This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to highlight specific areas of images and text, either by blurring or shading the background. To work along, you are welcome to download the Crowd Scene Image Here, and the Body Of Text Image Here. Unzip your choice of start image, and open it 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.
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Open your choice of Start Image (either the Crowd Scene or the Body Of Text 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).
Crowd Scene Example
Body Of Text Example
Blur Background Note
If you would like to blur the background (as an alternative to creating a shaded background), then don’t create a New Layer. Instead, skip Chapter 2, and proceed to Chapter 3, Here.
Then from the Layers Palette, create a New Transparent Layer above the base image.
Now, from the left-side Toolbox, activate your Selection Tool choice, and working on the new Transparent Layer, surround either part of the text, or a specific person in the crowd scene, with a Selection.
I’ve not selected a Feather setting: however, if you would like your highlighted text or person to have a softer, feathered edge, then by all means, set a Feather of your choice to your chosen Selection Tool.
Ellipse Select Tool for crowd scene selection.
Rectangle Select Tool for body of text Selection.
Using your choice of Selection Tool, isolate a specific body of text, or a person from the crowd scene, with a Selection Marquee, as demonstrated below.
Now, from the top menu, choose Select and then choose Invert. (Ctrl then I).
Gaussian Blur Note (Continue With Shaded Background Tutorial Here).
To Blur the background, from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur. From the subsequent Gaussian Blur dialogue box, set a Blur Radius that suits your needs, and then click OK.
Now, Gaussian Blur Background students, finish by removing the Selection Marquee, (Select then None) - and then save your work.
Set the default Black Foreground and White Background Colours by tapping your Keyboard’s D Key.
Then activate the Bucket Fill Tool.
And still working on the Transparent Layer, left-click to fill the selected area with Solid Black - as illustrated below.
Now, from the top menu, choose Select and then choose None.
To finish, from the Layers Palette, reduce the Top Layer’s Opacity - as illustrated below.
For personal results, it’s important to experiment with the Opacity slider, and discover a look (shading) that suits your needs.
Congratulations, after you have Flattened the Layers, (Image then Flatten Image), your work is complete, and it is ready to save.
To create extra impact, apply a Sharpening Filter of your choice - Filters then Enhance.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.