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Draw Candy Hearts in Paint Shop Pro 10

Tutorial by Kay Grippin

Candy HeartObjective: To introduce the Bezier Tool using the Pen Tool to draw custom shapes.

Tools Used: Pen Tool, Bezier Tool, Selection Tool, Rectangle, Move Tool, Magic Wand, Alpha Channel, Flood Fill Tool, Text Tool

Palettes Used: Tool Options Palette, Tools Toolbar, Materials Palette

Effects Used: Mirror Image, Gaussian Blur, Brightness and Contrast, Drop Shadow, Noise

For this particular tutorial, we're going to introduce you to Bezier curves using Paint Shop Pro's Pen Tool (V). It is probably (at least it was for me) the most overwhelming and intimidating tool to grasp. You won't find a lot of tutorials on the net for it, at least not compared to any other feature available in Paint Shop Pro.

A lot of this I believe is because it can be the hardest one to explain good enough to get new users past the intimidation factor. I will do my best to help those of you who need it to get past this hurdle. Once you learn to master this tool, any shape you can dream up, no matter how wild, you get.

The Bezier curve was originally developed in the 1970's for CAD/CAM operations by Pierre Bezier. It didn't take it long to be incorporated into 3D Programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Fontographer, and of course our personal favorite Paint Shop Pro, just to name a few.

Step 1

Start by creating a new image 300 X 300 with a black background.

On the Tools toolbar, select the Pen Tool (V)

On the Tool Options palette select the Point To Point -Bezier Curves.

There should be a check mark in Connect Segments, Show Nodes, and Create On Vector:

On the right side of the Tool Options palette lets set Width: 2 Anti-alias is checked:

On the Materials palette, set your Foreground color to #ffffff and your switch your Background color to transparent:

Now that all of tools and colors are set, we're ready to start creating our heart shaped pattern.

We'll be starting our image from the very center of the heart, where the "arches meet". Think of this as drawing a heart shape on a piece of paper beginning from the point where the two arches meet in the middle. What direction would you move your pencil? Upwards right? Okay, now your mouse is the pencil. Place your mouse cursor in the center of the canvas, towards the upper half like so:

While holding down your mouse button, drag the cursor upwards just a bit, this will give you the arrow-end of the control arm handle. You'll notice that it points in the same direction you drag your cursor. Release the mouse button when it reaches the desired length.

This next step.. disregard the pencil and paper idea. Worked above, won't work here! Sorry.

Move your mouse cursor a little bit downwards and to the left:

Drag your cursor downwards until you have the first arch of your heart shape. You'll notice that if you move your mouse in any direction, you change the shape. I've brought my image downwards and just gently towards the right:

Again, release the mouse button when it reaches the desired length.

Go back to the center of your canvas, but this time move towards the bottom. The idea here is to be directly below your first node.

Drag your mouse downwards slightly until you get your "perfect shape". If you realize that the shape you have isn't what you want, than just put your cursor on the previous node and click to select it. You'll see your control arm is back. You can now move it in any direction to reform the shape.

Okay, just one more line here. Move your mouse cursor just below the first node, almost to the point it looks like your going to click on the 1. node:

So far so good. Now let's fill in the rest of this half of our pattern.

On the Materials palette, switch the Background color to from transparent back to color:

If all went well, your image should now look similar to this:

Don't worry if it's not perfect! We're going to smoothen things up in just a moment.

Layers > Convert to Raster Layer

Now let's make sure we have a nice clean edge.

On the Tools toolbar, select the Selection (S) Selection (S) and on the Tool Options palette, Selection type: Rectangle

Draw a rectangular selection just over the right edge of our pattern like this:

Now hit Delete on your keyboard:

We'll complete the other half of our pattern.

Layers > Duplicate

Image > Mirror

If it doesn't perfectly line up, you may need to select the Move Tool (M) Move Tool (M) on the Tools toolbar, and finish aligning the two pieces together:

This next step will help remove any of rough edges.

Layers > Merge > Merge All (Flatten)

Adjust > Blur > Gaussian Blur > Radius: 4 > OK.

Adjust > Brightness and Contrast > Brightness/Contrast... > Brightness: 0 Contrast: 80 > Ok

That should give a nice smooth image:

On the Tools toolbar, select the Magic Wand Selection (S)

Now let's save a fresh selection.

Place your mouse cursor in the very center of your heart shape pattern and click. You should now see what looks like a much of "marching ants" surrounding the outline of your pattern:

Selections > Load/Save Selection > Save Selection To Alpha Channel... > Save

Selections > Select None

Let's get a clean image background to work with.

Layers > New Raster Layer... > Ok

On the Materials palette, set your Foreground color to white ( #ffffff)

Use the Flood Fill Tool (F) Flood Fill Tool (F) and fill the layer.

Layers > Merge > Merge All (Flatten)

Okay. We now have our pattern saved to the alpha channel, and a clean image to work with.

Continue to Page 2...

More Paint Shop Pro Resources
Review of Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI for Windows
Animated Interlocking Hearts with Paint Shop Pro
Intertwined Lacy Hearts in Paint Shop Pro
Vector Drawing Tools and Vector Shapes in Paint Shop Pro
Paint Shop Pro Vector Basics and Path Anatomy Tutorial
Free Paint Shop Pro Downloads

Text and images are © copyright Kay Grippin, used with permission.

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