Instructions for creating the floating hostname for the GIMP

  1. Open a "New" image with the dimensions of 400 X 100, using the "white" background.
  2. Click on the "T" (for Text), choose the font "Vag Rounded" at 50 pixels, then type the desired text (the new hostname), and place it anywhere on the layer.
  3. With black text on a white background, right click on the image and choose "Image -> Colors -> Invert" which gives white text on a black background.
  4. Right click on this and choose "Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (IIR)". Use the default values and click "OK".
  5. From the "Layers Dialog" add another layer--fill is irrelevant.
  6. Open the image: /images/bkgrounds/lunarclr.jpg.
  7. Place the mouse over this image, right click, and do a "Edit -> Cut".
  8. "Edit ->Paste" this image onto the new layer above the text. Before anchoring this image. move it around to see how to get the best colors on your text. Then anchor, and you have a "New Layer" and a "Background".
  9. Turn off the new layer (so you can see the letters) and crop the image to a manageable size.
  10. With the new layer active, right click the image and choose "Filters -> Map -> Bump Map".
  11. Leave the default settings as they are except "Depth" which should be changed to 7, and click the "Compensate for Darkening" button.
  12. Choose the background of the image you are working on as the bump map. You should see a preview of the text showing onto the marble. Choose "OK".
  13. Make sure the New Layer is selected and then choose "Add Layer Mask" from the "Layers Dialog". Make sure this is white (default).
  14. Make the background active and then, with the cursor on the image, do a right click "Edit -> Cut".
  15. Make the new layer active and click on the layer mask (the white box to the right of the image).
  16. Do a right click "Edit -> Paste" to place the text on the mask.
  17. Anchor this and (with both layers visible) you should have blurry, colored text on a black background.
  18. Add a new layer and bucket fill it with gray (204-204-204). Make sure this layer is beneath the top layer. This layer serves no purpose other than to be a suitable backdop when you make the image more crisp.
  19. Click on the mask (white box on right) to make that layer active and that box active on that layer.
  20. Right click and choose "Image -> Colors -> Levels". This brings up a dialog that will allow you to sharpen the image.
  21. Adjust the "Input Level" slider (under the graph) so the white triangle is a bit to the left of the middle and the gray triangle is close to it. Move these around to find the optimal sharpness. This allows greater transparency but maintains the gradual movement from black to transparent. Choose "OK".
  22. From the "Layers Dialog" make a duplicate of this top layer.
  23. Now, on the copy (second one down), again from the "Layers Dialog" right click and choose "Apply Layer Mask". You will get a little dialog asking if you want to do this. You do.
  24. There now should be 4 layers: the layer with the mask, a layer with the text on a transparent background, the gray layer, and the original text. You can make the lower 2 levels invisible, leaving the top two layers visible.
  25. Make sure the second level only is both active and visible.
  26. Using the brush with 100% opacity, click on the little "Keep Trans." button on the "Layers Dialog" and paint this layer gray. This should just paint the letters gray and leave the background transparent.
  27. Turn the "Keep Trans." button off.
  28. Using the same "Blur" as before, blur this image, using the default values.
  29. Make a duplicate of this layer.
  30. Using the "Move" arrow, move one of these layers up and to the left (approximately 3 pixels--you will see the box as a dotted line; be sure the corner lines up with the corner of the image).
  31. Watch Out--it is easy (at least for me) to make one of these visible without making it active. If you see a floating hand instead of the cross, that tells you you are not working on the layer you see.
  32. Be sure to activate the other layer and move it down and to the right the same number of pixels as the other move.
  33. Make the top layer visible again, and you should have floating colored text with a light gray corona surrounding it.
  34. From the "Layers Dialog", do a "Merge Visible Layers" (remember, those bottom 2 layers should not be visible). Choose the "Clipped to image" option.
  35. Open image /images/template/host/jpg.
  36. With the cursor on the text image, perform a right click "Edit -> Cut" and then "Edit -> Paste" onto host.jpg.
  37. There is a large cluster of stars on the left of this image. Have the text line up to the right of this star, but the width of the text will determine the proper placement.
  38. Enlarge the image and make sure that the base of the text (the bottom pixel of the orange text) is on a line that extends from the 50 pixel line of the image.
  39. Anchor, save with a new name, (use hostname.jpg as the name and save at 83 on the "Quality" slider) and you're done!
  40. If the image isn't quite right, remove this layer and go back to the original, perform a right click "Edit -> Undo" to unmerge the layers, and get it perfect!