A guide to every lesser-known GIMP 2.6 feature release 1.34 (ALWAYS BEING UPDATED!)

This is organized kinda like a book with the table of contents and stuff like that.

Section A: Filters

Convolution Matrix:
Description: Make intense light effects or pastel artist effects or just completely **** up your image with this lesser known filter.
Cheat Sheet:
+1 to any box makes bright lights
-1 tends to darken
Combo of +-1 tends to give a pastel-ish effect
Changing the divisor will change the number required to put in to make the intense light effects
Normalize will leave out light effects and only use artsy effects
A negative divisor will make a very low opacity effect, or screw up your images hue colors / saturation.

Doesn’t do much except for make the image look blurry as if your eyes were dilated. More useful than you think.

Opposite of dilate. Seems to just screw up your picture…

Not useful but kinda cool to play with. Puts your layers on a filmstrip as seperate things. Guess it would be cool to use that ripples effect on but nothing else really.

Fractal Trace:
Doesn’t really seem useful… just applies your image into a fractal with some parameters…

Not extremely useful but good for making circle buttons (Will be under techniques at the bottom).

Makes a bunch of cubes. Look like paper sheets. More useful than you’d think.

Moves pixels around. Pretty useful for some animations.

A more controlled slur. Tell it how much to spread horizontally and how many vertically. Useful for making things like dust in the wind animations (All we are is dust, in the wind. Don’t- hold- on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky; For those of you who know the song)

Good for those reality show-esque effects. Pixelizes an image.

Section B: Color Editing Tools

Color Balance:
Not really sure what it does but it’s just a color editing tool, changing color values and whatnot.

Hue Saturation:
Kinda like color balance but I find it easier to use.

Kinda like Hue Saturation and Color Balance but seems to have more power.

Brightness and Contrast:
Changes the brightness and contrast… Can be edited as curves.

No clue… Doesn’t seem that useful to me.

Not sure what it does but it is very useful in many things, such as making flames more… Flamey(?) Can be edited as curves.

Another very useful thing, pretty much just levels but with a map you can drag points on to change instead of three sliders.

Changes the color values to look more like a poster.

Takes saturation away from the image.

Inverts all colors to the other side of the spectrum.

Section C: Techniques

Circle Buttons:
First, select a circle with the ellipse select tool. Fill it with a gradient of whatever color you want it to be to white (or transparent). Apply cartoon. Feel free to apply it again for a more 3D effect.

Thermal Mapping:
Get an image. First use despeckle in the “enhance” section and feel free to play with the RADIUS ONLY on that; Then apply dilate under the “generic” section. Then also under the generic section, apply a convolution matrix. In the convolution matrix, go to the top right corner and replace the zero with a one. Then go to “Curves” under the colors section and play with those until you get a theraml looking sorta thing. Looks ugly but -might- look cool on some pictures. Best to use on a picture of people.

Quick Aurora:
Go to the brush tool, and select sparks. Go to brush dynamics and click on the thing that says “Use color from gradient”. Change the gradient to spectrum, then brush over the WHOLE PAGE. This will probably look ugly, but it’ll be better in a second. Then go to gaussian blur. Enter a high value (For Desktop sized images I use about 300, but lower values for small ones). Now you have an aurora!

Metal Background:
Go to “Solid Noise”. Enter a random seed. After it’s rendered, go to iWarp in the distorts section and twist and twirl it until it has a chrome-esque effect. Good combined with aurora.

Simple Brightness / Overlay effect tip:
Pretty simple. Make a new layer, change the layer mode to overlay, and brush with a “Fuzzy” circle brush.

Note about combining metal background with aurora: Change the layer that is aurora to either hard light or overlay so you don’t just have a blurry blob covering a metal thingy.

Section D: Animation
You usually want to go to “layer attributes” and type in (replace) so that your layers don’t accumulate.
You can change layer attributes also by changing the title to “-Layer name- (x_amount_of_milliseconds ms; Example (2000ms))
That’s it for now.
Under Filters>Animation>Waves. Pretty useful. Good for little abstract animations like this one:

Incremental filters:
Most of what you’ll be making in GIMP. It’s like drawing a square, then applying gaussian blur to it, then duplicating the layer, then applying gaussian blur to it, and so on until you have a blur out effect. Can be done with most filters. Examples:
An advanced example of Incremental Filters
A cute little animation that uses lots of incremental filters


GIMP tutorial: Martixes

In the filters section of gimp, the “generic” section is probably one you would skip. But in the generics is a treasure that can add an old painting style or an intense neon effect to a scene. If you don’t use it correctly though, it can completely screw up your image. From what I know, when you put a positive number in, it changes some values to be more intense and bright and vice-versa for the negative numbers. However, a mixture of numbers can lead to something like a neon oil painting effect or something amazing.
One positve + one negative = effect.
Positive + Positive or nothing = Bright neon.
Negative by itself or + another negative = darker
Other features in the matrix section are the divisor and the color channels buttons. Changing the divisor from what I know will change the opacity / color saturation. Changing the color channel buttons will exclude specific color channels which can lead to changing maybe yellow streaks into blue streaks by excluding the green channel.

After with a matrix applied

Lets see, a red channukah (I’m jewish and christian) no green for christmas, hundreds of thousands laid off and houses forclosed, the economy pretty much sucks. Hardly any jobs. You know, the economy just makes life a game, with about 2,500 good slots you need to play well for, and the economy is a burden on that number. O-BA-MA! *chanting*

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The most awesome thing in the world. Music is just math applied to a string or key or air being compressed into a series of pipes through a mouthpiece coming out as a vibration. Without music, I swear like nearly everyone would be depressed, FM radio would be a bunch of commercials, sorta like “Paid Programming” on channel 227 where they’re like selling yoga tutorial DVDs or something like SlimFast or Liptozene as a pill that stresses you out so you eat less; Though the commercials would be more pointless and try to be funny. Without music, I wouldn’t have much to do (I’m a guitarist) and would be so bored I would write in my blog way more often. Music is one of the 10 most important inventions like ever. MUSIC!!!


Goin’ up to arnold tomorrow, for like one day. Meh. Just stayin’ in a Best Western, gonna be a BORING trip.

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I honestly don’t get IE. SERIOUSLY. I know its built in to windows in all but its a f***ing windows trap; Sorta like Disneyland and going to LA. Firefox is the best. Tab management is easy (I have 8 tabs open right now, 3 of which are GIMP or Spore Forums), it doesn’t lag when you click and make an annoying noise when you click 50 times because you expect it to just start, and has a better popup blocker so when I’m playing a flash game at Addictinggames.com no f***ing “IQ quiz! Click this button if you’re smart” window comes up. FIREFOX RULES!


The worst thing in the world. SOOOOOOOOOO BORED.

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