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Creating and Using GIMP Custom Gradients

Creating and Using GIMP Custom Gradients Image
  • Posted on 20th Jul, 2022 20:51 PM
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The free image editor GIMP has a powerful gradient editor that gives users the power to produce custom gradients.

What to Know

  • Open editor: Select Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Gradients > right-click in list > select New Gradient.
  • Create gradient: Right-click in preview window > select Left Endpoint's Color > choose color > select OK.
  • Next: Right-click in preview window > select Right Endpoint's Color > choose color > select OK.

This article explains how to make a custom gradient in GIMP version 2.10 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

How to Open the Gradient Editor in GIMP

To access the GIMP Gradient Editor:

  1. Go to Windows > Dockable Dialogs > Gradients to open the Gradients dialog and see the full list of gradients that come pre-installed in GIMP.

  2. Right click anywhere in the list and select New Gradient to open the Gradient Editor.

  3. The Gradient Editor displays a simple gradient when it's first opened, blending from black to white. Below this preview, you'll see black triangles at each edge that represents the position of the two colors used.

  4. In between is a white triangle that marks the midpoint of the blend between the two colors. Moving this to the left or right will change the gradient from one color to the other.


  5. At the top of the Gradient Editor is a field where you can name your gradients so that you can find them more easily later.

How to Create a Gradient in GIMP

To create a gradient that goes from red to green to blue:

  1. Right click anywhere in the gradient preview window and select Left Endpoint's Color.

  2. Select a color and click OK in the dialog that opens.

  3. Right click the preview again and select Right Endpoint's Color.

  4. Select another color and click OK.

  5. You've now created a gradient with two colors and their average in the middle, but you can also add a different hue for the midpoint. To do so, right-click the preview and select Split Segment at Midpoint. Each side will now be treated as a separate gradient.

  6. You'll see a black triangle in the center of the bar below the preview, and there are now two white midpoint triangles on either side of the new central marker.

    When you click the bars on either side of the center triangle, that part of the bar is highlighted, indicating that it is the active segment. Any edits you make will only apply to this segment.

  7. Click the bar to left of the center black triangle, then right click and select Right Endpoint's Color.

  8. Select a third color from the dialog (different from your first two) and click OK.

    Note the number in the HTML notation field so that you can select the same color later.

  9. Select the right segment, then right click and select Left Endpoint's Color.

  10. Pick the same shade of green from the dialog and click OK.

  11. You can split one of the segments and introduce another color. Keep repeating this step until you've produced an even more complex gradient.

How to Use a Custom Gradient

You can apply your gradient to documents using the Blend tool. To test it out:

  1. Go to File > New to open a blank document. The size isn't important since this is just a test.

  2. Select the Blend tool from the Tools dialog.

  3. Make sure your newly-created gradient is selected in the Gradients dialog.

  4. Click the left side of the canvass and drag the cursor to the right.

  5. Press Enter. The document will now be filled with your gradient.

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