Art: Cut Adrift

On the Importance Of Transparency and Gradients.

This was done using Gimp 2.2

This is the artwork "8th Doctor: Cut Adrift":

I'm going to be very brief with this one, just describing the different layers and how I got them.

  • We have the two main images, d1 and d2, which have had their backgrounds zapped (as described in Background Zapping).
  • The original images which d1 and d2 came from were very washed out and they have been strengthened by applying colour filters, either Layer -> Colors -> Auto -> Color Enhance or Filter -> Colors -> Retinex (I can't remember which one it was, now) which gave a lovely effect (the effect of those filters can vary widely depending on the original image).
  • The d1 layer is normal mode, fully opaque.
  • The d2 layer is also normal mode, but only 65% opacity.
  • Below, we have the background layers. They are a bit more interesting.
    • At the very bottom is a white background. Above this are two "grey" layers, called grey1 and grey2.
    • Because the d2 layer is transparent, we want the white part of the background to show through, not the grey parts. So I made a selection which was basically the combined background of both the d1 and d2 layers, and used that to do a grey bucket fill of grey1 (which was otherwise transparent).
    • Then I duplicated grey1 to make grey2, and clicked on the "keep transparency" option for it. I then did a spiral fill of grey2 with a custom gradient.
    • The custom gradient was interesting. I took two shades of grey, one darker and one lighter, as the current foreground and background. I may have done them with colour-select, I can't remember. Probably did, because it is a slightly bluish grey. Now, there is a nice thing in GIMP 2.2, and that is that the gradient section offers you four gradients made from the current colours:
      • FG to BG (HSV clockwise hue)
      • FG to BG (HSV counter-clockwise)
      • FG to BG (RGB)
      • FG to Transparent
      What I did was pick the HSV clockwise hue, which had a very very faint rainbow effect in it. I then copied it, renamed it "Grey Rain". Then I copied that, duplicated the segment, and flipped it, so that one had a smooth gradient starting and ending at the same colour (and called it "Grey Rain Mirror"). This enabled me to create a spiral gradient fill with smooth edges which blended into each other like ripples.
  • And then we have the layer above the Doctor, which is the fuzzy border. I did this with Script-Fu -> Decor -> Fuzzy Border. Whenever I use this, I select "Work on Copy" but deselect "Flatten Image", so that I can see how it looks without affecting the original image, and then just copy the fuzzy border over to the original if I like it.