To add a new brush, after either creating or downloading it, you need to
save it in a format GIMP can use. The brush file needs to be placed in the
GIMP's brush search path, so that GIMP is able to index and display it in
the Brushes dialog. You can hit the Refresh
button, which reindexes the brush directory. GIMP uses three file formats
brush") format is used for ordinary and
color brushes. You can convert many other types of images,
including many brushes used by other programs, into GIMP
brushes by opening them in GIMP and saving them with file
names ending in
.gbr. This brings up a
dialog box in which you can set the default Spacing for the
brush. A more complete description of the GBR file format
can be found in the file
gbr.txt in the
devel-docs directory of
the GIMP source distribution.
Save a .gbr brush
image hose") format
is used for animated brushes. These brushes are constructed
from images containing multiple layers: each layer may
contain multiple brush-shapes, arranged in a grid. When you
save an image as a
.gih file, a dialog
comes up that allows you to describe the format of the brush.
Look at The GIH dialog
box for more information about the dialog. The GIH
format is rather complicated: a complete description can be
found in the file
gih.txt in the
devel-docs directory of the GIMP source
.vbr format is used for parametric
brushes, i. e., brushes created using the Brush Editor.
There is really no other meaningful way of obtaining files
in this format.
To make a brush available, place it in one of the folders in GIMP's brush
search path. By default, the brush search path includes two folders, the
brushes folder, which you should not use or
alter, and the
brushes folder inside your personal
GIMP directory. You can add new folders to the brush search path using the
page of the Preferences dialog. Any GBR, GIH, or VBR file included in a
folder in the brush search path will show up in the Brushes dialog the
next time you start GIMP, or as soon as you press the
Refresh button in the Brushes dialog.
When you create a new parametric brush using the Brush Editor, it
is automatically saved in your personal
There are a number of web sites with downloadable collections of GIMP
brushes. Rather than supplying a list of links that will soon be out of
date, the best advice is to do a search with your favorite search engine
for “GIMP brushes”.
There are also many collections of brushes for other programs with
painting functionality. Some can be converted easily into GIMP brushes,
some require special conversion utilities, and some cannot be converted at
all. Most fancy procedural brush types fall into the last category. If you
need to know, look around on the web, and if you don't find anything, look
for an expert to ask.