Make how to Cylinder Gimp Tutorial

A cylinder shape, or rod shape, is a three-dimensional figure which can be drawn simply by combining a rectangular shape with elliptic or circular ends to convey a rounded look. In this tutorial, we will be making a cylinder shape using GIMP or any other software with corresponding commands as the instructions below. You can download GIMP, an open-source graphics software with the same features as other commercial programs, for free at their website.

Creating A Cylinder

At the menu bar, click FILE->New and select the canvas size of your choice. Under the VIEW menu, check the Snap to Grid and Show Grid options to make the grid visible. You can adjust the appearance of the grid by clicking IMAGE->Configure Grid at the menu bar and setting the Line Style to  “Intersection (dots)” for a more subtle guideline. Using the Rectangle Select Tool, draw a rectangle then fill it with a shade which is lighter than the foreground color.


Once you have your rectangle, we can now add the round ends using the Ellipse Select Tool. Create an ellipse as wide as the rectangle with one-half of the ellipse overlapping the rectangle and the other half falling outside of the rectangle area. Fill this ellipse with the foreground color or any shade that is considerably darker than that of the rectangle. Duplicate the current ellipse by clicking EDIT->Copy then click EDIT->Paste. Drag the second ellipse to the bottom of the rectangle to create a cylinder.

You can now begin to make out the cylinder shape. We’re now going to make color of the bottom ellipse match the color of the rectangle. Using the Color Picker Tool, click on the rectangle area to acquire its color. Activate the Fuzzy Select Tool then click on the bottom ellipse to highlight it. Fill the bottom ellipse with the acquired rectangle color by clicking EDIT->Fill with FG Color. The rectangle and the bottom ellipse have to connect seamlessly to create a rounded effect.


Rounded Surface Appearance

A cylinder is going to need some light and shadow effect to further imply a rounded surface. We can do this by using gradients but we need to separate the current image into two layers, one for the surface and one for the circular end. To do this, we need to combine all the layers of our current image by clicking IMAGE->Flatten Image. We now have just one layer for our image. At the menu bar, click EDIT->Paste As->New Layer to create a second layer which contains the ellipse we copied a while ago.


Assemble the two layers together seamlessly then, at the Layers Dialog, click the Lock button beside the Eye icon for both layers so that they move as one object. We can now apply the gradient to the each surface using the Blend Tool. Click on the layer you want to work on at the Layers Dialog. Using the Blend Tool, drag the cursor across the chosen layer. Choose a simple flare gradient which is usually just a fade out of one color to create the appearance of shadows and lighting.

You can also use other methods such as the Difference Cloud filter under FILTERS->Render->Clouds. Set the Y-value to its lowest value for a vertical orientation and adjust the X-value until you’ve achieved  your desired lighting effect. Although this filter may have random outcomes, once you become used to it, you can create good lighting effects and also add color using the Colorize command.