Episode 053: In the USSR the Posters are watching YOU!

Download the Video!
Download the companion file! (…if there is one…. 😉 )
I have to do some corrections on last weeks episode. As I wrote in the update, I had made a blunder with the last layer.
Then we have another video from Andrew A. Gill, the guy who enlightened us about CYMK. He takes on the Comic style from episode 50 and tries to copy a style used by Soviet propaganda and today by Shepard Fairey. +Link +Link
The image on top of this post has been made by Andrew. It’s not exactly Soviet Propaganda. 😉
Then I have a challenge for you. I got set of images from Ted. He is researching family history. So he has to work a lot with reproductions of old documents. The rules are easy: You are happy about what you get and you don’t complain about quality. Here is a set of images (11MB) for you to cut your teeth in. The goal is to enhance readability. Please document your steps. Next week I’ll tell you how to report about your results.

Finally there are some news about GiMP 2.5.2.


00:22 Update to episode 52 – copy visible
04:09 Burn mode – Gimp documentation
05:53 The old shows
06:00 Video from Andrew A. Gill
06:27 – Poster Art
07:00 – Start image – chopped into pieces
08:00 – Posterizing with more control
08:50 – Colouring
10:17 – Saving in indexed mode
13:00 Make your own video for Meet The Gimp
14:20 Comparing the results of poster art
16:23 The Old Ink Challenge
18:30 Extras
18:53 Gimp 2.5 features
22:50 The End
TOC made by paynekj

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany License.

23 thoughts on “Episode 053: In the USSR the Posters are watching YOU!

  1. Posing the challenge on old document enhancement is an inspired idea, Rolf!

    I predict responses will include advice from professionals in that field, as well as innovations from knowledgeable and creative gimp experts who just may show the document professionals some new tricks.


  2. Hey, I’m glad you seem to have liked the Soviet style. I’m still downloading the episode, but I expect that the document thing will be interesting. I’ll probably give it a shot.

  3. Rolf,

    I love the way you pronounced my name the German way. I don’t pronounce it that way here (USA) but yours is so authentic, so don’t change a thing. I haven’t even watched the whole video yet — been fixing the plumbing today. Big mess as always.


    P.S. I managed to compile and run the new Kdenlive kde4 version (which will eventually be 0.7 I think), but it locks up when I place an audio track. 🙁

  4. @billstei: I first tried to find the english/american pronunciation but then thought “Hey, he has pointed me to the German roots!”. I kept the “Bill” and didn’t say “Wilhelm”. 😉

    @jgack: I hope that some people are challenged by the challenge. It’s quie tricky – with some of them have no clue where to start.

  5. Rolf,

    Would it be possible to add the bittorrent links to the Miro/RSS feed, or perhaps make an additional feed with the bittorrent links? (Otherwise, the feed readers don’t recognize the fact that there are torrent files.)

    Thanks for making such a great show,

  6. Rolf: Yeah, Wilhelm is way too over the top (though actually I use William quite a lot).

    I think the challenge idea is a good one because it encourages people to try new features and methods that they would not otherwise use. So the process is educational regardless of whether one solves the problem.

  7. Rolf: I noticed that in the video at time 5:27 there is a glitch of some sort. You say “And now let me go ba[ck] to a show…” and the word “back” (I assume) is where the glitch occurs. Is this just on my setup here, or do you also hear it? Was it a deliberate edit, or a true unintended glitch? The reason I ask is because this is very much like the glitching I got with recordmydesktop, and so I wonder if it is a problem with Linux audio in general, or something more specific.

  8. Rolf: I’ve been doing some experimenting with recordmydektop to try to come up with a workable (and free) solution to desktop recording. Here is what I have so far:

    1) Since recordmydesktop does not record sound reliably, turn off sound recording (in gtk-recordmydesktop this is a checkbox that should be unchecked).

    2) Use gnome-sound-recorder (in Ubuntu this is in the Sound & Video apps under “Sound Recorder”) to record sound simultaneously while doing the video capture with recordmydesktop.

    3) In order to make sound synchronization easier for Rolf, use the “stopwatch” application and after starting video click Start in the stopwatch and read aloud the first few seconds as displayed on the stopwatch. Move the stopwatch out of the way, and then at the end of the video move the stopwatch back into view and read aloud the (still running) seconds again to put down audio sync markers at the end of the video (need a CLAP! board).

    4) Rolf has requested that video be 800×600, and the closest that I can seem to get with recordmydesktop is either 800×608 or 800×592. A test window can be put up and a desktop ruler (like kruler for example) can be used to size the window, then in recordmydesktop use the Select Window button to pick the window. A quick test video and check inside Totem Movie Player to verify size (clumsy — is there a better way?).

    5) Send the video and audio files separately to Rolf and he composites them together in his video editor.

    Anyway, just working with what I have… better ideas welcome.

  9. Good concept. I never got the sound problems that severe as in your recording, it just went out of sync for some seconds. But that’s nasty, if you say “and I click…” and the video is already showing the result.

    I have one further tip for getting the right size. Use the commandline version of recordmydesktop and a “special” wall paper for your desktop.


    recordmydesktop -x 100 -y 100 -width 800 -height 608 --no-sound -fps 15 -o video.ogg

    Everything that is in the rectangle is recorded.

  10. Rolf: Excellent using the command line, but I think you meant 608 for height. (Edit from Rolf: I fixed that!)

  11. A comment about the resolution: Some codecs require or recommend the resolution to be in multiples of 4, 8 or 16. This is, I think, because the codec divides the frames into blocks of 4×4, 8×8 or 16×16 for compression.

    Ogg Theora (the video codec I believe recordmydesktop uses) obviously requires multiples of 16, and 600/16=37.5, so that doesn’t work. 592 and 608 on the other hand, are multiples of 16, so those work.

  12. One thing I noticed about the command line versus the gtk-recordmydesktop… the command line options include the ability to specify the buffer size for audio:

    -buffer-size N

    where N is number of frames. Maybe that is the key to getting a good audio capture? This option is not available in gtk-recordmydesktop that I can see.

  13. there is a part in gimp where in the tool section, there is a selection for levels and curves where the icons are with little icons for them. How do you do that?? I would love to have selections for tools I use most like curves and levels there also!!

  14. @Jeff

    Rolf shows how to get those in the second episode (I think) of MtG, the one about setting up Gimp. You go to File –> Dialogs –> Tools. Here you can choose which tools are to visible in the toolbox.

  15. Pingback: MTG: Обзоры выпусков за весь 2008 год! « Цифровая фотография

  16. Hi Rolf,

    I discovered this site recently and have been working my way through the videos sequentially. Thank you for making this information available. One thing I want to point out is that the download link for Episode 53 actually links to the file for Episode 54. Just seems like a cut and paste error, so I thought you would want to know.


  17. Does anyone have the video on how to create soviet-style images – this is not attached on this page.

    many thanks to anyone that can help

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