GIMP Tutorial for Cut-Out Banners

*sighs* I never figured out how to change my Photoshop to English, so I went the extra mile and downloaded GIMP to make this Tutorial. BTW I hate GIMP – personal opinion – but it’s free and I’m guessing this tutorial will be more useful to more people if I use GIMP.

Anywho, you can download GIMP from this site: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/

For this specific Tutorial you’ll need a few swirly brushes for GIMP, you can download a nice set here: http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/applications/gimpbrushes/#/d1cgmvr

NOTE: These Brushes will only paint in Black… You can find a tutorial on how to make them paint in colors here: http://acedar.blogspot.com/2008/07/gimp-tutorial-how-to-make-brush-paint.html

Okay let’s begin…

First you need to install the swirly brushes. For this go to C:\ Program Files\GIMP-2.0\share\gimp\2.0\brushes and just paste the brushes there. When you download it’s a zip file, so you should extract the file with winrar/winzip to be able to get the files compressed within the folder.

Once you have the new brushes installed, so to speak, open GIMP.

Go to file, New, and set the Fill With dropdown menu with transparency. Set a bigger Width and Height than what you’ll need because we will need some transparent space. Then click on OK.

I like working with a lot of layers because I can just get rid of some if I’m unhappy with what they are supposed to do, so go to Layer, New Layer, and click on OK. I want my Transparent Background clean.

Go to brushes, and your Swirly brushes should be there. Find them, and then set Scale to the size they look best to you, (This will depend on your Banner Size)

I’ll use the default Black color of my brushes because I don’t want to do the changing colors thing, but I’ve discovered you can use Photoshop Brushes with the new GIMP, so you could always download Swirly Photoshop Brushes that WILL Change color. Try not to have too many though, each brush or plug-in you add to GIMP will slow it down like you have no idea.

Anywho, once I’ve set the size (scale) for my brush I start painting my swirly corners…

I created a new layer for each swirly corner, and you’ll understand why now.

Oh yeah! I flipped the image, by going to Layer, Transform, Flip vertically, then I moved my layer where I wanted it with my Move Tool. I flipped the other Corner the same way… although the other upper corner had to be flipped twice, once Vertically, and the next Horizontally to match.

And the lower right side had to be flipped only Horizontally…

There…

Now they match….

If you’re doing this in Photoshop, instead of flipping the layers, go to Edit, Transform, Rotate and rotate them. GIMP has a Rotate tool but as I tried it out I realized it wasn’t very good at all… Flipping it’s easier…

Now I need a nice grungy frame. I used this Photoshop one, you can download here →

http://www.brushesdownload.com/bfile.asp?id=4963

But if you have an older version of GIMP (bellow 2.6) this will not work on your app, so you better update first.

Don’t forget to ‘install’ your brush so you can use it.

Now I choose a frame, create a new layer for my frame, scale my brush, paint, and voila…

You can’t get swirlier than that… you can Google another frame if you don’t like this one. Try to Google for grungy or floral frame’s Brushes… those are the best brushes for this sort of Banner. Also try to download the higher resolution ones when possible.

Now onto the rest of the banner… I’m going to make an easy one here to keep this Tutorial short, but a recommendation I would give you is: Cut-out Banners are all about the irregular frame, try to keep the Banner on the minimalist side so that the borders stand out.

I chose this pic because it’s simple and has a dark Background like my Frame.

I go to File, Open, and select my pic. Then I go to Select All, then Edit, and Copy.

Once I’ve copied the pic it’s saved in my Virtual Memory (Computer-talk) and I can close it and go back to my frames. I paste the image over my Background that I left clean. I go to Image, Scale Image, and scale it if my pic is too Big, which it was in this case.

Once I have the layer on the right size I select my Frame layer, go to my Menu, Layer, Mask, Add Layer Mask, and select White Full Opacity. With a pretty, rounded, normal-looking brush I paint over my Mask to get rid of all the extra parts of the frame that are over B&E’s faces…

If you have no clue what masks are Go here → http://photoshoptips.net/2006/07/25/layer-masks/ this is a pretty straightforward introduction to the use of Masks in Photoshop, they work the same way on GIMP so if you get this you’ll get the use of Masks on GIMP…

Here is a video Tutorial for GIMP, if you’re still unsure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoaDHnl4pao and if this one is too hard to understand just search Youtube, there are hundreds of Tutorials for both GIMP and Photoshop.

Anywho, I got rid of my excess frame with the use of masks. E&B’s picture still is out of my frame.

I add a Mask to my E&B picture and I do the same thing, erasing the excess of the pic under my frame. You can do this with the eraser tool as well, but I’m not a big fan of the eraser, I prefer using masks.

I’ll add some text just so that it doesn’t look so simple.

Anywho, long story short – since this tutorial is all about the framing not the Banner-Making – Now go to Image, Merge Visible Layers, Merge. DO NOT FLATTEN, MERGE.

Then go to File, Saves As, and select PNG or GIF which are the File Types that support Transparency. I suggest PNG, since it keeps a better quality of image than GIF.

You’ll get this annoying guy, just listen to him…

And Voila… a Cut-Out Banner…

If I could do this, you can do it too. Everything I learned I learned from Tutorials so I hope this was helpful to you.

PS. I continue to prefer Photoshop so if you can afford it, trust me is worth it.

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