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PSP

I've downloaded and installed Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI (TM), which means I've now got 30 days to learn how to make icons. If only I knew where to start...all this talk of layers, palettes and brushes is so confusing. The comms all seem to assume one is already familiar with the terminology at the first click. Can someone explain it to me in simple terms?

Comments

elsaf
Nov. 11th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Layers: So, you want to add something from another picture to your main picture. You cut it out and drag it over to the picture you're working on. It will exist as a new layer on top of your picture until you choose to "flatten image." This way, you can move it around and manipulate it until you've found the spot you want it to be in.

Also, you can add a tint to a picture by putting a transparent layer on top of it, then use the bucket to fill it with solid color. You can then change the "opacity" of the layer (make it more or less transparent) to put the amount of color overlay you want on the picture.

Layers exist so you can isolate different parts of a picture and work on them without changing anything else.

A "palette" is a group of colors.

Brushes are the shape, texture and opacity of the color your cursor lays down. IIRC, Paint Shop Pro also has a feature where a "brush" can be a stamp, leaving behind pictures where you click it.

I suggest you find a Paint Shop Pro tutorial and work through it. It's all fairly easy to understand when you work with it hands on.
gamiila
Nov. 11th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to explain this all to me; I think I'll just have to try and fiddle with it some more in the coming days. Right now, I don't even know how to open or alter an image to make it 100x100 (silly Resizing option seems to work in percentages in PSP XI), so until I've worked that one out, I don't think I need to worry about layers and brushes too much. ;-)
elsaf
Nov. 11th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
OK, I just downloaded PSP XI and here's how you make the most basic icon:

1. Open a photo you want to make an icon out of.
2. Go to "Resize," under "Image."
3. In the top section of the dialogue, where it says, "Pixel dimensions," use the drop-down box to change from "percent" to "pixels."
4. Change the number of pixels in one of the two boxes to "100." (Icons can be no larger than 100x100 pixels.) For best results, change the larger of the two dimensions to 100, so the smaller one will be less than 100. Click "OK."
5. Under "Image" again, go to "Canvas Size." In the bottom, under "Placement," make sure the center box is selected. Above, change the smaller dimension to "100" pixels. After you click "OK" you'll have a white bar above and below the picture, bringing the total size to 100x100.
6. On the "Learning center" sidebar, choose "Add text and graphics," then "Add Text." In the second level (from the top) tool bar, choose your font and size. I'm going to recomend no bigger than 12 pt. Type a word then position it on your icon.
7. You've got two layers now -- one is the picture and the other is the text. Go to "Layers" in the top menu. Choose "Merge," and "Merge All."
8. Go to "File," "Save As", and make sure the format is "jpg." Give it a name and save it. Voila! You made an icon.


elsaf
Nov. 11th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
To crop your image rather than resizing it:

1. Find the "Tools" tool bar. It's vertical and usually starts on the left edge of the work area. If you can't find it, look under "View" on the top menu, go to "Toolbars," and make sure it's selected.

2. The crop tool is the fifth from the top of the toolbar. It's sort of a frame looking thing. (Or maybe sort of a protractor looking thing. Shoot, I can't describe it. It's the fifth from the top, and that's the universal symbol for "crop.")

3. Select the crop tool and a rectangle appears over the picture. Adjust it, using the little square nodes on the edges, to frame what you want in your icon. Make it as square as possible. (Same dimensions width and length.)

4. Click the green check mark below it.

5. Now go to "resize" and make it 100x100, as described above.
elsaf
Nov. 11th, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
One final comment: This program has crashed both times I've loaded it now. IMHO, PSP XI is crap.

gamiila
Nov. 12th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
OMG, I don't think I've laughed so much since...well, the last time I laughed so much ;-). Thank you.

I've been fiddling with the PSP for a couple of hours and have basically found how to do a simple icon, but must agree with you on your last comment: it is rather crap, isn't it? I'll see about downloading something a bit better.

Once again, thank you for being so very helpful -- at least now I feel like I have a proper understanding of the basics involved in iconing.
elsaf
Nov. 12th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
Good, free image editing program: http://gimp.org/windows/

gamiila
Nov. 12th, 2006 08:42 am (UTC)
I had the GIMP for ages. I couldn't do anything with it, as I didn't understand it at all, not even after having printed and read the entire User Manual from cover to cover. Then someone recommended PSP saying it was much easier to get your head round, and this thread was the result!

Avtually, I think I may reinstall the GIMP now -- the basic principles must be similar to what I've learned last night in PSP.