Turning a Photograph into a Polka Dot Image in GIMP

This a very quick simple tutorial and a bit of fun! I have made a range of different sizes – 50px, 75px, 100px, 150px patterns so you can easily apply the effect in seconds. I suggest you try some masking of layers as well to experiment with design :) .

Polka Dot PhotographPolka Dot Photograph


1. Making  a Polka Dot Stencil

  • Create a new document in GIMP – choose the size of your Polka Dot (I have ready made ones to download at the end of the tutorial),  Fill with: Transparency, 72 resolution should be fine:
Making a Polka Dot StencilMaking a Polka Dot Stencil

  • Grab the Ellipse Tool, fill the square with the a circle:
  • Invert the selection, Ctrl + I or Select –> Invert:
  • Grab the Paint Fill Tool, Fill Whole Selection with Black or White:
Paint ToolPaint Tool

  • Save this as Pattern file .pat!
  • Then copy it into your Patterns Folder – C:\Program Files\GIMP-2.0\share\gimp\2.0\patterns (Could be different).

2. Pixelize

  • Open your photograph in GIMP – Duplicate your image if you’d like to do some Layer Masking later!
  • We need to pixelize the photograph to get the single solid colours for each dot – Go, Filters –> Blur –> Pixelize:
  • Now choose the size of your pixels – depends on the Polka Dot size you want (50, 75, 100, 150, custom)

3. Applying Polka Dot Pattern

  • In your Patterns Toolbar select the Polka Dot stencil you want to use (mine will be 74px BLACK):
  • Now go, Edit –> Fill with Pattern (Ctrl +;):
Applying Polka Dot PatternApplying Polka Dot Pattern

4. Cropping Excess

  • Your image and pattern will not always fit perfectly so a little cropping is needed.
  • Just crop to the edges of the dots:
Cropping ExcessCropping Excess

5. Saturation

  • I recommend a little saturation to boost the effect!

6. Download Patterns

  • You may download the Polka Dot Patterns here:

Black and White (50, 75, 100, 150):

That’s It!

If you are using Photoshop here is the tutorial: Polka Dot Effect (http://pinkzap.com)

If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!


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