Gimp tutorial – How to create a nice dotted background

dotted_bg_tutorial

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a nice dotted background with a metallic look in a few easy steps that imitates a metal plate with holes in it.
We’ll be using checker board pattern, newspaper filter, shadow filter and a few cuts to achieve our goal.

1. Start with a black background 600x600px design as in the next image. It is a good ideea to give a name to your image and save it. I named mine dotted_bg_tutorial.xcf and renamed the start layer background.

dotted_bg_tutorial.xcf

600x600px graphic

2. Add a new transparent layer and name it dots. Change the foreground color to a dark grey (#3a3a3a), then go to menu -> Filters -> Render -> Patterns -> Checkerboard and set size to 10px.

Checkerboard

Checkerboard properties

After clicking ok we’ll have the following image:

Checkerboard image

Checkerboard image

3. Now go to menu -> Filters -> Distort -> Newsprint and set the parameters as follows (cell size to 10px – the same as the checkerboard cell size, angle to 0, lock_channels on and antialias oversample to 5):

Newsprint filter parameters

Newsprint filter parameters


Click ok and we’ll get something like this:
Newsprint filter applied to checkerboard

Newsprint filter applied to checkerboard

4. Now on the Toolbox window click Select by Color tool (Shift + O) and click inside one of the dots. This will select all the dots from the image. Delete the selection.
The same effect can be achieved using Color to Alpha from the Colors menu.
Now we have allot of transparent dots as in the next picture (hide the background layer to see the result):

Transparent dots

Transparent dots

5. Lock the alpha channel of the dots layer and select the linear gradient tool (black to white) from the Toolbox.
Apply the gradient fill to the dots layer from bottom to top, and unhide the background layer.

Gradient with holes

Gradient with holes


We are almost ready.
6. Now go to menu -> Filters -> Light and Shadow -> Drop Shadow and enter the parameters as follows:
Drop shadow parameters

Drop shadow parameters


Click ok and we’re done.
Final image

Final image

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