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For example, I'd like to create an "old TV" filter via an automated process of creating a new overlay layer, erasing every other row (scan line), merging that to the image layer, then adding a lens distortion to that layer to create an image somewhat resembling an old CRT screen, maybe with airbrushed sides.

Is there an easy way to automate filters or would I need an extensive knowledge of computer stuff?

  • I guess you can't get away without some programming to pull this off. Have you reviewed gimp.org/tutorials/Automate_Editing_in_GIMP? – tripleee Apr 3 '17 at 5:28
  • This "tutorial" makes things even more complicated. Better learn some programming. Note to OP, there are two languages to script Gimp, one is the historical Scheme (aka script-fu) and the other one is Python. Python is a lot simpler to learn. – xenoid Jul 2 '17 at 16:38
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You can download and install the G'MIC plugin for GIMP at gmic(dot)eu

  1. Click Filters > G'MIC > Degradations > Scan Lines > OK
  2. Then click Filters > Distorts > Lens Distortion - in the filter dialog set the Main to something like 25. Click OK.

Here's the result. OK it's not completely automated, but only 2 steps, with the complicated work handled by the filters.

Screenshot of GIMP with edit

Perhaps if you could write a Python script you might be able to call both filters to fully automate it. Sorry, I have no experience in that field, but there's documentation on the GIMP website here https://www.gimp.org/tutorials/Automate_Editing_in_GIMP/ if you feel so inclined.

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Another way to accomplish this, although I've only tried it it Photoshop, is to create a transparent squared image (say a *.png), 2x2 or 4x4 pixels, and draw the lines horizontally every other row. Select everything, make it into a pattern, go to your photo, create a new layer on top of it and fill it with your newly created pattern - this should take care of the scan lines. The lens distortion I don't really know but there must be something out there already! Good luck!

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