Saturday, February 19, 2011

PSP-Beginner’s-Lecture 1

This is the first video lecture in a series to come throughout the year on using Corel’s Paint Shop Pro.  I was asked to start from the beginning.  So I will be adding to the series as I compile lectures that are appropriate for the beginner level.

When necessary I will also include the step-by step instructions (like the tutorials currently available) for printing so you will have them for future reference.  Also, if at any time there are specific files and/or tools you will need to complete a tutorial, I will include the files and/or links to the tools.  I look forward to working on this series throughout the year and hope that you will find the tutorials useful!

In this lecture we will cover the components used when creating a new image.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coloring Grayscale Templates

Michelle (Chellebr8) asked me by a personal message if I would put together a quick tut on coloring a grayscale template. But, I ask, why stop at just coloring?  I decided I would put together a tutorial on coloring grayscale templates like no other tut I have seen on the subject.  So, this will be new and different!  But, it will be quick and easy and give you much faster results down the road.  How does that sound?

There are many ways to adding depth to your image using shading by: paint or airbrushing, lighten/darken tool, adjusting colors, contour shading among many others.  For this tutorial I am going to show you three things:

1. How to create a contour shaded template from a flat grayscale template. 

2. Then I will show you how to color the template quickly and easily using the Manual Color Correction.

3. Then I will show you how to use a pattern fill combined with contour shading for your template for a different look and feel.

Can you tell I really enjoy the ease of contour shading over any other shading method?  Sure, I use other methods, but contour shading is so quick and easy.  I admit though that each shading option has its advantages depending on what you are trying to achieve.

Well, first you need to download the two templates I have included for this tutorial.  You can pick them up HERE!  These are layered templates and are saved in PSP9 version and will work with PSP 9 – X3.  So everyone can join in on the fun!

Unzip the files to a location of your choice on your computer. Keeping tuts in one location is always advised. I would suggest creating a folder titled Tutorials and then a sub folder by the tut writer’s name.  For instance:  PSP Tutorials/Rhonda.

Got the file?  Unzipped it?  Ready?  Let’s create!

Step 1 – Open your PSP.  Pretty basic right? LOL

Ste 2 – Open the file titled RDD_FlowerTemplate.pspimage

Step 3 – Go to Window/Duplicate and then close out the original file.  ((I have said it before and I will say it again, I believe this is a necessary step to assure that you do not overwrite the existing file and accidentally make permanent changes to the original))

Now we are ready to make a contour shaded template from the grayscale template.

Step 4 – Select the layer titled Bottom Layer to make it the active layer. (Simply click on the layer to make it active.

Step 5 – Go to Selections/Select All.  Then Selections/Float.  Then Selections/Defloat.  Then Selections/Invert.   I know…lots of selections right? LOL 

Your image will appear with the marching ants as shown below:


Notice the “marching ants” appear both on the outer edge as well as along the darker gray petals? Also, notice the flat color appearance of the petals?

Step 6 – Go to Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow and use the following settings:


Step 7 – Click OK then go to Selections/Select None.

Your image will now appear with a contour shading for the bottom petals and should look like below:


Step 8 – Click on the layer titled Middle Layer and repeat steps 5 – 7 above. 

Step 9 – Click on the layer titled Top Layer and repeat steps 5 – 7 above.

Now your contour shaded template appears as below:


Congratulations!  You just created contour shading for your flower.  I know it does not look like much because of the gray, but we will be coloring next.  But before we get to coloring….let’s save this as a psp file for future use.  By saving as a PSP image file you can open the image, duplicate the window, and recolor anytime without having to re-create the shading.  Simplicity is the key to speedy designing I say!  So, got it saved as a PSP image on your computer?  Awesome!  Now, go to Window/Duplicate and close out your newly created contour shaded template so we do not make any permanent changes.  Woo hoo….now we get to color!  Here we go!

Step 10 – Select the layer titled Bottom Layer to make it the active layer. 

Before we can proceed any further with coloring, let us first make sure you have the Manual Color Correction tool active. Go to Adjust……do you see  Manual Color Correction?  If not, you will need to restore it.  When Corel bought JASC Paint Shop Pro and the versions switched from 9 to X this was omitted from the Adjust menu.  BUT…do not worry….we can restore it easily and you will be ever so grateful that you did the restore!  For versions X and up…..if you do NOT see Manual Color Correction under the Adjust Tab…..let’s restore. 

Right click on the menu or toolbar, and choose Customize and then the Commands tab. In the left Categories pane choose the Unused Commands. The right pane will change and fill up with all the resources in PaintShop Pro that were hidden in versions X and up. Scroll down to the Manual Color Correction command and simply drag and drop the icon into the Adjust menu.  (Drag it until you see the Adjust tab become active then let go to drop).

Now….make sure you have it restored by clicking on the Adjust Tab and looking for Manual Color Correction.  Got it??? If so, great!  Now we can color!

Step 11 – With the bottom layer as our active layer go to Adjust/Manual Color Correction.  The following pop up will appear.


I added the arrows and numbers to explain the important aspects of this tool.  1 – You can select any of the gray area in here to make it the source of the color you want to change.  It will appear in number 2.  Click on the box marked Target in 3 and your color pallet will appear and you can select the color you want to use.  OR…if you know the Hue/Saturation/Lightness numbers you want to use….simply enter them into the appropriate boxes. 

For mine…I selected the lighter gray in the center part of the image on the top left box.  It appears in the source box.  Then I clicked on my target box and then just clicked on a shade of red I wanted to use.  You can move the pop up box to the side to see a full view preview of the color as it will appear.  Once you are satisfied with your color choice….click OK.

My image appears as below….your will appear different depending on the color you chose. 


Step 12 – Click on the layer titled Middle Layer and repeat step 11 selecting a different color.

Step 13 – Click on the layer titled Top Layer and repeat step 11 selecting a different color.

Here is what my final output looks like:


I was feeling a bit “red hat” I suppose. LOL  Now…let’s rid ourselves of some wasted space (which can create a larger file than we need).  Go to Layer/Merge/Merge Visible.  Then go to Selections/Select All.  Selections/Float.  Selections/Defloat.  Finally to Image/Crop To Selection.   Now export as a transparent PNG to your computer.  VIOLA!  You just finished coloring the contour shaded flower template! 

OK…..get a cup of coffee, tea or your favorite beverage and take a break for a moment….we are learning a lot today ladies and gents! 

Had your break?  Got your drink at hand?  We are now moving on to using a pattern fill combined with contour shading. 

Let us return to our original flat grayscale template.  Open the template titled RDD_FlowerTemplate.pspimage.

Open a couple patterns you would like to use.  I have included three canvas patterns in the folder.  If you would like to use those to practice with, feel free.  But, if you want to use a pattern you already have either in your patterns folder or as an open image…that will work fine too. 

I will be using the patterns in the folder and my workspace looks like this:


Step 14 – Select the layer titled Bottom Layer to make it the active layer.

Step 15 – Go to Selections/Select All.  Selections/Float then Selections/Defloat.  Click on your foreground material pallet:


Click on the Patterns Tab and then select the Drop Down menu next to the pattern preview area. Click on the Category button and select Open Images.  Then Select the pattern you want to use. Then select the percentage scale you wish to use the pattern.


Using your flood fill tool….


Flood fill the selected area.

Step 16 – Go to Selections/Invert then Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow and apply the drop shadow we previously used. Then go to Selections/Select None. Your image will appear similar to below depending on the pattern that you used.  NOTE--- you can adjust your drop shadow to more or less blur to your liking.


Step 17 – Select the layer titled Middle Layer to make it the active layer and then go to Selections/Modify/Expand and expand by 2 pixels.  Flood fill with your pattern of choice. Then repeat step 16 above.

Step 18 – Select the layer titled Top Layer to make it the active layer and then repeat steps 15 and 16 above. For added depth…..while the top layer is still active and with nothing selected go to Effect/3D Effects/Drop Shadow and apply a drop shadow to the center of the flower.  This gives it a look of depth.  I used Opacity and Blur of 60 set for each with my horizontal and vertical offsets set to 0.

Your image should appear similar to below depending on the pattern you used.


Now….go to Layers/Merge/Merge Visible and then repeat the steps to rid of the wasted space and then export the image as a transparent PNG. 

Ta da!  We are done with the tut.  I hope you enjoyed it! 

NOTE------The Pesky TOU Section ---The flowers I made using this tut are also included in the file for your use.  You may use them for personal or commercial use so long as you are using them in a flattened version on a design such as a candy wrapper or a scrapbook quick page.  You may not recolor the template and then sell the graphics made from the template and you may not resell the template.  Please do not share the template.  If someone wants the template, please refer them to this blog or to the Walker World sub forum in Wrap Candy. 

END NOTE ------

Now go play!  Have fun! Create!