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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Framed Painting

A Framed Painting

In this GIMP project, you will learn how to frame a portion of an image and apply a nice painted effect to that portion while turning the remaining part of the image to black-and-white.

Start by opening an image of a picture frame. I used this one by Billy Alexander, from Stock.xchng.

I began by adding an alpha channel to the image so there would be transparency, Layer > Transparency >Add Alpha Channel. Use the Crop Tool to trim away the white area outside the frame. Select the white area inside the frame with the Rectangle Select Tool. Clear the selected area, Edit > Clear. Deselect, Select > None. I scaled the picture frame image to 85% of the base image, Image > Scale Image... . Save the image as Frame.xcf and close the image.

Now open the image that will serve as the base for the project. If you would like to use the same image (by Christa Richert) that I’ll be working with, you can download it free from Stock.xchng.

With the base image active, click Open as Layers... from the File menu, and  open Frame.xcf as a new layer.

The next step is to rotate the Frame.xcf layer a bit. From the Layer menu choose Transform > Arbitrary Rotation..., or choose the Rotate Tool from the Toolbox . Either drag the frame counter-clockwise a bit or enter -10 degrees in the Rotate dialog.

With the Free Select Tool select a rectangle corresponding to the frame smaller than the outside of the frame, but bigger than the inside of it. Make the background layer active.

At this point, apply an oil painting effect to the part of the image inside the frame, Filters > Artistic > Oilify... and set the Mask size to 10. Soften the image just a bit by applying a little blur, Filters > Blur > Blur.

Now, to desaturate the outer part of the image. Invert the selection, Select > Invert. From the Colorsmenu click Desaturate, choose Shade of gray based on Average in the dialog. Deselect.

To finish, we’ll give the frame a shadow. Make Frame.xcf the active layer. From the Filters menu choose Light and Shadows > Drop Shadow... with the default settings.

Most of the settings I used in this example are just suggestions, not hard and fast choices. Adjust the settings that you use to reflect your own tastes and objectives.

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