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GIMP Tutorial #10 – How to Create a Luminous Circle Effect

GIMP is the acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program but it is also the name of the most powerful yet versatile free image editor out there, this outstanding piece of freeware gives its users the capabilities and the most handy tools you can think to edit retouch, create and manipulate all kind of images and photos. One of GIMP's most interesting features is the possibility to create images from scratch with tons of filters and fascinating effects all managed with layers and great history control. Today's tutorial takes advantage of this above mentioned drawing features applied to create a breathtaking luminous circle effect.

As you know all you need to follow this tutorials is to have GIMP installed in your Windows-based machine. To do so click the “Download” button above and get your free fully featured version. InstallIQTM will take care of the setup process.

Step one: go to File → New... in the Main window menu and create a new blank image , mine was 640 x 480 pixels but you can pick any size you need.

Step two: select the Bucket Fill Tool and make the background layer black by clicking on any point of it. (check that the background color is set to black)

Step three: Go to the Layers box and make a new layer, name it as circle A.

Step four: With this new layer selected, create a circle in the middle of the image by using the Ellipse Select tool with the Fixed Aspect Ratio checkbox selected.

The next step is to set a radial gradient for it. Click on the Blend Tool and go to the Foreground and background color selector and set the foreground color to white.

Next go to the options panel of the Blend Tool and set “FG to transparent gradient” for the Gradient option

Click its reverse box, then adjust the Offset to around 40 and in the Shape box select Radial. Now apply the gradient starting from the center of the circle.

Go to the Select menu and choose None.
Now you have to duplicate the layer two times and rename them as circle B and circle C.

Select the Move Tool and move circle C a bit down and to the right. Next duplicate layer circle C and rename it circle D and move it to the top and the left.
You'll get something like this:

Now repeat the duplication till you get 5 circle layers. That is one more time.

So, now that you have those 5 circle layers created and arranged set the layer mode to Screen.

Duplicate circle E layer one more time name it F and move it to the top right and change Layer Mode to Overlay

And now duplicate layer F two times name them G and H.

Create a new layer named Gradient and select the Gradient Tool, set its Opacity to 100 and select Deep Sea for the Gradient option and Linear for the Shape.

Apply the gradient to the new layer

Now change layer mode to Overlay

Duplicate the Gradient layer and reduce its opacity to 50%

Create a new layer named Reverse Gradient and change Blend's Gradient option to reverse and apply apply Blend tool opposite way moving the cursor from top right to bottom left.

Change layer mode to Overlay and it should look like this:

Cool huh?

Final Words

In our next tutorial I'm going to tell you how to add some spotlights to this image using the Gaussian Blur filter, so stay tuned!!
Download GIMP now, just hit the “Download Now” link below and start creating cool luminous circle effects.

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