ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Create an abstract background in GIMP tutorial

Updated on August 17, 2012
Abstract background created with GIMP
Abstract background created with GIMP

It’s a simple tutorial to show you how you can create a nice abstract background in GIMP from scratch. Also I will show you how to create a ready to use brush in a few steps.

If you don't have GIMP yet, download it from here, it's official GIMP page.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Open GIMP and make a new Image going to File / New. Make it 2600 x 1900 px. This image you just created should be white.

Next go to Filters / Render / Clouds / Difference Clouds. Move “X size” slider to the end on the left and “Y size” slider to the end on the right. Enter for Detail - 15. You can click “New seed” if you don’t like the pattern of the lines, click it as many times as you wish to find pattern to your taste, then click OK see Fig 1.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Go to Colors / Levels and move arrows of the highlights and shadow closer to the middle so that they are parallel to the line as shown in Fig 2.

Go to Colors / Color Balance.

With Midtones chosen move first slider towards Cyan so the number is -100. Then move bottom slider towards Blue so the number is 100.

Choose Shadows and repeat the movement of the sliders. Do the same for Highlights see Fig 3.

Make a New Transparent layer by clicking on the first icon on the left at the bottom of layers dock, or go to Layer / New Layer. Choose Transparency.

Go to Tools / GEGL Operation. Choose Vignette from the list of operations and apply setting as shown in Fig 4. Set this layer to Overly.

Fig. 3 and Fig.4
Fig. 3 and Fig.4

Next duplicate layer with Vignette and then merge all the layers going to Image / Merge Visible Layers. Your image should look like in Fig 5.

Now we need to make a new brush. Don’t get scared, it won’t take long.

Make a New Transparent layer (you already know how). Pick Paths Tool and set two points to create a straight line like shown in Fig 6.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Make sure White is set as your Foreground colour. Go to Paths dialogue and click Paint along the path icon (second on the right at the bottom). Select Stroke Line / Solid color. Line width 4 px, next click Stroke.

A thin white line will appear on the transparent layer. Take Select by Color Tool and click directly on the line, now the whole white line should be selected.

Go to Edit / Copy. Then Edit / Past as / New Brush.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Give your brush a name this way it will be easier to find it among other brushes. I’m avoiding giving two word names to my brushes as sometimes they don’t work because of this.

Select / None.

Take Paintbrush Tool and go to Brushes and click Refresh.

Fig. 7 and Fig. 8
Fig. 7 and Fig. 8

Find your new brush going to Tool Options dock, then click on the brush window and choose View as List. Click on the brush, set Size at 3000. For Dynamics choose Dynamics off. Go to Brushes Tab and set Spacing to 200.

You can delete the transparent layer with the thin line, just right click on the layer and choose Delete Layer.

Create a New Transparent Layer, make sure White is set as your Foreground colour and pull from the top of the image to the very bottom. You should get layer with thin lines like in Fig 7.

Set this layer to Overlay, next duplicate this layer see what it should look like now in Fig 8.

Go to Image / Merge visible Layers.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Make a New Transparent Layer. Set White as you Foreground colour and Black as Background colour.

Take Blend Tool and in Tool Options choose FG to BG (RGB), Shape - Linear.

Pull this gradient across the image from top right corner to the bottom left corner. Set this layer to Overly. Next duplicate this layer twice see Fig 9.

Go to Image / Merge visible Layers.

You can sharpen your image if you like going to Filter / Enhance / Unsharp Mask. Choose: Radius – 1.3, Amount – 0.50, Thrershold – 0.

Now you can flatten your image go to Image / Flatten Image. You are done.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dina Blaszczak profile imageAUTHOR

      Dina Blaszczak 

      6 years ago from Poland

      @ meh I'm glad you came back to read my reply ;) I will write more tutorials for GIMP so please look in again :)

    • profile image

      meh 

      6 years ago

      Wow, thank-you for the reply. I didn't realize I was using 2.6 an obsolete version.

      I love this abstract digital art. I wish there were more tutorials like it.

      Thanks for making the tutorial and your help with troubleshooting it! :D

    • Dina Blaszczak profile imageAUTHOR

      Dina Blaszczak 

      6 years ago from Poland

      @ meh Then I would suggest you to go to www.Gimp.org and download the latest version of GIMP (2.8) , because it's really worth it :)

    • profile image

      meh 

      6 years ago

      My version of GIMP doesn't have this part --- Go to Tools / GEGL Operation. Choose Vignette

      or this ---- Paths dialogue and click Paint along the path icon (second on the right at the bottom). Select Stroke Line / Solid color. Line width 4 px, next click Stroke.

    • Dina Blaszczak profile imageAUTHOR

      Dina Blaszczak 

      6 years ago from Poland

      @ mydigital-mind Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    • mydigital-mind profile image

      stephanie 

      6 years ago from phoenix arizona

      oh! nice I love tutorials, Great job

    • Dina Blaszczak profile imageAUTHOR

      Dina Blaszczak 

      6 years ago from Poland

      @ internpete Thanks a lot for voting up and sharing my hug, it's much appreciated! I'm glad you found what you were looking for in my tutorial ;)

      @ mary615 Thanks for pointing out that I should include link to GIMP, I have done it now, it's at the beginning of the tutorial. It's GIMP.org.

      Tutorial might look complicated at the beginning, especially for users who only start to use GIMP, but I hope I managed to explain it well. Thank you for reading.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      This looks really complicated to me. If you included a link for Gimp, I didn't see it. Is it just Gimp.com?

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      This is great because I was just looking into different options for a background on my hubpages profile. Maybe even mention that in the title? I think a lot of hubbers might be trying something along these lines, and this was very useful. Voted up and shared.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)