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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Digital Brushes in GIMP  
   
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Class Title:  Digital Brushes in Gimp

Objective:  To learn new tips and techniques using digital brushes.


What is the difference between a brush and any other element or stamp?  This is a question digital scrappers often ask.  The major difference is the effects you can achieve using a brush as you paint with them, draw with them, or erase with them.  As you read this tutorial you will learn a variety of ways to manipulate brushes in ways you are not able to with elements.


When you open GIMP the following three screens should appear:

  1. The Main Toolbox: This contains a set of icon buttons that can be used to select tools.  Docked below these icon buttons is a Tool Options dialog, showing options for the currently selected tool.
  2. The Image Window: Each image open in GIMP is displayed in a separate window. Many images can be open at the same time: the limit is set only by the amount of system resources.  This window contains some of the higher level menus within its top tool bar.
  3. The Layers Dialog: This dialog window shows the layer structure of the currently active image, and allows it to be manipulated in a variety of ways.  (For scrapbooking purposes - this window makes it possible to see your building process).

If the Layers Dialog is not open, select the "Windows" tab in the top toolbar of the Image Window.  Select "Layers" from the "Dockable Dialogs" pull down menu.

***Just some things to remember while working on your layout: 1. You can always hit "edit" and "undo" if you did something you don't like or was an accident.  2.  Remember to save your work periodically!!***


The Tools That Use Brushes

       

Pencil: This tool gives a harder edge when using brushes.

Paint: This tool gives a smoother and lighter edge when using brushes.

Eraser: Takes away from a current layer.

Airbrush:  Gives only a hint of color when using brushes. 

The other tools are the clone tool, the healing tool, the perspective clone tool, the blur/sharpen tool, the smudge tool, and the dodge/burn tool.

In this tutorial we will be using the pencil, paint, eraser and airbrush tools.


Technique 1:  Creating Your Own Elements With Brushes

1.      Open a new transparent layer on you layout. (At the bottom of the Layer Dialog click on the “Paper” icon.  Make the layer the full size of your image 3600 X 3600 pixels for a 12” X 12” page.  Select “transparent” for fill type.)

2.      Select the "Pencil Tool" on the Tool Box and select your brush type from the menu that appears below the tool icons.  Adjust the size and color to your preference.

3.      Be sure your new transparent layer is selected in the Layer Dialog.  In the Image Window pencil in your new brush.

4.      In the Layer Dialog right click on the transparent layer and select “Alpha to Selection”.  You will see a marching ant line around the outline of your brush.

5.      Go to your color selection tool and select the color you want outlining your new brush.

6.      On the Image Window’s tool bar select the "Edit" pull down menu and click on "Stroke Selection".

7.      Select Stroke Line, Solid Color, and a low setting for the width of the line.

8.      After you stroke your brush go to the Image Window’s tool bar.  Use the “Select” pull down menu and click "None" – this will take the marching ant line off your brush.

9.      Move your new element to your desired position. 


Technique 2:  Adding Variety to Existing Paper/Creating New Paper With Brushes

1.      Open a solid or subtle patterned paper and duplicate its layer so you have two layers of the same paper.

2.      Make one of the layers lighter than the other by selecting the “Color” pull down menu from the Image Window’s tool bar.  Select the "Brightness/Contrast" option and slide the “Brightness” bar to the right until you hit your desired lightness.

3.      Using your "Eraser Tool" and your desired brush erase parts of the top paper layer so that the bottom paper layer shows.  Using your "Airbrush Tool" and desired brush add more strokes to your paper with different colors.

4.      Merge the top paper layer down to your bottom paper layer.

5.      Crop and move to your desired position.


Technique 3: Using Brushes as a Mask

1.      Open a new patterned paper.  In the Layer Dialog, right click the patterned paper and select “Add Alpha Channel”.

2.      Create a new transparent layer.  Place it above the patterned paper.

3.      Pencil your desired brush on to the transparent layer in the Image Window.

4.      In the Layer Dialog right click on the transparent layer and select “Alpha to Selection”.  You will see a marching ant line around the outline of your brush.

5.      Go to the Image Window’s tool bar.  Click on the “Select” pull down menu and select “Invert”.  This will select everything outside of the brush.

6.      Now select your patterned paper from the Layer Dialog.

7.      Select the “Edit” pull down menu from the Image Window’s tool bar and click on "Cut".

8.      After you cut out the brush go to the Image Window’s tool bar.  Use the “Select” pull down menu and press "None" – this will take the marching ant line off your brush.

9.      Delete the transparent layer allowing ther patterned paper mask to show.

10.  Move your new mask to your desired position.



These are just a few of the techniques you can use with brushes.  Don't be scared to play around and learn more on your own.  You can find a plethora of brushes both for sale from talented designers and free through online searches.  Good luck and have fun!!


This page used Designs by Julie Bullock's A Calming Effect; Michelle Coleman's Mod Circle Brushes, and Hawkes' Leaf Brushes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by davsar