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For a poster design I‘m working on I want to distort photos in order to make the persons/bodies depicted fit to a constructive principle that is mostly centered on repeating specific angles. E. g. I have a set of two or three angles plus their mirrored counterpoints and I want to distort the photo of a person, so that each visually significant line in it matches one of the predetermined angles exactly.

After experimenting a bit, it seems that in principle I could achieve what I want with Gimp’s IWarp filter. But here’s the catch: IWarp is a filter, so I can’t zoom in for precision, nor can I use paths as guides to find the right angle, which I absolutely need for this to work.

When researching this on the web, in some forum or the other I saw someone claiming that there were plans to turn IWarp into a tool. This would give me what I need. Has something come out of this, maybe in the latest developer version or in some basically-working-but-not-completly-ready development branch?

If not, are there alternatives to achieve this? The kind of tool that I need is basically what’s sometimes used in beauty photography to make models thinner etc., except that my goal, of course, is very different. Unfortunately I’m using GNU/Linux, so Photoshop isn’t an option.

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In GIMP 2.9 IWarp has turned into a tool. You could also check the latest version of Darktable. To make use of Photoshop in Linux, you can run it in a virtual machine or use the WineHQ emulator, see https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?iId=17&sClass=application

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Old stuff: Gtkmorph and Xmorph.

I have not Linux so I have not tried them and have no idea how they run in recent Linuxes.

  • Thank you a lot! I really, really wish I could accept this answer! I've explored gtkmorph for a couple of hours now and its functionality would be exactly what I need. In fact, it would fit my needs better than what I knew when I wrote my question. – Oliver Scholz Mar 27 '17 at 13:40
  • Unfortunately gtkmorph has suffered quite a bit from bitrot and probably wasn't the most stable program to begin with. Crashes are frequent to the extent that I have to consider it unusable. :( It's really a pity. Its approach allows for very precise control and high quality in warping images and I'm amazed that the program hasn't been continued in this age where image manipulation of photos is the norm. – Oliver Scholz Mar 27 '17 at 13:40
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OK, so it's true you can't zoom in with GIMP's IWarp filter, however you can click and drag the filter dialog window to resize it large enough to fill the screen.

When you do this, at first the filter preview will show a blurred image, but if you use one of the tools briefly, then hit the Reset button, the preview will fix itself.

It's a bit of a hack, but it might work for you without having to install the development version of GIMP 2.9

Screenshot of GIMP IWarp expanded to fit screen Screenshot of GIMP IWarp exapanded to fit screen

Another possible work around, is to make a smaller selection of the image to work on. With a selection made, IWarp will only distort the selection.

Screenshot of IWarp on a smaller selection Screenshot of IWarp on a smaller selection

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