This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to produce a border fade (vignette), using GIMP’s Levels Command. 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 list.
Utilise The Ellipse Select Tool
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 Ellipse Select Tool.
And enter the following Feather settings into the Options Box.
I have a Feather of 80 Pixels (px), and this ensures a good blend with the vignette’s background: - however, for personal feathering, (edge-fading) - this setting is worth experimenting with. For example, depending on your photograph and its Resolution, you may prefer more - (or less) Feathering.
Now, left-click and drag out an Elliptical Shaped Selection Marquee over your photograph, and then centralise the Elliptical Shaped Selection Marquee - as illustrated below.
Pressing down your Shift Key as you drag, constrains the Marquee into a Circle.
Left-click inside the Elliptical Shaped Selection Marquee and drag it to a central position.
The Elliptical Shaped Selection Marquee can be tapped into position pixel by pixel by tapping your Keyboard’s Arrow Keys.
3/ Invert The Selection Marquee
From the top menu, choose Select and then choose Invert - Ctrl then i.
Now, from the top menu, choose Colours and then choose Levels. And from the subsequent Levels dialogue box, drag the Input Levels’ Black Point Slider to the right - as illustrated below, and then click OK.
Lighten Borders Note
To lighten your image’s edges: first press Ctrl then Z to return your image to its
Pre-Levels state. Then activate the Levels Command, and this time, move the White Point Slider to the Left, and then click OK.
Mystical Lighting Note
To create teal-coloured border: first press Ctrl then Z to return your image to its
Pre-Levels state. Then activate the Levels Command, and this time, change the Channel from RGB to Red. And then move the Black Point and the Grey point Sliders to the Right - as illustrated below, and then click OK.
For personal results, it’s important to experiment with different Levels (and Channels) and discover a border fade that suits your needs.
From the top menu, choose Select then choose None.
Congratulations, your Vignette is complete and it is ready to save - top menu then File then Save As. Optimise And Save Images Tutorial Here.
Now you are familiar with this technique you can have lots of fun fading your favourite images’ borders.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.