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Charcoal.zip227.38 KB
Charcoal.jpg80.22 KB


Script-Fu Charcoal v1.0 Tested with Gimp 2.6

A Gimp script which turns a photograph into a black and white image which can look quite like a charcoal drawing. Works with RGB, Indexed and Greyscale images.

Results can be variable and are dictated by the tonal values of the photo used. Although small adjustments can cause quite large differences, the default settings should provide a reasonable starting point but do be prepared to experiment.

To install (Linux): Download and un-zip the archive which contains the script, some examples and a description in text and PDF formats. Move the script file charcoal.scm to /yourhome/.gimp-2.x/scripts. Charcoal will be available the next time you start the Gimp and can be found in the menu <IMAGE><FILTERS><ARTISTIC>.

Code License: 
GIMP Version: 
Scripting Engine: 


Oregonian at GIMPChat shared a link to this one with us. I just tried it and do like it. Thanks. :)

First response. Thanks for that - makes it all worthwhile :-)

Is there any way to add layer mode selection?
Also can you add the ability to either make a new image or layer and keep everything else already there?
First time i ran the filter i had the image duplicated, and the script deleted the copy, and all the other layers. lol
With a choice of soft light you get real nice color results too i might add.

Short answer - yes there is but I didn't include it because I trying to keep it as simple as possible for people to use. It is for the same reason that the script gets rid of the layers it makes and just leaves you with a final image. I can see that a more complex version might be way more flexible for the smart cookies out there so I'll give it some thought along with the textured paper option for v2.0.

BTW - if you fancy having a play, open the Charcoal.scm in gedit (or whatever editor you use) and add a semi colon to the following lines

; Merge chalk and charcoal layers
(gimp-image-merge-visible-layers image 0)

so it looks like this

; Merge chalk and charcoal layers
; (gimp-image-merge-visible-layers image 0)

It will then leave the useful layers (along with all the junk).

This removes the actual image, and leaves the layers created after running the script. The original image is gone, which makes this suggestion pointless for me. But thanks anyway, I'll figure it out.

Ah, now I understand. Sorry - thought you were talking about the created layers not the original image layers. Version 2 is in progress - I'll work on it ;-)

Isn't there a way to edit the script to keep everything?
Especially the original image.

I'll see what I can do - version 2 is now in progress. If there's anything else you'd like, now's the time to ask!

I agree, saving the result as a layer (at least an option) saves time from having to copy and paste as a layer. I thought of that, but forgot to mention it. Thanks for bringing it up. :)


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