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How to make a custom brush in GIMP tutorial

Updated on August 7, 2012
Background created with a custom brush
Background created with a custom brush

GIMP has a number of useful custom brushes for your disposal. But what if you want to make your own brush? This tutorial will guide you through the steps of making your own unique brushes. Once you learn this process, you will be able to create a whole gallery of the brushes you need for working on images.

Open GIMP to make a New Image. I prefer to make my brushes big in case I want to use them for a high resolution image.You can up-size a brush later, but it makes some brushes look pixelated when viewed at 100%.

Go to:File / New Choose settings: Width 3000px, Height 3000px.

Let’s start from a simple example, so we will make a brush you can use to make a stripped background. With Rectangle Select tool make selection on the canvas as shown in Fig.2.

Fig.2
Fig.2

Fill the selection with Black using Bucket Fill tool.

Now on the left hand side of the black stripe we’ve made, make another selection using Rectangle selection tool, but this time much thinner, something about 1/3 of the previous width and fill it with Black as shown in Fig.3.

Fig.3
Fig.3

For the next step there are a few ways to do it. I will show you the one, which I think is the easiest. Make a New transparent layer, make sure it’s selected.

Make selection like we have done it earlier, but this time make it on the right hand side. Make it really thin and as previously fill with black like shown in Fig.4.

Fig.4
Fig.4

Copy our transparent layer with the thin stripe. Select Move tool and in Tool options choose Move the active layer.

Go back to layers, make sure the top one (with the copied stripe) is selected, move it a bit to the right as shown in fig.5. We will repeat this step twice, so if you want precision, you can and use navigation arrows on your keyboard press right arrow 50 times.

Fig.5
Fig.5

Now repeat the last two steps. But instead of copying first transparent layer with thin stripe, copy the one which we’ve been moving. You should end up with what is shown in Fig 6.

Next go to Image / Flatten image.

Time to crop our image Image / Autocrop image. See Fig 7.

Fig.6
Fig.6

This step is important, so don’t miss it. Go to Image / Mode / Grayscale.

Final step is to save our brush. Go to File / Export / Username (name you use to log on for your computer, with this name there should be a folder, note, I’m using Windows XP) / GIMP 2.8 (in my case, you might have 2.6) double click / brushes double click. Give your brush a name, I call mine Stripes and at the bottom go to Select File Type (by extension) , choose GIMP brush, it should end with gbr and click Export.

Fig.7
Fig.7

A new small window will appear. Leave Spacing as it is, but in Description field enter the same name as you called your brush, press Export.

To activate your new brush you must press Refresh button in the brushes.

The pattern and width of stripes doesn’t have to be the same as in my example, lines are great to work with giving your creativity freedom and endless possibilities for brushes.

More examples of using custom brush
More examples of using custom brush

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      SIMON LIM 2 years ago from indonesia

      thank for your information ,my hub on nineteen.hubpages.com

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