Snazz up your screenshots

Hello to all; I recently made a nice Gimpage of a screenshot of my new Ubuntu setup which involved icon movement/ replacement (… 😯 ) and a change of wallpaper. I’ll be showing you how to add a little pizazz to a screenshot of your setup whether it be in Windows, OSX or Linux.

So first; I’ll be using the Gimp in this tutorial; although it can most likely be done in Photoshop. Let’s take a screenshot. A nice tip is to keep it clean and have maybe one small window open while displaying the wallpaper.

Let’s now open it up with the Gimp. Copy the entire screenshot and make a new document with double the width and height of it with each added 20 pixels to them. Make sure you have the layers dialog open (if you don’t, head to the main gimp window then File -> Dialogs -> Layers) and right click the layer and hit “Add Alpha Channel”.

When done, use the magic wand select tool and click anywhere. Now; hit delete to get a nice transparent background. Paste your screenshot in and then drag a guideline to the left side of your screenshot. Add another one 20 pixels down from the top of the image. Goto the layer dialog and you’ll find that it’s not anchored down to the layer named “Background”. Hit the anchor icon to do so.

Drag your pasted image into the guides and it should align nicely. Make a new layer now and name it “Reflection”. Go back to your original screenshot and make sure nothing’s selected. Use the flip tool then rotate it 180 degrees. Copy it and then paste it into your work in progress; once done, position it directly underneath the screenshot you pasted earlier.

Now; remember to anchor it because it’s pasted. We can now add some neat effects to the bottom screenshot. Let’s start by making it 15 percent opaque. Go to the layer dialog and lower it’s opacity from 100 to 85.

We can add some ripples now if you want. Goto Filters -> Distorts -> Ripple and press “Ok”. Let’s add a background now; create a new layer and choose your palette colours to match your desktop colours and now select the gradient tool and drag from the center to the bottom or top depending on what you want.

You can add a perspective to the picture too, it adds a kind of leaning back effect (don’t do it in the reflection though! 😉 ) which you can experiment with. You might want even to add a drop shadow somewhere.

Finally, scale the image (Image -> Scale Image) back to it’s original size and that’s about it; but you can add some funky doodads if you so desire as well. I just added a tag-brush I made a while ago and a few splatters. I got a bit confused in the .Ogg, but I hope you enjoy this (and the .Ogg); but remember, these aren’t rules, they are guidelines, so feel free to experiment.

The final Product:

The Ogg:



~ by nikopsk on March 31, 2008.

2 Responses to “Snazz up your screenshots”

  1. That was a very informative tutorial, Niko. 🙂 And I was wondering about how to do reflections in Gimp. 🙂 You must have read my mind. 😮

  2. Aren’t you glad I have that ability 😉 . Glad you enjoyed!

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