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How to Create a Realistic Window Pane with GIMP

Updated on July 24, 2015



Open GIMP. For this project, we're going to use the standard settings upon having clicked File > New. Create a new layer and call it Window frame.

New layer Window frame
New layer Window frame

We want to make a rectangular shape to make up our window frame. So, click the Rectangle Select Tool and make a selection that will cover, nearly, the entire canvas.

Rectangle selection
Rectangle selection

Now, we will fill our selection using the RGB color 985e37. Head over to GIMP's Toolbox, change your color, pick up the Bucket Fill Tool and fill away.

Selection filled
Selection filled

Let's start adding the effects that will give our window frame its wood texture appearance. Go to Filters > Noise > HSV Noise. We'll be using 3 for both Holdness & Hue, 9 for Saturation and 102 for Value.

HSV added
HSV added

Now, we go to Filters > Distorts > Wind. We'll be selecting 10 for both Threshold and Strength, Wind for Style, Right for Direction and Trailing for Edge Affected.

Wind effect added
Wind effect added

Head back to Filters, but, this time, we want Motion Blur - Filters > Blur > Motion Blur.

Motion blur added
Motion blur added

And that should make up our wood texture for the window frame. Now, we are going to divide this window up. You should know that I use guides religiously with GIMP. They are, no doubt, a very useful tool. So, having said that, lets create Vertical guides at 60, 310, 330, 580 and then Horizontal at 70, 190, 210, and 330. You may want to make some fine adjustments to your guides if your frame does not turn out even.

Window frame guides added
Window frame guides added

All's we need to do now is grab the Rectangle Select Tool and fill each one of those four window pane sections with white. So, you should end up with something similar to this:

Window panes filled
Window panes filled

Now, we save this as a .jpg image. Close our project, but leave GIMP opened. Then re-open the file you just saved. Once you have that file open, select the Select by Color Tool. Click on a white area of the image then right click your mouse and select Layer > Transparency > Add Alpha Channel. Then select Edit > Cut. We should now end up with just a frame with a transparent background. Let's save this file again, but, this time, we will save it as .png. Once again, close the window, but leave the GIMP program opened.

In GIMP's menu, select File > New. In the Create a New Image dialogue, All's we want is Transparency under Fill width in the Advanced Options section. Everything else remains standard. Now, we need an object to showcase in our window. Select a transparent image that will fit easily and perfectly within our canvas. For this tutorial, I am using this rose with a stem.


Now, lets open our newly created window frame. Once you have it opened, paste it on top of the object. Like so:

Object behind window
Object behind window

Create a new layer. Grab the Rectangle Select Tool and create a selection on the first pane section. Then go to the Foreground & background colors box and change the foreground color to c5d1e8. Select the Blend Tool (be sure it's set to FG to Transparency) and, starting with the top right corner of that first section, drag your mouse and release once you get to the bottom.

Blend added
Blend added

After that, we go to set our Opacity. I used 70%.

Blend added with opacity
Blend added with opacity

We'll be doing this with the other 3 sections, but you may want to aim for that top right corner each time you render the blend. This is how mine turned out:

Final effect
Final effect
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