Image Design and Editing Online Single Semester

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This introductory design course is for students who want to create compelling, professional-looking graphic designs and photos. Students learn the basics of composition, color, and layout through the use of hands-on projects that allow them to use their creativity while developing important foundational skills. They use GIMP software to create a graphic design portfolio with a wide variety of projects involving the mastery of technical topics, such as working with layers and masks, adding special effects, and effectively using typefaces to create visual impact. The projects help students develop the skills they need to create and edit images of their own.

Project 1: Crop and Colorize a Photo

Students crop, optimize, and colorize an image in GIMP. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: cropping, pixels, zooming, resolution, image optimization, saving, black and white adjustment, tint, hue, and saturation.

        Crop and Zoom



Project 2: Trace a Photo

Students learn to add a new layer, change the brush type and color, trace a photo, fill in an outline's color, and add a colorful background with the paint bucket tool. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: layers, brush tool, basic brushes, tracing, brush size, foreground color, color picker dialog box, hiding layers, and paint bucket tool.

        Trace a Photo

        Add Color to the Outline


Project 3: Draw Without Tracing

Students draw a banana, select it with the magic wand tool, and refine the edge with the eraser tool. They draw and color an apple and an orange, add detail, decorate with the special effect brush, and design a new brush. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: selection, magic wand tool, expand selection, the [ and ] keys, eyedropper tool, eraser tool, lock transparent pixels, reordering layers, move tool, brush presets, designing a brush, and rectangular marquee tool.


        Draw a Banana

        Draw an Apple and an Orange

        Make Your Own Brush


Project 4: Use Filters to Make a Poster

Students crop a background layer and shrink an image. They pick a filter from the filter gallery and add multiple filters. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: document size, tabs, copy, paste, scale, bounding box, filter gallery, primary colors, secondary colors, and colors in design.

        Lay Out a Poster

        Filter the Poster


Project 5: Make a Collage

Students learn to open multiple images at once and to use free transform to arrange images. They learn to add a stroke effect and a drop shadow to an image, and to append patterns to the pattern gallery. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: elliptical marquee tool, free transform, layer effects, layer styles, stroke, drop shadow, multiply, preset manager, patterns, and unlocking.

        Crop and Arrange Images

        Add Style


Project 6: Make a Single-Panel Comic

Students remove the background around an image, append, add, and rename talk bubble shapes, refine the talk bubble with the direct selection tool, and add a caption. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: options bar, custom shape tool, talk bubbles, path, direct selection tool, horizontal type tool, font types and usage, and text alignment.

        Combine Background and Foreground

        Add a Talk Bubble


Project 7: Mask an Image

Students duplicate a layer, create a mask layer, and blur the background. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: masks, duplicate layer, quick selection tool, add to and subtract from selection, layer masks, and blur.

        Mask an Image


Project 8: Develop Your Selection Skills

Students practice with the lasso tools, fix the selection edges with the quick mask mode, and change the selection color with a layer mask. They draw straight lines, anchor points, and curves with the pen tool, and edit the path's shape. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: lasso tool, quick mask mode, nondestructive editing, adjustment layers, polygonal lasso tool, magnetic lasso tool, pen tool, anchor points, curve handles, add and delete anchor point tools.

        Free Select a Leaf

        Free Select More Leaves

        Make Paths into Selections

        Color the Rest of the Leaves


Project 9: Make a One-Word Graphic

Students learn to skew and warp a word, resize images inside words, expand and feather a mask, add a stroke layer style, and add an outer glow to the word. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: transform, skew, warp, layer thumbnails, link/unlink, feather, stroke, and outer glow.


        Type and Shape a Word

        Add an Image to a Word

        Add More Style


Project 10: Make an Ad

Students add a gradient and headline text, append all shapes, and customize a shape with color and style. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: illusion of depth, gradient, and gradient tool.

        Masks and Gradients

        Text and Shapes


Project 11: Create a Planet

Students add depth to a circle, add and modify a texture, spherize the texture, add stars using the Noise Filter, make the stars into a milky way using Difference Clouds, add space gas, and make the planet glow. They learn the following terms, tools, and skills: Ellipse Tool, inner shadow, texture, spherize, noise, difference clouds, and lens flare.

        Draw a Circle

        Finish the Planet


Project 12: Reflect an Image

Students flip an image, make an image look watery, ripple the water, and add a shore to the water's edge.

        Reflect an Image

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