5.2. Path Properties

Paths, like layers and channels, are components of an image. When an image is saved in GIMP's native XCF file format, any paths it has are saved with it. The list of paths in an image can be viewed and operated on using the Paths dialog. You can move a path from one image to another by copying and pasting using the pop-up menu in the Paths dialog, or by dragging an icon from the Paths dialog into the destination image window.

GIMP paths belong to a mathematical type called Bezier paths. What this means in practical terms is that they are defined by anchors and handles. Anchors are points the path goes through. Handles define the direction of a path when it enters or leaves an anchor point: each anchor point has two handles attached to it.

경로는 굉장히 복잡하게도 만들 수 있습니다. 경로 도구로 경로를 만드는 경우 대부분은 적은 수의 고정점을 포함하게 됩니다. 하지만 선택이나 문자를 경로로 변환하는 경우에는 수백에서 수천개의 고정점을 가지게 될 수도 있습니다.

경로는 많은 컴포넌트를 포함할 수 있습니다. 컴포넌트 란 선에 의해 각 고정점이 서로 연결된 것으로 경로의 일부분입니다. 이렇게 여러 개의 컴포넌트로 이루어진 경로는 서로 분리된 여러개의 선택으로 변환시킬 수 있습니다.

경로의 컴포넌트들은 각각 열려 있거나 례쇄되어 있을 수 있습니다. 여기서 폐쇄 란 마지막 고정점이 처음 고정점과 연결되어 있다라는 의미입니다. 경로를 선택으로 변환시키면 열려진 컴포넌트들은 자동적으로 마지막 고정점과 처음 고정점이 직선으로 연결되어 폐쇄된 컴포넌트로 바뀝니다.

Path segments can be either straight or curved. A path is called polygonal if all of its segments are straight. A new path segment is always created straight; the handles for the anchor points are directly on top of the anchor points, yielding handles of zero length, which produces straight-line segments. Drag a handle handle away from an anchor point to cause a segment to curve.

One nice thing about paths is that they use very few resources, especially in comparison with images. Representing a path in RAM requires storing only the coordinates of its anchors and handles: 1K of memory is enough to hold a complex path, but not enough to hold a small 20x20 pixel RGB layer. Therefore, it is possible to have literally hundreds of paths in an image without causing any significant stress to your system; the amount of stress that hundreds of paths might cause you, however, is another question. Even a path with thousands of segments consumes minimal resources in comparison to a typical layer or channel.

Paths can be created and manipulated using the Path tool.