This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create a painterly photographic border using GIMP’s Quick Mask Tool. To work along, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip 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
Complex Masking (Background Removal) Utilising GIMP’s Quick Mask
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, create a New Transport Layer by clicking the following Create a new layer tab. And from the subsequent New Layer dialogue box, name the Layer something like Frame, and then click OK.
From the left-side Toolbox, activate the Rectangle Select Tool.
And enter the following settings into the Options Box.
Then (still working on the Frame Layer), left-click and drag out a Rectangular Selection Marquee Frame. And resize the Rectangular-shaped Selection Marquee by dragging one of the Repositioning (Corner) Handles - as illustrated below.
Now, left-click to activate (turn on) GIMPs Quick Mask by clicking the Quick Mask button . (Alternatively, press down the Shift Key, and then tap the Q Key).
Quick Mask Button
The Quick Mask button resembles a dotted rectangle, and it’s situated along the workspace’s bottom-left. Quick Mask turned off - Quick Mask turned on .
Once activated, the Quick Mask button will display a red square.
And your photograph will display the Quick Mask’s Red Overlay (Rubylith).
I am demonstrating how to distort the border using GIMP’s Waves Filter, however, for personal results, experiment with different Filters, and discover a look that suits your requirements.
Spread Filter Example - (Filters, Noise Then Spread).
From the top menu, choose Filters then choose Distorts and then choose Waves. And from the subsequent Waves dialogue box, experiment with the settings, and then click OK.
Now, turn off the Quick Mask by left-clicking over its button - as illustrated below.
Turning off the Quick Mask leaves a frame-shaped Selection Marquee.
7/ Invert The Selection Marquee
From the top menu, choose Select and then choose Invert - Ctrl then i.
And set the Foreground Colour Swatch to a colour you would like to fill the border with. I am selecting Solid White. (Tap the D Key and then tap the X Key).
Then from the left-side Toolbox, activate the Bucket Fill Tool.
And enter the following FG Colour Fill and 100.0 Opacity settings into the Options Box.
And still working on the Frame Layer, left-click over the Selected Edge to fill it with the Foreground Colour.
Now, from the top menu, choose Filters then choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur. And from the subsequent Gaussian Blur dialogue box, enter a Blur Radius of your choice, and then click OK.
Then from the top menu, choose Select and then choose None.
Drop Shadow Tip
You may want to apply a Drop Shadow to the Frame Layer. If so, my Tutorial Here demonstrates how to apply a Drop Shadow - Filters then Light and Shadow then Drop Shadow.
If you would like to utilise the Frame at a later date, (before merging the Layers), preserve your Layers by saving your work as a XCF File.
To finish, from the top menu, choose Image and then choose Flatten Image.
Now you are more familiar with this technique, you can have lots of fun creating unique photographic edges.
Optimise & Save Images
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.