July 20, 2009

Tutorial - Making a seamless tile in Gimp

With my latest postings on designing fabric prints, I thought I would try to create a seamless repeat using Gimp, a free photo editing software similar to Photoshop. I learned a few things about the process. Creating a seamless repeat is more difficult than pushing a few buttons. I remember it being easier in Photoshop. In any event, the more complex the image, the more work involved.

There are oodles of tutorials on the web on how to do this. One of the better ones for Gimp is by Lawrence Davis. His tutorial is not up to date with the latest version of Gimp, though the basics are all there. I followed his example to create the seamless repeat below.

The difficulty in Gimp is having the program make a seamless tile with the objects spaced close together. In my example, the scroll is on a separate layer and scaled smaller than my background. You will have to mess around with scaling the layers to get the closest spacing you can or desire. Be sure to flatten the image before applying the filter. This filter automatically fades out the edges of the images when it creates the seamless tile. If you look closely at the scroll (click for larger version), you can see the edges of the scroll are faded out.

Here is how the tile looks repeated.

This repeat wouldn't look very good on fabric IMO. The faded parts would look like a flaw. Of course I could space out the scroll more and not have the problem, but it would also have a more open feel to the repeat. If you have suggestions, please leave comments below. I think there may be better ways to create a seamless repeat in Gimp suitable enough for a fabric repeat. More to come later.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:54 AM

    There can be several ways to create a reapeat. I haven't used GIMP in several years, but in Photoshop if you want something more then a basic tiling repeat (say a half-drop repeat) or closer together, it can be done it just requires several more steps in the process. Its not uncommon for me to have 5 or 6 different files just to create one repeat.