VIP Stickers, Senor Style



Hello students. X3 Professor Crouch here. This tutorial is not on meshing this time. This tutorial deals with building VIP Stickers in GIMP.

A single part tutorial:

1) Constructing a VIP Sticker

In this tutorial I will go into detail on how to create a VIP Sticker for IMVU Homepages. And no, one doesn't have to be a member of VIP to make VIP Stickers.

Let's get started. First the program used in this tutorial:




Before we begin this tutorial, for those who do not have GIMP you may download it free from GIMP's official site:

Download GIMP

Now we are ready to begin. X3


Part 1: Constructing a VIP Sticker

Open up GIMP.

Create a NEW image. Leave the default dimensions 420 x 300 as we are going to cut it up later. X3



We want it to be transparent as well SO under the "Advanced Options" in the "Create a New Image" window where it says "Fill with:" change that to "Transparency". Then hit "OK", now your image should be made up of gray checkered squares.



Next go up to "View" then to "Zoom" and we want to go to "8:1 (800%)"



Click on your Pencil tool and change the Brush size from "Circle (11)" to "Circle (01)"



Finally change your color to white. Now comes the fun part! :D


The ABC's and 123's of the VIP's!
What we probably want to do first is name your layer. So go over to your "Layers" window, RIGHT CLICK your "Background" layer and click "Edit Layer Attributes..." and change the name to "Text". (Don't worry we will get to the background of your VIP sticker soon enough. X3 )

NOTE: For those of you using GIMP for the very first time and you have recently just downloaded it, the Layers Window may be hidden. To open up your Layers Window just press the "Crtl" key and the "L" key down at the same time. By doing this the Layers Window will pop up!!



Now that we have that out of the way we can get started on what your VIP sticker is going to say. Here is a chart that shows you the letters and numbers used on VIP stickers.



What you want to do is space each letter/number 1 pixel away from each other. 1 pixel = 1 gray square when zoomed in 800%. And all your letters/numbers with the exception of "Q" are only going to have a height of 6 pixels or in other words 6 gray squares high.



Once you got your word(s) made it is time for the star of the VIP sticker. It should be 2 pixels away from your word(s). Now of course it doesn't have to be a star. You can make it anything you want just make sure it is no higher than 6 pixels in height. Normal VIP stars are only 5 pixels high by the way.



Looking good so far. X3


Crossing the Border!
Time to make the border. X3 Okay first create a new, transparent layer in your "Layer" window by RIGHT CLICKing anywhere in the white space of the "Layer" window, then hit "New Layer" and call the new layer "Border". Place this layer above your "Text" layer, to do that it's easy just drag your "Border" layer above your "Text" layer.



Change your color to black.

Now then select your Rectangle Select Tool. Create a box around your text and star so that:
- the top of the box is 6 pixels above your text
- the left part of the box is moved 6 pixels to the left of your text
- the right part of the box is moved 6 pixels to the right of your text
- the bottom of the box is 6 pixels below your text



Next go up to "Select" and click on "Border" and set the border to 1 pixel.



Then go up to "Edit" and click "Fill with FG color" otherwise known as "Fill with Foreground color".

Then go up to "Select" and click "None".

Now select your Pencil Tool and color in each of the inner corners of your border like so:



Next you want to erase the edges of each corner with your Eraser Tool so your VIP sticker in the end looks like it has rounded edges.



Now you want to select your Crop Tool. What you want to do is drag the crop tool around the outside of your border. Once you have your sticker encased in the box, click anywhere inside the highlighted part to crop it. With other versions of GIMP I know there is a "Crop" button.





:D Finished with the border!


The Underlying Shadows!
Create a new, transparent layer BELOW your "Text" layer. You want to call this new layer "Text Outline".

Click on your "Text" layer in your "Layer" window so that it is highlighted. Then go up to "Layer" and go to "Transparency" then click "Alpha to Selection". This will put a dotted border around all your text and your star. Then go back to your "Layer" window and click on your "Text Outline" layer.



Make sure your color is set to black then go up to "Edit", then "Fill with FG color".

Now go up to "Select", then click "None".

Go up to "Filters", then move down to "Blur", then click "Gaussian Blur".



The "Gaussian Blur" window should pop up, change the "Horizontal" and "Vertical" Blur Radius to 2. Then hit "Ok".



Now I know what you are thinking, "But, but, but, you can barely see the black blur. @.@" Well all you have to do is duplicate your "Text Outline" layer, by RIGHT CLICKing the "Text Outline" layer, as many times till you get the desired darkness of your black blur.



One helpful tip, after your done duplicating RIGHT CLICK on your copied "Text Outline" layers and click "Merge Down" and combine all your copied "Text Outline"s into one layer. You don't have to but it does help keep your "layer" window nice and organized a little. The "Merge Down" window should pop up, just hit "Merge".



Finished with the Outline.


All the Colors of the Rainbow!
Create a new, transparent layer and call it "Background". Move this layer BELOW all other layers.

Choose a color that you want your VIP sticker to be. Then go to "Select" and click "All".



Go up to "Edit" and then click "Fill with FG color".

Next go up to "Select" then click "None". Now notice your nice smooth edges just got filled with your background color too. No problem.



Select your Eraser Tool, select your "Background" layer and erase the 4 corners again.



Done with the Background....for now. X3


On Cloud 9!
Create a new, transparent layer and call it "Cloud". Move this layer ABOVE your "Background" layer. This layer is a unique layer as in the end we will get rid of it altogether.

Go up to "Select" then click "All".

Next up go back to "Select" then click on "Shrink".



The "Shrink" window should come up. We want to shrink it by 2 pixels. Then hit "Ok".



Change your color to White, then go up to "Edit", then hit "Fill with FG color".

Go up to "Select" then click "None".

Next up go to "Filters", then "Blur", then click "Gaussian Blur". Like last time the "Gaussian Blur" window should appear.

Change the "Horizontal" and "Vertical" Blur Radius to 5 this time. Then hit "Ok".



Now then, go and click on your "Background" layer.

Go up to "Filters", then go to "Map", then to "Bump Map".



Now the "Bump Map" window should pop up. In that window you will probably scream, "@.@ AH so many options!" X3 Don't worry we are only going to be messing around with one thing; the "Bump Map" drop down bar.

Click the drop down bar and search for you "Cloud" layer and select it. Then go down and hit "Ok".



Now you can delete your "Cloud" layer.

Done with your Background....for good this time. X3


Want the Shiny?
Create a new, transparent layer and call it "Glass Shine". Move this layer right ABOVE your "Background" layer.

Select your Rectangular Selector Tool and create a box on the entire upper half of your VIP sticker.



Change your color to White, then go up to "Edit", then "Fill with FG color".

Next go up to "Image", then "Guides", then click "New Guides from Selection".



This will create guides on the left and right side of your VIP sticker, select your Move Tool. The guides will be directly on the left margin and the right margins to begin with.

Use your Move tool on the left border of your VIP Sticker. Move the left guide to the right 4 pixels.

Use your Move tool on the right border of your VIP Sticker. Move the right guide to the left 4 pixels.



Once your guides are in place, select your Perspective Tool. Click your Sticker and 4 mini boxes should appear on the right and left hand sides of your Sticker and a Perspective Tool window should pop up as well.



Take the bottom left hand box with your Perspective Tool and move it to the right till it locks onto the guide you placed earlier.

Take the bottom right hand box with your Perspective Tool and move it to the left till it locks onto the guide you placed earlier.



Then in the Perspective Tool window click "Transform". Then go up to "Image", then "Guides", then "Remove all Guides".



By doing this you make the original image of the "Glass Shine" layer a floating image. To make it a layer again click the floating image then hit the "New Layer" button on the bottom of the "Layer" window.



This however will make the layer's name be "Transformation", that's okay we can leave it named that for now, also notice you still have a "Glass Shine" layer.



Click on your "Transformation" layer, then go up to "Layer", then "Transparency", then click "Alpha to Selection.

Now click on your "Glass Shine" layer and select your Blend Tool (depending on which version of GIMP you are using this tool may also be known as the Gradient Tool).



Under the Gradient option in your Blend Tool's options select "FG to Transparent".



Hold the "Ctrl" button on your keyboard, then take your Blend Tool and click and hold the top center of your VIP sticker. Then drag the tool down to the bottom center of your VIP sticker. Then release the mouse.



Delete your "Transformation" layer and go up to "Select" then click "None".

Select your "Glass Shine" layer and your Eraser Tool and erase the top corners of your sticker to make your sticker look rounded again.

Go up to "Filter", then "Blur", click "Gaussian Blur" and set the "Horizontal" and "Vertical" Blur Radius to 2. Then click "Ok".

:D You got the Shiny!


End of the Line!
Create a new, transparent layer and call it "Line". Move this layer right ABOVE your "Background" layer.

Hopefully you still have your color set to white, if not set it to white again.

Select your Rectangular Selector Tool and create a 1 pixel box, 1 pixel underneath your text.



Go up to "Edit" then "Fill with FG Color". Then go to "Select" and then click "None".

Go up to "Filters", then "Blur", then "Motion Blur". A "Motion Blur" window should pop up.



In that window, change the length to 3 and change the angle to 0. Hit "Ok".



Go back up to "Filters", then "Blur", then "Motion Blur". The window should pop up again.

Change the length to 6 this time and change the angle to 180 this time. Hit "Ok".

Once again go up to "Filters", then "Blur", then "Motion Blur". Same window again. X3

Change the length back to 3 and change the angle back to 0 again. Then hit "Ok".

Now lower the Opacity down anywhere between 25 to 35.



Is this truly the end of the line?


Text's Revenge!
Create a new layer and call it "Text 2". Move it right BELOW the "Text" layer.

Select your "Text" layer.

Go up to "Layer", then "Transparency", then click "Alpha to Selection".

Select your "Text 2".

Now I have 2 techniques for coloring my text and it all depends if you want the text to be the same color as the background OR if you want it to be an entirely different color. So here goes:

Technique 1: Using new color!

- Select a color you want for your text.

- Go up to "Edit" then click "Fill with FG Color".

- Delete your "Text" layer.

Technique 2: Using a color derived from the background!

- Select the color of your background for your text.

- Go up to "Edit" then click "Fill with FG color".

- Now lower the Opacity of your "Text 2" layer, however I suggest never reducing the Opacity less than 50 because your text goes back looking white.

- Do NOT delete your "Text" layer.

Now go up to "Select" then click "None"

So which choice did you choose? =P


Time for a Break!
This section is entirely optional! Now that we are at a real breaking point, I suggest you save your sticker. If you are doing this section it is VERY important that you save your sticker as an ".xcf" file. This is a GIMP file and will be able to hold all your layers together in case you ever want to go back and fix a part of the sticker in the future. To do this go up to "File" and then "Save As" Save the file with a file extension ".xcf" For example: "FILE NAME.xcf"

At this point and time I usually make my IMVU Catalog Icon image as well. After I save my sticker I go up to "Image" and click on "Merge Visible Layers". When the "Merge Visible Layers" window pops up just hit "Merge". Don't worry about what it is asking you. This will make your sticker all one layer.



Again, go up to "Image" then click on "Canvas Size", then the "Canvas Size" window should pop up. Change the Width to 100 and the height to 80. Click "Ok".



Add any little design or background around your sticker picture and move your Sticker anywhere you want with the use of the Move Tool. Once statisfied go up to "File" and click "Save As" and save your new image as a ".png".

Break time over. >:3


Animation in Shining Armor!
Now if you did the Section "Time for a Break" what you need to do is go back and open up your VIP sticker's ".xcf" file. Now just like in "Time for a Break" we are going to go up to "Image" and click "Merge Visible Layers" this way your entire sticker is one layer.

Now create a new, transparent layer and call it "Shine". Move this layer right ABOVE your newly merged "Background" layer.

Now with your "Shine" layer selected, select your Rectangle Select Tool. Create a 4 pixel high box in the dead center of your sticker and stretch the box so that it touches both the left and right margins. The box should cover up all but the top and bottom pixels of your text.



Now change your color to White then go up to "Edit" and click "Fill with FG Color".

After that you are going to move up 3 pixels from your white line you just created in the middle of your sticker and create a 2 pixel high box that once again have it touch both the left and right margins of your sticker.



Go up to "Edit" and click "Fill with FG Color".

Now you are going to move down 3 pixels from your center white line and create another 2 pixel box just like in the previous step.



Go up to "Edit" and click "Fill with FG Color".

Go up to "Select" and click "None".

Now go and select your Rotate Tool and click on your white line.



The "Rotate" window should pop up. Change the "Angle" to -70. Then hit "Rotate".



With your newly rotated "Shine" layer, select your Move Tool. Move your "Shine" layer to the left till the center line meets the bottom left hand corner of your sticker.



Next reduce your "Shine" layer's Opacity anywhere between 30 and 45.

Duplicate your "Shine" layer and move, with your Move Tool, the newly duplicated layer over to the right by 13,0. (In other words you are moving your shine layer to the right 13 pixels and up/down 0 pixels)



Keep duplicating each of your newly created copies and moving those copies to the right 13,0 from the previous layer until you have reached the right margin with your "Shine" layers. NOTE: You probably want to click on the first and last "Shine" layers and erase, with your Eraser Tool, the 4 corners again like you did with the border and your colored background.

Now once you have all your shines in position the next part becomes a bit tricky.

Now to duplicate your "Background" layer to pair up with each of your "Shine" layers. Now your original "Background" layer will not get a buddy. Why? Cause he's a loner. X3 Just kidding.



For each of the Shines that has a buddy background to it we are going to merge, using the "Merge Down" feature when RIGHT CLICKing each "Shine" layer, the Shine with its Background partner.



@.@ So shiny.


All that Glitters...


To make things a bit easier on you I am going to suggest you rename each of your newly duplicated merged "Background" layers to "Shine", "Shine 2", "Shine 3", "Shine 4", "Shine 5", "Shine 6", etc.



Now select your top most "Shine" layer, in this case mine is "Shine 4".

Select your Pencil Tool. Now depending on if you took a break from GIMP altogether you may or may not have to change the brush size again to Circle(01).

Make sure your color is set to White. And make sure you are ready because this is where it can get confusing.

On your top most shine layer, my "Shine 4" layer, you are going to want to make a 1 pixel square somewhere next to your starting letter. I usually pick someplace high.



Select your "Background" layer and duplicate it, then move the duplicated layer ABOVE all other layers.

On the new "Background Copy" layer make the same white spec with your Pencil Tool and make sure it is in the exact same spot as the previous layer. Then add 4 more pixels around it.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Create your 5 pixel, what now looks like a plus sign (+) on this layer in the same spot as the last layer, then add another pixel on the top, bottom, left, and right of your plus sign.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Create your now 9 pixel plus sign (+) on this layer in the same spot as the last layer, then add 2 pixels on the top, bottom, left and right of your plus sign.

Then some where 3 or 4 letters/numbers away or in the case it is a small lengthed VIP sticker, then some where in the middle of your Sticker place another single pixel square.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Create a 9 pixel plus sign (+) for your first sparkle like in step k because the sparkle is now shrinking on this layer. Now add 4 pixels around your new sparkle in the middle.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Create a 5 pixel plus sign (+) for your first sparkle, like in step i. Now add 1 pixel to the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your new sparkle/plus sign.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Create a single pixel like you did in step e. Now reduce 1 pixel from the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 2nd sparkle/plus sign. Then add a single pixel somewhere near the last letter on your VIP sticker.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Your first sparkle has ended, for your 2nd sparkle add just a single pixel like you did in step l, for your 3rd sparkle add 4 pixels around your spec.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Your second sparkle has ended, now add 1 pixel to the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 3rd sparkle.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Add 2 pixels to the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 3rd sparkle.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Reduce 2 pixels from the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 3rd sparkle.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Reduce 1 pixel from the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 3rd sparkle.



Duplicate your original "Background" layer and move that copy ABOVE all other layers.

Reduce 1 pixel from the top, bottom, left, and right sides of your 3rd sparkle.



Now all you have left is a single pixel, we are going to leave it like that.

Okay now go up to "File" and click "Save As" and save this now finished VIP sticker as a ".xcf" file again. (of a different name than before might I add)

After saving it go up to "Filters" and go down to "Animation" and click "Optimize (for GIF)"



A new window should appear showing you your finished VIP sticker at Zoom: 1:1 (100%). Go over to your "Layers" window and change the name of your original "Background" layer from "Background(100ms)" to "Background(5000ms)"



Next preview your sticker's animation by going up to "Filter", then go to "Animation", then click "Playback" and then hit the "Play" button.

Once everything looks okay then go up to "File", then "Save As". Save it as a ".gif" file and make sure to save it as "Save as Animation".



Wewt. X3 Well that's everything about VIP Stickers. Good luck. =3