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Let's create some brushes!

#1 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 05:29 PM

Creating brushes in GIMP is a very straightforward process. From what I understand, there are essentially 2 main categories of brushes in GIMP (regular & animated (a.k.a. a pipe)) and, each category can have a grayscale or RGB version. So, we can have a total of 4 brush types (2 regular/2 animated) and they are saved in the following two formats gbr for the regular brushes and gih for the animated brushes.

BTW, animated (or pipe) brushes are brushes that contain several layers. It works like an animation in the sense that, with every click, a different layer is used to brush! You can also tell GIMP what order the individual brush layers should appear or if they can show up randomly! So, if you have a favorite set of brushes, you can literally combine them into one brush and go to town, without having to switch back and forth.

With grayscale brushes, you can, if you so choose, paint with any color just by changing the foreground color in the color pallet. It can be any color, not just black or white. With RGB brushes, the brush will only be the color of that contained in the brush. You can make a brush of an apple, for example, and every color contained in the apple, will be maintained while brushing.

You can make a brush out of just about anything: images, other brushes, text, etc.

Today, we're going to use Clouds to make a grayscale gbr brush. So, what this should tell you is that the brush color will use the selected foreground color and the brush is not animated. It contains one layer. We'll discuss the other types later.

NOTE: You can use whatever you want to create your brushes, but for the purposes of this tutorial, I'm using clouds

Let's begin:

For this example, I'll be making my project much larger than I need so I have extra room to work.

[*]Open up a new project. I'm using a 400 X 400 RGB, background does not matter.(even though this brush will end up as grayscale, I started with an RGB and converted it later. You just have to remember to do it later.)
[*]Add clouds to your image (Filters | Render | Clouds | Solid Noise....) Use whatever settings you want. It's your brush :l:

I've scaled down all my images for the purpose of this tutorial.

Posted Image

[*]Now use your favorite selection tool to select the area you want to make a brush out of. I used the lasso tool for this next example. If you use the rectangle tool to do the selection, I recommend that you feather the area quite a bit (Select | Feather), invert the selection (Ctrl-I), and delete the rectangle edge. If you don't you might end up with a brush that has a very rectangled appearance and it might have a hard edge. As a matter of fact, I recommend you feather your brush anyway, but it really depends upon what you're after. A "blood brush" might not have the proper effect if it's feathered.

Here's my image:

Posted Image

[*]Then, I copied/pasted the selection into its own layer. That way if you don't like it, you still have your original image to go back to. Here, you can further edit the brush (feather, lowering opacity, etc.)

Now, we're almost finished! I didn't want my final brush to be 400X400. So, when I got the brush looking the way I wanted, I cropped the layer. There are a number of ways to do this, so I'll let you decide how to save your brush to the desired size.

[*]Next, I flattened my image. We can't have layers in a gbr brush. If your background layer is any other color than white, you need to make it white.
[*]This step is for those of us who started with an RGB image. Convert the image to grayscale (Image | Mode | Grayscale)

[*]If you think you'll want to work on this again later, I suggest you save the file now in .xcf or all your layers will be lost. This is optional.
[*]Now, save your brush. File | Save as | ****.gbr (substitute your chosen name for the *'s). I recommend you save them in the GIMP brushes folder so they'll be immediately available.
[*]A second window will now pop up asking for another name. I think the first name you gave it in the step above is the name it's assigned in the folder. The name in this window is what you'll see within GIMP. I generally name them both the same thing.
[*]Set the spacing width as desired. This is how far apart the brush will appear should you click and drag the brush. You can always modify this from the brushes toolbar later.

Here's my brush:

Posted Image

Here's a second brush I created from the same clouds layer, but I used a rectangle selection that I've feathered to avoid a hard edge.

Posted Image

To use the brushes: Click the refresh button within the GIMP brushes toolbar and they'll immediately appear.

I hope this was enlightening. We'll create the other brush types in future tutorials!

As always, feel free to post questions or comments!

Happy GIMPing!

Art


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#2 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 12:03 AM

Now, let's move on to part 2 of the tutorial.

In this installment we will create two brushes. Both will be RGB, which, as you will recall, can't have it's color changed. Whatever colors are contained in the brush, will be brushed onto the layer.

Again, a brush can really be made up of anything you want, but for this segment, we're going to make "text" brushes. But, this won't be just any text, it will be text made from my text blending tutorial. In fact, I'm gonna describe how to create an RGB version that CAN be used in your signatures!

My text tutorial can be found here:

http://gimptalk.com/tutorial.php?t=339

So, if you haven't read up on that tutorial or you're not really good with the steps, you might want to visit there first.

[*]Open up a new RGB image of any size, but this time make the background transparent. This is very important. If you add a gradient behind an RGB brush, the brush will have a background of that color and won't be transparent.

[*]For this exercise, I made my image 210X60 pixels because my screen name will fit in nicely. You adjust as needed.

REMEMBER: RGB Brushes have to have a transparent background!

[*]Now follow the steps 1 -14 in my text tutorial exactly as I have explained them. Don't do step 15

You may say to yourself, "well I don't want a white brush of my name", you said we could make it in color. We are! But, young grasshopper, you will do it my way until you learn the steps. Then, you can make brushes your own way!! :l:

You should now have an image that looks like this (there should only be one layer, because in step 14 of the text tutorial we merged all the layers together.) You did follow the tutorial exactly, didn't you?

Posted Image

Now, follow the next series of steps carefully. I'm gonna have you create 2 brushes at this time. You normally wouldn't need to do this, but to keep the tutorial concise, I would like to do it in this fashion.

BRUSH 1

[*]Save the image in RGB format to the brushes folder with gbr extension.

This is a really plain, but cool brush. You'll see in a minute.

BRUSH 2

[*]Change the foreground color to anything you want (Doesn't matter. In fact, you could use a gradient, but for now, I'm going with the bucket tool)
[*]Double-click the bucket tool and set its mode to Overlay

Posted Image

[*]Fill your text with color. Here's mine:

Posted Image

[*]Save the brush in your brushes folder as a gbr, with a different name than before.

Congratulations! You're now the proud owner of two very usable brushes. Brush 1 will be useful for our signatures. Brush 2 is very useful, but it will always be the same color.

[*]Now, refresh you brushes toolbar and let's put them to work.
[*]Open a background of any color. Mine's white so you can't see it.
[*]Add a transparent layer above it and grab Brush 2
[*]Brush away.

Here's Brush 2 in action:

Posted Image

Pretty neat stuff, isn't it!? Are you figuring out how I created most recent sig? Well, not quite, I actually used Brush 2 for my sig.

Because it is a white RGB brush, no matter how many times we change the foreground color in the color pallet, it will always be white, right? Not exactly.....because it is still in RGB mode, the same blending modes that we used in the text tutorial will work here. Now, my friends it is time to do step 15 from the text tutorial. Since it's only one step, I'll explain here so you don't have to go back and forth!

[*]Open a background of any color. Grab your favorite sig background if you would like.

I'm using red:

Posted Image

[*]Next add a transparent layer above the background and grab your white, RGB brush.
[*]Start clicking across the background like so.

Posted Image

Now, to get the real effect, you need to change the layer's blend mode to Value (or some other setting that looks good to you)

Posted Image

Here's my final image. That's how I created my most recent sig!! :l:

Posted Image

Well, how you doing with brushes? That's all for this installment. Hope you've enjoyed it! Please post any questions or comments here or send me a PM.

Art (fencepost)

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#3 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 08:03 AM

Well, here we are with the final installment on brush creation. Although, I'm ending my tutorial at this time, we certainly haven't exhausted all of the brush possibilities. In fact, we've only just begun to scratch the surface. But, for now, I believe we all have enough tools to start creating some fantastic brushes that we can not only use, but share with others.

So far, we've created regular GIMP brushes with one layer and a gbr file extension. These brushes were either grayscale or RGB, with each having their own characteristics.

This installment will cover the creation of Animated (a.k.a pipe) brushes. I've read that they are called pipes because it's like painting with a water hose. Each movement of the hose would create a different shaped water splash on the media. When I first heard the term "animated", I thought they were animated gifs. (Alright, admit it. How many of you thought the same thing? I thought so. Your little snickers are just a coverup for your misunderstanding , as well. :w:

Later, I will put together & post a handy chart with the characteristics of each brush. That way you can download it to your computer and not have to worry about searching the tutorial for what each brush does.

Because these last two types of brushes are very similar in nature, I will only be providing picture examples for one type (RGB). The grayscale brushes will require the same layer color schemes as described in installment 1, but will be created in the same fashion as the RGB animated brushes. I think you can handle it on your own, but if you run into difficulties, you can always PM me or post your questions on the board.

Well, without further delay, let's begin.

[*]Open a new RGB image of any size you desire with a transparent background. I'm using a 500X500 image so I have room to work. You pick whatever you'd like. This will be where we create the textures for our brushes
[*]Open a second RGB image with a transparent background of any size. Since this image will be where we'll store our actual brush layers, I'm gonna make my image 200X200 Again, if you want your brushes larger or smaller, feel free to modify the settings accordingly.

[*]Now, make the first image active
[*]On the first layer, Render Clouds on the first layer (Filters | Render | Clouds | Solid Noise)
[*]Let's add some color using the Layer | Colors | Color Balance tool.

Here are my settings, you can use them or use your own:

Midtones R 37 | G 0 | B -76
Shadows R 18 | G 0 | B -76
Highlights R 0 | G 0 | B -73

This is my result. Image has been scaled down.

Posted Image

[*]Now, add a second layer
[*]Render Clouds again (Filters | Render | Clouds | Solid Noise). This time use different settings than before.
[*]Let's add some color to this layer using the Layer | Colors | Color Balance tool.

Here are my settings. Again, you can use them or use your own:

Midtones R 42 | G 0 | B -53
Shadows R 59 | G 0 | B 0
Highlights R 45 | G 0 | B -10

Here's mine:

Posted Image

Now, here's where the real fun begins :l:

[*]Grab your favorite selection tool and select an area that will fit within your second image (mine is 200X200). Adjust yours accordingly.
[*]Let's tweak the selection a bit. You can feather as we did in the first tutorial or you don't have to do anything at all. But I want to do something different. Even as random as I try to make my selections with the lasso tool, they look almost contrived. So, I decided to add some distress to the selection (Script-FU | Selection | Distress Selection)

Here's what the dialog window looks like, with some of the setting I was using. Again you can use these or experiment. BTW, even if you use the same numbers every time, your selected area will most likely likely look different because it acts on the current shape selection. Unless you create the exact same selection dimensions every time, you'll get different results even with the same numbers.

Posted Image

[*]Copy and paste your selection into the first layer of your second image. If it doesn't fit into the window, you'll need to crop it to fit. Once I got the image where I wanted it (it doesn't have to be in the exact center, BTW), I feathered it and distressed it a little more until I got it to look like I wanted it to. I think you can even adjust the opacity and blend settings, but I haven't been able to confirm that yet.
[*]Once you get it where the first brush layer looking like you want it to, add another transparent layer and repeat the step above over and over until you're got as many as you want. Just make sure you add a new transparent layer for each brush.

Also, don't just select areas from the first layer of the first image. Remember, we made two cloud layers. Get selections from both layers. Additionally, you're not limited to 2 layers for making selections. You can have as many as you want. But, this tutorial is becoming too long. We'll stick with two.

I ended up with 8 different brushes layers for this example. I put them in order of color, but they can be randomly arranged if you want.

Posted Image

Let's save our animated brush and use it! But before we do, because the brush is "animated" you can actually see it in action by using the animation tool (Filters | Animation | Playback) Again, it's not an animated gif, the animation tool is just cycling, in order, through the layers.

[*]Hit Save or Save As, depending on your situation.
[*]Give it a name of your choosing, but this time add a gih extension.
[*]A new dialog window will open up. I haven't figured out all the settings at this time, but for our purposes you need to modify the red boxes.

Posted Image

Spacing: You decide
Description: I gave mine the same name as I did in the Save As window
Ranks: This number should equal the number of brush layers in your image.
Drop down next to Ranks: Tells how the brushes will be placed. You choose a method.

For example, if you set Incremental, the brushes will go in the order they are in the layer window. Random, of course, is a Random order. Angular will pick a particular brush depending on which way the mouse is moving. I have an "Ants" brush that when you move the mouse to the right, the ants look like their walking right. Very cool!

If you saved your brush to the GIMP brushes folder, it's ready for use. Just refresh the Brushes toolbar.

Open up the image you want to brush and try out your new animated brush. By the way, you don't have to just brush on one layer. I recommend adding multiple layers and only putting a few dabs on each layer. That way you can adjust the opacity/blend mode as desired.

Here's mine in action. Each click of the mouse, uses a different brush. The animation actually doesn't look as good as it is on my screen. Each brushed layer was set to a different blend mode and the gray background image could still be seen. It looked pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Posted Image

Very cool!

I told you we weren't going to create a grayscale animated brush, but here are the steps.

[*]Open new image (it can be RGB, but will have to be converted to grayscale before saving)
[*]Make a white background.
[*]Begin creating layers just as you did in the example above. However, in this case, every layer must have a white background. The image you use for your brush must either be black or some shade of gray. Just like the grayscale exercise in the first installment.
[*]Convert your image to grayscale if you haven't already done so.
[*]When you're satisfied with your brush, save it in the brushes folder with a gih extension.
[*]Refresh your brushes toolbar and you're ready to begin brushing!

Remember, this is a grayscale brush, it will take on whatever color your foreground is. You've got lots of colors to work with, now get out there and paint!

Well, we're done. This has been a great learning experience for me and I hope I've presented it to you in a fashion that you've been able to gain a lot of confidence in creating your own brushes.

Don't just limit yourself to Render | Clouds for brush bases. You can use pictures, other images created with different GIMP filters (ie..flames, noise, lightning, the list goes on and on.), etc.

Happy Brushing! Now, it's time to create and share brushes with one another. Let's see what you can come up with.

As always, your comments (good or bad) are welcome. Post your questions here or send me a PM.


Art (fencepost)
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#4 User is offline   Sean-Michael 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:30 PM

Great stuff Art!

I made a few out of Scrift~Fu... Frosty and Cool Metal...

I made them to use as Identifers of my work... Signatures :l:
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#5 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:38 PM

Nice job! That's why I created the "Fencepost" one so I can "stamp" my "Art"work! Of course, as you told me, yours DO look better than mine :w:

Art
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#6 User is offline   Sean-Michael 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 07:54 PM

Actually I think mine have too much color... The dont seem to blend that well :a:

I think I need more white to blend better...
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#7 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 08:07 PM

PM me if you can't figure it out.

A
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#8 User is offline   Ali Imran 

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 08:17 PM

:o:ooh that big details, really nice tutorial. I was a bit confused about brushes creation but after reading the series all is clear :h:. I will try posting what I create usign these techniques.

Thanks for sharing art.

regards
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#9 User is offline   Sean-Michael 

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 01:49 AM

Hers some I played with...

Posted Image

Mabe if I blend useing differnt opacity itll look better?!? Didnt try that yet :o:
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#10 User is offline   BR7 

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 02:19 AM

Quote

Great stuff Art!

I made a few out of Scrift~Fu... Frosty and Cool Metal...

I made them to use as Identifers of my work... Signatures :l:


When I try and make mine with script fu I always get an error like this
Posted Image
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#11 User is offline   Sean-Michael 

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 02:34 AM

I might be wronge but I think .gbr need to be greyscale??? and flattend???
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#12 User is offline   fencepost 

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:01 AM

Quote

I might be wronge but I think .gbr need to be greyscale??? and flattend???


gbr can either be grayscale or RGB. However, if you intend on using the brush as grayscale, it needs to be flattened and contain a white background. Whereas an RGB has to be flattened and needs to have a transparent background. Otherwise, if the RGB has a white background (or any color for that matter), that color will show up when you paint the brush.

Art

As far as the error messages, I don't know. I haven't come across that.
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#13 Guest__*

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:05 PM

=( I saved my brush in the brushes folder and refreshed the brushes toolbar...but my new brush didn't show up =(
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#14 User is offline   chipmoney 

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:00 PM

how do i get the text alone....Posted Image

how do i get rid of the background? :s:
Posted Image
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#15 User is offline   Daphne_Girl 

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:01 PM

any who can create some heart brushes?
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#16 User is offline   kward1979uk 

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:09 PM

Quote

any who can create some heart brushes?


already been done try here

http://www.gimptalk....a=v&t=1808&f=11

converted from photoshop with permission from the creator
Posted Image
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#17 User is offline   Daphne_Girl 

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:20 PM

ok.. thankx
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#18 User is offline   teragonto 

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 02:30 AM

I kinda messed up the text tutorial and got some pre-transparent ones! :l:
It even double as a gradiant one too! :w:
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#19 User is offline   Andarel 

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:20 PM

Ooh...I need to try this now...I have to many things to try out :o:
Posted Image
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#20 User is offline   Dan 

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 12:38 AM

I tried making a brush but got this:

Posted Image

Even though it is in grayscale.

Posted Image
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