This was done using Gimp 1.2 (with standard extras and perl-fu).
- Find photo of character and remove all background. Make the background white.
- Possibly zoom the picture if needed/useful, but no more than 200%.
- Do other improvements, filters, blurs etc.
- Image -> Colors -> Levels -> Auto (to increase constrast)
- If this is a colour picture, desaturate.
- Don't forget to save the file (.xcf) regularly.
- Image -> Colors -> Posterize (make it 8 colours)
- Image -> Canvas-Size; increase the canvas size by a reasonable amount, so as to create a transparent border around the image. (This is for the frame). Don't increase by ratio, increase by the same number of pixels in X and Y (you have to "break" the "chain" thing) Make the border big enough to put text under the picture. Remember how many pixels wide it is.
- Duplicate the layer; call one the picture name, the other pic-keep. Hide pic-keep.
- Make a new white layer called frame.
- Make a new transparent layer called text.
- Arrange the layers from the top: pic, text, frame, pic-keep.
- Type in your chosen text (in this case, "TABULA RASA") in the text layer, positioned under the picture. (font in this case was dexgothiccd)
- Fill the frame layer with a pattern that looks good (in this case, Crack).
- If necessary, invert the colour of the text so it stands out. (Image -> Colors -> Invert)
- Duplicate the text layer, call it text-sharp, hide it.
- blur frame, blur text.
- Make sure pic, text and frame are the only ones visible; merge visible layers.
- Blur the edges of the now-combined picture with its frame:
Select -> all; shrink the selection by the width of the frame
(see, I told you you had to remember how wide it was); Select ->
Border; gaussian blur; then remove selection.
You may also want to blur the corners and other bits by hand with the blur tool after this.
- New layer, white, called bump; bump-map it with combined-frame.
- Follow the proceedure for Carving effect to make Shadows and Highlights layers from the bump layer.
- Make new white layer called "texture". Fill with pattern for final look (in the above case, Slate).
- Take one of the saved images, move it above texture, change its mode to overlay.
- If need by, take the copy of text, move it up and change its mode to overlay.
- Tweak for hours (grin).
- Flatten image and save as .jpg Undo and repeat for different textures if you can't make up your mind.
I let myself go with all sorts of textures for this one.