Overview: (Good reading while the images download)
In this tutorial we will build a picture made from a number of other pictures. The final picture will look like stained glass but instead of the sections being different colors of glass they will have our different pictures. (see image above)
Step 1. Create a blank image as per our desired size and resolution.
Step 2. Using vector objects draw the seams between our images.
Step 3. Merge all vector objects and our background layer to a true raster layer.
Step 4. Using the selection frame option place a frame around the main image (save as alpha channel).
Step 5. Using the magic wand build a selection of the seam/frame and create a new raster layer for our seam/frame for later use and hide it.
Step 6. Open, size and merge in our first picture piece as a new layer.
Step 7. Place the picture piece over the desired location and move its layer behind our main image.
Step 8. Using the magic wand select the piece area and using the delete key remove the area.
Step 9. With the mover tool move the picture piece into the final position and merge our main image and the picture piece layer using the merge visible command.
Step 10. Repeat steps 7 through 9 until all picture pieces are in place.
Step 11. Finish our seam lines using the saved alpha channel, fill with Flood Fill tool and give it a 3D look with the Inner Bevel command.
Step 12. Finish our frame using the saved alpha channel, fill with Flood Fill tool and give it a 3D look with the Inner Bevel command.
These are the basic steps we will take in building our little masterpiece. So fasten your seat belts and get ready to have some PSP Fun. If this tutorial helps you to use and enjoy PSP then please email me and let me know. I get no monetary rewards for doing my web page just your interest and comments are all I desire.
- Select the File Menu/New (Ctrl+n).
- In the View Menu, turn on Rulers, Guides and Snap To Guides as shown below.
- Adjust your image window size as illustrated in the image below. You will need to see about 1/4" of the area outside your image. We will be dropping line end points on the guides outside the image. With your mouse pointer on the left vertical ruler click with LMB and drag to the right and place guide lines at 100, 200 and 300 pixels as shown below. Also, with your mouse pointer on the top ruler click with LMB and drag down and place guide lines at 100, 200 and 300 pixels as shown below.
- Select the Preset Shape Tool icon in the Tools Toolbar (see illustration in the left column).
Preset Shape Tool Icon or [p] key
- Set the Tool Option Palette as shown below. The Octagon is selected in the Shape List, Retain style= unchecked, Anti-alias=checked, Create as vector=checked, Line style=Solid and width=10 pixels.
- Now we are ready to draw our Octagon in the center of our image. Place pointer at Pt "A" and click with the LMB and drag to Pt "B". With the snap to guide turned on your points will drop at the intersections of our guide lines. This creates our center picture piece area where we will place the picture of honor. Our center piece of you will.
- Select the Pen Tool and make the settings in the Tool Options palette as shown below. Mode=Drawing, Segment Type=Point to Point and Width=10 pixels.
Pen Tool Icon: or [v] Key
- Next we want to draw (4) lines from the outside of our image to the edge of the Octagon shape. These lines will be drawn on the guide line at ("A") and end on the octagon line at the intersection of our guides ("B"). LMB click at "A" and drag to "B" and release. See image below. Before you draw the first line and between each of the (4) lines select the New Shape icon on the Tool Options palette. This is important and I find it almost impossible to remember.
New Shape Icon Select between creating objects
- Select the Layers Menu/Merge/Merge Visible. This will create a raster layer containing all of our image and remove the Background layer. We now have only one layer and it is called "Merged".
- If your Layer palette is not visible then please open it by pressing the "F8" key on your keyboard. Once opened slide it out of your way so you can still see your image file.
- Now select the "Selection" icon and then type Ctrl+a key to select the complete image. You should see a selection mar-key around the image (aka. "dancing ants").
Selection Icon or [s] key
HINT: To select the complete image type Ctrl+[a] key
- Select the Selection Menu/Modify/Select Selection Borders. This command will allow us to build a selection on the edge of our image in the shape of a frame or border. In this case we will make it 15 pixels to the inside.
- Make the settings in the "Select Selection Borders" dialog as shown in the image below. If you can not see the selection on your image as in the illustration below then depress the two icon that have eyeballs on them. Select OK.
- It is time to save our image file. Select the File Menu/Save As. Browse to the folder where you want to place your image file and name it and with the LMB click on the Save button. I used "collage" but you can use any name you prefer. Also note in the image below that you could have pressed the F12 key to open the "Save As" dialog box.
- Now we want to save the selection of our frame to an alpha channel for use later. Alpha channels are a power tool in PSP8 which can make you a PSP Pro. Select the Selection Menu/Load/Save Selections/Save Selection To Alpha Channel. In the "Save Selection To Alpha" dialog take the defaults and LMB click on the Save button.
- Now we want to fill our frame with black color. Make sure black is still selected as your Foreground in your Material palette. With the LMB click on the "Flood Fill" icon in the Tools toolbar (see left column). Now with the LMB click in the selected frame and it will be filled with black.
Flood Fill Icon or [f] key
Hint: To delete a selection type Ctrl+[d] key
- With the LMB click on the Drop-Down arrow on the Selection icon on the Tools toolbar and release (See left-Column above at Step 4). Now LMB click on Magic Wand icon on the drop-down menu. This action will not only select the Magic Wand command but will also place the Magic Wand icon on the Tools toolbar as the visible default.
- Now let's hide our Guides by selecting the View Menu/Guides. This is a toggle icon so the Guides are turned off since they were on. To turn them on again you would select the View Menu/Guides.
- On the Tool Options palette make the setting as shown in the image below.
- With the Magic Wand select LMB click in each of the (5) white areas to select them.
- Now select the Selection Menu/Invert. This inverts the selection and makes the black color selected and not the white.
- Now we want to save the selection of our seam/frame to an alpha channel for use later. Select the Selection Menu/Load/Save Selections/Save Selection To Alpha Channel. In the "Save Selection To Alpha" dialog take the defaults, notice that the name is now "Selection #2". With the LMB click on the Save button. We now have (2) Alpha Channels saved with our image file. We will use them later for flood filling the seams (Selection #2) and the frame (Selection #1).
- Type Ctrl-d to remove our selection.
- Open your first image that you want to use as a center picture piece. I will do the center piece with you and you can do the other (4) pieces on your own. The image I opened is below (pc1.jpg).
- We want to size our images so they will fit our opening in the width or the height. If you will observe our openings you will notice that they are squares measuring 200 x 200 pixels. The pictures that I have decided to use are all in the landscape orientation. So I simply resized them so the height will equal the height of our squares or 200 pixels. If you would like to use my resized images then download them HERE or RMB click on my center piece image below and select "Save Link As" from the Pop-Up Menu. Once downloaded unzip them in the same folder that you saved your image file earlier. Then open pc1.jpg in PSP8 using the File Menu/Open (Ctrl-o).
- Now our center piece image is opened and resized. Now let's merge it into our main image as a new layer. With the center piece image current type the Crtl+c keys. This places a copy of the image on the computer clipboard.
The computer clipboard is nothing more than a place in computer memory where things can be stored for use later.
- Now make your main image current by clicking on the top of the image window with your LMB. Now type Crtl+l keys to paste the clipboard contents into the main image as a new layer. Notice that we now have a new layer called "Raster 1" and it is setting above the "Merged" layer in the Layer palette.
NOTE: The stack order in the Layer palette corresponds to the display stack order in the graphics window. You will notice that the Center Piece image is on top of the main image.
- In the Layer palette, LMB click on the "Merged" layer and drag it above the "Raster 1" layer. This will place the "Merged" layer on top of the "Raster 1" layer and you will not be able to see the "Raster 1" layer anymore even though it is still in the image.
- You can close the image file "pc1.jpg" now.
- Now select the "Magic Wand" as called out in "Step 5" above. Make the setting below in the "Tool Options" bar. NOTE: The "Sample merged" being un-checked will force the Magic Wand to only see the selected layer in the "Layer" palette.
- With the "Merged" layer selected in the Layer palette LMB click in the center Octagon opening.
- Now hit the "Delete" key on your keyboard. This will delete the area in the Octagon and allow you to see the Center Piece image layer below it.
- Type "Ctrl+d" to delete the selection
Mover Tool or [m] key
- Now select the Mover tool in the Tools toolbar and LMB click on the Center Piece image and drag it to a position of your liking. Make sure you fill the complete opening and do not let some of the checker board show through.
- This step will prevent us seeing the hidden portion of our first picture when we open the other (4) picture areas or white blocks.
- Now we want to load the Alpha channel named "Selection #2". Select Selection Menu/Load / Save/Load Selection form Alpha Channel. In the presented dialog box make sure your image file name is in the "Load from document:" then select "Selection #2" by hitting the drop-down arrow and then select the "Load" button.
- Now we are going to fill the selection with a color. Select the "Flood Fill" tool in the Tools toolbar and set the foreground material in the "Material Palette" to a dark brown color. I used these values in the RGB settings on the "Material" dialog (R-127, G-92 , B-23). To set color: LMB click in the Foreground swatch on the Material palette and set your color in the dialog box then select the OK button. With your pointer over a black area click the LMB. This fills our frame and seams. Now lets give them a 3D look using the "Inner Bevel" tool.
- Select Effects Menu/3D Effects/Inner Bevel. Set the dialog as illustrated below. Hit the "OK" button. To delete the selection type Ctrl+d key.
Now we are going to add a Neat frame using a Gradient fill and then the "Inner Bevel" to add a 3D look. Hold on to your hats this is a big one, but a lot of fun!
- Load the "Selection #1" alpha channel this time as we did in "Step 11". Select Selection Menu/Load / Save/Load Selection from Alpha Channel.
- With LMB click on the Foreground swatch and from the Materials dialog select the "Gradient" tab and make the setting as per below. Now select the "Flood Fill" tool from the Tools toolbar and with the LMB click in the selected area of the border. The border is now filled with our gold colored ribbon as illustrated in the bottom image below.
- Now select the Effects Menu/3D Effects/Inner Bevel and use the same setting as we used earlier in this step with one exception make the width 3 instead of 6. Hit the OK button and presto we have a masterpiece.
You can use this technique to build a number designs. I have built wallpaper images and placed a large number of pictures in it. Also, try other vector shapes and line tools. Below are some examples you can try.
Please let me know if any information on this page is in error by using my "comment page".
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