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    Sand Shinobi Gaarafan12's Avatar

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    Getting Started: Basic to Intermediate Tutorial.

    This is a tutorial for anyone that has said "I wish I could make Signatures/Avatars". Well I'm here to tell you it's not as hard getting started as you might think. And I want to help you do it!

    GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program is a free and safe online substitute for photoshop. I use Gimp and have been making Avatars and Signatures for 4 months now. I learn something new everyday, but I had a hard time getting started. So even though I'm definitely not the best GFXer on NarutoBase, I thought I'd make a tutorial to help those who want to start know how. So here we go!


    First I thought I'd give you a bit of insight into how I got into GFX that way you know where I'm coming from!

    I joined the base last august, and the first thing I noticed was all the awesome signatures and avatars people had. I started checking out the GFX forums and realized people were making these things! I had a couple of ideas for signatures I wanted and posted up a request, by the next day someone had made me a beautiful Signature! The problem was, next week I had another idea for a signature! haha I felt bad asking for a new one so soon, and waited patiently for time to pass so I could get a new one. Finally I decided to give GFX a go, and downloaded, it was ok for a while but everyone on the Base advised me to switch to GIMP, so I did!

    I love GIMP, it supplies me with everything I need to make Signatures and Avatars that I love! I've gone from this: my very first signature on GIMP...

    To this, my most recent work:

    And I learn new stuff everyday! I hope that I will be able to help others create stuff that they love through these tutorials!

    If you want to check out my other works check the out here!

    ~NarutoBase Album:


    ~Note: I've only got a couple of videos on here now, because I haven't used many tutorials myself, but I hope to add more as I find them and maybe even make some of my own!

    I'm going to try to commit to adding one video/tutorial link everyday for gimp so hopefully this can cover most of peoples questions!


    This is where you start if you've never made a signature before in your life, it includes the download link to GIMP, basic knowledge every new GFXer should know, and links to Brushes, fonts, fractals and more!

    Downloading GIMP:

    Now that you've downloaded Gimp you should familiarize yourself with how it works!

    Here’s a tutorial explaining the different basic tools and layouts of GIMP. I have learned most of what I know about GIMP just by messing around, but if you are wanting a more detailed look at it these tutorials will help!

    This tutorial is extreamely detailed and does a great job explaining each of the tools, options, and features of GIMP! I did not make this tutorial, it was created by Griatch on the Gimptalk forums!

    Ok! Now let's move into the GFX side of GIMP. Here are a few elements that go into most Signatures and Avatars you should be familiar with!

    A stock is any picture that features a character or object that you want featured in your signature.


    A render is an image of any character or object that has had the surrounding background completely removed. A render is Always in .png file format. This is because jpg or other file formats do not support invisible layers. If a file seems to be a render but is not in png format, once you open it in GIMP you will see that it has a white background.


    My render Stockpile:
    Note: None of these images were rendered by me. I gathered them from other users on photobucket and put them in anime categories such as Bleach and Naruto.

    A C4D image is a rendered graphic image that many use in their signatures. I'm not really sure how to explain them other than they look really cool :D


    Another thing I'm not really sure how to describe, a fractal is an image with cool graphic effects that do have a background. There is a video later on showing how they can be used despite having a background.

    Link: Here are some awesome Fractal packs I use, I DID NOT MAKE THESE!


    GIMP Brushes:
    When you first download GIMP it will come with only the very basic brushes, you can search online for Brushes that fit your style. I personally love to use very whimsical brushes with long flowing lines. There are tons for you to choose from that you can download for free. Here are some links to great brushes that I love. But you can easily search and you’ll find some great ones there!

    Bush Resources:

    How to Download and add Brushes to GIMP.


    I'm gonna supply a tutorial video along with an explanation, any personal notes, and if possible an example of something I made after watching the video!


    Beginner Signature Tutorial 1:

    This was the first GIMP Tutorial I ever used, it does a good job showing how to use a C4D well and just the basic elements of making a signature.

    Personal Note: Most of the time I start with a transparent canvas of 150x400 then use File>Open as Layers to open the render, that way you don't have to open another window for the render! Also I recommend opening the render first thing before selecting a background that way you know the render and background will compliment one another!

    What I made:

    Beginner Signature Tutorial 2~ Smudging (tutorial supplied by Eternity000!!)

    This tutorial does a great job showing how to properly use your smudge tool, don't forget that the smuding isn't just for blending, it can be a great way to make a background for your image!!

    **Tutorial made by FaiaTentei on deviantart!**


    Intermediate Signature Tutorial 1:

    This is a good tutorial because it shows some great strategies for creating backgrounds from using filters on the render, and blending.

    Personal Note: He uses a ton of fractals and effects and I feel like in my signatures I try not to go overboard and keep it simple with the effects to keep it clean and not too busy!

    What I made:

    Intermediate Tutorial 2: GIF Rain~

    This video explains how to make a really simple rain animation in GIMP. It's really easy the only reason it's listed as an intermediate tutorial is because it's a gif and that can be intimidating to beginners!

    Personal Note: Anytime you save an image or images as a gif it's going to loose some quality, so don't be surprised when you upload it somewhere and it doesn't look quite as high quality!

    What I made:
    Mine's not gloomy, haha but I figured it worked!


    If you're looking to get some real time, live teaching look here for instructions on how to get started!

    I'm going to start broadcasting myself live as I work on my signatures. If you want to watch and see my process, or want to learn a specific skill I'd be happy to over it for you!

    1~ PM me letting me know you're interested!

    2~ Follow this Link and create an account on this site, that way you'll be able to use the chat feature and communicate with me there!

    3~ Make your way back to my profile on Twitch and if you want follow me so you'll know when I'm working!

    4~ When you're watching me work on GIMP, don't be afraid to ask questions or request that I do something!

    Here's the link to my first recording!


    These are links to others tutorials here on the base that I have used and think they deserve credit for!
    Last edited by Gaarafan12; 07-26-2012 at 02:46 AM.

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