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Using MS Paint

(7 Posts)
lirael Mon 27-Oct-14 17:05:58

I'm a special school teacher doing my medium term ICT planning for next half term and am stuck. What I want to do is import an outline of a Picasso painting and get the students to outline it in black using the line tool, then fill in the outlined shapes using flood fill. Is this possible? I've found a couple of potential templates and have imported them into Paint - the outlining works fine, but when I try to use flood fill, it only fills part of some shapes and others not at all. Any ideas?

Ferguson Fri 31-Oct-14 18:49:07

Hi - I was a Primary TA / helper for over twenty years, and did a lot of ICT, including club activities with children, and training for our other 19 TAs (I worked in computers before getting into education).

There are two main types of graphic program on computers: "bit maps" where each pixel is coloured, and 'saved' which takes a lot of space, and this is what Paint is.

The other kind of program is a "vector drawing program", where the image is made from a sequence of 'shapes' and when it is 'saved' it is the INSTRUCTIONS to recreate the image that are saved, taking up much less space, and also can be modified more easily.

"Clip art" images can be of either type. A "drawing" program can be enlarged with no loss of quality, whereas a "bit map" will show up the individual pixels as it is enlarged.

[I apologise if you know all this already.]

So, ideally you want a vector drawing type of image, and may be able to flood-fill areas. If you are stuck with a bit map image, you should still be able to 'paint over' it, but will need to use an appropriate size 'brush', or possibly 'spray' tool. (If you zoom in very close to a spray-tool you should see how the pixels are coloured). There may also be a 'wash' facility, where you can see colours underneath through the wash (like a pale water colour).

I have never liked any MS programs, and seldom use them. But I am retired now, and don't know what the up-to-date programs in school currently are.

If you tell me the Yr group involved, and whether my 'lecture' has made any sense to you, I will come back later to see if I can provide more concrete advice.

Ferguson Fri 31-Oct-14 19:27:36

Hi -

I have found these, which may help to get you started, but I'll look back tomorrow, see if you making progress:

This BBC item gives an overview:

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ict/software/1graphicssoftwarerev1.shtml

This is one of the best vector drawing packages (started out as ArtWorks, on Acorn computers, thirty years ago, but you probably don't go back that far!):

www.xara.com/uk/

Good luck

FunnyBird Fri 31-Oct-14 19:30:46

one of the problems might be that there are several indistinguishable shades of white inside your shape, so only the boy that's the same as the one you fill changes colour.
Try saving as a 16 colour but map. Then there is only one shade of white, and it should all flood.

Ferguson Fri 31-Oct-14 19:31:34

This is the best place to start in Xara, the artist gallery:

www.xara.com/uk/gallery/

lirael Sun 02-Nov-14 18:37:54

So helpful - thank you! Will have a poke around and see what I can come up with. My class is yr 7 but all have varying degrees of SEN, so range from P7 to NC level 2 - my most able pupil is probably nearer a level 3 in ict

Ferguson Sun 02-Nov-14 23:14:57

In that case, does it HAVE to be MS Paint?

Microsoft programs are invariably more complicated than they need to be, for what they achieve, most aren't really designed for children, and they can 'crash' or 'hang' if abused.

Unless it does have to be MS Paint, one that we used in primary schools was Dazzle. It is very easy to use, and can be configured to match the ability of the users. The various 'brushes' and 'tools' on the toolbar can be 'dragged off' so you only have tools available that the child can cope with. Similarly, there are various palettes available, to give a limited or a full range of colours.

One way of getting around the problem of a 'fill' not covering the area you want, is to 'zoom in' to a VERY large scale, when you will probably be able to see the individual pixels, which can then be filled individually. Also, if you have drawn a border around an area, but the colour 'leaks out' when you fill it, a zoomed-in view will reveal gaps in the border, which need to be blocked up (in the border colour, possibly black) to contain the fill.

This is a review of Dazzle, for SEN use, but it is out of date, and as it mentions at the end, Dazzle 03 is the current version:

www.northerngrid.org/content/sen_minisite/software/reviews/dazzle.html

This software claims to be free, but I don't know anything about it:

www.tuxpaint.org/

This is another one, that has more 'novelty' value, rather than being for 'serious' art:

www.2simple.com/2paintapicture?virtuemart_product_id=97&virtuemart_category_id=4

But if you can screw any funds out of someone, I think Dazzle would be your best bet.

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