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Grokking The Gimp
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3.4 The Paths Dialog

Because Bezier paths are so useful, there is a special Paths dialog that allows multiple Bezier paths to be edited, managed, and saved. The Paths dialog, shown in Figure  3.21,

Figure 3.21: The Bezier Paths Dialog
Figure 3.21

is displayed by typing C-l in the image window to produce the Layers & Channels window and, then, clicking on the Paths tab. The elements of the Paths dialog are described in this section.

3.4.1 The Paths Palette

The most important part of the Paths dialog is the Paths Palette. The palette contains horizontal strips, where each strip represents a single path for the image. Each strip contains a Path Thumbnail, a Path Title, and a Path Transform Lock.

Figure  3.21 illustrates a Paths Palette containing three strips. The top strip is highlighted in blue, indicating that it represents the active path. Only the active path can be seen and manipulated in the image window. Clicking on a path strip in the Paths Palette makes that path active and also makes it visible in the image window. Figure  3.22(a)

Figure 3.22: Making a Path Visible in the Image Window and Changing a Path Title
Figure 3.22

illustrates an image window where the path visibility has been toggled on by clicking on its strip in the Paths Palette. Figure  3.22(b) shows the associated Paths dialog. To toggle off the path's visibility, it is necessary to click on a tool icon (other than the one for the Bezier Path) in the Toolbox window.

A path's title can be changed   by double-clicking in the title area. This brings up a dialog where the text of the new title can be entered. Figure  3.22(c) illustrates the dialog for changing the Path Title.

Finally, the Path Transform Lock  can be toggled on and off by clicking to the left of the Path Thumbnail. When the icon is toggled on, the path's shape is locked to the active layer with respect to the Transform tool. This means that any transform applied to the active layer is also applied to the path.

Figure  3.23

Figure 3.23: Applying the Transform Lock to a Path
Figure 3.23

illustrates an example of using the Path Transform Lock. Figure  3.23(a) shows the Path Transform Lock has been toggled on for the path in the top path strip. This path corresponds to the outline of the blue shape in the image window shown in Figure  3.23(b). The image window consists of two layers: a white background and the blue shape, the latter which is the active layer. Because of the Path Transform Lock, applying the Transform tool will affect the blue shape and the path defining the shape's boundary.

Figure  3.23(c) shows the dialog for the Transform tool. The Perspective radio button has been selected, and the Show path checkbox has been toggled on. This last button makes the active path visible in the image window while it is being transformed. Figure  3.23(d) shows the perspective transform of the grid and the active path. When the transform is actually performed by clicking on the Transform button in the Perspective Transform dialog, the result is as shown in Figure  3.23(e). The active layer containing the shape is transformed and the path associated with this shape is transformed along with it.

The ability to see a path superimposed on the transform grid while performing a transformation of a layer is a particularly useful capability. There is no more precise way of warping one image to another than with this feature. A concrete example of using the Path Transform Lock is illustrated in Section  7.2.

Grokking The Gimp
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  Published under the terms of the Open Publication License Design by Interspire