Saturday, April 25, 2009

Plate Tutorial for You!

This is a tutorial using the free plate template referred by my scrap blog at Digital Art by Steph. Unzip the plate file to a location you will remember. Open the plate psp file in Paint Shop Pro, duplicate it and close the original.

Note the screen shot below. The little hand is pointing a light gray circle. This is the vector circle you will use to get your text to go around the plate. The layer marked as text you will use for whatever text you want to appear on the plate. The text layer is highlighted (again see screen shot below).

Find a cursive font that you like. Depending on the font and phrase I wanted to use, I set the size of the text anywhere from 125 to 175. You may have to adjust the kerning of your text to make sure the letters don't run together. I had to set mine anywhere from 5 to 25 depending on the font. Use the background color and close off the foreground color. I picked my background color to complement the color I was going to make the plate. For example if I chose pink, the background color I used for the text would be a dark pink.

Once you have your font all set up, take your mouse and point it to the light gray circle. Once the cursor changes to an A with a half circle under it, click and type in your text in the box that pops up. If you want the beginning of your text to start at a different place, place your mouse on the center of the box (see screen shot below). Mouse your in the direction you want the text to move and you can see your text move.

After applying text and making sure you like its placement, convert to raster layer. Select all then float the text layer, add a new raster layer. Apply cutout of 4, 4, 80, 5 color black. Do not de-select!

Apply a drop shadow of 2, 1, 100, 2 color white.

De-select text, move your cutout/shadow layer below text. If the white is too visible to your liking, turn down opacity of cutout/shadow layer (this is entirely your discretion). Delete the vector circle layer. Turn off the plate layer and merge visible the two layers. If you want to add a graphic, tube, etc. to the middle of the plate, open your graphic or tube, copy and paste to the plate. Turn down the opacity of the layer in order for the plate to appear more realistic.

To colorize your plate, pick a color from your graphic or tube as your background color. With the Color dropper, click on the plate for your foreground color. Go to Adjust, Color Balance, click on Manual Color Correction. See screen shot. Tick the Manual Target Color radio button. Right-click on the top color and pick your gray in the foreground color box. Right-click on the bottom color and pick the color in the background color box. You will see the plate change color. If the color isn't quite right, you can adjust the gray either darker or lighter until you are satisfied. This information on the colorizing in this manner I learned from Shawna. Please see her blog at Scrap Stuff With PSP Tutorials .

Merge visible all the layers. Select All, Float the Selection (so the plate is selected), then de-float the selection. Now apply Xero Porcelain at 50, 47, 144 and leave rest of settings alone.

Below is a screen shot of my finished plate greatly re-sized.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I have a new tut in the making but wanted to tell you about a couple of things on my other blogs. First, I am trying to start a "freebie of the day" on my scrap blog. Be sure and check my Digital Art by Steph blog every day or sign up for Feedblitz to get notifications of new posts.

Second, I have another blog now called DAS Tea Party. This is a blog where I write about current events and how I feel about them. As you may be aware, on April 15, there were over 3000 tea parties all over the U.S. that got little to no media attention and was seriously and deliberately minimized. Estimates are that a million people showed up to quietly protest the government that is taxing us and refusing to listen to us. This isn't limited to the present administration as may have been reported by the mainstream media but really started with the previous administration since 9/11.

Take a look at both my blogs and let me know what you think!