Sunday, January 31, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Making Your Own Coins

I found Sara's YouTube video on, unfortunately it was in Italian?(not sure, exactly) and very hard for me to follow along because her GIMP & menus are not in English, either. But that's ok, because I figured out a quick way to do this. Grab this coin image to start with (This photo was found on Kevin Dooley's Flickr site):

(Click on image to enlarge for copying)

It will also help to have a good lighting "face shot" of your subject for the coin. If you don't have one, maybe now would be a good time to find or take a digital picture.

Step 1: We need to clear out the content of the original coin to make room for our own image. To do this, we'll improvise just  a little bit: set up a selection on the inside of the coin, and then select Filters - Gaussian Blur at 90 px. Set it even higher or lower to suit yourself. Leave the selection for the next steps. If the high 90px  Gaussian blur fades any part of the coin, use the Clone tool to fill it back in.

Step 2:

Now we'll be adding two new transparent layers on top, to add some character to the blurred coin and bring it back to life. First, copy and paste the following patterns into your .gimp-2.6/patterns folder (refresh patterns dialog):

Add the first transparent layer, then (keeping the internal area of the coin selected) fill it with wobbles, change the layer mode to overlay, and lower the opacity to about 40.

Add the second transparent layer, (keeping it selected) fill it with granite1.jpg pattern, change the layer mode to overlay, and lower the opacity to about 25.

Step 3:

It's time to work on your face picture to add to the coin. I'm using one of myself, that you might recognize from previous posts.

Cut your face image out using the Ellipse tool, similar to what's shown above. Then copy and paste your image as a new layer on the coin image.

Step 4:

I need to remove the background area from my face image, so I'll be using the Lasso Select tool to create a selection. Invert your selection then press delete to remove the background from your face image. Once you create the selection, save it as a path for later.

Step 5:

Remove the selection from your face image layer.

Select the coin layer (bottom-most), run Filters - Map - Bump Map and input the following settings:

For the bump map, you are selecting the trimmed face image layer.

Once you run Bump Map, click off the face image layer, and you should now see something similar to the following:

If you managed to save a path of the face image selection, now would be a good time to run a 2px dark brown stroke on the coin layer.

Step 6:

Using the Path tool, create a circular path to fill outside the face image on a new transparent layer. Do not close the path.

Using text of your choice, and wording of your choice, select the Text tool to create wording for the circular path. You may have to use trial and error and CTRL + Z to undo Text Along A Path that doesn't fit properly. Once you get the text to fit the Path to your satisfaction, click off the Text Layer, reselect the last transparent layer we made just previously, fill the background with white.

Jump to the Paths dialog and select the new text path, use path to selection. On the layer dialog, fill the selected text with black. Remove the selection from the text layer.


Highlight the coin layer, go to Filters - Map - Bump Map, and select the text layer for the bump map. Use the same settings from the face image.

Step 7:

Time to add the 2¢, with a little help from charmap.exe (you can open the character map by going to your Windows start button and typing charmap in the run box - hit enter). Once you get charmap open, select the cent sign and then copy. When you use the Text tool and type 2, just CTRL + V the clipboard contents (¢) into the editor.

Make sure the text layer (with the circular path text on it) is visible, merge the new 2¢ layer down.

Use the Airbrush tool and color white, to cover over the previous "circular" text, to keep the upcoming bump map from darkening the circular text even more on the coin layer.

Once again with the coin layer highlighted, go to Filters - Map - Bump Map, reselect the text layer as the bump map, use the same settings as both times before.

Turn off the text layer after you run Bump Map. You're done! :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Make Your Own Invitations (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 we made an envelope graphic to substitute as an postcard invitation. In Part 2, we'll pick up where we left off, and add the tree frog image. If you haven't done Part 1, you can get started with that here.

Open treefrog.xcf from part 1.

[One note before we get started: You may notice that the colors mentioned in the tutorial don't match the colors in the screenshots. Don't fret, I started the tutorial with different colors and decided against re-doing all the screenshots, but I did manage to correct the colors in the later screenshots.]

Step 1:

Create a new transparent layer, name it frogbody.

Select the Free Select tool, zoom in on the left portion of the envelope, and we are going to freehand the body outline of the tree frog onto the image as shown below:

Fill the selection using the Blend tool, choose a dark green (104d07) foreground and lighter green (0a8714) background, shape set to Radial with NO offset. Run the gradient path from between the eyes downward past the face. Then go to Selection on the menu and choose "To Path" to save it as a path for later use.

Keep in mind it might take a couple of attempts to get the body outline to where you want it.  Deselect the selection after filling it with a gradient.

Step 2:

Add a new transparent layer, name it eyedepth. Select the Ellipse Select tool, and we'll now add some depth to the eye areas. Create two ellipse selections separately, adding a radius feather of 5 (after you create the first ellipse, use the Blend tool, choose a dark green (104d07) foreground and lighter green (0a8714) background, shape set to Radial with NO offset, then do the same thing with the second ellipse.) See below:

Step 3:

Create a new transparent layer, name it eyes. Just like with the eye depth layer above, we have to tackle each eye, one at a time, in order for the sphere designer filter to work correctly. Create a smaller ellipse inside each eye depth area, go to Filters - Render - Sphere Designer and change only two colors as shown in the two menus below:

First, the example of what you are trying to achieve

In Sphere Designer, you only need to change two colors to get the red eyes:

Pay attention to the layer areas selected in each menu

Step 4:

Create a new transparent layer, name it pupils. In this case we can make one pupil, copy and paste it to the second eye. Select the Path tool, and create a diamond like closed shape, rounded in the middle, as shown:

Choose Selection From Path, fill the pupil with black using the Bucket tool. While still selected, copy the pupil and paste it to the other eye.

While the pasted selection is still a floating selection, you can flip the pupil horizontally and rotate it before you anchor the selection. When done, deselect the selection.

Step 5:

Add a new transparent layer, name it face. Here we will create a selection area to bring some depth and contrast to the frog's face. Using the Free Select tool, we'll create that area and then use the Blend tool to apply a gradient. First create the selection, like shown:

Apply the Blend tool, using the same green colors as before for your gradient, making your gradient path from the center of the selection area, diagonally (the same direction as the frog's lean) about halfway past the selection area. Once you have the result, apply a Gaussian blur of 10.

Step 6:

Add a new transparent layer, name it jaw. Now we'll give some definition to the jaw area, to make it look more appealing. Using the Free Select tool, create a selection like shown:

You want to apply the gradient in the direction where the lighter green is toward the bottom of his jaw, and darker toward his lips. Once you get the result you want, apply a Gaussian blur of 10.

Step 7:

It's time for the feet/hands, create a new transparent layer, name it hands. Basically, long fingers with bulbous fingertips. Because we need to apply gradients to each hand, we need to create each hand individually. You can even make one hand and then copy/paste it for the second one.

Using the Path tool, create the selection, rounding off the bulbous fingertips, as shown:

Choose Selection From Path, fill the selection with a dark orange (cf6c02) color, and a lighter yellow-orange (f6cb01) color. Apply the gradient in the direction where the fingertips are lighter in color than the hand.

Step 8:

Deselect the selection, create a new transparent layer and name it fingers. Now we are going to apply ridges to the fingers to give them appeal and depth. Using the Airbrush tool, circle (03), scale at 1.35, select a darker color of orange for the foreground color (almost brown) and make ridges like shown:

Apply a Gaussian blur of 6.

Step 9:

Merge the fingers layer down, selecting the hand layer, then Edit - Copy. Then select Edit - Paste As - New Layer.

Flip the clipboard layer, vertically.

Step 10:

Now we need to make the lower arm using the Free Select tool. Create a selection like shown, filling it with the dark green, light green colors (same as mentioned in Step 2):

Deselect the selection. Apply a Gaussian blur of 8.

If you feel like the hands are too big or in the wrong direction, don't fret, simply select that layer and scale the layer smaller, or rotate them until you are satisfied with the direction.

Step 11:

The final steps will have us going back to the frogbody layer and doing a little bit of clean-up on the body. Using the Free Select tool, make a selection like shown:

Press delete to remove the area in the selection.

We're done! Add your own font and decorations to complete.

Thank you for following along. :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Make Your Own Invitations (Part 1 of 2)

This tutorial looks longer than it really is, due to the numerous screenshots being shown to illustrate the process.

Step 1:

Open a new drawing with white background, 6" x 4.5" (standard postcard size) at 300 dpi.

Step 2:

Add a new transparent layer.

Step 3:

Fill the lower layer with any color of your choice. I'm using an off blue-green mixed with gray (8abda7).

On the top-most layer, use any pattern of your choice ( I am using "fractal pattern"), in normal mode, and lower the opacity to 20 to give it a proper blend.

At this point, your image results should look like this:

Step 4:

Add a new transparent layer. Add two vertical guide lines to help align the path, one at 270 px and second at 420 px, like so:

We're going to create the opening of the envelope, using the two guidelines to keep the path uniform. With the Path tool selected, create a vertical closed path as shown below:

Use Selection from Path, select the Gradient (Blend) tool, (black for foreground, white for background) shape at Linear. Select an area from the left edge to the guideline at 420 px at center point. Change the mode to the top layer to Multiply. Your image should now look like the following:

Step 5:

Add a new transparent layer. Set a horizontal guideline at 675 px and a vertical guide at 1620 px:

Now we're going to make the bottom envelope flap using the Path tool and Blend tool. Select the Path tool, make a vertical closed path like shown below:

Step 6:

Choose Selection from Path. Select the Blend tool (black foreground with white background for colors, using Linear shape), and start your gradient from the midpoint center of the image to the right edge of the envelope, change the layer mode to Multiply, lower the opacity to about 25:

Create a new transparent layer, change to the Paths dialog, selecting the bottom flap path, right click, selecting Stroke Path. Set the foreground color to 527264, then use the settings shown below:

Your image should now look like the following:

Step 7:

Now to complete the envelope, we need to make the horizontal seam that runs across the center of the envelope.

Add a new transparent layer.

Turn your horizontal guide at center point (675 px) back on or reset the guide.

Using the Rectangle Select tool, make a small horizontal selection along the center point, like shown:

Step 8:

Using the Blend tool (same black and white colors, using Linear shape) drag your gradient out from halfway from the top across the seam to halfway from the bottom of the envelope. Change the layer mode to Multiply and lower the opacity to about 60:

Step 9:

For the final step, select the Path tool, and create a horizontal path along the bottom of the newly created seam:

In the Paths dialog, right click the new path, and select the same color (527264) as you did for the bottom flap:

Your final result:

If you want to add the "sticky area on the top flap (left), use the Rectangle Select tool to create the thin strip area, (on a new layer) fill it with a darker color (527264) and lower the opacity to about 25.

Save the file as treefrog.xcf so that it can be used with layers again for part 2 of this tutorial.

That's it, we're done with this portion of the invitation! 

The layer stack:

Check back later for the second part of this tutorial and we'll add the tree frog to the inside of the envelope. :)