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A 3D Flag Picture (1)
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A 3D Flag Picture (1)
Created by: Prof

In this two-part tutorial we will use a number of the techniques and tools (Selection, Eraser, Deform, Straighten, Perspective Correction, Mesh Warp, and Clone tools) described in the previous lessons on learning PSP 9 (Lessons 6-9, and 11-16) to create a 3D flag picture and then a 3D room with the 3D Flag picture.

Download File Download File
The download contains two pictures: one of the boat/flag used in Lesson 7, and the other of a perspective barn wall picture used in Lesson 14. Either use the pictures already downloaded from doing those lessons or use the pictures in the zip file on the left. Unzip the file and load the images into your PSP program. Duplicate them (Window || Duplicate or Shift+D) and close the original pictures to preserve them.

The Tools We Will Use

Part 1:

  • The Selection, Freehand Selection, Magic Wand and Eraser tools (Lesson 6, Lesson 7, Lesson 8, and Lesson 11) and their various options are used to isolate the flag which is ultimately captured out of the main picture.

Part 2:

  • The Deform tool (Lesson 12) is used to create a perspective of the flag picture and the barn wall that will be used in the completed 3D Flag picture.
  • The Straighten tool (Lesson 13) is used to straighten a picture of the barn section to be able to extract an object (window) from it so that it is in the right perspective for the final picture.
  • The Perspective Correction tool (Lesson 14) is used to take a perspective picture (the barn) and straighten it so one is looking at it from the front rather than in perspective.
  • The Mesh Warp tool (Lesson 15) is used to fix the extracted window so that it appears in the correct perspective for the new picture.
  • The Clone tool (Lesson 16) is used to fix portions of the barn picture to create just a wood wall.

Techniques We Will Use

The techniques used are to first have an idea of the final picture to be created and select the photographs. In this tutorial we will explore two main approaches for creating the final picture of a wood house in which there is a window showing the ship/flag picture and a perspective wall with a picture frame of the ship/flag picture and the 3D flag.

We will extract the flag by selecting it or by erasing the background. We will then take the barn picture, straighten it a bit and use the Perspective Correction tool to straighten it for the correct perspective wanted. Next we will extract the window with its frame, again using techniques either of a selection or of using the Crop tool. Next we will fix the window (inside panes) using the Mesh Warp tool so they are in perspective. We will use the Clone tool to fix up the barn wall so no windows show from the original picture.

Finally, with the various parts needed for the final product, we create the 3D flag picture using the Deform tool, then the side barn wall also using the Deform tool, and create the back wall with a window showing the boat/flag in the background. We finish up the picture with some enhancements using other PSP features.


Part One

In Part 1 (this tutorial) we will work with the techniques to create a 3D flag picture. Mastering the basic techniques will allow one to then create very interesting 3D pictures from other photographs. In Part 2 we will then enhance the 3D flag picture by creating an inside barn wood scene to include the 3D flag picture.

Original flag picture

Extracting the Flag

Use either the approach described in Lesson 7 (Freehand Selection tool) or the approach described in Lesson 8 and Lesson 11 (Erasing the Background) to obtain a picture of just the flag on a transparent background. Often if you zoom into the picture it is easier to obtain a fairly accurate selection. When finished extracting the flag save it as a .psp or .pspimage file.

Flag extracted

Hint & Tip

One can remove most of the background using just the Eraser tool and leaving the object with just a little amount of the background surrounding it. Then use either approach to erase the rest of the background. Also, if one is familiar with how the 'Editing Selection' feature works, which creates a mask and then uses a Paint Brush to erase small sections around the object, after zooming into the picture, one can obtain a very accurate selection for the object.

Edit Selection

Edit Selection of the Freehand Selection

Using 'Edit Selection'

The 'Edit Selection' feature of PSP sets a mask which shows up as a transparent red area as illustrated on the left. Step one is first to have a selection. In this example I used the Freehand tool and drew a selection around the flag leaving some area around it. I then inverted the selection (Selection || Invert) and deleted that part of the picture. Finally, I set the 'Edit Selection' either by going to Selection || Edit Selection in the Menu bar or by clicking on the 'Edit Selection' button in the Layer palette.

Fine tuning of the Edit Selection

Fine Tuning the Selection

Using the Paint Brush tool with a Size of 10 (sometimes less and sometimes even at a value of 1), go around the flag and paint out the selection not wanted. However, first set your Materials palette with White in the Foreground (to add to the selection) and Black in the Background (to remove from the selection).

Zoom into the picture so you can see the edges of the flag more clearly. Carefully paint out the area you still want to delete around the flag. If you make a mistake either right-click to paint in an area or use the Undo function (Edit || Undo or Ctrl+Z). This process takes a fairly long time to complete but is worth it. If you have a stylus and pad, the process might be slightly easier as you can better control where to paint.

Extracting the Flag

When satisfied, either in the Layer palette or the Selection menu click on 'Edit Selection' again to remove the showing of the mask. Then you can use the Delete key to remove the parts of the picture not wanted. If not satisfied, undo until you get back to the mask and continue to edit the selection.

If you compare the two extracted flags in this tutorial you will find the one done with 'Edit Selection' is more sharply defined at its edges. You can soften the edges of the flag (object) by using Selection || Modify || Smooth and playing with the options, particularly 'Corner Scale', which usually is low for sharper corners.

Add a Frame

The 3D Technique

The basic technique of creating a 3D picture is to extract an object as we did the flag, then deform the main picture to give it a 3D perspective and then add the object to it. Often it is useful to put a border around the main picture. In this case I am using a frame. You can use a border or frame of your choice. I am using "Silver04" (Image || Picture Frame).

Deform Tool

Deformed Flag Picture

Deform the Picture

For deforming the picture, note which direction the object is moving. In this case the flag is flowing from right to left. Thus we will deform the left side of the picture to maintain correct perspective using the Deform tool. Make sure you first merge all layers (Layers || Merge || Merge All) so the frame and picture can be deformed together.

Grab either the top left or the bottom left node, hold the Ctrl key down so both corners will deform uniformly, and drag towards the center of the picture (up or down). You will refine the deformation as you go along with this process.

Then, grab the left middle node and pull to the right creating the perspective for the picture. You may need to alternately grab the top left corner (or bottom left corner) node and the middle corner node to get a perspective you like.


Move Tool     Deform Tool

Add the Flag

Add The Flag

Copy the flag-only picture (Edit || Copy or Ctrl+C). Then in the deformed flag picture, add the flag as a new layer (Edit || Paste || Paste As New Layer or Ctrl+L). You will need to use the Move tool to move the flag and the picture so you can get the flag over the picture in a correct perspective fashion. You might have to use the Deform tool on the flag to make it slightly smaller and/or to rotate it slightly. Just experiment until you get the perspective wanted.

You could also make a background for this picture (solid color, textured, an ocean, or of choice) and have a finished 3D picture. We will be using this picture in our final effect in Part 2 later, so we will just keep it as a .psp or .pspimage file for now, showing the transparent background.


We have now finished the basic techniques for creating a 3D picture. At this point one could just finish off the picture by adding a background and if wanted to enhance the image with other options such as a frame or border or other enhancements of choice.

Since I want to illustrate additional ways to use various tools in creating 3D perspective, I will just be using the 3D flag on its transparent background. In Part 2 we will will cover additional steps to create a final picture of a 3D room with the 3D flag picture.