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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Building a Spy Movie Banner

In this GIMP project, you will learn the basics of creating a movie banner in a style that might be used for a spy movie. You will use layer blending modes, text layers, and color manipulations, as well as other skills.

Source images you can download or use your own similar images:
Kremlin (Original photo by Yaroslav Ushakov)
Man in Suit  (Original photo by RubĂ©n B. Todos)
Bull’s Eye

  • Part 1. The Kremlin

Apply a dark, monochromatic red, slightly blurry effect to the Kremlin image.

Open the Kremlin source image. Convert it to grayscale, Colors -Desaturate..., Choose Shade of gray based on: Luminosity.

Duplicate the layer, Layer - Duplicate Layer. Set the blending Mode of the copy layer to Multiply and slide the opacity down to 70%.

Merge these layers into one, Layer - Merge Down. Name the new layer, Kremlin.

Apply a slight Gaussian blur with a radius of 5 for both Horizontal and Vertical, Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur... .

Now, for the dark red hue. From the Colors menu, click Colorize... . Set the Hue slider to 360, Saturation 50, Lightness -15.

You can now set this image aside for a bit.

  • Part 2. The Man in the Suit

Open the Man in Suit image. With the Crop Tool, remove most of the background area. Now add transparency (an alpha channel) to the image, Layer - Transparency - Add Alpha Channel.

You need to remove the remaining white background. The Select by Color Tool will do the heavy lifting here. Click and drag in the background until all that remains is to clean up the detail around the edges of the man. Toggle on Quick Mask mode, zoom in and, with the Paintbrush Tool, clean up any remaining bits of the background, especially in the hair and inside the man's right elbow. Grow the selection by 1 px, Select - Grow. Then clear the contents of the selection, Edit - Clear. Save the image and close.

You can now reopen the Kremlin background image. Open the Man in Suit image you just worked on as a new layer, File - Open as Layers... . Be sure that in the Layers pallet it is above the Kremlin layer and name it Man.Use the Move Tool to position the Man layer to the left side of the picture and down just a bit.

  • Part 3. The Text

Add the movie title and some other bits of text to the banner. Select the Text Tool. For the title choose an appropriate font and size.  I used HeadlineA, 240 pt, Color white. Click in the picture and type the desired text. Position the text in a good place.

Create a selection around the text with the Select by Color Tool. Click anywhere on the white text and it will all be selected. Create a new transparent layer on top of all the others, Stroke. Reset the color swatches to the default. Apply a 4 pixel black stroke to the selection on the Stroke layer Edit - Stroke Selection... . Merge the Stroke layer down onto the text layer.

Similarly add additional text elements to the picture.

  • Part 4. The Bull’s Eye

Open the Bull's Eye image as a new layer under the Spy Movie text layer. Set the blending Mode to Lighten Only. Reduce the Opacity to about 85%. Position the bull's eye where you like with the Move Tool.

You've now brought all the components together. Use this lesson as a starting point for your creative expression. Modify and experiment to your heart's delight!

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