GIMP: Kill gimp when accidentally launched

Have you ever started GIMP by mistake on a slow computer? I have. I have then tried to end my life. Luckily, GIMP takes so long to start on your average computer that you can come up with several colorful ways of killing yourself before it opens so that you can close it.
No more though. These days I kill GIMP instead. Thoroughly.

I’ve just created a small BAT script and put on my desktop with the following content

taskkill /im gimp-2.6.exe

Just change the version to fit your GIMP version and save it as gimpKiller.bat on your desktop. The next time you accidentally start GIMP, double click on the file and it will end your suffering…

GIMP: Using the alignment tool

The alignment tool in GIMP is quite useful, but not completely obvious in usage. At first I couldn’t figure out how it worked but I knew I wanted to use it. The tool is used to align layers in an image and looks like this:

The alignment tool!
The alignment tool!

Aligning text

Create a new image (size doesn’t matter in this example) and add a new transparent layer (CTRL + SHIFT + N). To this layer first add some text and then select the alignment tool.

After having selected the alignment select your text:

Use the alignment tool to first align horizontally (1) and then vertically (2):

Now your text is aligned.

 

Aligning layers

If you have a layer that you want to align, perhaps with a shape on it, it is a bit tricky. Let’s continue on our example:

The blue square is in a layer of its own and we want it centered behind the text. The problem is that when we mark it with the alignment tool we mark the entire layer. First you need to auto-crop the layer. Go to Layers => Autocrop which will crop down to the content of the layer.

You are now free to align the shape just like you aligned the text!

Gimp: Basic 3D button

In this tutorial we are going to create a 3D-button in GIMP that looks like this:

 

I will assume that you have GIMP installed, if not go to gimp.organd download the latest version and install. Open GIMP and create a new images with the size 400×400. Select the circle tool and create a full size circle:

Create a circle
Create a circle

 

Create a new layer (we never want to start working on the base layer).
Select the gradient tool and with the colors black and white draw a line from top to bottom:

Gradient from top to bottom
Gradient from top to bottom

 

Go to the select menu, choose shrink and enter 4px:

Shrink the circle 4px
Shrink the circle 4px

 

This will shrink the circle selection with 4 pixels and this allows us to invert the gradient. Choose the gradient tool again and draw a line from the bottom to the top of the selection:

Draw gradient upwards
Draw gradient upwards

Shrink the circle 4 more pixels and add a new layer. In the circle, use the bucket tool and fill it with the background color you want in your button. I’ll use a bluish color:

Having a blue color
Having a blue color

Now, grow the circle two pixels by clicking Select => Grow:

Grow the circle by two pixels
Grow the circle by two pixels

 

Add a new layer and choose the bucket tool. Select black color and fill the circle with black. Then go to Select => Feather and enter the value 20:

Use feather
Use feather

Press delete which will remove most of the black color you filled the circle with. Not all though, due to the feather effect, which will create a bit of a shadow.

Select the Text Tool, we’ll add some text now to the image. Write whatever text you want and close the texttool. Select the alignment tool from the toolbox, hold down shift and click on your text. Align the text to the absolute center by using the controls now visible in the toolbox:

The alignment tool
The alignment tool

This would be a good time to merge all layers. Go to Image => Merge all visible layers or press Ctrl + M. After this, select the Circular select tool and make a small selection in the circle:

Make a small circular selection
Make a small circular selection

Add a new layer.

Select the gradient tool and select FG to Transparent as gradient:

Select FG to Transparent
Select FG to Transparent

Then with the gradient tool draw a line from the top of the small circle to the bottom and you get a bit of a transparent gloss to it. Go to the layer window, Windows => Dockable dialogs => Layers, and select the top layer with the small circle in it. Set the opacity to 70% by dragging the opacity bar:

Add layer opacity
Add layer opacity

 

After this, you are pretty much finished. However, since we want to add some shadow to our button and since we forgot to (sorry about this) create the button in its own layer, well select the layer with the image and remove the white background. Select the layer with the button in it and select Colors => Color To Alpha. This will remove the white background. Merge the two layers and go to Filters => Light and Shadow => Drop Shadow and use these settings:

Add button drop shadow
Add button drop shadow

 

This will create a shadow around the button. If you want a white background instead of a transparent one select white as background color and flatten the image (Image => Flatten image). Now scale it down perhaps and you should have a button that looks something like this:

This image has white background, the one at the top of this tutorial has a transparent background. Your choice...