Even Quicker Way to a Digital Painting Look in GIMP

Last month I demonstrated a quick way to achieve a traditionally painted effect on a 3D render, using GMIC’s Brushify filter in GIMP.

If you are a GIMP user, there are even quicker and easier ways to get a basic painted effect. These are not as sophisticated as Brushify, but are simple to apply. Also, you won’t need to install anything beyond the core GIMP application.


If you take a look at the Filters menu in GIMP, you’ll find an Artistic sub-menu. Sounds promising? Take a closer look. The first option is Apply Canvas. It applies a canvas effect using a repeated tile. (This is not entirely seamless so you may notice a repeated square effect on your image once applied).

The options are simple. You can choose the direction, which will subtly alter the appearance, and the depth, which will apply the effect more or less strongly. I recommend staying low on the depth. I’d … Continue reading

Quick Way to create a Painted Effect on a 3D Render: The Brushify Filter (Digital Painting Part 2)

Result of GMIC Brushify filter on 3D art portrait - closeupYesterday I showed you how I created my base render that I’m going to be using to demonstrate digital painting effects and techniques. I applied some basic postwork in GIMP (Photoshop or similar would be equally good) to get it cleaned up and ready to work with. This included blending in spot renders to correct facial proportions and skin tone, plus removing unwanted shadows and highlights. Anyone working from a photo would also deal with skin blemishes and other cosmetic improvements, but in 3D we have the advantage of dealing with perfect models. In fact, we’re more likely to be found adding that kind of thing in ‘for realism’!

How I reached my own end result isn’t actually all that important, since you’ll now be working with … Continue reading

Creating a Digital Painting from a 3D Art Render: Part 1

A postworked likness in 3D of an actorLately I’ve been playing with ways to achieve a hand-painted look with 3D renders. This includes actual digital painting but also quicker fixes with filters. I thought I’d share that process.

First, of course, you need a suitable render… and that step is entirely up to you. It doesn’t matter what render engine or software you use. Some people create all their content themselves, others use ready-made figures, clothing and props. Do what works for you.

I chose to do a male portrait. Female portraits are overwhelmingly popular in the 3D world, as you won’t have failed to notice. I found it interesting to work with a male character instead and my approach to post-processing and even lighting choices was influenced by that.

Creating the Character

For those interested, I rendered my … Continue reading

Using Ron’s (Deviney) Photoshop Brushes in GIMP

If you are a Daz 3D customer, and haven’t yet taken advantage of the Fast Grab 70% discount on Ron’s brushes, these are a fantastic deal. The bundles especially are amazing value. They have been there a couple of days now but look set to stay for the weekend.

I know the first time I treated myself to some Deviney Photoshop brush sets I was worried that they wouldn’t work in GIMP. However, GIMP can read the Photoshop .abr format just fine. Here’s a quick post on how to get them from your product library into GIMP. There are a few forum posts with similar information but the forum can be hard to search once things vanish from page 1, so I thought it worth sharing what I do myself, step by step. This process works for any other brushes you have downloaded from free brush sites too.

Loading an .ABR File in GIMP

  • Forget about DIM or … Continue reading
  • Filter Forge: Old Book Illustrator

    I’ve been busy elsewhere lately and missed a comment from John Jones that had been sitting a while waiting for a reply (sorry about that, John). John’s question was about a Filter Forge filter used in my YouTube video showcasing some of the different possibilities. Here it is again if you missed it:

    Anyhow, although I’ve replied to that comment I thought it more likely John and anyone else who is interested would catch a new post.

    The filter in question was the first one. My notes have it as ‘Old Book’, which means it is Old Book Illustrator by Gene S Morgan. I don’t have a note of which preset I started from, or what modifications I made, but many of the presets are heavy on the ink effect so I either went with one that had lighter ink to begin with or I dialled back the Outline Detail to a low value. Playing around … Continue reading

    Filter Forge: Give Your Creativity a Boost

    filterforge_reviewIf you’re a photographer or digital artist and you haven’t yet tried Filter Forge, you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun. But don’t feel like you’ve been left behind. With even more improvements lined up for the Filter Forge 5.0 release, this creative toolbox just gets better and better, making this the perfect time to jump on board.

    What is Filter Forge and What Software is Required for Use?

    Filter Forge is described in by the creators as an advanced Photoshop plugin allowing you to build your own filters. Now, I know many of you do use and love Photoshop, but if you don’t, stay with me here. I’m about to share a secret that’s a little too well-kept for my liking: you don’t need Photoshop to use Filter Forge. It can be … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 4)

    GMIC Filters Part 4And so to Part 4, where we’ll take a look at the remaining filters in the Artistic category of the G’MIC menu. To learn what G’MIC is and how you can use it for free (entirely above-board and for any purpose) see part 1 of Fun with Filters: G’MIC. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, you don’t actually need to use GIMP to be able to access all the wonderful tools of G’MIC. However, GIMP is also freely available and I find the GIMP plug-in a convenient way to access G’MIC since I generally have GIMP open regardless.

    A quick recap: we’ve been looking at some of the most colourful and creative effects in the G’MIC filter arsenal. In Part 1 we previewed … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 3)

    20b_graphicboostContinuing from part 2 and our look at fun postwork effects you can add to your 3D artwork using the G’MIC plug-in. Right now we are still looking at the Artistic category of filters, which have some of the most interesting results from the point of view of a digital artist. In Part 1 we looked at Anguish through to Cartoon, and in Part 2 we have examples of Chalk It Up through the rest of the C and D filters to Ellipsionism.

    Here we’ll start again at F and look at Felt Pen through to Morphology Painting.

    Felt Pen
    You can get some nice, clean results with this filter. Because … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP (Part 2)

    GMIC Filter Postwork in GIMPIn Part 1 of Fun with Filters, I started showing you the arty effects you can get when you apply G’MIC’s Artistic category filters to your renders. (Learn what G’MIC is and how you can get it for free in my previous post.) I use G’MIC in GIMP but it can also be used via a web interface or with digital painting software Krita.

    This plug-in surprised me with how good it is, and I now spend many happy hours trying out different effects. In a bid to show you how they work with digital art, I’m continuing my journey through the Artistic subset in the G’MIC menu to produce some demo images using a 3D render. These example images are rather small … Continue reading

    Fun with Filters: G’MIC for GIMP

    03b_blackcrayonPostworking can be a great opportunity to make a render or even a photo come to life. All you need is some image processing software and you can fix flaws and make a dull image shine. Add some filters and effects and you have even more ways to work on your digital art to get the look you want.

    I love filters, and as a GIMP user I was thrilled to discover G’MIC. This amazing package of filters and effects can be downloaded free and installed as a GIMP plug-in. Since GIMP is also open-source and free of charge, there’s no catch. Just a whole lot of fun and potentially some impressive results.

    G’MIC stands for GREYC’s Magic for Image Computing, and if you follow the link in that text you’ll arrive at the … Continue reading