Gimp from Scratch – Part 2 (Intro to Filters and Plugins)

Published by: @akovia - August 19, 2014
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Difficulty: Beginner Est Time: 25mins Software: GIMP Category: Graphics General
Part 1: Exploring and Setting up Gimp
Part 2: Intro to Filters and Plugins
Part 3: Begin Producing Art
Part 4: Intro to Paths and Create HDClearLogo
Part 5: Render Image and Create HDClearART

Part 2 continues by covering some items missed in Part 1, and then will explore the Filters and Plugins system. Knowing and understand these tools will open up a world of possibilities in the creation of art.

Part 2 Topics:

  • Installing Script Files
  • Installing key plugins
  • Intro to Script-Fu
  • Cover anything missed in part-1 (Edit and View Menu items)
  • Scripts used in Part 2
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Since Gimp is Open Source software, users are encouraged to build and create Filters and Plugins to enhance the usefulness of Gimp, and they have! The amount of Filters and Plugins available to Gimp is just staggering. If you can imagine it, there’s a good chance that someone has already made what you are looking for.

Here are some links to explore to see what is available to extend Gimp’s functionality.

Gimp Plugin Registry

The Gimp Plugin Registry is the largest repository of Filters and Plugins on the net. I find the site a little un-intuitive to use, but once you look around a bit you should easily be able to figure everything out.


Another great site with a wealth of useful Filters and Plugins.


Not so much a database, but a forum thread of submitted Filters and a place to request Filters. The majority of filters here will end up in the other databases and is the best place to get help with a particular filter.



The terminology used can be a bit confusing at first, but it’s actually pretty easy once you understand it.

  • The only scripts are scheme (tiny-fu). The filename ends in .scm and they go in the scripts folder.
  • Plugins are stand alone executables called from gimp that access the internal api and pdb. They are normally either compiled C, or python. There have historically also been perl plugins as well.

All this really means is that both scripts and plugins add functionality in different ways and are installed in different folders. So when searching for something, you could try by using script, plugin, or even filter as a keyword.  I will tend to use the word Filter as this encompasses both scripts and plugins, but it’s good to know what the actual differences are.

Lastly, if you don’t find what you need in the above links, don’t lose all hope. There are plenty of great filters out there that were never submitted to any database. Some of my favorite filters are nowhere to be found on the big sites. So keep in mind that Google is your friend, or even post to GimpChat if you are looking for something. If no one there knows if it exists, there’s a good possibility they will make it for you if there isn’t a better way to go about it.

Part 1: Exploring and Setting up Gimp
Part 2: Intro to Filters and Plugins
Part 3: Begin Producing Art
Part 4: Intro to Paths and Create HDClearLogo
Part 5: Render Image and Create HDClearART

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