Hello Bar

Friday, September 16, 2011

Two Heads Are Better Than One


In this easy GIMP exercise you'll combine two images together into a nice, blended single image with two views of the same subject.


Some of the things you will do in this lesson:

  • Create a new image of a specific size
  • Select and copy an entire image
  • Paste a new layer from the clipboard
  • Use a layer mask with the Blend Tool

First, grab the two source images by Annika Banfield from stock.xchng:

Image A | Image B

These images will be very large, so the first task is to resize the two images to a smaller easier-to-work-with size, but more importantly, so that both images are the same height, Image > Scale Image… . I resized both to have a height of 1200 pixels,


Create a new image, File > New…, with the same height (1200 pixels) and a width approximately equal to the sum of the widths of the two source images (2300 pixels).


Select all of Image B, Select > All (or Ctrl+A). and copy it, Edit > Copy (Ctrl+C). Paste it onto the new image as a new layer, Edit > Paste as > New Layer. It will appear as a new layer named Clipboard. Rename it as Layer B. Use the Move Tool to position Layer B a bit right of center in the new image.

Repeat this process with Image A, naming this layer Layer A. Position Layer A a bit left of center in the new image, overlapping Layer B.


Add a white (full opacity) layer mask to Layer A, Layer > Mask > Add Layer Mask (or right-click Layer A in the Layers pallet).


Select the Blend Tool from the Tools pallet, and choose the foreground-to-background (default colors) linear gradient in the Tool settings. Click and drag the cursor horizontally from the right edge of Layer A to gradually fade in the overlapping portion (to about the middle of Layer A).


See a video showing how to do this.

Finally, with the Crop Tool, remove the excess background area of the image. You now should have a nicely blended image combining two portraits of the model.


I'm going to apply each of two different effects to Layer A as possible extensions to this project. (Be sure Layer A is the active layer in the Layers pallet before applying any of these effects.)

Desaturate Layer A


Remove the color from Layer A, Colors > Desaturate.

Blur Layer A


Add a Gaussian blur to Layer A, Filter > Blur > Gaussian…, with a Radius of about 20.

Be bold and creative, experiment with as many effects and filters as you like.