This tutorial was written by me on July 19th, 2012. Any resemblance to any other tutorial or tag is unintentional and is pure coincidence. Please do not claim my work as your own and do not post to any other website, blog or forum without permission from me. It is written with the assumption that you have a working knowledge of PSP and its components. It was written for PSP X.
I recommend that you read through this or any tutorial you are attempting before starting it so you will know what to expect and how to get organized.
As with any of my tutorials when a plugin is required, change only the settings I recommend and leave the others on the default settings.
What you will need to accomplish this tutorial include this amazing patriotic scrap by Rebel Dezigns which you can purchase at Creative Design Outlet HERE, the stunning artwork of Jonathan Earl Bowser...his tubes can be purchased at CDO as well HERE, ( Please support the arts and DO NOT use his tubes without a license. ) Plugin Eye Candy 4000 and Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact, Mask I've included HERE...if this is your mask please contact me so I can give you credit here, I got it in one of my groups years ago...brush I've also included HERE. Fonts are Arial Black which can be downloaded HERE and Arizonia which can be downloaded HERE.
Let's install your brushes...it's very simple...
Open the brush I've provided into PSP, it is in .png format. You can install brushes in .jpeg format as well. Once opened go to File/Export/Custom Brush...(brushes cannot be larger than 500 x 500 pixels) Name the brush and save and it's ready to use...easy peasy hunh?
Let's get started...
Start a 750 x 750 new white image ( we'll resize in the end ). Copy and paste element fra2 into your new image and resize 90%. Copy and paste the close up of your tube on top of the frame, resize 120% and center the tube into the middle part of the frame. ( see my image for size and placement ). Using your Selection tool draw a circle the same size as the inside part of the round frame. Use the settings below for your selection tool:
Go up to Selection/Invert and hit delete. Drag the tube layer beneath the frame layer.
Next, above your background layer add a new Raster layer and flood fill with a dark blue from the frame...resize 90% and apply your mask. You can always, always, always use your Raster Deform tool for precise sizing and to prevent distortion of whatever you're resizing depending how large or how small you go. In PSP X this tool is called the 'Pick' tool and I have found it to be one of the most valuable tools in PSP, at least for myself.
Now using my image as a reference, copy and paste your tube and all the elements into your working image. For the flowers in the foreground I used a slight drop shadow and for the flowers in the background and the heart element, as well as my tube, I used a perspective shadow. This plugin takes a little practice, but once you've used it a few times you will start to get the hang of it. A couple of important pointers on shadowing...first, you should always think about how and how dark a shadow will fall. Depending on the light cast, normally with a light colored palette, the shadows should be on the lighter side and vice versa with a darker palette. With this plugin, pay attention to all the areas of what you're shadowing. You can view all of your element or tube by moving the red box around at the top of the window for this plugin. Finally, you can move the nodes around to tweak your shadow, and you can move one node at a time by simply holding down your CTRL key while moving the node with your mouse. For the purposes of this tutorial, we are going to use the default shadowing...see image below for reference on where to start with this plugin:
This type of shadowing gives a lot of depth to your image. I also value this plugin and use it in most of my creations....just remember, practice, practice, practice.
Now for the Word Art...not as hard as some might think. Using Arial Black type AMERICA...be sure your antialias is set to Sharp for crisp edges with your fonts. I used a bright red in the background flowers for my color. Apply the font and convert it to a raster layer. Go up to Selections/Select All/Selections/Float/Selections/Defloat. Set your color to white for your brush and apply the brush I've supplied in random areas on the word AMERICA...resize to a smaller size and apply it in a few more areas. Once your painting is done to to Selections/Select None. Then go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Corona and use these settings:
Next go to Effects/Plugins/Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact and use the same settings as above moving your nodes around to tweak your shadow...you want to cast the shadow behind the word making it appear to have a strong light on the front of it...you can darken your opacity more for a sharper shadow. Using the other font, Arizonia, type God shed His grace on thee, add the same Corona as above and then a slight drop shadow.
To resize without distortion what I done at this point is hide my background layer and merge all the remaining visible layers. I resize the merged layers with my Raster Deform tool slightly, then I resize my canvas to the desired size...usually 650 x 650 and then I can resize my work a little more if needed...sometimes I have to undo and start over...UNDO is my friend. Once the desired size is achieved, I unhide my background and save as a jpeg, or if I want to save as a .png, I leave the background hidden.
Add your name and copyright..taking care that your copyright is legal an legible. For a neat and professional-looking copyright I use copy or pixel fonts. These fonts look best at size 6 or 8 with your antialias set to off. You can google and find hundreds of these fonts. I tried quite a few and end up using three or four all the time depending on my creation. And now you're done.
Thank you for trying my tutorial, I so hope you learned something useful to hone your PSP skills. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions on any of my tutorials or with issues on broken links, etc. Happy creating...