Create a digital image that looks like wrinkled paper using GIMP.
Fancy, expensive paper can have many colors and textures. The look of textured paper is often used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a document’s graphic design. It is possible to create a digital image that mimics the look of such a document using a digital image creation software such as GIMP. Unlike some of the other graphics programs, such as Photoshop, GIMP doesn’t have a “texturizer” option as such, but you can create realistic-looking 3-D paper. You can either use a preset paper texture that comes with GIMP or supply your own.
1. Make a new image file at least as large as the paper you want to make. Make a new layer using the New Layer icon on the Layers dock. You can also use the New Layer option in the Layers menu. Choose the Bucket Fill tool from the toolbar. Choose a color in the Color Picker, and click within your layer to fill it with your chosen color.
2. Add some speckles — called “noise” by graphic artists — by clicking on “Noise” in the Filters menu, and then select “RGB Noise.” Set the “Red” value to “0.20” and all the other values, including “Alpha” at the bottom, to zero. Click on the “OK” button to close the Noise dialog.
3. Add a blur by clicking on the “Blur” section of the Filters menu and selecting “Gaussian Blur” from the menu that pops out to the side. Set the radius to 10 pixels — in both directions — and click on the “OK” button to close the Blur dialog.
4. Add a new layer and name it “paper texture” by right-clicking on the new layer’s name in the Layers dock. Select “Edit Layer Attributes.” Typing over the name that’s there — probably “New Layer.” Choose the Bucket Fill tool and select “Pattern Fill” from the “Fill Type” options in the bottom section of the toolbar. Choose the “paper” pattern and fill the layer with it by clicking anywhere in the image with that layer selected. Alternatively, if you have a crinkled or rumpled paper image, you can open that and copy and paste it into the paper layer instead of using the pattern fill. Once the layer is filled with a paper texture, click on the eye icon next to the paper layer in the layers dock to make it invisible.
5. Add the texture to the layer you created in the first step above by selecting that layer and choosing “Map” from the Filters menu. Select “Bump Map” from the menu that pops to the side. In the Bump Map dialog, select the paper layer from the “Bump map” drop-down menu at the top of the window, and then click the “OK” button at the bottom. This applies the paper texture to the layer. After that, you can delete the “paper” layer if you want.
6. Add edges or a drop shadow to give the paper more depth, if desired. To add edges, choose the Eraser from the toolbar. You can draw with the Eraser and actually erase any part of the area near the edge of the paper to give the edge a ragged appearance. Do this using a round circle for a brush tip. Or select a pre-shaped brush tip that gives you the type of edge you want and use that to erase. If you want the edges straight and you want a drop shadow, right-click on the layer and choose “scale layer” and scale it by 95 percent. To make a drop shadow, select “Light and Shadow” from the Filters menu, and choose “Drop Shadow” from the menu that pops to the side. Set the values you desire for the X and Y values, opacity and color, and make sure to uncheck “Allow Resizing.”