In this tutorial we will fake a rain animation effect using GIMP. The end result should be something like this:
Now let's proceed at work, step by step:
- Select a start image, something that will fit with the rain, here I used a photo, but you can apply it also to a drawing. As I intend to get something gloomy, I made the picture darker (use whatever way you want: color levels, color curves, brightness/contrast. etc.
- Also for an increased unnatural and gloomy effect, I used a Cartoon filter (Filters > Artistic > Cartoon), but this step is entirely optional.
- Add a new layer, fill it with white and yet another layer, make it transparent. Fill the transparent layer with random noise (filters > Noise > Hurl; make sure Randomize is checked). Merge the two layers, we need only one (you can skip the creation of the white layer, it was used in the tutorial to show a clearer picture of what it happens, the transparent one is enough). Make it grayscale (I used Layer > Colors > Desaturate).
- Apply a Blur filter (Filters > Blur > Blur) and a Motion Blur filter (Filters > Blur > Motion Blur), leave it as Linear and adjust the Length and Angle.
- Change the Layer mode for the noise layer to Screen and adjust its Color Levels as shown (Tools > Color Tools > Levels).
- We have one frame of the animation, let's do some more, for a total of about 4 or 5. Duplicate the base photo, and for each duplicate repeat the previous steps, by adding a transparent layer, fill it with noise, apply blur and motion blur, desaturate, change the mode to screen, ajust levels.
- Merge Down the rain (noise) layers to their photo backgrounds to get the final frames of the animation. You can Preview the end result (Filters > Animation > Playback), I was not happy with how the raindrops look at the edges, so I had to use one of the two possible solutions: either crop a few pixels from the margins or add a border over each frame. As I wanted a gloomy effect, I added a thin black border.
- As we want the final animation in GIF format and GIF uses indexed colors, change the image mode from RGB to Indexed (Image > Mode > Indexed) - better do it manually to control the dithering than leave GIMP to do it by itself. Also GIMP offer an optimization, use it (Filters > Animation > Optimize).
- Save As GIF, be sure to save as animation by selecting the option and specify the animation speed by adjusting the delay (in milliseconds).
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Update: a Romanian translation is also available.
This tutorial is free, but if you find it entertaining, pretty please (this is not a requirement, only my humble wish) send an email to dioanad at server gmail.com with thanks for motivating me to publish it and expressing your unhappiness to the same person for destroying my motivation to publish more.Many thanks to my friends at OpenArt.ro, www.xdrive.ro and Inovatika for motivating me to write this.
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