Creating a realistic gold surface in GIMP

I’m fairly weak in my GIMP skills but I would really like to improve. I’m trying to create a realistic gold surface in GIMP. I’ve created a reasonable image here using the gold gradient, a curve shift for the edge of the medallion, and bump mapping for the pressed image. However the gold needs work.

The gradient lines are too straight and consistent, which may work on specific objects but not so well for the coin.

How can I improve the surface effect?

Here’s my medallion:

Here's my medallion:

And here’s a real medal:

enter image description here


Part of the “problem” for anyone relatively new to Gimp is that there are often many ways to reach any desired outcome and the desired outcome is always a personal preference. Hopefully you will get many answers with alternative solutions.

Based on your description and attached medal, I presume you have been watching “How to create gold medal with GIMP” tutorial on YouTube by Jose Navas which is an ok tutorial and intro to using bump maps in Gimp. The “Gold Gradient” used in the tutorial is not necessarily the best way to start but since you’ve already chosen that path, here are some methods and filters you can play with. Try different combinations. Always first make a copy of the layer you wish to modify. Play with Layer Opacity Values and Layer Blend Modes.
Since you already know how to use bump maps, an easy way to proceed might be to search and download “Gold Medal Textures”, open them as layers and use them as bump maps in the same manner as you did with pressed image.

I would suggest you first install G’MIC Plugin for Gimp. That way you have more filters and options.

Some filters you might wish to try:

  • Cartesian Transform (Filters -> G’Mic -> Deformations -> Cartesian
  • Gaussian Blur (Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur)
  • Random (Filters -> G’Mic -> Deformations -> Random)
  • Textured Glass (Filters -> G’Mic -> Deformations -> Textured Glass)
  • Noise (Filters -> G’Mic -> Degradations -> Noise [Additive])
  • Cinema (Filters -> G’Mic -> Testing -> Gentlemanbeggar -> 60’s
  • Metallic Grain (Filters -> Gmic -> Testing -> Photocomix -> Metallic Grain)
  • Relief Light (Filters -> G’Mic -> Lights & Shadows -> Relief light)
  • Brushify (Filters -> G’Mic -> Artistic -> Brushify)

In the samples below I’ve typically used layer opacity values between 20-50 percent so effects are subtle. Hopefully you can see some differencies when zooming in.

G'MIC Filters

If you wish to control lighting options and optionally add realism by using environment maps (much the same way as bump maps), you can try Lighting Effects (Filters -> Light and Shadow -> Lighting Effects…).

Lighting effects

For desired outcome, try different material properties, maps, light colors, intensities, number of lights, lamp types etc.

Sample results

There seems to be plenty of Photoshop tutorials available so depending on how well you know your way around Gimp you could perhaps attempt to follow one of those tutorials and try to replicate the tasks in Gimp. One good Youtube tutorial is called “How To Create a Realistic Coin In Photoshop“. It introduces some basic concepts and methods that are Application independent and achievable also in Gimp or most any other image editor.

Photoshop Tutorial Gimped

Finally, if you wish to learn more about surface texturing and photorealistic material creation, it might be a good idea to search for Blender “Hard Surface Texturing” tutorials even if you are not a Blender user. Many Blender artists create their weathered hard surface texturing brushes, bump maps, scratch brushes etc. in Gimp.

Source : Link , Question Author : Routhinator , Answer Author : JKat

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