This article will cover the basics of adding transparent .png images to background images in GIMP. Once you have mastered this technique, you will be able to create your own unique source images by combining backgrounds with selected transparent images from sites like Pixabay.
To start, choose a background image. In my example, I use a photograph I made of a beach at sunset:
Next, choose a suitable transparent image to layer onto your background. I have chosen a surfer that I created in Daz 3D. Pixabay also offers many transparent images, though. Look for characters with checkered backgrounds that are .png type files, e.g. this mermaid.
Bring up GIMP and choose File and Open as Layers. Locate your background image in the popup window and click Open.
This is the background image:
Next, we want to add the transparent foreground image. Choose File and Open as Layers. Locate your transparent image in the popup window and click Open.
The surfer will have been added to the image. We now need to scale him you the correct size. In this case he is a bit small for what I want.
To increase (or decrease) the size of the surfer, choose Layer and Scale Layer. Adjust the Layer Size in the popupp window and increase the values highlighted. When you are done, choose Scale:
This part can be a bit of a guess, as you can see from my result – the surfer is now too large. You can redo your change as above or choose Edit and Undo Scale Layer to start again.
Eventually, you will be happy with the size of the surfer compared to the background.
Now the surfer needs to be moved. Choose Tools, Transform Tools and Move. You can then use the mouse to drag the surfer around the background image.
In my case, I have moved the surfer to the left.
Once you are happy with the result you can then export it by saving the image. Choose File and Export As. In the popup window, locate the folder you want to save the image to and enter its Name: Then choose Export.
You will see another popup window where you can alter the Quality: Select 100 and finally choose Export.