August 12, 2008

Create a Worn Vintage Pop Art Design

Pop art, vintage, and grunge are some of my favorite types of styles. They're back and you see them everywhere. Well, today I'm going to teach you how to create a worn vintage pop art design in Gimp based on a tutorial by Alvaro Guzman at PSDTuts. BTW, this is also my 100th post! Yay!

Remember you can click the images to view them full size. Oh, and here's a tip, be sure to save every so often, preferably after every step. Gimp has a tendency to crash a lot...

1) Alright, first we are going to start with the background. Create a new document that is 960x1280 in size. Why so big? Well, it's good to be able to work with a lot of space. If you need to later on, you can scale it down a bit, but keep it in proportion.

We need to use this image for the background. Open the image in Gimp and copy/paste into your document. Rotate, resize, and adjust it like I have done.

2) Now we are going to add a dirty style to the paper. Create a layer named "clouds" above the "paper" layer. Reset the foreground and background colors by pressing (D) and go to Filters > Render > Clouds > Solid Noise. Use these settings:
Random Seed: 0
Detail: 6
X Size: 3
Y Size: 4
Leave everything unchecked an click ok.

Now get out a huge, soft, eraser tool and erase big parts of the clouds. When done, set the layer mode to Burn and the opacity to 75%.

3) Now we are going to add different design elements to our design. We need in image of a person. I am going to use this image of a businessman here. Render him and copy/paste him onto a new layer named "man." For a guide on rendering in Gimp, you can visit this site.

4) Pop art can be bizarre sometimes. Don't know what I'm talking about? You can check out some bizarre pop art here. Because I like originality and, well, bizarre things, we are going to use a dog's head. Yeah, I know the original tutorial used a dog head, but, oh well. Dogs are man's best friend, right? You can go ahead and use something else if ya like. Same goes for the rest of the tutorial, as in, if you want to use something else, go ahead. It only shows how creative you can be.

Open up the image of the dog's head in Gimp and render it. Copy/paste onto a new layer in Gimp named "dog." Use a soft eraser tool and erase the man's head, leaving a nice, soft, rounded area around the neck, like in my example below. Place your dog head over it. Do your best with the eraser tool, paths tool, etc. to make the head blend in.

5) Merge your "man" layer with your "dog" layer. Name the layer "dog man" or something like that. Duplicate the "dog man" layer. On the "dog man layer copy" layer, set the mode to Burn. Lower the opacity to about 25%. Set the "dog man" layer mode to Hard Light.

Filters > Render > Clouds > Solid Noise. Keep the same settings and click ok. Erase parts of the cloud like we did before. Move the new clouds layer to the top of the layers palette. Set the mode to Burn and lower the opacity to about 45%.

6) For this next part, I would normally use custom shapes, but because we are in Gimp and not Photoshop, and because I'm to lazy to teach you how to make a sunburst in Gimp, we will download this sunburst shape I made in Photoshop. After you have downloaded it, in Gimp, click File > Open as Layers. Select the sunburst shape. Get out the magic wand tool and select the light blue area. Select > Grow. Grow by 1px and click ok. Delete. Select > Deselect. Colors > Hue/Saturation. Slide all 3 bars to the left and click ok.

Rotate the layer and scale to where the center of the sunburst is focused around the dogman's head, somewhat like mine. Change the layer mode to Overlay. Raise the sunburst layer to the top of the layers palette.

7) Now, we want the sunburst to be under the dogman layer, but we can't simply move the layer order because the dogman is set to a certain blending mode affected by the paper. To solve this issue, right click the dogman layer, and click Alpha to Selection. Select the sunburst layer and press delete. The sunburst over the dog should be deleted.

Now we want to add a little bit of grungyness to the sunburst. Right click on the sunburst layer and select Add Layer Mask. In the dialog that pops up, select "White (Full Opacity)." Get out some splatter brushes, and select black as the color. Lower the opacity of the brushes to about 80%. Now add a few splatters to the layer mask.

8) Alright let's add the drop shadow. Select the "dogman" layer. Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow. Use these settings:
Offset X: -8
Offset Y: -10
Color: #444444
Opacity: 80%
Do not allow resizing. Click ok.

Now right click on your "dogman" layer and select alpha to selection. Click on the drop shadow layer and press delete. This should get rid of the shadow not visible under the dogman. Lower the drop shadow layer to about 30%.

9) Now we'll add some patterns to the design. Download the pattern of your choice from here. Open up the image in Gimp. File > Save As. Save it in your Gimp patterns folder. Restart the Gimp to load the pattern. Be sure to save your work.

Open up your piece we have been working on. Create a new layer above the rest and name it "Texture 1." Get out the rectangular select tool and select an area that covers about 1/3 of the image from the bottom. Select the Bucket Fill tool. Select pattern as the fill type. Select your pattern shape in the patterns dialog that we saved earlier. Fill the selection.

Add a layer mask to the "texture 1" layer. Select the "White (Full Opacity)" option in the dialog that pops up. Use a black, hard round brush and erase parts of the mask where you don't want it to show. It's ok if some of it covers the dogman, because we'll fix that next.

Right click on the Dogman layer and select the Alpha to Selection option. Click the "texture 1" layer and press delete. Do the same with the drop shadow layer. Set the texture 1's layer mode to Multiply. Lower the opacity to what suits you.

10) Now let's make another pattern. Go to this website and pick a pattern of your choice. Open the pattern in Gimp and save it as a pattern like we did before. Go to the patterns dialog and click the refresh button at the bottom to refresh your patterns. Create a new layer above the rest and name it "texture 2." Fill it with your pattern. Right click, add layer mask. Select "Black (Full Transparency)." Get out the eraser tool and start erasing parts of the mask to what suits you.

Right click your dogman and click Alpha to Selection. Select the texture 2 layer and press delete. Do the same with the drop shadow layer. Set the texture 2 blending mode to Multiply and lower the opacity a bit.

11) Now if you notice, there is an awful effect where our two patterns overlay. To fix it, Right click on texture 2, and select Mask to Selection. Click the texture 1 layer and press delete.

12) The hard work is almost done! Now we are going to add some magazing clippings. Download this image and open it in Gimp. Cut out whichever words you like and paste them onto their own layers in our piece. Use different tools on them (ie. perspective, distort, scale, rotate, etc) to arrange them however you like. Give them drop shadows.

13) We'll be adding text shortly. For now, download these three sheets of paper: Paper 1, Paper 2, and Paper 3.

Open up Paper 2 in Gimp. Delete the white part around the paper and add the paper onto a new layer named "Paper 1" in our piece. You can use the burn tool to make the paper look a little more stressed. Go ahead and put the other 2 sheets in as well. Add drop shadows to them, too.

14) Now we'll add some text to on the pieces of paper. Get out the text tool and add a letter or whatever you like to each piece. Be sure to set the layer mode of each letter to Multiply and lower the opacity. Use different fonts for each.

15) Now we'll add some text over the background. Use any text you like. Set the layer mode to Overlay, and you're done!

Click to view full size!


  1. awesome job!
    thanks helped me learn to do this and many other things!

  2. reallly good stuff. :)

  3. Great tutorial and this will help me to learn more thing about this technique. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Cool! here's my effort, also using GIMP from the original PSDtuts tutorial.


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