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Creating Amazing Tokens for Online Rpgs

I've been drawing maps for D&D since first playing the game in '78. Playing online requires digital maps, so I taught myself using GIMP.

Creating Tokens for Use on Virtual Table Tops,

Creating tokens, once you have the system set up the first time, takes just a few minutes. Using my techniques will get you unique tokens that pop off the screen with a 3D effect that is surprising for those playing with regular tokens. Adding these simple steps will add an extra dimension to your token that will be the envy of all.

Tokens are used for placeholders on battle maps or as avatars for character sheets. It's nice to have one that stands out.

Enhanced Wyvern Token

Wyvern Token

Wyvern Token

Let's Get Started With Making a Ring

  1. Open a new page 500x500 white background.
  2. Use the Ellipse Select Tool.
  3. Create a circle selection 500x500 from position 0/0
  4. Select - Shrink by 50
  5. Select - Border by 20
  6. Use Bucket Fill Tool with colour (any colour other than white)
  7. Layer - Transparency - Add Alpha Channel
  8. Select - By Color - choose white and then delete
  9. Finally add color to the center ring.
  10. Make a copy of the layer with transparent background selected
  11. Unselect original and work on this new layer (save this layer for later)
  12. Filters - Render - Lava
  13. Add new layer titled top
  14. Filter - Render- Noise- Plasma
  15. Set layer to 50% opacity
  16. Layer - Merge down
  17. With the token ring area selected, go to Select - Inverse
  18. Filters - Decor - Add Bevel set to 20

Creating the Hub-Ring in GIMP

Finding the Right Artwork for Your Token

Finding artwork is as easy as a Google search, but you must keep two things in mind when choosing artwork.

  1. Copyright - for obvious reasons.
  2. Try to find art with a simple monochrome background, white preferably. It makes the process so much simpler.
  3. The other thing to look for will become obvious once you see the process.

Choose Your Art

Warrior Women

Warrior Women

Adding Artwork to Your Token

Find your artwork on your computer and right-click and choose Open with Gimp, to open the artwork in a new window.

Scroll to Continue
  1. Edit - Copy
  2. Change to the Hug-ring window
  3. Edit - Past in Place
  4. Use the Unifor Transform Tool to reposition and resize the artwork positioned inside the ring.
  5. Once in position, don't forget to press the Transform button on the pop-up for the tool.
  6. Layer - New Layer to anchor the resized image in place.
  7. Layer - Duplicate Layer to make a copy of the artwork.
  8. In the Layer window, move the new art copy layer to the top above the hub-ring and deselect to hide it by clicking on the little eye symbol.
  9. Now select the Background layer to make that your working layer.
  10. Select - By Color and choose the area outside the ring to make the ring a selected area.
  11. Move to the Art layer and press delete to erase everything but the artwork in the token center.

At this point, you have a Token like those made in those online token creators like Tokentool from It is fully serviceable as is, but I want to make it better.


Now Lets Enhance the Token

  1. Now make the background layer active and choose the area outside the hub-ring for a selection by Select - By Color and click outside the ring.
  2. Make the top layer active now (click on the eye) and you should now have your artwork on top of the Hub-Ring.
  3. Click Delete and it should delete everything outside the ring.
  4. If you placed your image correctly parts of the image will be over the token ring.
  5. To make some custom clean-up Invert the selection area. Selection - Invert
  6. Now using the Eraser tool to erase parts of the image you wish to hide. We want to create the illusion the artwork is coming out of the circle.
  7. That is it.

Creating Amazing Tokens with GIMP

Final Product


Final Product

Choose File - Export As make sure the file you save to is a xxx.png file type. This file type preserves the transparent background.

Do not choose the File - Save option as that will add the art to the Hub-Ring template we created first.

To make another token you just add new art and follow those steps to make the advanced style token.

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