Tube Etiquette:
Creating and Controlling Picture Tubes in PSP 7.
Page 3

August 29, 2002

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Section 6: Tubing... At Last

It seems like a long involved process getting to the point of Exporting to a Tube. But attention to detail in the previous sections makes for a high quality tube!

Let's do it.

If you closed the image after completing section 5, please reopen PreTubeStonesMerged from the File > Open on the Menu Bar.

With the PreTubeStonesMerged image selected go to File on the Menu Bar then Export > Picture Tube...


On the Export Picture Tube dialog box, in the Cell arrangement areas, set the number of cells across to 2, since we have 2 rock "cells" side by side... Set the Cells down to 2. The total cells should read 4.

The cell width should read 218 X 184, just as we set up the grid on the PreTube image.

Unless you have predetermined the placement and selection objects, leave them alone.

Type a name for the tube in the Name box. I put in RiverRock. The file name for the Tube shows below the Tube name, in this case RiverRock.tub.

Press the OK button and the tube is saved to default tube folder. See below.

That is it for making and exporting a multi- image tube! Good Work! Go try it out!

But there is a bit more...

Section 7: Checking and Controlling the Tube

Close all the files open in Paint Shop Pro.


Create a New Image: File > New...

On the New Image Dialog box, set the file size to 640 x 480.

Make the Background Color White...Press OK.

If the Grid is still showing, turn it off. View View > Grid on the Menu Bar, or CTRL+ALT+G on the keyboard.

Choose the Picture Tube Tool on the Tool Palette.


On the Tool Options Palette, press the down facing arrow next to the tube preview box.


Choose the RiverRock tube from the fly out box of tube previews.

NOTE: In PSP 7, mousing over a preview pops up the full path to the tube, in case you need to locate the file on the hard drive.


The River Rock preview shows in the Tool Option Palette.

On the right side of the option palette, is the Scale changing area. Moving the slider to the left sprays images smaller. Moving the slider to the right right makes them bigger.

I suggest NOT increasing the scale over 100 percent or the images will be pixelated.

Below Scale is Step Size. Move the step size smaller to decrease the space between sprayed images. Increasing the step size adds more space between sprayed images.


On the Options Palette, click the Second tab at the top.

On this area, choose how you want to spray the image.

In the Placement Mode, pick either Random or Continuous from the drop down box to controls whether the Tube images spray in the image at random or equal intervals.

Random is too Random for my tastes! I use Continuous.

In the Selection Mode, there are 5 choices from the drop down box.

Random mode randomly selects images in the tube. It might chose Cell 1 then Cell 3 then Cell 4 then Cell 2, then Cell 2 again. I don't use Random very often!

Incremental mode selects the first image in the tube and repeats it only after it has selected all the images. In other words the tube will spray cell 1, Cell 2, Cell 3, Cell 4, Cell 1 and so forth.

Depending on the way I set up the tube, I usually use Incremental.


Notice in this tube image, Khiba_sage.tub, I have numbered how the images will spray in order if I set to Continuous and Incremental.

he Angular mode selects images based on the direction you drag the mouse as you paint.

This is a way to spray the same image over and over again. Drag to the right and the same image will repeat until you change direction.

The Pressure mode uses pressure from a pressure sensitive tablet to determine which image to select. I don't have a tablet. Experiment with this on your own.

Velocity selects images based on the speed you drag the mouse as you paint.


For now set the placement mode to Continuous and the Selection to Incremental.

FYI: When you find a placement mode and selection mode hat fits the chosen tube and your style, set it as the default. ( We could have set the default on the Export Picture Tube dialog box!)

To save a style as a default, press the Options button on the second tab of the Tool Option Palette.

Notice the box that pops up is almost identical to the one on the export tube.



CHECK the box Save As Default for this Picture Tube.

Tip: I suggest setting a default for a tube you like, otherwise each time you pick the tube in the options palette from the preview box list, it will revert back to it's original default values!

Press OK to save the settings as default.

In the image, click and drag from the left edge to the right edge of the image.

Notice the tube sprays all 4 images spaced way apart.

TIP: The tube will spray the first image (Cell) with its center where you click your mouse! This is why we center the objects (layers) in the middle of their cells when we set up the pretubestones image. You KNOW where the image is going to spray in relation to where you click the mouse!

Change the Step Mode on the Options Palette.

Move the Step Slider down to 100.

The images are spaced much closer together!

Even overlapping a bit.


Change the Scale on the Options Palette to 50 percent.

Drag again across the image.

The size of the stones sprayed is half the original size.

FYI: Even with sharpening on the pretubestones image, the smaller size stones here are blurry. Use the Effect > Unsharp Mask to restore detail in the smaller stones. Below

If you are running out of room on the image, press the delete key on the keyboard to clear the image to the background color.

Let's explore the Angular Selection Mode, as this is a way to spray the same image over and over again.

On the Tool Options Palette, second tab, set the selection mode to Angular from the drop down box.

  • Click and drag from left to right across the image.
  • Click and drag down from the top to the bottom along the right edge.
  • Click and drag right to left along the bottom.
  • Click and drag from bottom to top along the left edge.


Note the results!

I sure hope in the next iteration of Paint Shop Pro that we have the option to spray one or more of the tube images from a list!

Let's leave Velocity and Pressure alone, since I cannot control these with a mouse.

Section 8. Create Images with the Tube

Finally, let's do something "real world" with this tube.... Tube are for building images after all.

Have a blank white image open in PSP, select the Picture Tube Tool. Choose River Rock tube on the first tab of the Tool Options Palette.

Set the Scale to 100.

Leave the Step at whatever as it won't matter
when spraying each rock individually.


On the second tab, set the placement to Continuous and the Selection Mode to incremental.

This will spray the images in order where we set them, very controllably.

Let's make a river bottom background on the image.

Click in the image. If you do not get a big grey stone, press CTRL Z on the keyboard or press the UNDO key on the Tool Bar at the top of PSP. Without moving the mouse, click the mouse and UNDO until you get the grey stone.

Move elsewhere on the image and do the same. Chances are it will be the 4th click.

Continue setting Grey Stones only on the image.

Set the size on the options palette to 75 and click in the image to set other rocks in the cracks of the grey ones.

Use the Undo key to erase any rock you don't like.

Remember the tube sprays 1,2, 3,4 so you can PREDICT which rock will come next, and place the mouse over the space you want a rock.

Change the Size again to 33 percent and continue filling in the stones..

Then change to 10 percent, the smallest size PSP will spray and blow some pebbles onto the image

Here is what I came up with as a finished image! See below.

And this folks, is what the Spirit of Tubing is all about. Using a series of Images as building blocks for a bigger piece of art!!!!

Other Examples of building images with tubes:




Dark Sage Tube





Wreath built with Dark Sage tube.

Scanned Branches Lasiopetala tube

Bush built with Lasiopetela tube.

Plant built from tube. With this tube set to continuous and incremental I know to build the plant from left to right bottom to top.. ;)

Hyacinth Bean Flower tube and Leaves tub.



Image built with the Hyacinth Bean tube.

And finally.....

A composited image made from 5 tubes over a gradient background.

My challenge to you: Go out and create your own tubes from un-copyrighted sources. Spend enough time on them to do a top quality job from start to finish.

Then share YOUR tubes with your friends!

The End... I hope you enjoyed and gained from this extended tutorial!

Please do the right thing! Make your own tubes.

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