Products > Astro Image Frame Maker > Quick Start

 

On running the application, the main window opens:
 

 

The easiest way to get started is to select an image and frame it using the default settings, then tweak them to your tastes.  To do this, click the button marked '...' in the lower section.  Select an appropriate astro photo.  Then enter a title, description and signature and click 'Generate Framed Image'.  A file dialog will open asking for a location to save the resulting file.  Make sure not to save the result with the same filename as your source image!  Browse to the new file and view it.  The default settings may be to your liking, but if not, read on to find out what they all mean!

 

 This window is split into 6 main sections:

  1. Menu bar
  2. Margins settings
  3. Borders settings
  4. General settings
  5. Fonts settings
  6. Image information

1. Menu bar

 

The File menu allows you to register your copy of AIFM.  This will enable you to receive email updates and news about the product.

 

2. Margins settings

 

AIFM creates images by enclosing the original photograph in a set of borders and then adding a title, description and signature to the bottom of the image.  This section controls the spacing between these elements.

  • Outer margin is the space (in pixels) between the edge of the resulting image and the outermost border.
  • Margin between borders is the space (in pixels) between each set of borders.
  • Inner margin is the space (in pixels) between the edge of the photo and the innermost border.

3. Borders settings

 

This section allows you to configure the borders placed around your photo.  You can select to have between zero and three borders.  After selecting the required number of borders, the width (in pixels) of each can be set along with the colour.  To change the colour of a border, click the cloloured square to the right.

 

4. General settings

 

This allows the background of the image to be set.  Click the coloured square to change it.

 

5. Fonts settings

 

There are three pieces of text added to the image - the title, description and signature.  You can control the font and colour of each of these individually.  To change a font style, click the font description.  To change a colour, click the coloured square.

 

6. Image information

 

This is the most complex section.  The currently selected source image file is displayed first.  To load an image, click the '...' button to the right and select the image.

 

When an image is loaded, its dimensions (width x height) will be displayed in the boxes marked 'Original size'.  The resulting image produced by the utility will contain this image framed with borders and text.  The dimensions of the output result image are displayed in the editable textboxes below marked 'New total size'.  This is the size of the image file that will be generated.  By default, this is set to the original image size plus the border widths and heights.  These vary depending on the options set in the margins and borders setions above.  The textboxes to the right marked 'New image size' show the dimensions of the photo in the middle of this framed output image.  By default, this will be the same as the original image size (i.e. your photo will be left unchanged and borders added around it)

 

The boxes marked 'New total size' are editable and their values can be changed.  Changing either value will result in the other automatically changing to keep the aspect ratio of the photo correct.  As they are changed, the size of the resulting photo is displayed to the right.

 

This process can appear slightly confusing, but is intended to try and keep it simple.  You select how large you want your result image to be, and the computer does the rest.

 

Once you're happy with the dimensions, enter the desired title, description and signature line in the appropriate boxes.

 

The checkbox to the right marked 'Overlay on image' allows you to select whether the text should be overlayed on the bottom of the image or added in extra blank space below it.  Different images may look better with different settings here.

 

When you're happy, click the 'Generate Framed Image' button, select an output filename and click OK.  Make sure not to save the result with the same filename as your source image!

 

The 'Preview' button opens a new window with a preview of your final image.

 

Your settings for margins, borders, fonts, etc are saved when you exit the program and reloaded when it is rerun, so once you have a setup you like, you'll not need to enter them again.

 

The title, description and signature for a photo are also saved in a cache file, and can be reloaded if the source photo is reloaded into the utility.  This should make it easy to recreate images at a later date.  When you reload a photo you've used before, you'll be prompted if you want to reload the text you used before.