GIMP is a Gnu image manipulation software that is a competitor with Photoshop. They have high definition capability with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from software that costs hundreds of dollars. So can you use GIMP for photo stacking?
There is a feature called blending exposures that allows you to take photos and layer them atop one another. It is an extensive process but produces some high-quality photographs.
Using GIMP isn’t always an easy process, and blending exposures will be time-consuming and require some practice to perform confidently. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you! Constant training and pushing your comfort zones are part of the learning process. So read on and learn everything you need to know about photo stacking with GIMP.
How to Blend Exposures Using GIMP
Before you get started, you must have the images you want to stack. Then, the images are placed on top of each other during the blending process, and the areas around them are edited to match perfectly. This creates an artistic image that is very popular and could even be worth money as advertising pieces or merch designs.
A few things that the images must have before blending are:
- Clear Edges – The images you choose must not be full of moving objects or obscure items around the edges. If things are around the edges, they are much harder to blend and could leave ghostly images on the boundaries.
- Identical Images – If you want to blend the images, they must be identical. Meaning they should be shot with the same cameras in the same spot. Using tripods will be in your best interest to help produce a clear, steady image.
Once you have the images you want to blend ready, it is time to begin the blending process. You should know that combining images that aren’t alike could be complicated, but if they work can create breathtaking art.
Loading the Files into GIMP is Step One
Loading files into GIMP is where the magic of blending begins. Your files should be in a folder that you recognize, and the pictures should be clearly labeled. If they are hard to find, you can expect to spend time looking for the correct images.
Once the base picture is picked, you should set it as the bottom layer by selecting the image and going down to add. Setting this image as the bottom layer will make it the outline for the picture and create a base for you to improve upon.
Editing Layers is the Next Step
Once the base is set, you need to get in there and create some layers. Layers are a great way to combine more than one image. So take your time and play around and see what you can make! Programs like GIMP are made for making and undoing mistakes. So don’t be scared to take chances with your art.
A few ways to edit the layers of your project are:
- Shift the Image – One of the most critical ways to edit the layers is to shift the image. Do it by clicking the image and using the arrow keys to align the images. Be careful, as the pictures could be obscure if you move them too far.
- Lower the Opacity – Another way to edit the images is to lower their opacity. This means that you can better view the image underneath and work on those pesky borders.
- Use the Brushes – After some clipping masks have been applied, you need to get down with your brushes. These editing brushes are critical for blending everyday objects and giving them solid lines that appear to be unbroken.
Editing is the most significant step of the process. It is condensed to a single step, but you can expect to align and use brushes multiple times to get a clean image. Don’t be afraid to work on the image. The boundaries and edges of the photos must appear seamless or blurred.
Blending exposures is the same as photo stacking. In both processes, two or more images are layered atop one another. This often creates breathtaking photos that can be used as merchandising or art pieces.
There are tons of editing niches in GIMP, and blending is just the tip of the iceberg. However, the functionality is impressive, and if you are a photographer or graphic designer, the competition is draining your pocket. Making the switch to GIMP would save money for you and give you the ability to invest that money elsewhere.