How to Overlay Pictures on GIMP


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is an open source graphics editor designed for image retouching and editing. GIMP's features are modeled after commercial graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop, and include similar functionality and tools such as a magic wand and layers. One of the effects that you can achieve with GIMP is overlaying one image on top of another, then blurring them into each another in a variety of ways.

  • Open GIMP. Selecting "File," "Open" to open your first image. Browse to your image and select "OK."

  • Select your image from the "Layers" window in the bottom right of the screen. Your image will say "Background." Right-click on this layer and select "Duplicate." Double-click on this new layer, which will say "Background copy," and rename it to "Overlay."

  • Select the "Mode" drop-down menu and click "Overlay." This will begin to blend the two images. With this still selected, click "Image" from the top menu, then "Colors," "Levels." Adjust the color balance of your overlay image by moving the sliders.

  • Select "Image" from the top menu. Select "Filters," "Blur," "Gaussian Blur." Experiment with the level of blur; a value between 10 and 30 is most likely ideal. Click "OK" to apply the filter.

  • Adjust the "Levels" sliders again to compensate for the blur. Select "Image," "Layers," "Flatten Image."

Tips & Warnings

  • Use "Multiply" instead of "Overlay" in the "Layers" mode for a different overlay effect


  • GIMP: Blur Overlay Tutorial
  • Photo Credit Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
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