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Thread: [ GIMP GFX Tutorial ] Quick & Easy Neopets Banner

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    Mint's Avatar
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    [ GIMP GFX Tutorial ] Quick & Easy Neopets Banner

    Mint's the name and GIMP is my game, y'all

    Here, I'll walk you through the basic process of how I make my Neopets banners!
    These will relatively simple and lacking of artistic touch, because it's up to you to develop it As it is though, this banner will be beauttttt
    My walkthrough will cover the general structure of my banners, as well as some neat tips and tricks that apply for everything you can make

    GIMP is a free photo editing program, and a great alternative to Photoshop.
    I personally use 2.8 so that will be the version displayed in our tutorial here!
    It's really easy to find a download for GIMP 2.8, but if you're struggling, feel free to PM me and I can show you where I got mine

    Anyways, let's start!

    PART A: MAKING OUR BANNER'S BASE


    After downloading + opening GIMP, this should be your interface!
    My 1998 Windows 0 toolbar is cooler than you lol

    Now, let's choose a base image. Generally, I take pretty NC backgrounds from Widescreen Wearables as my base image! The best part about these is that they're so huge, so there's a lot to work with.

    I'mma choose my fave, Pink Mountain and Cloud Background

    So yeah the first thing you should notice is that it's HUGE as heck. But don't do anything yet. What you wanna do is make sure it has a transparent backing.


    So, what cha gotta do is right click on the image layer and click "Add Alpha Channel"

    Neat so it's transparent. Time to scale it down!


    TIP: Viewing the image at 100% shows how it will look when you upload it anywhere. So make sure everything's fine and dandy from this viewpoint!


    Clicking the highlighted Scale icon right above the text icon (the black "A"), proceed to scale your image down to a manageable size!


    I scaled it down to around here so all of it can be viewed at 100%.


    If you followed what I did, you should be able to see the image for how it really would appear if it was uploaded, and if you scroll down you can see the pink ledge at the bottom. But I really like the mountains and the clouds far off in the distance, so I'll make my banner's base image centered around that!


    To finalize our base image, we'll just crop our banner size around that area! Hmmm...maybe something 500x250 so it's like a sig!


    Clicking the highlighted Crop icon two icons above the Pencil icon, just click and drag a box around approximately where you want to crop. Touch up the size by manually typing in 500x250 in the boxes here:



    So it should look like that.
    All you need to do is click on the box you've highlighted and there's your banner's base image!

    [/spoiler]

    PART B: GETTING OUR FOREGROUND SUBJECT


    Once you have her render saved, just go back to your GIMP canvas
    Click File < Open As Layers...
    This makes any image you open as a layer on your current project.


    You should be seeing this!
    We don't want her boobalicious chest and sensually exaggerated curves as our focus, so we'll scale her down and position her around until it's to our liking.


    I scaled her down to around these proportions.


    So this is what your canvas should look like! It's totally up to your discretion to flip her around and/or position her elsewhere, whether it be more up to feature more of her body, or even lower to show off her hair. These gut feelings as to where you should position your foreground subject comes naturally after a while of making graphics and viewing others'!
    [/spoiler]

    PART C: THE FUN STUFF

    ^ That's the texture I'mma use!

    Once you have the texture saved, open the image as a layer on your canvas. Make sure to Add Alpha Channel!

    In your Layers - Brushes box on your right, go nuts with the layer Mode and Opacity!!
    Here are my settings:



    So it looks like that! Textures are sorta like the 'easy way out' when changing the atmosphere/theme of your graphic, so build your texture collection! I don't like being too dependent on them but they're really fun~

    Now to place even more focus on our Water Faerie, we'll blur the background just a bit.

    Making sure we've clicked on our background image layer, we'll go ahead and click Filters < Blur < Gaussian Blur

    My settings are here:




    So now it's a nice mass of clouds+pink!


    Now for the sake of showing you the Sharpen tool, click Filter < Enhance < Sharpen

    My settings are here:




    So here's what your image should look like!

    But hold your horses, the Sharpening kinda sucks, it was better before
    So what we gonn' do is click the yellow icon at the top of your Layers-Brushes box on your right

    This will take you to the Undo menu, where you can go back to any point in time where you made a change to your image.

    We're gonna go back in time and reverse the sharpening of our banner!

    The 'Gaussian Blur' is the checkpoint to when we blurred the background. Get it?

    Yay, moving onto text~!
    I normally do a LOT of font shopping at Dafont
    I won't cover how to download fonts in this tutorial, but it's really easy so just look that up
    I'll assume you know how, though


    Click on the black A icon. This is the Text tool
    Making sure the font 'JaneAusten' is active, click on your canvas and type!
    I'll type an 'M' for Mint


    Here's where you can play with your font. On GIMP 2.8, you have to make sure you have the text highlighted before any changes will actually appear on the text


    Hovering over any of these boxes will tell you its function! Clicking the pink square will let you change the font color.


    I did the same thing but with 'INT', using Century Gothic size 32 as my font , so now I have this
    It's nice...but it lacks a lot

    Here, I'll show you the different font techniques I've developed to make font stand out more~
    Starting with the 'M', we'll duplicate the layer.

    The icon with the two blue squares will duplicate your highlighted layer.

    On the bottom 'M' layer, we'll do our fancy little Gaussian Blur. You remember how to do that, right?


    It should give your text a pretty glow!

    Now for the 'INT' part. I'll teach you how to easily make borders around your text ^^

    The goal here is to make the 'INT' text white with a darker glow/border around it so it stands out.

    I duplicated the 'INT' layer, then clicked on the bottom one in my Layers box on the right hand side.


    With the Text tool active, I clicked the text layer right on my banner, then right clicked + "Path from Text".


    Clicked Select < From Path


    So now I have 'marching ants' all around the outline of my text.


    Clicked Select < Grow


    This determines how big the border around your text will be. I put 2px.


    Sometimes if the layer boundaries are too small, the border/glow will cut off. To prevent this, I edit the Layer Boundary Size. The Layer Boundary Size is the yellow box around your active layer on the canvas.


    Here are my settings.


    Now this is what I have at the moment. Much better!


    With the Fill Tool beside the Text Tool, I'll fill in the layer with #282c2e. Then click Select < None.

    Now, I'll change my top 'INT' layer to white (#FFFFFF).


    Looks like that, but I lowered the opacity of the 'INT' border layer to ~28 so it's less harsh.


    Alternatively, you can Gaussian Blur to this outline layer so it looks like a glow! How condensed this glow will be is based on the intensity of the blur radius in the Gaussian Blur menu. Higher px = thinner glow, but it stretches and fades out really far.
    And that's how ya make text outlines!
    [/spoiler]


    Whoop whoop! There it is! It's as simple as it can get without being too complicated for GIMP newbies

    I hope you learned a lot!
    Last edited by Mint; 01-28-2014 at 08:05 PM.

  2. The Following 15 Users Say Thank You to Mint For This Useful Post:

    |2eap (01-28-2014),Ana (02-14-2014),Cath (01-28-2014),Demetri (01-28-2014),Drizzy (01-28-2014),Katie (01-28-2014),Kohl (06-23-2014),Lyric (01-28-2014),Maths (01-28-2014),Mod (01-28-2014),Octopus (01-28-2014),Pookie (01-28-2014),Raj (01-28-2014),simmie (01-28-2014),Trinket (01-28-2014)

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    Octopus's Avatar
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    Thank you for making this!

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    Mint (01-28-2014)

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    just downloaded GIMP cos of this

    i wanna be co0o0oo0o0ol

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    Mint (01-28-2014)

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    Amazing work @Mint! This is going to be so helpful, thank you! <3

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    Mint (01-28-2014)

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    Now the game of where the fuck am I mentioned in those spoilers.


    Great guide cholee very good job even if gimp is 2008

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    Mint (01-28-2014)

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