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. :)

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