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abhi aish camouflage

If you are browsing with Internet explorer then press CTRL+A, else check this link.

Initially you saw Aishwarya , then when you selected the image you saw Abhishek. This is something called as CTRL+A images that I found through an email. So I thought of doing one. The one I got above is pretty decent one. You can google it up for CTRL+A images to find many more such images. There are also few pages explaining you how to do it, but all of them with Photoshop. I thought of posting a small How-To for all those who cannot buy Photoshop but can get a free copy of Gimp.

First of all, the funda behind the camouflaged image:
This image consists of two images embedded into each other. Alternate pixels from these two different images are selected into one image. Further the levels of the image to be hidden is varied to make it a bit invisible.
Why this image shows in MS applications only is that when image is selected in those applications it masks it with a grid showing only alternate pixels.

Requirements:
You need two images, Normal image and the Camouflaged image. The Normal image(one which you see normally) should be somewhat dense and varied so that it can cover the camouflaged image. Its better to stick to a simple single subject image for camouflaged image.

Steps: Fire up GIMP

1) Create a new image (appropriate size as that of your images). Drag and drop the two images into your new image. Let the layer containing image to be camouflaged be above the normal image layer.


2) Create a new layer above them (Layer-->New layer). We need to fill it with a grid pattern. You can create your own pattern of a grid with black & transparent blocks or else just download this pattern. Copy this into patterns folder of your Gimp installation.

3) Fill this new layer with this Grid pattern.(using bucket fill tool and selecting pattern fill from tool options tab)


4) Select this layer,zoom in about 800%, go to select-->select by color. Then select any black block from the grid.



5) Now select the image to be camouflaged in the layer dialog box and press CTRL+X to delete the selected pixels. Now zoom out to 100% and toggle the visibility of the Grid layer.



6) this will be a trial & error step. Once you get a hang of it you'll know what to do & how much to do. Now select the camouflaged image layer, go to Layers-->colors-->levels and adjust the output/input levels(move theoutput levels slider to the left) so that the camouflaged image's visibility decreases. Again toggle visibility of the grid layer to see the camouflaged image. By switching the visibility of the grid you can see how your final image will look. If you are not satisfied with the output, then undo(edit-->undo history, select levels & press undo) the levels adjustment and try once more.




7) When you are satisfied with step 7, you are ready to save. Tun off the visibilty of grid layer.Save the image as png or jpg format & view it.


Tips for good result:
The camouflaged image should blend into the normal image so choosing two images that blend in well is really important. Generally the normal image should be something that is filled with lots of objects & stuff and image to be camouflaged must be a simple object with plain background. To check if the images will blend in or not, after step 1, decrease the opacity (in layer dialog box) of camouflaged image to about 40% and using Move tool (press M or tools-->transform tools-->move) move the layer to see if this image hides in well. For the abhi aish image above there was some decent match between the two.

The step 7 is the most disturbing & annoying if you don't get it properly. Most of the times there will be a small shade of the hidden image. If you adjust the levels too much, you might not see the hidden image when selected. If you do the levels a bit less there will be a shade of hidden image.Its a compromise.

And one warning, don't try this with a large image. When you select the pixels, your system may get too slow. So try with smaller (about 600px width) images.

If you stumble upon some similar image what you can do is open it with gimp, create a new layer above it and fill it with grid pattern. Using move tool shift the grid layer, you can alternately see both the images.


I'm not pretty good at explaining, hope you find it useful. Happy camouflaging :)

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