I was messing around with GIMP today using some techniques taken from a book I checked out from the library: The Artist’s Guide to GIMP: Creative Techniques for Photographers, Artists, and Designers 2nd edition by Michael J. Hammel (San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2012). One of the techniques he demonstrates in the book essentially takes a photo and makes it look kind of like a charcoal sketch. So I says to myself, “Self, why don’t you try this out on a Minecraft screenshot?” “Good idea,” I replied. I thought so, too. Ultimately, I chose a screenshot of a Castle Grayskull build I’ve written about before on this blog. After some experimentation, what resulted was this:
The original looked like this:
For those who are interested, the process of turning the latter into the former can be summarized this way:
1) I opened the original image in GIMP and made five duplicate layers. I desaturated the bottom three layers.
2) The background layer is the most complicated: I first used Sobel edge-detection, then I changed white levels in the resulting image, and finally I inverted the colors of the layer. This layer’s mode is normal.
3) On the next layer up I used Gaussian blur with a horizontal and vertical radius of 10. This layer’s mode is burn.
4) I also used Gaussian blur on the next layer up, this time at a radius of 15, and set this layer’s mode to Hard Light. The picture at this point looked like this:
5) The next layer up is color. I applied some motion blur (probably not strictly necessary), and then set the layer’s mode to overlay. This produced an image like this:
6) For the last layer all I did is take the original image and set the layer mode to dodge. This intensified the colors to a level that I found pleasing, producing the image seen at the top of this post.
I’m probably going to do more of this. It’s really satisfying and super fast to do.