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20 November 2013

GIMP's Layer Modes (Somewhat) Demystified – Part 1: Normal to Addition


A reader recently commented that he didn't understand why there are so many layer modes in GIMP and he wondered just what one is supposed to do with all of them. Since I wasn't able to help right off the bat, I decided to do some research and experiment. Figuring stuff out for yourself is fun and I find that it burns in the knowledge. So what follows is the process I went through to try and understand more about layer modes.

First, I created a 900 x 1200 canvas in GIMP divided into six sections: light red, dark red, light blue, dark blue, light green, dark green. I varied the intensities of the colors a bit to make it easier to notice possible differences. The HSV and RGB numbers in each large block indicate the actual color values. On top of each color I put a grayscale gradient with a block of black on the left and a block of white on the right. I merged all of the small color blocks onto a transparent layer to make a test pattern layer above the six-color background. I thought this example would be useful for artists to see how layer modes affect colors.


Color Patterns on Color Blocks
Color Patterns on Color Blocks


13 November 2013

GIMP Quickie No. 4 – Creating Color Pop on Midtone Grayscale


The following steps are for GIMP 2.8.

Step 1

  • Load image into GIMP and crop as desired.


Original Image of Orange Flowers
Original Image
Canon EOS 5D Mark III at f/4, 1/160 sec, ISO-100, 200 mm