use this Button even if you are not
painting and are using Gfig to make a selection or another tool which may not
strictly be considered "painting".
SaveIf the currently selected Object has unsaved changes a Save Dialog
will appear and ask you to provide the name and location to which you want to
save your drawing.
Clear Wipes the drawing space, clearing any lines or polygons in the
currently active Object.
UndoUndo the last drawing action made in Gfig.
there are only five levels of Undo and ten is the maximum levels of Undo
CancelCloses Gfig and discards any changes to gfig files which have not
Known BugsThere is one major bug known to crash Gfig.
occurs if you attempt to use the "Show Image" feature in the Options Tab and
only if you have already closed the main image window.
CreditsThis documenation of Gfig was written by Alan Horkan, for the
benifit of both CinePaint (formerly FilmGimp) and the GIMP.
originally by Andy Thomas, Isometric Grid by Rob Saunders, Tool Icons by Jakub
Thanks to who ever wrote the tooltips for Gfig,
without which this tasks would have been significantly more difficult.