eLearning art


So you do eLearning Design, but don’t have the budget to buy an expensive Creative Suite? But, how are you going to edit that image? How are you going to open up the image and edit the vector file? There are plenty of open source alternatives out there to help your eLearning design. But which ones to use?

GIMPshop Open Source Software

Let’s explore GIMPshop, (which once meant Gnu Image Manipulation Program). It’s an open source program that replicates lots of Photoshop’s features. Hence, why they call it GIMPshop now. Although, the features are similar, you’ll notice the interface is different. Best of all, you can download GIMPshop for free.

GIMPshop 2.8 is the version I will be using for this tutorial. If your copy of GIMPshop does not look exactly the same, don’t despair, you may have to look a little further but everything is still there. If you want to follow along with the same version, use GIMPShop 2.8.

Download Tip: When downloading software, please read through the installation, rather than just clicking through. Browser Add-ons usually get downloaded because people just click through during installation. GIMP download manager is no different. Follow the directions on the website above, and click, “Skip All Offers!

In this tutorial, we will use seamless or tile-able textures since they are a staple for creative industries. Not only in eLearning, but in scrapbooking, 3D, film, etc. It’s a good skill to have. Why would this skill be helpful in eLearning?  I’ve found this skill useful in my course development for making seamless images that can be reused from old assets. Also, it’s helpful to create a larger image without losing quality, or to make a subtle background.

8 Steps on How to Make a Repeatable Texture Using GIMPshop

Let’s say you start by using this image below. Pretty average right?

Step 1 - Use the selection tool to draw a selection around the area you want to be repeat and crop.


Step 2 – Next we need to adjust the perspective. You can do this by using the rulers off to the side drag and drop guides.

Step 3 – Use the Perspective tool to fix any perspective issues. For this example, try making the lines lineup to the guides. The lines in the images should now look straight. Could look something similar to this.

Step 4 - Crop again. Hide the guides since you don’t need them. The image will snap when you are cropping again. Try and grab the whole ditch on the top and left, and none of the ditch on the bottom and right.

Step 5 - Go to Layer > Transform > Offset. Select the x/2, y/2 options. This will move everything in the image to the left and down half way. It tiles the layer. You should now see some seams.

Step 6 - Let’s get rid of the seams. Use the clone tool and clone away. Use the CTRL key (on PC) to select the source to clone from. Now just clone the seams of the images.

Step 7 - You should now have a repeatable texture. Good practice is to repeat step 5 to bring it back to its original offset.

Step 8 - To test it and see how tile looks. Now, go to Filter > Map > Tile, and choose a bigger size. Doing this will create a new file with this layer repeated over and over. Look this over, and if you are happy, you’re all done.

You may notice that the bottom middle brick is very noticeable. I would clone the shadow area out so that it is not as noticeable when the pattern is repeated.

In future eLearning design blog posts, we will do more open source tutorials with GIMPShop, Inkscape, Audacity and other free alternatives. What would you like to learn? What software or process do you want to know? Leave us a comment.


Read some of my other blog posts about eLearning design:

eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 1)
eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 2)
eLearning Design Tips for the Non-Designer (Part 3)

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