Thursday, March 31, 2016

Create Your Own Workspace - Make PSP Your Own, Pt 2

 Hi folks,

Here I am to tut away!  hahaha

First things first, just in case you missed it,  if you want one, you can get a free graphics program from Google.  They recently decided to give away their photo editing software, Nik Collection.  Photo editing software is technically what both Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro are. 

Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw are the graphics programs released the their respective creators.  I have never used it but, you never know - it might be a really great program.

Just a quick recap: Last week I showed you how to find and use macros, a.k.a. keyboard shortcuts, to personalize your Paint Shop Pro experience.  This week I will show you how to personalize your Toolbars.

Tutorial: Creating Your Own Workspace in Paint Shop Pro

A Paint Shop Pro (PSP) Tutorial by Hafapea

The Tool Bars run along the left-hand side and top of your Workspace.  Here are pictures of mine:

The image above show the Toolbars that are at the top of my Workspace and the image below depicts that which is on the left-hand side. 

In the first image, above, there are two Toolbars topped off by the Menu Bar.  The Toolbars look similar but, they serve two very different purposes.  The topmost bar can be personalized, as can the left Toolbar below; however, the bottom Toolbar cannot be.  Which Toolbars appear on the bottom row is partially up to you, though.

Using the Toolbars menu, shown below, you can select which Toolbars will always appear at the top of your Workspace.  As you can see, I use Standard, Status and Tools.  The Standard Toolbar is the topmost bar that can be personalized.  The Tools Toolbar is what you will use to change the settings of the Tools that are in your left-sided bar.  The options will change with each tool as it is selected.  The one shown in the picture above contains the settings for the Pan Tool.

Hint: Play around with those settings so you can learn what they do.  I like to make big changes so that the effect is obvious, such as changing the Step of a Paintbrush from 0 to 50.

Now I will tell you about the Toolbars that I don't use but, before I do, I just want to mention one thing: the Toolbars that stay put are "Docked."  You Dock a Toolbar by selecting it from the menu and then, after it opens in a new window, you Click & Drag the top of the window to an empty space on a Toolbar: either that on the left or the topmost bar.  When you have it in the proper position, it will visually pop into place.

To remove a Toolbar after it has been docked, you can either pull up the Toolbars Menu and deselect it or you can Click & Drag it off and then click on the X that appears in the upper right corner.  Once a Toolbar is docked, a row of dots with appear along either the top or the left-hand side of the bar (see images above).  If you hover over these dots, your cursor will change to a Move icon and you can then Click & Drag it off of the Toolbar.
OK, from the top:
The Effects Toolbar displays a selection of PSP's own plugins from the Effects Menu.  The image below shows the default settings.  Since this Toolbar docks in the left and topmost bars, it can be customized; so, if you have favorite "go to" plugins, then this would be a great way to save time when using them.
Please note that this Toolbar will only work with PSP's native plugins.  If you install others that you like to use, then you will only be able to access them via the Effects Menu.   There are hundreds, if not thousands, of plugins out there and I will teach you about them later, in another tutorial.  Trust me, you are going to LOVE plugins!  They're almost as wonderful as fonts. hahahahah

Next is the Photo Toolbar.  This Toolbar displays a selection of options that you can find on the Adjust Menu and it, too, can be customized.

The Script Toolbar is similar to the others in that it, too, can be Docked and customized; however, if you decide to use it, you should probably just leave it as it is.  The bar contains all of the options available for recording Scripts and you will need each one of them to do so. 

What is a Script, you ask?  The simple answer is that it is a recording of each step you take in creating an image that, once saved, can be used to replicate the image anytime you wish.  It is very popular with people who like to create digi scrap kits because it makes creating things like buttons, bows and brads super easy.

The last Toolbar is called Web.  I do not use this Toolbar but, I do use some of the things that are on it; so I have added them to the bottom of my left-hand bar, as shown above.  This Toolbar is for optimizing your graphics for use on the Web.  The three that I use compress images into a smaller file size so that they will load more quickly: JPEG, GIF and PNG.  Compression also comes in handy if you need to send an image via email to someone who doesn't accept zip files - especially if you're sending them a photo that you uploaded from a digital camera.  Photo files are huge!

OK, now that you know which Toolbars do what, you are ready to customize them.  Customizing is pretty simple, really.  It takes a while to learn what the Tools do, though, so you may not get around to it until after you have become more familiar with the program.  That's no reason why you can't start poking around now, though.  Open up the Help Menu in one window and the Customize window in another and start learning :).

The Customize function can be found by right clicking in the blank space on either Toolbar's docking station, as shown below:

After you left click on the word Customize, the follow window will appear:

As you can see, there are six tabs available.  The Commands tab is what you will use to edit your Toolbars.  The Toolbars tab is the same menu that we accessed from the View Menu, above.  The Keyboard tab will allow you to write your own macros (create your own Shortcuts).  The Menu tab allows you to edit which options appear on a Tool's default settings menu. 

The Options tab will allow you to edit the way in which your Toolbars function.  There is also an option there to "Reset my usage data" that may come in handy, someday.  And, finally, the Scripts tab can be used to Bind native PSP plugins and tools to an icon.  Once you have bound a function to the icon, you can then add it to a Toolbar for easy access.

So there it is: quick and dirty.  Everything you need to Customize your PSP Workspace.  Get in there, poke around and have some fun.  Then, when you are done, click on the File Menu > Workspace > Save (see below) so that the program does not revert to default settings the next time you launch it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Create Your Own Photo Manipulations!

Hey folks,

Something really cool rolled into my path today: Google's $150 photo editing software, the Nik Collection, is now free! 

Read it for yourself in their own words,
"Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.

Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities -- from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.

We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now." 

Go get it :)!

Happy creating,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Create Your Own Solar Lantern

Hey folks,

Just a quick post to share a video that teaches you how to create your own solar lantern.  I just think they're really cute and that you might think so too :). 

Happy Creating,

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Create Your Own Workspace - Make PSP Your Own, Pt 1

Hi folks,
I got inspired to create a different sort of tutorial for Paint Shop Pro; one I have not been able to find anywhere else: creating your own workspace.  "Workspace" is the PSP name for the interface that you are presented with when you launch the program.  It is what decides which tools and palettes you will have at the ready.

There are no less than three different ways to do most everything in any graphics program: macros, a.k.a. shortcuts (Ctrl+ functions), menus (right or left click to reveal options), and buttons - just click and go.  Learning which of those ways works best for you and personalizing your space, accordingly, frees your imagination by allowing you to create more automatically.

Tutorial: Creating Your Own Workspace in Paint Shop Pro

A Paint Shop Pro (PSP) Tutorial by Hafapea

To start, I would like to share some of my favorite macros with you.  First, there are the basics that most Windows users are already familiar with and how they work in PSP.  (I do not know for sure but, my understanding is that, if you are a Mac user, then you simple need to substitute "Command" for "Ctrl," below):
  • Ctrl+C = Copy
    • This works only if what you are copying is the active layer in your layer palette for the selected image.  If you want to copy all of the layers as one, then you need to right click at the top of the image and select, "Copy Merged."
  • Ctrl+X = Cut
    • This will remove the graphic from the active layer in your layer palette, but will leave an empty layer for you to add something else to; something that can also be accomplished by pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard.  If you want to completely remove the layer, then you need to right click on the layer and select "Delete" from the menu that appears.
  • Ctrl+V = Paste
    • This will only work when pasting a new layer onto an image.  To perform other pasting actions, you will need to either right click at the top of your working image or use these shortcuts, instead: 
* In the image, above, you can see that there are right-handed macros, as well (i.e. Ctrl+l, for Ctrl+V).  You will find all PSP shortcuts directly across from the name of the function on their menus. Use this to learn which work best for you.
  • Ctrl+S = Save
    • Used on an image that has previously been saved, it will simply overwrite the previous version
    • Used on a new image, it will open the "Save as" window:

* The window in the back shows the expanded "Save as type" menu, on the "Save As" window, that will allow you to choose which format to save your image in.  The blue highlighted section is where the name of the image appears and is edited.  This window cannot be customized.

These next few are specific to Paint Shop Pro and may or may not work in Photoshop, as well.  In using both programs I have found that they are more similar than different, though, so there is a good chance that they will.  Regardless, these macros are for the functions on the Image menu, shown below, that I use most frequently:

  • Ctrl+R = Rotate
    • This will open a new window that you can use to either rotate the entire image or just your active layer.  The interface looks like this and is pretty self-explanatory.  The only setting that may be a bit ambiguous is "Rotate single layer around canvas center."  This setting only affects active layers and how they are rotated.  If you tick the box, then the image will be moved around the outer circumference of the center's perimeter; if you leave it unchecked, then the image will turn in place.

  • Shift+S = Resize
    • This will also open a new window.
From the top:
    • Width & Height: You may set the dimensions of your image using Inches, Centimeters or Millimeters.  As you can see, I use Inches.  The padlock icon that is connecting Width to Height can be unlocked by unticking the box, below, "Lock aspect ratio."  More on that later.*
    • Resolution: You can set your image's resolution using either Pixels/inch, a.k.a. ppi and dpi, or Pixels/Centimeter.
    • Advanced Settings: When you launch this window for the first time, the bottom half of the interface will be hidden.  Tick this box to reveal it.
    • Resample using:  This setting offers 5 choices: Smart Size, Bicubic, Bilinear, Pixel Resize & Weighted Average.  I do not really know what the difference between most of them is, aside from the obvious "pixel resize;" so, if I don't like the way an image resizes, I just play with those settings to see if I can get a better outcome.  Weighted Average is the one that I tend to use most often, though.
      • Sharpness: A setting exclusive to Bicubic resampling that can be used to control how blurred the resized image or layer becomes.
    • Maintain original print size: I have never used this.  PSP's Help section can teach you more about it, though.
    • Lost aspect ratio: This box will already have a number in it when you launch the interface.  It is your image's width:height ratio.  If you wish to change this, i.e. make a rectangular image square, then you first need to *un-tick the box to unlock the connection above, as mentioned in the explanation of Width & Height.
    • Resize all layers: Does just what it says.  If you only want to resize your active layer, then un-tick the box; otherwise all of your layers will be effected.
  • Ctrl+M = Flip Horizontal
    • In earlier versions of PSP, this function was called Mirror (hence the M).  It will flip an image from left to right and vice versa.
  • Ctrl+I = Flip Vertical 
    • In earlier versions of PSP, this function was called Flip (does not explain the I hahahahah).  It will flip the image from right side up to right side down and vice versa.
Well, there you have it: A way for you to start learning which macros suit you best.  In Part 2 I will discuss Toolbars, followed by Palettes in Part 3.  If you would like to start poking around on your own, then right click on the top edge of the PSP window (up where the tabs are) and select "Customize" from the menu that appears.

Happy creating :),

PS: I have no idea why that one section is blue but, Blogger refuses to let me change it to black. hahahaha

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Create Your Own Screen Printed Tee - Easy Peasy!

Hi Guys,

Saw a video today on how to use and embroidery hoop, stockings, glue and paint to create your own screen printing template and thought you might like it as much as I do.  You'll have to click the link below to go see it.  Here you go:

The video was published by Do it yourself - Crazy Works.

Happy Creating :),

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Create Your Own Graphics - Butterflies & Flowers Tutorial Part 6

Hi folks,
I am so sorry for making you wait so long for this but, well, lifus interuptus and all that.  The good news is, this is the final part and it is short! hahahah  Enjoy :)!

Butterflies & Flowers Tutorial Part 6

A Paint Shop Pro (PSP) Tutorial by Hafapea

From the selected border...

  • Select your paint can
  • Change your foreground back to the solid circle on the drop down menu and change the color to #d3c4c2
  • "Flood Fill” the border with that color. 
  • Deselect (Crl+D). 
  • Click on “Image,” “Add Borders” and add a symmetrical 10 pixel border.  
  • Use your “Magic Wand” to select your new border
  • Click on “Effects,” “Reflection Effects,” “Kaleidoscope” and apply the settings shown below: 

  • Deselect (Ctrl+D)
  • "Add Border” of 3 pixels, but this time click on the first 3pixel border that you flood filled to change the color in the “Add Border” window, as shown below.:

Congratulations, you’re finished! Your final image should look like this:

I hope your final image came out right.  If it didn't, as usual, please feel free to ask for more help :).

Happy creating,

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Create Your Own Cards!

Fantasy Flowers Fairy & Lace Applique Decoupage Mini Kit

Hi folks,

I just wanted to share with you the latest and last additions to my huge collection of lace themed card making kits.  Some of them, like the one above, feature fairy silhouettes and all of them are floral.  If you can't choose just one, I put them together in bumper kits of 5 that include backers, inserts and decoupage bits for creating your own cards.

Bold & Beautiful Lace Cards Bumper Kit

From whimsically colorful to bold and romantic, these enchanting cards are perfect for adding your own 3D embellishments to!  If you like to keep it simple, you can just use the decoupage flowers, lace appliques, fairies and other assorted bits, instead.  Either way, the end result will wow!

Lace & Purple Roses Decoupage Mini Kit

Come by and check them out :)!