How To Create Handwriting On a Foggy Window In GIMP

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In today’s GIMP tutorial, I’d like to show you how to handwrite on a foggy window in, well, GIMP!

You’ll learn about a cool, free font that will make this effect easier, how to make that text drip, how to blend an image in with another, and much more.

This is going to be an awesome tutorial. Guaranteed. If you’re ready, let’s do it!

Table of Contents

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

Step 1: Create a New Document

Let’s start off by creating a new document by going to File > New. You can use a keyboard shortcut instead; Ctrl or Command + N. For the width, let’s set it to 1920 and 1080 for the height.

For all my text effect projects, in GIMP, I prefer to use a resolution of 300ppi (see the pro tip below to find out why). The color doesn’t matter since we’re using an image for the background.

make a new doc

Pro Tip:

Why a resolution of 300 ppi?

The reason is GIMP, unlike Photoshop, is 100% pixel-based software. The text will have sharper details at a higher resolution.

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

Then, when I’m ready to post online, I will resize the canvas to a resolution of 72 ppi.

Step 2: Add Images, Resize + Rotate

add some images

I’ve included 2 free images to use for this design project. Here are the first and the second.

Once downloaded, locate them in your system folder and drag/drop over the GIMP canvas. After releasing your mouse button, both images will be added as new layers.

Grab the first image (cityscape) and resize with the Scale tool (Shift + S). Also, let’s blur this layer by going to Fitlers > Blur > Gaussian Blur. For the X and Y size set it to around 20.

For the second image (blurred street lights), rotate with the Rotate tool (Shift + R) and set the Angle to 90. Then, use the Scale tool again to fit it within the canvas (1920). Make sure this layer is above the cityscape image.

At this point, we can’t see the cityscape photo. So, we need to blend the two together. Go to Mode and choose “Lighten only.” There are a ton of different modes to choose from. Go through each one to see if you can find one you prefer over my selection.

Step 3: Add Text, Style + Rotate

add the text to your canvas

Now it’s time to add our text via the Text tool (T). I’m using a free font called Mortal Wave. This font is perfect for this text effect. The style of the font already has a drip-like effect.

For the font size, let’s set it to 500 and for the color, I’d recommend; #333333. Type out anything you’d like. My design includes two lines; “Missing You.”

Position the text, with your Move tool (M) to place it roughly in the center. Let’s rotate the text too. Grab your Rotate tool (Shift + R) and change the angle to around minus 7 or 8.

To enhance the effect, change the Mode to “Grain merge.” Boom! It now looks like you hand wrote on a window. You may want to also lower the Opacity a bit. It all depends on your creative vision for the design.

Step 4: Make Your Text Drip

make your text drip

Now the fun begins… make your text drip! First, let’s increase the Layer Boundary size; Layers > Layer to Image Size.

Next, we’re going to grab the magic tool to achieve this text effect: the Warp tool (W). The Warp tool works like a brush. So, go to the Tool Options and adjust the size to around 100.

Then, click on the bottom of a letter and drag it down. Keep clicking and pulling down to make the drip longer. How cool is that? I love it!!

Repeat as much as you’d like based on your desired outcome.

Action Is Power

Now it’s your turn to complete this design! Oh, and I want to see your final design too…

Head on over to our community and post your “foggy window text.” It’s a great place to ask questions, get feedback on your designs, and more.

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

Do you find working with GIMP challenging? If so, check out my GIMP Made Easy class.

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 tutorial and article.

Like this article? If so, please share!

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