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Simple Vector Clipart (1)
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Simple Vector Clipart (1)
Created by:Doro Sensen

With the vector tools and features of Paint Shop Pro, you can easily make your own clipart [and don't need to bother about copyright anymore when using them on your web page! :-)]. In this tutorial we will use both the Line tools (single line, Bezier curve, freehand line) and the Preset-Shape tool for creating some simple clipart.

Standard Toolbar - New (image) button
Open a new image:
Width = 400
Height = 400
Background = white
Image type = 16.7 Million Colors
Styles

Lock

Set both your foreground and background style to Solid Color (click on the little arrows in the style boxes and choose the little brush icon on the left), then click right into the style boxes and set black for your foreground and white for your background colour.

Set both your foreground and background texture to None. Now check the "Lock" option under your Texture Style boxes since we'll use these colour settings nearly throughout the tutorial.


Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool
Click on the Preset-Shapes tool in your tool palette:
Shape Type = Rectangle
Retain Style = unchecked
Antialias = unchecked (so your clipart won't be jaggy)
Create as vector = checked
Line width = 1
Line Style = Default line

Now just draw one big rectangle for the house, and some smaller ones for the door and some windows.

Change the shape type to Triangle, and draw one for your roof; for this, begin at the top left corner of your house (1), draw the mouse to the top right corner of the house (2) and then down the wall (3) until you have the shape of your roof.

Then take it at the center handle with the mouse and drag it upwards where it belongs.

Change to Rectangle again, and draw a smaller rectangle for your chimney.

Tool Palette - (vector) Object Selector tool With the chimney still selected, click on your Vector Object Selection tool, then right-click on the chimney and choose Arrange || Send to Bottom from the context menu.
Click somewhere in the picture to deselect; the lower portion of the chimney is now hidden behind the roof.

Tool Palette - Drawing tool
For the smoke that comes out of the chimney, we'll now use one of the Drawing tools. Click on the Drawing tool in your tool palette:
Type = Freehand Line
Width = 1
Line Style = Default line
Antialias = unchecked
Create as vector = checked
Close path = unchecked
Side note: For the Freehand Line, the "Curve tracking" option on tab 2 of the Option Tools palette is important. The higher this value, the more are your lines straightened out after drawing (on the left side what I draw, on the right side the results). Just try out the different values some time!
For now, leave the default value of 10. Change your background style to None (click on the little arrow in the Background Style box and choose the icon on the right) and draw a shape for the smoke on top of the chimney.
Tool Palette - (vector) Object Selector tool Then, with the smoke still selected, click on the Vector Object Selection tool in your tool palette and either click on the "Node Edit" button in your Tool Options palette or right-click on your smoke object and choose "Node Edit" from the context menu.
You can now edit the smoke shape to your liking, just take the nodes with your mouse and draw them where you want them to be. New nodes can be added by pressing the Ctrl key and clicking on the line. When you have finished node-editing, right-click again and choose "Quit Node Editing" from the context menu.
Tool Palette - Drawing tool Now we want to hang up some curtains in the windows. Click on the Drawing Tool in the tool palette, and change the Type to "Bezier".
With the Bezier curve, you can draw really nicely curved lines. First, draw a simple line from point A to point B. Now, to get the curtain curved a bit, click on point C, then click on point D, hold the left mouse button and draw the original line to a curve you like. Do this for all the curtains you want to have in the windows. (And remember you can always go to node editing when it doesn't work out right away!)
Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool Now there's only the door-knob missing; click on the Preset-Shapes tool in your tool palette and change the Type to "Ellipse". Keep the Shift key pressed and draw a small circle as the knob on the door.

You've just finished your first vector clipart. Save it in the .psp format in a folder for your own clipart, so you can both edit the single vector objects and resize your clipart without a loss of quality at any time.

To copy it into other pictures, activate your Vector Object Selection tool, right-click on the picture and choose "Select All" from the context menu, right-click again and choose "Copy". You can now paste only the house (without all the white space around it) as a layer or a selection into another picture.

You can also change the antialias setting if you want to (and if it fits for the picture you want to use your clipart in): if you have chosen "Select All" from the context menu, just click on the "Properties" button in your Tool Option palette (or right-click again and choose "Properties" from the context menu), where you can check the Antialias option.

With PSP 7, you can even colorize your clipart by changing the style and texture properties in this dialog box. If you want to use filters and effects for it, however, you have to convert it to a raster layer first: Right-click on the vector layer in your layer palette and choose "Convert to Raster Layer".

In part 2 of this tutorial we'll draw a nice, smiling sun!