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Gradient Fade Tag

Tutorial for PSP 8


For this tutorial you will need a sparkle tube, you can get mine HERE.  Save the tube in your tubes folder (no need to unzip it first) Please feel free to use this sparkle tube with other projects and share it with your friends, just don't claim it as your own or try to copyright it - its really just a small cross with faded ends on a transparent background.

A tube graphic - you can get my orchid HERE.  Save it in your tubes folder.

Make sure your Layer Pallet and Materials Pallet are both visible - if not Click the View menu, Pallets and select whichever are missing.

Create a new image 300 x 300, White background.

Layers, New Raster Layer

Select the Tube tool and select the image you want to use from the pull down list on the tool options.  If the tube is too big, click undo, reduce the "scale" of the tube on the options pallet and try again.  You want it to fit comfortably inside the image, but not too small.  I used my orchid tube at scale 60, which means 60% of full size.

On the Layer Pallet, click on the Background layer.

Click the Layers menu, New Raster Layer

Click on the Flood Fill tool

Setup the materials pallet as follows:

Start with both the foreground and background colours set to be solid colours.

Click on the foreground colour swatch.  Move your mouse over your image and use to dropper to select a light colour from your tube and then click OK.

Click on the background colour swatch.  Move your mouse over your image and use to dropper to select a dark colour from your tube and then click OK.

Set the foreground material to Gradient.

Click on the foreground swatch.  The materials window opens with the "Gradient" tab active.  Set the gradient to Foreground-Background.  Angle=0, Repeats=5, Style=Radial, Horizontal=50, Vertical=50. 

Your gradient should now alternate between your chosen colour around the center.  As shown, but using the colours you have chosen.

When you have competed the settings, click OK.

You should have 3 layers on your layer pallet, in this order:


Make sure Raster 2 is the active Layer (it will have the dark blue band on it).  You should still have the Flood Fill tool selected.

Click on your image to fill it with the gradient.


Selections menu, Select All

Selections menu, Modify - Contract  

Number of pixels = 30

Selections menu, Modify - Feather

Number of pixels = 30

Selections menu, Promote Selection to Layer

On the Layer pallet, click the eye symbol next to Raster 2. (spectacle symbol on PSP 7)

You should now see a faded edge on your background gradient.

Selections menu, Select None.

Image menu, Resize

Set your measurement to "percent"

Width = 75, Height = 75
Resize All Layers = unticked.

Make sure the "Promoted Selection" Layer is hightlighted on your layer pallet - as shown.  If it is not highlighted, click on it to hightlight it.

Layers menu, Duplicate - you should see an additional layer on the layer pallet, but your image won't look any different yet.

Click on the Deformation tool (Picker tool in PSP Photo XI).

Point to the center of the coloured area and drag it up and left - so it sits in the top/left corner of your image.  Keep the dotted lines just inside the edge of your image, as shown.

On the Layer Pallet, click on the Promoted Selection Layer (the one underneath the one that is currently selected). 

Move the coloured area on this layer, down and right, into the corner.

On the Layer Pallet, click on layer Raster 1. Still using the Deformation tool (or Picker tool), move the tube graphic into the upper right area of your image.  You can use the corner handles to adjust its size slightly too.

When you are happy with the size and position of the tube, Adjust menu, Sharpness, Sharpen.

Add a drop shadow (Effects menu, 3D Effects, Drop Shadow) with the following settings:

Horizontal = 2
Vertical = 2
Opacity = 50
Blur = 20
Colour = Black


Click on the Text tool.

Click on the Foreground materials swatch (showing the gradient pattern).

Change the gradient Style setting to Linear and the Angle to 45.  Leave all the other settings the same.

Then click the double ended arrow between the 2 materials swatches to swap the foreground and background settings around.  The picture shows what the materials pallet should look like once you have swapped the materials around.  Foreground is a dark colour and Background is your gradient.

On the Text tool options, make sure "Create As" is set to Vector.

Click somewhere in the lower part of your image.

Type in your text in the box and then drag across it with the mouse to highlight it.  Now you can adjust your text size and font on the options pallet and see instantly what they will looks like.   Don't worry if your text is not in the right position or goes slightly off the image area at one end - we can move it later.

I used Font = Monotype Corsiva, Size 48, Stroke Width=1

When you are happy with your font and size, click the Apply button on the text box.

Click on the Object Selector tool (3 below the text tool).  Use this tool to move the text into place (by dragging it) and adjust the size if necessary. In PSP Photo XI use the Picker tool.

When you are happy with the size and position of your text :

Layers menu, Convert to Raster Layer








Bevel the text:

Effects menu, 3D Effects, Inner Bevel

Set as shown in the picture.

Add a drop shadow to the text:

Effects menu, 3D effects, Drop Shadow

Horizontal = 1
Vertical = 1
Opacity = 50
Blue = 6
Colour = Black

Layers menu, Merge, Merge All (flatten)

The tag is finished except for adding the sparkles.