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Plastic, Stone and Straw Effects

Plastic, Stone and Straw Effects Created by: Prof  


In this tutorial, we finish exploring the Texture Effects by looking at the Soft Plastic, Polished Stone and Straw Wall Effects. These effects like others before it are specialty effects that create some very interesting results.

The outcome of these effects are somewhat dependent upon the type of image or photograph used. Often the more colorful images will produce more striking effects from these textures.

These textures are found on the context menu when one uses Effects || Texture Effects || .....

As with many of the textures, the options and their values are similar with these three effects. Thus, rather than discussing the options and their effects, I will just illustrate various presets, option values and have you just explore changing the values on your own.

Often, values that are low will produce very nice effects but there are times when values at maximum produce some striking effects. So, as with any new effect, explore it, start with the presets, then play with the values and change the values by values of 1 to see how different settings produce different results.

Download the attachments for this tutorial  Download File 

Angle Picture


We will use the same download as in the previous tutorial of the 'Angel'. (We will also use a canvas we create with both a gradient and a kaleidoscope effect. Using these two images we will use similar values on each to illustrate how these three effects produces some striking effects.)

Load the Angel Image into PSP. Then 'Duplicate' it -
Window || Duplicate [Shift+D]. Close the Original to save it. Then, on your Canvas, 'Duplicate' the Layer.


Radial Gradient Pattern


Set up the basic Canvas

  • 300 x 300 Pixels, White, 16 M Colors
  • Promote the Background to a Layer
  • Set Styles Foreground to a Gradient (Right Arrow and Second from Left Icon)
    • Click on the Styles Box and set Style = Radial Gradient (bottom icon).
    • Click in the Gradient Box and select the Cyan-Magenta-Yellow Gradient.
    • Horizontal and Vertical = 50
    • Repeats = 13
    • Invert Gradient = Unchecked
    • Click on 'OK'
  • Flood Fill Canvas with this gradient

Kaliedoscope Pattern

Set the Kaleidoscope Pattern

  • Use Effects || Reflection Effects || Kaleidoscope ...
    • Horizontal and Vertical offsets = 0
    • Rotation Angle = 0
    • Scale Factor = 0
    • Number of Petals = 8
    • Number of Orbits = 0
    • Radial Suction = 90
    • Click on OK
  • Repeat the Kaleidoscope Pattern again with no change in values.
  • Duplicate this Layer



In the rest of this tutorial I will just give you various values for an 'Effect'. The Options are similar for each of the three 'Effects' we are exploring. Some illustrations will use the 'Preset Values' while others will use other values. Explore on your own changing the values to see how they produce different effects, sometimes very striking outcomes.

I will illustrate the effect on both the download image (Angle) and on the Kaleidoscope Canvas so you are able to see how two different images display the same effect.





Polished Stone Effect

Kaleidoscope Canvas -- Custom Values

  • Blur = 4
  • Detail = 175
  • Polishing = 20
  • Angle = 0
  • Color = Dark Yellow (64,64,0)

Polished Stone Effect - Default

Polished Stone Effect - Custom

The Angel Picture -- Default Preset

  • On the Angel Picture, use the Default Setting (Click on the Default button at the bottom right).

  • Then Use these Values:
    • Blur = 4
    • Detail = 13
    • Polishing = 20
    • Angle = 0
    • Color = White

On the images, experiment with other values. The 'Detail' value increased to maximum, 'Polishing' and 'Blur' at a low value create interesting effects. The key to learning this effect is to try it on various images and experiment with the values. You will find some unique outcomes.

Also, consider adding a border, or a bevel (frame) or a picture frame to your end result to enhance the image.


Glass Mosaic Effect

An Example Using Layers and Mode Options

An interest result is to duplicate an image and then exploring the Mode Options on different layers. Here is one example using the Angle Picture with the Last set of values given above.

  • Duplicate the image twice so that you have three layers the same.
  • Then Set these Mode Options for each of the layers.
    • Top Layer set to 'Difference'
    • Middle Layer set to 'Dodge'
    • Bottom Layer set to 'Burn'
Experimenting with different features of PSP on an image often can produce some fascinating results.




Kaliedoscope - Soft Plastic Default

Kaleidoscope Canvas with Default Values


Angel - Soft Plastic Default

Angel Canvas with Default Values

Notice how this Soft Plastic Default Effect is similar to the Polished Stone Effect. The difference is that there are more ridges in the Soft Plastic Effect.


Kaliedoscope - Soft Plastic Custom Values

Kaleidoscope Canvas with Custom Values

  • Blur = 9
  • Detail = 3
  • Density = 11
  • Angel = 315
  • Color = White
  • Click on Ok

Very interesting effects are able to be achieved by using very low values particularly for Detail. Often with Detail set to a value of 3 you achieve a very light colored effect.


Angel - Soft Plastic Custom Values

Angel Canvas with Custom Values

  • Blur = 9
  • Detail = 3
  • Density = 11
  • Angel = 315
  • Color = Light Green (192, 255, 192)
  • Click on Ok

Another very interesting effect and in this set of custom values I used a different color which changes the colors very subtly in the canvas. Often pastel colors work best.

Also notice the striking difference between a Detail Value of 3 and 4.


Angel - Soft Plastic Custom Values

An Interesting Texture Effect

We will use the Angel Canvas and use Custom Values:

  • Blur = 100
  • Detail = 3
  • Density = 21
  • Angel = 45
  • Color = White
  • Click on Ok

Explore various values. Try setting them to maximum. Set Detail to low value and Density and Blur to a mid value. The outcome is often related to the type of image used. If you try the same values on each of these two images, there are differences due to both the colors used and the complexity of the curves.




The Straw Wall Effect creates a most interesting texture on an image. As is true of many of the Textures, the outcome is dependent upon the type of image used. Also, the values used will create from subtle to exaggerated effects. And, as with the Textures, exploring the Presets and playing with the Options will provide the best experience.

The examples here, like above, will give you an idea of how this effect works. And, one Tip is that when a pattern is symmetrical such as the kaleidoscope image, when these textures are applied, the image is also able to be used as a background image that is seamless. So, at some point take some time to see how to use these particular images as background tiles.


Kaliedoscope -- Preset Custom 1

Kaleidoscope Image -- Using Preset of Custom 1

  • Start with a fresh copy of the Kaleidoscope pattern.
  • Apply the Straw Wall Preset of Custom 1.
  • Click on OK
Tip: If you use this image as a background image, it will tile seamlessly.

Angel -- Preset Custom 1

Angel Image -- Using Preset of Custom 1

  • Start with a fresh copy of the Angel image.
  • Apply the Straw Wall Preset of Custom 1.
  • Click on OK

Some Examples

We will explore some techniques to include using Layers and Mode values.

  • Begin with a new fresh angle image.
  • Duplicate the layer (ending up with two layer)
  • On the Top Layer, Use the Straw Wall Effect to create a glass like effect:
    • Color = White
    • Angel = 315
    • Blur = 25
    • Density = 52
    • Length = 2
    • Width = 2
    • Transparency = 254
    • Click on Ok

  • Set this top Layer Mode to 'Difference'

Now, just explore the various effects and using various layers with different mode options. There are many endless possibilities with these effects.


An Illustration

This image started with the Straw Wall effect as given in the last example. It was duplicated and then using a feathering technique an oval selection was made and then cutout.

This oval section was then placed above an original image. The oval layer was duplicated a number of times with each layer having a different mode value.

Then, the image was flattened, and the photo enhancement effects were used. The final enhancement used Eye Candy 4000 with the glass effect.

Exploring various PSP effects and their options, one is often able to create very unique and interesting results.

Have fun and enjoy. This lesson concludes our exploring of the 'Texture' Effects. Next week we will begin with the Geometric Effects.

-- Prof --