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Making a Shirt – Customizing in GIMP

This is a section of the tutorial Making a Shirt.

To customize the look of your shirt, you need to edit the textures in your preferred image editing software. In this tutorial, you will show you how to use basic GIMP features to make quick changes in the product’s textures.

To get the image files that you will need for editing, see the Making a Shirt tutorial.

Editing the Texture’s Color

STEP 1. Open the textures in GIMP by clicking menu item File ➞ Open and navigating to where you saved the textures from the product page.

You can also open files by dragging and dropping the image file into GIMP.

To ensure you see everything correctly, check that the texture is set to RGB Mode. To do this, go to the top menu and click on Image ➞ Mode ➞ RGB.

STEP 2. Add a new layer. The easiest way to change the color of this texture is to make a new layer. To do so, look for the toolbar on the right bottom corner of the screen and click the add layer button

A new window opens to set the attributes of the layer. Click OK.

Layers Dock (on the bottom right of the GIMP app window) will allow you to select each layer.

You can change the  transparency level of a layer by adjusting the Opacity.

STEP 3. Choose the color you want to add to your texture. Start by setting the foreground color.

Foreground and Background Color swatches

In this image the foreground color is black and the background color is white

Click on the foreground color swatch to bring up the the Color Picker and select a color you would like to use for your shirt. In this tutorial we are going to choose purple.

Once you have decided which color are you going to use for your shirt, click OK.

Setting and saving colors

To keep the color for future use, click on the button next to “Current”.

Another way to keep the same color on all textures is using the number that appears in the HTML Notation field

To fill the layer with the chosen color, select the Bucket Fill Tool on the left toolbar.

You can also  select menu item Tools ➞ Paint Tools ➞ Bucket Fill


right-click over the layer and select Tools ➞ Paint Tools ➞ Bucket Fill.

Once the Bucket Fill Tool is selected, the shape of the cursor changes. Move the mouse over the shirt and click on it to fill the layer with your selected color.

STEP 4. Change the layer mode to HSL color.

Layer Modes

Selecting a layer mode changes the appearance of the layer, based on the layers beneath it. GIMP offers a ton of other layer modes that you can use to achieve different effects! Experiment with various modes to see which will fit your texture best.

CONGRATULATIONS! The front of your shirt has a new look! Now let’s spice it up a little more by adding text and images!

Adding Images, Text, and Other Design Elements

When choosing images...

… always go for copyright-free works. They may either be licensed or royalty-free. Handmade images are also great options!

Using copyrighted and trademarked images and logos is a violation of the IMVU Virtual Goods Policy. To learn more about the types of images allowed in IMVU, check out our Virtual Goods Policy.

Let’s add an image!

STEP 1. Select your texture file from File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac), and drag and drop the image you have chosen onto the project in GIMP.

If a prompt appears, update the properties to match the current settings of the texture.

STEP 2. Scale the image by selecting the Scale Tool . It can be found on the left toolbox.

You can also select menu item Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Scale


right-click over the layer and select Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Scale .

Click and drag the resize handles at the corners of the image to adjust its size.

To retain the proportion of the image while resizing, hold the Alt key (Windows) option key (Mac).

To adjust the position, drag the center square of the tool. Hit Scale once you’re finished.

STEP 3. Move your image to the position you would like it to appear on your shirt by selecting the Move Tool . It can be found on the left toolbox.

You can also select menu item Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Move


right-click over the layer and select Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Move.

STEP 4. Remove the white background of your image layer by going to SelectBy Color and clicking on the white pixels. Tap the Delete button on your keyboard to erase the background.

Let’s add some text!

STEP 1. Add some text by selecting the menu item ToolsText or by simply clicking the Text Tool and clicking where you want the text to appear. You can then customize the font, size, and color.

STEP 2. Add a gradient to the image layer or text layer or any of your layers!

Start by creating a layer above the layer you want the gradient to appear on.

Next choose your preferred colors by selecting the foreground and background colors using the color picker for each. The Gradient Tool uses the foreground and background colors for the the gradient start and end colors.

Now, click on the Gradient Tool and click-and-drag in in the direction you would like to create your gradient.

You can use the control key (Windows) / command key (Mac) to restrict the direction of the gradient to a cardinal angle (90, 45, 12.5 degrees)

Finally, set the layer mode for your gradient layer that achieves the results you desire for your gradient.

Save your work!

Save the changes by going to the top menu and click on File ➞ Export As …

Select the folder where you want to save the texture, name it, and click on Select File Type (By Extension).

Select the JPEG image option and click on Export.

A new window appears. Click on Export.

The new texture has been saved in your chosen folder.

Add More!

Add other design elements like stripes or whatever you can imagine using the techniques described above. You can do it! Use your power of creativity and imagination!

CONGRATULATIONS! You are well on your way to becoming a Master Creator! Keep up the great work!

Now that you have made your textures you can return to the Making a Shirt tutorial and continue Creating Your Product.

Updated on September 27, 2021

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