Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tutorial: How to Make a Treasure Map in PSP 8

This will be the first of a series of tutorials for Paint Shop Pro.  Canny Photoshop users who know their program and its tools well should be able to adapt this to their program. Special note - all of the tutorials you'll see here on my blog will be for Paint Shop Pro 8.  Yes, I know that's an older version now, but I still use PSP 8 for most things I create (I never did get around to upgrading!) and I think you'll find that these techniques will still be possible in the later versions.  O.k. here we go with making a treasure map:

1.  Open up a new image, 300 x 300 with a transparent background. Create a new layer: Layers>New Raster Layer. Right-click on the foreground color on the materials palette and change to this color: HTML: #800000 or R:128, G:0, B:0, or just click on the brown square in the color-picker as shown (below). Flood fill the new layer with this color, and stay on this layer as this is the one we'll be working on.

2.  Open the Mesh Warp tool, which you'll find at the top of the toolbox on the fly-out under the Deformation tool (as shown below).

3.  The first thing you'll see when you open up this tool (providing you haven't already been playing with it, that is) is the grid (see below, left). We don't need this, so go to the tool ribbon and turn it off by clicking on the tiny little check-mark next to the Show Grid box (see below right. Note: in some versions of PSP you will see 'Show Mesh' instead, but it's exactly the same.) Make sure you have these settings: Edge Mode=Background, Draft Quality=High, Final apply=Best quality.


4.  Now we need to load a new deformation map, so click on the little open folder on the tool ribbon (as shown below).

5.  You should now see the Load Deformation Map dialogue box:

6.  Click on the drop-down box and you'll find the other available deformation maps. The one we want to use is Paper Edges, which you'll find at the bottom-left hand corner (see below). Click on this to select. Before you click on the Load button however, make sure the Replace Current Map and Fit to Layer options are selected and the Checkerboard size is set to Small. Now you can click on Load :)


7.  Voila...your image has now been meshwarparized ;-) Now this next bit is a little tricky, but not too bad. With your magic wand tool, carefully click anywhere in between the edge of the image and the main image border (as shown below, left). If you get the Auto Actions message box pop-up, just hit OK to get rid of it, and if you need to, reclick again with the wand tool. You can eliminate these messages from popping up if you find them annoying by resetting them in your Preferences. Go to Selections>Invert. OK, now you should have just the brown part selected like I have (see below right).

8.  Now to go Selections>Modify>Contract, and contract by 2 (see below, left). Leave selected. Go back to the materials palette, and right-click on the background fill box and change to this colour: HTML: #FDEFC2, or R:253, G:239, B:194, as shown (below right). Right-click to flood fill the selection, and then deselect.


9.  You should now have what I have, below left. Now comes the 'fun' part ;-) Select the Burn brush from the toolbox (as shown at below, right) with these settings: Brush: default; Shape: round; Size: 20; Hardness: 50; Step: 25; Density: 100; Thickness: 100; Rotation: 0; Opacity: 75. Stroke should NOT be selected, and Limit should be set to None.

10.  With the burn brush, carefully go over parts of the edges at random, to give it the burnt-edge look. This is where a Wacom pen comes in handy if you have one, but a mouse will do just fine as well. Just to prove this point, I did the right-hand side of the image (right) with the mouse, and the left-hand side with my Wacom pen. Try and go with the natural indentations that the mesh warp tool created to give it a more realistic look.

11.  Well it looks kind of interesting, and definitely burnt, but there's one more thing we can do to give it that realistic edge (pun intended ;-). Choose the eraser tool and go with these settings: Eraser set to Default; Shape: Round; Size: 6; Hardness: 50; Step: 25; Density: 100; Thickness: 100; Rotation: 0 and Opacity 100. This is where that Wacom pen really comes in handy, but again, don't worry if you don't have one because a mouse will still do a pretty good job. Carefully go over the parts that you 'burnt' with the eraser, making sure you eliminate any edges you can still see under the burn marks, and any spare pixels that may get left behind. It's important to be really picky about this here because with the brush being set to such a small size, some pixels may be missed and we wouldn't want them showing up on the final image eh? Yuck!

12.  When you've finished tidying up those burn marks, if you're happy with what you've got, go to the bottom layer and flood-fill with a colour of your choice. If all you're after is a blank, burnt parchment, voila, you've finished! But, if you'd like to make a treasure-map similar to what I have below, create a new layer on top of the burnt paper layer, and get as creative as you like - let your imagination run wild. I used the Vivaldi font to give the writing an old fashioned look, rotated the words when necessary, and drew in the rest by hand with the pen (you know the drill by now.....a mouse will also do the job just fine...yada yada yada ;-).

It doesn't matter how simple your drawing is, because let's face it, pirates were never known for their artistic abilities! When you've come up with something you like, go to the bottom layer, flood fill with whatever colour you like (I used a wood-grain pattern for mine on the first page, which you'll find on the patterns list on the materials palette - I changed the angle to 90 degrees to make the woodgrain run vertically). Now, merge all layers and you're done! I get to keep the treasure though eh?!



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