How to Put Beams on GIMP

Written by carol adams
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How to Put Beams on GIMP
Add your own beams of light using GIMP. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Nature photography is a popular pastime. The beauty and grandeur of a forest scene or mountain clouds rarely fails to impress. Still, there are occasions when you might decide that a photo you have taken could be made better. For example, you might want to have beams of light (sometimes called "God-rays") shining down out of the clouds. If you have the freeware application GIMP, it is easy to add these light beams.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Load the image you want to edit onto your computer.

  2. 2

    Open GIMP. Select "File" from the menu and choose "Open." In the dialogue, browse to the image you loaded and open it.

  3. 3

    Go to the "Layers" panel on the right and click on the "New Layer" button. Select the new layer.

  4. 4

    Select the "Path" tool from the toolbar and use it to draw the shape of the beam you want to add. Go to the options on the lower, left and click on "Selection From Path."

  5. 5

    Use the "Paintbucket" tool to fill the selection with a light yellow. Select "Filter" from the menu and choose "Noise." From the options, choose "RGB Noise." In the dialogue, turn off "Independent RGB" and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Select "Filters" from the menu and choose "Blur." From the options, choose "Motion Blur." In the dialogue, change the "Angle" so it matches the direction of the beam. Make the "Length" about 100. Click "OK."

  7. 7

    Go to the "Layers" panel and reduce the "Opacity" of the beam layer to about 30 per cent, depending on the brightness of the original image.

  8. 8

    Repeat this process to add any more beams to the image. Save your work.

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