Art 1

This was done using Gimp 1.2 (with standard extras and perl-fu).

This picture "Tabula Rasa" (with Daniel Jackson) is the result:

  1. Find photo of character and remove all background. Make the background white.
  2. Possibly zoom the picture if needed/useful, but no more than 200%.
  3. Do other improvements, filters, blurs etc.
  4. Image -> Colors -> Levels -> Auto (to increase constrast)
  5. If this is a colour picture, desaturate.
  6. Don't forget to save the file (.xcf) regularly.
  7. Image -> Colors -> Posterize (make it 8 colours)
  8. Image -> Canvas-Size; increase the canvas size by a reasonable amount, so as to create a transparent border around the image. (This is for the frame). Don't increase by ratio, increase by the same number of pixels in X and Y (you have to "break" the "chain" thing) Make the border big enough to put text under the picture. Remember how many pixels wide it is.
  9. Duplicate the layer; call one the picture name, the other pic-keep. Hide pic-keep.
  10. Make a new white layer called frame.
  11. Make a new transparent layer called text.
  12. Arrange the layers from the top: pic, text, frame, pic-keep.
  13. Type in your chosen text (in this case, "TABULA RASA") in the text layer, positioned under the picture. (font in this case was dexgothiccd)
  14. Fill the frame layer with a pattern that looks good (in this case, Crack).
  15. If necessary, invert the colour of the text so it stands out. (Image -> Colors -> Invert)
  16. Duplicate the text layer, call it text-sharp, hide it.
  17. blur frame, blur text.
  18. Make sure pic, text and frame are the only ones visible; merge visible layers.
  19. Blur the edges of the now-combined picture with its frame: Select -> all; shrink the selection by the width of the frame (see, I told you you had to remember how wide it was); Select -> Border; gaussian blur; then remove selection.
    You may also want to blur the corners and other bits by hand with the blur tool after this.
  20. New layer, white, called bump; bump-map it with combined-frame.
  21. Follow the proceedure for Carving effect to make Shadows and Highlights layers from the bump layer.
  22. Make new white layer called "texture". Fill with pattern for final look (in the above case, Slate).
  23. Take one of the saved images, move it above texture, change its mode to overlay.
  24. If need by, take the copy of text, move it up and change its mode to overlay.
  25. Tweak for hours (grin).
  26. Flatten image and save as .jpg Undo and repeat for different textures if you can't make up your mind.

I let myself go with all sorts of textures for this one.