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GIMP Tutorials

Blondie Bear

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Okay, by popular demand, I'm putting together a series of tutorials on using GIMP. When we get to actual artwork and such, I'll be using tutorials from the wonderful Lyri, who taught me everything I know, but I'll modify them from the PS tutorial for use in GIMP.

Everybody ready? Here we go.

Lesson 1 - Know Your Tools

Not everybody knows exactly how the program works, and trying to figure out where a button is when you should be making pretty pretty artwork just gets frustrating. So this is a very basic tour of what you can find in GIMP and where.

First, when you open the program, this is what you'll see. You've got two doohickies (that's the scientific term) with tools on them.

The one on the left is your toolbox. These are the selection tools. You can see there's a couple of different ways you can select stuff, and it mostly depends on what effect you're going for.

These are some handy tools that I hardly ever use, except the eyedropper. These let you do fun and crazy stuff to your images.

These are probably the ones you'll use the most. The A is for adding text, the bucket fills a contiguous area with a color, the little gray box is your gradient tool, the pencil and brush are what you'll use to draw stuff. Then there's the eraser. You'll use the eraser A LOT. The rest of them you may not use as much (I don't), except the smudge tool (that's the little finger-looking one).

When you have a drawing tool selected, you can choose a brush, and this is where you'll adjust your brush. You can set the color, the opacity, and even the size of the brush. Every brush has a range of sizes, from .1 to 10, which is very useful, especially since the biggest fuzzy brush (which we'll be using a lot of) isn't nearly big enough on its own.

The other toolbox is where most of the magic happens. It's got three tabs at the bottom, one for patterns (I hardly use this), one for gradients, and one for brushes.

At the top of that same toolbox is where you'll work with your layers. When you have a project open, you'll want to use that little dropdown box to find it so you can see all the layers and work with them.

The "Filters" menu is where all the manipulatey magic happens. If I tell you to add a blur or a drop shadow or something, this is where you're going to get it.

That pretty much does it for the program itself. But you'll also want to know how to add brushes, fonts, etc. to the program. Unfortunately, GIMP can't use PS gradients, but it can use everything else. In order to add stuff, go to My Computer and find your username (you get there different ways depending on the version of Windows you're running, and if you have a Mac, you're on your own, but I'm sure you can find it). In that folder, you'll see a folder that's labeled .gimp2.6 (or whatever version you have), like this.

Open that folder, and you'll see all the folders where you can add stuff. It's pretty much copy/paste or drag-and-drop. Be aware, though, the first time you open the program after you've added something (especially fonts), it will take a little longer to load. Just let it sit and it'll open eventually.

Okay! That pretty much does it for that! Questions? Comments? Cries of outrage?
 
sk
sk
Just love how this tutorial is written. Looking forward to more.
MandaMeena
MandaMeena
[No message]
PassionBecoming
PassionBecoming
This makes my life happier.
nightshade
nightshade
Willow Tara
Willow Tara
thank you

Blondie Bear

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Hello, all! Ready for the first actual art lesson in these art lessons?

Before we get started, you may want to make yourself a nice big fuzzy brush, because as I mentioned, the biggest fuzzy brush that comes with GIMP isn't big enough for our purposes. So here's how to do that, really quick.

Go to your brush tab in the Layers "“ Patterns, Gradients, Brushes toolbar. Select the biggest fuzzy brush. Down at the very bottom, you have a couple of tiny buttons. Hit the one that says "New Brush." Now your Brush Editor is open and you should have a fuzzy brush in there already. Set the radius to 50.0 and leave everything else alone. Name the brush something descriptive (I used "Circle Fuzzy Big") and save it. It should now show up in your brushes.

Lesson 2 "“ Droolable Dean Wall

Today we're going to make this wonderful Jensen wall that Lyri designed. Try not to drool, ladies; you might short out your keyboards.

Wherever possible, I've linked textures and images directly to their artists' pages. I've also tried to explain stuff in as much detail as possible for those who are just starting. If you're more advanced, just bear with us for a bit. :)

Open a new canvas, size 1440x900, and fill with black. Save and open this image, then copy it. On your canvas, right click and go to the Layer menu and select New Layer. Leave the dimensions of the new layer the same, but give it a descriptive name; I used "Jensen." Then paste the image onto it. Anchor the layer by either right-clicking, going to the Layer menu and selecting Anchor or going to the Layers toolbox and clicking on the little anchor at the bottom of your layers box, here.

Create a new layer and paste this stock into it. Anchor it and set it to Burn by using the dropdown box over your layer box (it should say "Normal" at this point), here. Take a big fuzzy brush (I used my custom brush with the scale set to 3.0) and erase anything covering Jensen's face. You should end up with something like this.

Create another new layer and paste this stock into it. Anchor it and set it to Multiply. Erase anything over Jensen's face, like this.

Now, click on the eyeball next to your black background layer, then right click on the image, go to the Image menu, and select "Merge Visible Layers." Here.

Now, take your big fuzzy brush (I set mine to 5.0) and erase around the outside edges until you've got Jensen all by his lonesome in the middle, like this.

Create a new layer and name it "Color1" or something similar. Over on your toolbox, click on the foreground color (it's the top one of the two boxes with colors, probably white right now). When the dialog box pops up, paste this number in where it says "HTML notation": 0984c6. Fill your new layer with this color by using the bucket. Set that layer to Overlay. Should look like this.

Do the same thing again with [HASHTAG]#c1b474[/HASHTAG] and set it to Soft Light, like this.

Once again with [HASHTAG]#310503[/HASHTAG], set to Screen, like this.

Make a new layer and paste this texture into it. Move it so it's underneath the color layers (after you've anchored it, you can drag the layer through your layers box). Set it to Screen and erase anything over Jensen's face. Like this.

Make a new layer and paste this texture into it. (It's from Radiance, but I couldn't find it on that site to link it directly.) Set it under the color but over the first texture. Before you anchor it, skootch it so it's positioned like this. Set it to Soft Light and erase over Jensen's face so it looks like this.

Click on your red layer, then go to the Tools menu, then the Color Tools menu, and click on Hue/Saturation. Set the Saturation to -35, like this.

Now, Lyri used a gradient here (this one), but since Photoshop gradients don't work in GIMP, we're going to skip it. If you know how to create gradients in GIMP and want to give this one a shot, go ahead; she wanted it reversed and set to Soft Light. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

If you're good with messing with gradients, go ahead and do the exact same thing as above with this one.

At this point, Lyri decided the piece was "too texture heavy" and decided to cut some of them out by adding another layer, this one filled with black ([HASHTAG]#00000[/HASHTAG]), then erasing stuff over his face like this..

Create a new layer, fill it with [HASHTAG]#080e19[/HASHTAG] and set it to Subtract, like this..

Create a new layer, fill it with [HASHTAG]#444952[/HASHTAG] and set it to Soft Light at 65%. The bar to do that is the Opacity bar right under the effect dropdown menu. It should look like this..

Create a new layer, fill it with [HASHTAG]#0e0919[/HASHTAG]. Leave it normal, but set it to 65%, like this..

Go back to the Tools menu, then to the Color Tools menu, and click on Brightness/Contrast. Set the Brightness to -5 and the Contrast to +2, like this..

Now right-click on the image, go to the Image menu, and click on Flatten Image. Right click on it again, go to the Layer menu and select Duplicate Layer. Then go to the Filters menu (that's the magic one, remember?), Blur, and Gaussian Blur. Set the layer to 50% opacity. If you feel like the whole thing is too dark (like I did), you can also set it to Screen, which will brighten it up a bit.

Flatten the image again and make a new duplicate layer. In the Filters menu, go to Enhance and pick Sharpen. Set the layer to 50% again.

Flatten everything again, then go to your toolbox and pick the Sharpen/Blur tool. It looks like a teardrop. When you have it selected, go to the bottom of your toolbox and click on "Sharpen." Use the tool around Jensen's dreamy eyes a bit, but not too much.

After that, it's just adding text! Use the "A" tool, click on the image, and type your text. You can always move the text box around and mess with color/font in the toolbox. Try to pick a color from the image itself (that's what the eyedropper is for) for the text. Lyri used a gradient on her text, but that's a bit advanced and actually looks like crap in GIMP (at least as far as I've ever tried it). While adding text, always add a signature as well. It's yours; sign it!

You can see the one Lyri made above;
here's
mine. When you're finished, tack it in your art thread so we can see!

Questions? Comments? Old war stories?
 

Blondie Bear

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Everybody ready for Lesson #3? I hope so!

Lesson 3 "“ Awesomely Layered Buffy-Gives-Up Wall

Here is Lyri's result from this project. We're going to need lots of screencaps, so let's go get those first.

Cap 1
Cap 2
Cap 3
Cap 4
Cap 4

You'll also need these textures:
Texture 1
Texture 2
Texture 3
Texture 4

Here we go!

Open a new canvas, size 1440x900 and fill it with black ([HASHTAG]#000000[/HASHTAG]).

Open your screencaps. The first thing you want to do is find out what size they are. You can do this either by looking up at the top of the screen when you have it open or hovering your mouse over the minimized window (like this). Create a new layer, and make sure you size the layer to the same size as the image you're about to put in it, like this. Paste the first cap into it and resize it a bit; I used 1000x563. You can do this by right-clicking on it, going to the Layer menu, and selecting Scale Layer. Then just type 1000 in the top box; the program will automatically adjust the height for you. Position the layer like this.

Open the second cap and repeat the above process, positioning the layer like this. I used 1150 as the width on this cap.

Now here comes some fun. Lower the opacity on the top cap until you can see the first one through it. Now take your big soft brush (I set mine on 3.0) and click gently, as few times as possible, until you can see the lower Buffy's face through the top cap. Then reset your opacity. This is what mine looks like.

Take your third cap, resize it if you want (I actually left mine at full size this time), place it to the lower right of the first cap, and repeat the above process with the eraser so you can see the other two images. The real trick here is making sure you've gotten rid of all the hard lines across faces; selecting your background layer in your layer box will give you a better view of what your erasing looks like so you can check on it. This is what I ended up with.

Take cap 4, resize and position it to the lower left of the first cap. I resized the width on mine to 1000 again. Big eraser, minimal clicks, and this is what I got.

The last cap goes in the middle of the cluster. I resized the width to 1100. Erase gently, and you should have something like this.

Phew! Now we get to do our texturing!

Take your first texture and place it in a new layer on your canvas. Set it to Multiply and erase everything covering the Buffys faces, like this.

New layer with texture 2, and move it until the stripes and birds are at the lower right of the canvas. Set it to screen and do some erasing. Should look like this.

Take the third texture, put it on the canvas, resize it so it covers the whole thing. Set it to Multiply. Don't erase; leave this one as is.

Last texture! Layer it onto the canvas, then skootch it so the words aren't covering Buffy's face. Set it to Hard Light and erase the hard line you have down the left, like this.

Now for some colors!

Make a new layer, fill it with [HASHTAG]#02070f[/HASHTAG] and set it to Subtract.
New layer, fill with [HASHTAG]#adaeb3[/HASHTAG] and set to Soft Light.
New layer, fill with [HASHTAG]#0a1c05[/HASHTAG] and set to Screen at 50%.
New layer, fill with [HASHTAG]#000000[/HASHTAG], set to Soft Light at 20%.
Last one. Fill with [HASHTAG]#d8e5e1[/HASHTAG], set to Multiply.

Flatten the image and duplicate the layer. Play around with blur and sharpen as you want to. I set mine to Selective Gaussian Blur, Screen, 50%, and got this.

Add some text, try some drop shadows on the text (that always makes it pop just a bit), and don't forget your signature!

Have fun with that. The next one's a challenge!
 
Taake
Taake
this is awesome thanks so much!
T
Tasha
nicely done! Look forward to the rest!

Blondie Bear

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And I just realized that I labeled two different caps "Cap 4," but I'm sure you all are smart enough to figure it out anyway. ;)
 

Taake

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oh holy oracle (;P) can I ask - do you know how to add new fonts to Gimp. say if one wants to download one from Dafont or something. :)

---------- Post added at 08:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:26 AM ----------

Okay here's for the challenge, honestly I'm not happy at all with it. But it was my first time trying a wall like this so at least I had some fun. :D

I used stock photo's from deviantART: where ART meets application! (Broken Glass Texture 1 by `FantasyStock on deviantART, Web by ~dazzle-textures on deviantART)

and here's my result:
 
B
Blondie Bear
Check out the last few paragraphs of the first tutorial. If you still have questions, let me know.

Blondie Bear

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I think the broken glass was a good choice! The first time I did this one, I used a puzzle-piece texture, so I definitely see where you're coming from with that.
 

Taake

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I've tried adding fonts and brushes but it just doesn't work, do you have any tips?
 
B
Blondie Bear
PM me and walk me through step-by-step what you're doing. Maybe we can figure out what's up. :)

sk

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It took me some time... mostly because I redid it a million times.
Had a really hard time finding textures that worked to my liking. It's still not as good as I would want it. Would never use it as a wallpaper myself to be honest.

But I guess it's time to move on... so here it is my first wallpaper size attempt ever. :)



Textures from Crossing Shadows

Thanks BB!

/SK
 

Blondie Bear

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Everybody ready? Roll up your sleeves and get your erasers ready!

This time, we're going to experiment with using a stock image as part of the picture instead of as an extra texture.

Lesson 4 "“ Spuffy Love

Here is what Lyri got when she made this. Hopefully we can do half as well. :)

Start with these:
Buffy
Spike
Window

You also need these textures:
Texture 1
Texture 2
Texture 3

Okay, here we go!

Make a new canvas, 1440x900, fill it with black. Make a layer for the window stock and place it on the left side of the canvas. Erase any hard lines with your big fuzzy brush, like this.

Make a new layer for Buffy and place her on the canvas like this.

Now we need to erase everything except Buffy and the chair. The easiest way to do this is to get rid of huge chunks of the background first. Take your lasso tool and draw around Buffy and the chair. Make sure your last click is in the same spot as your first click. Then, go to your Select menu and click on Invert. This makes it select everything in the image BUT Buffy. Now hit delete. You should have something like this. When you're done, go back to your Select menu and click on None.

Now use your View menu to blow up the image as big as you're comfortable with and erase everything else. Don't forget to get inside Buffy's arm, too! Hair is tricky, so take your time, use a small fuzzy brush, and don't use really long strokes, because if you mess up and have to undo, you don't want it to undo EVERYTHING. When you're done, it should look something like this. (Hint: when you've got a long, straight stretch to erase, like the back of the chair, you can make a straight line with the eraser by clicking once, holding down Shift, and clicking again at the other end. This makes the chair, and sometimes arms and legs, much, much easier!)

Now make a layer for Spike and position him about here. Erase everything around him, too, until you have this.

You'll probably notice the lighting's WAY off. Spike's pale even for a vampire and he's still got that awful blue-and-green lighting on his legs. To fix that, add a new layer and fill it with [HASHTAG]#000000[/HASHTAG], then set it to Color. Set the opacity around 30%, like this. It's still not quite right, so right-click and go to the Layer menu and select Duplicate Layer. Erase everything over Spike and up the opacity of this layer to 60%, like this.

Create a new layer, fill it with [HASHTAG]#58340a[/HASHTAG] and set it to Soft Light, like this.

New layer, fill with [HASHTAG]#260a0a[/HASHTAG] and set to Soft Light, like so.

New layer, fill with [HASHTAG]#000000[/HASHTAG] and set to Soft Light at 30%, like this.

Time for TEXTURES!!!!

Take the first texture and put it in a new layer. Resize it so it covers the whole thing, then drag it so it's UNDER the color layers. Set it to Multiply. Erase anything covering Buffy & Spike so you have this.

Take the second layer, put it under the colors but over the first texture, and set it to Soft Light. Erase anything covering Buffy & Spike. Like this.

Let's tweak the lighting on Spike a bit, shall we? We need more shadows to his right so it looks like the light's coming from the window. Select the paintbrush and set your foreground color to [HASHTAG]#000000[/HASHTAG]. Take your big fuzzy brush, scale it to about 5.0, set the opacity to about 50%, and click two or three times just to the right of Spike. You should get something like this.

Take your last texture, paste it under the colors again, and set it to Soft Light at 20%. Set a Gaussian Blur on it to take care of the sandy-looking bits, like this.

Flatten the image, duplicate it, and mess around with blurs and sharpens until you get something you like. Then add some appropriate text and a signature.

THEN upload it and stick it in your art thread so we can see it! Here's[/url what I got (the lyrics are from Hypnogaja's "Lullaby").
 

Blondie Bear

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I promise you, loyal GIMPites, I have not forgotten you. There's at least one (possibly two) more tutorials that I need to do and post, but the summer class I'm taking right now is a time vampire. I'll have the next one for you as soon as I can, even if that means after this class is over in the first week of July.
 
Taake
Taake
take your time, we'll be waiting eagerly :D

Spikefan31

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So I went a little overboard with the colours...hehe...



Then I deleted a few


Needless to say I had fun, which I guess is the most important thing :biggrin3:

P.S. Thanks so much for this thread! It's amazing and I'm sure I would have never figured out how to use GIMP without it :)
 
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this is a really long list of information lol and i skimmed through it but i am curious still how do you use GIMP to make images look softer?...like i notice alot of people have this really clear, concise and soft look to their images and i just cant figure it out.

help ? :)
 
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