I follow the Church Marketing Lab on Twitter (I’m @dysleeper, if you are so inclined).  They usually toss up a couple of interesting links a day and today’s was to Bittbox which is a tutorials and resources site for graphic designers.  Right now, I’m either half or three-quarters of the graphic design team for our congregation so this is of interest to me.
One of the many, many packages of textures that caught my eye was smoke.  I downloaded the images and mucked about with them for a while in the GIMP and this was the result:

fig. 1

fig. 1

Tutorial of sorts follows.

I started out with this fairly basic texture that I thought looked kind of neat:


fig. 2

I made a new layer (fig. 3) and used the gradient tool (fig. 4) with this crazy, funky gradient (fig. 5)


fig. 3


fig. 4


fig. 5

Which I then applied more or less parallel to the way the smoke texture curled (fig. 6)


fig. 6

Next, I made a layer mask by right-clicking on the tropical colours layer, selecting ‘add layer mask’ and choosing a white (full opacity) mask:


fig. 7

Select everything on the background layer by first left-clicking where it says “Background” to make the layer active and then hit Ctrl+A.  Now, hit Ctrl+C.  There is now a copy of the (conveniently) black and white smoke layer in the clipboard.  Select the ‘New Layer’ (tropical colours layer) and hit Ctrl+V to paste it from the clipboard.  It shows up as a Floating Selection (fig. 8).  Choose any of the selection tools from the tool box (fig. 9) and click in the grey area outside the image.  The cursor will be shaped like a cross-hair with an anchor near it (it is hard to get a screenshot of such a thing).


fig. 8


fig. 9

This results in the following:

fig. 10

fig. 10

Right click on the “new layer” and select “apply layer mask.”  From the drop down menu above the layers list (see where it says “Normal” in Fig. 7), select “Color” (it is an American program).  This sets the way the layer we’ve just made affects the layer below.  The result is Fig. 1 .

the world is so cold