Articles, Blog

GIMP 101 Tutorial for Beginners: Learning the Basics

August 7, 2019


hello and welcome to yet another
tutorial by Davies media design I’m Michael Davies and today I’m going to be
going over the basics of GIMP. This is version GIMP 2.6 there’s a couple new – newer
versions out of GIMP but this one still my favorite so I’m just
gonna go over the toolbar right here and the Layers panel over here which I’m
still getting a lot of questions about even after I’ve done some more advanced
tutorials so I’m gonna go over this and that way you guys can
be better GIMP users so a big question I always
get is where does this layers panel come from over here on the right – the layers bar and if you don’t automatically have it
open like if it looks like this, to get it to
open up go to “Windows” “recently closed docs” and then it’ll be
right here under “layers, channels, paths, undo” so just click that. And that’ll bring up your layers, and I’ll go over the layers here in a second so, going from top to bottom left to
right the very first tool is the rectangular
Select Tool and what this does is allows you to fill
in the area a or at least just select within an area so
that you can paint within that area using either the bucket fill tool
or the gradient tool which is called the blend tool here or any of these paint tools and then to resize a rectangle just click within the rectangle area and come up to
the top and you can click and drag come over to this side and you can do the
same thing on all sides same applies to this tool which the elliptical select tool same basic concept except this you can make the ellipse shape. if you want a
perfect circle with the elipse tool you can come over
here to the toolbar and under here it says size, you can choose exactly what size it is. So here I’ll
change the width and height to be the same so they’ll each be 571 or at least close to it and uh you’ll get a circle you can also
change the exact position here and up here are rulers telling
you where exactly you are positioned on the
image and then up here gives you the dimensions of the image this one’s 1920 by 1080 pixels and you can feather the edges before you draw it which means that
once you draw it if you like color this in with the paint
brushes it’s gonna go a little bit outside the edges Kinda like a gradient type affect so all demonstrate here using the bucket
fill tool and as you can see if I come over to select>none which gets rid of that select tool, the
edges are a little blurry and depending on how I’m high up you
turn the feathering, it’ll make the edges
more more blurred so some other features with the ellipse
select tool, and these also apply to the rectangular select tool is you can change the mode so that for instance if you go to
add to selection mode what’ll happen is
it’ll just keep building upon the shape of the selection and then
there’s also the subtract from the current selection
so we’ll do the exact opposite you know kinda carve out of that shape that you
originally drew and then there is the a intersect with current selection
which’ll make a shape out of whatever areas are being intersected
by the newer ellipse so there we have this new shape. If you come over to select none it’ll just get rid of the selection. The
Lasso Tool or the free select tool allows you to freely draw wherever you want so few if you click once – and by a draw I mean – this is gonna turn into a selection
like that, so if I click once and his move the mouse
over to wherever it’s gonna draw a straight
line for me whereas if I click and hold you can freely move the mouse around and it’ll make a
selection out of that so the instances where this comes in
handy is like if you trying to remove the background of an image. Right now I’m just going over the “a”. But let’s say you wanted to remove everything around this a or you wanna just to delete that a, or paint over it, you just use the select tool and you can you know provided that you’re on the
right layer you can there color over just the a and if you go to select>invert you can color everything except for
the a. So it comes in handy a lot of times when you’re trying to erase a background or color over a background obviously you would use the eraser if you were trying to erase the background to the next thing on here is the fuzzy
select tool so this basically operates on shapes within a layer in this case I have the
text layer selected and it’s going to select everything outside of the text if I
click the area outside the text or if I
click the actual text itself it’ll only select
that text the next who is the selected by color
tool and this is only gonna select objects that have the same color as
what you selected so if I come over here to this layer that I made and I click this white area it’s only gonna select everything with that exact color so I’m going to go to select none. Now the other select tools include the scissor select tool and the foreground select tool I don’t really ever use that stuff so I’m not going to go over it. The paths tool it’s kinda like in Illustrator where you
can create a path by creating points and then clicking
and dragging and this allows you to just draw shapes there’s not really a need for it within GIMP, so I wouldn’t really
recommend using it nobody really ever uses that. Color
picker – that just allows you to choose a color within a layer so that it’ll use that color over here in the
foreground and background color squares which is what you would then use with the bucket
fill tool or the paint tool So the Zoom tool – that allows you to
zoom in on the image so you can get a closer look or if you hold control and then click it’ll make it zoom out and you can toggle those options here to
zoom in zoom out if you wanna hold control. The measure
tool allows you to see exactly how far something is from another thing another object and
other measurements are gonna come down here so for instance if I want this GIMP
basics thing to be a certain amount of pixels away from the top I can click on the top and drag down – click on top and drag down till I get to
the letter and see exactly how far down it is here
it saying that its 390 pixels down and it also shows you the angle at which
you dragged down right here it says 90 degrees and another tool that has to do with measurements is the rulers and they are either at the top or on the side and to use the ruler you
just click at the very top where measurements are
and drag down and that’ll give you a ruler and you can do the same from the side
and you’ll see down here at the bottom it’ll show you where
you’re adding that new guide in pixels. So this is good when you need
exact measurements of where to put objects and to get rid of them, just click and
drag them if you have the move tool selected which is
this tool right here so that’s the next tool on the tool bar. And that just allows you to move objects within a layer that you
have selected by clicking and dragging the crop tool allows you to crop a
certain portion of an image you know – if let’s say you don’t want this image
to be 1920 by 1080 you just want this to be your image you would just click and drag like I did from the start top left to bottom
right of where you want to crop and then you double-click and now this image is cropped so that this is the entire image the rotate tool allows you to rotate the
layer so I have the background layer select
right now if I wanted to rotate it I would just click and drag to whatever angle I wanted it to be rotated at
denoted right here or I can change its position as to where it’s
being rotated and just click rotate or you know
reset or cancel real quick I’m just gonna go over the layers
thing over here on the right is the Layers panel and you have a bunch of layers here each layer has has its own name and it has
its own content on it if you are using GIMP right. You want to use the layers in a way that every
object every new object you create is on its own
new layer so for instance I have a background
layer So if I click this eyeball here it’ll make the layer disappear This layer is just a pattern
layer this layer is a- kind of shape design I did and you
can change the opacity of the layer by clicking on that layer that you want to adjust and come up here to opacity and you can change, you know, how transparent that image is and there’s text layers and to tell if it’s
a text layer you’re just going to see a “T” with like a rhombus shape underneath it and to edit a text layer just
double-click it and this text box comes up if you’re using version 2.6 and then you come over here and you can
change the font above the text if you click this button
it’ll it’ll take the font selections and give
it its own little box here which just makes it easier to
look through all the fonts you change the size of the font you can
change in what units you wanna do the size of the font in. So you can do inches, you can do millimeters you can change the color of the
font by clicking in this rectangle here and a you can
change how the font is aligned to the page you can also change the spacing of each row of font. Right here I only have one row so it’s not going to do anything and you can change the spacing of the letters in the font by using this as you
can see the font is spreading out and right now I have other layers on
top of that font so that’s why it looks all weird like that
you can also make a path from the text or text along a path I don’t ever really
use those so you don’t really need to know about that now here’s the bucket fill tool which is a
pretty important to first off to demonstrate this I’m going to
create a new layer so come over here layers and channels tool bar over here and click this page which’ll create a
new layer you can name the layer – I’ll just name it fill. And here you can have the size of the layer change right now it’s at the default
setting 1920 by 1080 which is the same size as
your image here and you can do a layer fill if you want. The
foreground color will be what’s in this box – background-color
will be what’s in this box and right now their the same and you can also just do a white or
transparency which means that the background will be clear. So I’m
gonna go with that here’s the new layer. Whenever a layer
is on top of another layer is going to cover everything underneath it and when there’s other
things on top of this layer, those
things are going to be above this one in the image that you’re making so you can either fill the foreground
color which you can change by double-clicking and you can adjust the colors using
this bar right here and clicking and dragging in here and once you find the color you like
just click OK down here are some pre-made colors. These are colors that were used previously so just click OK and to use the fill just click within
the image and it’ll fill everything you can change the opacity hit control>z to undo so like I said before using the select
tools you can also- in this case I’m creating an elliptical- make sure the mode is is – make sure it’s set to the right mode – in
this case I just want replace the current selection so come back to the bucket fill tool and we’re still on the same layer that we
just created and using the bucket fill tool, when we click
within the ellipse select, it’s only gonna fill in
the ellipse shape. Then go to select none and there’s your fill and the edges are still
blurry because I still have it set to “feather edges”. View part 2 on our channel.

87 Comments

  • Reply Ashton Armstead June 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    You are awesome! I wish way more people watched your videos because they are amazing

  • Reply TFHavingFun June 25, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Subscribed and liked. Thanks so much for your amazing work.

  • Reply MrElkiller1 August 22, 2013 at 4:00 am

    thanks friend

  • Reply Anlipria B November 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    waaaah i am so lost :0

  • Reply ElenaZ Marler December 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

    thanks for doing this…would be lost without!  Looking for second video now! 🙂

  • Reply TravelFlow September 29, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Good Tutorial

  • Reply Moose Noodle October 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    i Don't have the "mode" on the side when you are doing the shapes to add/ subtract to the same shape were do i add that ?  

  • Reply Jay Kaiser November 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to show newbies some basics. GIMP themselves could take a page out of your book. Their "tutorials" ignore the needs of beginners and overwhelm with too much specialist information. I'll be back for more. Cheers!

  • Reply Nick Cartwright November 16, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Hardly a tutorial for beginners! Try moving about a bit slower and explaining what a layer is!!! Made me quite dizzy trying to keep up.

  • Reply Lyol bob November 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Where is part 2? 🙁

  • Reply Camron Northrup November 27, 2014 at 1:10 am

    How do i make the text for each thing i click pop up i only get the icons 

  • Reply Camron Northrup November 27, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Also im a bit confused with the whole circle bit in the start there 
    i am trying to use a Gradient layer and when i put the circle in the middle i cant make it turn white like you did i have a white back ground but thats not working its like turning an odd shade of yellow 

  • Reply brsolutions1 December 2, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Thanks Dave. Good Vid.  I'm just getting started and I'm too cheap to buy Photoshop and Paint won't  get it. I'm putting a book cover together for Kindle. Harriston Banks "Timeline of the West" Thanks. Bob

  • Reply onlylikenerd January 15, 2015 at 1:23 am

    To help out some people that don't like separate windows, you can go to Windows > Single-Window Mode in gimp to make it all one window. Made me like gimp A LOT more!

  • Reply Onenaaa January 22, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Is there any way to outline text or do we just have to double up text layers in different font sizes

  • Reply Declan Brennan February 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you very much, this is really helpful.

  • Reply Camron Northrup March 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I came to rewatch this its a great tutorial

  • Reply SkilsTo PayBils April 9, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Just wanted to say this is a great tutorial to introduce the basics! You were clear and not to quick in the explanation. Thanks! Btw, I'm trying to make a 2D game, would you recommend this program for character design?

  • Reply Leo SigloXX April 18, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Is there a forum that you know of where you can post problems you run into while fiddling with Gimp, regardless of skill level?

  • Reply Mahmoud April 26, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    how to change language of GIMP and how to get an image out of GIMP ?

  • Reply jasbk May 31, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    your videos are really informative, easy to follow and good to watch! thanks!

  • Reply Leverquin July 18, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    The Gimp is for linux?

  • Reply Tim Knight August 6, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Actually came to watch this for help on using the scissor tool and foreground tool.
    So…..this tutorial pretty much sucked!

  • Reply FreeSoftware August 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    Selections can be rotated as well. Nice video. Regards.

  • Reply TOP 10 CARS September 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    ◘•◘ OMG

  • Reply HR/ Gaming Content & More! September 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    🙂

  • Reply MrGoldenKity 534 October 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    lol

  • Reply TheFizzleFlame October 8, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    very helpful! thank you bro!

  • Reply Cyrill Chrysos October 17, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Thanks!

  • Reply Elizabeth Rhodes October 29, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    How does the image become translucent? Is that a dumb questions?

  • Reply Ed Caraballo November 10, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    You are an awesome teacher. very clear and thorough. thank you so much!

  • Reply Lexyvil November 14, 2015 at 12:21 am

    I just started delving into Gimp for the first time (migrating from Photoshop Elements due to a lack of the Pen tool) and so far this is the best basic tutorial I've seen. You quickly and efficiently explain the main features in a way that can easily be remembered.

  • Reply Nismo PM November 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks imma be using this

  • Reply 陶正凯 November 19, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Good courses!

  • Reply Tommy Carstensen December 10, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    How do I remove some black lines and shapes from my png image?

  • Reply william elmore January 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Sometimes my brush gets stuck on a color, and no mater what other color I change it to its still stuck, even when I switch brushes.
    HELP! T-T

  • Reply J.R. Worley January 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    I've watched a lot of these on gimp…. this one is by far the most informative and easiest to understand

  • Reply MD ML January 21, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Did you ever make part 2?

  • Reply Travis Tatum March 7, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for this helpful video 🙂

  • Reply Bella Morice March 7, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    good vid ;/

  • Reply Maj David March 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    hi i really need some help, I'm using gimp with my drawing tablet and I keep having the same problem, everything I draw is super pixelated, even tough I haven't zoomed in or anything it looks horribly pixelated and I can't get it to look even, no matter which tool I use. please help !

  • Reply natasha groves March 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Guys I've wished for GIMP cuz I wanna do drawing, photo editing, etc online xD

  • Reply HonzaZalabak April 1, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks  lot! nice how to basic for this program

  • Reply Jagdish April 4, 2016 at 1:17 am

    is it virus free

  • Reply Jack Bailes April 17, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    This was very helpful but you sounded so emotionless while explaining it.

  • Reply tonia gridley April 23, 2016 at 5:13 am

    just want to say i have watched so many of your tutorials..did not know to do a thumbs up..so if you see your numbers going up i have been one of those from now..on.. ty you speaker and sound clarity..your easy non accented sound as well make you easier for me to decern what you are saying..the way you break things down so simplistically is …something that really makes what i am learning now make sense….idk how to thank you enough. the spead with which you go through things as well…gives me time to take in what i am learning. hagd or evening..either or..:)

  • Reply Leia Eaglestar May 6, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Hur tar man bort exempel en hatt på en människa?

  • Reply Shepherds & Chardonnay May 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    you move through too fast fot beginners even though it is a beginners video. when you move the cursor around a lot it is hard to follow but you do not explain everything you are doing so that makes the video unnecessarriy confusing.

  • Reply Joel Garcia May 28, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Actually the path tool is quite useful, and is probably used more than you think. I highly recommend learning it. Nothing worse then not knowing how to use something when you need it!

  • Reply IExist June 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    The only thing i wanted to do was
    1. Get 2 pictures beside each other
    2. Get af netrual background
    But nooooo of course it had to be a douche about scaling, it constantly reversed what I did.

  • Reply David T. June 7, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    hey, I have a question. I have this image and I want to convert the colors on it from green to orange (of course with the same size and value). Is there a faster way to do that than searching out each pixel that is the color that I want to change and manually replacing it with the color that I want?

  • Reply MiaDevlin69 June 17, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Thank you for posting this video .. just downloaded gimp and needed a quick overview. This was very helpful. Much Appreciated.

  • Reply MELANCHOLYMEDIA July 10, 2016 at 12:46 am

    wheer is a safe link for me to download this?

  • Reply Hawra Harianawala July 25, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    very cool tutorial:) Thanks

  • Reply Lee Robbins August 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Why would you not go over each tool? Furthermore, Why would you recommend that someone not use certain tools?

  • Reply Wills Vids October 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    i save the project i made to pictures but when i try to open it , it doesnt show up

  • Reply Hugo G. October 25, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Thanks man. I've always been kinda intimidated by gimp. This was a lot of help.

  • Reply Ziggletooth November 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    The toolbar on the left doesn't have all the features on my installation. How do I get them?

    For me it ends with foreground/background colours, then it says you can place dockable dialogs here but I haven't been able to do that.

  • Reply i5 4670k November 2, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    More people should use GIMP, it's free AND open source, what more could one wish for..

  • Reply Tyrone Slothdrop November 28, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Will these tutorials work for gimp 2.8 as well?

  • Reply Marcia Gibson January 3, 2017 at 1:00 am

    This is all new to me can someone tell me where the "tool options" is at

  • Reply The- okers January 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

    i heard michall babies! whY?

  • Reply twist February 13, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Good video but unfortunately gimp sucks and is only around because this in mediocre school learning course

  • Reply Master Skincare Specialist February 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Great lesson for me ..Thanks

  • Reply shirish pathak April 1, 2017 at 6:22 am

    please please please some body send me tutorials in wordings and not video the language often very fast and difficult and pronunciation always difficult to understand.

  • Reply Bryn Stevenson-Davies April 13, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Davies is a Welsh surname meaning son or follower of David. Welsh spelling is Davies pronounced Davis. Be proud of your heritage and no more Daveeze please.

  • Reply Tarquin45 April 20, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I always used Picasa because it was adequate with someone like myself with only basic computer skills. Now I don't have it, I find Gimp so complicated and feel I will never be able to master it. Basically, all I need are 3 things, a cropping tool, a lens dirt removal tool and a contrast and light tool. Could you give me some advice, other than sell my laptop?!

  • Reply ruthpol April 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Concise and to the point tutorial.

  • Reply Davies Media Design April 27, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Thanks to everyone for helping us reach the 200,000 view milestone on this video! This is the second video on our channel to do so. You all are awesome!

  • Reply SQUISHY LIFE June 12, 2017 at 2:45 am

    love this vid! just got gimp and Know I'm starting to get it!!!

  • Reply Israfel36 August 18, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    This just be me but when making a tutorial on something, especially a program, you should show how the entire program functions. Just because you don't use a specific function doesn't mean that others won't. It would be like watching a tutorial on carpentry and the carpenter saying, "this tool is called a hammer but I don't use so I'm not going to show you what it's used for in carpentry." In a specific project, sure, but this is a bare bones tutorial and makes me feel like I can't trust that you won't pass on other things that I might actually use.

  • Reply Peter Vautier September 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    I have a question about the rotate function (9:45): is this for if you are drawing with a graphics pad, like when you would turn a piece of paper around to make it easier to draw a particular angle? or is this for a different function? I'm asking because I'm looking for a way to turn the image around when I am drawing, as I find certain things easier to draw when I turn the paper (or image, in this case…)

  • Reply Joe Pettibone September 28, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    thanks this was helpful for my tech ed class at school

  • Reply 陈瀚龙 September 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I've spent weeks trying to get GImp to let me type a single letter of text, and it won't work. I've watched tutorials, read the manual. No luck. It does't do what I see others doing. The cursor moves, nothing comes out.

  • Reply Alex Newell October 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Tutorial for beginners? You are just going through the Tools and you use LAYERS? I'm sure you are a great designer but you have no clue how to teach. Try with face to face teaching first – then you'll see how to sequence items step by step.

  • Reply Ollie Octopus October 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    S-L-O-W D-O-W-N! This is supposed to be for beginners.

  • Reply Zeeem99 October 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I'm still finding layers in Gimp very confusing. As many know, in PS you open your image and than add layers to make your adjustments etc. In Gimp , I open my image and click on "new layer" and when I try to edit the layer i geta message that I can't because the layer is empty (or words to that effect). It seems that the only way to edit your adjustments is to keep duplicating the main image(?) – is this correct or am I missing something. Also what's with the choice when clicking on a new layer- why would I want that layer to be completly black or white or whatever! Still can't figure this out and none of the tutorials seem to explain this. In my humble opinion Gimp tutorials should, apart from obviously explain the basic tools etc also state how these tools were executed in PS. Lets face it, everyone uses PS and if the gimp developers want more people to use their (rather amazing) programme , they have to explain; "in PS you did this to achieve this- in Gimp you do it this way

  • Reply Noud Peeters November 5, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Thank you, now i can properly use gimp.

  • Reply อย่าให้จิตเป็นนาย กายเป็นบ่าว November 29, 2017 at 6:23 am

    ขอบคุณค่ะ

  • Reply Reinhard Schumacher April 3, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    I opened up the 2.8.22 file for my mini mac and there wasn't any hanging files. I opened the tools but there is not another one for the right side, layers. these files are enpty. am I suppose to open some files to get these files to open? Thanks!

  • Reply Greg Kisinger May 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    I really want to learn all about gimp and so thanks for the tutorials.

  • Reply Edward May 13, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Im so confused and heres why, Whenever I upload and image and try to paint on it it just appears as the colours that the image is! Ive downloaded gimp over and over and nothing!

  • Reply Joan M July 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I can't seem to get to first base. The page is totally dark gray. There is no color at all – even on the tool bar or layers panel. Then I hit a wrong button and both the tool bar and layers panel disappeared. How do i get out of this? I have version 10.2.4

  • Reply Davies Media Design August 6, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    We've updated this tutorial for 2018! Check it out here: https://youtu.be/2EPIUyFJ4ag

  • Reply cmcmillon November 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Too fast for an old beginner ….

  • Reply Sanshubh Kukutla February 17, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    I like how you get straight to the point in this tutorial. Thanks a lot!

  • Reply Nicklaus Moody April 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    I’m trying simply upload a image into gimp on my chrome book and whenever I try to click open non of my downloaded photos are there. Can anyone help?

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