Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making a Different Clip

I saw a paper clip the other night that was different and thought I'd try to duplicate it. It looks somewhat like the one I saw but I do like it. It is always fun to have some different things in your kit, right? I am going to pass on to you how I did it. Let's go!
Open a new transparent image 500x500 pixels, 300 dpi. Set the foreground color light gray #c0c0c0. Set the background color to null (off). Grab the Shapes tool set at ellipse with a width of 15.00 pixels. Draw out a fairly large oval, center it. When you are happy with the size and shape, convert this layer to a raster layer.
Grab the Shapes tool again and draw out a second oval (ellipse). You want the top of the new oval to be laying on the top of the first one and the oval smaller than the first. See screen shot.

When you are happy with the oval and its placement, convert this layer to a raster layer. Turn off the bottom layer and merge the two layers visible. Apply Eye Candy chrome. I used Eye Candy 5 Impact. Here are the settings I used.


Take the Magic Wand and click in the center of the smaller oval. Go to Selections, Expand, enter 3 pixels. Add a new raster layer, fill the selection with your color. Keeping it selected, apply Flaming Pear Super Blade Pro glass clear preset (ships with the plugin). Keep it selected! Apply an Inner Bevel. I used Eye Candy 5 Impact Bevel with the settings below. NOTE: The bevel shape is "custom" meaning you create it. If you look at the screen shot below, you see the bevel shape has 2 "humps". To get that shape, click on the basic button shape line. That adds a node (I guess that is what it is called). You can now grab that node and move it up and down. It takes a bit of practice to get the shape just the way you want it. If you happen to add a node you didn't want or it is in the wrong place, highlight that node and then click the Delete down at the bottom right-hand corner under the shape box.


Move the beveled color layer under the oval layer. Merge visible and save as a PNG file.
This is what mine looks like.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grungy Alpha Tutorial

I recently shared a new alpha and thought I'd share how I did it. I used a nice, crisp font, New Times Roman (comes with Windows). The pattern I used for the "fill" was one I made using a painting. You could use contrasting color too. I used a brush created by Touchstone. I don't think that I can share it. It is a set of brushes. You could use any grungy brush. Below is the setting I used:

Alpha Brush Set1

Okay, use the medium color for the font set as your background. The foreground is set at null. Set your font size to 300, vector. Open a new, transparent image, 500x500, 200 dpi. Type your first letter. Go to Objects, Center. Convert your vector layer to a raster layer. Select all, float, then defloat. Add a layer, Pick your pattern or color, set as your foreground color. Using your brush, place it varied places on your selected letter. Keep selected!

Turn off your first layer, merge visible. Apply a bevel. I used Eye Candy Impact. The settings are below. It is just a nice flat bevel with a slight edge.

Alpha EC setting

Go to Selections, Expand. Enter 5 pixels. Place your mouse on the bottom layer, add a layer (this puts the dark color under your letter). Change the color of your background color to your dark color and fill the layer. Selections, none. Merge visible, copy and paste your completed letter as a new image. Save in PNG format. Continue with the rest of the alphabet in this manner.

When I set my colors, I put the medium color as my background color (see above) and the dark color as my foreground color. Then all I had to do to get the dark color was click on the arrow to the right of the large color swatches (it is small - see screen shot below). This simplifies and shortens the changing of the colors.

Color switch
That's it! Here is the letter A completed. I hope you find this useful. :)

Alpha letter

Monday, May 19, 2008

Safety Pin Pierced Tut

I know there are other tuts that address this issue but I thought I'd share how I did mine. For purposes of this tut, open a transparent image 400 x 400 pixels. Fill with a medium color, I used a muted pink. Copy and paste your safety pin as a new layer on your image. Take the Freehand Selection tool, point-to-point, anti-alias on and no feather. Make a selection in the middle of your pin.

Pin selection
Hit delete once. Go to Selections, Modify, Feather, 10 pixels.

Feather selection
Hit delete again....this rounds the edges of the pin just a bit for a more natural look.

Making sure you are on layer 1 (in my case the pink layer), grab the Lighten/Darken tool set as below:

Carefully go around the edges of the pin (making sure now that you are on the "fabric" layer).
Change the settings on the Lighten/darken tool as below:

Click the left mouse button at one edge of pin edge, hold down the shift key, and click again at the other pin edge. Do this on both sides. In the middle of the edge, using right mouse button, click once. Hold down the shift key again and click with the right mouse button again. Holding down the shift key gives you a straight line, by the way. I played a bit with the left and right buttons to get this final look:

Pin finished
Merge visible your layers and save. Hope this is helpful!
bye for now - until I think of something else I figure out on my own. lol

Friday, May 9, 2008

Making Buttons (my way)

I realize there are a number button tutorials out there on the internet but I thought I'd share how I make mine. I am not saying other tutorials aren't good but after playing around with them, I just wasn't pleased with how my buttons turned out. So I played a bit and came up with this.
1. Open a 400 x 400 transparent image. Set background color to color you want the button. Turn off foreground color. Using the Shapes tool, set at vector and ellipse, draw out a circle (hold down shift key to make it round).
2. Go to Objects, Align and center your circle. Convert your vector layer to a raster layer.
3. Set your background color to black, pick up the Shapes tool again and draw out a tiny black circle. Move your circle to the place on the button you want. Convert the black circle layer to a raster layer.

4. Go to Edit, Copy, then Paste as a New Selection (or ctrl-E). Place the black circle at the end of your mouse where it looks right (up to you and your eyes! lol).

5. Select All, Float, Defloat. Your two black holes are selected. Expand the selection by 1 pixel. Move down to the button layer, hit delete, then back to your black hole layer, hit delete. Keep selected! Now invert your selection and promote the selection to a raster layer.
6. Apply a drop shadow, vertical and horizontal set at 0, Opacity at 86 and Blur at 14.85.

7. Move your Promoted Selection Layer to below the button layer. This makes it look like there is some height to the button. Turn off layer 1 and the promoted selection layer and merge visible.

8. I added an inner bevel using Eye Candy 5 Impact. You could use Eye Candy 4 Bevel Boss or Eye Candy 3 Inner Bevel or, finally, the Inner Bevel that comes with PSP. Play around with the settings with whatever you use until you are happy with your button. Below at the settings I used in Eye Candy 5.

9. Unhide the promoted selection layer, merge visible. Copy and paste as a new image, save as a png file.

10. If you want to add a thread layer, use the Pen Tool set at vector, with the foreground color white (or any color you wish actually). Set the Pen Tool to straight line. Click in the center of one buttonhole, hold the shift key down and click in the other buttonhole. This will give you a straight line. As far as the width of the "thread", it depends upon how big your buttonhole is. You may have to experiment to find out what looks right. Thank goodness for the "undo" button, right? I applied a bit of inner bevel to the thread as well. Again, I had to play with the settings to get it to look right to me. You may have a different setting you like. Below is a screen shot of my settings. Please note: I had already applied the bevel when I took the screen shot.

11. Merge visible layers, copy and paste as a new image. Save as a png file. I hope this tut has been useful to you!