Translucent tape tutorial with GIMP

A nice simple technique for making translucent tape.

This technique is probably easier then it looks, as most of it really just involves basic techniques.

For this tutorial I have made a couple of brushes you can download here.

Base image

First step is to create a new transparent image. It can be any size, though we want it to be larger then our peace of tape.

Apply a rectangular selection (press R your keyboard). Again it can be any size, though I have made mine roughly 30px*90px (give or take a few). Fill your selection with a grey colour (I used the HTML notation #dddddd).

GIMP translucent tape tutorial shows a rectangle filled with grey


Select the Eraser tool (hold Shift+E on your keyboard). Make sure in your Tool Options dialogue, you have the check box for Hard Edge selected. While erasing the left and right side of your rectangle, try to keep it fairly random to avoid making it symmetrical, as this will just make the torn edges more realistic in my opinion.

Translucent tape tutorial made in GIMP showing edges erased to be jagged


Time to add some highlights! Select the airbrush tool (press A on your keyboard), then using a soft brush create some white diagonal squiggly lines. You can also add some dots in places.



Now select none (hold Shift+Ctrl+A at the same time), then duplicate your layer (Layer -> Duplicate Layer). You need to select your bottom layer (Layers -> Stack -> Select Bottom Layer). Now Gaussian Blur this layer (Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur) and set the Blur Radius to 3*3 then click OK.

You should now merge your two layers (Ctrl+M then OK), then to make your tape translucent I would suggest changing the Layer Opacity to somewhere between 40 and 70 … and you are now done!

Possible outcome

A photo of Ayumi Hamasaki taped to some wood board, demonstrating a possible outcome in GIMP


The photo used as an example of a possible outcome of Ayumi Hamasaki is not my property and all rights are reserved for the respective owner.

You may post this tutorial elsewhere, but please don’t claim as your own work and ask permission first so I can keep track of this.

Tutorial written by Dene Gibson.

I hope you found this useful and thanks for reading!

Grunge Brush Tutorial for GIMP

One tool graphic artists find useful is the brush tool. This is because it can be used to apply various effects to an image with little effort, as well as save on the time it would normally take to apply such an effect otherwise.

This simple tutorial will explain how to make a grunge brush in GIMP.

You will need GIMP installed of course, which you can download here. It will also help if you have some experience with using GIMP, though this tutorial should be fairly simple to follow.

Starting off

Create a new image of any size, though I have decided to make mine 300px by 300px. I will assume this is simple enough not to require a screen shot.

Creating your basic shape

Activate the tool for creating hand drawn regions. You can do this by pressing the F key on your keyboard or by clicking on this icon Free select tool Now create a random selection using this tool.

Altering your selection

On the bottom left side of your window next to your scroll bar, you should have a button to toggle the quick mask like so Quickmask off Click on this to apply a quick mask.

You should now have something like this.

Quickmask on

Adding texture to your shape

Go to Filters -> Noise -> Pick then enter these settings like so.

Noise pick

You should now have something like this.



Now we want to remove the quick mask, so click on this button on the bottom left area of your screen stock-qmask-on-16 (same button you pressed to apply the quick mask).

You should now have some marching ants around the edges of the shape you had after you applied the noise pick filter to it. Fill this selection with black and then you are done!

What you have now should look something like this.


Now might be a good time to autocrop your image (go to Image -> Autocrop).

Installing your brush

To make your brush ready for use, simply flatten your image (Image -> Flatten Image), then convert to greyscale (Image -> Mode -> Greyscale).

The easiest way of installing your brush, is probably to select from the menu Script-Fu -> Selection -> To Brush.

Another way of doing it, is to locate your GIMP brushes folder then save your brush here. For more information, try the help forum.

Create a glow effect in GIMP

Any graphics artist must know how to use basic tools to create different effects. What this tutorial will aim to do, is show you how to create a glowing effect by using the selection tools that come with GIMP.

To follow this tutorial, it will help if you have GIMP installed which you can find here. My tutorial is aimed at someone who has used GIMP before, which is why I have not provided any screen shots. If you do not have any experience with using GIMP, then this should still be fairly easy to follow, as long as you are familiar with the GIMP interface.

Step 1

Start by creating a new image (in the menu, go to File -> New).

You can use any size you wish to experiment, though I will use one that is 300px in width and 100px in height.

Step 2

We now want to add some text to the image. Either press T on your keyboard to use this tool, or click on the text icon like so stock-tool-text-16

Step 3

Now in the menu, select Layer -> Transparency -> Alpah to Selection.

Step 4

From the menu, select Select -> Grow. A small window will then pop up which will ask you how much you want to grow the selection by. For this tutorial, we will grow the selection by 8 pixels.

Step 5

Once you have grown your selection it is time feather it. What this basically means is, you are going to make the selection gradually fade out. From the menu select Select -> Grow -> Feather, then as with growing the selection a window will pop up asking you how much you want to feather the selection by. In this case, we will feather the selection by 20 pixels.

Step 6

Time for colour! You will need to create a new layer, which you can do by selecting from the menu Layer -> New Layer, then just click OK. Now fill your selection with your desired colour using the fill tool (click on the bucket icon or hold Shift and B at the same time). Once you have filled your selection, you will need to make sure that the layer you filled the selection with is below the layer you have your text on.

You should now have something like this.


Be sure to experiment, then you can produce different types of outcomes such as these two I will demonstrate for you.




The image used to acheive the result shown above (the character called Trunks with the purple hair, who appears in a cartoon called Dragon Ball Z), is not my property and all rights are reserved for the respective owner.

You may post this tutorial elsewhere, but please don’t claim as your own work and ask permission first so I can keep track of this.

Tutorial written by Dene Gibson (AKA gogul2k)

I hope you found this useful and thanks for reading!