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How to Make Custom Alpha Brushes in GIMP


This tutorial will show you how to create custom alpha brushes in the free image manipulation program GIMP. Let's say you have this image



and you want to make the white areas into an alpha and use it as a brush for GIMP so you can paint with it like so:

Finished GIMP brush


Here are the steps to do that. The brush in this tutorial is made with GIMP 2.6.7. You can right click on the example image above and save it to your computer to use it to follow along with this tutorial.

1. Open up your alpha image in GIMP. Choose Colors --> Invert. Your image should now look like this:



2. We want to make the white areas transparent. So now go to Colors--> Color to Alpha . . . and you should see this dialog box:



3. Click the white color button to bring up another dialog box.



Make sure that the values for R, G, & B are at 255 and click OK. When you are back to the color to Alpha dialog box, click OK again. You should end up with this:



AS you can see, the white areas are gone (i.e. made transparent) and only the black areas are left.

4. Now right click on the image and choose File-->Save As.

Save the image


5. You should get this dialog box:

Dialog box

Navigate to GIMP's brushes directory. If you installed GIMP on your C: drive, the path ought to be C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\share\gimp\2.0\brushes .

6. Make sure that "GIMP brush (*.gbr) is selected in the scroll menu. Then in the Name box, type in "tutorialbrush.gbr" and click Save.

Dialog box 2


7. You will get this dialog box:



In the Description box, type whatever name you want to call your brush. For this tutorial, type in "TutorialBrush" and click Save.

8. In the Layers, Channels, Paths, Undo palette, click the Refresh button on the lower right corner and you ought to see your newly created brush..



9. Select the new brush. Go to File--> New and type in values for both Width and Height and click OK to create a new blank image to try out your new brush in.

End result


Well, that wraps up the tutorial. If you find this tutorial helpful to you, please show me some love by making a donation.


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