Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Postage Cancellation Mark using Text on a Path

I found this method works well for me. It enabled me to place my text very accurately and I was also left with a template that I could use again and again.

The resulting postmark will be close to an inch in diameter at 300 ppi but can easily be enlarged or reduced without degradation. 

New image white raster background 400 X 400 at 300 ppi
Turn on grid [View Grid] set at 50 pixels vertically and horizontally

Select Ellipse tool> circle Background null, Foreground Black #000000 Line width 3 pixels and draw a circle starting with your cursor at 50, 50 and ending at 350, 350 Check that the circle is centred.

Edit> Copy this layer. Edit> Paste as a new layer and Image resize [all layers unchecked] 90%
Objects > Convert to path. Rename layer Circle one.

 Again Edit> paste as a new layer - this will paste your original circle from the clipboard as a new layer.
Image resize 75% and again convert to path. Rename Circle two.

 We are going to place our text neatly between these 2 latter circles, leaving a gap between the text and outer circle.

Make sure your uppermost layer [smallest circle] is selected and choose your text tool.
Foreground null and background black #000000. Find a suitable Font, size 35-36.  A Blocky fonts work best. I used Bodini MT with alignment centre.

Make sure also that your text "Offset Setting" is set at 0. [Often this setting is obscured on the extreme right hand side of the toolbar.]

Place your cursor as close to "12 o'clock" as you can.

 Type your text. 

 Click apply and carefully shift to horizontal centre if it is a bit out of plumb using the grid lines as a guide :) The text may slightly rotate as you move it.

Now return to the first inner circle [Circle one] on the layer below and making sure that the circle layer itself is selected use your pen tool to edit the path to go in an anticlockwise direction. Right click and "Reverse Path"

Select text tool and with cursor in "6 o'clock" position type text using the same settings. Zoom in and carefully centre as before. [The text will slide into position nicely]

Now turn off the visibility of both inner circles:

New Vector Layer and print time and date in the Centre:
You can make sure it is centred perfectly by Objects>align> centre in canvas.

This is how it will appear on a printed page at 300ppi:
Save your image as a .pspimage and then you can edit size and any of the text and materials as you wish. I suggest that you use an installed font if you do so.

 I usually prefer a grungy look when using in an image – achieved by using materials with texture.
I also like using a cancellation stamp as a label :) – it is very adaptable J

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Stylised Millipede

 I have adapted this tutorial from an old one originally written for PSP 7. [https://web.archive.org/web/20130511011247/http://www.state-of-entropy.com/flex.htm]
You should be able to create your millipede in any version from PSP 9 - X9
You will need the script "Vector Paint".[ http://pixelnook.vapho.com/index_All.html
- scroll down that page for direct download]

New image with transparent raster background 600 X 600 pixels.

Use the Pen tool:
Background nil
Foreground black #000000

Choose the style line with round ends:
Width 30, Bezier curve 

Draw a curvy line.
Duplicate layer and open vector and right click to change the properties of this duplicate layer:

Change colour to white #ffffff and line width to 6:

Rename highlight 1 and move vertically upwards slightly. 

Duplicate this layer and rename Highlight 2 and change the properties by reducing the stroke width to 2. Move vertically downwards:

 Change both highlight layers to raster layers:

Select your original vector layer and go to Selections> selection from Vector object:

Whilst still selected go to layer Highlight 1 and apply Adjust> Blur> Gaussian blur radius 6:

Whilst selection in place go to highlight 2 layer and apply Gaussian blur radius 3:

Now to add some segment demarcation:
With foreground colour black and either your pen tool width 1 pixel or brush of one pixel and
hardness 100 zoom in and draw segments along the length of the body at right angles to the curve. I curved slightly those closest to each end :)

Duplicate this layer and rename "segment's highlight". Image > negative image to change
to white.

Shift 1 pixel to right. [ Use pick tool and right arrow and click once]

Change blend mode to soft light.


Select ellipse tool circle and with foreground nil and background of black/white gradient and these settings draw 2 small eyes:

Add feelers with pen tool or brush:

Now for some legs:

Choose your brush tool and the square brush tip and use these settings, Size 60, hardness 100,
step 200, density 100, thickness 1,rotation 0, opacity 100 Foreground colour black #000000:

We want the legs to follow the contour of the body so we will need to alter the brush variance:

Press F11 to bring up brush variance palette and change rotation to "Direction":

Select your millipede body vector layer and select and run Vector paint script. [Be sure your
brush tool is still selected too]

Rename this layer "legs" and move below the body layer.

With the warp brush gently give your legs some random direction:

This image can be recoloured to suit your taste:

Here I overlaid with brown and added lighter stripes then recoloured this image green and red for fun:
You can be a bit more adventurous if you wish to manipulate your vectors :)

I do appreciate your comments !