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Spruce Up Your Desktop
Software Used: Paint Shop Pro 6, Simple Filters

For this tutorial you'll need to download and install the free Simple Filters since Paint Shop Pro does not include an offset filter. If you already have Photoshop, you can use the Photoshop's offset filter if you've configured Paint Shop Pro to use Photoshop's plug-in filters.

Picture Tube Options1.) Start with a new image:
200 x 200 pixels @ 72 ppi
Background color: white
16.7 million colors

2.) Choose the picture tube tool. Select the Spruce tube. Set the scale to 50 and the step value to 75.

Fill the Image with Spruce3.) Begin painting on the image so that the entire image is filled with the spruce texture. When the image is filled, you'll want to make it a little more natural looking by making several random single clicks on top of the image.

Add Three Pine Cones4.) Now switch the picture tube tool options to the Pine Cones tube. Set the scale to 50. The step value does not need to be changed since we will be clicking rather than painting with the tube. Place three pine cones rather randomly in the image.

Add more spruce5.) Go back to the Spruce tube, change the Scale to 50 and click near each pine cone to place some spruce branches so that they just barely cover each pine cone. If you click in the wrong spot, just use the Undo command and try it again.

Offset the image6.) Now we need to make the image seamless. Go to Image -> Plug-in Filters -> Simple -> Half-wrap if you're using the Simple Filters. If you're using Photoshop's filters, go to Go to Image -> Plug-in Filters -> Other -> Offset and set the horizontal and vertical values to 50 percent.

7.) The image is turned inside out, and if you look closely you can see the seams down the vertical and horizontal center of the image.

Hide the seams with spruce8.) You should still have the Spruce tube selected. Click to place a few spruce branches over the seams to hide them. Be careful not to click too close to an outside edge or you will create a new seam. If you get too close, use the Undo command and try again.

add more pine cones9.) Now we can add a couple more pine cones to the green space, just as we did in step 4. Don't forget to change the scale to 50 again. Try to place one pine cone close to the center, but not quite in the exact center.

add more spruce10.) Switch back to the Spruce tube again and place a few branches so they barely cover the pine cones. I used a scale of 40 this time. Again, don't get to close to edge or you'll create a visible seam.

11.) Save the file to the format of your choice and you're done!

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Sue Chastain
Your Guide to Graphics Software

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Images: Copyright 1999, S. Chastain, unless otherwise noted.
Screen shots captured with Corel Capture 9. Image conversion and optimization with Photoshop 5.5.

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