In this Gimp Video Tutorial For Beginners, I am going to talk to you about a very powerful selection and drawing tool called the Paths tool. With it’s help, we can accurately obtain a selection much easier than with other simpler tools. Combined with the Isolating an image using Color, this tool becomes a vital isolation tool that you will use time and time again.
In this lesson, I’m going to teach you how to make a watermark in Gimp 2.8 one time, and set it up so that you can re-use it again and again quickly and easily. In a nutshell, we’re going to turn the watermark that you design into a brush in Gimp and use it like a “stamp” on our photos.
With the Gimped Halloween contest going on this month, I wanted to dedicate the entire month of October to giving my readers some inspiration and ideas on what their contest submission could be. This post is all about the haunted house. Take some time, and look at the haunted houses below. Don’t skim past them quickly, take your time and really look at them. What about each house do you like? What don’t you like? What do you think of the colors on the house? The shape? Leave your thoughts on each house in the comment section below.
Halloween Photo Editing Contest
Submit your Halloween Photo Manipulation, Win Exclusive Gimped! Content
Halloween. All Hallows Eve. It’s my favorite time of year. I love making scary photo edits, and I enjoy seeing really cool Halloween themed photo manipulations. This year, I have decided to host a gimped Halloween photo-editing contest. The top 5 edits will win an exclusive look at two of my premium Gimped! tutorials that haven’t been released yet.
This gimp video tutorial is a speedy take on some minimal editing that I usually do with my photos in Gimp. Sometimes, I go much further, but pretty much every portrait I edit starts with what I do in this gimp video tutorial.
Oh…and yes, there will be dubstep. Don’t hate, appreciate!
Melissa asked me this Gimp question (ask your question here.)
Here are the 4 photos I am wanting to blend, that we discussed via twitter.
Ideally, I would like to have the water picture as a base, and have the other 3 blended in, I’m just not sure how to do this!
Thanks so much!
Here are the photos that she included in her question:
To learn how to blend photos using Gimp 2.8, you’re going to want to know a little bit about how to use Gimp 2.8′s layers. I recommend checking out my how to use gimp for beginners video on layers here, it is a good place to start.
Once you watch that video, you should know enough about layers to grasp the steps it takes to blend photos using gimp 2.8 mentioned below. If you still need more information, check out my eBook on Layers, it gets into more detail on this topic and will help you immensely.
Part 1 – Combine the Images Using Gimp 2.8
The first thing that you need to do is combine the photos using Gimp 2.8′s handy little feature called “open as layers.” What open as layers does, is it lets you select several images at one time, and Gimp will take all of the images that you selected, and it will open each one of these images as their own layer in a single file. Basically, you’re telling Gimp 2.8 to put a bunch of images in a single file so that you can move them around and arrange them later.
Click file>>>open as layers. An open dialog box will appear.
Browse to the files that you want to blend using Gimp 2.8
Select each file that you wish to blend by holding in the control key and clicking on each file.
Gimp will go through and open each image, and put them on their own layer, sort-of like this:
Now that we have our images combined in Gimp 2.8 as layers, we can now arrange and adjust them as we see fit. Melissa said that she was thinking that the background should be the sunset image, and the 3 faces to be blended in with the image. I had a brief email confirmation, and we decided that a good way to show her how to blend images in Gimp 2.8 is to do the classic “floating head” blend, much like what you see in the movies. To do this, we’re going to have to re-arrange our layers, and add some layer masks to a few images, but before we even do that we need to correct our canvas size to match the size of the sunset image.
Part 2 – Match Gimp 2.8 the canvas size to the sunset.
If you look at the image above, you’ll notice that the sides of our sunset image are cut off. This is because Gimp did not make our canvas wide enough. To match the canvas size to the sunset image, we first must know how big our sunset image is. In my experience, I have found the quickest way to check this is by right-clicking on the layer that the sunset image is on, and clicking “Layer Boundary Size.” From this screen, we can see that our sunset image is actually 720 x 540 Pixels.
Now that we know this piece of information, we can use it to update the canvas size to match the size of our sunset image.
click image>>>canvas size>>>a dialog will come up to change the size of the canvas.
Change the width and height of the canvas to match the width and height of the layer boundary mentioned earlier.
Your photo will now look something like this:
Now that your image matches Gimp 2.8′s canvas size, all we have to do is align the sunset background with the canvas. To do that, we’re going to make use of the align tool, located on the toolbox.
Click on the align tool
Click on the image that you want to align (in this case, the sunset image)
In the Tools Options Dockable Dialog (This is usually on the left side by default) there are a number of buttons that can be clicked to align an image to the canvas. You’re going to want to click on the two that I have highlighted below. These two will line the center of the sunset up with the center of the canvas.
Once you click on those buttons, your image should look something like this:
Part 3: Arrange and Mask the Heads
Now that the sunset is all lined up and ready to go, we’re going to re-arrange the order of our layers so that the heads are on top of the sunset. To do this, just click and drag one of the head layers above the sunset and move it in place. Once you do that, you will need to use a layer mask to isolate the background using Gimp 2.8, essentially removing the background from the face so that it appears to float.
Before you go on, I highly recommend checking out my Gimp 2.8 for beginners video tutorial on Layer Masks here. That will help a lot of this make more sense.
Right-click on the layer that you moved to the top, and click “add layer mask.” Initialize the mask to “White (full opacity.)”
Click on the Blend tool, and make sure that your foreground and background are set to the default by pressing the D key. Then press the X key to swap the foreground and background colors.
Make sure that you’re editing your layer mask, and then click and drag from the center of the face to the edge of the face. This will create an image like this:
You can essentially repeat this process with each image. Once you do that, you can move them and scale them in place as you see fit. Hope this helps!
A gimp user asked this question:
okay this afternoon I just tried my new GIMP 2.8 program but when I finish drawing and save it ( I might have done it wrong) and tried to upload it onto my Deviantart account it says that the file does not exist please help I spent 2 straight hours on that picture
Amber asked this question:
Hi, I’m signed up for your mailing list and I’m a new gimp user. I’ve tried sooo many different techniques and I can’t figure out anything that works to change the background in this picture I attached. The background is too yellow and I want to lighten it to a soft white or pink and blend it into the image but I can’t figure out how to do it. I was wondering if you could link me to a technique you think would work? I did these newborn pics for a friend of mine but I can’t get them to look good because of the background!
Now before we get into all of this, I recommend that you watch these Gimp tutorials:
Once you watch those, the rest of this lesson will make a lot more sense.
How To Use Gimp 2.8 To Change the Background Color
To change the background color of this image, I ended up using a method that is growing on me more and more as I use it. That method is called Exposure Blending. If you aren’t familiar with this, it is essentially where you take multiple duplicates of the same image, change their colors, and then mask off what parts of the image you do not want to have that exposure. Sound confusing? Let me show you an example with a few images.
Here is what I came up with for your image:
To make this image, I combined two different exposures of your image. I made each exposure by duplicating your image twice, and then using a few of the tools in the colors menu on each duplicated layer. Here is what each of my resulting images that I combined to make the image above look like:
If you take those two images, and keep only the background of the bottom-most image and keep the rest of the top-most image, you get the result I showed above. On top of that, I also used my skin retouching technique to work on the skin on the baby’s face.
Now that you understand what I did, let’s talk about how to use gimp 2.8 to do this.
Part 1 – Create Your Layer Mask
We are going to brighten the entire image, but the background (the dark wall) and the foreground (the relatively light baby and blanket) both need different amounts of brightness to make this photo expose properly. To do this, we are going to break the images into two exposures, just like we talked about above. The thing is, we need to be able to tell Gimp what part of each exposure should be visible, and what part should not be visible. To do this, we’re going to use a powerful tool called Layer Masks. We’re going to use my background isolation using color masking method to do this. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Essentially we’re going to use our image to create our layer mask for us (mostly.)
Duplicate your background layer
click colors>;>;>;use GEGL
Tip: GEGL is a more-powerful option that is not-yet left on by default in Gimp. If you’re ever adjusting the exposure of an image, I highly recommend turning this on before you do anything because it gives you a bit more accuracy in your color modifications.
click colors>;>;>;levels>;>;>;adjust the levels until the edge of your blanket is white, and the top is mostly black, like this:
Repeat this step, but this time only select the now smaller white area, like so:
And finally, repeat this process with the right-side, like so:
click select>;>;>;none to deslect your previous selection
Now that we have most of our layer mask created, it’s time to transfer this over to a layer as a layer mask.
right-click on the black and white layer that you’ve been working on and click “add layer mask.” Initialize the mask to greyscale copy of layer.
Right-click on the layer mask, and click “mask to selection.”
right-click on your original image and click “add layer mask.” Initialize the mask to “selection.”
hide your black and white layer.
Your image should look something like this:
Touching Up the Layer Mask
Using this isolation method, we quickly masked off most of the tricky edge on the blanket. Now all we need to do is touch up the mask to bring back some of the details lost in the baby’s face, as well as the top of it’s head. To do this, we’re going to make use of the paths tool.
Right-click on your layer mask, and click “disable layer mask.” This will temporarily stop the mask from being used so that we can clearly see what we need to select with the paths tool to correct the missing areas.
use the paths tool to trace the baby’s arm and head, like so:
Right-click on the path, and click “path to selection,” or press SHIFT+V to do the same thing.
re-activate the layer mask by right-clicking on the mask and un-checking the “disable layer mask” option
Your image will now look something like this:
Right-click on your layer mask, and click “show layer mask.” This will help you find the areas that are not completely white in the bottom-half of the image.
Fill all of the areas in the bottom-half of the layer mask with the color white, like so:
Right-click on your layer mask, and un-check the “show layer mask” option. Now that we have a complete layer mask, it’s time to actually use it to lighten up our background.
Lighten Up the Background Using Gimp 2.8
First off, our layer mask is backwards, so click on your layer mask and click colors>;>;>;invert. This will fix that.
right-click on your image and click “duplicate layer.” You now have two copies of the same layer, with the same layer mask. We only need this mask on the topmost layer.
delete the layer mask from the bottom-most image by right-clicking on the bottom-most layer mask and clicking “delete layer mask.”
click on your topmost layer and click colors>;>;>;hue/saturation>;>;>;adjust the hue and saturation until you end up with a dark pink color. We will increase the brightness in the next step.
click colors>;>;>;curves>;>;>;adjust the curve until your wall looks good.
Lighten Up the Foreground Using Gimp 2.8
To lighten the foreground, click on your bottom-most layer and click colors>;>;>;curves, and adjust the curves until you find something that you’re happy with. Once you do that, you’re done! If you want to learn a bit about how I touched up the skin of the baby using Gimp, check out my skin retouching tutorial.