Change perspective of images in The GIMP

Jack Wallen
Oct 31, 2010
Updated • Nov 28, 2012
Image, Tutorials

The GIMP is one of the most powerful of the free, open source image manipulation tools you will ever use. It seems the possibilities are nearly limitless. But for some users, the barrier to entry on The GIMP is too challenging to get over. Although it may seem that way, it is not necessarily true. And to help illustrate that, I am going to demonstrate how to tackle one of the more challenging tools in The GIMPs tool kit - the Perspective tool.

Perspective is the ability to make it look like you are seeing objects coming or going or to give them a three dimensional shape. Although it may seem like a difficult tool to use, it's actually quite easy (once you get the hang of it). Let's see just how this is done.


Naturally I will assume you already have The GIMP installed on your machine. I will also assume you have at least a rudimentary grasp on how The GIMP is used (as I won't be explaining fundamentals of GIMPs usage). Now, with that said, let's get to work.

Figure 1

The Perspective tool

When you open up The GIMP you will find the Perspective tool in the toolbox. Figure 1 shows the Perspective tool selected. As you can see you can change the Interpolation and the Clipping as well as the Direction.

What I want to do is to show you how to create a road that

Figure 2

looks like it's coming at you. The initial image (Figure 2) was created by simply drawing two solid lines and a dotted line.

Because you are going to be actually changing the shape of the image, you need to copy your image onto a larger image. If you do not do this you will not have room to change the perspective of your working image. In the case of our example I will create a newer, larger workspace with the same background color as what you see in Figure 2.

Figure 3

With the new workspace created copy the contents of what you want to work with into the new space. Once that is there select the perspective tool.

When you click on your working image you will see four small squares appear, one in each corner of the copied image. All you need to do is manipulate those corners around until you get the exact perspective you need. Figure 3 shows how The GIMPs perspective tool shows you the original perspective and your working perspective.

When you have the exact look you want you will need to click the Transform button in the floating Perspective window.

Figure 4

When you are done, you will have a 3D looking image of a road appearing to come your way (see Figure 4).

Sure you could have done this freehand, but the task is far, far easier using the tool dedicated to that single purpose.

Final thoughts

The GIMP is filled with handy tools like the Perspective tools. And each of these tools only takes a short period to get used to how they work. The Perspective tool is no different. And, in the end, you will create fantastic images with ease.


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