Best GIMP Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials

GIMP Tutorial: How to color your own elements

What is "color your own"?

"Color your own" is a process by which you color a black and white digital scrapbook element, using a color of your choice. "Color your own" elements have image characteristics that allow them to be color.  One of the greatest advantages of  "Color your own" elements is that they can be change an endless number of times tohttp://www.scrapbooksgonedigital.com/email/header.jpghttp://www.scrapbooksgonedigital.com/email/header.jpg match any color, allowing them to match any kit or layout. This tutorial will teach how to color your own elements using The GIMP. To color your own elements, we will use these digital scrapbooking techniques:

  • "Alpha to selection" to select our the shape of our bow. 
  • "Layers Mode" to adjus the color on the bow.
  • "Merge Visible Layers" to merge the color and the bow layers.

We will be coloring this back and white bow to red:

 

 

Let's begin!

Step 1: Open the "Color your own" bow

File->Open->color_your_own_bow.png



Step 2: Make sure your Layers Dialog window is open

The layers dialog window is a very important tool for digital scrapbooking. It allows you to see how all of the digital scrapbook elements are place in relationship to each other in your digital layout. 

The GIMP opens the layers dialog upon starting the program, but  if you close it, The GIMP does not re-open it again, unless you tell it to.
The layers dialog window can only be open from an image window. In our example, we are going to use the window "color_your_own_bow.png".

To open the layers dialog window perform these steps:

On our Main Window  [The one with the bow]  -> Click on the "Dialogs" Menu -> Create New Dock -> Layers, Channels & Path

** Please note: This window can display three diffrerent dialogs: The Layers, The channels and The Paths. To view the Layers tab, click on the layers icon    [This is color in red in our "Layers Dialog Window" image below].


This is Layers Dialog Window



Step 3: Add Color to your bow

In this step, we will be coloring our bow. Coloring our bow will consists on
  • Creating a a new layer to add our own color 
  • Tracing our bow shape to color only the shape of our bow ( instead of coloring the entire layer ) 
  • Selecting our color using the Color Tool
  • Painting our bow using the Paint Tool.
  • Using the Layers Mode to blend our color with the bow

Creating a new layer to add our own color:
Adding the color to a new layer give us the flexibility to play with the blending color modes. In the later steps, you will see how fun this is.

On the Layers Dialog Window click on the "New Layer" button 

[This is the first button on the bottom of the Layers Dialog]

Once you click on the "New Layer" button , the "New Layer popup window" opens. On the "New Layers" popup window, select the defaults values. These values will change depending on the size of the first window that was open using The GIMP. 

On the "New Layer Pop Up window", Click OK.

Note: If you do not see this winow, move your GIMP windows around. Sometimes The GIMP Popup windows hide in the back of The GIMP Tools and Image windows.

This is the New Layer Pop Up window:


Tracing our bow shape to color only the shape of our bow ( instead of coloring the entire layer )

In order to color  just the area of our bow and not the entire layer, we will first "trace" our bow. To trace our bow, we will use the "Alpha to selection" tool.  This tool is very useful when you want to select the shape of your digital scrapbook elements, as you will see in this tutorial.

To trace the shape of your bow: 

On the Layers Dialog Window -> Click on the "Bow_color_your_own" layer.
On the Layers Dialog Window -> Right-Click on your mouse and select "Alpha to Selection"

Your bow should now look like this:



In this step we will be selecting our color using the Color Tool and Painting our bow using the Paint Tool :
While your bow is still trace, we will pick our favorite color and paint our bow. To pick your color, use the Color Tool

and to paint your bow, use the Paint Tool.  For this tutorial, I picked the color the red.


To paint your new bow:

On the GIMP Tools Dialog, Click on the "Color Tool" and select a color
On the Layers Dialog, Click on the "New Layer"
On The GIMP Tools Dialog, Click on the "Paint Tool"


Your GIMP Windows should look like this:

Make sure you have two layers on your Layers Dialog: The "Bow_color_your_own" and the "New Layer". Also, make sure your bow is color like in this picture.



Using the Layers Mode to blend our color with the bow

Notice how the color of our bow looks unreal. To add realism to our bow, we will use the Layers blending mode. 

On the Layers Dialog Window-> Click on the layer with the name "New Layers"

On the Layers Dialog Window-> Click on the layer Mode, Select "Color"



Your bow should now look like this:



Step 4: Merge layers

Our bow is color!! We will now finalize our work by merging the two layers so that we can save our bow as a png file.

On the Layers Dialog Window-> Click on the "Bow_color_your_own" layer.

On the Layers Dialog Window-> Right Click on your mouse and select "Merge Visible Layers"



On the "Merge Layers" Popup window select "Clipped to bottom Layer". 

Note: If you do not see this winow, move your GIMP windows around. Sometimes The GIMP Popup windows hide in the back of The GIMP Tools and Image windows.



Step 4: Time to save our bow!

We are done! Its time to save our hard work.  

On the Main Window [The one with the bow]  -> Click File -> Save As




Enter your new bow's name. Make sure that you change the name and do not save over your "color your own" original image. In this example, I rename my file "color_your_own_bow_red.png"


In the "Save as PNG" Popup window, make these selections:

Note: If you do not see this winow, move your GIMP windows around. Sometimes The GIMP Popup windows hide in the back of The GIMP Tools and Image windows.




Congratulations!!
You completed the "Color Your Own Elements Tutorial"
You can now recolor any "Color your Own" elements.  The technique is the same, what changes is the element!



We want to see your first "Color your own Element" ! Post it in our GIMP Tutorials Homework Gallery:

GIMP Tutorials Homework Gallery

Have questions ? Got lost in the process? Would like to thanks us? We love to hear from you! Post your comments in our GIMP Tutorials Forum:

GIMP Tutorial Forum

 

Thanks!

Copyright 2007 Scrapbooks gone Digital !

We add GIMP Digital Scrapbooking Tutorials monthly (whenever possible). Subscribe to our newsletter to get notify:

Newsletter



SgD Club Members download GIMP Tutorial Packages like this one and more than 1000 Digital Scrapbook Elements for as little as $4.99 a month!






Copyright 2007 Scrapbooks gone Digital!