In case of stairs, use fire (plus HOWTO)

In case of stairs, use fire

Just a silly re-consideration of a sign my friend Nancy found. Hit the jump for a making-of…

To complete these steps, you will need to have copies of the GIMP and Inkscape.

1. First, load the image into the GIMP.

2. Use the transform tool to correct the perspective (I recommend setting up guide lines, by dragging from the ruler into the image).

3. Once the image is squared up, crop it to size.

4. Use the threshold tool to convert the image into black and white. Drag the arm until you find something that represents the original image. Don’t worry if it is a bit noisy, we’ll clear that up in a minute. Once you have something you like, apply the threshold command, and copy the resulting image to the clipboard.

5. Next, fire up your copy of Inkscape and paste in the image.

6. Use the ‘trace bitmap’ function to convert the bitmap into lineart. The defaults worked for me.

7. If the traced version looks good, delete the bitmap version. Otherwise, tune the settings and try again.

8. Use the path->break apart command to disconnect each of the individual components of the image, so that you will be able to drag them around.

9. Recombine the pieces that should be together (such as the body and head of the person, and the individual words), by selecting each group in turn, and applying the path->combine tool. Note that I changed the color of the black text rectangle, so that I would be able to see the text elements in front of it.

10. Re-arrange the components to your liking.

11. Use the align/distribute tools to fix the spacings on the words. I used the align tools to line up the words, then used the equal spacing tool to space them out.

12. Recombine all of the words into a single block, to make them visible again.

13. (optional) Make the text box square by deleting any extra points spaced around its edges, then aligning the corner points.

14. Create a white square that has the same size as the black text box, to serve as a bounding box for the image. Export the drawing, and you are done!

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