I am creating in Gimp effect that is shown on below picture:

Screnshot example

The way that I am doing it is:

  1. Make circle selection
  2. Copy paste what is below on new layer
  3. Grow selection
  4. Add layer and fill it with white
  5. shrink selection and delete
  6. Drop shadow
  7. Scale bottom, original layer to be a little smaller.

It is not very complicated but takes a while. Do you know any tool (may be paid but please no photoshop expensive) or method that can speed up this process?

Or maybe there is a way in Gimp that can easily automate this task?


  • GIMP functionalities could be extended using macros, but writing them depends mainly on your developing skills (at the moment there are no official macro recorders available afaik, perhaps something similar is this). Dec 16, 2015 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


This is how I made a looking glass effect with default filters included with Gimp 2.8.:

  1. Make cirular selection (fixed aspect ratio 1:1)
  2. Apply Filter > Distorts > Lens Distortion (Edge: 20 Zoom: 30 Y shift: 30 )
  3. optional: add Filters > Decor > Add Bevel (Thickness 10)
  4. add Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow (x 0 y 0 blur 10)
  5. Make a border Select > Border (4 px feathered)
  6. Bucket fill selection with white
  7. optional: apply Filters > Decor > Add Bevel (Thickness 4)

This will produce the following effect:

enter image description here

To automate this we can define a script to stack the effects chosen above using the inbuilt ScriptFu scripting language. Sadly this has quite a steep learning curve, and at present there is no working script recorder available to ease scripting.

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