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Sculpture Effects Created by: Prof  


Using the 'Sculpture Effect' [Effects || Texture Effects || Sculpture] creates a sculptured effect on images and photographs. Learning to use this PSP feature will provide one with endless hours of creative paintings. In addition to giving images depth, the 'Sculpture Effect' also is a way to create many unique frames. This tutorial will provide you with the basic techniques.

Download the attachments for this tutorial  Download Files 

The download is the photograph I am using in this tutorial.



We will first quickly explore creating background images and give them a sculptured effect. Then, we will work with photographs and finish up with creating Frames.


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Begin with a new image:
– Width = 300 pixels
– Height = 300 pixels
– Resolution = 72 Pixel/inch
– Background = White
– Image type = 16.7 Million Colors



Open Effects || Texture Effects || Sculpture so we can explore the patterns and options. Move the Sculpture window away from your canvas to be able to see both at the same time.

Note how the Sculpture Window is the same as
the Texture window except for the 'Patterns'.

As with any new 'Effect', explore the Presets.

As you explore them, notice how the various options are used (values). Also, note that like most effects, you need to work with a layer (so if your canvas is a 'background', Promote it to a Layer).

Note: There are 9 Presets.

However, there are 60 patterns to choose from. Thus, the more you use an effect and explore various options, the more you develop ideas for using the effect in creative ways.

Woodgrain Preset

Let's begin by briefly exploring the various options.

– Use the 'Drift Wood' (Pattern #18) with these values:
– Smoothness = 0
– Depth = 1
– Ambience = 0
– Shininess = 0
– Color = White
– Angle = 315
– Intensity = 50
– Elevation = 30
– Click on Ok


These basic values often are the ones to begin any exploration of creating a 'Sculptured Effect'. Then, vary the values. Often, the 'Smoothness' and 'Depth' values will create the sculptured effect while the other values create the lighting and shadow effects of the overall image. The best teacher is to just explore these options at your leisure as your create images.


The Basic Sculpture Technique - Background Tiles

1. On a layer, set the Sculpture Pattern of Choice (as we have done above).
2. Repeat the 'Sculptured Effect' a Second Time.
3. If you like the result, you are set.
4. Otherwise, start using the Options and vary their values.
5. Begin with 'Depth', then 'Smoothness'.
6. Also, explore different 'Size' values as well as Angles and the Intensity and Elevation values.
7. On occasion, you will want to try a different color that 'White' to create a different colored sculptured effect.

Many of the 'Sculpture Patterns' are able to be used as seamless background tiles for web pages. You might use them without creating a sculptured effect or you might try them with some subtle changes in the depth value. (As a background tile, the smoothness value will tend to create a bevel and will not tile in a seamless fashion.)

Example #1    Example #2
Example #1            Example #2

Example #1    Example #2
Example #3            Example #4


Example #1: The Original values as above repeated -- The Basic Technique which produces a sculptured effect, though subtle in this example.

2. Example #2: Apply 'Sculpture' with these values -- Smoothness = 20, Depth = 10 and Shininess = 20

3. Example #3: Apply 'Sculpture' with values in #2 but increase Smoothness = 40.

4. Example #4: Apply these values for a colored Sculpture Effect -- Smoothness = 100, Depth = 50, Ambience = 0,
-- Shininess = 40, Color = Tan (232,216,196), Angle = 315,
-- Intensity = 31, Elevation = 64.

Photo of Horses

Sculpture Effects and Photographs

The photo I am using is a winter scene in the woods with two horses at a stream. You may use any photograph of your choice. The examples used will give you the basic techniques for creating Sculptured Images from photographs.

Tip: When using the 'Sculpture' Effect on a photograph you will want to keep your values set low, though experiment to see how different values change the appearance of the image.

Photo of Horses - Driftwood Sketch #1
Click on image for full size.

Driftwood Sketching

Creating a sketch on drift wood or an image that appears like a wood burning outline of a scene is very easy with the 'Sculpture Effect'. Use these values (though you ought to experiment with others as well.):

– Pattern = Drift Wood (#18)
– Smoothness and Ambience = 0
– Depth = 15
– Shininess = 40
– Color = Tan (232,216,196)
– Angle = 315
– Intensity = 31
– Elevation = 64
– Click on Ok

Then to see the etching raised just change the Angle = 135. Click Here to see that image full size.

Photo of Horses - Dead Wood Sketch #2
Click on image for full size.

Dead Wood Sketching

Another Sketching:

– Pattern = Dead Wood (#15)
– Smoothness = 5
– Depth = 15
– Ambience = 10 – Shininess = 40
– Color = Tan (224,192,146)
– Angle = 135
– Intensity = 31
– Elevation = 64
– Click on Ok

Photo of Horses - Copper Sketch #3
Click on image for full size.

Copper Sketching

In this example, use the 'Copper' Sculpture Preset with these changes: Smoothness = 5 and Depth = 5. (If you want a relief effect change the Angle = 135.)



Frame Selection

Create Frames with the Sculpture Effect

Using the 'Sculpture Effect, one is able to spend endless and exciting hours creating Frames for use with other images. In this final set of steps, I will show you a basic technique for using the 'Patterns' to create a Frame.

Begin with a new Canvas, 300 x 300 pixels, Transparent, 16M Colors. (Note: All Frames, to be saved, must be on a single layer with a transparent background.)
– Use the Selection Tool set to Rectangle
– Double click again on the Selection Tool
– Set Left and Top values = 20
– Set Right and Bottom values = 280
– Use Selections || Invert
– Flood Fill selection with White
– Deselect [Control+D]

mahogany Frame

mahogany Frame

Use the 'Mahogoney' Preset with Ambience = 40.

Then, Use the same Sculpture a second time.

That approach is all there is to creating Frames with the Sculpture Effect. Just try different patterns as well as different values for the options.

The more you increase 'Smoothness' the rounder the frame becomes as well as to soften the sculpture effect when 'Depth' is increased.

Also, you could try this approach using a circle rather than a square or rectangle frame.

Another option is to first use 'Textures' on the frame and then use 'Sculpture'. You will find if you keep Depth at low values, you can obtain very interesting results.

Another option is to use the 3D Effects || Bevel Effect to create a bevel on the frame before you use sculpture.

Explore, experiment and have fun. -- Prof --



To view my Sculpture Paintings click here.