Awesome Vector Fireworks

These groovy firework desktop images will make even the blandest beige box look awesome!

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Step 1: Get Your Materials (Software, That Is)

The way I do this requires two pieces of software:

- The GIMP, found here
- Inkscape, found here

Both are open source (read FREE), and accomplish what needs to be done here.

Step 2: Let's Get Started!

First things first: get your image. I used a large-ish (2048 x 1536) image that I took at this year's local fireworks display. Open it up in GIMP, and choose the Select By Color tool. I usually set the threshold around 75. Click on an area in the region of sky around the firework and type Ctrl + X. On a Windows machine, this will remove the region. You should be left with a colorful firework in a region of strange lightness. Not to worry.

Step 3: Ready, Set, FLIP!

Mouse over to Filters > Colors > Invert Values. Now you've got something that looks like a negative. From here, click Layer > Colors > Color Balance and play around with the values until you've got something interesting. I was going for a blue image, so I moved the sliders to Cyan and Blue.

Step 4: Save Your Work!

Now move the image to where you'd like it to be in the final product. Since all of my icons are on the left-hand side of my desktop, I put the image on the right so it wouldn't be obscured. Now save it as .bmp. The .bmp file extension will become very important in a moment.

Step 5: STOP...Vector Time

Open up Inkscape and pull up the file you just saved. Select the image and mouse to Path > Trace Bitmap. Now change the settings in the dialog box. First, select the checkbox marked Colors, then change the number of passes to 3. Clicking OK should start the trace - be patient as this may take a while depending on your machine. Once it's done, you've got a groovy vector image. Save this image as a .svg file, then open the .svg in GIMP and save as a .bmp or .jpg. Set your background to this new .bmp or .jpg, and your desktop is looking groovier than ever!

Trust me, it looks much better on a screen larger than the Instructables viewer. Try it on your desktop and see!

- DE

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    7 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 1



    12 years ago on Introduction

    I think this is not the best starting image to use. Here is one I did before that I feel turned out better. The point is not to have a firework remain, merely to have an easy and interesting desktop background. -DE

    SVG fireworks.bmp

    12 years ago on Introduction

    I looked for the awesome, I have yet to find awesome. Final image looks like two palm trees together.

    1 reply