Donations Welcome

I am currently saving toward a new version of Paint Shop Pro. If you wish to help me out, then please donate.

Larger versions of images can be seen by clicking on the image. Also, thank you for your kind and encouraging comments. I love reading the comments. If you use my any of freebies, I would be overjoyed with a comment containing a link to your item. I love seeing any of my freebies in use.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Psychedelic Ringworm Circus

I'm going to go see the circus next month, but it won't be a ringworm circus.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Psychedelic Plum Particles

In response to the criticisms that the images in my tutorials are too hard to see, I would like to point out that it is possible click on the images and get a LARGE view.  Also, I have started to convert my tutorials to PDF.  My current plan is to upload them to a commercial site and charge a nominal fee per PDF.  This is because I am HATING the process of converting the tutorials to PDF.  It is like torture.  So the monetary incentive is to convince me to keep doing it.  Else, I would quit.  However, the web versions of the tutorials will remain available for free on my blog.

I have converted a few already.  You can find them listed on the side of my blog.  I'll have to see if this incentive works because I have done a few and I'm not sure that it is worth converting all my tutorials to PDF.  As it will take me a while to convert all the tutorials, if you have a favorite that you want to acquire in printable PDF form, then leave me a comment and I will do that tutorial first. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Like Chinese but Not Alphabet

This is the alpha that I made while writing up the Alpha Cutter tutorial.  I also lost my credit card and I feel like crap.

Alpha Cutter Action and Tutorial

I wrote up an action that will cut up a sheet of letters into individual files.  However, I couldn't figure out how to automate the naming of the files without providing an options file and a mini-tutorial.  So, to use the action to its fullest potential, you need to follow this tutorial.


6 x 6 Grid Template
Alpha Cutter Action and Output Settings Preset

1. The letters for the alpha need to be put on a grid.  The cutter uses will evenly divide any canvas into 6 columns and 6 rows.  This allows for 26 letters and 10 numbers.  If you do not have a grid that you can follow, you can use my Grid Template.  Open up the template or your own canvas in Photoshop.

2.  Select a nice font.  With the text tool, write out your letters and numbers as vectors. Try to position each letter in the middle of a grid square.

 3.  Turn off the layer containing the Grid Template by clicking the eye symbol on the layer palette.

4.  Apply any styles or perform any actions needed to create the look of the alpha.

5.  Install the action if you haven't done so already.  Place the "alpha-cutter.iros" file  some place where you can easily find it.  Mine is in My Documents > Adobe > Presets > Output Settings.

6.  Create the following directory My Documents > Adobe > alpha.

7.  Play the action.

8.  When you reach the pop-up box, read the instructions and press 'Continue'.

9.  You may get a Save for Web warning message if you are using my template as the image is very large.  Click 'Yes' if you get this warning.

10.  Click the Optimize Settings button.

11.  Select 'Edit Output Setting's from the menu that appears.

12.  In the Output Settings dialog, click 'Load'.

13.  Find the 'alpha-cutter.iros' file and load it.  You should only have to perform steps 10-13 the first time you run the action.  You will have to perform steps 10-13 again if you change the settings in the future.

14.  Click 'Save'.

15.  If you created the alpha directory, then the dialog will open in that directory.  If not, then it will open in your last used directory.  You can, if you wish, change to a different folder or make a folder for the alpha.  The default name that appears in the dialog is the name of the file.  So, if you used my Grid Template, then it will be HGG_gridtemplate.

16.  Change the default name to something else.

17.  Click 'Save' and the files will be saved.

When you go to the folder, you can see the individual files.  They will be numbered from 1 - 36.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spiderwebs Alpha - Purple

Once again, I'm trying SkyDrive.  Here is the last alpha in this set, the purple one.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spiderwebs Alpha - Orange

I'm trying SkyDrive again with these files.  Here is the orange one.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spiderwebs Alpha - Green

I made this alpha last year, but didn't finish it until after Halloween.  So, I decided to save it and give it out this year.  I hope that people can use it.  It comes in three colors.  Here is the green one.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Awareness Ribbon

A member of my tutorial group asked for an awareness ribbon tutorial.  This tutorial will show you how to make an awareness ribbon using the vector tools in Paint Shop Pro.  The final ribbon can easily be re-colored.  However, the example is pink because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I'm writing this in October.

1.  Open up a new canvas.  Make it rectangular in shape.  Mine is 1400 high by 800 wide.

2.  Use the Preset Shape Tool to draw a Rectangle.  Right-click and select Convert to Path.

3.  Select the Object Selection Tool (or Pick Tool).  Press the Shift key.  When the Shift key is depressed and the mouse is over the object, the shear image (a parallelogram will be visible).  While holding down the Shift key, slide the middle of the bottom of the rectangle to the right.  Continue to hold down the Shift key and slide the middle of the top of the rectangle to the left.  Now you should have a parallelogram.

4.  Select the Pen Tool.  Choose the node on the top left of the parallelogram.  Slide the node down and to the left.

5.  Slide the top right node up and to the left.

6.  Move the bottom right node up.

7.  Move the bottom left node to the right.

8.  Select the bottom right node.  Change the Node Type to Curve Before.  Drag the handle slightly to the left to curve the ribbon toward the center.

9.  Select the top right node.  Change the Node Type to Curve After.  Drag the handle slightly to the left.

10.  Select the top left node.  Change the Node Type to Curve Before.  Drag the handle slightly to the left to curve the ribbon outward.  Change the Node Type to Curve After and Smooth.  This eliminates the possibility of an ugly bump.

11.  Select the bottom left node.  Change the Node type to Curve After.  Drag the handle slightly to the left.

12.  Duplicate the layer (Layers > Duplicate) and mirror the image (Ctrl + M).  This creates the two overlapping pieces of the ribbon.

9.  Create a new vector layer (Layers > New Vector Layer).

10.  Select None (Ctrl + D).

11.  Use the rectangle preset shape and draw out a rectangle across the tops of the two long ribbons.

12.  Right-click and select Convert to Path.

13.  Select the top left node and change the node type to Curve After by right-clicking the node, then choosing Node Type from the menu.  Pull the handle up to create an upwards curve.

14.  Repeat for the top right node except change the node type to Curve Before.

15.  Select the bottom right node and change the node type to Curve After.  Pull the handle up to create an upwards curve.

16.  Repeat for the bottom left node except change the node type to Curve Before.

17.  Move the current layer under the two ribbon layers.

The basic ribbon shape is now complete.  You can provide shading to make the ribbon look more three-dimensional.  I used a pink gradient to give my ribbon more depth. 

Here is my gradient and how I applied the gradient to the layers.

Foreground Color = Dark Pink
Background Color = Light Pink
Layer - Copy of Vector 1 = Foreground - Background Gradient
Layer - Vector 1 = Foreground - Background Gradient Inverted (meaning with Invert box checked)
Layer - Vector 2 = Foreground - Background Gradient

I am making my final ribbon available as a grayscale image.  It is still in vector format, so that the colors can easily be changed.  It is in PSPimage format.  I am trying out SkyDrive for this download just to see how it works.  Like it?  Hate it? Let me know what you think.