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Scribus => Raster and Vector Graphics => Topic started by: mwatkins on December 27, 2016, 02:46:07 pm

Title: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: mwatkins on December 27, 2016, 02:46:07 pm
Something weird's started happening with my image frames (I've shut down Scribus and restarted it, and this is still happening).

When I insert a new image frame, a thick black cross now appears in it. This wouldn't be too much of a problem, but I'm trying to work with delicate rectangular images just a couple of points wide, using colour gradients, etc., and now because of these X's, I can't see what I'm doing. See the attached screenshot to see what I mean.

This wasn't happening, and the next minute it was. So I'm guessing I've accidentally changed some preferences or settings, but I can't find anything helpful online.

any help would be very welcome!

Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: utnik on December 27, 2016, 04:05:18 pm
hi matthew

this cross appears in empty image frames.
the cross will disappear as soon as you load an image.
if you don't intend to load an image, you should use another shape (i.e. a standard rectangle) for your gradients – image frames are meant to be used with images…

btw: i don't know why your crosses are so fat.

Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: GarryP on December 27, 2016, 05:33:58 pm
I suspect the thick lines are because the zoom level is set to 800%. (I haven't been able to replicate the effect of those lines changing thickness at the same zoom level. They just get thicker the more you zoom in.)

Personally I think these lines in the image frames should be the same width whatever the zoom level but maybe there's a good reason for it being like this. I suspect not (and it's probably just an oversight) but there might be.

@mwatkins: Is there some reason why you're using such thin objects? 2pts is less than a millimetre when printed and on-screen will only be a couple of pixels wide (on standard displays) at 100%. I'm only asking out of curiosity. I'm not saying you're doing something wrong, just wondering about the need for such small items (especially as you say you're using gradients). I seem to recall that you're coming from an InDesign background so maybe Scribus can do what you want but in a different way.
Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: mwatkins on December 28, 2016, 12:54:15 pm

The reason I'm using such small objects is because I've created a black rectangular box which encloses text across two successive spreads (you'll have to see the attached screenshot to see what I mean). I didn't want the black lines at the bottom of the first (and top of second) spread to end abruptly, so thought I could superimpose vertical-gradient-faded black rectangles. It has proved tricky to get these to look right. I'm now thinking what I want is a rectangle which vertical-gradient-fades from transparent to opaque, and to superimpose that instead, but I can't figure out if or how this would be possible.

Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: GarryP on December 28, 2016, 03:53:32 pm
I think I understand what you're trying to do but unfortunately - as far as I know, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong - there's no easy way to do what I think you're trying to do in Scribus.

It's possible to create some rectangles with tiny gradients at one end that fade to transparent, with each rectangle having a gradient at a different side to make the three sides of the "box". However, you can only set gradient stops at an integer percentage of the width of the frame so the top/bottom gradients will be longer then those at the sides (see attached image Capture1.JPG, left). And the result doesn't look very nice. (Putting the rectangles on different layers and changing the blend modes of the layers doesn't help much either.)

Another way is to create a line style with a gradated set of lines from black to white at different line widths. Then apply the line style to a rectangle going around the text but (on the top page) reaching further down the page than the text. Then create an "overlay" around the outside of the text with some other rectangles using the path operations (see attached image Capture1.JPG, right, where I've also added a rounded corner). However, this doesn't look very nice at high zooms.

I've attached the file borders.sla so you can see how I've constructed - very quickly and crudely - the referenced image. (Scribus seems to have trouble drawing the gradients properly sometimes so you might need to scroll around randomly selecting things until they draw as shown in my image. It's not something Scribus is brilliant at.)

You could create something better in Inkscape and import the SVG into Scribus but I don't have a lot of confidence that Scribus will be able to display the SVG properly (it can't handle a lot of the transparency stuff well).

Another option would be to create the box in GIMP (quite simple using Stroke on Path) and import the image into a background image frame - see other attached images Capture2.JPG and border.jpg (where I haven't bothered removing the bottom of the box). Exporting at 80% on an A4 page creates a 31KB file that actually looks a bit better than the original at high zooms. (border.jpg might not look good in a web preview but it looks fine in Scribus at Full Resolution preview.)

Other than that, sorry I can't help much more. This sort of thing isn't something that Scribus is built for.
Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: mwatkins on December 28, 2016, 10:00:10 pm

You've slightly misunderstood what I'm trying to do. If you go back to my screenshot, it's the bottoms of the vertical black lines at the bottoms of pp.51 and 52, and the tops of the lines at the tops of pp.53 and 54 that I'm trying to vertically fade. I'm not trying to "gradient-fade" the box edge towards or away from the box centre, as you've attempted to do with Scribus. Perhaps what I'd like to do isn't any easier, but I thought it was worth pointing out. Thanks, though.

Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: a.l.e on December 29, 2016, 10:52:02 am
with scribus 1.6 you will be able to use a diamond gradient (and before that cut a shape from the other) to elegantly achieve what you are looking for.
(it's already available in 1.5.2)

the best you can do with 1.4 is:

- draw in gimp a gradient box of the correct size and save it to a png without transparencies (you can do transparencies, but then you're at risk when printing the resulting pdf)
- in scribus:
  - create a shape
  - put another a shape in side of it
  - use item > path tools > path operations to cut the inner shape from the outer one
  - convert the resulting shape to an image frame
  - load the png into the image frame and scale it to the full frame (you might not want to keep the proportions)
  - (you can always edit and just he shape of the frame image, but it's probably easier if the proporitions and size of the png matches the ones from the frame)

you can have a look at the attached files for a very fast execution of what i say above.

as a final note: in my "culture area" the effect you are trying to achieve is mostly used for obituaries... if you're plan a different usage, i would urge to make sure that your readers will not misunderstood the layout!
Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: GarryP on December 29, 2016, 02:35:59 pm
Sorry, from the screenshot it looked like that was what you were doing. It definitely looks like you have some kind of gradient in there but the image quality is low.

Anyway, you can get the line to fade away at the end by:
1. Draw a line/bezier.
2. Set the line width as appropriate.
3. Item -> Path Tools -> Create Path From Stroke.
4. Set the outline colour to None.
5. Set the fill to a linear gradient.
6. Set one end gradient stop to white.
7. Move the gradient stops as appropriate.

Then you can use the Node Editor to alter the shape as you want, if you want to. The attached image shows four different versions. (Version A is what you get before any node editing.) Experiment with the gradient stops for each different shape.

P.S. As far as I know, you can't combine this technique with the techniques I gave before. They don't work well together.
Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: mwatkins on December 31, 2016, 07:04:44 pm

Thanks so much! This worked perfectly - exactly what I needed to know.

all best wishes for 2017,
Title: Re: Thick black X's suddenly in my image frames
Post by: GarryP on January 02, 2017, 02:25:56 pm
You're welcome. Glad I got it the right way round this time.