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GIMP to Blender

Key Framing a Bounce

Class Outline:

  • Rastor (pixel) graphics
  • Shapes from Selections
  • Png formats and transparency
  • GIMP to Blender data pipeline
  • 2D graphics in 3D view
  • Time line, Dope Sheet and Curves
  • Key Framing
  • Renders and Exports
  • Gif animation format

To Bounce Project Outline

Step 1: Draw a ball.

The ball will be a circle of any color except white or black. The circle must have a transparent background and be saved in png format. Name the image, Ball.png. On your computer, create a folder named Bounce. Place your Bounce folder somewhere that you can find it again. Save your ball image to your Bounce folder.

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
draw shapes, GIMP, filled, outline, file > new, foreground colour, rectangle tool, edit, fill, outline, edit > stroke selection, paint tool stroke, brush, pencil, border width

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
GIMP, basics, tools, rectangle select, ellipse tool, re-size selection, tool properties, rounded corners, feather edges, expand from centre, modes, add to selection, subtract from selection, intersect selection, fixed, aspect ratio

GIMP Image Manipulation Program

All images we see on the Interent are displayed as tiny dots called pixels. GIMP is a free rastor (pixel) app for creating and changing images that are made up of pixels. Other software titles such as the most famous, Photoshop, can do the same job. Photoshop is exelent software and is the software of choice for most people who earn a living as graphic designers. The reasons that we are using GIMP include:

  • GIMP is free.
  • GIMP can do almost anything that Photoshop can do.
  • Images created with GIMP are in no way inferiour to images created with Photoshop.
  • For beginners, GIMP is more intuitive and easier to learn.
  • GIMP is free.
  • Downloading GIMP is far easier to download than any software that you pay for.

Step 2: Import Ball.png into Blender.

Squash the default cube flat and position it to act as a floor. Name the object floor. Create a plane object in Blender. Name the plane, Ball. Create an image material also named Ball using Ball.png. Set up your camera and lights. Do a test render to be sure that your ball is visible with a transparent background.

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
formats, export, GIMP, png, jpg, gif, file size, transparency, file > export, photograph, non-transparent, animation, export gif, as animation, animation properties

Step 3: Key frame your ball so that it bounces.

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
animations, Blender, add plane, add lamp, lamp properties, cube, materials, rotate, move, axis, timeline, play, set to frame, frame rate, fps, I, insert, key frame, loc-rot-scale, RZ, start, end, zoom timeline, open window, curve editor, key > interpolation mode > linear, exponential, dope sheet, tweening, move key frame, animation speed, key frame colour, animate properties, edit mode, shape keys, bases, add shape key, key frame shape keys, add cylinder, loop cuts, proportional editing, armature, x-ray, subdivide bone, parent armature, automatic weights, pose mode, smooth deform, weight paint, bone parenting, cycles render, node editor, add shaders, animate node properties, making object vanish, camera view, cursor to selected, Bezier circle, apply rotation and scale, parent to object keep transform, animate camera, distort path, add constraint, follow path, rotate camera, offset, render rate, render settings, name and location, movie formats, cycles render properties, resolution, render frames, noise

Step 4: Adjust your animation using the dope sheet and graph editor.

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
graph editor, nodes, move, rotate, scale, selecting, channels, H to hide, home to view all, proportional editing, duplicate, rotate multiple, handles, handle types, interpolation type, Bezier, Euler rotation, add modifier, noise, repeat animation

Step 5: Render and Export

Step 6: Create Gif animation using GIMP

Recommended Viewing

key words and key concepts:
animated gifs, install GIMP, file > open as layers, layers panel, moving layers, tool box, scale file, hide layers, layer opacity, file > export as, file extension, name, location, as animation, loop forever, fps





A pixel is a dot on the screen. Computer monitor pixels are bigger than smart phone pixels. TV pixels are rectangular. Images are built from pixels, but the image pixels are rarely shown on the screen at one to one. Almost all images are scaled before they are displayed.

To Pixel Graphics

To Bounce Project Outline