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Reader Tutorial: How to create an awesome action picture in GIMP

This tutorial is a remake from a Photoshop tutorial, that can be found at It was written by Paulo Canabarro. This tutorial is intended for people that have a general idea of layer masks, as layer masks are a big part of this tutorial. Some things you will need before we get started: A few pictures, that were shot in the “burst” mode of your camera. (See step 1 for more info about this) Step 1 The most important part about this whole tutorial, is having pictures that will work. To get the pictures that are needed, use the “burst” mode setting on your camera. On my camera (Sony) its found under the “menu” button. On your camera, it could be located in a different area. In a short description, the “burst” mode takes pictures for as long as your capture button is held down. There are some things to know about this option though. If your not in good lighting (at least on my camera) the photoshop will be blurry, which is why I recommend a well lit, outdoor setting. It's all trial and error, so just find out what works for you. Step 2 Load all your photos into GIMP, and find your first image. This would be the one that's either coming in from the far left, or far right. In my case it will be coming in from the right. Step 3 Find your next image in the order, and select the whole document (select>all) Then copy the image. Move to your original image (the one in step 2) and paste it in. Make this floating selection, and new layer by clicking the new layer button. Step 4 Repeat for each image. Keep selecting them, and pasting them until there all in the document. Step 5 You may notice that one image does not line up perfectly, that will be fixed. Step 6 Hide all the layers except for the bottom layer, and the next one up. In my case this will be the background layer, and layer 1. Step 7 Select layer 1. Make a selection around the subject, make sure to get any shadows that are casted by the subject. This is important when adding the layer mask. Right click on the layer that you just made the selection on, and add a layer mask. Make it a black layer mask. Step 8 Your layer will disappear, but don't worry, we will get it back. Make white your foreground color, and fill that selection. There is the subject now in view, but without the background it originally was on! Step 9 This part is important. If you don't click on the layer image, before you move the image to line it up, you will move the layer mask, which is not what we want to achieve. Make sure the image thumbnail is highlighted with white. Step 10 Move your new selected layer, to match it up with the background picture. Don't worry if parts of it don't line up, you can fix it with the layer mask. Step 11 After you have lined it up, select your brush tool, and change your foreground to black. Remember black hides, white reveals. It's all trial and error now, trying to get the look you like, perfect. Remember to reveal the shadows, to make it look good. You can play around with layer opacity, to easier view areas you need to reveal and hide. (Note: If your layer mask doesn't seem to be working, remember that you selected your layer, and unselected your layer mask in a previous step, so remember to reselect your layer mask by click on it in your layers panel.) Step 12 Once you have completed this with your first image, complete it with all the other layers you have. Here is what my GIMP layers looks like: Conclusion My layer masks didn't need to be changed very much because my images lined up pretty well. You can do this tut with as many, or as little pictures as you would like, though I recommend more then 3 pictures, and not too many pictures that they are overlapping and you can't tell what's going on. I also did not use very many pictures, because the goal was to get the technique across. If at all possible, use a tripod, it makes the lining up process a lot easier. This can be done with any kind of image that shows movement. If you have any questions about this tutorial, or would like to contact me, you can email me at

How to Create a Radical Photo Sequence

On this tutorial I will be showing how to make a radical sequence just like the ones I posted last week. It's very simple and easy and after you read this you can go out and make your own sequence and become inspiration for those who never done it. Ok guys, so the first two things you will need to make your own radical sequence will be a digital camera and a radical friend or a radical stranger will also work hehe. In order to make it happen your camera has to have what it's called "Burst Mode" that's the mode that the camera takes sequence shots. In my case I used my old Canon PowerShot S500, it's just a regular hand camera but it has an excellent burst mode that takes 2 frames per second and keep taking shots for as long as you hold the button. Some cameras don't have this option which sucks, some have a limited amount of shots, but a lot of them do have it so that's the first step for our tutorial, to get a camera that can do what we need. Here is a preview of my camera and I highlighted the burst mode icon to help you find yours. Ok, after you have that, do a couple tests to see how everything works and now we are going to need that radical friend of yours, in my case I used my best friend in one of our snowboard trips. To take a good sequence of photos you have to find the perfect spot where you can get all the action without having to move the camera, if you have a tripod I suggest using it because it will make the post work a lot easier. We choose a spot where he could make a small jump and i try to place myself where I could get all the action without moving the camera, and I didn't have a tripod to use so what I like doing when holding the camera is to lock my elbows in to my body to get in a steady position to take the shots. Here are the shots I took. Now that I have the photo sequence I wanted, my work with the camera is done and it's time to hit the photoshop. The process is very simple, if you take your photos on a tripod you will have the same exactly scene for every photo so will make everything a lot easier, I didn't do that so you can see the difference on the background if you go through my photos. First I opened the two first photos on photoshop having the first photo on the bottom layer, this first photo will be my base for all the others, so on the second photo I made a simple rectangular selection, make sure you get the person and the shadow (very important not to forget the shadow) Now just click on layer mask, so only the part you selected will show as you see here: Noticed that the second photo is not exactly in place according to the background of the first photo. To fix that you need to move the top layer so it will fit exactly with the background (notice if you had taken the photos with a tripod that wouldn't be necessary) Now that the second photo is in the right place we just need to adjust the layer mask to make the both photos look like one, to do that you need to go on layer mask and paint the edges black so it will disappear. I highlighted on red the area that you should paint black on your layer mask and here is the result done after doing it on the layer mask, as you can see it looks pretty good. Now we will continue to do the same process with all the other photos, put your 3rd photo on top of the second one, select the person and the shadow and follow all the others steps, when you done doing it all you will have your radical sequence, here is mine final sequence, feel free to use my photos to try it out. Here is what you final layer should look like. Download the Photoshop file Click to Download the .psd After you got everything done you can work on the photo itself, to make it look even better, I hope that explained very well how to create your sequence, if you have any questions or need any help just ask on the comments, and I will be glad to help.

15 Radical Photo Sequences

If you a fan of action sports you definitely going to like this, I love to see good photo sequences specially if it catches the right moment of some trick being done, it's great to see and this is done a lot on action sport magazines, check them out! I have some photos of my own that I would like to maybe make a tutorial if you guys are interested in it, if you want a tuto leave me a comment and depending on the responses I will start working on it, thank you. click here for the tutorial