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I have seen an image with this background. As a newbie I am unable to get this multi colored mixed background. I am able to get just two colors and that too linearly with the Blend Tool. But that doesn't look like this at all. Can some one please suggest me on how to achieve this in GIMP or in Photoshop?

enter image description here

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3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There are many techniques to do this. One very simple one that I often use in practice is to use many colors on a similar palette and just generally paint them using the brush tool all over the place. It looks incredibly bad at first, until you apply the FilterBlurGaussian Blur to taste.

The end results is a very simple, diffused, gradient-like, background. This is also accomplished in Adobe Illustrator through gradient meshes, but is a more complicated and precise process. Ugly Green

Diffused Background

Note: If you're wondering how the edges were not blurred, I contained them with an unlinked layer mask that was not affected by the blur.

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Thank you. I did it in gimp as you said. I didn't get your last point, could you please explain in detail if possible? –  Anonymous Aug 26 '13 at 8:36
    
If you didn't understand that, it would be a good thing! Sometimes people accidentally blur the edges of their box when applying the gaussian blur because the effect blurs their mask. But, if you unlink the layer mask before applying the effect you wouldn't have that problem. I am glad you could successfully apply the same technique in Gimp. –  Adam Schuld Aug 26 '13 at 9:40

You know, that doesn't really look like a mask on a background to me; it looks more like a gradient mesh created in a vector drawing program like Adobe Illustrator.

Now for the bad news: GIMP, being a raster graphics editor, doesn't have gradient meshes. Inkscape doesn't have them either, although it's apparently being worked on. If you're feeling adventurous, you can enable the experimental mesh gradient support in Inkscape by recompiling it from source and following these instructions.

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There is another easy way to achieve this result, but it is only relevant if you don't want to exactly rebuild the same blur.

First search a picture that predominantly contains of the colors you wish, there are even special search engines for this task. I used for this example a picture from Wikipedia Commons.

Open the image in your favorite image editor, for example GIMP, and simply apply a heavy Gaussian blur. The advantage of this approach is that you have nice color mix in the resulting image (depending on your input image).

enter image description here

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be aware, though, that this method makes your image a so-called 'derivative work' of the image you blurred. That may be problematic, depending on the source image's copyright status. –  Vincent Aug 26 '13 at 14:08

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