Shattered text effect created with GIMP

Create a Shattered Text Effect with GIMP

Create a Shattered Text Effect with GIMP 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use GIMP to create a shattered text effect where it appears as if the letters have been smashed to bits and scattered about.

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The following is a brief outline of the steps taken to achieve this effect. For complete step-by-step instructions, please refer to the video tutorial at the end of the page.

Shattered Text Effect

The first thing we’re going to do is add some white text to a black background. The font I used is League Gothic, but feel free to use whatever font you’d like.

Step 1

Next we’ll be applying a broken glass texture by overlaying it onto the text and setting the blend mode to Difference. The texture is as follows…

Broken glass texture

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Here’s how it looks once the texture is applied to the text…

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Step 2

Next we’ll use the Paths tool to create a selection around a segment of the text so that we can break everything into pieces that separate from each other.

Step 3

Here’s how it will look once separated…

Step 3

And here’s how it will look once we’ve repeated these steps throughout the rest of the text…

Step 5

Now we just have to rotate each of the individual pieces so that it has a more natural, whimsical look that helps sell the illusion better. We’ll do this using the Rotate tool.

Step 6

The final step is to add a background image and adjust the color curves a bit so that the background image and the text match each other seamlessly. Here’s the background image we’ll use…

Glass pieces background

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And with that, we are done! The final design is as follows…

GIMP tutorial finished design

Video Tutorial

For step-by-step instructions with voice narration, please watch the following video tutorial. If you have any questions leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!


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Nick Saporito

Designer, content creator, and the founder of — an educational media platform for learning about graphic design.

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