GIMP Text Effects Tutorial {Grass}

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Growing grass in the real world is hard enough. But, what about in the digital world? Actually, it’s relatively easy. In this GIMP text effect tutorial, you’ll learn how to grow grass in your text.

The secret to growing grass in GIMP are specific adjustments to the paint dynamics. In this design project, you’ll learn the paint settings for growing grass, how to retouch an image, and much more.

Ready to sow some seeds? Awesome, let’s do it…

Note: the video tutorial was created with beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Create a New Document

My preferred canvas size for design projects is as follows; 1920 x 1080 @ 300 ppi. For the canvas color, let’s go with #ded9d9.

create a new document

Pro Tip:

Why a resolution of 300 ppi? The reason is GIMP, unlike Photoshop, is 100% raster-based software (i.e., pixel-based).

The text, in GIMP, will have sharper details at a higher resolution.

Even when I’m working on a design project that’s mostly for online use, I will still use a resolution of 300.

Once I’m done with the project and ready to post online, I will then resize the canvas to 72 ppi.

Step 2: Add Image + Retouch

Download this image.  Then, add it to your new GIMP canvas. It’s really easy to do…

retouch the image

Once you release your mouse button, the file will open as a new layer. Double click on the layer name to rename it to “Grass Image.” Next, we need to get rid of the leaf in the middle of the image.

To remove the leaf, we first need to make a selection of it. Grab your Free Select tool and draw around the leaf. To complete the selection, go back to where you started. Once you get close enough to it, you’ll see a yellow circle. Hover over the circle and release your mouse button to complete the selection.

We need to move the selection over a part of the grass where the leaf isn’t. You can do this by holding down your Alt or Option key and dragging to a new location. Make sure you move it to a place where only the grass exists and copy it with Ctrl or Command + C.

Move the selection back over the leaf and paste with Ctrl or Command + V. Create a new layer and then right-click on it and select Merge Down.

Step 3: Add Text + Align To Center

add some text

My font type choice for this project is a free font from Google called Oswald Bold. Let’s add some text in all caps “Grass.” For the font size, I’m using 500. As far as the color, it doesn’t matter since it will be filled in with grass in the next step.

To align the text in the center of the canvas, locate your Align tool (Q). Click on the text layer boundary (on the canvas) to activate the layer to be aligned.

In the tool options, set the “Relative to” with “First Item.” Then, locate the two icons to center with that are labeled…

Step 4: Clip Image to Text

clip the image to the text

Unlike Photoshop, it’s a little more challenging to clip an image to text. First, select your text by right-clicking on the text layer and selecting “Alpha to Selection.”

The text layer is no longer needed. Move the text layer to the bottom by clicking and dragging it down.

Next, invert the selection…

Select > Invert

Hit your Backspace or Delete key, and your grass will be confined in the text. Don’t forget to deselect with Shift + Ctrl or Command + A.

Step 5: Settings For Growing Grass

The key to this text effect is not the use of a brush but the eraser tool instead! Make sure you have your eraser tool selected before setting up the dynamics. Navigate to the paint dynamics panel to set up your eraser.

Windows > Dialogs > Paint Dynamics

Next, right-click inside the panel and choose “New Dynamics.” Give your paint dynamic a name which will save your settings for future use. Review the image below for the dynamic settings.

use these settings to achieve the desired text effect

In the tool options, we have a couple more settings to adjust. The first is the Dynamic Options. Scroll down and expand this option. Inside you’ll find “Fade length.” Set it to 40.

The next option is the secret for achieving this text effect. Scroll to the bottom of the tool options and turn on “Anti erase.” Finally, set your eraser size to around 20 to start.

eraser Settings for the desired text effect

Step 6: Grow Your Grass Out of Your Text

Now that your eraser settings are set up correctly, it’s time to make the grass grow out of your text!

Start your eraser application along the edge of a letter and drag out. As you do, a blade of grass will be revealed from thick to thin.

For a realistic text effect, the key is applying a brushstroke that aligns with one inside the letter. Plus, you may want to alter the eraser size larger and smaller to add to the randomness.

Step 7: Style With a Drop Shadow

add a drop shadow

I’d like to add a little bit of depth with a drop shadow for this design project. Easy to do with GIMPs built-in Drop Shadow tool.

Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow

Adjust the settings based on your creative vision. One last thing to do and that is…

Action Is Power

… it’s now your turn to complete this graphic design project, and I want to see your final design.

Head on over to our community and post your grass text effects project. I’ll answer any of your questions. Also, if you want feedback, add #CC.

Before you go, check out my GIMP text effects playlist with over 20 more GIMP tutorials.

Using GIMP can be challenging when you’re new to the software. If you’d like to master GIMP with less frustration, check out my GIMP Made Easy tutorials.

You can also click here to find all my free articles on GIMP.

Would you like to see how to process this design in Photoshop? If so, check out the Photoshop videos tutorial and article.

Like this article? If so, please share!

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