Tuesday, February 8, 2011

GIMP Tutorial: Mitered & Grooved Picture Frames Using WrapMap

The download for WrapMap by Ofnuts can be found here. You only need the wrap-map-0.3.py file, the Sample-GIMP.xcf is only an example GIMP image of WrapMap's effect in action.

If you're a Windows user, just add the .py file to your C:/Users/username/.gimp-2.6/plug-ins folder.

If you're a Linux user, add the .py to your  home/username/.gimp-2.6/plug-ins folder, but right click the file, go to"Properties/Permissions tab" and tick the box for Execute: "Allow executing as a program".

Open GIMP. If you have successfully added WrapMap, you'll find it listed under Filters/Map/Wrap bitmap (bucket fill)


Step 1:

Open any image you want to create a frame for. Once you have it opened, go to Image/Duplicate (CTRL + D). You are creating a duplicate copy of the image to work on. I don't advise working on original images. If your image is larger than 640 x 480, you might consider rescaling the image to a smaller size, or otherwise it will take considerably longer to run the WrapMap plug-in. If you're an impatient person, rescale the image (Image - Scale Image) to speed things up.

Step 2:

Create a transparent layer. On this layer, determine how wide you want your frame to be by creating a rectangle selection using the Rectangle select tool. See image below:

Fill this selection with a black/white linear gradient using the Blend tool.

Go to Colors - Curves and follow a pattern similar to this one below:

Your result should resemble this:

Now, go to Layers - Autocrop Layer. Then Select - None to turn off the selection. You should now have a layer that is cropped to the size of the selection. You can also turn off the layer by clicking the little eye, since you won't want it displaying over the top of your frame.

Step 3:

Create another transparent layer. Go to Select -  All. Then choose Select - Border set to 1px (leave the boxes unticked).

Go to Filters - Map - Wrap bitmap (bucket fill) and select the map layer you created earlier, I chose not to use soft mode, and then press OK to run it:

Your result should be similar to this:

Step 4:

Let's embellish this frame a little by adding some color, and some sort of bumped pattern.

On the frame layer, go to Colors - Colorize and using the sliders choose a color.

I used a darker blue from the image to keep it in color theme.

Now it needs some texture. But first, on the frame layer, using the Color select tool (check Antialiasing and Select transparent areas boxes), click anywhere inside the frame (where the image shows through) to get a selection. Select - Invert to invert the border selection.

Create a new transparent layer.

Using the Bucket fill tool, choose a pattern/texture that suits you (I chose a cracked concrete texture). Now fill the selection with this pattern/texture. Change that layer's mode:

(click to enlarge and copy pattern)

For a darker contrast - change to Multiply

For a lighter contrast - change to Overlay or Soft Light

I'll post both versions:

Dark using Multiply mode:

Click image for full size view.

And now Light using Soft Light mode:

Click image for full size view.

Keep in mind, if your pattern or texture of choice is a little too bold, you can reduce it's overall effect by reducing the opacity of that texture layer.

Step 5:

Whoa, wait...there's more! Did you say you wanted some raised or "bump mapped" texture? Once you pick out your pattern/texture for the top layer, highlight the frame layer once again and go to File - Map - Bump Map and choose the texture layer as Bump map.

This is something I did with an ornate tile pattern show below:

Click image for full view.

The result:

Click image for full view.

That's it, your done. Feel free to embellish it further, using different textures, colors, and patterns. The sky is the limit. :)

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Mahvin,   that is so beautiful.  I love the raised, (beveled) look. I sure hope I can do this.  I am a little confused near the top but I will do my best on it.
    Thanks for all the work you spent on this...  excellent as usual.

  2. Mav, I feel so stupid.  I have been at this since early this morning and can't get past step 3. You said"create another transparent layer. what do I call that layer? then Go to select > All,  then choose select > border > set to 1 px.  What is that 1 px for?   Do I keep that layer selected and then go to wrap bitmap? and use the little gradient thing for the map layer?  If I do all that, it either fills in the whole layer with black or I get one piece of frame eg. just down the left side. 
    Shouldn't I have a selection somewhere to tell where I want the frame.     I am so confused .   I got past the color curves ok so should that layer be named too?   Dam,   it looked so easy....

  3. thank you for clarifying that autocrop.  I always wondered what that did cuz I could never see any change. 
    I still don't know what this means.(select > all > select border > set to 1 px. )   I guess when I do a tute and I don't understand what certain things mean, I should ask so I will know the next time.      great tute.....

  4. The menu option Select, then All, to create a selection of the entire image (marching ants). The menu option Select again, this time choosing Border, of 1 pixel (it's all you need, because any more pixels would just move the frame that much further away from the outside edge of your image and push it further in on your image. HTH.

  5. Hi Mahvin,

    what a gread work - i have translate it in German language - you can see it here:

    A lot of Thanks for your friendship

    Loves from Germany

  6. Hi Mahvin,

    This is a great tutorial and I placed a link on the Dutchgimpers forum (found here: http://www.dutchgimpers.nl/forum/index.php/topic,1647.0.html). But two questions:
    1. Where can I find the "cracked concrete texture" and
    2. the "ornate tile pattern".
    Thanks in advance.

  7. I added the cracked pattern to the tutorial, as it's the only cracked pattern I have. I cannot find the ornate pattern in my folders. It could be on http://www.cgtextures.com/.

    Some found here: http://webdesignledger.com/freebies/40-beautiful-patterns-and-textures-for-ornate-backgrounds

    More here: http://naldzgraphics.net/freebies/30-collections-of-ornate-patterns-and-textures/

  8. Where I put my : wrap-map-0.3.py for the Mac Snow Leopard.....?
    Thank you



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