Creating a Starburst Button in Gimp

May 10, 2012

I use The Gimp a lot, pretty much everyday, for everything from quick image touch-ups, creating/managing website sideshows, and creating mock-ups. One trick that took me way to long to figure out was how to make a starburst graphic in Gimp.

The Starburst is often the goto graphic for a promotion or event, with an easy to understand design for visitors that is recognized as a promotional button or special message. However, unlike photoshop, Gimp doesn’t have a built in star-burst brush.

I tried a few of the free brushes I found, but they all left something to be desired, largely because fill/gradient ended up being difficult.

It takes a bit of trial and error to get it right, and is not very intuitive, but creating a neat starburst button in the gimp is actually not very difficult. The below tutorial shows the basic process, but it will probably take a bit of playing to get it right!

Quick Gimp Starburst Tutorial

1) Create a large empty canvas. Keep in mind that you can always scale down once the star shape is created, so I usually start pretty big.

2) Goto: Filters -> Render -> “Gfig” filter : (Create Geometric Shapes)

3) Select the Star pattern at top.

4) Set “Sides” = 60

5) Make sure “Stroke” is checked and click the color box below it, to change color.

6) Set the stroke brush as Circle 03(5×5)

7) Go Ahead and Set Fill to “Color Fill”. You can change this later, but it makes the button easier to see, especially on a transparent background.

8) Now, draw a small star in the middle of the preview box. Don’t worry about the size, shape too much initially.

9) Click on the “Move a single point button.” Two black boxes will appear in the preview.
A) Click and drag the center black box to change the overall size of the starburst
B) Click and drag the outside black box to change the spacing of the points of the star.
C) Use the “Move an Object” button to move the entire star shape, if needed.

10) Play around some with steps 8-9, until you get the hang of it and the starburst starts taking shape. For easy/proper scalability, you should make sure it fits the canvas size!

10) Change Fill/Stroke as needed, it is easy to create a gradient, moving from the Stroke Color -> Fill Color.

11) Once you get it right, click close and you now have a starburst that you can use for a website button or brochure.

Steps 3 – 7

Step 9

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2 Responses to “Creating a Starburst Button in Gimp”

  1. Steven Howe Says:

    OK. Having made the star how do I get it into my main window frame?

  2. junger95 Says:

    While drawing the star in the Gfig dialog, the star should automatically get added to the main gimp layers/frame. You can then click close or if you don’t want to keep it cancel.


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