Gimp create old weathered posters and other images
This is a tutorial on how to create an old and weathered look for posters and billboards in the GIMP.
Replacing textures is probably everyone's first step into more 'complex' modding outside of the GECK/Construction Set... (it was for me anyway). And what more fun way than to replace posters and billoards with things you are interested in: Cars, Big Explosions, Music Bands, Anime, Women...
Please note that this isn't a tutorial about extracting and creating .dds files (I will probably make a tutorial for that later). This is basically just a 'how to use gimp' sort of tutorial. I have put it under the textures category since that's essential what these techniques can be used for.
This article is probably viewed best on a large monitor. Any monitor less than 1280px wide is probably going to find it too difficulty to see everything.
DISCLAIMER: I am by no means an expert at photo manipulation or using GIMP. These are all self-taught techniques after many hours messing around in GIMP.
Open up your image that you would like to edit in GIMP.
Note: If you are planning on replacing textures, then have a look at the default texture files for the posters first. You'll see that each urbanpostersXX.dds will have four images arranged in a specific way. You should have prepared an image that looks something like this:
Your own design (A truly magnificent selection by the way)
But to keep things small and simple, I will just show you the techniques behind aging an image. Select your image in the layers tab, right click it and select 'Duplicate Layer'.
This is to keep a backup of your image. It saves you the hassle of re-opening it and copy/pasting it around in case you need the original image again.
It is not 100% necessary, but for good measure, unselect the little 'eye' next to your original layer.
Now right click the window again and select 'New Layer'.
Name it according with what you're planning to do there. In my case, I'm calling it 'Orange Tint' since we'll be altering the colours a little with this layer. Also make sure the 'Layer Fill Type' is set to transparency.
It's a good practice to name your layers to keep track of what does what. Very useful for images that will have many layers like this one.
Now on the left hand side, select the 'Fill' tool, then click on the coloured squares to bring up the colour palette. Choose a nice orange that you like.
Be sure to have your new 'Orange Tint' layer selected (with the 'eye' active) and click in the middle of the image to fill it all up with orange.
Now look at the top of the layers window. Lower the opacity by a good notch and select a good 'Mode' for the layer to apply the orange to your image. I selected 'Burn' in this case, though you can choose anything you like. Try checking out the other modes to see if you like any of them better.
Now create a new layer and name it 'Dirt #1' and select the paintbrush tool.
Select a 'grunge' brush from the bottom right to apply some nice (and dirty looking) blotches of grey to your image. The GIMP comes with a rather limited amount of brush types but luckily you can downloaded some for free on Deviantart.
Here LINK is what you can find on deviantart by searching 'GIMP Grunge'. Check them out and see which brushes appeal to you the most. Follow the readmes provided with them on how to install them to GIMP.
Once again we'll be changing the mode and opacity of the layer. Nothing is set in stone here, you can mess around with the settings to get a result you're happy with.
Do this a few times while creating new layers for seperate colours or styles.
I just do this so that if I later realize I've gone overboard I can easily deselect (untick the 'eye' button) to remove a few of them.
It is probably a good idea to save your file now after all that work. The default gimp file that stores all your settings and layers, etc, is called a .XCF file.
You should ideally save regularly as GIMP does not have any autosave feature. That means if it crashes for some reason, you won't be able to restore your work.
Now open the file menu on the left and select 'Open as Layers'. We're going to import an image that you will find on google images.
Search for 'Paper Texture' and choose one of the large paper images in the results... we're going to import that to our image and apply its texture to our image.
It should look something like this.
Create a new layer and drag it below the paper texture. Now select the paper texture layer, right click it and select 'Merge Down'.
This is to give the 'paper texture' layer a transparent base. If you don't do this and delete something from this layer, then the deleted parts will turn white (like a blank canvas). We want to see the layers below if we delete something though... that's why we merge the image with a purely transparent layer, so that the deleted areas become transparent too.
Now make sure the texture layer is still selected and change its mode to 'Overlay'. You can leave the opacity at 100.
I've decided to add a few more 'Dirt' layers to my image. Here I am about to slap a whole load of black onto my image.
If you notice that some brushes are too large, you can change their scale with the slider on the left side to shrink them.
Ooo, that looks awesomely gooey... but I want to be able to see our Vault Boy. So, I lowered the opacity and messed around with the mode again.
I also added a few white blotches to the image (once again with grunge brushes) and changed the mode to 'difference' and lowered the opacity.
I think it gives it an interesting look, the white marks look like dirt has been scraped away at those parts by something.
Now lets select our original image layer again. Go to the Brightness-Constrast menu under the 'Colours' tab.
Lower the brightness quite a bit and up the contrast if you want.
I don't just do this to enhance the old look. It is also needed because if the images aren't lowered a good notch in brightness, then they will appear too blindingly bright ingame. They will reflect light too much and appear blurred.
Now duplicate the image layer you just edited and drag it to the top of the box, just below the paper texture.
Create a new layer below it just like you did for the paper texture and merge it down. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Now lower it's opacity and change the mode to overlay (I do this to enhance the image a little bit).
Create a new layer and drag it just below your main visible image, just like you've done twice before.
Select your main vault boy image (not the backup one, the one highlighted in blue like in the picture above) and right click it. Select 'Merge Down'.
As explained earlier, this is so that the images have a transparent base. If you delete anything off it, you will see that it becomes transparent instead of a solid white. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Now duplicate the 'new' layer you just merged together.
If you've followed everything so far, your layers list should look something like this.
Now it's time to simulate the rips and tears that it will have sustained over the years. Select the eraser tool, select a nice random grunge brush and start erasing away on your main image layer. If you haven't already done so, you may want to create a 'backup' of your main image... duplicate it and unselect the 'eye'. Now if you accidently erase too much, you've always got a backup to fall back to.
Note the little blue directional arrows in the bottom right. That is a tool to move your image about to let you at the sides of the image.
As you can see here, I've moved far to the top left that isn't accesible by just normal scrolling.
What's it good for? You can now have most of your brush off the image and only delete the edges away. It allows you to use a lot larger brushes without deleting your entire image.
You could potentially scale the brushes down as explained earlier, but much of their detail may be lost and would probably become just a solid blob.
Another method is to use the rectangle select tool (or the circular or manual select if you want) and draw a selection over your image.
This stops you deleting anything outside of your selection. So you could potentially select a few areas and go wild deleting without having to worry about ruining the entire image.
Yet another method is to just create a new layer, select your favourite grunge brushes and go wild on that layer. Use a black paintbrush instead of the eraser tool.
After you're done, select the layer and untick the 'eye' box so that it isn't visible anymore. Right click the layer and select 'Alpha to Selection'. This will select only the black areas of your layer, as the rest should be empty/transparent.
Now select your main image layer again. Select the eraser tool, some nice random grunge brushes and click around your image a few times.
This is a method I use to create truly random deletion across the image. Not only is a grunge brush random, you now only can delete from random parts of your image due to your current selection (if that makes sense).
Now clear your selection (CTRL+SHIFT+A) and right click your main image layer. Choose 'Alpha to Selection' and go to the 'Select' menu at the top of the main window. Choose 'Invert'.
You now only have the 'gaps' in your image selected (the holes/tears/rips).
Note: Before doing the below instructions you may want to now make a backup file of your project (save as another name) or you could duplicate each layer and unselect the eye to make them backups within the current project itself (just like we have done for the main image):
Select each visible layer one by one going up the list and press delete once each time. This is to get rid of any colour/paint that is resting over one of the 'holes'.
This basically applies the holes/rips/tears to all layers. It's basically ensuring that those areas are truly transparent. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I decided to add one more touch to the image. Select a black grunge brush and put a few dabs around the corners, lower the opacity, change the mode if you want and you should be done.
Let's have a look at our product.
It is always advised to keep a copy of your .xcf (the default GIMP file) around so that you can make changes later on if you choose to.
After saving your .xcf, go to File -> Save as -> Enter a name (and save it as a PNG) -> Select 'Merge all visible layers' when it asks you and you're done.
Note that the white areas in the above image are due to me uploading all images as jpgs. JPGs can't hold transparency info.
I suppose that turned out pretty well.
As this is just a basic guide, I would advise you to now try experimenting around with different settings!
Just save the .xcf file and go wild trying different tools and utilities available in the GIMP. You might just come up with something that is far more to your liking than the methods I've shown you!
I hope this article was useful to you! :)