Monday, 17 October 2016

Dark Chocolate Text

It is no secret that my favourite chocolate is dark :)
Creating a rich dark chocolate text is reasonably easy in Paint Shop Pro.

You will need:
Font 1 - Mirabel One but a similar cursive font with some smoothness and thickness would be appropriate.
 Font 2 - Yu Gothic Semilight [Microsoft]

 Foreground colour #5c504d

Background and Text colour #342b26

Create a new image 600 X 400 72 ppi raster background transparent.

Flood fill with gradient created with your foreground and background colours using these settings.

Add some noise to give the background a slightly velvety appearance.
Adjust . add noise:

Layer > New Vector layer [text 1]
Select the text tool and font Mirabel One with these settings and using foreground null and background colour #342b26 :

Layer > convert to raster layer.
Effects> 3D effects > Inner Bevel

Select Text only
New Adjustment layer -Curves
This gives more shine and definition.

Select the text layer . Effects > 3 D Effects Drop Shadow :

Create a New Vector Layer above adjustment layer [text 2]
Select the text tool
Same dark background colour  #342b26  foreground null
Font 2 Yu Gothic Semilight 

Write some descriptive words about your chocolate.

If you wish, copy merged and pasted as a new layer and changed blend mode to dodge and reduced opacity to 25% or less to give it a bit more "oomph."

All values given for guidance. For different sized images and text, you may need to make  adjustments to the sizes and values of your settings....experiment!

In my image below I added some drips using Eye Candy Filter from Alien Skin

Friday, 25 March 2016

Text Variation - Text on Text- Using a Mask

This sort of overlaid text effect was once fairly common in advertising.

To create "space" around the overlying text, you need to make a selection of your uppermost text, expand your selection and using that "expanded" selection  "cut out" your underlying text.
Now that is fine if your underlying text is a raster layer, but what if that layer is a vector? And what if you wish to move your uppermost text a smidgeon? It is certainly annoying to have to "undo/redo multiple steps".

The answer is to use a mask and link it to the top text layer:

1 First create a background layer [not absolutely necessary but I find it helps :) I used white
2 Create your bottom vector text . I used a red fill and no outline but any would do.
3 New mask layer  -show all

4 Create new vector layer for your uppermost text make sure it is NOT within this layer group but in a separate vector layer above it. [Layer > new vector layer]
 Place it in the approximate final position

5 Carefully select the actual text vector. Create a selection from vector layer. [Selection>selection from vector]
Selection>Modify> expand by 2 [or a value which suits i.e. creates a little space around your topmost text]

6 Keep selection. Go down to your mask and fill with black #000000

7 Select none. Notice how now part of that underlying text is masked out.
We will now link the actual mask to the overlying text.
8 While the mask layer is still selected, hold down the control Ctrl key and also select your top text and link these two.

This will enable you to move the mask and top text as one -important if you want to shift its position.
You can now alter your background to whatever you like and your bottom text layer  will stay "cut out" .

You can also convert your text layers to rasters and apply any effects or simply alter their properties. At any time later, you can move that top text layer and the cutout effect on the lower text layer will "follow" it.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Moving elements within layers in PSP

Move Tool
[Default-Keyboard shortcut m]
Do you ever have trouble moving a layer without moving layers above it?
First select the layer you want to move in the layers palette. Now with Move tool selected, hold down the shift key as you centre  on the layer you wish to move…very useful if you have adjustment layers in place J

Pick/Deform/Object Selector
[Default-Keyboard shortcut k for Pick Tool] , [d for deform and o for object selector in earlier versions]
If course if you use these tools you can move without problems of moving other layers by mistake.

Precise Movements
When using the Move/Pick tools you can move the layer more precisely by the following:
To move by increments
In PSP, you can use the arrow keys to move the layers on your canvas up, down, or to the right or left. Choose the Move tool or Pick tool, and then:
  • To move the layer one pixel at a time, press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 10 pixels at a time, hold down CTRL and press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 50 pixels at a time, hold down SHIFT and press the arrow keys.
  • To move the layer 100 pixels at a time, hold down CTRL + SHIFT and press the arrow keys.

I Found in PSP 9 things were a bit different but still useful.
The Move Tool:
To move by 1 pixel use arrows
To move by 10 pixels hold down shift key and arrows
I found the Ctrl key didn't work at all in PSP 9

The deform tool and object selector  moved by one pixel with arrows but only if  shift key depressed.  

Image offset
No default key [You might find it useful to create one]
Works only with raster layers. Layer groups will need to be merged.

If you wish to move a layer more precisely and quickly, the offset effect might be better.
Select your layer, then Effects> Image effects> Offset>Custom and “transparent” and then enter the number of pixels you want to move your layer in any direction.

The number of pixels is limited only by the canvas size. [you can’t move a layer off the canvas]
Moving Groups
The Move tool will only move the whole group, not individual layers within the group.
The deform tool/object mover/pick tool can move layers within a group or the group as a whole.

Linked Layers
Using the Move tool linked layers move as one.
Use the pick/deform/object selector to move them independently

Under the Objects Menu from the Main Toolbar:
There are  useful options for “alignment” and “distribute” under the menu “Objects”
Older users of PSP will realise that this menu was reserved for Vector layers/objects.
However with PSP X5, came the introduction of the ability to work with raster layers and even a combination of vector and raster layers.

This with Objects > Align you can move to specific locations as indicated, either a single layer or more than one selected layers [hold down the Ctrl key to select more than one layer]
These layers can be vector, raster or a mixture of both J
With Objects> Distribute you must of course have more than one layer selected but these too can be raster, vector or a mixture of both

You can also select Layer groups to be lined up in any way using these tools!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Rotating images in PSP

From the Image Drop down list you have 3 options:

  1. Image> Rotate> Rotate Clockwise 90 degrees  [Rotate right]
  1. Image> Rotate> Rotate Counter Clockwise  90 degrees [Rotate Left]
Whole image rotates 90 degrees in any direction.
These two options can also be accessed from the main toolbar.

This provides a lossless way of rotating images. [no pixel damage]

  1. Image> Rotate>Free Rotate  

 Here you have the option of rotating an image by a custom number of degrees in any direction, either around its own axis or around the whole canvas centre. You can rotate all layers or just a single layer.

If you rotate a background layer or "all layers" of an image containing a background layer, the canvas will enlarge to accommodate  the rotation. [ the extra "space" is filled with whatever you have in your background materials palette]

With raster layers, you will always get a little blurring [degradation] of your image, with the rotation and this is multiplied each time you repeat a rotation.  Therefore, if you find that your rotation is not quite as desired it is always better to undo and repeat with a different degree setting, rather than try to make adjustments. Then apply a little sharpening.

Vector layers will remain sharp with this sort of rotation.

Pick Tool [Deform, Object Selector]
Of course you can always use the Pick Tool [Deform, Object selector] for this sort of rotation [at least of a single layer] but never with the same degree of accuracy unless you actually put in values in the toolbar. If you try to rotate a background layer, it will be promoted to a raster layer but the canvas will NOT be enlarged automatically to accommodate it.

 After using the Pick tool on a raster layer apply a little sharpening.

The straightening tool.
This works in a similar manner to the free rotate, except that you use a guide to set your angle or  set it in the toolbar. You can also save presets.

If you "untick"  crop image when you straighten a background the canvas will enlarge in a similar way….using your background materials palette to fill the "space". If the straighten tool is used on a raster layer, the image will be rotated about its centre, not the centre of the canvas. If degree angles are used, the degree of rotation is to the left :)

I often use the Free rotate option when creating animations.
If I require a series of different rotations, I always make copies the original layer  and then  apply the degree of rotation to each copy. This maintains the  clarity of the image. This isn't necessary if I am using vectors.
It really helps to use a quick script...or if you create the same sort of  image often, save a script. [ e.g. a sweeping clock hand]


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Altering Colors in Paint Shop Pro

PSP has several tools for changing the colour of part of an image.
 You can select an area and simply apply a change in Hue and Saturation, found under the Adjust drop down list.

Also, the following can be found in your tools palette:

Color Replacer brush

Found in early versions of PSP grouped with eye dropper

In later versions it is grouped with other adjustment brushes:

The toolbar:

To use the tool:
Select the colour you wish to replace in the background materials palette and your replacement material [color, gradient or pattern/with/without texture ] as the foreground material.
Even if the area is fairly uniformly coloured you will need to adjust the tolerance to get good coverage.
The pixels will be replaced by a "flat" fill ..with no consideration for shading.
There is also the option to change all of the similar pixels in the image...where it acts more as a fill rather than brush.
It is a useful tool for images with limited tonal qualities and for some special effects.
Remember that you can use any of your brushes!
It is the sort of tool that I tend to use after I duplicate my image ..and great to produce grungy effects.

Change to target ...also a brush
In older versions of PSP grouped with some adjustment brushes:

In later versions they are all lumped together:

This is a  "clever" brush with the ability to cover any area selected with your brush with any material selected in your foreground materials, whilst maintaining the tonal qualities underneath.
VERY useful brush.
Try using the various modes for different options.  Use left click  for foreground materials and right click for background.

 Color Changer
New in later versions PSP X1 onwards
Color Changer is not a brush but a fill option. It works in a similar fashion to the color replacer but a bit  better than the color replacer for large areas. ..and I think gives a better result.

There are only a couple of settings and an apply button to click.

This tool will only work with the colour palette but you can change the color as many times as you wish before applying the effect ...simply by altering the colour in the foreground palette!
You can also change the tolerance and edge-softness on the fly.

Here are a couple of links which are worth reading:
From book by Ken McMahon
From Corel ..This uses a selection

It is worth experimenting with all of these tools :) You will find some better for some jobs than others or maybe a combination will work better for you.
It is always worth working with a duplicate of your original !!! ...or even a duplicate layer.