How to create or modify a gradient in GIMP 2.8

I'm having a little difficulty figuring out how to use gradients in gimp 2.8, which I'm running on my Windows 7 system. I'm just trying to create some simple gradient effects, which I will use as backdrops for some photos I've taken. Specifically, I'd like to create and/or use vertical gradients, horizontal gradients, and spotlight effects.

Gimp includes many templates. However, I'd like to be able to modify those templates. In particular, I would like to be able to modify the foreground and background colors. So far, I haven't been able to figure out how to do so.

Alternatively, I would be willing to use existing backdrops from a library in the public domain. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
babyb00merAsked:
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MereteCommented:
babyb00mer Gimp is in my humble experience too hard and horrible to use compared to my Paintshop pro.
Working with backgrounds layers frustrated me too much so forgive me as I won't post personal guides.
Basically you need to create a new file and fill it.
To assist you
truely there is tons of guides on the net.
Gradients how to make them
 check out youtube for the video like these
How To Make A Simple Gradient Using Gimp 2.8 VIDEO
and another showing you how to make a gradient simply.
Spotlight effects
spotlight effects.gimp
Making Images seamless horizontally or vertically only (for "The GIMP")
http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-Images-seamless-horizontally-or-vertically-/
Gimp tuturials
http://www.gimpology.com/search?query=Gradients
This is a quick look at some of the most used (and helpful) plugins and scripts when editing a photograph. Includes G'MIC, wavelet decompose, luminosity masks, and more!
http://blog.patdavid.net/2013/07/getting-around-in-gimp-photography.html
Best of GIMP: 40 Professional Tutorials to Level Up your Skills
Gimpology tuturials on everything
Learn GIMP: From Greenhorn to Guru in 19 Lessons

 Good luck
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Create a new image in GIMP larger than the size on the image you want to frame.

In my example, my image is 1200x800 and I created a new image 1400x1000 with a transparent background (selected in the Advanced options of File ―> New).

Next, I opened my photo (1200x800) as a new layer and it centers automatically.

In the tools, you will see a Gradient tool. By default, it selects Foreground to Background colors. These colors can be changed by selection other colors or by using the predefined gradient patterns.

So to easily see what you're doing, select the Background layer and unclick the 'eye' to hide the image layer.StepsFinal resultIf you need more help, please post!
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I'm simply trying to create a variety of backdrops which I will use in another application to create a composite image. I have included a screenshot depicting how far I've gotten. Obviously, this gradient uses the default foreground and background colors. What I can't figure out is how to change those colors. I'm not sophisticated enough to have customized GIMP the way you have, but I'm guessing that both of us have access to the same tools. Is there a way to change the colors GIMP is using to create the gradient?gimp-screenshot.docx
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Hello Merete! I have taken a preliminary look at the tutorial on creating gradients in GIMP 2.8. It appears to be fairly comprehensive, but the author is going very fast. I'll be using the pause button quite a bit!
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Hi -

As I mentioned, the Gradient tool, by default, selects Foreground to Background colors.

Click on the Black to change foreground, then OK/ on White do change foreground, then OKGradient-colors.gif
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Ahh, the WikiHow might be easier to follow!
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Paul. I'm familiar with the icon you are using to change the foreground and background colors, but I'm having difficulty finding that icon in the toolbox. Oops, never mind! I found it.
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MereteCommented:
babyb00mer
I see what your trying to do, watch this video Fade Image In Gimp
 it uses an image to fade it but you can just a single  full colour grey and fade any part of it.
I've done this when making web buttons in PSP.
You can download these YT using YT downloader free version
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I used GIMP to create the following gradient…

Red and black gradient created with GIMPRed and black gradient created with GIMP
I photographed a picture of my bicycle in front of a green screen (Paul, you might remember this).

Chromakey photo bicycle
Finally, I used another application to create the composite image…

Composite image
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MereteCommented:
I remember that and we mentioned it was near impossible to replace the background because of the spokes.
They are missing somewhat still, your image is 45 megs how come?
If you had taken the photo a bit further away from wall there would be no shadows
Good job so far. I always use more than one application when needed.

paintshop pro
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Yep, those darn spokes! :-)

As you can see in the green screen image, the spokes are quite prevalent. However, when the image is imported into PhotoKey, the spokes are dropping out. I suspect that the spokes picked up some of the green background. I'm still learning how to tweak PhotoKey to compensate for that. In my latest attempt, I've managed to bring back some of the spoke detail.

Final JPEG
Regarding the size of the file, I think it's due to the size of the backdrops I created in gimp. I think the bit depth or resolution is too high. I'm still learning. :-(
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Oh, and the image was not compressed.
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MereteCommented:
I see makes sense, that last one is brilliant. Only minor jaggered edge. I'd like to test this  photo key
http://fxhome.com/photokey-6-pro made for green screens. Looks nice :) a bit expensive for the main task of replacing a background.
Shop around as there are cheaper it seems.
well done even if the shadow is wrong angle :)
Use a clone tool to take out the blotches in the front apart from that I'd give it 9 out of 10 A +
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Are you disparaging my shadows, Sir?! I should have known better than to publish that picture before making sure it was perfect! LOL

The truth of the matter is that I knew it looked screwy, but I got tired of trying to fix it. The application generates the shadow, but places it in the image in a relatively arbitrary fashion. It's the first time I've tried using that feature and when I tried repositioning the shadow, I started pulling on all the wrong handles and just made it worse! I've already tried another one with much better results.
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MereteCommented:
It's a  brilliant  effort babyb00mer
leave it with me and I'll clean up your edges in my PSP. Here you go :)
cleaned edges
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
So, how did you manage to clean up the wheels – that is, make the bottom edge around again? I have downloaded a trial version of PaintShop Pro. I'm assuming that's how you fixed it. May I bother you for the details?
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MereteCommented:
Not a bother at all,  but you may not like the detailing methods I use, I did more or less the entire bike.
I loaded your image them zoomed in to it using the magnifier, then section by section depending where the colour changes..
 Then using the lasso looking tool> freehand select tool I manually put a dotted line along the area to fix then brought it back to form a small flat area so it was like a small flat circle,
freehand selection tool
freehand selection toolthen using the fill bucket I click on a colour in the pallet and that gives me the eye dropper, using the eye dropper I click on the colour in that area ok it,
then bucket fill that spot presto the jaggered lines are gone.
 flood fill colour
2 flood fill colour Finally click on the magic wand and rightclick the image to remove the dotted lines. Then continue with the lasso tool with the next stage repeating the process. Some area I use the clone tool on rectangle to fill in any miss coloured spots.
magic wand to remove dotted lineNow I have two version of PSP Pro 7 and PSP 9  I felt they were the best and easiest.
I used PSP 7 Pro for this trick..
I also use this same similar method with the clone tool to fix lost bits but it is a bit time consuming, I don't mind as I'm quite fast at it as I do old photo retouch-up
So your version will be different with finding the tools. My PSP 9 has them hidden behind a small arrow., let me know which trial version you got.
PSP 9 swatches are   slightly different but not too hard. Check your swatch is on full colour not a pattern
PSP 9
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Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
I thought I had posted this yesterday :-O

The spokes are still quite a bit green around the gills (no shadow either)...
;-)

Using the GIMP only:Gimp version
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I apologize for putting you through all that trouble. After seeing the latest screenshots you sent, I realized that I didn't recognize the interface. Taking a closer look, it became apparent that we are talking about two different products. Actually, I downloaded PaintShop Pro by Corel. It looks like you're using PaintShop Pro by Jasc.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
But I do have GIMP. I imagine it has tools similar to those in PSP.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
And speaking of old photos…

I was visiting my stepmom last weekend, where I was using her garage as my studio. She brought me an old photograph of her great-great-grandparents, which had been defaced. She asked me whether I knew how to fix. Although I'm sure it can be repaired, I know I'm not the one who should attempt it.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
I have managed to steer this discussion off course. I have gained valuable information from all participating experts. If there are no closing comments, I'm going to go ahead and close it.
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babyb00merAuthor Commented:
Although I received feedback from multiple experts, I selected as the best solution the one that provided feedback on the original question. Alternative solutions were welcome and very informative.
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