Creating hair textures with highlights

Most users out there use either Photoshop or Paint ShopPro, but have any of you ever actually heard of The GIMP?

It is a free image editing software, that you candownload. It isn’t hard to use, it has the same kind of buttons as Photoshophas, and I would recommend it to anyone, this is what I use.

With the help and permission from stephtheskinner fromthe simchic forums,  I shall translate her hair texturing tutorial fromPhotoshop, to The GIMP, so that anyone can use it.

Credit for the original tutorial should go to Steph’swebsite,

All you will need is The GIMP, nothing else. So, let’sbegin shall we?

Step 1.

First of all, open your GIMP, and click File > New.

A box should come up, asking what size image you wouldlike. Make the image’s width and height both 512 pixels, like so.



Step 2.

Now, in your colour palette onthe GIMP sidebar, choose two colours. Make sure that both colours are similar,but one should be darker and the other lighter – basically two different tones.

Next, click on the Rectangular tool, and on the newimage, create a small rectangle on the side, probably about a sixth of the sizeof the page, and then, on the main GIMP sidebar, select the Gradient tool.







Step 3.

Now, with the Gradient tool (make sure you have the samegradient as I have), drag the tool from one side of the rectangle to the other,to create a gradient.

Do this bit over and over again (Rectangular tool, cutsixth of page, fill with gradient), until you come to the end of the page, itshouldn’t take too long.

Step 4.

Next, you’ll need to click Select at the top of the page,and click none, otherwise the next step we do will only work on the last bit ofgradiented rectangle we just did.

Step 5.

Now, here’s the next step. You need to click on Filtersat the top of the screen, and go to Noise, and then Scatter RGB, like so:

Your screen should have noise now, make sure that itisn’t overfilled with Noise though.

Step 6.

Now, click on Layer, Colours and then Colourise

Step 7.

This next step will take some time to get the perfect colourback to how it was, but basically, move the sliders across until you reach anidentical colour on to which you started off with.

Now I tried to do this job without colourising, and letme tell you, it ends up in a big mess. All the colours change into multicoloured lines, they dont keep the colours the brown tones they should be, so,I strongly recommend you don’t miss the colourising part.

Now, after you have the browny colour you desired (orwhatever hair colour you are doing), and are happy with it, this is the nextstep.

Step 8.

Head your mouse arrow over onto Filters > Blur >Motion Blur

Step 9.

Now, when the Blur windowcomes up, put length right up to the top, and make the angle to about 180;you’ll see why in a second. Also make sure Linear is selected, and then pressOK

You will notice that after doing this, that at the leftside on your image, lines have started appearing, going across. Now keep goingto Filters > Blur > Motion Blur over and over again (you dont need tochange any more settings now, just carry on motion blurring the picture, untilyou have something like this.)







Step 10.

That’s it!

You’ve done a hair texture!

Now, here’s what I do (you can do it any other way youcan think of, but this is much easier).

Step 11.

Save the file as a .pat.

To do this, go to File > Save as.

The, click on Browse for other folders, and it willextend the window into the image below

Now, on the image below, it should show the path you needto save the image as a .pat. Make sure you follow the exact path, otherwise youwon’t be able to find the hair texture when you click on Patters (patterns isunder Fill with a colour or pattern on main GIMP side window, and then SelectPattern fill, and find your pattern.

Step 12.

Now, you’ve found thelocation, next you need to ave it as a .pat.

Make a name for you hair, something like brownhair etc.

Click Select File Type (By Extension)

Search through the list until you find Pattern File, andthen click that, and then OK.

There we go!


Now, I need to reboot the GIMP sometimes to find thepattern file, you could do this too, if necessary

And there we have it, your own home made hair texture.

Thanks for reading!


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3 Comment(s) so far

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#1paotretaMar 19, 2009

waw!! thanks that was useful!

#2punxyisnotdeadFeb 7, 2010

Useful ! Thanks

#3teressa1Jul 16, 2010

what website did u get the gimp or photo shop from and is it free?\:o

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Looky what I made.... Woo! What am I currently doing.... Free Time!

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