Bastet Hazelnut - Fashion and lifestyle blog about Second Life

GIMP

16 October, 2010 - 01:48

Us GIMP users tend to be left a bit out of help, cause most use Photoshop for their image manipulation. However GIMP is a pretty powerful and freely distributed raster image manipulation program. Not long ago I found a tutorial for compositing with Photoshop. The tutorial is pretty good, but obviously it doesn't help all the way with GIMP.

In the following I will describe how I removed a background with GIMP from an image I took in SL. You can see the before and after shots below.

How to remove a background on GIMP

First of all I took the pic, using a slightly grey, full bright background. I used the grey one, because often a white one doesn't play nice. Some like to use a bright green background. This is one of those things you need to try yourself to see what works best. Next I created a black and white version of my image. To do this you can use the windlight settings from the tutorial I mentioned earlier. I did this a bit different way. I duplicated the background layer of my image and chose Colors > Desature... and clicked OK.

How to remove a background on GIMP

Then I chose Colors > Brightness-Contrast... and moved the contrast slider to it's max (127) and the brightness slider to -79. Please notice the amount of brightness depends on your picture, so you need to try and see which setting is the best. Now I had created a black on white image.

How to remove a background on GIMP

In order to make my evil plan to work I did need it to be white on black. So I chose Colors > Invert. After creating this image with white silhouette on a black background, I copied it and made the layer invisible by clicking the eye next to the said layers thumbnail.

How to remove a background on GIMP

After this I made the original image layer active by clicking it and chose Layer > Mask > Add Layer Mask.... From the pop up I chose White (full opacity) and clicked Add.

How to remove a background on GIMP

I could see the mask appearing on the layers list as a white rectangle next to my original image. Right after doing so I pasted the white on black image I had copied before, which now appeared on the layers list as a Floating Selection (Pasted Layer). The image had now a transparent background. I right clicked this floating selection on the layers list and chose Anchor Layer from the menu that popped up.

How to remove a background on GIMP

The white on black image replaced the white rectangle on the layers list. I right clicked on that layer and chose Apply Layer Mask.

How to remove a background on GIMP

After all of this I could copy and paste my image on a background of my choosing! Oh, by the way, the style credits will follow later.