This GIMP (GNU) tutorial demonstrates how to create Animated Falling Snow. To work along, you are welcome to download the Transparent Start Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto GIMP’s workspace.
Adrenaline Snowflakes (Photoshop/Paint Shop Pro) Plugin
I originally wrote this tutorial for Paint Shop Pro, and I’ve adapted it for my GIMP students. I created the three transparent snow images using Adrenaline Snowflakes - click, this free plugin is Photoshop 8bf compatible. If you need larger transparent snow images, contact me stating which size you would like, and I’ll email them to you.
You can quickly Undo a step at any time by pressing Ctrl then Z. Alternatively, click a previous Undo History snapshot - Windows then Dockable Dialogues then click Undo History. In addition, to Zoom in (or Zoom out) of your image; from the top menu, choose View then select a Zoom Tool from the subsequent drop-down list.
Launch GIMP & Organise Its Workspace & Palettes
Although this type of simple three-frame animation is relatively easy to create. However, due to the level of concentration and organisation required, I have marked this tutorial Advanced. Once you’ve gone through the steps once or twice, this technique is quite easy to master.
Open the Start Images (Snow Scene and Three Transparent Snow Images) onto GIMP’s workspace. (File then Open).
Ensure the Layers and the Undo History Palettes are visible, and then drag them into position over your workspace - (Windows then Dockable Dialogues - then click Layers and Undo History).
If you want to place a name, a message, or a Copyright Symbol on the Animated Snow Scene Image - do so now, and then Flatten the Layers.
Now, Copy and Paste (As a New Layer), the Snowflakes One Image onto the Snow Scene Image. Then Flatten the Layers, and save it as a GIMP XCF File.
Press Ctrl then tap the Z Key to remove the Snowflakes One Image from the Snow Scene Image. Then Copy and Paste (As a New Layer), the Snowflakes Two Image onto the Snow Scene Image. Then Flatten the Layers, and save it as a GIMP XCF File.
Press Ctrl then tap the Z Key to remove the Snowflakes Two Image from the Snow Scene Image. Then Copy and Paste (As a New Layer), the Snowflakes Three Image onto the Snow Scene Image. Then Flatten the Layers, and save it as a GIMP XCF File.
You have now saved Three GIMP XCF Images, each with uniquely placed snow. And they are ready to open onto GIMP’s workspace.
Close GIMP and all Open Files. Then open GIMP once again.
Now, open your Three (Flattened) Animated Snow Scene Images onto GIMP’s workspace - as demonstrated below.
In order for your animation to be successful, each image must have unique snowfall - as illustrated above. If this is not the case, you’ll have to go back to Chapter One, and start again.
Now, build a Three Layered Image out of your Three (Flattened) Snow Scene Images. (I Copied & Pasted Images 2 and 3 onto Image 1 - I then - once safely Pasted, closed Images 2 and 3).
It’s a good time to save your Layered Image as a GIMP XCF File.
7/ View And Save Your Animation
To view your animation. From GIMP’s top menu, choose Filters then choose Animation and then choose Playback. And from the subsequent Animation Playback dialogue box, click the following Play (Start Playback) tab.
For personal results, it’s important to experiment with the following animation frame settings.
8/ Save Animation (Export/Save Images As A GIF: GIMP 2.8 - Click Here).
From the top menu, choose File and then choose Save As. (GIMP 2.8, choose File then choose Export). And from the subsequent Save Image/Export dialogue box, navigate to a Destination Folder of your choice. Then save your Image as a GIF, and then click Save.
GIMP 2.8 Export Example
How to Save Images Tutorial Here.
And from the subsequent Export File dialogue box, mark the following Save as Animation box, and then click Export.
And from the subsequent Save as Gif dialogue box, enter settings of your choice, (or accept the default settings), and then click Save.
GIMP 2.8 Export Example
For personalised animation speeds, experiment with different Millisecond (Delay between frames) values.
100 Millisecond Example
Slow Down Your Animation
To slow down your animation’s speed, increase the Delay between frames to around 150 milliseconds. (For personal results, always experiment with the milliseconds setting).
150 Millisecond Example
200 Millisecond Example
250 Millisecond Example
Congratulations, you have created and saved your Animated Snow Scene, and it is ready to upload to a server in your usual manner.
Loop Forever (Further Optimisation Notes).
When this option is marked, the animation will play repeatedly until you stop it.
Delay Between Frames If Unspecified
You can set the delay, in milliseconds, between frames if it has not been set before. In this case, you can modify every delay in the Layer Dialogue.
Frame Disposal When Unspecified
If this has not been set before, you can set how frames will be superimposed. You can select one of the following three options:
I Don't Care
You can use this option if all your Layers are opaque. Layers will overwrite what is
Cumulative Layers (Combine)
Previous frames will not be deleted when a new one is displayed.
One Frame Per Layer (Replace)
Previous frames will be deleted before displaying a new frame.
Wendi E. M. Scarth. Top of Page.