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How to Open an Image from File

There are many ways to load it.
Don't get stuck if it fails with your first attempt.
Try an alternate option and move on.


 You can open a file, you can import it, you have other options, and some you might like better.

File > Open

This is the most natural and intuitive.

But we have 3 scenarios to be aware of, based on the file types. Notice the filtering options in the file navigation dialog:

The Automatic option is able to recognize over 60 file formats. This is not using code that's native to Dogwaffle. Instead, we invoke a conversion service from ImageMagick that is included with the installation. The file is called convert.exe and essentially converts the selected file to a temporary Targa file in the same folder. Well, it tries. Sometimes it will fail to convert it, for a variety of reasons (not enough memory, not enough disk space, conflicts with other software,... and for unknown reasons). But for the most part, it helps to convert and load. If you get an error that the converter timed out, this is the culprit. Find another way. Dogwaffle offers several ways to load images. (depending on the format and whether it's important to also load their alpha channel, such as for opaque/transparent pixel controls).

There are 3 options on that menu:

This uses our code to directly open and load the image. No ImageMagick conversion. This works for files in Targa format (.tga). When you save to Default Targa it offers choices for bit depth, and optionally saving the alpha channel too.

As mentioned above, this uses the convert.exe utility. If you have a selection mask active, it will save it along with the RGB channels, without asking. This could make it look as if the image is blank (white or black) when previewed in Windows or other programs that misinterpret the alpha value. No worries, the RGB values are still there (most likely), you just can't see them when the apps are blocking them. Load it back into Dogwaffle to check.

Dogwaffle can do layers but not as well as Photoshop. Still, we can save to .lyr (layered) format. Most importantly, this also automatically saves the Swap image. In many cases, you'll want the main image and swap image, in one file. Forget layers. This is the format for that (and also layers).

File > Import

This adds Raw camera support, and another way to load BMP images. It doesn't use ImageMagick, so if your BMP image fails with the File > Open approach, try this.

You can also load an image file straight to stored copy instead of the usual way. That option will use the ImageMagick converter.

There's also a plugin for importing, again for bmp format. It's essentially the same code as the prior BMP option but done through the plugin instead of built-in. Minor details.

File > General File Converter...

Say hellow to the GFC. You might actually want to look at this one before a few others, even though it is further down the list in the File menu:

This option does NOT use the ImageMagick converter. It comes with DPI import code for the most popular formats that Windows knows how to preview too. It includes PNG, BMP, TIFF, GIF, JPEG and EXR

It doesn't directly import. This is sort of a holding platform, a bridge of sorts. You will see the current image from Dogwaffle transferred into the floating window of the GFC. From there you can do a few things

File > Browse...

This option uses a native browser to navigate. Look eround and explore. When you double-click an icon, it comes in via the ImageMagick conversion.

File > Batch browser...

Yet another way to find and open an image. It also has a few other special features:

But you can double-click an icon, and get it loaded into Dogwaffle. This one also uses the ImageMagick converter.

File > Batch process...

How is this one different from the Batch browser?   The Batch process does not aim to load the image. It is processing it (or multiple images) in order to convert format or apply filters. This is a a graphical user interface to a utility that comes with ImageMagick too.

For example, you could use it to convert a bucnh of images from BMP to PNG and resample them to different size or turn them to black and white.

Another typical use case is if you have an image sequence (such as from the output of a 3D animation or a video capture), and need to convert all image frames from png to bmp.

File > Twain...

This is to access a scanner. If you have a scanner, you'll be able to identify and then use it from here.

Note: If the scanning interface is now seen, it's probably below the main window or on another screen. Use Alt-Tab to alternate between windows and find it.

Note: with PD Howler there's another place too, in the Animation menu, to scan multiple images into an animation sequence

That's it for loading images from the File menu.

But there are more options.

Image > Clipboard...

If you have the image loaded in the clipboard (RGB only, no alpha channel), you can use the Image menu:    Image > Clipboard > Pastee new image

You can also paste it into the existing image or to stored image.

Brush > Open...  & Brush > Clipboard...

From the Brush menu, you can also open an image file, but of course it will go into the custom brush. However, that one does include RGB plus Alpha. And from there, once in the brush, you can Store and manage copy... of the brush image, and Store as image... too.

Like in the Image menu, there's also an option to copy/paste images with the brush through the Clipboard. So you could for example:

  1. Copy an image that's in another application, such as Irfanview, getting it into the clipboard
  2. Brush > Clipboard... Paste from clipboard
  3. Brush > Store as image
  4. from stored image copy: Paste image (Scale to fit)   or Replace existing image (creates new image)

As you see, it helps to think outside the box.

Brush > Animated brush

Another one from the Brush menu, you might also consider loading an image sequence into the brush

and take a peek in the All plugin option too, in case there's an image loader there. You never know.


From the Animation menu

There are a few options in the Animation menu that could lead you to import an image file or image sequences.

For example, Scan or stop motion - similar to the File > Twain option to grab an image from the scanner, but now for a sequence of images to turn into the frames of an animation.

There's also Load sequence... in there:

You can also use Animation > Load AVI... but that's not for single images, it's an AVI video file.

And also for Animation > Open, that's a DWA format (Dogwaffle Animation). But there are a few ways to create those. If that animation holds your image you want to get to, this might be a way.

Keyboard SHortcut from Clipboard to Image

If you have loaded the image in the clipboard (RGB only, no alpha), then you can also use Ctrl+V (Paste) to paste the clipboard image into Dogwaffle.

You will see several options:

That's quite a number of ways to get your image into Dogwaffle.  Have fun!