Importing your 2d Character from Gimp to Blender

In this tutorial I will show you how to import the character you made in Gimp to Blender.


Exporting from Gimp

After creating your character piece by piece in Gimp, its time to import it into Blender. Before we open Blender we first need to save each body part individually and crop any empty space off. The easiest way for me to do this is by coping each layer and pasting it as a new image. Then, before saving, using the auto crop feature.

1. Right Click and Copy a body part- Be sure the right layer is selected2. Paste to a New Image- Right Click, hover over “Edit”, hover over “Paste as” and Click “New Image”

>3. AutoCrop the Image- At the top toolbar, Click “Image” then Click “AutoCrop Image”

4. Lastly, Save the Image- Go to File. save, and give it a name ending with “.png”

Example: “turtle-arm.png”

You will have to do this with every single body part. I recommend that you save them all in a folder that will be easy for you to locate when we open up Blender.

Enabling “Import Images as Planes” in Blender

Enabling “import images as planes” is the first thing that you will need to do after opening Blender. Navigate to “File“-> “User Preferences“. A menu will appear that looks like this:

Click “Addons” and type in the search bar: “Import Images”. You should see the “Import-Export: Import Images as Planes” Addon. Enable it by checking the box on the right.Once your done, you can close that menu.

 

Importing your Character

Before we import our characters pieces, we need to clear our scene in Blender. Hitting “A” on your keyboard once will deselect everything, hitting it again will select everything. When everything is selected, press “X” on your keyboard to delete it all. Hit Enter, or click “Delete” with your mouse to confirm.

 

Now we will import our character’s pieces. First make sure that your cursor (The little red and white circle with a cross through it) is in the center. You can achieve this by clicking in the 3d space, or by pressing the Space-Bar and typing “snap” in the search field and selecting “snap cursor to center“.

Next go to “File” -> “Import” -> “Images as Planes“. Navigate to the Folder that all your pieces were placed in. Make sure the boxes that say “Shadeless“, “Use Alpha“, and “Premultiply“ are checked. If your characters pieces are the only images in that folder you can also check “All in Directory” and it will import all of them at once. If this is not the case, you will have to import each body piece individually. To Import the selected image, click “Import Images as Planes” in the upper-right hand corner.

 

 

Now you will see on your screen a bunch of grey planes with no images on them. To fix this, we are going to have to change the “View Port Shading” option to “Textured“. This can be found in the toolbar beneath your 3D view port. Refer to the image below.

Next, with all of our body parts in the 3D space, and all of them selected, we are going to press “R” (for rotate) then “X(for x-axis) and type “90(for 90 degrees) in that order. This will rotate all of the planes so they are parallel with the z-axis (in other words… standing straight up),

 

Now press “1″ to switch to front view, and then “5″ to toggle perspective view. Now all you have to do is select each body part, size it, and move it to the correct position. the “G” key lets you Grab, use the “X”, “Y”, and “Z” key to lock your movements to a particular axis. “S” will let you scale your body parts to the appropriate size. Move everything to the center and try your best to get the proportions right.

That is all for this tutorial, if this tutorial was a little too hard to follow don’t worry i’ll be creating a video to go along with it soon. In the next tutorial I will show you how to make a simple animation with your 2D character.

This is how my character turned out:

8 comments

  1. Azia Giles says:

    Great tutorials you have out there. I believe this initiative shall be widely appreciated soon enough. More grease to your elbows.

  2. Flávio Markiewicz says:

    Very good tutorials, you turn the process simple to understand! Thank you and keep up the good work!

  3. Yollo says:

    On your site probably you should add a game making tutorial

  4. Gem says:

    How do you make sure they stay on the same Axis? For some reason, despite only using ‘G’ and ‘S’ they change across the Z axis and it throws off the whole thing

  5. Paul Thomas says:

    Great tutorial. Info is really sparse on the Web for such great software. It’s getting let down by lack of documentation so far.

  6. Jim Hunter says:

    Great tutorial! I’m using Blender 2.75a, which looks a bit different from what you’re using, but it now has an option to determine the plane dimensions based on the size of the image, so everything is scaled properly when you import!

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