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How to Create Glossy Chrome Text with GIMP

Updated on October 19, 2016

Today, I'm going to show you how to create a glossy chrome effect for your text using the program GIMP. This technique will apply a cool chrome texture that you can use on your titles, logos or headings. You will be able to design your own site content without the need to pay for this type of service and give your website or blog a touch of style. This tutorial could also be used on graphics, besides text, if you want to apply a chrome texture to images. This tutorial was designed for advanced GIMP users.



Open Gimp. Go to the Foreground & background color box in GIMP'S Toolbox and choose 505050 for the color of the background. Create a new project with the dimensions of 700 x 200. You can change the size later, if you require a differenct size text for your project.

Background filled
Background filled

Select the Text Tool. Choose 150 for Size, Sans Bold Italic for Font, 828282 for Color and make sure text is Centered under Justify. We want a bold text to ensure that the full effects of this type of modification are applied. Type out your text. For this tutorial, let's type out the word Style.

Text typed
Text typed

Click the Alignment Tool and then click on the text. Now, click both the Align center of target and Align middle of target icons in the Align section of the Toolbox.

Align center and middle
Align center and middle

Now, go to GIMP's menu and select Layer > Layer to Image Size. Right click the text layer and choose Alpha to Selection. Click on the Open the channels dialogue book icon in the Channels, Paths, Undo, Layers window.

Channels dialogue opened
Channels dialogue opened

Click on the Create a new channel icon approximately midway down the Channels, Paths, Undo, Layers window.

Create new channel
Create new channel

In the New Channel dialogue, choose Depth for Channel name, click the Initialize from selection check box and click OK.

New channel dialogue opened
New channel dialogue opened

Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and select 8px and then click OK. Repeat 3 more times with 5px, 3px and 1px each time for subsequent settings. Turn off visibility for the channel Depth.
Go back to the layers dialogue and click to select the text layer. Now, go to Filters > Light and Shadow > Lighting Effects. Select the tab Bumpmap. Click the check box Enable bump mapping.

Bump mapping enabled
Bump mapping enabled

In the Bumpmap image drop down menu, select the channel Depth and then choose 0.04 under Maximum height. Now, switch to the Material tab and use these settings. You may experiment with different settings here if you like. This is just as a general guideline.

  • Glowing: 0.60
  • Bright: 0.15
  • Shiny: 1.00
  • Polished: 27

Material settings
Material settings

Click on the Light tab and use these settings for each and then click OK.


  • Type: Directional
  • Color: #ffffff
  • Direction: X: 0, Y: -1, Z: 0.5 (or 1)
  • Intensity: 1


  • Type: Directional
  • Color: #2d1fe3
  • Direction: X: 0, Y: 1.30, Z: 0
  • Intensity: 2

Lighting effects applied
Lighting effects applied

Note: To use your text on a project, you'll want to turn off visibility for the Background layer and then save it as a .png (PNG) image file format. You can then Re-size the text image, if you like, and then copy and paste it onto your project.

Finished text
Finished text


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