One Four Challenge – June – Week 1


Click to enlarge

G’MIC Plug-In for GIMP – Engrave Filter

I was able to find some time to tinker with an image today, once again I played around with one of the filters in the G’MIC Plug-In for GIMP*.  I learned about this filter in this post from the author of the G’MIC Plug-In (he even included a video.  You can find out more under 4.1 Engrave Effect of that post).

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have been enamored with the idea of creating an effect that is similar to the movie A Scanner Darkly.  I think I’ve finally found it!  And for once it didn’t take a bunch of work on my part, woohoo! 😀

Kind thoughts and comments welcome. 🙂

I have joined a month-long photo post-processing challenge called One Four Challenge, hosted by Robyn at Captivate Me. “This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.” Every Monday Robyn posts a new version of her photo and challenges us to do the same each week.


This time around my process was super easy.

  1. I brought my raw file up in RawTherapee and made general adjustments (exposure, etc.).
  2. Then in GIMP* I altered the color just a smidge by using Color Curves [Colors->Curves then each channel separately, Pat David has a great tutorial on this.]  I increased the green and red in my image.

    Color Curves

    Color Curves

  3. Next I boosted the contrast and brightness [Colors->Brightness-Contrast], this is very subtle.

    Brightness Contrast

    Brightness Contrast

  4. Then the fun began… I used the Engrave filter in the G’MIC Plug-In [Filters->G’MIC->Black&White->Engrave].

    Click to enlarge

    Which gives you two layers:

    The B&W layer is set to Darken Only blend mode by the program so that the white areas show-thru the colors.



  5. And then I used the heal brush on the color layer created by the Engrave filter to blend the areas on the top and bottom of my image. 120414_NAT_4437-gimp-engrave-colorlayer-heal_LR500

    Engrave Heal

    Engrave Heal

And that’s it! Easy peasy! 😀

Until next time…

* GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop. You can download it for free here. The GIMP online manual can be found here.


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13 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – June – Week 1

    • Thanks! Well, I guess easy peasy compared to all my previous efforts where I basically did a lot of stuff by hand and with a ton of filters. This time around the Plug-In did all the work for me. 🙂

  1. Hi Nic 😃 Wow! This is a lovely image with many wonderful variations throughout your process.
    I knew about UFRaw, but not RawTherapee – it does a good job! Love the result with the raw file.
    The b&w layer would make a wonderful print (linocut etc) and the finished result is quite a graphic representation of the image. You found your movie style!! Nicely done Nic. An interesting process 😃😃

    • Thanks, Robyn! There are three Open Source Raw Photo Manipulating Software that I’ve heard good things about, UFRaw, RawTherapee, and DarkTable. I tried out UFRaw first because it was available for all formats (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and was very basic. Now I’m venturing into RawTherapee it has similar sliders as LightRoom and Camera Raw, it is available for all formats also. Darktable is available for Unix/Linux and possibly Mac, but not Windows. In my effort to use software anyone can use (and then write tutorials), I’m trying out the ones that are available for all formats. 🙂

      I didn’t think about it at first but yes I can see the b&w layer as a template for an etching or something 🙂

      • Im enjoying and learning from your trials with software Nic.. and your tutes! RawTherapee sounds good. Have heard of Darktable too, but dont have Linux these days.

        • Oh, thanks so much. 🙂 I was running Windows when I was using Adobe products, but I’ve since switched back to Linux (Fedora). My laptop is acutally dual-boot (Linux/Windows), but since my Open Source endeavors I haven’t booted back to Windows in months. But I still want my tutorials to be relevant to everyone, which is why I make sure the software can be used on all platforms. 🙂

Kind thoughts and comments are always welcome...

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