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How to make a Thermal Image


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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it


Even though thermal imaging does look different from this it does give it a look of thermal imaging. It fades from purple to red or fading from cold then to hot.

To do this tutorial you will need to install the Gradient Mapping plugin. For any questions about the Gradient Mapping plug-in please consult that thread.


[Images and text provided by @ReMake]


1. Open the image you wish to use.


2. Open Gradient Mapping (Adjustments -> Gradient Mapping). Then add the colors like the picture below. Go from Violet, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. Remember to spread the colors.


3. Click OK and you should have your finished product.




You can use these settings as a preset. Unzip this file [ThermalImage.zip] it and place it to Documents -> paint.net User Files -> Effect Presets -> Gradient Mapping



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Great write-up! :)

Hint to readers:

As natjo stated, red is supposed to represent the hottest point, with violet being the coolest, so...

Using the 'Offset' slider with 'Wrap' turned on will let control which areas of your image look the hottest. That is, if the initial setting does not yield the best results.


Take responsibility for your own intelligence. ;) -Rick Brewster

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I simulate infrared image as follows.....

Open Image...

Duplicate layer 3 times

On the first duplicate, Effects-Colors-Extract Channel-Red

Now set Opacity at 50 Mode normal

On the second duplicate, Effects-Colors-Extract Channel-Blue

Now set Opacity at 100-120 Mode normal

On the third duplicate, Effects-Colors-Extract Channel-Green

Now set Opacity at 160 Mode Screen or Overlay

Gaussian Blur the Green (Top) at 20 or so

To simulate an infrared filter we have reduced the red a lot, the blue some and finally added blur to the green layer to achieve a lighter, less focused image....

Finally you can select sky and clouds, on the green layer, use the levels control Auto which will darken that area somewhat....You can now convert the background layer to B&W and play with the opacity and modes to achieve the image you like...

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  • 2 years later...

Everytime you want to fool the FBI into thinking your chicken is cooked when it's really sitting on the bench defrosting.

LOL! Love that one! But then again, how often do you actually use anything in these forums, apart from the photo touch-ups?I know I do most of it for fun...boltbait.wink.png

And, to be honest, I actually prefer the first outcome, Ash.

btw, how did the photographer get the photo?

Edited by D3T0N4T0R
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  • 1 month later...

To stop you guyzzzz talking lyykk thizzz, I've updated the link in the original post :)

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  • 3 months later...

For another method, there is Thermal Heat Map plugin. It doesn't have quite the same detail as it tends to blur the edges, but is more in keeping with what you'd see in a thermal image.

Think "Predator" vision! :D

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  • 5 years later...

The text doesn't give us a lot to go on. Does anyone have a copy of this tutorial?

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Updated the images and text. Many thanks to @ReMake for providing the material.

  • Upvote 2
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