If you missed last issue
Call 0870 837 4773 or +44 1858 438795.
A simple process
Let’s start by looking at the original image and thefinal image. As you can see, plenty has changed,but there are two notable alterations: firstly, I’veremoved the hair of the girl and, secondly, theimage is flame coloured.The reason our goddess is hairless is that I’doriginally intended this project to closely followthe tutorial for creating a flaming girl. With that inmind, I chose a base image with hair that shouldbe easy to convert to flames using
. However,because that process used a feature of
that isn’t easily duplicated in
(specifically, thewarpable Transform tool), I changed this project,making the hair in the source image irrelevant.Throughout the project you’ll also notice thatflames are not just components of the image, butalso used for colouring. The easy way of using aflame to colour a layer is to desaturate the layer tobe coloured, add a flame layer above it and set theflame’s Layer Mode appropriately. However, if youplace anything below that layer, the black regionaround the flame may block it from being visible.
Isolate the girl
The first step in this project is to isolate the girlfrom her background. We’ll do this primarilybecause the background in the source image forthe girl isn’t required and its colour may causeproblems when mixed with other layers. Removingit will also enable me to add background elementsbehind the girl’s head.To isolate the girl, first Desaturate (Colours >Desaturate) the source image with the Luminositysetting selected. The reason for using this settingis that the source image has a yellowish tint whenconverted from its original colour space (providedin the image when downloaded from the stockimage website) to the colour-managed display in
. I say colour-managed, because I configuredthe monitor profile for my Acer X203W monitors
Cutting her hair
In the original layer (which is titled Background bydefault), I use Ctrl+A to select the entire layer andthen drag the black foreground colour into thecanvas to fill that layer with black.Now it’s time to get rid of the girl’s hair. Just likemost operations that involve components of animage, I don’t really want to remove these from thelayer itself, but rather leave them in place and maskthem with a layer mask. The reason for leavingthese elements in place is so that I can decidelater to reincorporate the component (in this casehair) into the project. This kind of flexibility is a realTo avoid this, we’ll use layer masks on flame layersor simply copy and paste flames (without the blackbackgrounds) from their source image.The final process for creating the Fire Goddesscan be reduced to these basic steps:
Isolate the girl from the background.
Detect the edges of her head and create multiplecorresponding layers to get a perfect selection.
Blend in ornamental elements.
Do some fine blending to remove excess details.
Colour the image with flames.
Create the flaming hat.
Add the background emblem.Note that even if you follow this tutorial exactly,you won’t produce the same image as me. Thesteps I’ll present allow for too many variations,especially when creating the flaming hat. Don’t bediscouraged if your first attempt is less than ideal,though. I went through seven different designsbefore settling on this process and the first fouror five of those are – to be kind to myself – notsomething I’d ever show in public.in
’s Preferences. Thankfully, the yellow tintconverts to a bright white when the Luminosityoption is selected in the Desaturate window.Now I can use Select By Colour from the
toolbox and click on the white background. Withthe Tool Options Threshold set to 50, this willselect all of the background, a little of the hair andsome of the face and neck. To avoid selecting anyskin, switch to Quick Mask mode and paint out thewhite areas on the girl with a large black brush.Now switch off Quick Mask mode and Invert theselection. This selection is then copied and pastedto a new layer, which I name Girl. I then fit the newlayer to the canvas using Layer > Layer To ImageSize so that any modifications I make won’t berestricted by the size of the layer.assets of editing images digitally, so I encourageyou to make use of it.In this case, I add a white layer mask to theimage. Starting with a large brush and switchingto smaller brushes as I proceed, I paint with blackon top of the girl’s hair in the layer mask until mostof the hair is removed. I leave a small amount ofhair because I will be using edge-detect filters laterand I know the lines in the hair will provide anothervisual feature using those filters. Afterwards,I switch off the Girl layer’s visibility so it won’tinterfere with the next steps.
Step by step:Set the world alight!
LXF121.tut_gimp 838/6/09 11:27:38 am