Turn Yourself Into a GTA Load Screen with GIMP

GTA load screen effect with GIMP

In this tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how you can use GIMP to make a photo have a similar art style to the load screens from the Grand Theft Auto video game series. The style demonstrated in this tutorial is more like the load screens used in GTA4 rather than GTA5, but it still has that effect.

Before we get started, I’d just like to credit Davies Media Design for the inspiration for this video. Check out his video to see how to create a cartoon effect with GIMP.

In order to follow along with this tutorial you’ll need to install a couple of resources first.


First, you’ll need the G’MIC plugin, which we will be using for the Dream Smoothing effect. You can download G’MIC and follow the installation instructions here: https://gmic.eu/download.shtml

If you’d like to emulate the text effect from the GTA game series, you’ll also need to download a font known as Pricedown, which can be found here: https://www.dafont.com/pricedown.font

Create GTA Load Screens with GIMP

The following is just a written overview of what this tutorial entails. For the complete tutorial, please watch the video below:

For this demonstration I’ll be using the following example photo…

Example photo

I’ll also be using the following background design to place it on once I’m finished…

Background design

To give our subject the desired illustrative look, I’m going to be applying a series of filters and effect. The filters used, in order, are as follows…

  1. Unsharp Mask
  2. Cartoon
  3. Noise Reduction
  4. Unsharp Mask
  5. Posterize
  6. Dream Smoothing
  7. Cartoon

Once applied, we should end up with the following result…

Effect applied to character

Now we must remove the white background from the photo. Check out my tutorial on deleting backgrounds to transparent with GIMP for a variety of methods you can use to delete your background.

Here’s how the design looks once the subject has been pasted onto the background…

Subject added to background

Now we just have to add some text. To do this, we’ll just create white text using the Pricedown font, then add a black outline to it.

Here’s how the finished design looks…

Finished GTA load screen

And that is how you can create a GTA load screen design using GIMP! If you have any questions leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Hi, I'm Nick— a Philadelphia-based graphic designer with over 10 years of experience. Each year millions of users learn how to use design software to express their creativity using my tutorials here and on YouTube.

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