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by Wendi E. M. Scarth.


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Chain Link Frame 


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Linked Chain Border Framing
Intermediate Plus

Chain Link Photographic Border GIMP

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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to frame an image with a metallic chain. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Images I am working with HereUnzip the file and open the Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace.

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.

Resize Images
Understand Layers
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).

To open the two Start Images onto GIMP’s workspace: from Gimps’ top menu choose File then choose 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 both files - and then click Open.

Depending on its size, you may find it helpful to reduce the size of your photograph. My chain frame measures 8.33 inches wide x 5.56 inches high; therefore, reduce your photograph to a size that’s slightly larger than my chain image.
Resize Images Using The Set Image Canvas Dialogue Box.

Now, Maximise the Dolphin Public House Image by clicking its Top-right Maximise tab - as illustrated below.

And then from the Chain Link Image’s Top Menu, choose Edit and then choose Copy.

Then from the Dolphin Public House’s Top Menu, choose Edit and then choose Paste as and then choose New Layer - as illustrated below.

You will now have a two-layered image, as illustrated below.

It’s safe to Close the original Chain Link Frame Image

Save Tip
It’s a good time to save your two-layered image
as a XCF File.

Now, activate the Chain Layer.

Then Resize it so it frames the photograph, using the Scale Tool.

Scale Tool Tutorial.

When resizing the Chain, it’s important to leave plenty of room for the subsequent Drop Shadow. If the Chain is too close to the image’s parameter, subsequent Drop Shadows will transcend the image, and will look unsightly.

Commit the Scale by clicking the following Scale tab.

Move Tool Tip
If necessary, you can centralise the Chain Image over the Photograph, using the Move Tool .

Save Tip
It’s a good time to save your two-layered image
as a XCF File.

Now, activate the Photograph’s Layer - (The Background Layer). And then
right-click over the Background Layer, and select Add Alpha Channel from the subsequent drop-down list.


Then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Eraser Tool.

And enter the following Hard Round Brush settings into the Tool Options Box.

You can quickly change the Brush’s Scale (Size) by tapping your Keyboard’s Square Bracket Keys.

Now, (still working on the Photograph’s Layer), carefully and slowly remove the blue sky pixels that transcend the Metallic Frame - as illustrated below.


At this point, you need to be very careful not to remove the photograph inside the Chain. If you remove pixels in error, then return your image to a previous state by tapping Ctrl and then Z.

Illustrated below is an example error that requires stepping backwards.

Eraser Tool Tip
Release your left mouse button regularly. This enables you to step backwards, quickly.

Zoom Tool Tip
You will find it helpful to enlarge your image using the Zoom Tool.

Shift+Plus Key And Minus Key Tip
To quickly zoom in or out of an image - tap your Keyboard’s Shift+Plus Key or the Minus Key, respectively.

Palettes Note
After Zooming in, (in order to see your image), you may need to drag the Toolbox and Palettes to one side.

Now, (resizing the Eraser Tool as needed), continue working around the image - removing blue sky pixels outside the chain - as illustrated below.

Reduce the Brush Size when removing lower pixels.

Now, continue removing the remaining blue sky areas. And when you have completed this, you are ready for the next step.

To be certain all pixels have been removed; (still working on the Photograph’s Layer), carefully apply the Eraser Tool around the transparent border, one final time.

Save Tip
It’s a good time to save your two-layered image
as a XCF File.

Drop Shadow Tip
You may like to apply Drop Shadows to the Chain Layer and the Photograph Layer. My Tutorial Here demonstrates how to apply a Drop Shadow - Filters then Light and Shadow then Drop Shadow.

Fill Layer Tip
Tutorial Here demonstrates how to create a Fill Layer and Fill it with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or a Gradient.


8/ Flatten Image
To finish, from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.

Sharpen Tip
To create extra impact, apply a
Sharpening Filter of your choice - Filters then Enhance.

Congratulations, your Chain Link Frame Conversion is complete and your work is ready to
optimise and save.

Chain Link Photographic Border GIMP

Now you are more familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun applying a Metallic Chain to your favourite images.

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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