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I need to make a poster. The main image is a satelite photo of Ireland. On top of it there is a lot of randomly arranged text. Here's the hard bit: the text isn't any one colour - it lets an image of the union jack (the British flag) shine through it. How on earth can I achieve that effect???

ps. I'm new to The Gimp, but i may have done something like this on photoshop about 6 years ago (ie. i can't remember anything).

RE: transparent text

I'm not sure I'd want to help a project like that. Showing a British flag covering Ireland sounds like provocative neo-nazi work. Maybe you'd like to reassure us that that is not the case.

RE: transparent text

Hi Tony,
 I see what you mean. No, I am not a provocative neo-Nazi winky smile
I am making a poster for a production of Brian Friel's play "Translations"


The play is about the creation of Ordnance Survey maps with "revised", "standardised" (...anglicised) placenames in the 1830s. Basically, it is about linguistic imperialism - the violence that can be done to identity using no more than language. The text over the photo of Ireland will simply be new, English placenames. Symolically, the "union jack text" will represent the cultural colonisation of Ireland by the British Empire. Not celebrating it - quite the opposite, of course.

I already have my satellite image of Ireland, and various union jacks. I just need to know how I can begin working on them!


RE: transparent text


How I would do it would be as follows:
- Open the map as the background
- Add a new layer; paste the flag into it
- Add a new layer with (e.g.) yellow background; type the (e.g. black) text into it; merge-down the text; select the text; clear it with Ctrl-K
- The multicoloured text should now be visible.
- Merge the top 2 layers - the text and flag
- On the top layer, select the yellow background and clear it with Ctrl-K.
- You should now have red-white-blue letters on top of the map.

Is this the kind of thing you're looking for?

RE: transparent text

Wow Tony,
that's brilliant! the technique works really well - there's just one thing. When I clear the yellow and the black I get fuzzy black and yellow edges on my text, which interferes with the effect. I'm sure there must be an easy way round this(?)
Any tips???

Thanks again,

RE: transparent text

You probably have feathering or ant-aliasing enabled when you select the areas. Make sure to untick options before selecting.

RE: transparent text

Thanks, Tony. That tip deserves a star!

Robin: hint, hint.

Tracy Dryden

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons,
For you are crunchy, and good with mustard.

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