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A GIMP Cutout & Drop Shadow Tutorial

© 2012 SF Kinney, Released under CC BY-SA 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

This tutorial illustrates, in a series of screen shots, how to make an image of a patch of cloth that has been cut with pinking shears, including the process for generating the zig-zag pattern for the edges. A layer mask is used to "cut" the fabric as required. A copy of the same masked layer is used to create a drop shadow under the cloth. This process is much easier to do than to explain, so I have opted for a completely graphic format.

You may notice that there is no menu bar at the top of the image window in these pictures. I have turned that off, and the menus shown appear when you right-click anywhere on the image window. I think that saves miles a day of mouse movement, your mileage may vary. The way I have my main toolbox set up is also "nonstandard", for details see my GIMP tutorial page.

This tutorial owes a lot to Akkana Peck, author of Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional. Her Arrow Designer plugin saved me a lot of time and annoyance while making these images. A question asked on the gimp-user list, and the failure of my written reply to adequatly solve the problem, was the inspiration for this tutorial.

I used the Apply Canvas and Colorify filters to generate the somewhat cloth-like base layer for this project, other than that every step of the process is shown below. We will assume that we are starting with a scan or photo of a real piece of cloth, and begin there. Open the image file, save as .xcf, and proceed as below!

A Cutout and Drop Shadow Illustrated

gimp drop shadow tutorial - start
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial
gimp drop shadow tutorial

Finishing up

Once you have a satisfactory image, you will want to save it in the .xcf format, so you can change it if/as necessary later on, and use it as a template for making more of the same quickly and easily.

In this case, it will probably be necessary to make a large set of these images with a different piece of "cloth" shown in each. Just open up the finished .xcf image, and open an image of the next piece of cloth. With the new cloth sample image "current", do control-c to copy the new sample. Click the old .xcf image to make it current, click on the old cloth layer's thumbnail in the Layers tab to select it, and do control-v to paste. Finally click the anchor icon, and your new sample of cloth will replace the old one. "Save as" a new file name, rinse, repeat. All the real work is in making the template.