Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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How to Create Loadout Art
By Verteks
This is a guide to creating minimalist loadout artworks for profile pictures or wallpapers.
This is done with free software!
I make these for free as well and since it's getting quite popular, I made a guide on how to try it out yourself!
Enjoy the learning, and good luck making your own art!

Here's my group where I make these on request:
1. Getting The Silhouette
How you're going to get the silhouette is with a website called[] This site allows you to try out TF2 loadouts from your web browser. It's awesome. I know. It's slow. I know.

What you do after opening
1. Choose a class
2. Click the 3 lines button to open the cosmetic menu, choose cometics

3. Position the model. You can do this by pausing the animation and looking through taunts.
Arrow keys will move the model, dragging with your mouse will rotate the model.

4. Open the settings menu. Do not worry about selecting a background colour here. Check the "silhouette" box.

5. Use the camera button to save the screen without the HUD.

6. Uncheck the silhouette box, and WITHOUT moving the model, take another screenshot with the camera tool.


1 image of a white silhouette with a black background
1 image of the loadout filled in, this should be basically the same image, just filled in.

2. Setting the Images Up In GIMP
The next thing you need to do is download some free software called GIMP.[]
This is free image editing software that you can use for photo editing, chopping, effects, drawing (even with a mouse!) and a bunch more. It's probably the best free image editing you'll get. So many useful tools.
1. Download and open GIMP from

2. Go File -> Open As Layers and Open the 2 images you got from
select more than one file by clicking one, holding ctrl then clicking another.

QUICK ADVICE: IF TOOL OPTIONS ARE NOT OPEN (Resize/ opacity change/ select from path options) ARE NOT OPEN, DOUBLE CLICK YOUR CURRENT TOOL'S ICON. That will now stay open, even if you switch tool.

3. Make sure you have a background layer. If not, open the layers tool, right click and create one.
You can make a layer invisible with the eye button in the layers menu.
Your background layer should be at the bottom.
The filled in image should be at the top.

4. Use the select by colour tool to select the background. On the Silhouette layer. Switch to this tool with SHIFT+O
Then, click the background on the silhouette layer to select its colour
Make sure you are always editing the correct layer when you are using GIMP. You'll know if you arent because it'll seem like you arent doing anything when youre actually editing another layer.
Also remember to go Right Click -> Select -> None to stop selecting.

5. Erase the background of the silhouette layer.
-Zooming out if you want
-Switching to eraser, making it big (too big may cause lag)
-Making sure you go over everything (make sure you are on the silhouette layer, have the black/background colour selected and that you are erasing the background

6. Fill in your model with your foreground colour.
7. Create a background by editing the background layer. I filled mine in orange and used the airbrush tool for a yellow glow.
3 layers:
1 background layer, on the bottom
1 silhouette filled with your foreground colour with a transparent background, in the middle
1 Filled in layer, on top

3. Using the Paths tool in GIMP
The Paths tool is basically the best thing for a PC artist next to a drawing tablet.
It allows you to create lines quickly, as well as edit them by holding ctrl and dragging the line.
Go into delete mode by holding Ctrl + Shift.

ALWAYS SAVE YOUR WORK! File -> Save or Ctrl + S

It will probably explain everything better than I ever could, and it is what I learnt off.

Back to the guide.
Create a different path for each colour or segment. Trace over the actual image with the filled image visible, then hide the filled image when editing the selection.
Once you have got a good path, CONNECT THE START TO FINISH AND CLICK "SELECTION FROM PATH. Going out of the paths tool will remove all paths.
You can create paths inside paths to be able to have the path ignore a part. It's a pretty smart tool.

Some other useful tools:
Add shading with the AIRBRUSH tool, change the opacity and size to your liking. Switch to with A
Select colours with the COLOUR PICKER TOOL. Switch to with O

Here's some screenshots of the process of using the paths tool.
This is done in the silhouette layer.
Using different blocks of colour should be done in separate layers. This makes the different colours easier to change and less messy. I should have definitely used this for the outer layer of the chestpiece.

4. Adding Effects in GIMP
Unusual effects are fun to make. You're also on your own making them.
It's hard to use a image to create effects. I would recommend looking up an image of the effect and just making it your way.

1. Open a new layer. This is much more essential to do in a new layer than cosmetics, and will save a lot of hassle.

2. Make the effect! For mine, the layer is below the silhouette model. I used the paths tool to create the purple, and airbrush for the colour effects. That is what you see in the first image.
After that, I made another layer below the last one, and used the airbrush and paintbrush for the green outer part.

Here is the final product:

5. What to do with your Artwork
TO GET A PNG IMAGE FROM YOUR .XCF FILE: Go Ctrl + Shift + E OR File -> Export As

Chuck a watermark on if you want. If you make the watermark transparent (put it over the model, get the eraser, set it to a low opacity and go over it) the mark will be hard for others to erase.
The watermark show the image was made by you. I am fine with people taking off the watermark if they are using my art as a personal wallpaper or public profile picture (although a little credit is nice) but if you are going to download art and showcase it on your profile, make sure you have the content creator's permission, and in my case, leave the watermark on.

This isn't just restricted to TF2. I use GIMP to create my profile pictures, it's damn good software for free.
All in all, this guide took a long time to make, but I hope it helps you guys create art for yourselves rather than waiting on me. These can be really fun to do and it's great to show off something you created that looks awesome!

- TeknoSquirrel, 24/9 2016
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Verteks  [author] Sep 17 @ 1:27am 
Yeah, it's one of the earlier ones I did. The guide's for you to understand the utility of the technique though, so you can go and make your own that actually looks good.
morat73 Sep 17 @ 12:07am 
thats looks so bad. really
General Bog Mar 25 @ 2:41pm 
Many thanks. You are very good at explaining things. xD
♣Lyra♣ Feb 9 @ 3:02am 
thank you :)
Verteks  [author] Feb 8 @ 11:40pm 
Yep, the paths tool is a little different to use though. (Pen tool in cs6)
♣Lyra♣ Feb 8 @ 8:39am 
Can this be done in photoshop?
Chaos™ Nov 20, 2017 @ 8:15pm 
It's a helpful guides for new artists (like me), but it'd be much better if it was a video guide. Keep up the good work! :spycon:
Bitter Oct 17, 2017 @ 5:37pm 
btw thanks for making this guide, i remebmer making one last year, and now i've made a few of my own :3
Verteks  [author] Oct 16, 2017 @ 10:41pm 
I'll make a video guide when I have the time
ZA WAAAAARUDO Oct 16, 2017 @ 7:45am 
toke me 4 hours to make one,thanks anyway