Chapter 5. Taking Advantage of Paths


  • Understanding what paths are good for

  • Using paths to good advantage

  • Removing paths from your file

GIMP's primary purpose is to be an awesome raster graphics editor. It serves this purpose and does it quite well. However, even in raster editing, in some circumstances having the ability to use vector tools is a definite advantage. This is where GIMP's paths come in. They provide you with the vector advantages you need without making GIMP a full-on vector illustration program.

Paths are curves, specifically Bézier curves like the ones commonly found in vector drawing programs such as Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator. They're a very powerful way to define reusable forms that you can employ for selection, creating solid shapes, or making line drawings. You can also use them as a control structure for text, defining a form for the text to flow along.

This chapter builds on the brief section in Chapter 4 on the Paths tool. You will not only discover how the vector nature of paths can be an advantage to you while editing, but also how to get the most out of them in the process. By the time you're done, you'll be creating, editing, and deleting paths with the best of them.

The Advantages of Paths: Get Some Vector in Your Raster

So where exactly is it useful to have vector drawing tools in a raster graphics package like GIMP? Well, vectors give you two primary benefits:

  • Resolution-independence — Vector graphics are not bound to any particular image ...

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