Photo Editing

Today we're going to play with editing photos using the free program Gimp. A copy of Gimp is stored in my folder on the Shared Drive (T:\). The portable version of Gimp can also be found online and downloaded to your flash drive. If you want to install it on your home computer you can find it at
Make the background transparent.

  1. For today, unpack Gimp Portable on your flash drive.
  2. When that's done click on the clown face to the right. Right click on the image that pops up and save the picture on your flash drive.
  3. Now that you have the picture, you're going to remove the background.  Start up Gimp and load the picture into it.
  4. On the tools menu (the one not connected to the picture, click on the wand tool. It looks like a little stick that is glowing on the end.
  5. Now click on the picture of the clown. In the Layer menu above it, pick Transparency, and then Add Alpha Channel.
  6. Click in the black background of the picture. It should be highlighted.
  7. If it is, then under the Edit menu pick Cut.
  8. Hopefully part of your background just disappeared. If, however, part of the clown's head also disappeared, pick Undo from the Edit menu (or hit Ctrl and Z).
  9. Because there's a very dark shadow on the clown's forehead, you need to use a tool other than the wand tool.
  10. Back on the tools menu, select the Lasso tool.
  11. Use this tool to trace around the clown's head, being sure to go around to the beginning and form a complete loop. When you've done that, cut the section out using the Edit menu or Ctrl and X.
  12. Edit as much of the background out as you can using the Lasso. It might help if you increase the Zoom level of your image by going under the View menu and picking Zoom. This will allow you to get closer to the edge of the clown's head without cutting out parts of it.
  13. If you need to get in closer, try using the Eraser tool. The width of the eraser can be adjusted at the bottom of the Tools menu.
  14. When you've finally erased all that background, save the picture. The only picture formats that can have a transparent (see through) background are gif and png files. You want to export your picture as a png file.
  15. Now click this link to go to or this one to go to Download a background.
  16. Load the background into Gimp.
  17. Under the File Menu pick Open As Layer and load in your clown face this way. Make sure to load in the PNG file and not the original file.
  18. Save your creation. You may be warned that your new picture can't handle transparency. That's okay. Just click Export.
  19. Using the Text tool from the tools menu, add your name to the picture in a color that's easy to see. Save it and hand it in.