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This tutorial is on how to make any house- even your own - look like a haunted house. The tutorial will cover the generic aspects of a haunted house and also some other aspects which will give the house the extra finishing touch. We will be trying to modify the image so it becomes a true terrifiying house, yet we are going to keep the realism of the photo. To create this photo we will be using a free photo editing program called GIMP.

Time required to finish the haunted house: 2hours

Tools: GIMP ( Which the tutorial is based on), Many other photo editing progams will also work such as Photoshop and Pixlr.

Diffilicuty: Simple, no prior skills are needed in order to complete this project.

Note: I do not claim to own any of the photo's used in the process of this tutorial. All photoes belong to their respective owners.

Step 1: Beginning and After Image


The First image is the before image and the Second Image is the After Image.

Step 2: What Image of a House Is a Good One?


It is possible to use any photo, yet some achieve better results than others.

There are certain characteristics which a photo must have to be a good photo.
1: It must be clear of objects such as: tables, chairs, fences, posts ect.
2: Trees and bushes must not go in front of the house.
3: The photo must seem dead and bland.

There are some characteristics which will improve the results of the finished product.
1: The ground around the house is dead grass or lawn.
2: There are no houses behind the target house.
3: The house is tall, and has a towering peak.

Image 1: This house is an average photo for our use. The positive things about this photo are that it is bland, free of objects and it doesnt have many bushes/trees/plants in front of the house. The negative things about this photo is that the house is new, so it doesnt seem old and decaying; It house a healthy lawn in front of the house; there is a second house in the back ground and there is a letter box which goes slightly over the house.

Image 2: This image is a nearly perfect image. The house has an old look; it has dead looking trees in the back ground; It if free from unwanted objects and trees; also it is based on a dead ground. The negative things about this photo are that: It has a house in the background and there are slightly to many trees.

Image 3: This image is also a really good image. The house has a few peaks; it is tall; there are no unwanted objects. The bad things about this image are that: It has a background house and it is placed on a healthy lawn.

Image 4: This image is a terrible image to use. It has no good characteristics about it. The negative characteristics about the photo is; There are trees/ plants in front of the house; the photo seems very pretty not dead and bland; not much of the house can be seen; and there are unwanted objects (the pool) in front of the house.

Image 5: This image is an bad image to use. This is because it has bushes and shrubs in front of the house; there are other houses in the picture; and there is a giant fence running across the majority of the photo.

Image 6: This image is also bad to use. This is because there are plants in front of the house; the house in based on a healthy lawn; and there are a few unwanted objects in the photo.

Once you have found your image right click on it and select open with GIMP.

Step 3: Where Are All the Tools in GIMP?


There are three main areas of tools in GIMP. These are the GIMP tool bar, GIMP tool box and the Layers and Brush Tool Box. These have icon to a wide variety or tools you can use to manipulate your photos with.

GIMP tool bar: This bar has icon to lead to a variety of manipulation tools which are used in our photo. In this instructable you will see: GIMP tool bar > Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. This simply means: locate your GIMP tool bar, click on the filters icon, and then continue clicking the icons until u reach the Gaussian blur.

GIMP tool box: This is where the icon for the tools is located. These tools specialize in the actual drawing and shape changing of the image.

Layers and Brush Tool Box: This tool box specializes in the modification of entire layers, the layer order and the brushes used.
For our use there are two main parts to this tool box. The layers section and the brush section.

Layers section: Here you can view your layers. You are able to turn a specific layer of, or change the way the layers interact. A layer is images or effects overlaid on top of one another.

Brush section: In the brush section you can choose what brush and what size brush you want to use.

When the same tool is used over and over again, this instructable will stop instructing exactly where it is. Eg. At the start of the tutorial the instructable will say: GIMP tool bar > Filters > Blur > Gaussian blur. At the end of the tutorial it will just say: "Use the Gaussian blur tool to..." Also there will be a lot more images included at the start for guidence. At the end of the instructable the images will only be of the major steps. Each image will have a tag stating what needs to be done to reach that result. These form a guidline on how your image should look like at that point.

Step 4: Perspective


In this step we are going to make our house look very tall and make the viewer look up at it.
This is very easy to do on GIMP.

1: On the GIMP tool box hit the perspective icon.
2: Your image should get a dotted outline right around the whole photograph.
3: Click and hold the top left hand courner of the image and drag inward. Do the same for the top right hand side.
Note: If your image -like mine- has a tall peak to one side, drag that side slightly upwards aswell. This will drematically increase the perspective effect of the image.
4: Once you are happy with the results click on the transfom button.
5: Crop the image down. When you crop the image make sure you crop away all unwanted parts of the image ( chairs, tables, green trees ect). It does not matter if a bit of the sky is missing.

Step 5: Adding the Stormy Sky


In this step we are going to be removing the old sky and replacing it with a new stormy sky. We are then going to enhance the photo so it looks darker and creepier.

For this step fine a stormy sky picture, which has a lot of dark clouds in it and the picture is dark over all.

1: On the GIMP tool box select the magic wand tool.
2: Click on one part of the sky. You will notice that part of the sky if outlined.
3: Hold down the shift key and continue to click on the sky until all of it is selected. (The shift key means plus. So you do your first selection and by holding down the shift key and selecting another area GIMP will add them together ) If the magic want tool selects are area you do not want to it press Control + X to undo the previous step.
4: On the GIMP tool box select the eraser tool and start to erase anything you do not want to keep. (Trees, chairs, tables ect)
5: Your image will most likely have an outline around the house where the house and the sky joined. Will we remove this by selecting the eraser and pick a very small brush.
6: Zoom into the image very closely by clicking on the magnify icon and clicking on the image.
7: Start to erase the outline. Be careful not to leave any of the outline showing, yet do not remove too much of the house.
8: As you can see in the fifth picture I have left half of the trees. This is because to remove all of those trees fully it would have impacted on how well the image around those areas is. With the Free Select tool create an outline around the bushes. Then select the spray can tool, chose the biggest brush you can find, select black and move the opacity down to 40% and run the spray can once over the bush. This will make the bush slightly darker than the rest of the image. With will later on cause that area to go nearly completely black. Do this to all area you want to go nearly completely black.
9: Select a stormy sky to replace your previous sky. You want one with seems really scary and you would just want to stay inside. On the GIMP tool bar go to File > Open as layers > and then select your image.
10: On the GIMP tool box select the resize button and resize the image until it is as big as your canvas.
11: On the layers and brush tool box, click and hold onto the layer with the stormy sky on it and drag it to the bottom. This causes the house layer to be on top of the stormy sky.
12: Click on the stormy sky layer. Then on the layers and brush toolbox, click the downwards arrow next to the mode and select the overlay option.
13: Find the levels option by going. GIMP tool bar > Colours > Levels.
14: A small screen will pop up. This screen will have 3 arrows from the bottom pointing up.
Drag the left hand side arrow right slightly, and the two arrows on the right hand side left slightly.
15: Now click on the house layer and do the same.
16: Locate the brightness and contrast icon by going: GIMP tool bar > Colours > Brightness and contrast. Now severely decrease the brightness of the house layer.
17: Find the tileable blur option by going: GIMP tool bar > Filters > Blur > Tileable blur.
18: Make the radius 2pixels and hit ok. (What this does is that it blurs up the edge of the house so it merges better into the stormy sky)

Step 6: Adding Lightening Into the Sky

In this step we are going to add in some lightening into the sky. This will make the sky seem more scary and evil.

When searching for the lightening make sure that the lightening is on a pure black background, and that the photo is of a decent resolution.

1: Go File > Open as layers > Select your lightening > Click ok.
2: Click and drag the lightening layer so it is above the house stormy sky layer.
3: On the Layers and Brush toolbox change the mode of the lightening to screen. What screen does is that it fully removes a black pixel and fully leaves a white pixel.
4: On the GIMP tool box select the scale tool and scale the lightening to the size you want. Then again in the GIMP tool box select the move tool and move the lightening to the area where you want it.
5: Repeat steps 1-3 until you have the desired amount of lightening.
6: If the lightening is too bright for the image lower the opacity slightly. You do this by going to the Layers and Brushes tool Box and move the slider left until it is how you want it. I lowered mine to about 95% each. (Remember make sure you click on the layer you want to edit before you change the opacity)
7: To change the colour of the lightening go: GIMP tool bar > colours > Colourize.
8: Leave the saturation and lightness bars alone. Go to the Hue bar, and slide it along until you have the colour you want. I chose red which is 0 Hue and I chose Green which is 119 Hue.

Step 7: Putting Dead/bare Trees Into the Photo


In this step we will be placing in dead and bare trees into the photo. This will give the photo the effect that it is a dead place and nothing grows there.

When looking for the photo of the trees make sure than the tree is dead and bare with no green leaves on it. Also try and get the photo to be on a clear sky and that not much of the tree is in front of the ground. Lastly make sure the trees have a good resolution.

1: Open the picture of the tree as a new layer.
2: Using the magic wand and the eraser tool remove all the areas you do not want. (The ground, sky, birds ect)
3: Change the mode of the photo to multiply.
4: Scale and move the trees to where you want them. It is best that the bottom of the tree (where it use to touch the ground) is covered by the house. This will show that the tree is behind the house, so make sure that the tree layer is below the house layer and above the storm layer.
5: Repeat steps 1-5 for the number of trees you want to have.

Step 8: Adding Crows and Bats


In this step we are going are add crows and bats to our photo. Some of they will be flying and some will be perching on the trees.

Look for a photo of: A crow flying; a crow standing; and a bat flying. When looking for these, make sure that they are on clear background. (A plain blue sky, the whole sky is filled with clouds). Also if you can try and get the photo to be black and white.

If in your pictures your crow and/or bat are completely black follow these steps:

1: Open the picture of the crow perching as a new layer. Make sure this layer is above all the other layers.
2: Using the magic wand and the eraser tool, remove the background of the photo.
3: Change the mode of the photo to multiple.
4: Scale and move the photo until it fits well in the tree.
5: Repeat steps 1-5 until you have as many crows perching as you want.
6: Do the same with the crow flying.


If the crow and/or bat is not completely black (Like in my case the bat is not already black.) Follow these steps:

1: Open the picture as a new layer.
2: Go to the desaturate button by going GIMP tool bar > Colour > Desaturate. Once you are there click ok.
3: Change the brightness and contrast of the photo by going: GIMP tool bar > Colours > Brightness and Contrast. Change the brightness to -110 and the contrast to +110.
4: Change the mode of the image to multiple.
5: Scale and move the image to it fits in with the rest of the image.

Step 9: Adding More Texture to the House

In this step we are going to be adding more texture to the house, this will make the house seem older and it will look like the stones and chipped and broken. The way we are going to be doing this is by overlaying the house with a picture of rust.

When looking for a rust photo make sure: The rust is rough -with a lot of bumps in it; make sure that the rust has light and dark parts; lastly make sure the rust is of a big resolution. Try and get a picture of rust which is similar to the one I choose.

1: Insert the picture of the rust as a new layer.
2: Scale the rust until it covers the whole house.
3: Change the mode of the rust to multiply.
4: Make sure that the rust layer is above the house and the stormy sky layer.
5: Erase all areas of the rust where it isn't overlapping the house. (Be very careful when you do this! If you remove rust which is over the house you will see it in your final copy! )
6: With the eraser tool, erase all areas where you do not want the rust (Windows, Flags, and Doors) this will increase the effectiveness of the rust.
7: Go to the desaturate tool again and click ok.
8: Decrease the opacity to around 75%.

Step 10: Adding the Cemetery Shadow Onto the Wall

In this step we are adding a shadow of a cemetery with a person looking down upon it.

When looking for this picture make sure that it is already black and white and the background isn't too complicated.

1: Insert the picture as a new layer. Make sure it is above the house layer.
2: With the eraser tool erase all the background.
3: Change the mode of the picture to multiply.
4: Position the picture roughly where you want it. (The best effect is when the bottom of the shadow is at the point where the house and the ground join.
5: Use the Gaussian blur tool by going: GIMP tool bar > Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Once you are there blur it with a radius of 3 pixels. This will blue the image slightly so it actually looks like a shadow and not like it is painted onto the wall.
6: Use the Free Select tool by going: GIMP tool box > Free Select tool. (It is the one which looks like a little lasso) With the Free Select tool select the area where the shadow over laps the joining of the house and ground.
7: Go to Gaussian blur again and blur it with a radius of 7pixels. This will make the image blur in better with the house and not have a big straight line across the bottom.

Step 11: 11Adding the Light...


Here we will be adding a mystic blue light out of the top window.

You require no additional pictures for this step.

1: On the Layers and Brush tool box, right click on the house layer and duplicate it. (Make sure that the new house layer is on top of the old house layer.)
2: Click on the new house layer and press control + a (this will select the whole house) then while holding the control key (Which means minus) use the Free select tool to select the areas where you want the light to be. This will select the whole house except the areas where the windows are.
3: Using the eraser tool erase the rest of the house. (You can use the biggest eraser you can find because GIMP will only let you erase what is select - which is everything except the windows.
4: Press esc and now use the Free Select tool select the windows again.
5: Change the colour of the paintbrush by going: GIMP tool box > the two squares at the bottom (They should be black and white) > Click on front one > Select yellow. Colour in the windows with the paintbrush. Again you can use the biggest paintbrush as GIMP will only let you colour in what is selected - which is the windows.
6: Change the mode of the new house layer to divide; this will give it a semi transparent blue effect. (If you want a different colour, use the paintbrush tool again and pick a colour that you want.)
7: Go to Gaussian blur and blur the new house layer. Use the radius of 20pixels. This will blend in the light a bit, and give it the effect that it is radiating out of the house.

Step 12: 12Adding the Full Moon.


In this step we are going to add a full moon, and change it so it looks scary.

When looking for the full moon, make sure that the moon is on a simple background. (One with no trees in the way and with not many stars)

1: Insert the moon as a new layer. Make sure the moon layer is on top the sky layer.
2: With the magic wand tool select the back background and then delete it.
3: With the eraser tool, erase any parts of the background which have not been deleted.
4: Scale and move the moon to where you would like it. (I placed it in the top left hand corner)
5: Change the mode of the moon to divide. This will give it the scary effect.

Step 13: Adding Fog


In this step we are going to add some scary green mist into our photo.

This step does not require any other pictures.

1: Right click in the Layers and Brush toolbox and select new layer. (Make sure this layer is above the house and the shadow layer.)
2: Select an area with the Free Select tool. (Avoid all areas where you do not want thick fog to be.)
3: Colour in the area selected area with the paintbrush. Make sure the paintbrush colour is a dirty dark green and not a light fluoro green!
4: Go to Gaussian blur and change the radius to 8000pixels. Then click ok.
5: Go to tiable blue, and move the slider all the way up to 128. Then click ok.
6: Change the opacity to 50%

At the end of this crop the bottom of the image if you believe that there is too much fog there.
I cropped it two just past the start of the path. (You will see it in the next step.)

Step 14: Final Step! Adding the Sign.


In this step we are going to be adding a sign which is going to hang down from a tree.

You will need two pictures for this step: One picture will have to be a sign which you like. (I chose one which said rotten reality.) The other picture must be of a rusty metal chain.

1: Open the sign as a new layer. Make sure this layer is above all other layers.
2: Using the magic wand and the eraser tool, erase all areas that you do not want in the sign.
3: Change the mode to multiply.
4: Move and scale the image to where you want it. (Make sure it is a bit below the tree so we can attach the chains onto it.
5: Open the chain as a new layer. Make sure this layer is above the sign layer.
6: With the black paintbrush colour in all the areas you do not want to show up. (The mode we are using will erase all 100% black areas.)
7: Change the mode of the chain to screen.
8: Scale and move the image so it connects the sign and the tree.
9: With the black paintbrush colour in any areas where the chain is sticking out and doesn't fit.
10: Repeat step 5-9 for the other chain.

Note: Changing the mode of the sign can give unique effects. By changing the mode of the sign to divide you get a ghostly effect.

Step 15: Finished!


To save your final scary haunted house picture as a JPEG go GIMP tool bar > File > Save As > Select File Type ( By Extensions ) > Scroll down and pick JPEG > Choose your file name and now you are done!

Thankyou For Viewing My Instructables! If you have any questions - even if they sound completly silly - please leave a comment or message me and I will help you as soon as I can!
WOW! This almost looks real!<br>The Only thing that not looks real is the green fog its gray not green!

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