Friday, September 14, 2012

Spider Silk Incantation


It takes many spider webs to make a full ounce of spider's silk, but the binding power it adds to spells makes the effort worthwhile.  Though the web of any spider will do, one can reduce collecting time by scraping off the fine silken hairs that cover the webs of giant spiders.  Rumors have been heard of a cave where spider silk can be found in abundance.

The Eight Circles of Magic

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 wicked cool scrap and tube that goes together.  The artist is Jessica Dougherty and the amazing scrap designer is Ladyhawwk Designs.  You can purchase the bundle HERE at Creative Design Outlet.  Please support the arts and do not use Jessica's tubes without a license and certainly do not share her tubes or this kit.  You'll need the spider web brush I supplied HERE.  Plugins are Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Impact & Nature, Eye Candy 4000, Xero and Toadies.  Font is Wizards Magic and can be downloaded HERE.

First we need to get your brush 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.

Got the cauldron boiling?  Let's do this...

Start a new 700 x 700 white image, we'll resize in the end.  Copy and paste frame 1 into your new canvas, resize it 75%, drag it up to the top a bit.  Go to Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow and use these settings:

Copy and paste paper 2 beneath your frame, resize it 50% and use your Raster Deform tool (Pick tool in newer versions) to drag the nodes in to fit your paper into the frame.

Now, duplicate your frame and on the original go to Effects/Plugins/Toadies/Blast 'em and use these settings:

Then go to Effects/Plugins/Toadies/Blur 'em and use these settings:

Grab your Selection tool set on Rectangle with a 50% feather and select the area inside the frame to get rid of the effects you just applied inside the frame, and hit delete.

Add a new Raster layer on the top of your canvas, name it spider brush, set your foreground color to white and apply the spider brush I supplied.  You can use your Raster Deform tool for precise sizing, or to rotate what you're tweaking.  Add a dark drop shadow, use what you just used only change the offsets to 2.

Copy and paste ele32 on top of your canvas, resize it 35% and place it to the right of your frame (see my image), duplicate and mirror it.

Copy and paste ele19 on top of your canvas, resize it 40% and rotate it 90 degrees to the left (Image/Rotate/Free Rotate) then use your Raster Deform tool to rotate it slightly to the right and move it to the right of your frame.  Duplicate and mirror it and then again use your Raster Deform tool to rotate it to the right....

Copy and paste your broom, ele9, resize it 75% and rotate it to the right slightly.  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.)

Copy and paste your tube to the top of your canvas, resize it 75% and move it to the left where the spider lines up to the center of the frame.   Then go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Corona and use these settings:

Add a good dark Perspective Shadow to her so you can see it.

Copy and paste element 20 above your frame layer, resize it 25%, duplicate it a couple times and use your Raster deform tool to make each one a little smaller.  Then give them a slight perspective shadow and place them together to the right of your frame.

At this point, let's get the spider webs in the background.  Above your background layer add a new Raster layer and set your foreground color to black and apply the spider web brush.  Duplicate it a few times and use your Raster Deform tool to move each around your canvas.  Then copy and paste the spider, resize it and duplicate it  a couple times, make them various sizes and scatter them around the webs.  Give   them light drop shadows.  Merge all your spider web brush layers together and give them a light drop shadow as well.

Above your paper layer copy and paste the tree, resize it 50% and move it to the left of your frame, use your eraser tool to erase any of the tree outside the frame.

At this point, above the layer you name spider web add a new Raster layer and duplicate it twice...hide the two duplicates and go back to the original layer.  Grab your Selection tool, set it on Rectangle and use these settings:

Select the areas like my example below...

Go to Effects/Plugins/Alien Skin Eye Candy 5/Nature/Smoke and use the following settings:

In your layer palette, hide this original layer, unhide and select the middle layer, go back to Effects/Plugins/Smoke and hit Random Seed once.  Hide this layer and unhide the last layer and repeat.  Selections/Select None.

Add your name, give it a fairly dark drop shadow, go to Effects/Plugins/Eye Candy 4000/Corona and use the same settings you used previously only change the Glow Width to 7.

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.

Let's animate it...

Open Animation Shop (AS) by going to File/Jasc Software Products/Launch Animation Shop.  Back to PSP and on the layers that you applied the smoke plugin to I want you to hide the two top layers and then hit CTRL + SHIFT + C to copy merged and go over to AS and hit CTRL + v to paste a new animation.  Back to PSP, hide the bottom smoke layer, unhide the middle and hit CTRL + SHIFT + C to copy merged and go back to AS and this time hit CTRL + SHIFT + L  to paste after current frame.  Repeat the process for the last layer.

You should have three frames.  Go up to Edit/Select All, Animation/Frame Properties and use these settings:

Check your work, resize it and save as a .gif.  The only optimization settings you should change for this animation is the Animation Quality...

Thank you for trying my tutorial.  I hope you had fun with it and maybe learned something to hone your PSP skills.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have about any of my tutorials and please let me know about issues like broken links, etc.



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