This project uses GIMP to create a Paint by Number of any particular image, be it low res gif of some object or high res photo of yourself.

GIMP is the open source (free) equivalent to Photoshop. So there isn't any excuse not to try this project! If you've already got GIMP downloaded and operational, then all you need is a photo and less than 30 minutes!

Since we're creating our image on a 8.5 x 11.0 letter, you can easily translate this project into a bound collected works. Or just post your image to any profile for your own unique avatar!

Step 1: Preparing the Image

1. File>Open>Select image to manipulate.

If necessary, Image>Transform>Rotate by necessary degrees.

2. Using Rectangle Select Tool select area of image* to be traced.

3. Copy area to clipboard (Ctrl + C).

4. File>New>Choose US Letter.

5. Paste image (Ctrl + V) to New Untitled Image.

Now is a good time to Title (Save) your project!

6. Layer>Scale layer

If image taller than wider, enter 11 in height field.

If image wider than taller, enter 8.5 in width field.

The other field with auto adjust.

Click Scale button.

Step 2: Tracing the Image

1. Create New Layer.

Layer fill type Transparency (default).

Naming the Layer "trace" is helpful.

Be sure the new layer "trace" is highlighted.

2. Select Pencil Tool.

Choose brush size based on thickness of line you prefer.
For example, Brush (07) lines will appear as 07 lead when printed.

3. Begin "tracing" the important lines of the image.

TIPS: Be sure to save your work occasionally.
Use Zoom Tool for more precision.

Step 3: Numbering

1. Once entire image is traced to preference, Remove visibility from pasted layer.

This is done by deselecting the "eye."

NOTE: Only the tracing should remain. This should resemble a line drawing.

2. Select the Text Tool.

Set font & size. Try 75. Smaller may be necessary depending on detail of trace.

3. Click on an area of the trace to be numbered. Enter # for eace area.

TIP: 1-5 color regions works best. If using a color photo, try Posterizing it before tracing as follows.

Colors>Posterize. Try 3-10 levels.

Step 4: Finishing Up

1. Save completed work as .gif file.

2. Print or Post your work!

TIP: Try several based on images of yourself, print, then bind them together for a Paint-Me-by-Number autobiography. Or try one of yourself and post it as your avatar.

Instead of tracing the entire image, use a larger brush size to place dots along the important lines. Then number them for a connect-the-dot!
<p>nch makes a photo pad program free that automaticly makes paint by numbers @</p><p><a href="http://www.nchsoftware.com/photoeditor/index.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.nchsoftware.com/photoeditor/index.html</a></p><p>this is a very detailed one</p>
<p>awesome tip! thanks</p>
This instructable is the product of my first attempt at GIMP + wishing there'd been a tutorial for what I was trying to do (create a paint me by number, for my Facebook profile). <br/><br/>I'll be the first to admit that my technique is more primitive hack. Any GIMP information is <em>useful</em> information to me! I definitely plan to try both your suggestions and any others.<br/><br/>BTW, the robot is an <a rel="nofollow" href="http://robosquare.city.fukuoka.lg.jp/robofan/papercraft/002.html">ifbot ROBO-CRAFT</a> from ROBOSQUARE used in the original image as an example for prototyping ideas in robotics. <br/><br/>Thnx for your comments!<br/>
use paths you'll get nicer, smoother lines
does gimp even have paths? anyway a great way to get clean lines is to do this: -desaturate the image -duplicate the layer -invert the top layer's colors -set the top layer's overlay mode to color dodge -apply a gaussian blur to the top layer, however thick you feel is right. this technique i actually used to give an iamge the effect of being hand drawn, but once this is all done you can either leave it as-is or use gimp's color-to-alpha tool to remove all of the white areas from the image and then duplicate the layer or use other effects to make the lines dark and clean.
yes its the pen like tool

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More by seroberts:Create your own Paint by Number using GIMP. 
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