Translucent tape tutorial with GIMP

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.