I've had quite a few responses to my graphics post so here is a tutorial explaining, in the simplest terms, how to gocco yourself.
By that I don't meant you should do the same thing as "photocopying yourself" implies (don't sit on your gocco and try take a copy of your bum!). I will show you how to turn a cute photo of yourself into an image you can print easily using a gocco. All you need is a picture, a (free) software programme on your computer, and a gocco. Oh and something to print on.
A photo of yourself and your family looks cute on invitations or cards. Or in a frame. Or anywhere really. Teatowels are fine! If you are making wedding invites - this is what we did for ours.
It was really fun. And a lot cheaper and craftier than using a printing service!
First of all, you need a picture. If you've got one already - great. It really doesn't matter if it's a particularly good picture, it can even be a bit blurry. It just needs to be a bit cute!
You can go and take some pictures with some funny props.
Make sure this doesn't happen
This one's better: Here we are posing for our wedding invitations. See all that crap surrounding us? The random koala next to the sewing machine and the ugly shelves? Doesn't matter - will all be cropped out of the final print image.
You then need to either use photoshop on your computer, or get something similar. I use Gimp - you can download it here, for free. Don't be scared to use it - it's pretty simple and I will show you all the steps and tools you need to be able to turn your image into something gocco-able.
1. CROP THE IMAGE
The first thing you need to do is crop your image to whatever you want the print to contain. If you can do this in your computer's image programme (iPhoto for Mac users), do that. Alternatively you can open the photo you have chosen in Gimp, and crop it here. To do this, first you use the square select tool, in the very top left corner of your toolbox.
Draw a square around whatever you want your print to contain. There may be elements that you don't want in the final print, but you can't manage to crop them out completely - that's fine, we will clear that up later. Crop it to as close as the final print image as possible. Then click on Image, and Crop to Selection. That's the first step done. It will look something like this (koalas and bookshelves gone!)
2. BLACK AND WHITE
Now you will need to turn your image into black and white. You don't want to just grayscale the image - you want clear black lines and shadows to stay black, while everything else turns white. But if you just turn the image into black and white by removing colour, you will get huge shadowy areas and it won't look cute. The best way to do it is to turn your image into a cartoon image.
Here are the steps how to turn your image into a cartoon.
First, click on Select, and then None. Then click on Select again, and this time hit All.
Now click on Filters in your Menu, select Artistic, and then Cartoon. Just as we did below.
A little window will appear that will give you the option of adjusting the cartoon colours. What you should do is move the image around in the little window that appears so that a detail, such as a face, appears in the window. Just like below. You will now need to play around with the Mask Radius and Percentage Black settings. Shift around until you have sufficient shadow in the image without it looking weird. You want defined lines.
Once you're happy with your image, click ok. Your picture will now be turned into a cartoon, like this one!
3. CLEAN UP!
Now we want to remove all the bits other than the black lines. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to print nicely - there would be too much black (or whatever colour you choose to print in!).
For this purpose, you will use the colour select tool. Click on Select, then choose By Colour. Just like we did below. Then click on any black area in your picture - because you want to select everything black. In our image, we clicked on the polaroid camera. Hair would have worked fine, too. It needs to be something that's definitely black, and clickable! Double click on the black you selected, and lots of white, flickering lines should appear across your image. This is a good sign: that's all the black you've selected.
Now we are going to cut everything non-black out of the image. For this purpose, we will go to Select again, and then click on Invert. Now the selection will be inverted - meaning the only thing that's selected is now everything that isn't black.
Now remove the selection: hit Edit, and then Cut. Ta da! You're left with this:
We're not done yet! We now need to remove everything that we don't want to appear in the final print. I really didn't want that picture frame on my wedding invitations!
For this we use the Eraser tool, as selected below:
Select the red squre tool in your toolbox. That's the eraser. You can select the width of the eraser - copy our settings above. Then go about erasing everything you don't want to appear in the print. A little tip: Don't move the mouse freely across the image, holding down the mouse clicker button as you erase. It's much easier to erase by moving the mouse, then clicking to erase, moving it again and clicking again. You're less likely to make mistakes this way!
Yay! Now you can add text, or anything you want to the image. You can download some cute fonts, or add another image in. Once you have your final file, you're ready to Gocco! More on that soon!
I hope this is helpful - do let me know if it is (or isn't!)