Home  >  Tutorials  >   PSP 8 Effects  >
Vectors 202 – Edit Functions
E-mail this tutorial to a friend Email to a Friend

Vectors 202 –
Edit Functions
Created by: Prof

 

In Vectors 101, we explored the new vector features of PSP 8 and created a simple heart shape from a circle. In Vectors 201, we explored using nodes to create another heart from a square shape. In this tutorial, we will explore using the "Edit" options to create a very interesting petal flower again from a square.

 


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Set Up the Canvas

Although we will be using vector layers, we will first set the canvas with a white background and set up the ruler and guides before we draw the square shape.

So, start with a new image: 300x300 pixels, white background, 16 million colors.

Promote the 'Background' layer to a layer: Right-click on the 'Background' layer in your Layer palette and select "Promote to a Layer" from the popup menu.

 

Because I want accurate settings for the shape, I am using the Guides that will be visual settings for the node drawing we will do later.

  • First set the Ruler: Go to View || Rulers.
  • Now set the Guides: Go to View || Guides.
  • To let your shapes snap to the guides, go to View || Snap To Guides.
  • Then set the snap-to values: Go to View || Change Grid, Guide & Snap Properties
  • Click on the "Guides" tab and select a value of 10 pixels for the snap value.

Now set the guides horizontally and vertically at the positions 50, 100, 150, 200, 250: Place your cursor on the ruler, hold the left mouse button down and drag a guide down or across to the value wanted.

If you double-click on the bar in the rulers area where the guide exists, a "Guide Properties" window appears that allows you to refine the setting for that guide.

 













Preset Shapes Tool


Draw a Square

We will now draw a Preset Shape of a Square. The positioning of the shape does not have to be overly accurate as we will use a feature to center it.

In the Materials palette, set:
– Foreground = Solid Color: Black, and
– Background = Null.
If you cannot set the background to Null click on the Preset Shapes tool first.

Select the Preset Shapes tool. In the Tool Options palette, in the Shapes drop-down list, select the rectangle. If you do not see the Tool Options palette, go to View || Palettes || Tool Options (F4). Use these values:
– Shape = Rectangle
– Retain Style = unchecked
– Create as Vector = checked
– Anti-alias = checked
– Line Style = Default (Solid Line)
– Width = 1
– Join = Miter Join (click on arrow and select left icon)

Then between the guides, from the coordinates (50,50) to (250,250), draw a square. If you are close to the guides your shape will snap to the guides. If not use the handles to shape the square so it fits within those coordinates.

Now to ensure your shape is centered go to Objects || Align || Center in Canvas.

 


Pen Tool


Add Nodes

Using the guides, we will add nodes to the square shape. At each corner of the square you have a node. The nodes we add will go to the guide line to the right/left or top/bottom of each corner.

Use the Pen tool. To add a node, hold down the Ctrl key and click on the shape at the position (coordinates) wanted.

Now add nodes to these coordinates using the guide lines:

  • Use the top horizontal line at coordinate 50 and add nodes to the coordinates 100 and 200 on the vertical lines.
  • Use the left vertical line at coordinate 50 and add nodes to the coordinates 100 and 200 on the horizontal lines.
  • Use the bottom horizontal line at coordinate 250 and add nodes to the coordinates 100 and 200 on the vertical lines.
  • Use the right vertical line at coordinate 250 and add nodes to the coordinates 100 and 200 on the horizontal lines.

When you add the nodes click on the cross hair of the horizontal/vertical guides so the nodes snap to them.

 

Begin Creating the Flower Petals

For each of the new nodes you just added, you will click on them one at a time and drag them to the very center of the canvas at the coordinates (150,150). Then, you will set the nodes to "Asymmetric", then drag one handle to the guide of the square and the other handle to the guide line just inside the square. This action forms part of the petals.

  • Click on the top right node you just added.
  • Drag it to the exact center of the square (150,150).
  • Right-click on the node and select Node Type || Asymmetric from the pop-up menu.
  • Drag the handle end to the guide line at top of the square to form the left side of the petal. In this case, use the arrow head of the handle.
  • Drag the other handle end (circle) to the guide line just inside the square.
 

Draw the Flower Petals

Continue using the above steps for each new node that you added. When finished with all nodes you will have a symmetrical four (4) petal flower outline.

  • Click on the nodes.
  • Drag them to the center point.
  • Right-click and select Node || Asymmetric from the pop-up menu.
  • Drag one handle to the edge guide of the square.
  • Drag the other handle to the inner guide.
  • Repeat for each new node.
 







Object Selection Tool     Object Properties

Color the Petals

Eventually, we will add another group of four (4) petals. However, to illustrate the cutout feature of vectors we will first color these four petals. This action is accomplished by using the Object Selection tool.

First make sure that your active Background Color is White. Then click on the Object Selection tool. In the Tool Options palette, click on the Properties icon and change the following settings:
– Stroke color = Black (for now)
– Stroke width = 2
– Fill = checked
Don't click on OK yet.

Now click on the Fill Color Box for the "Material" dialog window and select the "Gradient" tab:
– Gradient = Neapolitan
– Invert = checked
– Style = Sunburst
– Center Point: Horizontal and Vertical = 50
– Link center and focal points = checked
Click on OK.

 
Pen Tool







Creating More Petals and Cut Out Areas

Now that we have the basic petal shape let's have some fun. Using some new features for vectors we can create additional petals and have areas become cut-out.

  • Use the Pen tool again.
  • Right-click in an open area and select Edit || Select All from the pop-up menu (if you lose the nodes then in the Layer palette click on the Vector layer and then on the Rectangle sub-layer).
  • Right-click again in an open area and select Edit || Duplicate Selected - No Offset from the pop-up menu.

What has happened now is that the four-leaf shape has been duplicated as a vector and is on top of the original shape. Now we can manipulate this duplicated shape:

  • Right-click in an open area and select Edit || Reverse Contour from the pop-up menu. At this point your color disappears because our new shape overlaps perfectly the old shape. When the contour of a new shape is reversed, those areas that overlap will become a cutout.
  • Right-click again in an open area and select Transform Selected Nodes || Rotate from the pop-up menu.

Now you have a ribbon-like effect for the four petals. We will actually create two separate flowers using this basic design. So for now, duplicate the image with Window || Duplicate (Shift+D) and minimize the copy. Then activate the original canvas.

 

Flower Number One

In and of itself, this image is quite nice and you could just stop here, add enhancements such as backgrounds, maybe even draw a stem and leaves or whatever your creativity brings you. However, we will use the same steps as above and ultimately create a multi-petaled flower.

You will repeat the following steps:

  • Right-click in an open area and select Edit || Select all from the pop-up menu.
  • Right-click again in an open area and select Edit || Duplicate Selected - No Offset from the pop-up menu.
  • Right-click again and select Transform Selected Nodes || Rotate from the pop-up menu.
  • Rotate once more.
  • Then repeat the above steps 3 more times.

The result is a very neat petaled flower that you could enhance in any way you choose. An interesting enhancement is to use the Object Selection tool and change the Stroke to the Neapolitan gradient as well, with Inverted = unchecked.

 

Flower Number Two

We will now create another flower using the same techniques. Activate the second copy saved earlier and make sure you are still using the Pen tool. If you need to activate the nodes click on the 'Rectangle' layer in the Layer palette. Now do the following:

  • Right-click and select Transform Selected Nodes || Rotate from the pop-up menu; do that twice.
  • Right-click and select Edit || Select All from the pop-up menu.
  • Right-click and select Duplicate Selected - No Offset.
  • Right-click and select Transform Selected Nodes || Rotate, do that twice again.
  • Right-click and select Edit || Select All.
  • Right-click and select Transform Selected Nodes || Contract – your image will contract to a smaller size.
 

You now have two very neat flower shapes. You could use the Object Selection tool on either of them again and change the Stroke size and/or the Fill color. Experiment and you will find some very interesting ways to create shapes using this technique to produce cutouts on shapes.

Below you see two images that I made with the flower shapes we made with this tutorial.

Have fun. – Prof –