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This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to pixelise certain photographic areas. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with HereUnzip the file and open the 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

Open your choice of 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).

Now, from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Free Select Tool.

And enter the following Add to the current selection settings into the left-side Options Box.

You are looking to click-and-stretch a “Lasso Line” around an area you would like to disguise: (for example a face, or a car number plate) - with the aim of isolating it with a Selection Marquee. My Tutorial Here demonstrates how to utilise the Free Select Tool.

carefully click and stretch a Lasso around the area you wish to pixelise. After you have applied your Lasso, complete the circuit by passing your cursor over the exact point where you began, and then double-left-click - as illustrated below-left. The Lasso Line will then change into a Selection Marquee - as illustrated below-right.


Tip - Retracing Your Steps
Whilst you are applying the Lasso Line; - and before the Selection Marquee has been
applied, to go back one step - press your Keyboard’ Delete/Backspace Key. Press your chosen Key for however many steps you want to go back - (this is for Window PC users,
I am unfamiliar with Mac’s). Tapping the Escape Key completely removes the Lasso Line/Selection Marquee.

From the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur and then choose Pixelise.

And from the subsequent Pixelise dialogue box, experiment with the Pixel Width and Pixel Height settings, and then click OK.


I am demonstrating this technique using the Pixelise Filter: however, experiment with different Filters, perhaps the Gaussian Blur Filter, and discover a look that works best for yours’ and your image’s needs.

Now, from the top menu, choose Select and then choose Select None.

Congratulations, your work is complete,
and it is ready to save - top menu, then File then Save As.

Wendi E. M. Scarth. 
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