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The Chrome Effect: A Vase with Flowers
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The Chrome Effect:
A Vase with Flowers
Created by: StellaB

Chrome Vase of Flowers
In this tutorial, you will become familiar with the Chrome effect facility. At the same time we'll make tubes that can be used in your arrangement. The guidelines are here but it will mainly depend on your own creativity as to the end product!
Download File Download File
In the download file on the left you'll find the sunflower, daisy, rose and leaves that we're using in this tutorial. Unzip and place them in your working folder. Give them names that will keep them together as I have done (I used my initials before each name).

New Image

The Flowers and Leaves

Start with a new image:
– Width = 400 Pixels
– Height = 800 Pixels
– Resolution = 72 Pixels/inch
– Raster Background = checked
– Color depth = 16 Million Colors
– Transparency = checked
– Color = n/a

This is to be filled with 8 images, flowers or leaves. It will need 8 layers for the 8 variations of the Chrome effect. There are various ways we can bring each one into use, but we will use the Picture Tube method here.

Sample leaf

Choose a flower (or leaf) from the download file and make it active on your workspace. Go to File || Export || Picture Tube:
– Cells across = 1
– Cells down = 1
– Total cells = 1 (will automatically be set)
– Placement and Selection modes = Random
– Tube name = e.g. 'sbleaf1'

I have named all the download files beginning with my initials (sb); it is advisable to keep these file names for tubes, then they will cluster together in the Picture Tubes folder and thus be easier to find. The extension .PspTube will be filled in automatically, so don't add it to the name.

Picture Tube Tool

Show/Hide PreviewAuto-ProofProof

Now use the Picture Tube tool and find your new tube in the drop-down list in the Tool Options palette.

Place the cursor on the co-ordinates (x:100 y:100) – see Status bar – on your new 800x400 image. Click and the tubed picture will appear in the top left corner of your image.

Now go to Effects || Artistic Effects || Chrome:
– Flaws = 1
– Brightness = 50
– Use original color = unchecked
– Color = a light grey (#C0C0C0)

If you press down the 'Show Preview', the 'Auto Proof' and the 'Proof' buttons in the Chrome dialog window you can see the effect on your image directly.

New Raster Layer

Chrome leaf tubes

Create a new Raster Layer either by clicking on the first icon in the Layer palette or by using Layers || New Raster Layer. Either way the New Raster Layer dialog will appear. Keep all the default settings (including the layer name 'Raster 2') and click on OK.

Your Picture Tube tool is still selected. Place the cursor on the co-ordinates (x:300 y:100) and click to set another tube.

Go to Effects || Artistic Effects || Chrome again, change the Flaws = 2 and let the other settings as are.

There are 6 more Flaws settings to use. Repeat as above, each time on a new layer, using the following settings:

Coordinates: Flaws:
(x:100 y:300) 3
(x:300 y:300) 4
(x:100 y:500) 5
(x:300 y:500) 6
(x:100 y:700) 7
(x:300 y:700) 8

Now go to Layers || Merge || Merge visible to merge all layers while keeping the background transparent. (In the illustration on the left the background is white because the image was saved as a .jpg file.)

Assorted chrome flowers and leaves

Now we have to convert our merged image into a tube: Go to File || Export || Picture Tube:
– Cells across = 2
– Cells down = 4
– Total cells = 8 (will automatically be set)
– Placement mode = Random
– Step size = 200
– Selection mode = Random
– Tube name = Chrome leaf 1

Cell width and Cell height will each show as 200. Again, the filename extension .PspTube will be added automatically, so don't add it to the name.

As soon as you've clicked on OK your new tube should be in your Picture Tubes folder, and ready to use.

Repeat the tube-making process with any of the flowers or leaves of your choice with whichever Flaws setting you care to choose.

You can also change the Brightness in the Chrome effect window for other variations if you wish. Feel free to experiment.

The illustration on the left shows some of the tubes that I made.


New Image

The Vase

Start another new image:
– Width and Height = both 600
– other settings = as before


Show/Hide PreviewAuto-ProofProof

The Ball

Go to Effects || Artistic Effects || Balls and Bubbles and make the 'Show Preview', 'Auto Proof' and 'Proof' buttons active as before. Now go to the four tabs (Shape, Surface, Maps and Illumination) and set:
– Single ball or bubble = selected
– Maximum possible size = checked
– Opacity = 100
– Shininess = 0
– Gloss = 50 (or any other)
– Material = Color: a light grey (Red/Green/Blue = 192; #C0C0C0)
– Bump map = checked
– Map = Gold filigree
– Smoothness = 0
– Depth = 100
– Fit bump map = unchecked
– Size = 50
– Environment map = unchecked
– Maximum = 100
– Minimum = 10
– Light 1 = Near centre (drag and drop it with your mouse)
– Color = the same light grey as before (#C0C0C0)
– Highlight size = your choice
– Backlight = unchecked
– Bubble light = n/a

Deform Tool

The Elipse

To change the shape of the ball to a vase click on the Deform tool.

Now drag the left centre node to the horizontal co-ordinate 100, then drag the right centre node to the horizontal co-ordinate 500.

You will then have an elipse, 400 pixels wide and 600 pixels high.

Click on any tool (I normally use the Pan tool for this) to deselect.


Selection Tool


Top and bottom removed

Crop Tool  Snap Crop Rectangle to Layer Opaque   Apply current tool settings

To cut the top off the elipse click on the Selection tool. In the Tool Options palette, set:
– Selection type = Rectangle
– Mode = Replace
– Feather = 0
– Anti-alias = chekced

Place the cursor in the top left corner (co-ordinates: x:0 y:0), drag 100 pixels down and to the far right (co-ordinates: x:600 y:100) (since it is a bit difficult to set the cursor at (x:0 y:0) you can also begin at the far right (x:100) and y = somewhere on the right of the oval ball).Press the Delete key or go to Edit || Cut (Ctrl+X), then deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D). The straight edge will be covered with flowers and leaves later.

To round off the bottom of the vase to give it some perspective change the Seletion Type to 'Circle' in the Tool Options palette, then place the cursor at the co-ordinates (x:300 y:150) and drag down to the vertical co-ordinate of 550. Go to Edit || Copy (Ctrl+C), then to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Image (Ctrl+V).

Now activate the Crop tool. In the Tool Options palette, click on the 'Snap crop rectangle = Layer Opaque' icon (centre icon at right of palette).Then click on the Apply icon on the far left.

Now you have your vase!

The Chrome Vase

Now apply the Chrome effect to your vase: Go to Effects || Artistic Effects || Chrome. I used the following settings:
– Flaws = 3
– Brightness = 30
– Color = White

Try using other settings and choose the ones you like most. Save your vase.


New Image     Picture Tube Tool     New Raster Layer

Two flowers and a leaf

Move Tool

Leaf movedLeaf beneath flowers

Arranging the Flowers and Leaves

First we will experiment with layers. You need a new image, 300 x 300 pixels.

Select the Picture Tube tool and find your Chrome tubes. Click on the new image to paste one flower or leaf.

Create a new raster layer (Layers || New Raster Layer), and place another flower or leaf anywhere on that layer. Repeat these steps (creating a new raster layer and placing flowers or leaves on the new layer).

You can now re-arrange them how you want them: Go to the Layer palette and hover over each layer and you will see what is on it. Use the Move tool to re-position each item where you want it.

If you want to change the layering, like moving a leaf below some flowers, just drag the layer to the bottom of the list on the Layer palette or between the two layers where you want it.

Deform ToolMove and Rotate

Orientation of flowers changed

Changing Orientation, Direction and Size

If you want to change the orientation of any image, click on the Deform tool and use the handle in the centre to turn it round. You can also move them about with the Deform tool.

Another option is to mirror or flip any layer, then re-position it (Image || Flip or Image || Mirror).

To change the size use the Deform tool and drag any of the corners until you have the required size.

Now you have a vase, some flowers and some leaves and you know how to move them around. All you need to do now is to put them together!


New Image     Open Image

Move Tool

Vase of flowers

Making the Floral Arrangement

Start with another new image, Width = 700 x Height = 1000 pixels. Open your saved vase image, it will show as 'Raster 1' on the Layer palette.

Make sure you can see your new image behind or beside the vase image. Now drag 'Raster 1' from the Layer palette onto your new image. The vase will centre itself on the image.

Use the Move tool to slide the vase to the bottom of the image. You now have space above it to make your floral arrangement.


  • that you need a new raster layer for each flower/leaf;
  • that you can position them anywhere you want;
  • that you can have a lot of fun doing that!

You can give your picture any background you like. Just make sure there is a spare raster layer at the bottom of the list on the Layer palette. With this active you can flood-fill with any colour, gradient, pattern or texture.

When you are completely happy with your creation, go to Layers || Merge || Merge All (flatten). You can then frame it in any way you wish. Don't forget to save it.


A Few More Ideas