Tuesday, March 30, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: *Beginners* Make Your Own Coffee Cup

It's not too complicated. Approximately 7 layers, very little graphic editing involved.

I didn't use any special GIMP scripts for this tutorial. Everything you need to create this image should be available in GIMP. I am using GIMP 2.6.8 (currently on Windows 7 OS using the Google Chrome browser).

Lets get started:

Step 1:

In order to make the coffee cup you'll need to have a picture available to use for the Map Objects plug-in.  

Open an image with a white background that is 640 x 480px.

Copy and paste any image you want to become part of the cup into the new image. When you finish doing that, merge the new layer down onto the white background:

Step 2:

Go to Filters - Map - Map Objects. There are 5 tabs with screenshots of each tab shown below:





POSITION: X and Y position moves the cylinder up and down on the background. Z moves it in closer or further away.

ROTATION: X moves the cylinder up and down on a central axis. Y moves the face of the image east and west. And Z turns the cylinder like the hand of a clock.


Select OK.

If your image doesn't center itself on the cylinder like you want, back up your steps (Ctrl + Z) and use the Move tool to move the pasted image over a little bit before running Map Objects again. It might take a few tries to get it where you want it.

Step 3:

Now you should have an image of a cylinder with a transparent background (hopefully with your own pasted image on it):

It does look a little bit distorted, but it is expected when an image is wrapped around a cylinder. If its too distorted (depending on which direction (tall or wide) you will need to increase or decrease the radius or length on the Cylinder tab. I would not mess with the x,y, and z parameters on the Orientation tab unless you know what you are doing. (I explained what they do below the Orientation tab image).

Step 4:

Now its time to use the Perspective tool to angle the bottom of the cup, slightly. On the new cylinder image, select the Perspective tool and angle the cup like shown in the screenshot below:

You can leave it like it is if you want to, and skip this step altogether. I prefer the cup have a little bit of angle to it, for looks.

Step 5:

Open a new transparent image, 600 x 800px.

Duplicate the background layer three (3) times:

Think about the order of your images with a wall and table top with coffee cup, its reflection and shadow, with steam rising from the cup.

  1. Bottom-most layer will be the wall background, choose any color or method to obtain this (I used a green/dark green radial gradient)

  2. The next layer up will be the table top (I used a white and gray linear gradient in the bottom half of the image)

  3. 3rd from bottom layer will be the cup's shadow

  4. 4th layer from bottom will be the cup's handle

  5. 5th layer from bottom will be the steam wisp 

  6. 6th layer from bottom will be the cup itself

  7. 7th layer from the bottom will be the cup's reflection (with a gradient layer mask added)

It's important to think of how your layers will stack up so that when you work on the image, you don't get lost and perform edits on layers that won't show them, causing you to think something is wrong with GIMP. It does happen and has happened to me on occasion.

Step 6:

I'll be using YouTube videos from this point on out so you can "SEE" how quick the next few steps are. Keep in mind that you can "pause" and restart the videos at any time, and move the slider back to replay a part you miss.

Setting up the wall background, tabletop, and coffee cup shadow, click here:

Step 7:

Making the cup handle, click here:

Step 8:

Final steps to completion. Merge cup and handle together to one layer, create a steam wisp, click here:

A video of all the steps done together in one sequence, start to finish, click here:

That's it, you're done. Add some objects to the table or wall to suit!

You're feedback is important to me, so please let me know if you're having problems or success, so I can improve or change the methods of instruction. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

GIMP Tutorial: Pseudo Marble Bust Effect *UPDATED 11-16-10*

First let me say, the effect is far from perfected, but at least its a start. I encourage everyone to experiment with different textures and masks to suit yourself. 

At first, I started tinkering with Bernhard Stockmann's "Turning People to Stone" tutorial and just wasn't getting to the place I wanted to be with this effect, although it was fairly close. If the zombie look is more of what you're after that would be the perfect tutorial for it. I actually use a big portion of Bernhard's tutorial here (up to Step 5).

After searching through some tutorials online, I found Lesa Snider's Photoshop tutorial at GraphicReporter.com that was more to my liking. There are similarities between Bernhard's and Lesa's tutorials but the ability to utilize layer masks really works best when you use shades of grey to white to minimize/maximize the amount of stone effect on your image. This makes a huge difference in limiting the number of steps you need to take to get your desired effect.

Before we get started, you need to prepare your image by extracting the outline of the face you will be using and adding a layer mask to the image.

I am experimenting with Jing videos to see how well they work. They are uploaded via YouTube. Please give feedback on whether you like them or not. I'd appreciate it. 

Step 1: Cutting out the image and creating a layer mask. Click here

Basic steps here involve selecting your image, outlining the subject with the Free Select tool using point to point.

Add an alpha channel to that layer, invert the selection and then press delete to remove the background. Turn off the selection (Select - None).

Right click the layer and add a layer mask. From the menu prompt, choose Black (Full Transparency).

Right click the layer again and choose Alpha to Selection to select the body outline.

Using the Paintbrush, Airbrush, or Bucket Fill tool, set foreground to white and fill the selection. You have now created a layer mask of the body outline (white area) and made the background transparent (black area). This is a big step, so pat yourself on the back.

Step 2: Duplicating the image layer. Click here.

Now that you have your layer mask, you need to copy the body area and paste it as a new layer. In the video, you see me clicking on both the image and the mask on the same layer. I'm doing this to point out that before you COPY the image, make sure you "highlight" the image portion of the layer and not the mask, because you only want the image to copy. 

Select the image portion of the layer - (Edit - Copy), then (Edit - Paste As/a new layer).

Step 3: Find the marble texture you want to use and an image of a bust. I used the following:

  1. Marble bust image.

  2. White marble texture.

Step 4: Extracting the face for the bust. Click here.

This step is critical in getting only the head/face portion of the image, because in my tutorial, I use the bottom of the Lincoln bust as a part of my image. So naturally, all I want to convert to a marble statue is the head/face of my current image. In the video you see me using the Free Select tool (point to point) with the mode set to Subtract from Current Selection, selecting the bottom portion of the image.

(Once you have the head and face selected, invert the selection and press delete. Turn off the bottom mask layer by clicking the eye, so all that you see is the head).

Step 5: Open the bust image, add your head image to it. Click here. (For those of you who don't know how to use the Clone tool, you press CTRL and left mouse click to "Select" the area you wish to clone on your image.)

Now that you have your head/face image created, it's time to move it to the Lincoln bust image. Copy the head layer, and then paste it as a new Layer on the Lincoln bust image. Please note that your head may be too big or too small, depending on the resolution of your head image. Not to worry, use the Scale tool to make adjustments (make sure the aspect ratio chains are linked and not broken on the Scale menu).

Once you have your head adjusted to where you want it, and depending on whether the bottom layer has portions showing underneath. To remove those areas, you use the Clone tool, on the bust image layer, to clean up around your new head layer. Like I stated at the start of Step 5, to make a selection with the Clone tool, hold down the CTRL key when making the initial selection.

Step 6: Using Color - Curves to emphasize your head image. Click here. (The settings may not be the same for your image, so please experiment. If the image hair is dark, you want to lighten it, and add shadow highlights to the face, that's the goal, to make it look "Statuesqe".)

First step is to desaturate your head layer (Colors - Desaturate).

Then run Colors - Levels (select the Auto button). (Important note: If running levels results in a very good balance between the two layers, you don't really need to run the Curves option.)

Run (Colors - Curves)  on the head layer to balance it to match the contrast and midtone/shadows/shades of your bust layer. The easiest way for me to describe this process to you is to run the curves settings until you get an acceptable blend of shadows between the head layer and the bust layer. When those two layers match (don't expect a perfect match, just get it as close as you can) then you can move on to the next step. 

Step 7: Adding the white marble texture and adjusting the texture mask. Click here.

Once you've determined the balance for both the head and bust layers, it's time to add the white marble texture as a layer to the bust image (should be top-most layer). Change the mode to "hard light". 

Right click the head layer again, and select "alpha to selection", switch back to the white marble texture, right click the layer, and add a layer mask (Black, full transparency). With foreground color set to white, fill the selection (similar to the latter part of step 1).

Copy the head layer, and paste it as a new layer (top-most layer). Change the layer mode to Value. Reduce the opacity to suit.

Duplicate the top-most layer if you need to emphasize the darker areas more, reduce the opacity again, to suit.

Step 8: Fixing the eyes (*OPTIONAL*) and touch-ups. Click here.

On a new layer, all I did was Free Select (point to point) the eye areas. Using the color eyedropper, I picked a light and dark color from the bust layer. Changed to the Blend tool, set on radial, and applied a radial gradient to the eyes. Turned off the selection, and lightly blurred the edges using the Blur tool.

Step 8.5: Adjusting the colors for the head. Click here.

Step 9: Smooth out the image using G-Mic (get it here), using Photocomix's Anisotropic Smoothing preset under Filters -  G-MIC - Presets. See the settings below:

That's it, you're done!

If you have problems following the Jing videos, let me know, I'll clarify the steps in the post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

GIMP Zig Zag Selection Trick by Saul Goode

Google has integrated my hobbies and interests into the "Recommended Reading" feeds on my Google Reader. In short, I just discovered the new feeds this morning and ran across Meet the GIMP by Rolf Steinort  (lots of video tutorials on GIMP, check out his site.)
Rolf brought up the zig zag trick here.  I googled "zig zag selection + saul goode" and got this hit.
Needless to say, I fired up GIMP and tested it, and was instantly impressed.
  • Select the top half of your layer, enter Quick Mask mode, and run
    "Filters->Distorts->Ripple" with the Smear, Vertical, and Sawtooth
    options (use the sliders to size your zigs and zags). Exit Quick Mask
Thanks to Saul Goode for the awesome tip! And to Rolf Steinort, for sharing it.