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A Christmas Sock
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A Christmas Sock
Created by: Ravanne

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Download the attached file to use the font and images used in this tutorial.

Open up your file, and intall the Tolkien font into your Windows Font folder. Open up PSP, and create a new file: 400x500 pixels, 72ppi, background transparent. Open up the pattern file (redcheck.gif) in PSP. Increase the colours to 16 mill. Leaving it open, set it as a background (2nd tab, 3rd little square on the flyout on the color palette.) Set all other tabs on the Colour Palette as NULL.

Select your Text Tool, and click it onto your canvas, somewhere in the lower middle. In the Text Box, select the following:

Font: TOLKIEN, size: 250, vector checked, anti-alias checked, depress the "B" (bold) button,and everything else default. Your colour tabs in the Text Box should be showing the same as was first selected from within PSP, ie, your pattern as a background, all other boxes null. Select the letter "J".

In your layers palette, rename layer 2 to Sock. Click on the little + sign and a nested layer appears, called J. RIGHT-CLICK on J, and in the sub-menu that appears, choose Convert Text to Curves/As Single Shape.

On your toolbar, click on your Object Selector tool, and in the Tool Options Box, choose Node Edit.

With your Object Selector Tool, click somewhere in the top left hand corner of your transparent canvas, and draw out a selection that encompasses the left side of the J, selecting all 5 nodes on the left. Make sure not to include the very bottom node at the the point. See the example of the nodes you need to have selected.

Select any one of the blackened nodes, and pull out the J to the LEFT - about 6 little blocks on your transparent background. Keep the top of the J straight. Click on the bottom-point node to activate it, RIGHT-CLICK and choose NODE TYPE/SYMMETRIC. Stretch the bottom-point node to the left, and then tug on the circle of the little handle until you get a softly rounded sock-toe.

You should now be starting to see your sock shape.

If you want, you can play with the other nodes. This is where you define your sock shape .. move the nodes around until you get a sock-shape you like. I left my sock straight for this tutorial, but you can make yours as lumpy and shapely as you like. Just make sure that all the nodes you're moving about are SYMMMETRICAL, as this will ensure that you get smooth, even curves. If you want a shorter sock, run your curser over the top horizontal bar of the vector grid until you see a double-sided arrow. This should happen if you hover your curser over the middle node on the bar. Pull the arrow down to get a shorter sock, if you prefer. Leave the horizontal stroke of the J alone. We will fix that just now.

We will now add a cutout to give the sock some dimension. Activate your Selection Tool - ToolOptions: Rectangle, Feather = 0, Anti Alias unchecked - and starting in the upper left corner of the canvas, draw out a rectangular selection that encompasses the sock within in it. Click your mouse in the interior of the rectangle-selection, and just the sock should now be selected. You will notice a "Floating Selection" in your layers palette. Go to Effects/3d Effects/Cutout, and choose the following: Offset: V -15, H -15. Attributes: Opacity: 37, Blur 63. Hit Ok. Right click on this floating selection layer, and choose Promote to Layer from the drop-down box. Rename this layer Cutout.

Still in your Layers Palette, hide your vector-Sock layer by clicking on the little glasses, and activate the Cutout layer. We will now be working on this Cutout layer. On your Cutout layer, activate your Selection Tool again, with same settings as before - select that little lip of the J, making sure the rectangle selection is in line with the vertical stroke of the sock, and hit delete. That little lip should now be gone.

Now we will do the toe-patch. Once again, still on the Cutout layer, choose your Selection Tool, same settings in its Tool Options as before, and draw out a rectangular selection around your sock. Click your mouse in the middle of the selection, and now just your sock is selected. Go to Selections/Save to Alpha Channel, select ok, and ok again. Deselect.

Open up the little patch of material that came in your download, called sockpatch.gif. Once you have this open in PSP, go to Edit/Copy, then activate your Sock image again, and go to Edit/Paste as New Layer. Rename this layer sockpatch. With your Mover Tool, move the patch to the bottom of the sock, so that it covers the toe area. Go to Image/Rotate to Right, 30 degrees, or however you want your patch to fit on the toe. Make sure all Layers is UNchecked when you rotate the patch.

Go to Selections/Load from Alpha Channel, and load up your sock selection, click OK. Go to Selections/Invert, then Selections/Delete. There, that's got rid of the excess patch.

Go to Selections/Invert again, and let's draw some simple little stitches on the patch: Select your Draw Tool, Single Line, Width 2, Anti-Alias checked. Set your Foreground Colour as Black, your Background as Null. Draw a few stitches around the patch - doesnt matter if you go over the outer edge of the toe patch - we'll sort that out in a jiffy. Zoom in if you need to. When you're done drawing the stitches, go to Selections/Invert, then Selections/Delete then Selections/Select None.

Still on your sockpatch layer, lets add a small cutout: go to Selections/Select All, then Selections/Float. Go to Effects/3d Effects/Cutout, and enter the following: Offset: V -5, H -10, Opacity 37, Blur 13. Selections/Select None.

Now we're going to do the cuff of the sock, that white part on the top. Open up fluffball.jpeg from your download file (this was a little pompom thing I borrowed from a Ruth Morehead image - we're not going to use this Morehead image, we're just going to borrow the texture). Back to your Sock image, add a new layer, call it Cuff. Choose your Selections Tool, and in the Tool Options: Rounded Rectangle, feather=0, anti-alias checked. Draw out a rounded rectangle shape over the top portion of the sock - eg, one transparent block on top of the sock, and about two transparent blocks down over the sock itself. However, its your choice as to how big or small you want your cuff to be.

Click on your Clone Tool, and activate the fluffball image. Set your Clone Tool as follows: Shape: Horizontal, Size 20, Hardness 65, Opacity 100, Step 1, Density 100, Clone Mode Non-Aligned. Right-click with the Clone Tool in the fluffball image, and then go to your Sock image, to the Selection that should still be marching away there. Clone the fluff into the selection. Watch the fluffball image carefully, make sure you dont go into the white of the image. Try and pick up the hairy bits of the fluffball. Once you're satisfied, deselect.

Zoom in once on the Sock, and still with the clone tool and our fluffball image, we're going to make the cuff a little more natural looking, it looks a little too stiff. We'll clone a fringe onto the bottom of the cuff. Working on the cuff layer, add a new layer, call it Fringe. Set your clone tool to: Shape Vertical, Size 10. The rest you leave the same as before. Right-click in the fluffball image, try and aim for the hairy little bits, and then go on over to your Sock image, to the Fringe layer. Clone yourself a messy little natural-looking fringe to the bottom of the foldover, using the texture from the fluffball image. See my example to the left.

Back onto the Cuff layer, go to your Retouch Tool, and choose the following: Shape, Round, Size 21, Hardness 12, Opacity 100, Step 1, Density 42, and select Smudge from the drop down box. In really very tiny jerky movements, smudge the outer perimeter of the foldover layer. You should end up with something like my image to the left. I added a red background so that the sock would be easily visible for you, but you are still working on a transparent background.

Whew, nearly done! We just got to add a little hangything for the sock to hang itself with. LOL. On your Foldover layer, activate your Shapes Tool. In the Shapes Tool Options box, look for a shape called Ring. Its a gold ring, next to the necklace and dart. Retain style unchecked, Anti-Alias checked, Create as vector checked, Line Width 6. In your Colour Palette, set your background back to the pattern that we used for the sock (redcheck.gif), it should still be loaded in PSP's memory. Set the other 3 tabs as NULL.

Draw a little ring onto the foldover of the sock. If you hover your mouse over the centre of the ring, you will see two little arrows, indicating that you can turn the shape into whichever direction you choose .. I turned mine a little to the left. You can also make it longer, shorter, fattter, whatever you want. Go to this layer in the layer palette, and right-click on it. Choose convert to raster layer. Rename this layer Ring.

Move the Ring layer beneath the Foldover layer. Duplicate this layer, and then flip it. Move the duplicated layer to join up with the original ring layer, so that they are joined in a kind of chain. The flipped ring-layer is for you too add a tag too, the original ring layer is so that the stocking can be hung from the mantelpiece.

Hide the two ring layers, and delete the vector sock layer. Activate the cutout layer, and right-click. Choose Merge/Merge Visible. Hide the Merged Layer, and unhide the two ring layers. Activate one of them, and again, right click/Merge/Merge Visible. Move the Ring Layer behind the main sock layer. Activate the Sock, and rotate it a little to the left, say about 10 degrees. Now, Merge/Merge Visible once more and there you are, finito! :o) Very well done! Add some toys and other doodads into the stocking, and generally decorate as you see fit.