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Vector Graphics Pt 2 - Basic Shape Cat
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Vector Graphics
Part 2
Basic Shape Cat
Created by: Ron Lacey


Thank you to Ron Lacey who has graciously donated this tutorial to the PSPUG to be used in our Study Sessions. We have agreed to not modify the contents of his tutorial in any way. The only changes that were made were those necessary to adapt his tutorial (originally written for PSP 6) for use with PSP 7.

First off start PSP and open a new image of a size that works best for your monitor and resolution. You can resize your vector objects later if necessary so use a size that's easy to work with and will leave you enough room to move objects around and park them off to the side occasionally. The background is up to you but I suggest white, I find it less distracting than colours or the transparency checkerboard but the choice is yours. Of course it can be changed later if you want.

Now set your styles to Solid Color, your foreground colour to black and your background colour to anything you like, that colour will be the colour of your shape cat. Now click on the Shape tool button and set the tool palette options as in the image below.

You are now ready to make your first ellipse, place it so it sits in the lower center of the image. If it's created out of place just select it and grab the center handle and move it. Now change your background colour to something lighter for his belly and make another ellipse, smaller this time and place it into the first. Good, that'll be your shape cat's body. Easy eh?

Change your background colour back to the original and make some more ellipses to look something like the image below, do the back legs first and the frontlegs last, the head doesn't matter, that way they'll be in the right order. Your cat now has legs and a head.

Now you're ready to make his front paws. You don't have to make little tiny paws, make them big in a blank area of the image, no sense straining your eyes. Make them out of four ellipses as in the image below, be sure to create the foot first and the middle toe last this way they'll be in the right order. Now using the vector selection tool either surround the entire foot by dragging the mouse over it or click on each ellipse while holding down the shift key. This will select the entire paw and you can now grab one of the corner handles and make it the appropriate size dragging with the right mouse key so you'll preserve the aspect ratio. Now grab the paw by the center handle and drag it over to one of the front legs. While the paw is still selected click "edit" "copy" (ctrl+c) and then "edit" "paste" "as new vector selection" (ctrl+g). You've just cloned your paw, just move the mouse cursor to the cat's other leg and click to drop the paw.

Next the snout, you will want to change your background colour again. Just make an ellipse shape and place it as in the image below. Okay now it's starting to look like a real shape cat or maybe more like Homer Simpson.

Time for the eyes. We'll work big again and resize after like we did with the paw. Set your background to white and make another ellipse shape. Now change your colour to a suitable eyeball colour and make a smaller rounder ellipse shape like below. Now, changing your background back to white make the highlight inside the eyeball. If you haven't created the eyeball inside the eye select it and move it there. Select and copy the whole thing and then paste as vector selection and you have your two eyes, Select both and resize them and place them in position on your shape cat's head.

For the mouth and nose we'll use triangle shapes with settings as below; set your foreground style to None for this as we only need the black fill. Join them and select and resize as you did with the eyes and drag them over to your cat.

And Voila


Now on to the next step, node-editing, where your shape cat will really get his personality.