The Paths Tool

Updated on: November 29, 2014

Hello and welcome to this video series on the Gimp. Now on this video, we're going to be introducing you to the Paths Tool, otherwise known as the "Bezier Tool".

paths tool

Now, whenever you click on this you can see down here under the paths tool dialog that there's really not a whole lot of additional functions to this particular tool.That being said, this actually allows you to draw some pretty complex figures on your palette with a fair amount of control. Now basically, all we've got here is Design, which is the default. This is what pops-up. You've also got Edit, Move, and Polygonal.

paths tool

Now whenever you got this box ticked, this basically restricts your editing to just straight lines or polygons which really limits your great skills. I'm going to untick that, I'm going to open up a new palette here. That's pretty good size. I'm going to put this palette between our two docks. Now I want to point out over here too. I've got three different dialogs on this docking station here. Again I had mentioned this in our prior video, I just wanted to show you what it looks like. Again it just basically helps unclutter your desktop although at the same time providing you with a lot more functionality on your Gimp software. So now, I've got the Bezier tool chosen and we're in design, we've got the polygonal box unticked.

paths tool

Now when we click our palette, the first thing that pops up is an empty dot. And this is our active anchor. I want to go down here and put another dot and it connects the two with a straight line and this is now our active anchor. And put another one up here, again the active anchor changes.  And just introduce you to this polygonal box, we'll tick this and I'm going to put my mouse or my pointer over on one of these lines hold my left mouse button down and go to move this line and all I get is a straight line. First is, if I untick this box the same thing I can get a lot ore functionality out of this image. Now these boxes here, these are called Handles. Again these adds a little bit more functionality to the image that you are manipulating or creating. Now if you hold your shift key down while doing so, it puts an additional box or handle on the opposite end. So again this gives you some additional functionality here. Kind of back up here just a little bit and again I’m going to put another box here, hold my control key down and that connects the lines here. Click on this that makes this the active anchor, click on this it makes that the active anchor, and so on.  As you can see over above my pointer right now up to the right of it is a plus sign. If I want to complete this lines or draw a line kind of force a line then hold my pointer or my mouse over this particular button here or dock, hold my control key down and that image to the right there of my pointer turns into an infinity sign or two circles intersecting. Then click on my mouse and it connects the dot so to speak. If we go ahead and make us a little heart image here if you will. It looks pretty close. Of course, I’m not any kind of an artist.

paths tool

We've got these two options down here we can choose from. Select from path, it gets our ants on marching and this is the part of this tool that is now made it somewhat of a selection tool if you will. Because by click on our brush you can see that we are only working inside of what has been selected. Control Z that and get back for our Bezier tool.  Let's go on and clear up our palette and do this again. So I want to also show the Stroke Path as well. Now we'll do the stroke path and this pops up. We can choose the stroke style and what the stroke does is instead of putting the marching ants in there it gives a solid line. Now we've got a couple of choices here. We can go of the solid color which is the foreground color that is here and we can change this by the way by having this dialog here. Let’s go with blue. You can see it changed it to blue. Or we can go with the pattern. I’ve got the patterns down here. Of course, we can change the patterns here as well.  But let's go with the solid color. You can change the depth or the width of the line here or the solid color right here. We can go more if you want thicker or less, totally up to you. Of course, play around with this too. Well let's go and then you click on stroke and then you have your solid color.

paths tool

Now if you want to make this selected, then you can right-click on your palette and you get this here same options as available. To get this toolbar, go to select from path and you get your marching ants going there. And then you bring up your brush and let's go back to our red color here and finish our little Valentine’s Day heart. And there you have folks. That’s just a quick introduction to the Bezier tool and how you can do some pretty, neat, little drawing or image manipulation using your paths tool, otherwise known as Bezier tool. Hope you learned something, hope you're able to put this to some use and some future image creations of your own and I want to thank you very much for watching this video. Have a great day!

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