Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Make Your Own "Simple" Satin Bows

If you're feeling confident about using the Path tool, all it will take is creating 5 path shapes that comprise the entire bow. No special scripts or plug-ins are needed. I have since upgraded my GIMP to version 2.6.8, I suggest you update GIMP if you haven't already done so.

Step 1:

Create a new drawing with a white background. (I am using 640 x 640 at 300 dpi). Add a new transparent layer.

Using the Rectangle select tool, make a small square in the center of your drawing, save it to a path.

Switch to the Path tool and manipulate the square, convert the path to a selection, fill it with white using the Paint Bucket tool:

Step 2:

Add a new transparent layer. Using the Path tool, create the left side bow ribbon:

Convert the path into a selection, use the Paint Bucket tool to fill it with white.

Right click the layer and select "Layer to Image Size". Select the Flip Tool, set the Affect mode to Selection, then flip the selection horizontally.

Create a new transparent layer and then fill the newly flipped selection with white. Your results should be similar to the following:

Now we'll use the Path tool to create the bottom portion of the ribbon on one side and follow the same duplication procedure as above, first create a new transparent layer before proceeding:

Convert the path into a selection, use the Paint Bucket tool to fill it with white.

Right click the layer and select "Layer to Image Size". Select the Flip Tool, set the Affect mode to Selection, then flip the selection horizontally. Save the selection to a Path.

Create a new transparent layer and then fill the newly flipped selection with white. Your results should be similar to the following:

Now all five paths are set and we can begin to create depth using the Blend tool.

Step 3:

Selecting one layer at a time.  Selecting the middle rectangular bow "knot" layer, and using the Fuzzy Select tool, I click on the "knot" to activate the selection. Start with the Blend tool selected, and mode set to difference, shape set to Bi-Linear. I started from bottom layer up. Then give the selection a couple of gradient strokes vertically (one running down, and one running up):

I used the Radial shape and Bi-Linear on the next two:

Finally, the bottom two ribbons:

Step 4:

With the background layer turned off, merge the five visible ribbon layers.

Apply Colors  - Curves:

You get this:

Step 5:

We need to add some dark folds (on a new transparent layer) that extend from the knot, to give it a touch of realism, then apply a Gaussian blur of 10 px. Right now it doesn't look like much, but I Warp will change that in the next step:

Merge the added lines layer down onto the ribbon layer, and then open Filters - Distorts - I Warp. I mainly used the Move option with deform radius at 50 and deform amount at 30. I recommend you make adjustments in steps, save the effect, open it back up and work in I Warp some more. Because one little mistake can cause you to have to start all over again when resetting the I Warp filter. I probably added too many lines, but you get the idea of how I-warp is used.

All that is left is to add color and a drop shadow:

Maybe add some texture? Add another transparent layer, set the mode to Multiply, and start trying out different textures/patterns, and adjusting the opacity levels. Most patterns work very well with the ribbon bow.

The I-warp result isn't perfect, but it gives you the idea and then you can improve upon it. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Make Your "Own" Distressed Paper or Pirate Map Fabric

Pirate map

Click image to enlarge

Wanted Poster

Step 1:

Open a new transparent drawing (I used 640 x 640 px with 300 dpi). With the Rectangle Select tool, create the size of paper or map that you want to use and center it on your transparent image.

Fill the selection with white, using the Bucket Fill tool.

Go to Select - Border and add a 15px border with "Lock selection to images" edges checked.

Step 2:

Go to Filters - Artistic - Cubism. You can follow the settings given below or choose to make yours smaller or larger (if you make the cubism larger it will require additional editing: removing semi-faded areas, etc.).

You should end up with something looking similar to this:

We'll need to clean the edges up a bit.

Step 3:

Turn off the selection: (Select - None or Shift+CTRL+A).

Add a Gaussian blur of 3 px to the paper layer.

Apply Colors - Curve as follows:

You'll end up with something similar to this:

Step 4:

Select the Fuzzy Select tool and click on the white paper area to select it. Create a new transparent layer and fill the selection with white on the new layer using the Bucket Fill tool. Then take note of the following instructions:

If you want to use this as paper and make it look worn and crumpled, I followed this Photoshop tutorial by Janee and converted it to GIMP parameters. The conversion for GIMP for each step is as follows:

  • Part A: New Layer is Shift+CTRL+N

  • Part B: There are no Reflected or Diamond shapes for Gradients in GIMP, I used Bi-Linear the most, and a little bit of Radial. Pressing D will change your foreground/background colors to default black and white. Don't forget to set the Gradient (Blend) Mode to Difference in the Toolbox dialog.

  • Part C: No conversion needed, and you really can't go wrong with overkill. Almost every "overkill" of difference gradients I attempted worked out fairly well in the following steps. Don't be intimidated by finding perfection in the crumple pattern. You'll see when you follow up in steps D and E.

  • Part D: For the folds to stand out : Filters - Distorts - Emboss.

  • Part E: Curves is found at Colors - Curves. Tinker with curves until you're satisfied.

  • Part F: (DON'T USE) If you use my cubism parameters above, you really don't need to do any cutting out. This step is really good for large size edges.

  • Part G: (DON'T USE) Drop shadow can be found under Filters - Light and Shadow - Drop Shadow. However, this is very important to note. You don't really want to apply a drop shadow on the crumpled gradient layer because we already have our paper size defined on the original layer under it. So do not apply either "Steps F or G" at this point. I am only making references to them to identify the GIMP conversions.

Here is my example after following Janee's instructions using GIMP conversions:

The "overkill" difference gradients using Bi-Linear and Radial (Looks like one mad crazy storm, doesn't it?):

(Note the paper is still selected)

Now the Filters - Distorts - Emboss effect with settings: Azimuth - 135, Elevation - 45, and Depth - 4:

Finally add a bit of Colors - Curves to lighten it up and smooth out wrinkles and make some folds more pronounced:


Then the result:

Set the Layer Mode to Multiply.

Keep in mind, if you don't like how my settings are working out for your folds, you can always manipulate the Emboss and Curves settings to suit yourself, or lower opacity levels to reduce contrast, including changing from Multiply mode to perhaps Overlay mode to increase lightness or even opt out of using Curves, entirely.

My goal here is to lead you to doing these things on your own, not trying to make the "perfect" paper crumple. That's something I hope you readers take upon yourself and perhaps show me a few tricks of your own.  I would love to see your results, so send me a link to your uploaded images if you have a site you upload to. :)

Step 5:

Now to add texture and color. Select the original paper layer (should be bottom-most background layer) and keep the paper selected.

Using the Fill Bucket tool, select a background color of #8e7f60. This should give it the brown paper bag look (lighten or darken the color to suit):

To give the paper an aged look, we'll start by adding a new layer and texture. Add a new top-most transparent layer, with the paper still selected, layer mode to Overlay.

Using the Bucket Fill tool, change the fill type to Pattern and fill the selection with the provided pattern below (save to .gimp-2.6/patterns folder):

Lower opacity of the layer to about 60. You should now have something similar to this:

Any additional layers with text and markings on the paper should be in Multiply or Overlay mode.

Step 6:

If you want page curls, select only the corner area in approximation of how big you want the page curl to be. An example (using the bottom-most paper layer using the Free Select tool with mode set to subtract from the current selection select all but the corner you want to have the page curl):

Change your foreground and background colors to: #8e7f60 and #463e2e.

Go to Filters - Distorts - Page Curl and apply these settings:

The result creates some residual pixel litter which we need to clean up. You should now have a page curl layer above your original paper layer. Select the original paper layer and you'll see what I am talking about. Simply select the Fuzzy Select tool, click the paper area to select it, go to Select - Invert and press delete, then Select - None to remove the selection. The result should be similar to the following:

Add a drop shadow (Filters - Light and Shadow - Drop Shadow defaults):

Step 7:

Paper shadowing involves a simple layer mask. Shadowing gives the paper additional depth and makes it look more appealing. Select the original paper layer once again and duplicate it.

On the duplicate copy layer (above original layer) right click the layer and select Add Layer Mask and choose the White (full opacity) option and check Invert layer. Change the layer mode to Multiply.

Press the D key to restore black and white defaults.

Using the Blend (Gradient) tool with mode set to Difference, run a couple of diagonal gradients from top left to bottom right. To give you an idea of how my layers are set up and the end result of shadowing, I have provided a screenshot of my layers dialog with the image.

Click image to enlarge it

Step 8:

If you want to make it look more like a cloth-like pirate map instead of paper, either remove the top-most layer (or turn it off by clicking on the eye) and replace it with a new layer using a fabric or weave type pattern, instead. Make sure the new layer mode is set to Overlay and the paper area is selected!

I used the pattern offered below (save it to your .gimp-2.6/patterns folder - refresh patterns dialog):

Image result using the canvas pattern:

All that's left to do is decorate them with text or maps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Make Your Own Ornamental Tiles (*Beginners*)

I prefer making my own "stuff". Sure, grabbing a picture off the internet is quick and easy, but so is making your own ornamental tiles. Really, it is.

Embossed / Inverted

Raised via Bump Map (Layer Mode: Hard Light)

(Click image to enlarge)

Let's get started! :)

If you don't have the Smooth Path plug-in by ijontichy, grab it and extract the smooth_path.exe into your .gimp-2.6/plug-ins folder before starting this tutorial. While you're at it, grab the script-fu-copy-rotate.scm file by tekhertz and move it to your .gimp-2.6/scripts folder. Close and restart GIMP.

Step 1:

First thing we need to do is make our ornamental design. It's easier to accomplish than you might think. Open a square size drawing  with a white background (I made mine 800 x 800 at 300 dpi). Then create a transparent layer (top-most). Set up guides for the middle of your drawing both horizontally and vertically. (400 x 400).

Now, lets create the first of two paths (yep, all its gonna take is two paths to make this tile ornamental). Draw out the points for the teardrop path, as shown below (you can name your path "teardrop" in the path dialog, if you wish):

Then manipulate the nodes by dragging beside them, to make the curves (holding the shift key while dragging out nodes makes the curve symmetrical), getting the desired result, as shown:

Now we'll make the second path, called an "open heart". In the path dialog right click and select "New Path", name it "Open Heart". Click the eye on the teardrop path so that it shows while you are working on the open heart path. Set the open heart points as shown below:

For those of you worried about it not being even on both sides, fret not, a little trick to even things out, add guides like shown:

"Think squares", it makes it easier to align the nodes, like shown above. Don't worry about perfection, your ornament is still going to look awesome. :). Now, right click on the open heart path in the path dialog and select smooth path, accept default settings, select ok. Your heart should look like this:

With the Path tool selected, click the very top node to get the handles to show up, and then hold CTRL + Shift and click on both "handles". Do not click on the node. See the following:

You should end up with your open heart looking like this:

Now, with Path tool still selected, hold the ALT key down and move the open heart down to the top of the teardrop, like so:

The open heart is a little too wide at this point, so to make it thinner, select the Scale tool (open heart path must be selected in Path dialog) and select the path option under Transform in the toolbox:

Break the link on the Scale dialog, as we only want to reduce the width, not both width and height:

Now reduce the width of the open heart path to a suitable size. See my image below:

The hardest part is over!

Step 2:

In the Paths dialog, right click and "Merge Visible Paths", then right click and select ("Stroke Path"), and give them both a 5px black stroke (make sure your top-most transparent layer is selected and not the white background layer):

Under the Select menu, choose script-fu-copy-rotate and enter the following parameters:

Your image should now look like the following:

It has some fuzziness to it, so we need to give it a slight Gaussian blur (4 px) and then run Colors - Curves, like shown:

We end up with this:

(Save your drawing now, as "ornament1.xcf")

By now, you're probably thinking, "Quick and easy, huh?" Well, it is, once you get the initial grasp of creating the two path shapes and tidying it up, it just seems so long because the tutorial is stretched out picture by picture, so I know you'll understand it more clearly.

Step 3:

The fun starts here, making the actual tile face. Open a new image 800 x 800, with a white background. Set up the guides for the center point like the first drawing, and also add guides at  0, 200, 600, 800 both vertically and horizontally:

Go back to the first image and Edit - Copy the layer with the stroked open heart and teardrop image. In the new image, Edit - Paste As - New Layer. Using the Scale tool, we'll reduce the size of the pasted image to about half its original size (make sure the link isn't broken and that Transform mode is back on Layer):

At this point, Edit - Copy the new scaled path.

Step 4:

Start selecting Edit - Paste As - New Layer,  adding one image at a time. (I keep the Move tool selected and quickly move them into place after each paste) Your guides should be snapping (View - Snap To Guides). Follow along the lines of what I have done, shown below:

(TIPYou don't have to Paste every layer, you can do one half of the image, duplicate the layer and flip it the opposite direction, to save time. Just make sure that your original layers are resized to the image before duplicating layers and flipping.).

Now would be a good time to Merge Visible Layers and SAVE the file as "Tile1.xcf". We're not done, just taking precaution.

Edit - Paste As - New Layer, once more. We will use the Scale tool to reduce the current path to 2/3rd its size. Edit - Copy the newly scaled path and again, with the Move tool selected, Edit - Paste As - New Layer new images and place them as shown below:

Merge All Visible Layers, and save.

Step 5:

Filters - Distorts - Emboss:

(Note: if you want a raised area instead of inverted, simply choose bump map instead of emboss, leave Azimuth as is, raise Elevation to 145, and Depth to 5)

Add a new transparent layer, top-most. Set the Layer mode to Overlay. Select the Paint Bucket tool, and choose a pattern of your choice.( Light colored stone patterns work best. Dark colors and wiggly patterns are too busy for the emboss look). I chose a stone pattern I made from one of my older tutorials.

Step 6:

Now its time to put the bevels on the side of the tile. You'll need to set up guides on 0, 25, 775, 800, both vertically and horizontally, like so:

Using the Free Select tool, we'll make trapezoid shapes to mimic the bevels. I created a new layer, because I like to duplicate layers and flip them to save time.

(TIP: Once you make the selection for one side, use the Flip tool with Affect set to Selection, and flip the selection to the other side, to save time)

Do the same for the remaining three sides, making the left and top sides lighter gray, and the bottom and right sides, a darker gray. 

Finished bevel, with all trapezoid duplicate layers merged into one, and opacity lowered to about 60.

(Click image to enlarge)