How to Make Silhouettes in GIMP

by Daniel Ketchum

Silhouettes of famous people, not so famous people or ordinary objects can be an interesting addition to your publications, be they fliers, ads, pamphlets or articles. You might think that creating them would be a chore, but with GIMP, it's easy. GIMP is a freeware graphics program that has many of the same capabilities of its expensive cousin, Photoshop.

1

Open GIMP. Then go to File and click "Open." Browse to the file you want to make a silhouette from, and select it.

2

Go to Windows, then Dockable Dialogs, and open the "Layers Panel." Click on the "Create a New Layer" icon at the bottom of the panel. Do this again. You now have three layers, the bottom being the image on the background layer, and two empty layers above it.

3

Click on the top layer. Then go to the Toolbar and select the "Path Tool." Use it to click around the edge of the person or object you want to create a silhouette of. When you get back to where you started, click "Enter" to close the path.

4

Go to the Toolbar, and click "Selection From Path." Select the "Fill" tool and fill the selection with black. Then go to Select and click "None."

5

Select the middle layer, and then change the foreground color to white, and use the "Fill" to fill the layer with white.

About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.