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Lesson 9 of Zonia's PSP 8 Lessons  >
Creating a Cupcake
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Creating a Cupcake
Created by: Zonia

In this lesson we are going to create a cupcake and learn about a few more features such as Preset Shapes, Pen tool, Object Selection tool, Blinds effect, Deform tool, Warp Brush tool etc. on the way.

New Image
Create a new image: Go to File|| New (Ctrl+N):
– Width = 400 pixels
– Height = 400 pixels
– Resolution = 72.00 pixels/inch
– Background = Raster Background
– Color Depth = 16 Million Colors (24 Bit)
– Transparent = checked

Preset Shapes Tool

Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Null OptionMaterials Solid Color Option

Click on your Preset Shapes tool:
– Shape = Pentagon
– Retain style = unchecked
– Create as vector = checked
– Anti-alias = checked
– Line style = +Solid
– Width = 0.00

Set your Foreground Material to Null and the Background Material to a nice cupcake paper color (I chose Red = 255, Green = 228, Blue = 193; #FFE4C1).

Pen Tool  Edit Mode

The only part of the pentagon shape we are really concerned with here is the bottom half. With that in mind draw out a pentagon with the bottom half the size you want to make your cupcake. I started at (x:125 y:140) and ended at (x:275 y:300).

Click on the Pen Tool and make sure Edit Mode is selected in the Tool Options palette. Click on the top node (box) and drag it down where it is about even with the two side nodes.

You can tell when it is exactly even because the lines connecting to the side nodes will be perfectly straight instead of jagged. It doesn't have to be perfectly straight though.


Duplicate Layer
Right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer in the Layer palette and choose "Duplicate" from the pop-up menu. Right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer again and choose "Convert to Raster Layer". We are just going to use this layer as a guide and will be deleting it in a minute.
Object Selection Tool

With the Pen tool still selected and still in edit mode click on "+" sign in front of the 'Copy of Vector 1' layer to expand it and then click on the 'Pentagon' object layer to make it active.

Click on the Object Selection tool. Holding down the Ctrl key, click on the top left box and drag it to the right. Both sides should move in. Drag until the red dashed lines are a square shape.

The Ctrl key is the key for correcting perspective symmetrically which means both sides move in. If you had used the Shift key then you would have had to drag in both the top left and the top right corner boxes.


Remember you still have the original layer, so you won't see any difference unless you hide the original layer. If you do hide it remember to unhide it after you make your rectangle.

Right-click on the 'Pentagon' object layer and choose "Create Raster Selection" from the pop-up menu, then right-click on the 'Copy of Vector 1' layer and choose "Convert to Raster Layer".


Go to Effects || Texture Effects || Blinds:
– Width = 6
– Opacity = 50
– Color = see below
– Horizontal = unchecked
– Light from left/top = checked

For the Color choose one a little darker than you used for the cupcake paper (I used Red = 254, Green = 195, Blue = 126; #FEC37E). Click on OK and deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D).


Special Tip

Hint: This is how I chose my darker color: I right-clicked on the Color box in the dialog and clicked on the Background color box (bottom left corner) to choose the color I used for the cupcake paper. Then I left-clicked on the Color box to open the Material dialog. In the center of the Color Ring there is a color box with the currently selected color circled. To choose a darker color in the same color family, I click somewhere above the circled area. If I needed a lighter color I would click somewhere below the circled area.

Deform Tool

Delete Layer

Click on the Deform tool. Holding down the Ctrl key, click and drag the top left node out until the shape matches the layer below it (remember the one I said we were going to use as a guide). Click on any tool to apply the deformation. I usually click on the Pan tool but it doesn't matter which one you click on.

Now you can delete the guide layer ('Raster 2') by right-clicking on it and choosing "Delete" from the pop-up menu. Click on the 'Copy of Vector 1' layer and go to Selections || Select All (Ctrl+A), to Selections || Float (Ctrl+F), and to Selections || Defloat (Ctrl+Shift+F) to select the cupcake paper.

Go to Effects || Geometric Effects || Cylinder Vertical, Strength = 50, and click on OK. Deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+C).

Note: If you don't have a selection it will apply the effect to the whole layer instead of just the part we want.

Materials Palette - Active Colors     Preset Shapes Tool

Now to create the cupcake part. Change the Background color to one you want for you icing (I chose Red = 254, Green = 209, Blue = 255; #FED1FF).

Click on your Preset Shapes tool. Choose the Ellipse shape and make sure "Create as vector" is checked. We are only interested in the top half of the shape this time.

Draw out the "cake part". I started at (x:200 y:210) and, holding down my right mouse button (to draw from the center), went to the left to (x:124 y:272).

Pen Tool  Edit Mode

Click on the Pen tool and make sure Edit Mode is selected in the Tool Options palette.

Click on the bottom center node (box) and hit your Delete key.

Adjust the side and top nodes as desired. I clicked on the top center node and dragged it up a little bit and clicked on each of the side nodes and dragged them out a little bit.

Once you are satisfied with the general shape, right-click on the 'Vector 1' layer in your Layer palette and choose "Convert to Raster Layer" from the pop-up menu.

Warp Brush Tool  Preset: Reset to Default Option     Apply current tool settings

I have never seen a perfect cupcake like this, so I am going to make it look more real.

Click on the Warp Brush tool, default settings except change the Size to 50. Click in the icing part just above the bottom and drag down a little so that the icing overlaps the paper just a little. Do this at several places.

Click on the Apply button in the Tool Options palette.


Change the Size to 32, click in the transparent area above the icing and drag toward the icing in several places to get rid of that "perfect" look.

Click on the Apply button in the Tool Options palette.

The reason we click on Apply every little bit is because from what I understand until you click on Apply the warp strokes are being stored in memory, and I didn't want to cause problems for people with low resources.


Change the Warp Brush Size to 24 and, clicking in the icing part near the bottom, drag out a few places to look like the icing dripped (ran down) the paper.

Click on the Apply button again in the Tool Options palette.


Selection Tool
Click on the Selection tool (S). Draw a rectangle selection around the icing layer (a little bigger), then click in the middle of the selection. This is another way to float a selection. Then go to Selections || Defloat (Ctrl+Shift+F). Your icing should be selected now.

Go to Effects || 3D Effects || Inner Bevel with these settings:
– Bevel = bevel 2
– Width = 1
– Smoothness = 40
– Depth = 3
– Ambience = 0
– Shininess = 15
– Color = the same color as your icing (#FED1FF)
– Angle = 45
– Intensity = 50
– Elevation = 35

I have the preset saved as "icing". I didn't create it. It was from a tutorial I did a few years ago so I don't remember who did it. Click on OK and deselect (Selections || Select None or Ctrl+D).


Selection Tool  Select Area = Opaque - Merged

Use the Selection tool (S). Click on the "Merged Opaque" button in the Tool Options palette. Go to Selections || Modify || Expand, Number of pixels = 10. Then go to Image || Crop to Selection (Shift+R).

Go to Edit || Copy Merged, then to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Image (Ctrl+V). (We're doing that because a picture tube can only have one layer). Now you can go to File || Export || Picture Tube. Close the merged copy image.


I am going to save my cupcake in PSP format as well so it will keep the layers and the transparency. Then I can select the icing and change colors using the Flood-Fill tool with Match Mode set to None and applying the icing Inner Bevel.

If you want to be able to view the .psp file in PSP 7 remember to click on Options in the Save As dialog and select "Save as PSP 7 compatible file". Change the extension from .pspimage to .psp also.

That's it. I hope you enjoyed this lesson.