Village Philosopher Badge

This week in #prisoner106 we are to make a campaign video for running for office (the position of Number 2 seems to be unoccupied right now).

In preparation for campaigning I created a special badge for the Village Philosopher–that’s me! I need a special way to identify myself so you know whom to vote for.

I am not a number, I am a … Greek letter.


The process

I made this in GIMP.

1. Images used, each on separate layer:

2. Scale and order layers so the phi is on top of the penny farthing. I had it under the penny farthing for awhile and was scratching my head trying to figure out how to get the Phi image to not be transparent because the wheel spokes were showing through. Oh my gosh…unbelievable…complete brain freeze not realizing it was just a matter of layer order. Yikes.

3. Add a white background layer under both image layers. Add alpha channel to that layer. Use the ellipse select tool to select a circle on the white background layer, then go to Select->invert to select everything but the circle.

4. Go to Edit -> clear to get rid of the white stuff outside the selected circle on the white layer.

5. Add bevel. Use ellipse select tool to select around the white circle on the background layer (the following will only work if something is selected, I think).

  • Use filters -> decor -> add bevel
  • I used the max size for the bevel, 30px




1. When I uploaded to Flickr it had a red background:
The Village Philosopher

This was very puzzling, until I learned that when an image has a transparent background, not all file types will preserve that. png does (what I saved it as), but jpeg doesn’t. Not sure what happens on Flickr, but it doesn’t show the original image in the view window. The red disappears if you go to the Flickr page and download “original.”

2. I couldn’t get the bevel to look as nice as the one on the badge on the right side of this site. There is a way to make a bevel manually, but it’s more complicated. This auto-bevel script has little in the way of customizing choices. I think there might be another GIMP script that has more.

3. I don’t know why the bevel only shows up on the right and bottom sides. Must be something built into the script?



I tried playing with the “light and shadow” filter on GIMP, and got this one. Still not sure what to do to make the top left look like it’s standing out a bit from the background.


2 Replies to “Village Philosopher Badge”

  1. Well, I guess you did a Φ one because P stands for Φlosopher.

    But when light is shining from one side then a shadow is on the other. If your badge had lights on all sides then no shadow, or if no lights then just dark. But in your GIMP if it says angle then you can turn the light.

    The PNG and GIF ones do transparent. But not JPG at all. But JPG can do lots of colours (even millions of ones — can you see them?) but GIFs only 256 and then sometimes banding or dithers or weird colours.

    But you made a Φne badge.

    1. Yes, exactly with the phi!

      I was confused because I did the bevel before I did the light and shadow thing. And the bevel only showed up on one side. Before the bevel it was just a flat white image. After the bevel was only on one side then I added drop shadow, then I added light on the other side so it kind of looks normal that the bevel and shadow would only be on one side. But I didn’t get why it was like that in the first place with the bevel. Still, I’m happy I got it to look 3-d at all; it’s my first time with something like that!

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