‘CONTORT’ an Introduction

The best way to understand CONTORT is to use it. Load in the maximum of two sources, open the merge-view align window. The Destination will already be present. Arrange the windows into four quadrants as shown here.

Ensure the destination is 'unlocked' by pressing if necessary the lock button in the 'floating' destination toolbar as seen above. You can see the condition of this flag at the bottom of the main window.

Try scrolling and resizing the two source windows whilst viewing the merge-align window and the destination. Note how the destination image (its within the cross hatch area) is cropped to the lesser width and height of either source window. Take note that the width and height here refer to the dimensions of the window and are not related to the size of the image in that window in any way. This unusual aspect is fundamental to the way CONTORT works, use this feature to crop pictures to the destination for printing and saving.

The destination window is different in that it is the image within the cross hatch area that is saved to an image file when finished.

Now press the button for merge of the two sources. Try some of the options and sliders while watching the destination. Press Ok and try scrolling the source windows again. Note how the destination reflects the changed method of merge of those two sources.

To align/overlay the two sources accurately, try dragging the left and then the right mouse inside the merge-align window. The other three windows are updated at the same time.

There is a toolbar in both source windows. They are all related to sizing and positioning of the image and its window, try pressing these buttons now and watch all four windows.

Destination Toolbar

There are more buttons, shared across two toolbars, in the destination window as follows:

These eight buttons are for distorting and warping of parts of this image. You can only use these after setting up a 'contort zone' on the image with the mouse. Drag out a rectangle on the image somewhere by moving the mouse between two diagonally opposite corners of this imaginary rectangle while pressing the left button.

These buttons allow coloring of the image in the same style of 'contort zone'. See the help file contents for greater detail on this feature.

These two buttons to the right of the last two buttons allow 'portion merging' of a source from the overlay position to the destination window. Again this works within a 'contort zone' which has previously been set up. Try this feature now to see the graduated merging effect meaning that merging is maximum at the middle, trailing to zero at the end of the contort zone.

The next two buttons allow transfering of the destination to a source window for re-merging. At first sight this seems pointless but it allows 'echoing' of the image with source scrolling between each transfer-back. This feature is deceptively simple and the best way to realize its full potential is to experiment with all of the merge features and other destination-affecting features as well as source window scrolling while transfering back to a source window.

These two buttons flip (mirrors) the destination left/right or vertically.

The next two buttons allow switching on and off 'source brushing'. The normal contort zone is set up first before enabling source brushing. When the brushing is enabled (by pressing the button) drag this contort zone 'brush' around the screen. The source one overlay region will be painted in the destination window if the left button is pressed. Pressing the right button will paint in source two. If you want to change the shape/size of this brush turn off source brushing setup up a new contort zone, then re-enable source brushing.

This button is for locking or unlocking the destination.Locking means any changes such as scrolling or resizing of a source window will not affect the destination and the only way to 'update' it is to press the 'back' button which is to the right of the lock/unlock button. The advantage of locking the destination is that any carefully crafted changes are not obliterated to the last merge time or by any scrolling of a source window. The disadvantage is that you have to press the back button every time there is a change to a source.

From the above it can be seen that the foreplay of CONTORT is to set up the two source windows first by scrolling, sizing and overlaying correctly. Then do all the contortions and effects in the destination window after which you can save and print. Reiterate as many times as you like by sending the destination back to a source and repeat the foreplay.

Other new pictures can be loaded by simply deleting a source window and loading in its place. The previous image will have been merged into the destination.

Remember that CONTORT can also work with one single start up source image only and in this case you may be interested in sending the destination after modification to source two even though it does not presently exist.

When all said and done save the whole destination to an image file and print the result if need be. You can also save part of the destination by setting the contort zone rectangle immediately prior to saving.