Welcome to GIMP Sensation, a collection of tutorials made for GIMP version 2.6 using Windows. Please do not steal, redistribute, or edit these in any way. I've worked hard writing these. If you do, I might consider taking the tutorials down. Feel free to neomail me if you have any questions regarding the tutorials. I'll do my best to answer them.
GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulating Program. This is a FREE software used for manipulating images. It's an excellent substitute for Adobe Photoshop if you don't want to spend the money. It's a great tool to start with to follow your interest in graphic designing or for simply retouching photos. However, it's much more than a mere substitute. It can be an extremely powerful program as long as the user is experienced enough. So remember to practice!
Anyway, be sure to DOWNLOAD AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Update October 29th, 2012
Note: Updates are cleared per update.
Long, long hiatus. I'll still answer neomails, but don't expect a prompt reply. I haven't touched GIMP for a year now, so I probably would not update this site ever unless I decided to go back to graphic design again.
Please do not neomail me regarding affiliates.
You are welcome to neomail me for:
- GIMP help
- Tutorial ideas
Possible Future Tutorials:
- GAP animations
- Animations without GAP
- Layout design
- Banner design
- Button design
- Text to Path
Affiliates - CLOSED
You must have 88 x 31 buttons. If your site becomes inactive, then I will probably eventually remove you.
Button #5 is from Do Not Press. Button #4's border is also from Do Not Press. Button #6 is from Sensation
I'm not really good at making buttons, and I'd appreciated if a button maker would make me a button. I would definitely put it up as long as it is of some quality. Thanks!
Spread the words! List this guide in your directory!
Counter started on 05 June, 2007
01. Tutorials, layout, and coding by evilstar3538 ©2007-2011
02. Colorization #1 Technique from Winkerperson's Layout Tutorial
03. Colorization #2 Technique from crazymurdock1's tutorial @ deviantart
04. Images from Neopets, GagaDaily, GIMP, or Innocense
Anchoring: When you paste an image into your document, the layer is only temporary. Thus, if you want to make it into a permanent layer, then you should create a new layer then anchor this floating selection (Ctrl + H).
BG Color: Background color. The default is white. You can change the BG Color by going to the toolbox. This also indicates the color of a new document (i.e., when you open a new document, the default should be white, but if you had changed the BG color to red or something prior to creating the new document, the background would therefore be red.)
Blending modes: Determines how two layers are blended into each other. The default one is Normal, which shows the top-most layer only.
Canvas:The visible area of the image. I tend to use it interchangeably with the word document in this tutorial. However, document does mean something slightly different.
FG Color: Foreground color. The default is black. You can change the FG Color by going to the toolbox.
GIMP Animation Package (GAP): A plug-in for GIMP for creating animations. It extends GIMP's normal animating capabilities and allows the creation of much more advanced animations. You can install this via GIMP's website under Downloads.
Image Window: When you create a new canvas, this is where you will work. Each image opens up to a separate document The default screen when you don't have any new canvas or images opened. Don't close the default unless you want to exit out of the program.
Opacity: Essentially, how much of an image is shown.
Tool Options: To open this, simply double click the selected tool. This is the current option to the selected tool. The tool options enables you to change some of its characteristics.
Layers: Independent images that form together to create one final image. Layers allow you to manipulate certain parts an image without affecting other parts. The Layers dialog allows you to see the different layers in your image and organize and edit them.
Toolbox: This contains a set of icons that can be clicked on to select your tools as well as the option to select your foreground and background colors. Double clicking the icon will allow you to see the tool options. You can also chooose to dock your dialogs to the toolbar. Don't close this unless you want to exit out of the whole program.
On the toolbox, you can add dockable dialogs there. Think of it like tabs in an Internet browser. Instead of having separate windows for all the different dialogs, you can place them below the tools in the toolbox for a more conveniet and less cluttered look. The dialogs I have locked to the toolbar are Layers, Brushes, Patterns, Gradients, Fonts, and Paths.
1. Open up any dialog that you would like to use a lot, such as the Layers dialog (Ctrl + L).
2. Drag the dialog to where it says "You can drop dockable dialogs here". Don't try to drag the window; you have to drag the dialog itself.
3. To add more dialogs, locate the arrow that is to the right of the word "Layers" (the word is different for whatever dialog you opened, like "Brushes" if you opened the Brushes dialog). When you hover over the arrow, it should say "Configure this tab". Click on the arrow. Go to Add Tab, then add your next desired dialog. Repeat the same steps for each dialog you want to add.
4. To prevent accidentally dragging the dialog off (which is VERY annoying), go to each individual tab that you added, click on that arrow, and select "Lock Tab to Dock".
Useful Keyboard Shortcuts
I'm not going to include the more "obvious" ones here, such as Ctrl + O to open or Ctrl + C to copy or whatever. I will just go over the keyboard shortcuts that I tend to use often.
Open image as new layer: Ctrl + Alt + O
Layers dialog: Ctrl + L
New layer: Ctrl + Shift + N
Fill with FG color: Ctrl + ,
Fill with BG color: Ctrl + .
Fill with pattern: Ctrl + ;
Anchor layer: Ctrl + H
Select none: Ctrl + Shift + A
Repeat last plug-in: Ctrl + F
Reshow last plug-in: Shift + Ctrl + F
Paste as new image: Ctrl + Shift + V
GIMP provides tips that you can access by going to Help » Tip of the Day.
The Undo button is VERY helpful. Don't forget to use it.
Use ".xcf" as your extension when working and save frequently if your computer crashes a lot. This will save your work as it is even if it's in layers. When you want to use it for the web, open it, flatten it, then save as ".png", ".jpg", or whatever.
Try searching for other tutorials on the web.
Don't be afraid to experiment!
Practice! Trust me, it helps.
Keyboard shortcuts are useful and awesome.
Don't install too many fonts or else you might slow down the startup time and whatnot.
Name your layers. I have a bad habit of NOT doing that, which is bad because it's hard to find the layer I want when working with a document with a bunch of them.
01. Converting a Brush
1. Find a stamp that you like. You can find some here or from other sites with image packs.
2. Copy the image. Go to GIMP and click Edit » Paste as » New Image (Shift + CTRL + V).
3. Using the free select tool, select the brush you want and copy that.
4. Go to Edit » Paste as » New Image.
5. Click Image » Mode » Grayscale, then Image » Flatten Image.
6. Save it as BRUSHNAME.gbr. Make sure to save it in your brush folder. Click "Browse for other folder." It's usually located in (USER) » .gimp-2.6 » brushes. Click save. Refresh your brush menu (to access your brush menu, type Ctrl + Shift + B) and the brush should appear there.
You can also download brushes via sites like deviantart. You just press the download button, unzip the file, then copy the brushes into the brush folder.
GIMP does not require Adobe Photoshop's .abr brush files to be converted! They are fully compatible with GIMP 2.4 and up. Most .abr files can just be copied to GIMP's brushes directory ((USER) » .gimp-2.6 » brushes). Refresh the brush menu and you should see it there. If it does not work, you can always go on a search engine and type in "How to convert Photoshop brushes into GIMP brushes".
02. Creating a Pattern
1. Find a pattern and copy it. You can find some at Nienkju's resources.
2. Go to Edit » Paste as » New Image.
3. Save as PATTERNNAME.pat in your pattern folder (usually found in (USER) » .gimp-2.6 » patterns). Refresh your patterns menu (to access your patterns menu, type Ctrl + Shift + P).
03. Creating Diagonal Scan Lines Pattern
1. Make a 5x5 transparent canvas.
2. Use the Zoom tool and zoom in a lot.
3. Use the pencil tool, select a 3x3 brush, and make a diagonal line.
4. Save as SCANLINENAME.pat in your pattern folder. Refresh your pattern menu.
Note: When using it, I'd suggest creating a new layer, fill it with the scan lines pattern, then change the mode to Overlay.
04. Creating a Basic Blog
1. Open up your image then go to Layer » New Layer.
2. Using the Rectangle Select tool, select where you want the blog to be at.
3. Go to Edit » Fill with BG Color.
4. Then go to Select » None.
5. Adjust the opacity on the slider in the Layers dialog.
6. Go to Image » Flatten Image then Save.
1. Follow steps 1 through 5 from above but skip 4 (or just right click the layer with the blog and select "Alpha to Selection").
2. Create a new layer.
3. Go to Select » Grow and grow the selection by about 10 pixels (or whatever, depending how big your blog is). Press OK.
4. Go to Select » Border and border the selection by 2-3, depending on the size you want the border to be.
5. Fill the selection. I usually prefer using a pattern of some sort. Adjust the opacity of this border layer as well. I like having it slightly darker then the blog. Finally, select None, flatten, then save.
05. Blending (1st way)
1. Create a new blank canvas or open up the image you want to blend your images on. I prefer using the latter one, because then I wouldn't have white spaces if the images are not overlapped enough. If you opt to create a new canvas instead, make sure that the width is enough for both images.
2. Create a new transparent layer and paste one of the images you want to use on it.
3. Anchor it by pressing CTRL + H.
4. Place all of the images you want to blend on the canvas, with a new layer for each image, and make sure that they overlap a little.
5. Grab your Lasso tool and double click on the icon. The tool option will pop up. Check "Antialiasing" and "Feather Edges" on. Set the radius to 50. You can set the radius to whatever you want, depending on the size of the image you want to blend. People usually use 20. I just prefer 50.
6. Outline the area you want to blend together and go to Edit » Clear. Be sure to click on the layer that image is in. You can also use the eraser tool instead of the lasso tool/clearing.
7. Repeat until it's blended the way you want.
8. Select None, flatten, then Save.
Optional: If your images are different color and you want a single image effect, flatten your image, then go to Colors » Colorize and change the color. You can also color it a different way if you want, like using a texture.
06. Blending (2nd way)
1. This is useful for blending an image into the background. First, open up the background image.
2. Then you add a new transparent layer.
3. Paste the image you want to blend. Anchor the picture by going to Layer » Anchor Layer or press CTRL + H.
4. Use your lasso tool and select the area that you want to keep.
5. Go to Select » Feather and enter any value. The higher your number is, the smoother the selection will be. I usually prefer higher numbers, but it really depends on the size of the image and the selection.
6. Invert your selection (Select » Invert).
7. Next, you clear the selection by going to Edit » Clear. The edge will continue to blend in. If you feel like it's not feathered enough, keep clicking undo until it's before you feather it.
8. When you're satisfied with your blending, deselect your image (Select » None) and go to Windows » Dockable Dialogs » Layers (CTRL + L).
9. Click the first layer (top most) and set its mode to value. You can also try the other different modes too.
1. Open up your image.
2. Duplicate it 2 times (Layer » Duplicate Layer or Shift + CTRL + D).
3. Go to Windows » Dockable Dialogs » Layers (CTRL + L). Select the first layer.
4. Use the Fuzzy Select Tool, select the region where you want to glitter (hold on to Shift while clicking to "add" to the selection), and go to Filters » Noise » RGB Noise. Select Correlated noise and unselect Independent RGB. Now set the values to around 0.10. Press OK.
5. Click on the second layer and press CTRL + F to repeat the Noise.
6. Click on the third layer and press CTRL + F again.
7. Now go to Filter » Animation » Playback. If it looks good, go to Filter » Animation » Optimize (for GIF).
8. Save as ANIMATIONNAME.gif. A window will pop and REMEMBER TO CLICK "SAVE AS ANIMATION". Click Export then Save.
For more advanced animation, download GAP, GIMP animation package, which is on the website, and look up tutorials on the web.
08. Blur Overlay
1. Open up your image.
2. Duplicate the layer (Shift + CTRL + D).
3. Go to Filters » Blur » Gaussian Blur and set the radius to around 2-3.
4. Change the new layer's mode to Overlay.
09. Using Quick Mask
1. Open up your image.
2. Make a rectangular selection around the edge of the image.
3. Go to Select » Toggle Quick Mask (Shift + Q).
4. Go to Filters » Distorts » Waves and press OK or play around with the settings if you want.
5. Next, go to Filters » Blur » Gaussian Blur.
6. Set the radius to 3 and the blur method to RLE.
7. Untoggle Quick Mask by pressing Shift + Q again.
8. Go to Select » Invert, Edit » Clear, then Select » None. Save.
10. Creating a Border around a Text or Image
1. Create a new transparent layer under your text/image layer.
2. Right click your text/image layer and click "Alpha to Selection" then go to Select » Grow.
3. Enter a value between 1-5, depending on how big your text/image is.
4. Pick a color for your border, go back to your Layers dialog (by pressing CTRL + L), click on your transparent layer, then go to Edit » Fill with BG Color.
5. Select none, flatten the image, and save.
Optional: Before you flatten, select the colored layer and go to Filters » Blur » Gaussian Blur and enter the radius of between 3-10, again depending on how big your image is to create a blur effect.
Note: There are other ways to create borders. This is the "manual way". Examples of "easier" ways are to use the Script-Fu plugins or go to Edit » Stroke Selection.
11. Drop Shadows
1. Open up your image.
2. Go to Layer » Transparency » Alpha to Selection then Select » Grow. Choose a value between 3-10 depending on how big your image is.
3. Click Layer » New Layer and go to the Layers dialog. Drag the new layer below the original layer.
4. Now go to Edit » Fill with FG Color.
5. Select none. Go to Filters » Blur » Gaussian Blur. Set the values to whatever you want. I chose 15.
6. Lower the opacity of the blurred layer if you want.
7. Move the shadow layer to the bottom left slightly.
8. Go to Image » Flatten Image then Save.
12. Animated Rain
1. Open up your image.
2. Duplicate the image two times.
3. Add a new white layer for each image and set them in an alternating order (Image - White Layer - Image - White Layer, etc.). You should have a total of 6 layers.
4. Add noise to EACH white layer (Filters » Noise » RGB Noise). Unclick Correlated Noise and Independent RGB. Set the green, red, and blue parameters to .63 and the alpha one to 0. Press OK.
5. Repeat for all the white layers by pressing CTRL + F while clicking on that layer in the Layers dialog.
6. Add Motion Blur to each noise layer (Filters » Blur » Motion Blur). Set the blur type to Linear, length to 10, angle to 135, and then press OK.
7. Set the layer mode for each noise layer to Multiply.
8. Merge the noise layers down to the image layer below it. DO NOT merge the image layers together. You should now have the 3 image layers left. Save as .gif.
13. Image Maps
1. Open up your image. Go to Filters » Web » Image Map.
2. Use the "Define Rectangle Area" tool and select a region. A window will pop up.
3. Ignore everything else except in the "Link" tab. Fill in the URL. You can also ignore the Target frame name thing. Fill in the ALT text if you want (This is the label that shows over a link when you hover over it). Click OK.
4. Repeat if necessary.
5. When you're done, click View » Source. Copy the code.
6. Click YES when asked if you want to discard the changes.
The code will look similar to the one below. What you need are highlighted in red.
Upload your image via an image hosting site then copy the URL of the image to the part where it says "Untitled" (or whatever your image name is on your computer).
Here is an example of how to code an image map used in petpages.
1. Open up your image. Go to Layer » Duplicate Layer (or CTRL + Shift + D) then Filters » Blur » Pixelize.
2. Set the values to around 50-100 depending on how big your image is. Just change the value according to the preview. I set mine to 80. Click OK.
3. Lower the opacity to around 50, depending on the color. You could also change the layer mode instead if you want to.
4. Flatten the image then save.
15. Colorize Tool
1. Open up your image.
2. Go to Colors » Colorize. If the "Preview" box is not checked, check it.
3. Change the settings around until satisfied and then save.
16. Creating and Installing a new Splash
A splash is the image that shows up at your GIMP startup while it is loading. The default one looks like this:
GIMP allows us to make our own graphics to show up instead.
1. Create a new canvas with the dimensions 300x200 or bigger and start making your design.
Note: The splash must be at least 300x200 because any dimensions smaller than that will make the text end up being cut off.
2. When you're done, remember to flatten it, and save it as "gimp-splash.png" and put it in C:/Program Files (x86)/GIMP-2.0/share/gimp/2.0/images. Note that it can be a different address for you. You have to delete/rename/move the old splash image.
3. Restart GIMP and you should see it right away.
WARNING: Before installing your new splash, I strongly recommend you to back up the old one. (i.e., put it in a different folder)
17. Gradient Colorizing
1. Open up your image and create a new layer.
2. Click the Gradient tool and choose a gradient.
3. Drag a line across the image.
4. Go to your Layers dialog (CTRL + L), and change the gradient layer to the mode Color.
18. Putting an Image in your Text
1. Add your text.
2. Create a new layer, paste your image, and press CTRL + H.
3. Right click your text layer and select "Alpha to Selection".
4. Click on your image layer.
5. Press CTRL + I to invert the selection, then hit Delete to clear it.
6. Select none, flatten, and save.
19. Color Bubble Brush
1. First, go to your brush dialog (Windows » Dockable Dialogs » Brushes) and click on the second button that says "New Brush".
2. Change the name to "Bubble".
3. Change the radius of the brush to about 170-175 and the hardness to 0.50. You can change these two values to your liking.
When using it, I like to create a new layer, set the layer mode to Screen, pick a color, and start adding a few spots here and there. I also like to use it in Blending. I just pick the Eraser tool and this brush, which gives it a more smoother blend.
20. Border around Whole Image
1. Open up your image. Create a new transparent layer and fill it with whatever color you want the border to be.
2. Now select all, then go to Select » Shrink. Pick a value. I usually go with 10, but that's really depended on the size of your image.
3. If you want, you can also feather the selection by going to Select » Feather. This will create a "fuzzy" border.
4. Now delete your selection (Edit » Clear) and then Select » None.
5. Flatten the image then save.
21. Colorization #1: Tan with Darken Only
1. Open up your image.
2. Create a new transparent layer and fill it with f3c19c.
3. Set the new layer to Darken Only 100%.
4. Flatten then save.
22. Colorization #2: Vintage Look
1. Open up your image.
2. Add a new layer.
3. Fill it with the color fbf2a3.
4. Set the layer mode to Multiply.
5. Change the opacity to about 60.
6. Add another layer.
7. Fill it with e865b3.
8. Set the layer mode to Screen.
9. Change the opacity to 20.
10. Add another layer.
11. Fill with 0949e9.
12. Set the layer mode to Screen.
13. Change the opacity to 15.
14. Go to Image » Flatten Image then save.
23. Colorization #3: Light Pink
1. Open up your image and add a new transparent layer.
2. Fill it with the color e865b3 and set the layer mode to Addition 50%.
3. Create another layer.
4. Set the Background color to ffd7d7 and keep the Foreground color as e865b3.
5. Click on the gradient tool, make sure that it's set to FG to BG (RGB) then drag a line across the image starting from the top left corner and ending on the bottom right.
6. Set the layer mode to Overlay 100%.
7. Flatten then save.
24. Mirrored Text
1. Create a new canvas. Now click on the Text tool, click on your canvas, then add some text.
2. Using the Move tool, move the text so that there's enough room on the bottom for the "flipped" image.
3. Right click the text layer in your Layers dialog (CTRL + L), then select Duplicate Layer (or just hit CTRL + Shift + D). Nothing appears to had happened to your canvas, but the new layer is just on top of the old layer, so you can't see it.
4. Go to Layer » Transform » Flip Vertically.
5. Use the Move tool and move it under your original text. If you look at the image below, you can see that you can tell if you're moving directly below it or not by making sure that the X-value is 0.
6. Right click the top-most layer then select Alpha to Selection. Hit Delete on your keyboard.
7. Change the Foreground color to white and the Background to black, then select the Gradient tool.
8. Choose the gradient FG to BG.
9. Drag a line from around the top of the text, to about 3/4 of the way. See image below.
10. Now go to your Layers dialog again.
11. Change the "flipped" layer's mode to Overlay, then reduce the Opacity to your liking.
12. Flatten then Save.
25. Handwritten Text
1. Create a new canvas and fill the background with an image, pattern, gradient, or whatever else you want.
2. Using the Text tool, write your text on the canvas. It doesn't matter what color you choose for the text.
3. Right click the text layer in your Layers dialog (CTRL + L) and select "Alpha to Selection".
4. Now hit Delete on your keyboard. There now should be no color for the text; instead, there's only the "marching ants" around your text.
5. Set your Foreground color to whatever color you want the text to be.
6. Choose one of the default circle brush with a size that depends on the size on your text. I choose the "Circle (07) (9 x 9)" one. Make sure your "marching ants" are still there before you proceed to the next step.
7. Make a small dab on the first letter where you would normally begin to write.
8. Duplicate the layer (CTRL + Shift + D).
9. Make the next dab.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until the whole text is filled.
11. Play your animation by going to Filter » Animation » Playback. If it looks good, go to Filter » Animation » Optimize (for GIF). Save as animation, export, then press OK.
26. Stripes Overlay
1. Open up your image and add a new transparent layer.
2. Open the patterns dialog and select the black and yellow "Warning!" pattern. (This should be included with the installation)
3. Go to Edit » Fill with Pattern (Ctrl + ;).
4. Go to Colors » Colorize and adjust the parameters to whatever you like and click OK.
5. Open the layers dialog. Select the layer with the pattern and change the mode to overlay. If needed, adjust the opacity as well.
6. Flatten then save.
27. Glowing Beam Effect
1. Open up your image or create a new canvas.
2. Create a new transparent layer.
3. Select the path tool and draw the path you want. I made a "S". To do this, you start by clicking on the canvas where the starting point would be. Then you click where the ending point it. Finally, you click on the path created and drag it to create the desire shape.
4. Change your FG color to whatever color you want the path to be.
5. Go to Edit » Stroke Path. You can change the line width if you want. Press Stroke.
6. Go to your Layers Dialog (Ctrl + L). Right click the layer with the path on it. Select "Alpha to Selection".
7. Go to Select » Grow. Change the parameter to whatever you like. I chose 5.
8. Create a new transparent layer and move it under the path layer.
9. Select another FG color. This will be the "glow" color. Go to Edit » Fill with FG Color.
10. Go to Select » None then Filters » Blur » Gaussian Blur. Change the Blur Radius to whatever you like. I chose 20.
11. Now you can adjust the opacity if you like. Flatten then save.
28. Drawing a Wave
1. Create a new canvas and fill it with a gradient or whatever.
2. Use the path tool. Refer to the image above. Click Point A.
3. Click on Point B and drag your cursor toward the bottom right corner. Let go.
4. Click on Point C.
5. Click on Point D, and drag your cursor toward the top left corner. Let go.
6. Click on Point E.
7. While holding the Ctrl key, click on Point A again. An infinity sign should had appeared when you hover over Point A.
8. Open up your Paths Dialog. Go to Windows » Dockable Dialogs » Paths. Right click the path in the Paths Dialog and select "Path to Selection". Go to Edit » Fill with BG Color (or FG, if you want).
9. Select none, flatten, then save. Or make more waves first.
I messed up on the curve, but shh, you saw nothing!