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

August 29, 2002

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This extensive tutorial on tubes is handled in 8 Sections over 3 pages.

1. Tube Etiquette: Abiding by the Copyright Laws
2. Scanning the Objects.
3. Selecting the Objects in the Scan
4. Refining and Resizing the Objects.
5. Creating the Pre-Tube Image.
6. Tubing... at last.
7. Checking and Controlling the Tube.
8. Creating Images with the Tube

Section 1: Tube Etiquette: Abiding by the Copyright Laws.

Let me start with a bit of sad news. As I travel the Web looking for Paint Shop Pro sites to recommend to my students and friends, I find more and more sites offering free tubes.

In and of itself, this is a great thing. People sharing their hard work efforts with others to use in creating Art.

What is NOT right, for the most part, is the spirit in which the Picture Tube feature was created, for spraying images to create a whole has been violated!

What a Picture Tube does best is spray a series of images, not just one with which one builds another image.

I find most free tubes are one image and all too frequently those images are cut or copied from the copyrighted art of others.

Please realize that using pieces from peoples art, or from copyrighted sources like Precious Moments, Warner Bros, Disney and the like, then making a one tube image ( or more ) and redistributing this tube on the Internet is in direct violation of the copyright laws.

Other forms of material that are off limits procured by scanning, photographing, downloading: Wallpaper, Fabric, Greeting Cards, CD or other media covers, Clip art from CD collections, Magazine Pictures, Money, and Food or Beverage Labels, pictures of Famous People.

Remember, if you didn't create the original art or scan from a non copyrighted source, do NOT use the image. It is illegal.

Make tubes ONLY from you own art!

Most CD Art/Clip art collections, Web Sites, and the like, have copyright restrictions, usage rights and/or licensing rights included with the collection

Read these rights and KNOW where you stand legally before using the material.

My job is not to condemn, or police copyright infringements but to educate PSP users on how to use the tools, create images, repair photos, build tubes and make the most of their Graphic experiences.

Please, do the right thing! On to today's Lesson...

Section 2: Scanning the Objects

If so many things are illegal to use, what can we use to create a tube?

Nature. Things in nature are not copyrighted. :) Leaves, bark, trees, grass, nuts, flowers, seeds, fences, skies, clouds, waterfalls, snow, and so forth.

So knowing we are SAFE using natural things, let's make a tube from some scanned rocks, explore controlling the way the tube sprays and create an image using the tube.

I have provided the scan for you to use if you do not have access to a scanner or digital camera or any original images!

However, you may not distribute this scan, or any tubes you make from my material! These will be for your use only.

You may, however, post, print or share any images you create using a tube created from my scan. Deal??

It is also good etiquette to credit the author of the tube when creating art using a free tube made by someone else!

I scan my images at 200 dpi even though the final resolution will be 72 dpi as a tube file. Why? The more pixel information you have the more accurate and detailed your final image. Mistakes in selecting are also minimized.

I use an HP scanjet 5470c scanner which scans beautifully. The better the scanner, the better the results.

You can scan anything, 2D or 3D, on your scanner, as long as it's not heavy enough to break the glass!

First off, make sure the scanner glass is impeccable clean. Get out the glass cleaner make it sparkle. Blow off any dust. Wipe off the white part of the scanners cover to remove debris from it. All dirt, smears and dust will create "noise" in your image. The less noisy the image, the easier the job of selecting the object.

Place objects on the scanner bed. I am using rocks from the dry river bed outside my house.

FYI: If the object is nearly flat, close the scanner cover. If it is lumpy like a rock, leave the scanner cover wide open. ;)

In Paint Shop Pro, go to File on the Menu Bar > Import > Twain > Select Source.

Pick the scanners name from the Sources list on the Select source box and press Select.

Do the scan: File > Import > Twain > Acquire..

The scanner software interface opens on top of PSP. It might start with a Warming up the Lamp notice as it does with my HP.

With my scanner bed open, the preview image of the stones has a jet black background! :) This works great for light colored objects as they will contrast with the background.

I set my scanner preferences to 24 bit color at 200 dpi. Read the scanner manual to determine how to set the color depth and resolution for scanner.

With the scab preview up, select an area around both rocks.

The press the specific button to zoom into the selection. in my HP's case it is the zoom tool.


A larger version of the rocks appears in the scanner software window.


The image size and file size show on the status bar at the bottom window.

I suggest stretching the scanner window as large as possible so you can see your image clearly.

Tip: Make as many adjustments such as setting the contrast and the color as you can in your scanner software before returning to PSP. The more you do prior to scanning, the less you have to do in PSP. No point in covering the same ground twice.

Tighten the crop window around the rocks. Press whatever button on the scanner software to RETURN the image to Paint Shop Pro.
With the scan in PSP, zoom into the the image with the zoom tool to 1:1. (Indicated by [1:1] on the title bar.)

Notice the detail in the image plus the white specks in the background.

My scanner bed had dust!!!! ARGGHH...

Save the image as Stone.psp

Section 3: Selecting the Objects in the Scan.

To use my scan from this point on, open Stone.jpg from the link and save to your hard drive or Open Stone.psp which you created in Section 2.

We have LOTS of pixel information to work with. let's select the rocks individually and place them on separate layers.

Zoom out until you see the whole image in PSP buy right clicking in the image with the zoom tool.

There are two ways to do this. One is quick and the other takes longer and is really more suited for complex images. Please use this link for the second way.

Pick the Magic wand tool on the Toll Palette in PSP.


On the Tool Options Palette, set the Match Mode to RGB Value, Tolerance to 20 and
UNCheck Feather.

Click in the black background of the image with the Wand. Most of the black is included in the selection and the red small rock is well defined, as shown below.


With the magic wand hold down the SHIFT key to ADD TO the selection and click in an area of unselected black.

I picked the bottom left area under the grey stone.

The selection is much cleaner! (Below)

However, the upper part of the grey stone is very ragged.

We will fix this manually.

Invert the selection, to select the stones instead of the background. From the Menu Bar, Selections > Invert.

Use the Zoom tool and zoom in to 1: 1, enlarging the view of the image.

Pick the Lasso Tool, the Freehand Selection Tool from the Tool Palette.


On the Tool Options Palette, set the Type to Point to Point, 0 Feather and UN Check Antialias.

Redefine and fine tune the edge of the Gray stone...

Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard and click in several places to outline the top part of the stone along its perceived edge. Cut across the middle of the stone and release the mouse button. Below

That helped clean the edge... but not totally.

Go around the same area, this time holding the Ctrl Key to subtract from the selection. Before you end, swing out and capture some of those stray dust pixels over the read stone, then cut back across the top and end where you started. Do NOT cross the grey stones interior. :)

The selection marquee surrounds grey stone much more neatly. Below

What about the Noise? Those "stars" still in the selection...

Easy to remove.

Pick the Rectangular Selection tool from the Tool Palette. Set it to Type Rectangle, 0 Feather and Un Check antialias.

Back in the image, hold down the Ctrl Key and click and drag as many rectangles around the noise as necessary to subtract them from the selection.

Be careful not to cross the boundaries of the selected rocks.

Zoom in to the red rock and clean up any rough spots it might have to.

Use the freehand tool, alternating the shift and Ctrl keys to add and subtract to the selection. Below

The final selection might look something like mine below.


Save the selection to the Alpha Channel.

On the Menu Bar > Selection > Save to Alpha Channel...

Click OK on the first dialog box.

Name the selection TwoStones on the second dialog box.

We spent a long time making this selection, let's keep it with the file for future use, should we need it!

SAVE the file now as Stone.psp

Isolate the grey stone.

With the Rectangular selection tool, press and hold the Ctrl key to subtract from the selection.

Drag a selection box around the red rock and release the mouse button.


The selection marquee surrounds only the grey stone.

Promote this selection to layer.

From the Menu Bar, Selections > Promote to Layer.

On the Layer palette, right click the promoted layer name and rename Grey Stone.

Remove the Selection from the Image.

Press Ctrl + D on the keyboard or use Selections > Select None from the Menu Bar.


Isolate and layer the red stone.

Load the TwoStone Selection. From the Menu Bar: Selection > Load From Alpha channel...



From the dialog box, press OK as we only have one selection in the channels box.

As before, to isolate only the red stone.

Use the rectangular selection tool and the Ctrl key and drag a subtracting rectangle around the grey stone.

See result below.

Make sure the background layer is highlighted on the layer palette.

Promote the red stone to its own layer.

Selections > Promote to Layer from the Menu Bar.

Right click and Rename the promoted selection layer to Red Stone like we did with the grey one.

SAVE the file. File > Save from the Menu Bar, or CTRL + S on the keyboard.

Please use this link for Section 4: Refining and Resizing the Objects.
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