) recent article on how to make lighting in the Magazine inspired me to tell all of you guys an alternative way to make lightning. I learned this from some forum a few years ago, but I have no idea where. Anyway, it doesn't
require the use of brushes, and it takes all of 30 seconds to make it.
1) First, in GIMP, open up a new blank canvas, and make a black and wide gradient that fills the canvas. The wider the gradient, the wider/blurrier the resulting lightning.
2) Go to Filters > Render > Clouds > Difference Clouds.
3) Go to Colors > Invert.
4) Go to Colors > Levels. In Input Levels, move the Middle Arrow almost all the way to the right, and the left arrow to the Center.
5a) Black & White Lightning is created! For color, go to Colors > Color Balance. Play around with the colors until you reach your desired color.
5b) An alternative is Colors > Colorize.
6) More bolts can be added for a more intricate appearance.
7) In fact, they can even be animated! Though that is obviously going to take much longer than 30 seconds.
Here's an example of what your frames could look like:
There's an "illuminate" frame before and after the real lightning frame, and of course there's a normal "sky" frame at the end and the beginning.
And this is the final result:
Remember to slow things down. You don't want to give anybody seizures!
Of course, many different effects can be added to this, such as blurs, soft light filters, etc., but this should be okay for most purposes. Play around with the options and see what you get!