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Tutorial: How To Make a Perk Spread (GIMP)

Tags: #Broken Gallery  #Tutorial 
  • TED
    April 26, 2014

    Hi, I’m Billy Mays here with a GIMP tutorial!  For those that are unfamiliar with that program, it is the freeware alternative to Photoshop.  I have used this for many years and can say without a doubt that it is fun to play with!  To download it, go to the GIMP Website and click on the Download button.

    This tutorial will focus on the one thing that’s been requested numerous times on The Skyrim Blog.  This is called the Perk Spread.  If you have ever asked for one to be done for your build, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  By showing some of you how to make a perk spread, you will never have to go to the Art Group Services Request thread and ask for one again!

    Note: If you are having a hard time reading what's in the images, you can right click on it and open the image in a new tab.  It should open up as full size.


    Before we begin, we will need a background image to work with.  Once you have found your image, you will need to go to File>Open.  Select your picture and it will pop up as its own layer.  For this tutorial, I chose the image at the top of the discussion as a guideline.  As you can see, there is a Toolbox window; underneath the File dropbox is the Layers window.  You will see one layer in it with the name “Background.”   This will be your bottom layer because all the layers that are on top of it will overlay it.

    In your Toolbox Layer, you should see the letter A as an icon.  That is your Text Tool that creates Text Layers.  Click on it now.  To customize your text, click on the box underneath “Text” in the Tool Options section.  Select any font that you want to use for your Perk Spread.  Depending on the size of your image, you may need to increase the size of your font.  Since my image is 1680 by 1050 pixels, I will probably need to change my font size to something like 50 or 60.  Changing font size is as easy as clicking the up or down arrows near the button that says “PX v.”


    To change the color of your text, there is a button beside the word “Color” in the Tool Options box.  Click on it and a Text Color Palette will show up.  To make this easier for you, click on the icon that looks like a hand pressing on a Rubix Cube.  It will show several color bars that you can click on.  Once you have selected your choice of color, click OK.

     Now you are ready to begin creating text layers.  You can click anywhere on the image and a box should pop up with the Font Name and size.  Type the name of a skill, one that you’re using, for your character build.  It should show up right as you are typing.  Depending on the lighting of your image and where you place your text, you may need to make the text more visible.

    Before we go into that, here’s a tip to help you save time for this.  You can press ENTER after you type your first word to type the names of the perks you’re using for your build.  It will look off-center at first; if you want it to look centered, make sure you have the Text Tool button selected.  In the Tool Options, there are four buttons next to the word “Justify.”  Click on the Third button so that the text alignment is Centered.  Now you can complete one set of skills or two at a time.


    To make your text more visible or “pop,” you will need to click on the Select By Color Tool button (looks like a hand pointing on a tower of blocks).  Then click on one of the letters of the text.  Since the entire text is one color, it will select the whole word.  You will need to move your mouse over to the Layers window.  Underneath the box of layers, there will be a row of icons.  Click on the icon that looks like a piece of paper with a corner bent.  This will create a new layer above the layer you have selected.  Hold click and drag it underneath your text layer.  Now you will need to click on Select and Grow.  Usually anywhere between 4 and 6 pixels is enough for what we’re getting ready to do.

    In your Toolbox window, you will need to click on the Paint Bucket icon.  Before you do that, look at the two colors underneath the last row of Tool icons.  If the color on top is the same as the font color you’re using, you will need to click on it to change the color.  Repeat the same process as described in the Font Colors paragraph.  Now drag your mouse over your text layer and click inside the selected box.  If you did it right, you should see the color you selected show up underneath your Text Layer.

    Repeat this process a couple times and you will be able to finish your perk spread in no time.  That concludes our tutorial for creating a basic Perk Spread.  If you need help, comment below what your problem is.  Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!  Here is a final result following this tutorial:

  • Member
    April 26, 2014
    Those tags... :D
  • April 26, 2014

    I just love the subtle trolling this guy does 

  • Member
    April 26, 2014
    "Shrek is love," hey man, you better check yourself before you Shrek yourself.
  • Member
    May 12, 2014
    Hey, thanks for this. In order to outline my text I've been going through a long, complex process that only partially outlines the text, and then I have to go back and fill in the pieces that got missed... and the result was still sloppy. This is much quicker and more effective :D AND to find it again all I have to do is type in "Trevor Deathhand", so it's an automatic win for me.