How to make a Triptych in GIMP – Helen Whitford

(for projection or web)


Love Story – Helen Whitford – an example of a story Telling Tryptich

1. Save your three images to a small size.


Save your 3 images to a small size. (To resize images see previous article my Mark Pedlar).  If your final horizontal triptych is to be 1400 pixels wide, allow for the surround and border, eg. if surround is 25 pixels, space between images is 20 pixels and border is 2 pixels then you subtract 94 from 1400 and divide by 3, so each image would be 435 pixels wide.
For a horizontal triptych they should be the same height. For a vertical triptych they should be the same width. For an evenly spaced triptych the 3 should be the same as each other in both height and width.

2. Open Gimp and select rectangle selection tool

Open GIMP – if your toolbar doesn’t appear, go to Tools – New Toolbox and select a selection tool – the rectangle is fine.  Don’t select a brush.  You have to click on a basic selection tool because there is no default arrow and if you’re in a brush or similar the following process doesn’t work.

3. Open Images in Gimp

Open the three images in GIMP and move them to the side of your screen. (File – Open)

4. Make New Template

Open a New Template by going to File – New. A Template box will appear. Put in the Width and Height in pixels to suit your images eg. if your three images are 619 pixels high and 435 pixels wide, add 20 pixels between images and 25 for the surround. Your template would be 1395 wide and 669 high.

Anger,Fear Love triptych

Anger Fear Love – Helen Whitford

5. Fill template with selected colour

Fill the template with your surround colour by going to Edit – Fill with FG colour (or BG colour) If you want something other than black you can select a new colour by clicking on the Colour rectangle.

6. Select first image

Click on the image which is to go in the centre of your triptych, go to Edit – Copy

7. Paste First image

Go back to your template to Edit – Paste Into. The image you just copied will appear in the centre of your template. Click on the surround to paste it in. (If you made a mistake go to Edit – Undo Paste)

8. Select second image

Click on another of your 3 images. Edit – Copy

9. Paste Second Image

Go back to your template to Edit – Paste Into. The image you just copied will appear in the centre of your template. This time drag it to its place carefully then click on the surround to paste.

9. Select and Paste Third Image

Repeat step 8 and 9 with third image.

25. Helen Whitford_Eat Pray Love_set(album)

Eat Pray Love – Helen Whitford

10. Add Border

Add Border.  Go to Filters – Décor – Add Border. A Scriptfu box will pop up (or may be down on your task bar). Put number of pixels required in Border X and Border Y. (I’ve used 2 pixels in the example.) Select border colour by clicking in colour box. (Delta Value – a high number makes the border into a picture frame which is darker on bottom and right, lighter on top and left. To avoid this effect use value of 1.) Click OK.

11. Flatten Image

Go to Image – Flatten Image (If it won’t do it go to New Layer then flatten)

12. Save and close.

You may need to Export rather than Save. Go to File – Export As. Select the file you wish to save into and Name your image. Click Export and a box Export image as JPEG will come up. Slide to 100 in Quality. Click Export.  You can now close GIMP. Your triptych will appear in your Pictures folder where saved.

23. Helen Whitford_Album_Fun with Pebbles

Fun with Pebbles – Helen Whitford

A note on subject matter:

The theme for next weeks competiton is a Tryptich that tells a story.  A STORYTELLING triptych requires three different images which each contribute to the overall story, NOT just one photo which has been split into three, where any of the three panels would not stand alone as an image.  The classic example of what not to do is the shot along the middle of a jetty, where the two outer panels only have a triangle of jetty and the water – an image which wouldn’t stand alone.
You also need to ensure that the three images work well together in terms of lighting, colour tone, composition etc.

Port Germain Jetty Tryptic

Port Germain Jetty – James Allan

Editors Comment – There is also a style sheet on Tryptics