I've been trying for the past hour to understand how to do the following effect on Gimp, but I can't figure it out.

Here's the Image

I thought that I should create 2 copies of the text layer, move them (one up and one down) and blur them. But, blurring doesn't do it for me.

I don't understand how to create this "smudgy" effect. Motion blur won't do and the smudge tool would take so much time to get right. Any ideas?

  • If anywhere, this probably belongs on graphicdesign.stackexchange.com rather than here – Tetsujin Jul 18 '18 at 18:47
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    @Tetsujin: it's a clear question about using a computer program, I don't see why wouldn't it fit here. People all about how to format text in Word, how to manage data in Excel and how to edit pictures in Gimp, that's the purpose of those tools. – Máté Juhász Jul 18 '18 at 20:08
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    Use a motion blur and place the non-blurred S over the blurred version. – Ivan Kuckir Jul 18 '18 at 20:48

Use a linear motion blur, then a Gaussian blur to soften it

Final version:

su blur final

(I used 'SU' instead of 'S' for obvious reasons!)


  1. First create the text you want the effect applied to - here I created a simple background gradient and used a serif font - then duplicate that text layer

  2. Apply a linear motion blur to the duplicated layer: FiltersBlurLinear Motion Blur. Set the angle to 90 and the length to whatever looks good for the size of your text:

    linear motion blur

  3. Apply a Gaussian blur (FiltersBlurGaussian Blur) to the same layer. I used a value of 3.5 above - I originally used 6.5, but that was too strong - you can play around with it:

    gaussian blur

  4. Finally, I set the opacity of the blurred layer to around 75% to fade it slightly

  5. Done!

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