Author Topic: GIMP Tutorial: Basic Recolors  (Read 5672 times)

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Offline shastakiss

GIMP Tutorial: Basic Recolors
« on: May 09, 2017, 07:21:32 PM »
Um, a beginner-level tutorial for basic recoloring written by a beginner-lever tutorial writer? Sure, why not. There was an ask at my simblr about recoloring. I love GIMP but for all I know I'm doing this the hard way so I may cry embarrassed tears when someone tells me an easier method. Also I don't have a splashy eye-catching image to start things off with. OH WAIT YES I DO

Are you recoloring the touch of teak chair? What a coincidence, so am I. There are several good tutorials out there about SimPE and recolors so this tutorial is just about GIMP. Open your extracted texture (right-click Edit with GIMP)

If you have a choice of different textures to extract, always choose the lightest one. This one is kind of off-white with yellow undertones. But light grey is better for truer colors so...

In the toolbar under Colors, select Desaturate...

A new window will open, I read somewhere to choose Luminosity

So it's light grey which is good, but it can be better.

In the toolbar under Colors, select Brightness-Contrast...

A new window will open

I just moved both sliders around until I liked it. You want some white but the grays will keep your recolor from looking flood-filled. It depends on the texture as to how much to adjust the brightness and contrast.

In the toolbar under Colors, select Color to Alpha...

A new window will open

Oh, so alpha is just another word for transparent? Click OK.

shortcut ctrl-shift-n or in the toolbar under Layer, select New Layer...

Another new window opens

Name it whatever makes sense to you.

This new transparent layer on top of the chair texture needs to be under the chair texture. In the toolbar under Layer, select Stack > Lower Layer

Now's a good time time to save in case you ever want to recolor this chair again.

shortcut ctrl-shift-e or in the toolbar under File, select Export...

Surprise, a new window

Renaming it and deciding where to save is up to you. Under Select File Type, scroll down to Photoshop Image (psd). Click Export.

The plot thickens! The toolbox and palette editor and that other important looking thing (the Layers, Channels, Paths and Undo dock, let's call it the LCPU) that opened when you first opened GIMP? I don't know how big or where they'll be on your desktop but mysterious mystery. I still have no idea what most of this stuff does.

In the LCPU, the Undo History tab with the yellow arrow is showing all the steps I made so far. (If I messed up I can click on a previous step in that tab and re-do something.)

But I'll open the Layers Dialog by clicking on the tab with 3 white sheets.

The 'color' layer is highlighted, that's the active layer right now. So what color? I've selected cyan from the default palette in the palette editor.

Cyan is now showing in my toolbox as the foreground color. And it's so bright! Clicking on the foreground color in the toolbox opens a new window (but I really like this window, I love playing with color).

I slid stuff around and ended up with a turquoise. Click OK. The fun part is here!

shortcut shift-b or in your toolbar under Tools, select Paint Tools > Bucket Fill

With the color layer as your active layer, click your chair texture with your little paint bucket icon

Look, a turquoise chair! Well, a turquoise chair texture.

shortcut ctrl-shift-e so you can save

Rename it and under Select File Type, scroll down to PNG image (png). Click Export. Another new window opens (not pictured), click Export (or just hit return) and you're ready to import your texture in SimPE. Which isn't part of this tutorial. Because I have stuff to recolor :3

Your shading and texture layer might disappear on darker colors but doubling up on the shading will help most of the time.
Select the layers dialog tab in your LCPU dock and click on the shading/texture layer.
shortcut ctrl-c and ctrl-v (copy and paste the shading/texture on top of itself), shortcut ctrl-h or in your toolbar under Layer select Anchor Layer.

The GIMP website has good info about adding palettes and creating new ones so I won't go into that. ZeroDark has a list of palettes available to import into GIMP (thank you Zero!) and cattusamicus has already generously shared so many ♥ Once you have a palette of favorite colors showing in your palette editor, it's just "click click ctrl-shift-e." The first click is selecting a color from the palette editor to be your foreground color. The second click is paint-bucket dropping that color onto the color layer. Ctrl-shift-e to save :D

If any GIMP users see mistakes or doing-it-wrong or omissions or have different processes, please feel free to comment because I'd love to learn more myself. And I'll try to answer questions in the comments too if I can.
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