This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to fill a Transparent Layer with either a Solid Colour, Pattern or a Gradient of your choice. Creating a Fill Layer is an excellent way of blending a Transparent Image with its background, such as the Disco Cat, above. To work along, you are welcome to download the Transparent Disco Cat Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the transparent image 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
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Table Of Contents
Utilise The Colour Picker Tool
Fill A Transparent Layer With A Pattern
Fill A Transparent Layer With A Gradient
Fill A Transparent Layer With A Solid Colour
Apply A Perspective Or A Drop Shadow To Transparent Images
Open a Transparent Start Image onto GIMP’s workspace - File then Open - Ctrl then O.
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).
2/ Create A New Transparent Layer
Now, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose New Layer. And from the subsequent New Layer dialogue box, rename the Layer Fill Layer, (or something similar), and then click OK.
Then left-click and drag the New Fill Layer to the bottom of the Layers Stack - as illustrated below.
Now, from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Bucket Fill Tool.
Fill The New Layer With A Pattern
To fill your New Layer with a Pattern: from the Bucket Fill Tool’s left-side Options Panel, mark Pattern Fill, and then left-click over the small pattern swatch as illustrated below-left. And from the subsequent Patterns Library, left-click to select a pattern of your choice - as illustrated below-right.
Now, (still working on the New Fill Layer), left-click over the Disco Cat to apply the Pattern of your choice.
Fill The New Layer With A Solid Colour
To fill your New Layer with a Solid Colour Fill: (if necessary, tap Ctl then Z to return your Disco Cat to its original Transparent State). And then change the Foreground Colour or the Background Colour to your choice of Solid Colour. And then mark either Foreground or Background - as illustrated below.
Tip: Colour Picker Tool
To collect a Solid Colour from GIMP’s workspace, or from an image that’s open on GIMP’s workspace. From the left-side Toolbox, activate the Colour Picker Tool.
Change The Foreground Colour
Now, from the left-side Options Bar, mark Set Foreground Colour. And then
left-click over an image, or left-click over GIMP’s workspace. Left-clicking changes the Foreground Colour to the colour you have just clicked over (sampled).
Tip: Change The Background Colour
To collect a Background Colour, mark the Set Background Colour tab, and then
left-click over an image, or left-click over GIMP’s workspace. This changes the Background Colour to the colour you have just collected (sampled).
I have changed my Foreground Colour to the this tutorial’s Pink Background Colour.
Creating a Pink Fill Layer blends the Disco Cat with this page, seamlessly - as illustrated below.
Tip: HTML Code
If you know a colour’s HTML code, then left-click over either the Foreground or the Background Colour Swatches. And from the subsequent Change Foreground (or Background) Colour dialogue box, clear the HTML Notation values already there, and type in your colour’s HTML code, then click OK - as illustrated below.
Fill The New Layer With A Gradient (Blend)
To create a Gradient Fill (Blend): (if necessary, tap Ctl then Z to return your Disco Cat to its original Transparent State). And then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Blend Tool.
And then left-click over the Gradient swatch, and select a Gradient of your choice from the subsequent drop-down Gradient Library.
For personal results, experiment with different Gradients and Gradient Shapes.
I have selected a Linear Gradient Shape named Land and Sea.
After you have selected a gradient of your choice: (still working on the New Fill Layer), left-click and stretch a Gradient Line over your image as illustrated below.
Tip: How To Keep The Gradient (Blend) Line Straight
To create a Straight Gradient Line: press and keep pressed the Ctrl Key as you drag out the Gradient Line.
Different Gradient Line Position Example
Apply A Drop Shadow Or Perspective Shadow To The Transparent Disco Cat
Ensure the Disco Cat Layer is active.
And then from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Light and Shadow and then choose Drop Shadow or Perspective Shadow. If you are applying a Perspective Shadow, you may want to activate the Move Tool.
And then drag the Disco Cat to the left-side of the canvas. Now, from the subsequent Drop Shadow or Perspective Shadow dialogue box, enter settings of your choice, and then click OK.
Perspective Shadow Example
Drop Shadow Example
Ensure Allow resizing is Unmarked.
To finish, from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image. And if necessary, Crop away any wasted background using the Crop Tool.
Congratulations, you have successfully applied a Fill Layer to your Transparent Image, and your work is now ready to save: - top menu, then File then Save As.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.