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Circles in Circles
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Circles in Circles
Created by: Barbara Townsend

 
This is a simple study of vectors and layers. You will get plenty of practice with this tutorial. You will become familiar with using layers, using the Materials palette, using textures in the Materials palette, swapping colors, aligning vector objects, merging layers, and adding borders.
 
New Image We will start with opening a new image: size = 300 x 300 pixels, transparent background.
 
Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Solid Color Option + Materials Texture Option

Check Texture box and select 50pct Dither

If not already opened, open the Materials palette now (View || Palettes || Materials or F8) and click on the Foreground Materials box to open the Material Properties dialog. Set the color to #00FF00.

Check the Texture option and set:
– Texture = Dither 50 pct
– Angle = 0
– Scale = 100

Click on OK.

Then click on the Background Materials box and set that color to #3283C8.

 

Preset Shapes Tool (PSP 8)
 PSP 8 
Ellipse Tool (PSP 9)
 PSP 9 
Ellipse Tool (PSP X)
 PSP X 

On the Tools toolbar, click on the Preset Shapes tool in PSP 8 ("P" on the keyboard) or on the Ellipse tool in PSP 9 and X respectively ("Q" on the keyboard) and use the following settings:

PSP 8:
– Preset Shape = Ellipse
– Retain style = unchecked
– Anti-alias = checked
– Create as vector = checked
– Line Style = +Solid (default)
– Width = 40.00
PSP 9 and X:
– Mode = Circle
– Show Nodes = checked
– Create On Vector = checked
– Line Style = +Solid (default)
– Width = 40.00
– Anti-alias = checked
 
First Circle

Note for PSP 8: You have to hold down the Shift key while drawing to get a perfect circle.

Now click and hold down the left mouse button and, starting in one corner (I started at the upper right hand corner), draw out the circle almost filling the image.

To align the image, go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas. Right-click on the vector layer in the Layer palette and choose 'Convert to Raster Layer' from the pop-up menu (or go to Layers || Convert to Raster Layer in the menu bar). With this step, the vector shape will automatically be deselected.

It should now look similar to the picture on the left.

 



Second Circle
PSP 8: Bounding Box with Nodes


Second Circle
PSP 9 and X: Nodes on the Circle

Your Preset Shapes or Circle tool should still be activated. Change the Width to 20 and draw the shape as before. This shape needs to be slightly smaller than the first one as we want to have it within the blue circle in the end.

This new circle will not be exactly the right size nor position so we have to resize it a bit:

PSP 8:
The new circle will have a bounding box with nodes at each corner and the sides. First, you should center your circle in the image (Objects || Align || Center in Canvas) so you see how much it needs to be resized. Then you can grab one of the corner nodes and drag in inwards or outwards as needed to resize the circle.
Note: To keep the same proportions while resizing – i.e. to keep it being a circle – work with the right mouse-button!
Resizing will move the center point of the circle so you will have to center it again in your image. Do these steps until the circle looks like you want it.

PSP 9 and X:
You will see nodes at the top, bottom, left and right side of your circle. First, you should center your circle in the image (Objects || Align || Center in Canvas) so you see how much it needs to be resized. Then take a node and drag it inwards or outwards as needed to resize the circle.
Note: To keep the same proportions while resizing – i.e. to keep it being a circle – hold the Shift key pressed while dragging the node.
The circle will resize nicely around the center point of the image, so no further aligning will be necessary.

Convert this vector layer to a raster layer as you did before (right-click on it in the Layer palette and choose 'Convert to Raster Layer' from the pop-up menu).

Repeat the last step, changing the Width to 15. Convert to a raster layer again.

 
Materials Palette - Swap Materials

Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Transparent Option

Look at the Materials palette: There is a double-headed arrow between the two Materials boxes. If you lay your cursor on it, it says, 'Swap Materials'. Click on it to swap your Foreground and Background Materials.

Then click on the little Transparent button of your Foreground Materials box to set it to Null.

 
Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Solid Color Option

Flood Fill Tool
  PSP 8 + 9  
Flood Fill tool
  PSP X  

Last circle and background fill

Draw the last circle in the center of the image (Width doesn't matter as the Foreground [=Stroke] Material is set to Transparent), resize it as needed and align it to get it centered. Convert the layer to a raster layer (Layers || Convert to Raster Layer).

Click on 'Raster Layer 1' in your Layer palette to activate it. It should be the layer at the bottom of the Layer palette. We have been saving this layer to use it for a background.

Activate the Flood Fill tool ("F" on the keyboard). Change the Foreground Material back to Color = #72B4E6 and flood-fill 'Raster Layer 1'.

Right-click on any layer in your Layer palette and select 'Merge || Merge All (Flatten)' from the pop-up menu.

Now go to Image || Add Borders:
– 'Original Dimensions' should be set to pixels (default)
– Symmetric = checked
– Top/Left/Right/Bottom = 2
– Color = #000000 (or your choice)

 

With this tutorial, you have practiced using layers and the Layer palette, using the Materials palette, using textures in the Materials palette, swapping materials, aligning vector objects, merging layers, and adding borders. Now you will be able to put these techniques into practice.

My special thanks go to Tazz for helping me with this tut.

Barbara T.