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USA Flag Part 1
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USA Flag Tutorial
Part 1
Created by: Brad Kidder
Brad's Home Page

Hello!

You might ask "I am from Australia, why would I want to make an American flag?"
In Part 2, I will tell you where you can get your flag and how to do Part 2 of this tutorial using many different flags. I suggest that you do the USA flag first, so you see how the tutorial works and then go back to the beginning of Part 2 and substitute your flag.

This tutorial is in two parts. Part 1 is to create the US Flag with all the stars and strips as if it were laying flat. In Part 2 we will make it wave in a slight breeze with some shading and display it on a flagpole.

I have found that the easiest way to work in PSP on a tutorial like this is to make both PSP and the tutorial full page size and then use Alt+Tab to switch between them. Once you get started it is just one key tap to go between the two pages, nothing changes in the PSP window when you switch.

In the tutorial page you can scroll so that the step you are working on is always at the top. Most of the work in this tutorial is done using the mouse; that leaves the left hand free to tab between PSP and the tutorial. Give it a try.

There are no downloads or filters needed for this tutorial.

Because we want the end result of this tutorial to be a .GIF file we want to keep the number of colors to a minimum. One way to help do this is to not use Antialias. For this tutorial all places where you have an option to set Antialias, please leave it unchecked.


United States Flag

Step 1: Setup

In the Colors Palette:

  • Foreground Styles, Brush, Color = White
  • Background Styles, Brush, Color = Blue (0,0,255)
  • Texture Styles, Background and Foreground = Null
  • Color Palette, Locked = Checked

We will be working with grid lines. Grid spacing starts at the top left corner. We have no choice here so we have to compensate by making our canvas size so that we can use the grid lines like we would like to have them.


Step 2: Canvas

In the New Image Dialog:

  • Image Dimensions, Width = 412 Pixels
  • Image Dimensions, Height = 216 Pixels
  • Image Characteristics, Background color = Red
  • Image Characteristics, Image type = 16.7 Million Colors

You should end up with a red canvas. In future steps, I will not repeat settings that have not changed since the last time they were used. Also any box that I don't tell you to check should be left unchecked.


Grid Lines

Step 3: Grids

View || Toggle Rulers on.

View || Toggle Grids on.

View || Change Grid:

  • Grids, Units = Pixels
  • Grids, Horizontal spacing = 72
  • Grids, Vertical spacing = 33
  • Line color: Black
  • Snap, Lower Left = Radio Button On
  • Snap, Snap Influence = 15 (That is how far from the grid line you can deviate before it won't snap to the right place.)
  • Snap, Snap to Grid = Checked

You should see the black grid lines on your red canvas.


Step 4: Add a New Layer

In the Layers Palette:

  • click the new layer button on the top left.

Red and White Stripes

Step 5: Painting the White Stripes

Use the Draw tool:

  • Draw, Type = Single line
  • Draw, Width = 16
  • Draw, Line Style = Solid Line

Remember if I don't tell you to check a box leave it unchecked.
"Grab" means to left click and drag with the button down.

Grab the bottom right corner of your image window and pull it down and to the right about 20 pixels so your image is not against the edge of the window.

  • Draw six white lines along the horizontal grid lines on your red canvas.

Mover tool:

  • Click on one of the white lines and move it up to line up with the grid lines.

View || Toggle Grids off.

You should see seven red and six white stripes of nearly equal width on your red canvas.


Step 6: Creating a New Layer for the Stars

In the Layers Palette: Click on the new layer button at the top left.

Flood fill tool:

  • Blend mode = Normal
  • Match Mode = None
  • Tolerance = 0
  • Opacity = 100

Right click on the canvas to Flood Fill the layer blue.

You should see just a blue image.


Step 7: More Grids

View || Grids

View || Change Grids:

  • Grids, Horizontal = 14
  • Grids, Vertical = 12
  • Grids, Line Color = Black
  • Snap, Lower Left Radio Button = On
  • Snap, Snap Influence = 8 Pixels
  • Snap, Snap to grid = Checked

You should see small square boxes all over the canvas. We are concerned only with the intersections of the boxes.


Step 8: Prepare Paint Brush

Select the Paint Brush tool

On the right hand edge Click on the icon called Brush Types and check Custom.

Click in the shape box and pick the five pointed star. It is Shape Number 9 on my list.

Click OK, then back on the first tab:

  • Size = 14
  • Opacity = 100
  • Step = 25

Step 9: Paint the Stars

Now comes the fun part:

Zoom in 3:1 and position the canvas so you see the (0,0) corner.

Click every other intersection to place your stars.

You know how they should look. I don't need to go into any more detail.

You should have six stars across the top and five on the next row and nine rows all together for a total of 50 stars.


Step 10. Cutting away the rest of the canvas.

Selection Tool:

  • Rectangle, Feather = 0

Start at the intersection (168,120) click and drag to the top left corner.

Selections || Invert Selection

Press the Delete key to clear the rest of the layer.

Selections || Select None

View || Toggle Grids off

You should see your 50 stars and the rest of the flag but the star field will not be quite lined up.


United States Flag

Step 11: Aligning the Star Field

Deformation Tool:

Click the middle node at the bottom of the box and move it up to align the blue field with the top of the white line.

Click the middle node on the right side of the box and move left to line it up with 165 on the top ruler.

Then apply change.

View || Normal Viewing


Step 12: Saving the flag

Colors || Decrease Color Depth

X Colors (4/8 bit):

  • Number of Colors = 7
  • Optimized Median Cut Radio Button = On
  • Nearest Color Radio Button = On

File || Export GIF:

  • Transparency, Transparence = None
  • Colors Wanted, Colors = 16
  • Colors, Method of Color Selection = Standard / Web safe

Click OK and save it where you would like.

You are finished with the flag.

This completes Part 1.


When you are ready, here is Flag Tutorial Part 2