Since making these images seems to be a popular amusement, I just
made one and uploaded the XCF file as an example & template:



This XCF file already has guides centered on the canvas, and a Path
in the form of a wedge that is 1/16 of a circle (22.5 degrees),
extending well past the canvas at 1280x1024.  This path can be
converted to a selection and used to extract a slice from the
(imported) base image for use in assembling the "mandala".

The file also illustrate one way of using a modified duplicate layer
to create a transforming filter for the finished image:  I bump
mapped a copy of my finished mandala layer, using itself as the map
source, and set the resulting layer to Difference mode.  This is
just one of numerous ways to "artify" images using altered layers
and layer modes.



>From a previous post, redone for use with mandala-template.xcf:

1.  Open the template image, do Image > Fit Canvas To Layers, then
delete the irrelevant layers (my image content!).  Save as
"my-template.xcf" or similar so you will have a blank template for
future use.

2.  Go to your Paths dock dialog, and click on the eyeball icon for
the only path there, to make it visible in the editing window.

2.  Drag and drop a picture into the new image.  Move, scale, and
rotate this as a layer, until the part under the wedge defined by
the path looks like it might make a good "mandala".

3.  Back in the Paths dock dialog, click the "Path to Selection"
button.  You can also click the eyeball to turn path visibility off
- it is no longer needed.

4.  Make your image window "current" and do Control-C, then
Control-V.  This will copy the part of your source image that is
selected, and paste it back into the image as a "float."

5.  In your Layers dialog, click the "New Layer" button.  This will
turn the pasted float into a "real layer".  Right click the layer
thumbnail in the Layers dialog, and select Layer To Image Size.

6.  Do Control-Alt-A to turn off your selection.  It will not be
needed again.

7.  Copy your new layer using the Duplicate Layer button in the
Layers dock.  Make sure the copy is the currently selected layer.

8.  Right click in the main image window, and do Layers > Transform
> Flip Vertical.

9.  Back in the Layers dock, select the top layer, right click on
it, and select Merge Down.  Then copy this merged layer with the
Duplicate Layer button.

10.  Turn on your Free Rotation tool in the main toolbox.  Then
click once anywhere in the image editing window.  In the dialog box
that pops up, type "45" and hit the Rotate button.

11.  Back in the Layers dock, merge your rotated layer down into the
one it came from, and make a duplicate of the resulting layer.

12.  Repeat steps 9 and 10, rotating the merged/duplicated layer 90
degrees, then 180 degrees.

13.  Merge the last rotated layer down into its parent layer, and
viola, a mandala of sorts.

To crop out the "bare corners" try this:

Turn on your Rectangle Select tool, do Control-A to select the whole
canvas, and click once inside the canvas to turn on the drag handles
for the selection.  In your Tool Options dialog dock, check mark
"Fixed Aspect Ratio."  Then zoom way in on your image at one corner,
and drag the corner of the selection in until it is on the edge of
the "mandala."  Go to the diagonally opposite corner of the image
and repeat this.  Finally, right click on the canvas to bring up
your menus and do Image > Fit Canvas To Selection.

You might have to refer to the help files at first to find where the
various tools are, but by the time you are done with a couple of
these mandalas you will be on the way to image transformation guru-hood.

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