How to create abstract wallpapers

From illustrations and photos

A quick guide on creating beautiful abstract images / wallpapers from any illustration, with Gimp. A fun way to get familiar with Gimp tools and filters! My method is simple but requires some fine tuning according to the source image and the expected result.

We’ll use two sets of filters: the first one to reduce the shapes and colors, and a second one to add an artistic touch through edges accentuation.

The way of the Cube

  • Open your image in Gimp
  • Go to Filters > Artistic > Cubism… set the Tile size value around 30 and 50 and increase the Tile saturation to 3.0
  • Got to Filter > Edge-detect > Edge… set the amount to 3.5 and chose a Blending mode. Lighten only gets fantastic results
  • Adjust the colors, brightness and contrast if needed
Source image (from XeroLinux official wallpapers |
Cubism filter
Edge-detect filter

Same image, different values and color settings:

Like a Mosaic

To obtain a more geometric aspect:

  • Open your image in Gimp
  • Go to Filters > Distorts > Mosaic… chose the Tile geometry to your liking. Triangles and Hexagones render great. Increase Tile size, deactivate Tile height, and push the Neatness cursor to the max.
  • Duplicate your layer and play with Blending option and opacity to add complexity to your image

Example 1 : simple modification our sample image

Mosaic > Triangles

Example 2 : I’m using a duplicate layer with transparency to create voxels out of Hexagone mosaics

source :)
Duplicate layer, blending with Multiply 50%, offset the layer to create voxel effect

Let’s get creative, and have fun!



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OS explorer, UI & UX passionate, Voxels crafter, code lover, Video Games player, Podcasts listener, Music amateur // Digital Publishing professional