Episode 136: Shrinking a Bass Player

Download the Video! (59.7 MB, 31:26)

I got the planned episode 136 nearly ready – a photography trip to Hamburg. But then came an urgent job from Chicago and overturned the schedule. (No, John, it wasn’t urgent, it was convenient to have a bit more time to edit the Hamburg show).

A big portrait had to be downsized from 3504×2336 to 95×125 pixels. And of course this postage stamp then should still have some atmosphere and style. How much damage this does to the details is visible in the animation on the right.

I never have done this before in such an extreme way and found out, that scaling down in steps is really better than doing one big step.

Beware, this is not the last word about downscaling. There are plugins at the Plugin Registry and we have a discussion about this in the Forum.

For making the image interseting and informative enough for web use I tried to change the contrast with the curve tool, burned and dodged and even made some duotone images.


01:48 Find a crop / crop tool and aspect ratio
03:00 What has to be in?
06:00 Cloning out a disturbance
08:20 Make a copy and add an alpha channel
08:40 Curves tool to change contrast
09:45 Dodge and burn to give more light to the bass
14:00 Second approach
14:15 Give names to layers
15:00 Curves again
16:15 Make a Duotone
17:00 Adding two layers with layer masks
18:30 Chose colours
20:00 Fine tuning with the opacity slider
20:30 Instructions for experiments
22:40 Scaling down
25:00 Correcting scaling artefacts
27:00 Better scaling down in steps
29:30 Why is it better?

Creative Commons License
Meet the GIMP Video Podcast by Rolf Steinort and Philippe Demartin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://meetthegimp.org.

10 thoughts on “Episode 136: Shrinking a Bass Player

  1. thanks Rolf..the only thing is that now I am 2 centimeters tall, and I am having trouble escaping our dog Scout, who seems to have found a new creature to torment.

    the shrunken bass player

  2. ahh..also that the original photo was from photographer Perry Slade. I chose Perry to take the pictures, as he has a lot of experience in photographing large square structures..buildings, towers etc, and thought that experience would translate well to taking some head shots of me..

  3. John, yo just have to change your DPI to a smaller value. 125 pixels with 10 DPI is more than 10 feet tall. A bit blocky, but therefore you had the right photographer. 😉

  4. Hi,
    have you ever thought about loading those videos on youtube?

    With the newest YT feature that creates automatically subtitles could be very good thing for not English-spoken people.

  5. @Martellone: Youtube has a 10 minute limit, AFAIK. And it is more time to invest. But if someone is willing to put them up, I am fine with that. They are under a CC license, so even no legal problems.

    @Philippe: You are possibly right. I know so much about music….. 😉

  6. The problem of reasonably downsizing people’s portraits is probably more common than expected. If you use KDE’s Kontact (I think Evolution offers the same function) and set avatar photos for your mailpartners the same problem occurs. In most cases you get better results by resizing the picture externally, e.g. with Gimp or gm, and using the downscaled version for selecting the avatar image.

  7. this is not john pazdan? i re memeber the picture. as you clon shall do before crop to got more source areal.
    do you knew gimp read .pgf picture? i have many but no programm read it. i know not what make it. only it is on linux.

  8. Pingback: MTG: Эпизоды 1 квартала 2010 « Блог фотолюбителя :)

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