Using Vector Shapes to Create Christmas Ornaments

Tutorial for November 29, 2001

Starting with a preset vector shape and adding details on both vector
and raster layers, we will end up with 4 ornaments in a tube.

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Download and put the Globe Ornament.jsl file in the Paint Shop Pro 7/Shapes folder on your harddrive, by right clicking the above link and Saving Link as...I have created a vector shape for a globe like ornament and it will be available from the Tool Options Palette for the Shape tool.

Part 1: Creating and Decorating the Ornament

Open PSP and create a new file 300 X 300, 24 bit color with a transparent background.

Pick the Shapes tool from PSP's Tool Palette.

On the Tool Options Palette, use the drop down box next to the shape preview.

Locate the red Ornament 1 shape.

Check the boxes for Retain Style and Create as Vector.

Starting in the upper left corner, click and drag a shape to fill about 3/4's of the image.

Use the side handles to resize the ball thingy so its almost round.

Use the Object Selector tool, to move the shape to the middle of the image.

Open the Layer palette if it's not showing by pressing L on the keyboard.



Rename Layer 2 to Base Ornament by right clicking on its name, choosing Rename from the flyout box and typing in the new name.

Next create a new vector layer. Right click on the Base Ornament layer and pick New Vector layer from the flyout box.
On the Layer properties box, name the layer Stripes. Leave the rest alone. Press OK.

Make sure Stripes layer is highlighted on the Layer palette.

Pick the Drawing Tool from the Tool Palette.

On the Color Palette, under Styles, set the foreground (Stroke) style to Nothing by clicking the right facing arrow and picking the circle with the line through it, last choice on the right.

Set the Background (Fill) style to Pattern, the third choice, then click on the swatch itself to open the Pattern Dialog box.

Using the down facing arrow next to the Thumbnail, locate Smearing Gold from the thumbnails box. (Or pick a woodgrain one)

Leave the Angle set to 0 and set the scale to about 50 percent. Click OK.
With the Drawing Tool Selected, on the Tool Options Palette, pick Point To Point Line as the type then make sure Antialias, Create as Vector and Close Path are all checked. The line width doesn't matter.

In the Image, draw a stripe across the ball making sure the edges overhang the red globe.

I used a point at each corner and one in the middle to get the bend.

If needed, pick the Object Selector and right click on the stripe and do a Node Edit from the flyout box then use the handles on the nodes to reshape the line.

When you are satisfied, right click again and Quit Node edit.

With the stripe still selected, right click the images title bar, pick copy.

Right click the title bar again and pick Paste as new vector Selection.

Arrange the stripes with the Object Selector until you are pleased with the look.

On the Layer palette, right click on Stripes layer and Convert to Raster.

We need a Raster Layer here so we can apply Effects to the layer.

First, let's adjust the color to get rid of the really dark black in our goldish stripes.

Go to Colors on the Menu Bar, then Adjust then pick Brightness Contrast from the flyout box.

On the Brightness Contrast box set the Brightness to 70 and the Contrast to -65.

Press OK.

Now let's turn this more gold and less grey!

Go back to Colors on the Menu Bar and Pick Colorize from the flyout box.

On the Colorize Dialog box, set the Hue to 25 and ramp up the Saturation to 255. Press OK.

We have better looking stripes. Let's lift them off the ball just a tiny bit.

On the Menu Bar go to Effects > 3D Effects > Drop Shadow.

On the Drop Shadow dialog box, set the Vertical offset to 1, the Horizontal offset to 0, the Opacity to 40, the blur to 6.2 or so.

Set the Color to black, by clicking on the swatch and choosing black from the color box.

Press OK

We are getting there, bear with me!

On the layer palette, create a new vector Layer by right clicking on the top layer and picking the appropriate option from the flyout box

Use the Drawing tool, set with the same options as before and create a cap for the ornament.

Convert it to Raster as before, then do the same Brightness Contrast as before.

Colorize the cap, but make it silver by pulling the saturation down to 0.

Apply the Drop Shadow changing the Opacity to around 55 and the blur to 3.7 to make it more definitive. Mine looks like the one on the left.

OK, I think its still a bit blah. Let's add some holly to the edge by using a tube.

Right click the top Layer on the layer palette and create a new Raster Layer from the flyout box. Name this Holly.

Pick the Picture Tube Tool on the Tool Palette.

Use the Drop down arrow next to the thumbnail and locate the Holly tube, if you have it, or another Tube you want to use.

I set the scale to 35 .

Click on top of the stripes to add a few Hollies.

Use the Mover tool on the Tool Palette, the 4 headed arrow, to position the hollies a bit more if need be.

We are just about done, so let's clean up the edges of the stripes and give the whole thing a 3D effect and tube it out!

On the Layer Palette, expand the base ornament layer and select the Ornament 1 from the sub layer. It will have bold type when selected.

Go to Selections on the Menu Bar and pick From Vector Object from the flyout box.
On the layer palette select the Stripes layer by clicking on it to highlight it in blue.
Do a Selections > Invert from the Menu Bar, to select everything outside the ornament. Then press the Delete key to clear out the extra stripes.

Remove the selection. Selections on the Menu Bar, Select None.

Save the file as Ornament.psp to maintain all the layers intact. On the Layer Palette, collapse the Base Ornament Layer by clicking the - sign next to its layer name.

Right click on it and pick Convert to Raster from the flyout box.

Click the eye glasses Icon next to the layer one to turn it off. We need to maintain our transparent background.

Right click on any other layer and pick Merge > Merge Visible from the flyout box.

Now the ornament is one piece.
Final modification: Right Click the merged layer and pick Duplicate from the flyout box. Do this again so you have 2 copies of Merged.
Select the top Copy of Merged, right click and name it Shadow.

Go to Effects on the Menu Bar and 3D Effects.

Pick Cutout from the flyout box.

On the Cutout dialog box set the following:
Vertical & Horizontal Offsets= -33 Opacity = 70, Blur = 40

Press OK to set the Shadow.

On the layer Palette, set the Merge Mode to Luminance by clicking the right facing arrow next to Normal. Luminance restores the red in the berries. Set the opacity slider to about 75 to soften the shadow some.

Select the other Copy Of Merged and rename it Flock.
On the Menu Bar, go back to Effects> 3D Effects> Cutout.

This time change the Both the vertical Offset to 60 and the Horizontal offsets to 20.

Change the shadow color to white.

Press OK.

On the layer Palette, set the Merge Mode to Dissolve and slide the opacity slider to 50.

Grab the Eraser Tool from the Tool Palette and on the Tool Options Palette, set the size to about 20, the hardness to 0 and the opacity to 100 percent.

Use the Eraser tool to reduce and refine the look of the flocked coating.

I also removed it from the cap of the ornament.

That's about it for this ornament.

Do a Save As from the File on the Menu Bar, choose the PSP format and give the image an name like Ornament Red.

Part 2: Variations and Tubing

Turn off visibility on Layer One on the Layer Palette by clicking the glasses icon next to the name till the red X is across the glasses.

Right click any other layer picking Merge, Merge Visible from the flyout box.

Grab the Crop Tool from the Flyout box, drag a crop box tightly around the ornament.

Double click to perform the crop.

Note on the Status Bar on the right side, the image is 225 X 250 pixels. We need this information for Tubing.

Let's make 4 different colored ornaments.

Open a new file, 450 X 500 pixels Transparent Background.

Go to View on the Menu Bar and View Grid. Then View again and Change Guide and Grid Properties.

Set the Unit to Pixel and the Horizontal Spacing to 225 and the Vertical Spacing to 250. Press OK.

On the new image you should see for equal Cells.

On the Ornament Image, make sure Merged is selected on the layer palette.

Right click the title bar on the image, pick copy from the flyout box.

Switch to the new Image, right click on its title bar and pick Paste as a new Layer.

Do the Paste as a new Layer 3 more times.

Move each ornament into a cell, where it does not touch the boundaries.

Pick the ornament in the top right cell and go to Colors on the Menu Bar > Adjust > Hue, Saturation, and Lightness from the flyout boxes.

Move the Hue slider around till you get a combination you like and press OK.

For the first ornament, I chose a hue of 142.

Change the Hue for each of the bottom Ornaments using the HSL.

I picked -132 for the Blue and 57 for the Yellow.

(Sorry, about the weak screen shot, they really look better than this in real life!)

All ready to Tube.

Turn layer One on on the layer palette.

Right click any other layer and Merge > Merge Visible.

All our Ornaments should be on this Merged layer this layer.

For Tubing we need only one layer.

Select the Layer One and drag it to the trash can on top of the layer palette.

Only the Merged Layer should be left on the Layer Palette.

Go to File on the Menu Bar and Export > to Picture Tube.

On the Export Tube box, set Cells across to 2 and Cells down to 2 for a total of 4 cells.

Leave the placement options alone for now.

Enter a name like Class_ Ornaments in the Tube name box.

Press OK.

The Tube should be ready to use! Close both the Ornament Red and the Merged image without saving.

Open a new file and try out the tube!

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