Hello Bar

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Catch

In this lesson, you'll use a number of GIMP's tools to create an effect in which a football player "leaps" out of a "picture frame" to catch the ball.



Some of the things you’ll do in this project ...
  • Use a guide
  • Adjust shapes with the Perspective tool
  • Clear the contents of a selection
  • Feather, shrink, and invert selections
  • Hide a layer
  • Use the Eraser tool
Download the original image here or use one of your own.

1. First, drag a guide down from the top ruler to define the location of the top of the "frame".

2. Now, the tedious part. Select the portion of the football player above the guide (which will be outside of the "frame") and a small portion below the guide. I used the Extraction tool and refined the selection using a Quick Mask. The details of making this selection are not within the scope of this lesson.

3. Choose the Rectangle Select tool and click on the "Add to selection" mode icon.

Select the entire region between the guide and the bottom of the image, invert the selection, and feather it 3 pixels.

4. Create a new layer named "black" and fill the whole selection with default black using the Bucket tool.
Deselect everything, Select > None.

In the next step, you'll define the "picture frame."

5. With the Rectangle Select tool in Normal mode, select the entire region below the guide again. Use the Perspective tool (be certain to choose the modify selection icon), to reshape the selection into a trapezoid.
See how to do this in a short video

6. Invert this selection. Use the Pencil tool to paint the areas to the left of, right of, and below the "frame" default black.

7. Create a new layer, "white." Fill the trapezoidal selection with default white.

8. Shrink the selection by 35 pixels. Using the Perspective tool again, adjust this trapezoid to give the appearance that the the top border of the "frame" is farther from you than the bottom edge.

9. Clear the white fill from the inner selection, Edit > Clear.

All that remains is to delete the part of the white "frame" that covers the leaping player.

10. Hide the "white" layer (click the "eye" in the Layers palette). Use the Lasso tool to select the portion of the football player which is under the border (be generous). Be sure to accurately select the left and right edges of the player. Feather the selection by 3 pixels. I chose to do this in pieces, but you could do it all at once.

11. Make the "white" layer visible again (be sure it's the active layer). Use the Eraser tool to remove the selected area of the white border from over the player.

That's it!

Dolphins and whales are great subjects for this effect. I think you could do some nice things with basketball players and soccer goalies, too. Have fun!