Showing posts with label Gimp Files. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gimp Files. Show all posts

How to Create Isometric Images In Gimp

Isometric images have lots of uses, from architectural drawings, logo designs, game graphics and of course isometric art. Whilst Gimp is a tremendous tool for any visual artist, one of its drawbacks is it doesn't have an isometric grid. However, this tutorial will show you how to work around that and then how to create a basic isometric cube.

The work around  is quite straightforward. It involves installing two Gimp pattern files that will be used to form isometric grids, and then installing a plugin that will allow you to scale the isometric grids to suit your project.

There is also a video version of this tutorial on the SL Inspiration channel on YouTube


Grab the free zipped folder containing the plugin and pattern files from Gumroad here. Scroll, then add zero for price and hit the 'I want this button'


About The Plugin 

Credit for the pattern scale plugin that we use here must go to Rob A who created it.

Installing The Gimp Pattern Files And Plugin

The two images above show what we'll be installing to create the isometric grid patterns.

1/ Firstly download this zipped file containing the Gimp pattern files and the pattern scale plugin by clicking the arrow to the top right of the download page. The file is stored on Google Drive so you can be sure it doesn't contain anything nasty.

Once downloaded unzip the file. If you don't have software that can unzip files try 7zip. Its open scource and a very handy, reliable app.

2/ Open the file you've just unzipped then click the first pattern file, hold down Shift then click the second file so both pattern files are selected.

3/ Right click then from the drop down menu select Copy.

4/ Paste them to the Gimp pattern folder which typically can be found here:

Local Disk (C) > Program Files > Gimp 2 > share >  gimp > 2.0 > patterns

5/  If Gimp is open hit the refresh button to the bottom of the patterns panel, or restart Gimp and the pattern files should be visible. The images are highlighted above.

 6/ To instal the pattern scale plugin go to the downloaded folder, right click on the plugin and select Copy.

7/ Paste it to the Gimp scripts folder, which can usually be found here:

Local Disk (C) > Program Files > Gimp 2 > share > gimp > 2.0 > scripts

8/ Restart Gimp for the plugin to work. You are now ready to create isometric images in Gimp.

Creating An Isometric Grid

Creating an isometric grid is simple.

1/ Start up Gimp, then hit File > New

2/ Create the image size. Now create a transparent layer.

3/ From the pattern tab in the layers panel drag one of the isometric patterns to the image window. You now have an isometric grid.

The first isometric grid is shown above.

And this is the second isometric grid. As you can see its more detailed than the first.

How to Scale The Isometric Grid

To scale either of the grids follow these steps.

1/ Open Gimp and create the image window size as above, then create the transparent layer.

2/ Right click on the grid pattern you want to use and a drop down menu as shown above will appear. Select  Scale Pattern.

3/ The above window will appear. The slider to the top will allow you to scale the grid to anything from 100% to 500%. The window below the slider gives the option to sharpen the grids' appearance. Hit OK when ready.

4/ This window will now open. It allows you to select how much you want the grid sharpened by. Click OK when you're happy with the selection.

5/ The scaled grid will now appear under the patterns tab, highlighted above.

6/ To use the scaled grid drag it from the pattern tab to the Gimp image window.

Creating An Isometric Cube

Creating an isometric cube is the basis for most isometric images, and the following steps will show how to do this.

1/ Create a transparent layer for the first side of the cube. Then with the Rectangle Select tool, drag out a rectangle roughly the width and height of the cube side.

2/ Select the bucket fill tool and click inside the rectangle to fill with colour. Then hit Select > None.

3/ Now select Layer > Autocrop Layer, which will make the layer easier to work with.

4/ From the tools panel select the perspective tool, and the window above will open. A dotted outline around the shape we just created will appear. Drag the Perspective window to one side as we need to work with our shape.

5/ Grab a corner of the dotted outline and drag it so our shape matches points on the grid. The idea is to get the coloured rectangle we created to form a cube side, as in the image above. This is much easier to do if you  hit View > Zoom > Zoom in as it allows for greater accuracy.

6/ If you need to you can again position the corners of the shape by repeating the above step. When you're ready click Transform in the Perspective window.

7/ Follow steps 1-6 above to create the second side of the cube. Using a different colour helps to form the illusion of depth to the isometric cube.

8/ To create the bottom of the cube we'll use the Paths tool, highlighted in the Toobox panel, above.

9/ Create a new layer for the cube bottom. Using the grid as a guide, with the Paths tool create a shape that will form the cube face. At each corner of the shape click to change direction (which will create an anchor for the path). The last click should close the shape.

We don't need to be accurate with the sides that meet the other two cube faces, so long as the shape overlaps them (see the image below).

Once the shape is created with the Paths tool, you can go back and reposition the path anchors by dragging them. Again zooming in will give more accuracy.

10/ With the Paths tool still selected hit Selection from Path in the lower part of the Tools panel. The shape you created will now have a 'marching ants' outline.

11/ Use the Bucket Fill tool to fill the path.

12/ Move the bottom of the cube layer below the sides layers and you have created an isometric cube.

Once the pattern files and plugin are installed creating isometric images and designs becomes very straightfoward in Gimp. If there's one drawback its that the isometric grid has no 'snap to function', but this is easily compensated for by using the zoom in function. Enjoy using Gimp to create your own isometric designs and illustrations.

Below is a video version of this tutorial. if you prefer you can watch it here on YouTube.

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Balloon Makers Kit

The Balloon Makers Kit is for people in Second Life who want to quickly create and customise their own balloons with either images or text (or both). It comprises of a balloon sculpty map, as well as some example balloons and textures. This means the balloons can be used straight out of the box or can be personalised.

You can collect your free Balloon Makers Kit from the Marketplace.

Adding Your Own Text or Images

To make it easier for creators to customise their balloons  I have made available a Gimp file that includes the balloon textures and shadow maps. This means text or images and even your own textures can easily be added to the balloons.

The steps below describe how to use this file, and will provide a newcomer to Gimp with another easy to follow tutorial which covers a number of useful features that can be applied to other projects .

The first thing to do is download the Gimp Balloon Textures file. Use the free download option. Once the file is downloaded, double click on it to open it. This assumes you have Gimp installed on your PC.

Adding Text to a Balloon

Adding Text to a balloon has been made very easy.  In the Layer Dialogue window click on the 'Text goes here' layer, then select the text option from the Toolbox window (Text is the capital A).

Now in the image window click where you see the text, delete it by pressing backspace on your keyboard, and replace it with your own text. Go back to the Layers window and turn off the Drop Shadow layer by clicking on the eye icon.

Making sure the text layer is still the active layer, select Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow. A new Window will open where you can add a subtle shadow to the text to make it more distinct. Change the settings to match those below then click OK.

Back in the Layers window again, right click on the text later and from the drop down menu select 'Merge Down'. This will merge the text with the drop shadow layer.

In the image window, select Layer > Autocrop Layer. This will make it easier to adjust the position of the text if you need to. To do this in the Toolbox window select the move option ( a four headed arrow icon), then make sure 'Move the active layer' option is active. You can find this below the icons in the Toolbox.

With the text layer still active, in the image window hold down the right mouse button over the text and you will be able to drag it to a new position. When you are happy with its placement let go of the mouse button.

Changing the Balloon Colour

Looking at the different layers, you'll see there are a number of options for balloon colours. Simply activate or de-activate each layer by clicking on the eye icons to change the background colour.

You can also add your own colours. Make the yellow layer active by clicking on it. Create a new layer by clicking on the icon to the far left below the layers window,(the icon looks like a piece of paper with a folded top right corner).

With the new layer the active layer, go to the Toolbox panel and click on the black square below the tool icons. This will bring up a colour selector window, (see below).

Simply play with this window until you get a colour you like. Once you've finished, at the top of the layers window activate the 'Balloon Shading' layer to add highlights and shading to the colour.

Saving Your Balloon Texture

To save your balloon texture go to the Layers panel, right click on the top most layer and select 'Flatten' from the drop down menu.

In the image window select File > Export. In the window that opens, give your texture a name and file extention. PNG is probably the best to use for Second Life Textures:
 Now your balloon texture is ready to be uploaded and added to your balloon in Second Life.

Adding Images or Your Own Texture to a Balloon

If you want to give the entire balloon a new texture, make sure the image is 1024 X 1024. Add the image by selecting File > Open as Layers. The texture will now be above all the other textures, so move it below the shading layer by clicking on the green down arrow thats below the layers window. Activate the shading layer to add highlights to your texture, then follow the steps above to export the texture.

You can also add an image and use a colour layer as background. Import the image as above. The layer can be resized by selecting Layer > Scale layer which will open a new window. Choose a size that suits the balloon. Click the Scale button to resize the image layer and to close the scale window.

If the image is small you may want it to appear twice, on opposite parts of the balloon. To do this, select Layer> Autocrop Layer. This will make the image layer easier to position. Below the Layers window click on the icon third from the right. This will create a copy of the image layer.

To make sure the images are aligned on the balloon accurately a guide line can be used. Click on the Move icon in the Toolbox window and make sure 'Pick a layer or guide' is selected. From the bottom (or top) edge of the image window drag your cursor to create a guide line. position it on the bottom edge of the image. Now when you move the image copy it will snap to the guideline.

In the Layers window, click on the layer that is the copied image and move it into position. You may need to adjust the position of both images so they are spaced correctly.

When you are happy with the placement of both images the texture is ready to be exported then uploaded into Second Life.

As you can see, using the Balloon Makers Kit is quite quick and easy, and although this tutorial may seem involved, a lot of the information is aimed at those unfamiliar with Gimp. Each step taken by itself is hopefully easy to follow.

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