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GIMP Corner - Darla's Scripts

Amazing Circles


Amazing Circles Thumbnail

Creates an "Amazing Circle" from any image (or selection from an image); based on the Amazing Circle technique, transforming it using distortion by its polar coordinates.

There are other automated scripts and online tools for creating these circles, but the results are not as satisfying nor as flexible as this script. In addition to smoothing out the rough edges for you, Darla's Amazing Circles script also adds options for a border frame and adjustments to change the look through nudging or adding some spin to the image. Border framing options are: white, black, border average (calculated for you), or the currently chosen foreground or background colour. Additionally, so long as you don't flatten the image, it is easy to adjust this colour after the script has run.

You can find the script at the GIMP Plug-In Registry. After you install the script (download and place in your script folder), refresh your scripts ([Menu] <Filters> Script-Fu –> Refresh Scripts).

You will find this script under [Menu] <Script-Fu> Darla –> Amazing Circles. (If you have trouble, revisit the main GIMP Corner page for more information about the GIMP and using plug-ins).

Using the Script

Run the Script

To run the script, first open the image you want to create the circle from. Optionally, you can choose a selection from the image to only use a part of it for the circle creation. This is desirable when you want to control where the centre is and finish with a pleasing, symmetrically-balanced circle. For example, you can start a rectangular selection from the exact centre of the object, start the selection, then press Ctrl and Shift to make sure that the selection will start from the centre and will be constrained to a square. When you have the selection you want, choose [Menu] <Script-Fu> Darla –> Amazing Circles. You may want to use guides to mark your centerpoint, so that you can experiment and find the most interesting circle. The script will make a circle in a new image, so you can always go back and alter your original selection area and re-run the script.

The default values will create a final square image that is 1000 by 1000 pixels. with a white border. If you choose a maximum size that is larger than your selection, the image will not be upsized. You can adjust the border size if you want the border frame to take up more of the final square.

Tweak the Border grow and feather amount to adjust how smooth or blurred the edges will be. Whirl and Pinch modifiers will add spin and/or nudge the image toward the centre or edges, depending on the numbers you enter. The Whirl/Pinch Radius defines how much of the image from the centre will be affected (1 is the whole circle, 2 goes out to the corners of the square). When trying out these modifiers, start with small numbers and adjustments, as setting these numbers too high can cause "holes" in your image.

Choose "Add Shadow & Shading" to add a drop shadow and depth shading to the circle to add dimensionality.

Unless you are certain you won't need to do any additional adjustments, leave the "Flatten Image" option unchecked.

Some Amazing Circle Examples


You can choose the lightest colour as foreground colour before running to set this colour as the border colour:
Evergreen Original
Fig. 1 Original
Evergreen Colour Picker
Fig. 2 Pick a foreground colour with the Colour Picker
Evergreen Input
Fig. 3 Run the Script
Evergreen Amazing Circle Final
Fig. 4 After


White border, Shadow & Shading:
Flower Original
Fig. 1 Original
Flower Input
Fig. 2 Run the Script
Flower Amazing Circle Final
Fig. 3 After

Note that the "Border: Percent of Final" has been increased to 10 in order to make room for the shadow.


Chose colours, notice the effect of changing the centerpoint:
Lighthouse Original
Fig. 1 Original
Lighthouse Red Amazing Circle Final
Fig. 2 Run with red foreground
Lighthouse Blue Amazing Circle Final
Fig. 3 Run with blue background, different centrepoint

Autumn Leaves

Amazing Circles script with border average, then additional processing:
Autumn Leaves Original
Fig. 1 Original
Autumn Leaves Input
Fig. 2 Run script with an active selection, choose border average
Autumn Leaves Amazing Circle Flattened
Fig. 3 Resulting Circle (flattened)
Autumn Leaves Contrast Layer
Fig. 4 Run Contrast Fix script, and set layer mode and opacity
Autumn Leaves Amazing Circle Final
Fig. 5 Final Result

Additional Tips & Information

If you run the script without flattening the image, you will be able to make adjustments such as:

  • adjust the opacity and mode of layers, especially the "Shading" and "Drop Shadow" layers
  • paste in an image for the background (perhaps the original image)
  • adjust the colouring and/or placement of the "Drop Shadow" layer

For more information and creative examples see: Amazing Circles Flickr Group.