Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City Old School Tut

Bright Lights, Big City

Bright Lights, big city gone to my baby's head

This tutorial was written by me on September 26th, 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 stunning tube by Barbara Jensen coming out tomorrow, September 27th at her store HERE.  There is also a new bonus tube coming out.  A classic tube by Barb with layers...don't miss it.  Please support the arts and do not use Barb's tubes without a license.  There is no scrap, this is all done with plugins, brushes and preset shapes..., ie., old school.  Speaking of brushes, I supplied them HERE.  Plugins are Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact, Eye Candy 4000 and Xenofex. Cityscape image belongs to Old Dog Photography HERE (image used with permission). Fonts are Blox HERE and Kalligrand Script One HERE.

Let's do this...

First we need to get your brushes into PSP for use.  It's just a couple 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 brush and click Ok and it's installed in PSP ready for use.

Start a new 700 x 700 white image which we will resize in the end.  Then grab your Selection tool set on Rectangle and draw long rectangular shapes like this...

Merge them all together and give each a slight drop shadow.  Select them all with your magic wand set on Add and with no feather and then copy and paste the cityscape image over them.  Go to Selections/Invert and hit delete.  Then go to Adjust/Hue and Saturation/Colorize and use these settings:

Now with your Selection Tool set to Rectangle and a Feather of 70 select the city portion and then duplicate the city layer twice for a total of three layers.  Hide the two duplicate layers and then make sure the original cityscape layer is selected and go to Effects/Plugins/Xenofex/Constellation and use these settings:

Hide the original layer and unhide and select the middle cityscape layer and go to Effects/Constellation and use the same settings only hitting the Random Seed button once.  Repeat the process for the last layer.

Above your background layer add a new Raster layer and apply the cityscape brush.  Resize it 85% and then duplicate it.  Put one to the left and one to the right.  It doesn't matter if they are overlapping as your tube will hide this.

Merge the two brushes together and then 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 have to tweak this a bit by pulling the middle node to the center of the brush and pulling out one of the nodes on the side...when you pull one, the other will move as well unless you hold down your CTRL key.  

In your layer palette add a new Raster Layer beneath this cityscape brush layer.  With your Selection tool set on Rectangle with a feather of about 125 draw a rectangle beneath the brush...the edges should not meet the ends of the brush as the feather will pull it out there.  Flood fill with the deep blue in the city rectangles at the top,  You can always use your Raster Deform, or Pick Tool in newer versions, to move, resize...tweak anything you're working with.  Just as you done with the Perspective Shadow, you can move one node at a time by holding down your CTRL key.  Once you have it tweaked to appear like 'water' grab your Selection tool again set on Rectangle with zero feather and select the part of the fill above the city and hit delete to get rid of it.

Now do the same thing above the city, add a new layer but flood fill with black and get rid of the part that would come down beneath the city.  Remember you can always, always, always use your Raster Deform tool for precise sizing and perfect 'tweaking.'  My other favorite tool.

Add a new layer above this layer and apply the uplight brush I supplied in white for lights shining up in the sky from the city.  Also apply this brush above the rectangles for uplighting.

Copy and paste your tube at this point on the top of your canvas.  Size her to fit and soften the cut off part at the bottom by using your selection tool with a pretty good feather, 90 or so and then hit delete a time or two.

Add your wordart above your tube, type the words Bright Lights in black with the Blox font, then go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Corona and use these settings:

And then apply the same Perspective Shadow you used on the city scape brushes.  With your Selection tool set to Rectangle with about a 75% feather, select the lower portion of the shadow and erase it to soften it.  Same for Big City, but type the color in the blue and make the Corona Black.  Apply the Perspective Shadow and soften the lower edges as you just did.

Add your name and copyright.  I used the Corona on both to make them stand out.  For a neat and professional looking copyright I use a pixel, ceriph or copy font, you can google and find literally hundreds of these fonts.  Most work best at size six with your antialias set to off.  NOTE: for crisp edges on your regular fonts, set your antialias to Sharp.  

Now let's animate and finish up.  Open Animation Shop (AS) by going to File/Jasc Software Products/Launch Animation Shop and then go back to PSP.  For the cityscape layers, make sure the bottom layer is active and the other two are hidden then hold down CTRL + SHIFT and hit  C to copy merged and then go to AS and hit CTRL + v to paste a new animation.  Back to PSP, hide the active city scape rectangle layer and unhide the middle layer.  Again hold down CTRL + SHIFT and hit C to copy merged and then back to AS and this time hold down CTRL + SHIFT and hit L to paste after current frame.   Go back to PSP and repeat those last steps for the last layer.  Change the speed of the animation by going to Edit/Select All, Animation/Frame Properties and change the Display time to 20.  Check your work...View/Animation, if you're happy with your tag, resize it to fit your preferences and save as a .gif and you're done.

I'm happy you tried my tutorial, thanks.  I hope you had fun with it and maybe even learned something to hone your skills.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns about any of my tutorials.



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