How To Fade Images In Gimp

By | 11/08/2022

Most of the time when we talk near colour in the digital art world, we want to make sure colors are vibrant and accurate. But what happens if you want to do the opposite and fade your epitome?

There are a few different tricks you can use to get a range of different fade furnishings, and then let’due south accept a expect at some of the nigh popular methods to fade an paradigm in GIMP.

Fading With Opacity

The most basic method for fading an image is to use the Opacity slider, and it’s very easy to practise in one case you lot know where to expect. It doesn’t produce the almost exciting results, simply it’southward still a useful tool to know.

With your image open in GIMP, locate the Layers console in the bottom right corner of the interface. If your Layers console is missing, bring it back with the keyboard shortcut
if yous’re using GIMP on a Mac).

If you’ve got more than i layer, select the one you want to fade and arrange the
slider at the height of the Layers console to your desired setting.

The opacity of this layer is set to 50

If your prototype only has 1 layer, you’ll immediately find the checkerboard blueprint that GIMP uses to indicate transparent pixels.

GIMP displays a checkerboard pattern to indicate transparency

At this point, you tin can save your prototype for employ in another program if you’re happy with it. Just be sure to salvage it as a PNG file, since the more than common JPG format doesn’t back up transparency.

If yous desire to set your image confronting a colored background, create a new layer using the keyboard shortcut
on macOS).

Click and drag the thumbnail or employ the arrow icons at the bottom of the Layers panel to place the new layer below your faded prototype, and and then use the
Bucket Fill
tool to fill up the layer with the color of your choice.

Fading With Layer Masks

If you lot want to get a more complex fade effect, you’ll need to take control over the opacity of each pixel individually using a layer mask. That might some complex, only layer masks are i of the most powerful tools in image editing and they are actually adequately unproblematic to use once you know how they work.

A layer mask acts like an invisible secondary layer that sits over the top of your existing pixel layer. If a pixel on the layer mask is white, the corresponding section in the main pixel layer is visible, and if a pixel is black on the mask, the corresponding section is transparent.

Grayscale tones let you to create sections of fractional transparency, and that’s exactly what we need to fade an image gradually.

With your image open in GIMP, right-click on its thumbnail in the
console and choose
Add Layer Mask

from the popup menu. You lot tin can likewise use the pocket-size mask icon at the lesser of the
panel, or even apply the
menu, but they all produce the same result.

For this method, gear up the
Initialize Layer Mask to:
pick to
White (total opacity)
and click
Add. You’ll see a new thumbnail announced in the Layers console, showing the layer mask thumbnail which is currently filled with white pixels. If y’all initialize to Blackness (full transparency), your image will disappear until you paint some white pixels onto the layer mask.

Now you can employ GIMP’due south excellent paint tools to fade any parts of your epitome that you want. Using a large soft brush will give yous a gentle fade, while a harder castor volition make for harder edges.

This image has been faded with a gradient applied to a layer mask in GIMP 2.10

You tin can also use gradients to your layer mask using the Slope tool, simply the same as you would in a normal pixel layer. Remember to fade between black and white, though, or y’all might become some unexpected results when GIMP converts your colors into the grayscale values supported by layer masks.

Feathered Selections

Terminal but not least, I wanted to mention selection feathering. The proper name might seem a chip silly, but it’s a great way to take your choice skills to the side by side level. Feathering softens the edges of a option area then that at that place is a gradient of issue instead of the usual hard border.

You can customize the corporeality of feathering earlier yous describe a selection using the Tool Options panel, and you’ll see the results immediately.

If you’ve already made a pick, you can likewise feather it by opening the
menu and choosing

This is a very quick way of fading out an prototype by combining feathering with a simple press of the Delete key, but information technology’s not virtually as flexible as using layer masks, then I don’t recommend using information technology unless yous’re making a simple throwaway image.

A Last Discussion

Similar a lot of things in GIMP, at that place are many different ways to fade an image, and I can’t encompass all of them in this post. If you lot want to get really advanced, you can even fade an image so that it looks similar the old-style sepia blazon that many people associate with the 1800s, but it takes a lot of work to make it convincing.

If you’ve got a unlike technique you use to fade images in GIMP that I didn’t comprehend here, let me know in the comments and I’ll give it a try!

I’ve been working with digital images since the year 2000 or so, when I got my starting time digital camera. I’ve tried many image editing programs. GIMP is a free and powerful software, but not exactly user-friendly until you become comfortable with it, and I wanted to make the learning process easier for you here.