Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to use Gimp for beginners - Lesson 3 - Layers and Selections

Thanks to the Gimpchat forums for helping me figure out how to perfect these videos. Come check us out and join our community at
In this tutorial, I explain how to use gimp for beginners. This video explains how layers work, and goes over some basic selection methods that will be built on in later lessons.
This tutorial was made using Gimp 2.6. If you are running a different version some functions and methods, although slight, may be different. I recommend using the newest version of Gimp.
Lessons Shown In Beginning of Video:
Make a girl look cold and scary
Make a house look haunted
Add Sun Rays to a Photo
Selective Colorization (Baseball Player)
Related Posts:
Principles of Photo Editing - Free eBook
3 Tools Every Gimp User Should Know About
<<Lesson 2 - Under the Hood


  1. Ah yes, nice intro to layers.
    Maybe you could add a level of complexity,
    where the cheese is too big to rotate
    without getting truncated.
    And how to fix it.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I think I am going to explain the layer boundaries in the layer mask lesson.

  3. Alex,

    well done! Your style of teaching is very easy to follow, and as a new gimper, I am able to follow your instructions easily and start to see results right away. Thank you so much.


  4. Made my first pic!! This was GREAT!! I have tried suff with "Paint" before - forget it. You are such a good teacher for one who has NO experience!! Can't wait to learn more. Thank you so much for making this.

  5. Great job Alex, Wish ya good luck,I have one question, everytime i start gimp i must place the 3 windows in there place is there another way to do that one time without repition ?

  6. As a matter of fact there is. It's a setting buried in the preferences window. Do this:

    click on edit>>>preferences
    under the Window management tab, check the "save window positions on exit" click on the "save window positions now" button just for good measure.

    I actually talk about the preferences window in lesson 2 which can be seen here:

    There is a lot of stuff in the preferences window that will make gimp run much faster on your computer, and I highly recommend checking out that video if you haven't already.

  7. Thanks i didnt know :/ the there is this videos , what i can say thank you are the best gimper :D

  8. No problem. I'm happy to help, and completely understand how easy it is to miss something like that. If you need any more help feel free to ask.

  9. Hi Alex -- great videos!! The only thing that didn't work for me was holding control + shift to get the shapes to center on the guides -- not a huge deal because I'm sure I'll be able to eyeball it most of the time, but any ideas? Lynn

  10. It might be me but i cannot find the tutorials for the different picutures shown in the beginning of lesson 1. Could you point me the right direction please.
    Great tutorials - simple, clear and easy to understand. You make me want to use GiMp right away;

    1. You're right, I should have these vidoes linked underneath the video on here as well as youtube. I went ahead and added the links to each lesson shown in the beginning of each tutorial. Thanks for the tip, and I hope it helps.

      Enjoy the tutorials!

  11. I was searching Layers and Selections tutorial .

  12. Really this tutorials is more important for beginner .

  13. Thanks for the great tutorial. Always love to visit your blog. Thanks again


Wacom Tablet

In my Gimp Tutorials, I frequently use Wacom Tablets. Here is an awesome wacom tablet I recommend using.
A Wacom tablet will enhance your GIMP photo editing experience by offering a pressure-sensitive touch that translates to varying transparency when making brush strokes in GIMP.

Gimp Reference Manual

I highly recommend getting this Gimp book to use as a reference manual in conjunction with my tutorials. This book will explain how the tools I use work. My tutorials will give you practical applications for the tools shown in this book.