Neon Lights Tutorial [gimp]

Posted by Jacob Philpott


This tutorials is for intermediate users at Gimp. I recommend that you save often. This tutorials also involves the use of a lot of layers (mine had 69) so if your computer doesn't handle that well, then make sure you save often, and make the image smaller.


Stock of girl: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/918065


1. First, render out the girl in the stock image. It doesn't have to be the best render you have ever done, considering the end result. Include the rock on the girl's right foot to shape the foot.


2. Now copy and paste the girl onto a new canvas. The canvas size I used was 476x884. Make the canvas color black. Place her somewhere in the middle. While the girl is active, go to Layer>Transparency>Alpha to Selection. This should have selected the girl. Now create a new transparent layer (while the girl is still selected) and fill the selection with white. Now go to Select>Shrink and shrink the selection by 1 pixel. Now press Ctrl-X to delete the selection. Also, hide the original girl layer (you will need her for later). This should leave just the white outline.


3. Pick a dark green and purple for your fg and bg colors in the pallete. Now, using the Blend tool, make a simple vertical gradient (in order to make a perfectly vertical gradient, hold Ctrl). Now duplicate the girl outline layer twice, leaving you with 3 layers of the outline of the girl. Hide the bottom one. Change the layer mode of the middle one to Value. On the top layer, go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and blur it anywhere from 15 to 20.


4. Duplicate the hidden outline layer. Move the duplicate to the top of the stack. Make it visible and go to Filters>Distorts>iWarp. While in iWarp, use a Deform radius of around 50 and a Deform amount of around 0.05. Now just move around the line some here and there and click OK. Now duplicate this layer and make the bottom one's mode Value and the top one gaussian blur by 20.


5. Repeat step 4 as many times as you would like to get more lines.


6. Using the Rectangle Select Tool, create several squares in the bottom right on a new layer at the very top. Now go to Layer>TransparencyShrink and shrink by one pixel.


7. Repeat the process of making glowing lines as used with the girl.


8. Make a new layer of different squares and repeat the process.


9. Repeat the process in top left except use the Ellipse Select Tool.


10. Get out the Paths tool. Make a new layer and go to Layer>Layer Boundary Size and increase the size by about 150% and position the layer in the middle. Now make a curved line and stroke it with a thick green line. Now go to Filters>Distorts>iWarp and shrink the top part to give it some depth.


11. Go to Filters>Light and Shadow>Drop Shadow and create a drop shadow. Now duplicate the green line and move it below the drop shadow layer. Now move it even further towards the bottom left corner. Now add a drop shadow to that green line.


12. Create a new layer at the top and create a radial gradient in the bottom left with the settings like this:


13. Make the first green line layer active. Now go to Layer>Transparency>Alpha to Selection. Now go to the other green line layer and go to Layer>Transparency>Add to Selection. Finally, go back to the gradient layer and press Ctrl-I to invert the selection and then Ctrl-X to delete the selection. Change the layer mode to Overlay and duplicate the layer.


14. Repeat the process on the opposite side but use purple.



So you have completed the tutorial! Yes some parts were admittedly repeptitive, but they came out with some neat results. On a side note, to get more of a glow, you can duplicate some of the blurred line layers.


masaaa said...

Wow, very cool! Thanks a lot Ajit! ;) Too bad my computer has only 512 RAM so I can't do very big images :P

Ajit said...

glad you liked it :) perhaps if you are really aiming to do one you can just make a smaller version of it.

good luck :)

Kiely said...

It's confusing when it's on Step Two,
"This should have selected the girl. Now create a new transparent layer (while the girl is still selected) and fill the selection with white. Now go to Select>Shrink and shrink the selection by 1 pixel. Now press Ctrl-X to delete the selection. Also, hide the original girl layer (you will need her for later). This should leave just the white outline."
I tried filling in the girl, *right?* but nothing happened, and I didn't get the outline..

DominicK said...

@Kiely- Select the girl.
-Then create a new layer
-In the new layer, fill it with white. A silhouette of the girl should appear in white, as the girl should be STILL SELECTED.
-Press del to delete the selection
-Hide the original girl layer (the one that has the girl with colour in it)

Marce said...

how do I select the girl??

Marce said...

Forget it, I got it

Darrien said...

i cant do it, on step to, the shrink isn't available, it wont let me click it. >:/

Theodore said...

Good tutorial BUT;
Step 1: you can right click the girl and save a PNG file from the image you used in this tutorial. Saves your students buying a copy and also erasing the background.
Step 3: Remind your students to click on the side of the image to deselect the outline so that the gradient does the whole image and not inside the selection. Easier too to merge down each value/blur layers to reduce layer clutter.
Step 4:"Now just move around the line some here and there and click OK" You need to specify inside the preview square - took me ages to work it out as I've never used this tool (it helps to treat your students as complete novices)
Step 12: I made it "look like this" except you have a white gradient in the image which made going to the next step confusing. You went from one layer to how many? You completely lost me between this step and the next. I suspect you've missed a step here.
Step 13. This is where I gave up.
I did learn stuff here but you need to treat your tutorial students as complete novices - more advanced students can skip over parts they know but everybody else just gets lost.

Sdort said...

this is sure pretty awesome

Phili22 said...

How Do You Select Tha Girl?
Everytime i fill it with white , tha whole girl turns white . not just tha outline ):
Help .

Ben Jo said...

Phili you have to fill with white, then Select>Shrink by one pixel, then Edit>Clear it.

Click here for more Gimp tutorials

Phili22 said...

Oh got it~!

Thanks :)

Caythom said...

On step 3 I cannot get the blending to just do the outline, it fills the whole inside of the image I'm not sure what I am doing wrong and I've tried to play with it but I am stuck :(

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jamienato said...

confused with step two. o.O whenever i paste the picture, 'alpha to selection' is not allowed. i can't click on it! help. please!

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