Synthesizing Depth-of-Field in Seconds

  • Episode 297
  • May 28, 2013
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Using the free GNU Image Manipulation Program to add a very quick depth-of-field effect to your photos to give them a "high end" look.

This episode is sponsored in part by: netTALK DUO, Netflix, Eco Alkalines.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Eric Kidd present from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Greetings to the viewers in the chat room.
  • Eric has been converted to a nerdling: he's wearing [a brighter than the sun] Spock shirt.
  • Your thumb is meant to be out when doing the Vulcan hand salute.
  • Abigail Smith Page is married! Our photo booth was so easy to use that even a baby can do it.
  • Back in the day, photo booths weren't an option so we'd put disposable cameras on each table at a wedding reception.
  • Welcome to our new viewers.
  • {play 11:06}Feature: Using the GIMP to create a depth-of-field effect in seconds to enhance your photographs.
    • Get GIMP for free for Linux (although it is probably available in your package installer such as Synaptic Package Manager, Ubuntu Software Center or apt-get), Windows or Mac OS X.
    • Single window mode in the GIMP can make usage a little easier for users used to Adobe Photoshop.
    • Adding a really simple vignette to your photograph to draw the viewer's eye to your photographic subject.
    • Creating a marquee and feathering it in the GIMP.
    • Creating a marquee to obtain a rough copy of the background of your photo for blurring.
    • Ensuring your blur doesn't go outside of the layer bounds by locking the alpha channel of your layer.
    • The difference between a Gaussian blur and some of the other blur filters.
    • Adding a blur to our background to provide a depth-of-field effect.
    • Adjusting our vignette to suit the photograph.
    • Robbie demonstrates how quickly this effect can be created on a photo. Of course, you'll want to be a little more precise, but it gives us an idea how quickly this beautiful enhancement can be added to your photos.
  • {play 28:56}Top Stories from the Category5.TV Newsroom
    • Fantasy Football is coming to Linux, and gamers are realizing that Linux is a viable gaming platform (or maturing into one).
    • The QR code is not dead: it may in fact save lives. Mercedes-Benz is using QR codes to offer emergency workers instant access to vehicle schematics to expedite rescue.
    • A warning about Facebook friends: there is a growing trend of malicious people using your friend's photo to spoof their profile. They can then "add you" as a friend, and since it looks and seems like your actual friend, you might fall for it. If you do, it could mean trouble. A 13 year old boy was kidnapped and held for ransom having befriended someone on Facebook thinking they were a friend, but they were actually a criminal gang. Thankfully, the boy was rescued, but it opens our eyes to a frightening issue.
    • 18 year old student, Eesha Khare has invented a superconductor which will charge a cellphone in only 20 seconds.
  • {play 41:24}Lego has built the world's largest Lego model: a scale size X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars.
  • Star Trek TNG fans are completely restoring the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge set for event use. Find out all about it or support the venture by visiting newstarship.com.
  • {play 45:57}Viewer Questions
  • Viewer Question: I've found Jitsi, an open source alternative to Skype. Maybe you should take a look at it.
  • Viewer Comment: Thanks for suggesting Ultimate Boot CD on Episode 293. It may be difficult to navigate at first, but it is a really great suite of tools. Also, I have taken your advice and installed Point Linux on my old machine, and it definitely seems to run better than some other Linux distros I tried.
  • Viewer Comment: My wife and I cracked up when you were pronouncing and joking about our username, Keckeckec. We found your show about a month ago and love it! I've been using Linux for about 14 years.
  • Viewer Question: What software do you use to run your URL-shortening system? Answer: yourls.
  • Viewer Question: I can't play rented DRM Google movies in Point Linux. It says something like, Ubuntu and Linux OS users must also install the HAL module for DRM Flash reader. How do I fix this?
    • Try the information at cat5.tv/halflash, but heed Robbie's warnings on the show.
  • Viewer Question: I just caught up with Episode 295. Great show on Apache! Thanks.
  • Robbie shares a warning with Eric from our good friend, Robert Gorzinski.
  • Viewer Question: I love the freedom of Linux! I've finally talked my girlfriend into switching, but she lives far away. How could I remote into her computer to help her when she needs it?

Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Eric Kidd

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Robbie Ferguson

Don't worry if you find something broken... this is a work in progress.


Robbie Ferguson

I still need to fix several broken images and create more content... this is a huge undertaking! Enjoy!

Robbie Ferguson

User accounts are disabled for the moment as I work to implement more features into the new web site. Check back soon!

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