GIMP Tutorial: Making An Image Flow Into Any Screen

Ironically, this image idea is something that happened out of boredom when I had an assignment of writing a lengthy essay. At one point, I felt how amazing it would be if all my thoughts could just literally flow into the computer screen and then into the doc I was making. That’s how I ended up making this surreal concept of something flowing into a screen in GIMP. Many of my friends wanted me to share the procedure of doing it. So here I am with an easy GIMP tutorial showing how to make any image flow into a computer.  Seeing the image above I am sure you have got an idea about what this GIMP tutorial is about.

Image flowing into screen GIMP tutorial

Gist of this GIMP tutorial

I integrated two images in this tutorial. One is the monitor and the other being the scenery I want to flow in to the monitor.

I first made a background, followed be placing the monitor in the background and adjusting it where I want it to be, then importing the scenery into GIMP, shaping the image, make it flow into the screen and finally added shadows and transparency to make it all look realistic.

lets get started.

1. Open a new file in Gimp. In the ‘create a new image’ pop up, set the file’s height to 500 and width to 650 pixels.

Opening new file in GIMP


2.  Lets add a gradient background. First set foreground and background colors to blue and black respectively.

foreground and background colors in GIMP

3. Select the blend tool from toolbar and set gradient to FG to BG (RGB) and Shape as radial.

GIMP gradient setting


4.  Hold the right mouse button and drag the cursor from the center of the image to any of the for corners to apply the gradient.

5. Now drag the monitor image to from your desktop to gimp interface. It opens up in a new layer.

easy gimp tut

2. After selecting the layer, resize the monitor to desired size using the scale tool from the toolbox. Once resized, place the monitor anywhere within the whole image by selecting the monitor layer and using the move tool from the toolbar. I have moved the monitor to the bottom right.

Resizing image in gimp


3. Now drag the the scenery into the GIMP interface. It would open up in a new layer with the file name of the image. In my case its called glacier.

4. Once opened, resize it the same way as you scaled the monitor to desired size ( by using the scale tool from the toolbar).

5. Select the scenery layer ( in the layers toolbar )  and by using the rotate tool form the toolbar rotate the scenery such that one of its sides points towards the monitor as in the below image.

Rotating image in gimp


6. Having the scenery layer selected, use the perspective tool and change the perspective of the image ( by dragging the corners of the grid) in such a way that the scenery seems to be moving into the monitor. This takes few trials. But isn’t difficult. You will see that the image gets blurred and unclear a little bit. But snub it here. We’ll adjust that later on.

chaning perspective in gimp


7. If you see that the monitor is above the scenery, all u need to do is adjust the layers (by dragging them up and down) such that the scenery layer comes above monitor layer.

alligning layers in gimp


8. Now by selecting the scenery layer, go to filter-> enhance –> Sharpen (in menu bar). Now is when you can sharpen the blurred scenery. Adjust the sharpness to whatever is perfect for you (check the ‘preview’ checkbox to see the changes ). In my case a sharpness of 69 worked well.

9. Now we need to create wave like edges to the scenery. With the scenery layer selected, go to filter-> distort -> IWrap . This window will let us add the flowing effect to the scenery.

10. Adjust deform mode to ‘move’, deform radius to 63 and leave the rest in default settings.

11. Now click and drag in the preview panel ( to the left of this window) in order to distort the image. Drag the mouse at the edges of the scenery to create bumps and protrusions like waves.

using Iwrap tool in gimp

12. The part where image foes into monitor does not seem realistic yet. To make is look so, right click on the scenery layer and select ‘add layer mask’.

13. In the window that appears, select ‘white full opacity’ and click ‘Add’.

14. Select the glacier layer again. Select blend tool from toolbox, set the foreground color and background color to default i.e., black and white respectively.

15. Click and drag the mouse from the monitor to the scenery ( just at the beginning; not throughout the scenery) . You will notice that the scenery now gets transparent, partly exposing the monitor behind it.

making image transperant in gimp

12. Once you get the desired transparency, right click on the scenery layer and select ‘Apply layer mask’.

13. Now to make this look much more pro, we shall add some shadows to the monitor and glacier.

Select the scenery layer and go to filter-> light and shadow -> drop shadow.

14. Uncheck ‘allow resizing’ in the drop shadow window and leave the rest to default. Click ok

15. Repeat this (step 13,14) process to the monitor layer too.

16. Export the image in any format you wish. Prefer PNG to retain the quality.

For this go to File –> Export.

Voila ! We are done  \m/

You can use the same logic to make an image come out of eyes, camera or anything. Let me know what you made with this tutorial through the comment box below. You can also share improvisation ideas if any. I too would love to learn from you.

If you want me to do any other particular GIMP tutorial. Let me know from the comments.


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