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How to Blend Layers in Gimp: A Beginner’s Guide

Blending layers in Gimp is a great way to make your photos more interesting. Whether you are trying to remove distracting objects or give the photo an artistic twist, blending will help you accomplish these tasks. This article will teach you how to blend layers in Gimp so that you can start creating stunning images on your own!

Layers Dialogue In Gimp

For reference, unlike Photoshop, which calls its toolboxes palettes, Gimp instead names them Dockable Dialogues, which are found on the right side of the screen.

Click on the New Layer icon bottom left of the Dialogue. In the window that opens, you can name it, define its size and choose whether to fill the layer with color or have a transparent layer. We will choose the Transparency option. When you click OK, you will see the layer now appears in the Layer Dialogue above our original image.

Let’s make a very basic text and image overlying for a photograph. Add an overlay in the Toolbox on the left of the screen by using the text tool. As you type on the picture, you’ll notice that the text tool creates another new layer automatically. We may now alter our opacity by selecting either the down arrow under opacity or typing an opacity percentage into the box and hitting Enter.

The Layer’s Dialogue is straightforward and uncomplicated, so let’s take a look at the Blend Modes available to Gimp users. To understand how they function, we’ll do a single-shot HDR merge. Open a photo in Gimp and then go to Select All from the menu. Then go to Edit – Copy – Paste As New Layer. You’ll see another similar layer instead of that one. To duplicate a layer, click the little triangle on the Layer Dialogue and select Layers Manu – Duplicate Layer from the menu.

Blending Modes In Gimp

The GIMP Blend Modes option is comparable to Adobe Photoshop’s Blend Modes. When you click on it, you’ll see a list of familiar-looking blend modes. Underneath this is the opacity tool. In GIMP, unlike Adobe Photoshop, there is no Fill mode. The Locking choice (which also appears if we choose All layers) is the last feature we notice (and it also appears if we choose All layers).

Let’s take a look at what each Blend mode does. Make sure you’re on the top layer and then go through the blend modes one by one.

  • Dissolve, as it’s known in video and slideshow editing, reveals the lower layer via random pixels. The overall merge will be lighter as a result of Lighten Only, Screen, Dodge, and Addition. Darken Only, Multiply, and Burn are the inverse of Lighten modes that will impact only the dark or black pixels and result in an overall darkening of the picture.
  • Difference, Subtract, Grain Extract, Grain Merge, and Divide are all strong blend modes that may drastically transform the way your image appears.
  • The Color Mode, Hue, Saturation, and Value are much more subtle than that. Using the foreground image’s values to apply them to the background picture. For example, applying the foreground image’s saturation value to the background will result in a general increase in saturation throughout the image that is already bright.

How to Decide Which Mode To Choose

The blend mode you select is entirely dependent on the goal you are attempting to achieve. In this scenario, we’re merging an HDR from a single photo, therefore Overlay modes like Soft Light will perform better. You can alter the opacity of the blend by changing its opacity value, and you can move and rearrange layers just as in Photoshop. The inclusion of Layers to Gimp has made it a real contender to Photoshop for professional photographers, who may now use it for many of Photoshop’s features without having to purchase it outright.


In conclusion, Gimp’s Blend Modes are a powerful way to merge layers and photographs. By understanding how each mode works, you can create the desired effect with ease. Experimentation is key, so don’t be afraid to try out new modes to see what they do!