This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create a 3 Sided Photographic Cube. To work along, you are welcome to download a blank cube, and three (resized) rectangular shaped photographs Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.
This tutorial is complex and requires much organisation. It’s therefore suitable for experienced GIMP students only.
Beginner GIMP Tutorials
You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.
Understand Blend Modes
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).
Resizing Photographs Notes
I have already resized my three photographs to fit the cube; however, when working with your photographs, resize them so they are slightly larger than the cube - Image then Scale Image. The size of the cube’s canvas is 1296 Pixels X 1759 Pixels. However, bear in mind, when resizing your own photographs, the Scale Image settings are entirely depended on your photograph’s size and its Resolution. With this in mind, experiment with the Scale Image settings, and discover new dimensions that are suitable for your photographs and their Resolutions. To avoid unsightly image distortion after resizing your photographs, it is advisable to choose a fairly symmetrical (square) photograph. You may find cropping your image to a square shape prior to re-scaling beneficial.
You can crop your image to a rectangular shape using GIMP’s Crop Tool .
To open the five Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace: from Gimps’ top menu choose File then Open - Ctrl then O. Now, from the Open Image dialogue box, navigate to the folder where your Start Images reside, then Ctrl-click to highlight all five files - and then click Open.
All highlighted images will then open onto GIMPs workspace, as illustrated below.
Now, maximise the Cube image by navigating to it via the Bottom Menu Bar and clicking the Cube image.
Alternatively, navigate to the Cube Image and then click its Top Menu’s Maximise tab - as illustrated below.
Then, (one at a time), navigate to each square-shaped photograph, and Copy and Paste each photograph onto the Cube Image. To do this, activate one square-shaped photograph, and then from its top menu, choose Edit - then from the subsequent
drop-down menu, choose Copy. As demonstrated below.
Now, navigate to the Cube Image, and from its top menu, choose Edit and then choose Paste as, and then from the subsequent pop-out menu, choose New Layer. As demonstrated below.
Now, Copy and Paste (as a New Layer) the two remaining rectangular shaped photographs onto the Cube, in exactly the same way as you did with the first rectangular shaped photograph.
After you have completed this, your workspace image and the Layers Palette will be similar to mine, below.
It’s a good time to save your Layered Image as a GIMP XCF File.
To save your PC’s resources, (now you have safely pasted your three photographs onto the Cube Image), Close the three original rectangular shaped photographs.
Congratulations, you are now ready for the next step.
From the left-side Toolbox, activate the Move Tool .
Then drag two of your photographs to one side and drag one over the Cube, as demonstrated below.
Ensure the two photographs placed to one side do not cover the Cube in any way.
Now, ensure the photograph you are working with remains active by left-clicking its corresponding Layer in the Layers Palette.
You will find the next step easier if you enlarge your image by Zooming into it.
Now, from the Layers Palette, reduce the active photograph’s Opacity to around
28% - as demonstrated below.
Then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Perspective Tool.
And left-click once over your active Photograph. Now, you are looking to successfully line up all four Photographic Corners with Cube’s Four Corners, before committing the transformation by clicking the Transform tab. Therefore, grab the Bottom-right Repositioning Handle, and then gently tug it so as the photograph’s
Bottom-right Corner fits the Cube’s Bottom-right Corner, precisely - as illustrated below.
In order to clearly see your work, you may need to drag the Perspective dialogue box to one side.
Then grab the Bottom-left Repositioning Handle and carefully match up your Photograph’s Bottom-left Corner so it exactly matches the Cube’s Bottom-left Corner - as illustrated below.
Now, grab the Top-left Repositioning Handle, and match the Photograph’s Top-left Corner to the Cube’s Top-left Corner. Then, grab and reposition the Top-right Repositioning Handle to match the Photograph’s Top-right Corner with the Cube’s corresponding Corner - as illustrated below.
When you are satisfied that the Photograph’s and the Cube’s four Corners match exactly, complete the transformation by clicking the following Transform tab.
Congratulations, you have successfully applied the first photograph onto the first panel - as demonstrated below.
It’s time to activate the Second Photograph with the Move Tool and drag it over to the Cube. Now, activate the Second Photograph’s Layer in the Layers Palette, and reduce its Opacity. Now, activate the Perspective Tool and transform the Second Photograph’s Corners so they match the Cube’s Second Panel, in exactly the same way as the first. Then finish by clicking the Transform tab to commit the Transformation.
Now, activate the Third Photograph, and deform it so its Corners match the Third Panel exactly - just as you did with the First and Second Photographs.
If you notice part of the cube displaying through the photograph, activate the corresponding Layer in the Layers Palette, then carefully line the photograph up utilising the Perspective Tool.
Move Tool And Arrow Keys Note
First activate a Photograph’s Layer in the Layers Palette. Now, activate the Move Tool, then gently nudge the active photo-panel into position - pixel-by-pixel - by tapping your Keyboard’s corresponding Arrow Keys.
Now is a good time to save your Layered Image as a GIMP XCF File.
If necessary, activate the Perspective Tool and make any final (corner) adjustments. And when you are completely happy with your three panelled photographic cube’s appearance, increase each Layers Opacity to 100%. Then activate the Top Layer and then from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Merge Down. Now, Merge Down the two remaining Layers in exactly the same way.
Congratulations, all Layers in the Layers Palette should now be merged together.
Congratulations, your 3 panelled photographic cube is complete, and it can now be cropped and then Copied and Pasted onto a background image of your choice. Alternatively, you can create a Background Fill Layer using either a Solid Colour, Pattern or a Gradient of your choice.
My tutorial here, demonstrates how to optimise and save images.
My tutorial here, demonstrates how to create a background fill-layer of your choice.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.