Are You Feeling Artsy, Punk?

A Jim Groom Art Tutorial

Jim Groom art is hilarious, and it’s one of my favorite assignments in the DS106 assignment bank. It’s an extremely open-ended visual assignment that lets you freely hone your design skills, allowing you to familiarize yourself with many of the features of your choice of software. For me, that’s GIMP. Mainly because I’m not about to go buy Photoshop for whatever outrageous price it’s listed at currently.

So, here goes a little tutorial for how to make your own!

Step 1: Find Jim Groom!

Locate a picture of Groom. I choose black and white images because there’s less hassle with attempting to match color saturation, brightness, and shadows.

So, I found Jim Groom!

Step 1

Hooray! Step 1, complete.

Step 2: Find A Background Image

I’m using Dirty Harry for this one. Hence the title of the post.

As you can see, it doesn’t need to be black and white. More on that in a sec!

Step 3: “Open As Layers” in GIMP

So, sorry about the image–I seem to not know what I was doing when I first took the screenshot.
But, Like I mentioned in Step 2, since my image of Dirty Harry is in color, I’ll need to remove the colors. Luckily, the Desaturate tool is easily located under the Colors tab.
Step 3

Which will leave you with the following option pane:

Step 4

It really doesn’t matter which of the three options you pick. There’s a Brightness/Contrast tool that we’ll be using later to fix up the image, anyhow.

Va-va-vroom! Onto the next step!

Step 4: Steal Jim Groom’s Face!

Okay, this is where things start to get a bit tricky. So, I suggest using the Zoom function to get a closer view.

Step 5
You’ll want to use the Free Select Tool for this; the Rectangle Select doesn’t make much sense, and the Ellipse Select can leave some extra bits you don’t want.
Step 6
After you’ve selected the rough outline of Groom’s face, Cut, don’t Copy the selection. I don’t know if it’s because I’m dumb or GIMP doesn’t like me, or what, but Copy usually just moves the outline of the Select Tool, rather than the contents.

Step 5: Pull A Face Off

Paste the selected area onto the background image. I keep mine as a floating selection throughout this tutorial, but would recommend you Add To A New Layer for easier manipulation.
Step 8
Now comes the fun parts!

Step 6: Overlap the Background Face Completely

Starting with the Move tool, situate Groom’s face on top of your chosen body’s neck, overlapping the background face completely.
Step 9

Step 7: Rotate Groom!

Using the Rotate Tool, align Groom’s face to more articulately emulate the background image.
Step 10

Step 8: Fix Scaling of Images

Using the Scale Tool, manipulate the layers of the image you are creating. Note: This works best by scaling down the larger image, rather than scaling up the smaller image due to pixelation. So, Groom’s head was bigger than Harry/Eastwood’s, so I had to scale it down.
Step 11

Step 9: Brightness/Contrast

You may have noticed by now that although both layers may be greyscale, they do not match shades. Try to fix this using the Brightness/Contrast Tool available from the Colors tab.
Step 12

Step 10: Know Your Angle

Is Groom’s face too flat? Is he staring at you with a “Why are you doing this to me?” look? Make him look in the direction of the background character by using the Perspective Tool.
This is probably the trickiest tool to use effectively in GIMP thus far, so be careful here. This tool works with the center of the image acting as a sphere, sort of. The closer you move a corner or edge toward the center, the more it shifts into the background. Interestingly, the further you pull a corner or edge away from the center, the more the image is stretched, rather than moved toward the foreground. Be careful, like I said.
Useful shortcuts here are Ctrl+Z and Ctrl+Y which Undo and Redo, respectively.
Step 13

Step 11: Export Image!

Don’t be too shy if you want to try out a few more options that GIMP has to offer to alter your image. This was just a tutorial to show you how to use a few of the tools, and the combined effect of using multiple techniques. Perfectionism is your enemy here, so I’d suggest “Good Enough” is better than “Perfect”. Use that time to make a new project!
Important to note here, though: Export your final image. Do not “Save As..”. “Save As…” saves a project file (.xcf), not an image file (.jpg,.png,.gif, etc).

So. Did you use six techniques or only five? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is DS106, the most creative course in the world, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel artsy?” Well, do ya, punk?

Are You Feeling Artsy

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  • I can really see how you have improved since your first encounter with GIMP. And now a great tutorial that is friendly and down to earth to follow.

    This will be an asset for GroomArt first timers and for anyone who wants to figure out how to impose a a face into another picture.

    The steps on scale and rotation help move the final pic to a higher level – great for anyone just starting out to have a chance at being more professional looking.

    Nice job!

    • Spencer says:

      Thanks! I’m glad someone found it useful. I was just having fun, and trying to pass along some helpful info, as seems to be the #ds106 way!

  • Jim Groom says:

    I agree with Kathy 100%. You photo editing skills have made great strides, and your choice f subject matter is next to godliness 😉

    Interesting that Dirty Harry might be considered the turning point in a whole new approach to noir, the vengeful cop that is above the law. So good, you nailed this on many levels.

    • Spencer says:

      Thank you, sir!
      On the note about Dirty Harry being a turning point in noir: I found so many similarities between Kiss Me Deadly and Dirty Harry while I was watching KMD (minus the sci-fi aspects), so I felt like what better way to #ds106 a tutorial than to make a few connections via an assignment tutorial!

  • Ken Bauer says:

    Excellent work and a nice Gimp tutorial that I plan to share with my students.

  • […] UNCLE Jim Groom (UNCLE Jim Groom, @jimgroom on Twitter, on Twitter) was writing today about a GIF that Spencer Scott made of him that was a Clint Eastwood one. […]

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