How to Use GIMP to Soften the Lighting in a Poser Portrait

Another post work technique that 3d artists use is one where you use a 2D art program such as GIMP as we will use here, to soften the lighting and hence give the Poser character in your portrait a softer look. You can also use this technique on people from your digital photos as well!

So, how do you change the lighting in your Poser portrait to give your character a softer look? It’s not as hard as you might think.

Step 1: Render a picture with one character on a black background, and then save it as a jpeg document.

Step 2: Open GIMP.

Step 3: Go to the File drop down menu, and open your Poser picture in GIMP.

Step 4: Go to the tools window and select the wand. Then towards the bottom you will notice a set of Modes, select the third red square from the left. This is the subtract option.

Step 5: Hold the Shift key down and use your mouse to select the black background. You should then see that there is a white moving line around your character. Don’t be alarmed this is what you want.

Step 6: Go to the Edit drop down menu and select Copy, then Paste As New. This will paste the background minus your character into a new document.

Step 7: Go to Edit drop down menu and select Cut, this will take out the black background all together. This will leave you with a bright white background which is what you want.

Step 8: Go to the Layer drop down menu and select Duplicate Layer.

Step 9: In order to see the Layers window, go to the Dialogs drop down menu and select layers.

Step 10: Double click on the duplicate layer name and change it to soften or something else than the default name.

Step 11: Go to the Filters drop down menu and select Blur and then Gaussian Blur.

Step 12: Change the Blur Radius to 20, and make sure that the Blur Method is IIR.

Step 13: Make sure you have the new layer selected and then change the mode from Normal to Screen. Leave the opacity at 100.

Step 14: Making sure you have the layer you just changed the mode to Screen to selected, then duplicate this layer.

Step 15: Select the new layer and click and change it’s name as well.

Step 16: Change the Mode to Overlay, and the Opacity to 60.

Step 17: Now, you have two options, you can go to the Image drop down menu and select Flatten, and then save the image as a jpeg. Or you can go to the Layer drop down menu and select New Layer, (make sure you have Transparency checked rather than background) then after selecting the new layer go to the Edit drop down menu and select Paste. This will paste the original black background onto your image. Personally, I preferred the newer white background.

So, now you know how to soften the lighting around your Poser characters.

Vishaal Bhat

Founder manipalblog| Student| Father| Blogger| Pharmacology Teacher| Chess & Photography Enthusiast| Voracious Reader| Hindu Nationalist.