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The IPL season is on and I’ve seen many YouTuber users trying to take smart advantage of it  by making dedicated IPL channels. For all such YouTuber users, here is a treat for you from TheDesignBlitz. I’m gonna show you how to create a custom YouTube channel background without taking much time and drain any money. You can use the super handy free photo editing tool – GIMP and a pinch of creativity.

The image above shows what would be the end result of this tutorial. I suggest you do it alongside the tutorial. If you happen to do something wrong, just undo it (ctrl+z). You can see the YouTube Channel background live in action here – custom YouTube background using GIMP

Gist of this GIMP tutorial

I have used four images in this tutorial. One is the grassy background, two players and the IPL logo.

I cropped the players and IPL logo using the ‘lasso select’ tool from other images. I’m assuming you have these four images ready with you.

I then marked  grids on the background which guide me where to place the players and other objects.

Then the other images are imported and placed as desired.

Lets get going …

Steps to make a YouTube background in GIMP

Step 1.

Open a new file (Ctrl + N) with width 2000  and height 2328.

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Step 2.

Drag the grass image into the GIMP interface.

It opens in a new layer with the image’s file name. In my case its grass-background.

Step 3.

Resize it using the scale tool in the toolbar ( to find the tool, hover the mouse pointer over the various tools and see the tool name below the pointer) such that it fills the full canvas ( I mean the full background).

2Step 4.

We now need to mark the area that goes behind the content ( invisible part). So that we know where we need to add images, channel name, logos, etc.

For that we use the grids. We need to drag 5 grids. Two on either sides of the image and one on the top .

Drag the 1st vertical grid from left to 300 ( u can see the grid count at the bottom left of Gimp UI).

Drag the 2nd vertical grid from left to 519,  3rd  vertical grid from left to 1479, the 4th vertical grid from left to 1700.

Drag 1st horizontal grid from top to 174.

The part of the image the comes between 1st and 2nd, the part that comes between 3th and 4th grids and the part the comes before the horizontal grid is the area of the image that will be visible in the channel. All of the rest will be invisible behind the channel’s content. Hence we must place all the stuff that you want to display in that portion of the image.

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Step 5.

Make a new layer by pressing  Shift+ Ctrl+ N and  name it ‘Nothing’. This layer will have the part of the image that goes behind the channel content ( the invisible part) which must have nothing. Hence the name.

Step 6.

Select ‘rectangle select’ tool from the tool box and select innermost rectangle formed by grids by dragging the clicked mouse.

Step 7.

Select the bucket tool from the tool box , set the foreground color to any color. In my case its gray. Using the bucket tool fill the selected rectangular area.

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Step 8.

Drag Malinga ( or whichever player image you got) to the GIMP interface from your computer. It opens in a new layer ( with the name of the image file. Its Malinga for me). Re-size the image using the scale tool from the tool box.

Step 9.

Using the move tool, move the player’s image to where ever you want. But make sure that its within the 1st and 2nd or 3rd and 4th  grids we marked. I placed Malinga  between the 3rg and 4th grids.

Step 10.

Repeat this process for the other players image as well;  i.e.,  importing image –> resizing –> dragging and placing aptly.

Step 11.

Now drag the IPL logo into GIMP. I have placed the logo twice, once on either sides of the channel header.

Step 12.

I have created a mirror image of the IPL logo to put in either sides of the header. To do this, copy the logo (Ctrl + C) after resizing it and paste it ( Ctrl + V).

Step 13.

Now just move the pasted logo to the other side of the header using the move tool from tool box.

Step 14.

Once you placed it correctly, select the ‘Flip tool’ from the tool box and click on the logo you want to make mirror image of. The logo will be flipped.

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Step 15.

We no more need the Nothing layer. So you can delete it by right clicking on it in the layers toolbox and clicking delete layer.

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Step 16.

Once you have done this, go to View-> Zoom –> 100%. This will show you if the created background is exactly as you wanted it to be. If you see your players or any other images over or under sized, or misplaced, do the corrections using the scale tool (for resizing) and move tool (for changing the placement) from the tool box.

Step 17.

If you are satisfied with the result move on to save it.

Go to File –> Export to save.

In the dialogue that appears, save the file using a .jpg extension. This will reduce the size of the image as YouTube does not allow to upload a background beyond 1MB  file size.

When you enter the file name with .jpg extension and click ‘Export’, the ‘Export image as jpeg’ window opens. In that window check ‘show preview in image window’ to see what the size of the image is. If it is beyond 1MB, slide the quality slider to lower quality till the size gets within 1MB and click ‘export’ .

saving image as JPEG in gimp

Here is what you finally get as the end result.

Create youtube backgroud

Hope this tut helped you. Try this easy tutorial to make your own YouTube channel background in GIMP and tell me how it worked out for you in the comments below.

Happy Vlogging YouTubers !