This was done using Gimp 1.2 (with standard extras and perl-fu)
- Spend hours looking for just the right picture. (grin)
- Remove all background, leaving Sapphire and Steel. With this one, it was rather hard to see the edges because the photo was so dark, so I duplicated the layer, made it brighter, and did a Layer Mask for that layer. When I was satisfied, I did Mask-to-Selection, (I might have inverted the selection, I'm not sure) and then did Edit -> Cut on the darker layer. Delete the bright layer (don't need it anymore). Call the newly-cut layer "sapphire-steel".
- The starry background is a combination of two images from my
collection of "outer space" images. First I found a very pretty
galaxy image, but it was too small. So I also found a larger but
plainer starry image.
- Make a new layer below sapphire-steel. Call it "stars".
- Open the large starry image as another image in Gimp.
- Edit -> Copy.
- Click on the sapphire-steel image. Make sure you have "stars" as the current layer. Edit -> Paste. You now have a Floating Selection. Move it around a bit if you want. Click on it to anchor it when you're happy.
- Close the large starry image, you don't need it any more.
- Open the small galaxy image as another image in Gimp. Edit -> Copy.
- Click on the sapphire-steel image. Edit -> Paste. You now have a Floating Selection. Move it around a bit until it's positioned just right.
- When you are satisfied, click on the New Layer button. The "Floating Selection" layer is now a new layer called "Pasted Selection".
- Hide everything but "stars" and "Pasted Selection". Merge Visible Layers. Call the combined layer "stars".
- Close the small galaxy image, you don't need it any more.
- Show "sapphire-steel" again.
- Flatten image and save as .jpg Undo and repeat for different backgrounds if you can't make up your mind.