• Tubing does not mean screwing

    Article by Ey@el

    Original en français

    Do you know what a picture tube is? It's an image with a single transparent layer made of one or several smaller pictures with no background, arranged on an invisible grid that was invented by the popular Paint Shop Pro graphic design software. An integrated module allows to apply these pictures on your designs in a random or incremental way, also varying the scale and position according to various definable parameters. You may thus create interesting effects and realistic textures.

    Yet the picture tube concept became so popular, its use and genuine purpose were soon to be diverted to refer to transparent or misted images containing several layers including the copyright of the original artist and/or actual “tuber”, which is completely different than what it was originally created for.

    Genuine tubes vs. false tubes

    “Genuine” tubes are in native TUB or PSPTUBE format. “False” tubes are mostly in PSP or PSPIMAGE format but you may also find some in Photoshop PSD format. There are also some “false” tubes available in PNG format which I fully support because unlike non-backwards compatible proprietary formats they can be used and edited with any graphic software. The only downside is you cannot add an extra layer to include your copyright but you may still work around it by placing a watermark that can be easily removed. All the “tubes” I shall make available for download on this blog will be in PNG format so as to remain accessible to everyone regardless of the graphic program or version you'll be using.

    How to convert a PNG into a picture tube

    Since I have converted all my tubes in PNG format for the reasons described above, if like me you are a Paint Shop Pro user, you may wish to convert them back to genuine picture tubes so as to enjoy all the functionalities of the integrated module. This is especially relevant for PNG's made out of several images. You'll just need to open the PNG files in PSP then export them as picture tubes using the File - Export - Picture Tube menu.

    Click on picture to enlarge

    In the dialog box, make sure you enter the correct number of pictures on each line (horizontally) and column (vertically) which must coincide with the original arrangement on the PNG. Leave the other settings unchanged then click OK. Your tube should now be available to use with the Picture Tubes tool.

    Tubers vs. designers

    Artfully cutting out pictures in order to use them in various graphic collages requires much dexterity and is very time-consuming. For that reason, I do appreciate that tubers may claim their hard work and insist on having their efforts respected by adding watermarks and specifying their terms of use. No problem with that, I totally agree on this perfectly legitimate point.

    On the other hand, I am a bit shocked whenever I come across any abuse of authorship applying to such pictures that most tubers haven't designed themselves in the first place, but found on the web or scanned from magazines, books, cards... The legitimacy of such claims does indeed remain highly questionable.

    Whereas most tubers play an honest game by identifying their sources when known (or by claiming authorship of the tube only), many seem to quickly ignore this “slight” detail and may even go as far as selling their scrapbook “kits” — many of which actually contain identical pictures found in other similar kits slightly where only the colours/sizes and attached copyrights differ.

    In those kits, I even saw pictures I had cut out myself from well-known sources for my own personal use. It's of course purely coincidental since no one could possibly “steal” tubes I made that never left my computer, but this certainly shows how pointless these claims are and that ultimately the original picture belongs to its designer and not to the tuber no matter what he/she says.

    Also, a tuber may not be entitled to exercise his/her right to any kind of authorship since anybody can cut out a picture without necessarily steal an already made tube. If I decide to cut out a picture, I won't place a notification on the web just in case other people might have had the same idea as me and might accuse me of “stealing their work”!

    Let's be realistic and enjoy the sharing experience and the time gains it provides without abusing rights which are not our own.

    100% original tubes

    Consequently, to avoid any tangles, all the tubes I shall make available for download on this blog will either have been designed by myself using Paint Shop Pro, cut out from pictures I took with my own camera or from scanned elements collected in the wild or personal belongings and therefore I can claim full authorship of both original pictures and cut-out work.


    Reproduction of the above contents is strictly prohibited.
    © lapensinemutine.eklablog.com. All rights reserved.

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