How to add 3D effects to flat images - Gimp tutorial

Create a nice shiny red heart with Gimp

Gimp tutorials » glitter images | rainbow cliparts | 3d effects

In Gimp, open the File menu and click - New. Create new image with size 300x300 - black foreground/white background is usually by default. If not set them manually.

Activate the Brush bouton on your toolbox and choose a nice shaped heart

If you don't have heart brushes you can download from many sources - search in google "heart brushes for Gimp" - find, download the zip file, extract and save in your "root/.gimp-version/brushes" folder.

Make a heart on the middle of the white background. Invert the black and white colors - Colors » Invert. This is our pattern.

BrushesHeart pattern

Type Ctr+d to duplicate the image and Blur this Copy - Filters » Blur-Gaussian Blur and set Blur Radius to about 80

Gaussian Blur - 80Blurred copy

Change your background color to a nice bright red like #ff0000

Duplicate the blurred image then do Edit » Fill with BG Color or type "Ctr+."

Red copy

Now we work on the red copy. Activate Filters » Lights and Shadow » Lightening Effects. Click Bump Map and Enable bump mapping then for Bumpmap image choose the blurred black and white copy.

Blurred copy

Now click Light and change Light 1 to type Directional.

Light 1

Activate Light 2 set it to Directional.

Light 2

Then Light 3 also Directional and change the direction a bit to the side.

Light 3

Click Options and check Create new image and then OK

We have got a nice red Bump and to make it smooth we do Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur and Blur just a bit 3 or 4.

Bump Map image

This is the moment to get our red 3d heart now - Add a Mask to the red Bump image (Layer » Mask » Add Layer Mask and click Add)

Add Layer Mask

Go to the first black and white image and do Edit » Copy Visible (Shift+Ctr+C) and Paste it over the mask layer of the red Bump image (Ctr+V) then Ctr+H to Anchor the layer.

Red Heart

Save the image as .png for better quality

Here is our perfect red heart final product:

shiny red heart
3d red heart

Some samples - Valentine's Love Cards decorated with shiny perfect red hearts:

Love Card Love Card

View all Valentine's Love cards

Happy Valentine's Day!