Blackboard and Chalk effect with Gimp

I changed my wordpress theme to something dark so want a new header – why not a blackboard :D

  1. Create a new blank image – since the dimensions of the header are 760×200, I made it these dimensions
  2. Fill the background with a dark greeny colour – I chose #0b1205
    I chose a dark-green colour

    I chose a dark-green colour

  3. Go to filters->render->clouds->fog, set the colour to a light grey – I chose #d2c9b7 – and leave the other settings as they are (turbulence 1.0, opacity 100). This creates a new layer and renders some ‘fog’. Put the opacity of this layer to around 12.0
    I set the opacity to 12

    I set the opacity to 12

  4. Now for the text. Put some text on your blackboard with a whitish (#e7e7e7) font colour. Maybe try a slightly wavey font or one that imitates handwriting. I chose one of the Fell Types Fonts.
    A handwriting font may also look good.

    A handwriting font may also look good.

  5. Duplicate this layer. Now go to filters->map->warp. Leave almost everything as-is, but change the Dither Size to 1.0 (you may want to play around some more, but these settings seem to work).
    You could perhaps play around with these settings a bit more.

    You could perhaps play around with these settings a bit more.


    The text should now look fairly chalky.
  6. Lock the layer you just warped and select the other text layer – the one that hasn’t been warped. Put this below the warped layer. Choose filters->blur->motion blur. Choose Zoom. Set the centre of the blur to the right of your text and set the length to about 15.
    The result of the blur and the settings used to create this.

    The result of the blur and the settings used to create this.

  7. Set the opacity of this layer to about 15. Choose the smudge tool and a fairly large fuzzy brush. Smudge the layer about a bit.
    Just smudge it about a bit.

    Just smudge it about a bit.

  8. Make a new layer, call this border, and put it above all of the other layers. Choose select->all then select->shrink and enter the size of the border you want – I chose 12. Now choose select->invert and fill the resulting selection with a wood texture – I chose wood#1 but you could find a more exotic texture. Cancel the selection (select->none)
    Maybe not the most convincing wood texture, but it was there and I'm lazy.

    Maybe not the most convincing wood texture, but it was there and I'm lazy.

  9. Place guides at the edges of your border – i.e. for me this was at 12 and 188 vertically, 12 and 748 horizontally.
  10. Make a new layer called shadow, and put it beneath your border layer. Make sure snap to guides is turned on (view->snap to guides). Select a fuzzy brush sized about 13 pixels. Set the brush colour to black. Now stroke along the top and left guides. I did this twice for both.
  11. Make a new layer called highlight and put it beneath the shadow layer. Set the brush colour to white. Stroke along the right and bottom guides in the same way as before. This looks too bright, so set the opacity of this layer to about 6.
    Makes it look a bit more 3D.

    Makes it look a bit more 3D.

  12. All done!
    All done!

    All done!

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