Want to add fog or mist to your photo editing or photo manipulation projects in GIMP? Now you can! I’ve created a totally free Fog Overlay pack that includes 22 unique fog images overlaid on a black background in full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 px). These JPEG photos can be used in whatever project you would like!
They are great for fog special effects for things like creating spooky images, or simply to add a bit more depth to your existing foggy photos.
If you aren’t sure how to use the Fog Overlay images, I’ve included some step by step instructions below on how to do so, and also have a video tutorial demonstrating the process as well.
I hope you enjoy, and let me know via my Contact Page if there are any other overlay types you’d love to see!
How to Use the Fog Overlays
Once you’ve downloaded your Fog Overlay pack (via the download button above), you’ll want to unzip the file to a location on your computer to extract all of the images (the image above shows the extracted Fog Overlays). The overlays themselves are JPEG images with white fog over a black background. I have chosen this format as it is the easiest to work with inside of GIMP.
Step 1: Import Your Fog Image as a Layer
Now that the Fog Overlay images have been downloaded to your computer, you’ll want to import whatever fog image you want to use into your composition (you can of course double click on any of the JPEGs prior to importing them into GIMP to see which ones you like).
To open a Fog Overlay as a layer in your existing composition, just go to File>Open As Layers (red arrow in the photo above).
This will bring up your “Open Image as Layers” dialogue box (shown in the image above). From here, navigate to the folder that contains the Fog Overlays using the “Places” section (outlined in green).
Once you are in the folder, you can click on each image file (blue arrow) to preview the fog image in the right hand side of the dialogue box (red arrow). After you have found the fog image you want to use, double click on the file or click the “Open” button at the bottom of the dialogue window.
You may get a message asking you to convert the image to GIMP’s native color profile (outlined in green in the image above). I recommend clicking “Convert” (red arrow).
Step 2: Hide the Black Background
Now that we have imported the fog photo to our current composition (red arrow in the above photo), the most obvious thing that stands out is that the black background of our fog photo covers up the main photo below it. To fix this, I can do one of two things.
The simplest method for removing the black background is to click on the “Mode” dropdown at the top of the layers panel (green arrow in the above photo).
Change the Layer Mode to “Screen.” This layer mode option will only remove the black pixels from the fog image, effectively erasing the black background.
The second option for removing the black background takes a few extra steps, but the result will be a new layer that only contains the fog and a transparent background.
To start, create a new layer and name it “Black” (blue arrow in the above photo). Change the “Fill with” type to “Foreground color” (red arrow), and make sure your foreground color is set to black (green arrow). Click OK to create the new layer. This will add a new black layer above your fog layer.
Next, change the Layer Mode of the Black layer to “Color Erase” (red arrow in the image above). This will erase all of the black from the layer below – which in this case is our fog layer.
Now, merge these two layers together by right-clicking on the Black layer and going to “Merge down.”
The final result is a single layer that only contains the fog (outlined in green in the image above) – the black has been totally erased from the background, making it a transparent background.
That’s it! You can now do whatever you want to the fog layer to make it look how you want – or even combine multiple fog images to compound the effect. If you enjoy this article, I recommend checking out any of my other GIMP Help Articles, as well as my GIMP Video Tutorials. You can also become a Premium Member to get access to my GIMP Book of Layers and the GIMP Help Center app!