A Beautiful Ghoul
This tutorial was written by me on September 14th, 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 9.
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 is this frightening scrap by Crazy Carita which you can purchase at Creative Design Outlet HERE, (will be released today Friday Sept 14th, 2012...and the Bootiful Ghoul tube is Dave Nestler's gorgeous art that you can also purchase at Creative Design Outlet HERE. Please support the arts and DO NOT use Dave's tubes without a license and certainly don't share his tubes or this kit. You'll also need the brushes I've supplied HERE. Plugins are Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact, Eye Candy 4000, and Xero. Font is Zombie Holocaust and can be downloaded HERE.
First we need to get your brushes into PSP for use. It's just a coupe easy steps. Open the files I provided into PSP. They're in .png format, you can also use .jpegs. For each brush go to File/Export/Custom Brush. Name your brushes and click Ok and they're installed in PSP ready for use.
Now start a new 700 x 700 white image...
Copy and paste fr 1 into your new canvas and resize the frame 75% and then copy and paste pp1 directly beneath your frame, resize it 50% and center it under your frame then use your eraser brush to erase any of the paper outside the frame.
Next copy and paste your tube on top of your canvas, resize her 75% and center her in front of the frame. Grab your Selection tool, set on Ellipse with a 75% feather and begin to select and clear the rough edges at the bottom of the tube...should look something like this...
Once done go to Selections/Select None.
Now, let's add the spider web on the frame. Grab your brush tool and get the Spider Web brush I supplied. Add a new layer above your frame and apply the brush. You can use your Raster Deform tool (or Pick tool in newer versions) to tweak your brush...ie., rotate and resize it. In fact, you can use this tool to tweak anything in your creation....my favorite tool by far. Anyway, give the web a fairly dark drop shadow since our palette is very dark.
Now use my image as a reference for size and placement and copy and paste the rest of the elements into your working canvas. NOTE: on each of my elements and on my tube I wanted a little more darkness added so I went to Effects/Plugins/Xero/Radiance and used these settings:
On the elements in the foreground I wanted them to really stand out so I used a Perspective Shadow showing a stark light from above which would appear to be coming from the larger candle and the light from the jack-o-lantern. Go to Effects/Plugins/Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact/Perspective Shadow and use these settings:
This plugin may require a little practice. There are just a couple of important things to remember when shadowing is to attempt to make your shadows appear natural and to watch closely all the areas of whatever you're shadowing. You can view all the areas by moving the little red box around at the top of the window of this plugin...
(You can tweak your shadows by moving the nodes around in the preview window. To move one node at a time hold down your CTRL key. You can move the whole shadow by holding down your right mouse button and clicking in the middle of the shadow. It's very important to think about how a shadow would be cast realistically and how dark or how light it should be. This plugin is one of my favorites and one I use with nearly every single one of my tags.)
You will notice in the preview above that the shadow isn't quite right so I tweaked it by moving the nodes at the bottom to the left and spread out a bit more. I also moved the entire shadow up a bit by dragging the shadow up into my pumpkin towards the bottom.
For the elements in the background I added a fairly dark drop shadow since we do have a dark palette. If I seem to repeat myself it's because to me it's something I deem important. A drop shadow that is too dark for the palette will make the design appear 'off' or if a shadow is too light the elements won't 'pop' and will appear to be floating.
Now, once you have all of your elements in place and shadowed, let's add the fog coming up from the tube. Add a new Raster layer above your tube and grab the cloud brush I included. Apply the brush in solid white. You can use your Raster Deform tool for precise sizing. I personally didn't like the top part of the clouds so I done like I did with the tube and cleared the areas I didn't like...
With your Selection tool set to Ellipse with a Feather of 75, select the top of the clouds to clear them. If you find you have selected too much you can move your selection around by right clicking into it and holding down your mouse button and move it where you want.
Same thing for your moon, add a new Raster layer above it and apply the cloud brushes. You can even apply the perspective shadow and if it protrudes outside the moon clear it with your selection tool for smooth transitions.
For the bats, to add depth make them different sizes and apply the perspective shadow only drag the shadow beneath it in your preview window of the plugin to make them appear to be flying high.
For the background apply the grunge looking brush I included several times. Remember you can tweak these brushes, only thing is add different layers for each time you apply the brush.
Now before you add your name, you may want to resize. What I normally do because a lot of times resizing in percentages causing distortion or pixelation, I will close my background layer, and merge visible all my work. Again, using my Raster Deform tool, I will drag my edges in to resize it a bit, then go to Image/Canvas size and resize my canvas to the size I want my tag. You can always Edit/Undo until you get it right.
For your name, type it in, change to a Raster layer, and then go to Selection/Select All/Selections/Float/Selections/Defloat. Open paper of choice, I used paper 8, resized it 40%, then copy and paste it over the selection of your name. Go to Selections/Invert and hit delete.
Now go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Bevel Boss and use these settings:
Add a drop shadow something like this...
Lastly, go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Corona and use these settings:
Now add your copyright taking care that it is legal and legible. For a neat and professional-looking copyright I use a copy, pixel, or ceriph font. You can Google and find literally hundreds of these fonts. Most of them look best at size 6 with your Antialias set to off. NOTE: for crisp edges on your normal fonts for your name, wordart, etc set your Antialias to Sharp.
Save as a .png or a .jpeg and you're done...woo hoo..
Thanks for trying my tutorial. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned something to hone your PSP skills. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about any of my tutorials or please let me know about broken links, etc.