Reader Tutorial: Easy Way to Create Light Effects in GIMP in 9 Steps

Following our Reader Tutorial series we have a GIMP tutorial from Maximilian Dirkmamn, a 14 years old boy from Munich Germany, that design on his free time. The idea of this series is give opportunity to the readers to show their work and, of course help the design community sharing tips and opinions. If you want to contribute, just let us know.

My name is Maximilian Dirkmann and I'm 14 years old. I come from Munich, Germany. In my free time I do designing. Check out my German website (GIMP tuts ) and my DA . Also I want to thank the whole members for always giving me criticism and comments.

Step 1

Start the GIMP application and create a new image with 1024 x 768 pixel. Make sure, that the background is black.

Step 2

Now we will add a light. Use the paintbrush (shortcut [P]) and open up the "brushes" box (shortcut [Shift] + [Ctrl] + [B]) create a new brush, edit it and apply those settings:

Step 3

Create a new layer (Layer ->New Layer). Call it "Light" and click one times into the middle (make sure that your foreground color is white). Adjust the opacity to 60.

Step 4

Now we're going to add some color. Create a new layer (call it Color) and apply Filters ->Render ->Clouds ->Plasma with the value 0.1 at Turbulence. Set the layer mode in the layer dialog ([Ctrl] + [L]) to Divide. Adjust the opacity to 65.

Step 5

In this step we will add light rays. Create a new layer with the name Light Rays. Go on Filters ->Render ->Clouds ->Solid Noise. Set the X and Y size to 16.0. Go on Filters ->Blur ->Pixelize with the width 5px and the full hight of the picture (768px). Apply Filters ->Distorts -> Polar Coordinates with the values 0 | 0. Now set the Layer mode to Grain extract.

Step 6

Pick up the text tool and type a letter for example A standing for Abduzeedo. I chose Sans as the font and a size of 490px. Now go on Filters ->Light and Shadow ->Drop Shadow with the values 0 | 4 | 30 | white | 80 | and uncheck Allow resizing.

Step 7

Now we are adding a gloss to the A. Go on Layer ->Transparency ->Alpha to Selection. Use the Eclipse Select Tool and hold down [Shift] + [Ctrl]. Create a new layer (call it Gloss). Pick up the Blend Tool. Set the gradient to FG to Transparent (make sure your foreground color is white) an drag a Gradient from the right bottom to the left top. Now select all [Strg] +[ A].

Step 8

The reflection of the A. Go twice on Layer ->Merge Down. Duplicate the Layer, Layer ->Duplicate Layer. Tarnsform it: Layer ->Transform ->Flip Vertically. Move the transformed Layer to the top of the A. Now add a layer mask (Layer ->Mask ->Add Layer Mask; with white full opacity). Pick up the Blend tool again but now with black as the foreground color. Drag it just like this and you will get a nice fade out effect.


Finally we are going to add a lens reflection. Create a new Layer, call it Lens Reflection and fill it with black. I want to place it on the top of my letter so I need the position. Just move your mouse to the top of the image an on the left bottom of the gimp window you can see the position. Mine is 540;190 so go on Filters ->Light and Shadow ->Lens Flare with the values 540px and 190px. Set the Layer mode to Screen an you are done!

Download the GIMP file

Click here to download the GIMP file used on this tutorial.

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Abduzeedo Editor

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials.



Rawz is our user generated site where anyone can share their work or work with the Abduzeedo community. You can also share what inspires you, always crediting and linking the source properly. In addition to that, the best images get selected and published on the Daily Inspiration series here on Abduzeedo.

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