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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Filling Text With An Image

Filling Text With An Image

In this lesson you will learn how to use GIMP to fill text with an image as in this example ...
Among the skills used in this lesson are ...
  • Creating a new image
  • Creating and modifying a text layer
  • Selecting by Color
  • Using the Paste Into command
  • Adding a drop shadow to a selection
  • Anchoring a layer
  • Flattening an image

Though there are a number of ways to accomplish this effect, this method is quick, simple, and flexible.

Step 1 - Create a new image
File > New Use the setting Width 420, Height 300, Fill with : Foreground Color
Step 2 - Create a text layer
Select the Text tool Using a bold, heavy font produces better results. I used Impact Condensed, Size: 85, Color: White, Justify: Centered
Step 3 - Select the text
Choose the Select by Color tool Click anywhere inside the white text and all of the white text is selected.
Step 4 - Delete the text layer
Using the Layers dialog Select the text layer and delete it. The white text will be gone but your selection will remain.
Step 5 - Open the fill image
Open the image you want to fill the text with. I found an image of fireworks to use as my fill. This image should be about the same size as your new image or a bit larger. It may be necessary to scale this image.
Step 6 - Copy the fill image
From the fill image's menu, Edit > Copy
Step 7 - Paste the fill image into the selection
From the new image's menu, Edit > Paste Into This fills the selection with the fireworks image as though the text has been cut out and and the fireworks image is behind it.
Step 8 - Adjust the position of the fill image
You may use the Move tool to slide the pasted layer around to get the best effect.
Step 9 - Add a drop shadow
Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow ... Adding a bit of a drop shadow will enhance the effect.
Step 10 - Drop Shadow dialog settings
I used Offset X: 2, Offset Y: 2, Blur radius: 8, Color: Red, Opacity: 80 (Offset X controls the horizontal position of the shadow. Offset Y controls the vertical position.)

Step 11 - Anchor the Pasted Layer
Layer > Anchor Layer Cements the pasted layer to the background. After this step you will no longer be able to edit this layer.

Step 12 - Flatten the image, deselect, and save
Image > Flatten Image This will reduce the image to a single layer so you can save it as a jpg file.
Select > None This will remove the selection
The finished product ...
This is a basic example. You may play around with the settings and the way you have the layers stacked, and so on. I went one step further and used Filters > Light and Shadow > Sparkle ... with the default settings to get a little glitter thing.

You can use this method to fill shapes other than text, too. In this example, I filled stars with an American flag. I created the stars with a third-party brush, otherwise the procedure is identical.
I hope you found this lesson useful and that you will share it with others.

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Shannon Curran said...

Is it possible to make the foreground color something else besides black?

Thomas Boito said...

I would think so. Give it a try.

Alison Maschmeier said...

It will not let me paste into. Also, do you have something to where I can do multiple images in the text? I really don't understand why paste into isn't working and it seems like you are saying to paste the photo into the photo which makes no sense.

Thomas Boito said...

This is a very old tutorial using a much earlier version of GIMP.

You might have better results from this tutorial on clipping masks from 2012: http://boitblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/clipping-masks.html?m=1