Episode 146: Ripping Apart a PDF

Download the Video! (26:29, 50.3MB)

Image by Paul Wellner Bou

Sorry, the first minute or so of the video has very bad sound. It gets better then!

This week I rip apart a PDF based photography magazine using GIMP. GIMP can load a PDF and use the pages as layers or single images. You can then “steal” the content or modify it. I took Paul Wellner Bou‘s new magazine “Lighted Moments” and extracted a series of images from it. I want to use these images in a promo video for the magazine – where I plan to submit some pictures.

For using portrait oriented images in a landscape format video I had to get the aspect ratio right, so I had to change the canvas size and add new background. One image needed to be combined out of two pages. Due to an error by me I also had to explain the difference between changing the canvas size and scaling the image content.

Sorry, there is no TOC up to now.

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.

The arrival of a mysterious parcel made this show a special one – my concentration was really down the drain. ;-) next week I’ll tell you about the contents – and I hope you’ll hear the difference.

19 thoughts on “Episode 146: Ripping Apart a PDF

  1. Bob, check your system. Its broken. GhostScript is required for every thing pdf or ps associated. I ask how you installed Gimp without having gs. Probably verify package database.

  2. He said windows and gimp does not install ghostscript. You need to download and install ghostscript (google for the link) then you need to copy all the files from the bin directory of ghostscript into the bin directory of gimp. There are several articles out there I found it quite a while ago via google.

  3. Yes, ghostscript is a core part of a Linux system and therefore I never noticed that GIMP uses it to open PDF (and PS) files. But it figures, why invent the wheel again. Ghostscript under Windows has some nice features too, as it is not hindered by corporate considerations about what you can do and not with your data. ;-)

  4. Yes, even the current 2010 windows comes without PDF and PostScript support. So the first thing users have to do is downloading the Adobe PDF suite (~400MB) to be able to read and write PDF files. I’m not excatly sure why they call this user firendly…

  5. Thanks Guys. I have XP 64 at home and 7 at work. In either case the installation procedure looks a bit complicated and perhaps overwhelming. I was hoping that there would be a way to install it just by pushing a button and watching the blinking lights :)

  6. Just a hint for the new users: Instead of combining the two images within GIMP Rolf could have saved those two tiles to TIF files and have loaded them into Hugin, a panorama software. Then all the aligning, colour adjustments, blending etc. would have been done automatically.
    However, I commit in this case is was easy to combine them since they were perfectly rotated, exposed etc.
    Thus, my hint is more for situations where you want to combine your own shots or scans.

  7. Rolf – you raise an interesting point about showing ones images, whether to do so or not. Personally, as you well know, I tend to show my images when I am seeking comment or when I am competing. I seem to recall someone who was intending to produce a private publication of some of his images with a particular theme but that seems to have found its way onto the back burner.

    Perhaps it would be interesting to see what would happen if MTG held a few challenges and, if it were not to difficult to organise, the ranking of the results could be by popular vote rather than having to go to the trouble of finding judges. What do you think?

  8. Rolf say above showing other peoples. I wander on this to. Do have many fotos on peoples and be afraid becoming trouble if to upload. Watchers made many peoples fotos upload and very good. I like them fotos. How get not trouble? Have i pay peoples for upload? Or need writing letter? I am not expert. In Berlin. If make famous peoples foto may to upload?
    In big city can you made tips to city fotos? Which is false and what making right. And which make to night fotos on city.


  9. Uger, you have three very complex and interesting questions. Each of them is probably more stuff that can be put into one single episode. Or even into a comment ;) Thus, just some hints:

    Publishing (not only uploading but also every other publishing method) peoples’ photographs is a little bit different in every country. At least in Germany and (I really guess so) in the US you need a release contract of the people. In most cases ;) Some more details in the forum: http://forum.meetthegimp.org/index.php/topic,493.0.html
    But as usual: if nobody complains you might be fine. Publishing images of friends is usually no problem. A short call or chat can ensure you that they agree. With foreigners I would be more sensible and surge a model release. They can change their mind and become nasty :)
    Famous people are not different. You can publish the pictures if they are in a show or some event anyway. But if you meet them at the supermarket you are not allowed to upload those images.

    About city and night shots. So much can be said that it’s not easy to pick the best advices. If you google for “architecture photography” or “night photography” you will prob. find more than you can read. Just some short tips: try to get up early or be late in the evening, the light is much better then. Shoot small details, not just whole houses. Catch the mood, the people, what they are doing, how they are smiling, interacting. Use unusual perspectives, crouch, approach, … Use the tele lens from time to time but use the wide angle even more and force yourself to get near to your subjects. Try shooting with a ND filter and long exposures. Shoot not only known stuff but also patterns or shapes that the viewer can’t identify at the first glance. Use the flash even in bright sunlight to lighten the shadows. For night shots use a tripod or put your camera onto a wall or something similar. Don’t forget to disable the stabilizer then. Use small ISOs. Don’t use a flash (mostly). Use a remote shutter release or the timer release of the camera. Try HDR or DRI to get lights and shadows right. Try to play with lights, colours and shodows – it’s much easier during the night.

    Hope this helps a bit!

  10. For the Linux users:
    Please note that Hugin, as advocated by monoceros84 above, is potentially encumbered
    by Microsoft patents and what have you, through its use of Mono (what’s in a name).

  11. Hugin is wxWidgets based, you’re probably confusing it with F-Spot (which is being replaced by Shotwell which is non-Mono as well). The patented part is the automatic similarity detection of autopano-sift, but that’s intentionally placed in a separate tool for that very reason.

  12. @Norman:

    A competition can be a good idea – the challenges we had were quite fun. We should discuss the rules in the forum.

    And my project is coming slowly back to boil, I want to post a series of them to Paul for one of the next issues.

    @Uger: Monceros is right in all points, publishing shots of people can be difficult. Where do you live?

  13. Thanks for telling me that, I should subscribe to my feed. ;-)

    We had an error in the feed, it was not changed to the new server. It just has hit feedburner and will now propagate through the systems.

  14. @Rolf
    Questions on the server: Is there a statistic about how many visitors are from within German-speaking countries and how much are not and what percentage of both only looks at the page or downloads the episodes? MTG seems to have a strong foothold in Europe and especially Germany, even though it’s not Germany-centered. And is it planned to give the server an ipv6 address?

  15. We have never analyzed the logs except for troubleshooting.

    Feedburner say this about the feed use on last Sunday:

    1 United States 978
    2 Germany 282
    3 United Kingdom 252
    4 France 64
    5 Canada 54
    6 Switzerland 39
    7 Italy 35
    8 Poland 27
    9 Russian Federation 26
    10 Singapore 24
    11 Sweden 20
    12 Japan 17
    13 Hungary 16
    14 Slovenia 16
    15 Ireland 16
    16 Slovakia 16
    17 Spain 15
    18 Australia 15
    19 Netherlands 13
    20 Israel 13
    21 New Zealand 13
    22 Brazil 11
    23 Denmark 9
    24 Belgium 9
    25 Czech Republic 8

    WordPress has no geographic stats.

    IPv6? If Marcin wants to play and has the time – then yes. I see no big priority with this. Or should I?

  16. Thanks for the statistics. Almost contrary to what I expected.

    > IPv6? If Marcin wants to play and has the time – then yes. I see no big priority with this. Or should I?

    No, there’s no priority on this. But while most browsers are ip6-able for quite some time now, this isn’t true for all other programs and feedcatchers. I just wanted to test something.

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Anything to add from your side of the computer?