This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create animated star-filled text. To work along, you are welcome to download the three Starry Night Seamless Patterns
I am working with Here. Unzip the file and Copy and Paste the three Starry Night Patterns into GIMP’s Patterns Folder, as demonstrated in Chapter 1, below.
You are welcome to download three UK Flag Patterns Here, and three Diamond Patterns Here.
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 drop-down list.
Apply Text - Beginners
100+ Gimp beginner Tutorials
Convert Images Into Seamless Patterns
Install Patterns Into GIMP’s Patterns Folder
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Create Three Unique Seamless Patterns Ready To Animate
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).
Before you begin, first, Copy and Paste the Three Starry Night Images into GIMP’s Patterns Folder. My on-line tutorial Here, demonstrate how to navigate to GIMP’s main programme files, and how to Paste the three Starry Night Patterns.
Quick Navigation Directions
Now, create a New (Transparent) Image, and set the following Width and Height and Fill with Transparency attributes. Alternatively, select an Image Size of your choice, bearing in mind, (for quicker download speeds), it’s best to keep your animation relatively small.
From the Layers Palette, create a New Transparent Layer, and then drag it below the Background Image Layer - as illustrated below.
And using the Bucket Fill Tool, fill the Transparent Background with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or a Gradient of your choice.
Try not to utilise a bright Gradient, if you do, the Gradient’s colours will degrade (this is known as gradient banding) during the animating process.
Blend Your Animation With A Specific Background Colour
When selecting your background fill colour, if you would like your animation to be “transparent”, then choose a colour that closely matches the background you’ll be displaying your animation on. For example, if your website/forum background is Solid White - then fill the Transparent Layer with Solid White. I am going to blend my Animation with this page’s pink background colour, and I have therefore filled the Transparent Layer with the same pink colour.
Now, from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.
Set the Foreground Colour to Solid Black.
And from the Toolbox, activate the Text Tool. (Text Tool Tutorial).
The size of the Text is determined by your Image’s Resolution (Size) - and the look you are seeking.
And from the left-side Tool Options Box, enter Text Attributes (the Size, and Font), of your choice.
This type of filled text works best with a nice wide Font. I am therefore utilising a Font named Gill Sans Ultra Bold.
Once you have applied your text, centralise it using the Move Tool. And then, using the Crop Tool, crop away any wasted transparent canvas.
To apply a Drop Shadow to your text, from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Light and Shadow and then choose Drop Shadow. And form the subsequent dialogue box, enter Drop Shadow settings of your choice, and then click OK.
Add a Bevel to your text as well, if you want to.
Now, in the Layers Palette, activate the Text Layer.
Then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Fuzzy Select Tool.
And enter the following Add to current selection attributes into the left-side Options Box.
Now, left-click once inside each (black) letter/character to isolate them with a Selection Marquee. After you have isolated each letter with a Selection Marquee, you are ready for the next step. (Don’t forget to isolate the dots of the i’s, if you have any - with a Selection Marquee).
Activate the Top Layer. This will be the Text Layer - as illustrated below.
Then from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.
Then, from the Layers Palette, Duplicate the Text Layer by right-clicking over it, and selecting Duplicate Layer from the subsequent drop-down list. Repeat this one more time, and you should now have three identical Text Layers in the Layers Palette - as illustrated below.
Now is a good time to save your Layered Image as a GIMP XCF File.
From the Toolbox, activate the Bucket Fill Tool.
And from the Bucket Fill Tool’s Option Box, mark Pattern fill - and then navigate to and activate the Starry Night 1 Pattern that you (hopefully) Pasted into GIMP’s Patterns Folder back in Chapter 1 of this tutorial.
In the next Chapters, you will activate the Top Layer - and fill the selected text with the Starry Night 1 Pattern. You will then activate the Middle Layer - and fill its selected text with the Starry Night 2 Pattern. And finally, you will activate the Bottom Layer - and fill its selected text with the Starry Night 3 Pattern. To create a successful animation, all three Text Layers must be filled with different Starry Night Patterns.
Activate the Top Text Layer - as illustrated below.
And (using the Bucket Fill Tool), left-click over each text letter/character to fill the Top Layer’s Text with the Starry Night 1 Pattern.
Tip - Fill Whole Selection
If you prefer, you can fill the entire selected text at the same time by marking the following Fill whole selection tab in the Bucket Fill Tool’s Options Box.
Now, activate the Middle Text Layer - as illustrated below.
And from the Bucket Fill Tool’s Options Box, activate the Starry Night 2 Pattern.
Then left-click over each text letter/character to fill the Middle Layer’s Text with the Starry Night 2 Pattern.
Because the Middle Layer is active, (unless you toggle the Top Layer’s Visibility), you won’t be able to see the Starry Night Pattern 2 fill.
Now, activate the Bottom Text Layer - as illustrated below.
And from the Bucket Fill Tool’s Options Box, activate the Starry Night 3 Pattern.
Then left-click over each text letter/character to fill the Bottom Layer’s Text with the Starry Night 3 Pattern.
Because the Bottom Layer is active, (unless you toggle the Top and Middle Layers’ Visibility), you won’t be able to see the Starry Night Pattern 3 fill.
Congratulations, you have successfully created your 3 Animation-frames - as illustrated below, and they are now ready to save/export as an animation.
Smooth Ragged Text Edges Note
If you notice the text’s edges are jagged, then (using the Blur Tool), activate each corresponding Text Layer, and gently smooth away the ragged edges.
Now is a good time to save your work as a GIMP XCF File.
To view your animation. From the top menu, choose Filters then choose Animation and then choose Playback. And from the subsequent Animation Playback dialogue box, click the following Play (Start Playback) tab. Your Three-layered Image will now animate - as illustrated below.
19/ (Export/Save Images As A GIF: GIMP 2.8 - Click Here).
From the top menu, choose File and then choose Save As. (2.8 select File and then select Export). And from the subsequent Save/Export Image dialogue box, navigate to a Destination Folder of your choice. Then save your Image as a GIF, and then click Save. As demonstrated by my screen capture below.
How to Save Images Tutorial Here.
And from the subsequent Export File dialogue box, mark the following Save as Animation box, and then click Export.
GIMP 2.8 Example
And from the subsequent Save as Gif dialogue box, enter settings of your choice, (or accept the default settings), and then click Save.
For personalised animation speeds, experiment with different Millisecond (Delay between frames) values.
Slow Down Your Animation
To slow down your animation’s speed, increase the Delay between frames to around 150 milliseconds. (for personal results, always experiment with the speed setting).
150 Millisecond Example
When this option is marked, the animation will play repeatedly until you stop it.
Delay Between Frames If Unspecified
You can set the delay, in milliseconds, between frames if it has not been set before. In this case, you can modify every delay in the Layer Dialogue.
Frame Disposal When Unspecified
If this has not been set before, you can set how frames will be superimposed. You can select one of the following three options:
I Don't Care
You can use this option if all your Layers are opaque. Layers will overwrite what is
Cumulative Layers (Combine)
Previous frames will not be deleted when a new one is displayed.
One Frame Per Layer (Replace)
Previous frames will be deleted before displaying a new frame.
Congratulations, you have created and saved your Animated Starry Text, and it is ready to upload to a server in your usual manner.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.