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28 May 2011 @ 06:38 pm
Brightening Dark Screen Captures in Gimp  
Tips for brightening dark screen captures in Gimp. Translatable to any program with layers and/or curves.
This isn't an in depth tutorial it's more of an overview of options available to brighten dark screen captures and pictures.
There are a few ways to brighten dark screen caps in Gimp which I will show you in this entry.

Here is a dark screen cap from

Original Cap
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1. ) Screen Layer - Easy & most popular way to brighten up caps.

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2.) Auto White Balance - Extremely easy and gets good results with dark contrast.

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3.) Hard Light Layer set over a color filled layer (light or pale colors work best). This can be used to add different color tones/hues instead or just use white.

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4.) Filled color layer set on Overlay (also works with light colored gradient)

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5.) Curves Tool
Takes a little time to work with but you can get some pretty results.

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6.) SmartCurves plug in (may not work with all programs) similar results as using the Curves tool.

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Curves can be adjusted using the built in Curves tool or if you prefer you can download the SmartCurve plug in is here. I personally find it easy to use with Gimp 2.6.

Alternate examples using a screen cap from
Ghost Whisperer
Original Cap

Screen Layer

Auto Balance

Color Layer/Hard Light

Color Overlay

Curves Tool
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neenj61neenj61 on June 3rd, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you..I'm new to Gimp and feel completely lost.This post was very easy to understand and very helpful.Do you know where to find more easy tips for Gimp?
𝓢tephie ⩰ ℒuminousdaze: LOST - Season 6luminousdaze on June 3rd, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet
You're welcome! :) Maybe try



What kind of tips did you need? Icon making help or more complex things like digital art?
neenj61neenj61 on June 4th, 2011 06:11 am (UTC)
Re: Sweet
Basic info about tools,layers and mixing it all together to create wallpaper.Thank you for the links,I'll give them a try.
𝓢tephie ⩰ ℒuminousdaze: LOST - Season 6 Ilanaluminousdaze on June 4th, 2011 02:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Sweet
No sorry, I don't really know of any good Gimp wallpaper tutorials on LiveJournal.

I have a simple icon tutorial with a little bit of Gimp basics, too. Just click on the gimp tutorial tag.
If you find you like any of the wallpapers I've posted here recently you can ask for a mini-tutorial or at least what I remember about how I made it. ;)

the Lady Adeone of Lily Lake: momentladyadeone on June 3rd, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks! This is quite helpful. I'd actually never used the Auto White Balance before, and it works beautifully! : )
𝓢tephie ⩰ ℒuminousdaze: LOST - Season 6 Ilanaluminousdaze on June 3rd, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, Auto White Balance works great, but Auto Color Enhance? Not so much.
the Lady Adeone of Lily Lake: Seasonalladyadeone on June 3rd, 2011 11:27 pm (UTC)
I noticed. : P
Chuckstraspberry on June 4th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Auto balance and curves seem to give the best results. I prefer "auto color" and "auto levels" modes in PS. Looks so much better than screen in %50 opacity (most of the time)
Rachelx3flyawayx3 on July 22nd, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
Screen and Auto White Balance :)