I have a series of photos that I'd like to create the effect of them fading to white on the bottom edge in gimp.

I have this working very nicely in CSS already with linear-gradient(to bottom, rgba(255,255,255,0) 20%,rgba(255,255,255,1) 100%).

When I try to create a similar effect in GIMP, I end up with a gradient that is far too harsh - nowhere near as smooth/subtle as the CSS effect.


  1. load photo
  2. create new white background layer
  3. select photo layer
  4. add layer mask
  5. set bg/fg colour to white/black
  6. draw gradient
  7. disappointment

What am I doing wrong?

What I get with CSS(left), and Gimp (right):


Thanks, I can't tell you how much time I've lost to this today!

  • Your gradient is too short. Make it longer by drawing the gradient from the bottom to the top of the image.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 23, 2018 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


Your technique is OK, using it I get this:

enter image description here

While my layer stack looks like this:

enter image description here

So it all depends what the gradient on the mask looks like (add screenshot to you question?). From your picture it looks like you applied the gradient on a short distance; in mine the gradient is made using the FG to BG (RGB) gradient, clicking on the bottom edge, and then dragging all the way up to the top edge.

By the way, once you have a linear gradient in the mask, you can adjust the fade using the regular "Colors" tools on the mask: Brightness/Contrast, Levels, and Curves. Brightness/Contrast and Levels.

Edit: since 2.10, you can also click around the middle of the gradient segment. This makes the "midpoint" appear, and you can then use move the midpoint to change the gradient:

enter image description here

  • It's odd, the standard gradient I draw looks nothing like the one you've drawn unless I edit the curve significantly.
    – Codemonkey
    Aug 8, 2018 at 11:08
  • Are you using 2.10 and an image in "Linear light"?
    – xenoid
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:18
  • 2.10 yes, not sure what the other part of your question means, but I've not intentionally changed anything from a clean install.
    – Codemonkey
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:29
  • In 2.10, with high-precision images (more than 8-bit per channel) you can work in perceptual (ie, gamma-corrected, like in 8-bit) or linear light (no correction).
    – xenoid
    Aug 8, 2018 at 17:40

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