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Photo Manipulation (1): Wheels Re-invented!
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Photo Manipulation (1): Wheels Re-invented!
Created by: StellaB

Wheels Re-invented!

In this tutorial we will use the Selection tool to copy and paste part of a photograph, use Adjustment effects to blur and soften as well as to sharpen. We will make tubes and create borders. I have tried to make it simple so anyone can do it even without much experience of PSP.

I first did this as a challenge with the subject 'Wheels' which is why I called it 'Wheels Re-invented!'. I will show you how to do it.

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Let's start with one of my photos taken at a Maize Farm in Sussex. You can get it from the download on the left. This zip file also contains two .pspimage pictures that are used at the end of the tutorial.
Open Image

Open "/tutorial/html/tutphoto/photomanip1_dl.jpg" from your download file and duplicate it with Window || Duplicate (Shift+D). Close the original.

Selection Tool

First we need to isolate a wheel. Use the Selection tool, set at:
– Selection type = Circle
– Mode = Replace
– Feather = 0
– Anti-alias = checked

Begin with the cursor in the centre of the right wheel. Hold down the left mouse button and drag from the centre until you have the circle around the perimeter of the wheel.

The wheel isolated

To create a new image of the wheel go to Edit || Copy (Ctrl+C), then to Edit || Paste || Paste As New Image (Ctrl+V). Leave the new image of the wheel aside for now or minimise it.

Because the left wheel is not quite circular we shall use the right one twice, later. You may, if you wish, copy the left wheel as well as the right one but you will find that the centre is not quite in the centre of the hub, so its not so easy!

The photo blurred

Return to the main picture and deselect with Selections || Select None (Ctrl+D). We're now going to make the photograph out of focus using Blur and Softness, and this may take several applications to get it how you want it.

Go to the Adjust || Blur and/or to Adjust || Softness. Experiment by applying any combination of these in succession, but I found that Gaussian Blur set at a Radius of 7.00 gave me the result I was looking for. You can use the Undo command/button as many times as you wish!

The wheel sharpened

Now we are going to deal with the wheels, so activate the wheel image. We'll use an Adjust effect again: This time go to Adjust || Sharpness || Unsharp Mask set at:
– Radius = 2
– Strength = 100
– Clipping = 10

Click on OK. The details on the wheels are much clearer now.


Move Tool

The wheel replaced

You should have your Layer palette open. Take the layer of your wheel image (Raster 1) with your mouse, drag it from your Layer palette and drop it onto the photograph. It will automatically align to the centre. Now use the Move tool and place the wheel back where it came from, over the out-of-focus wheel.

Do the same with the left wheel. If you prefer it to be a bit smaller reduce its size before returning it. My wheel image was 350 x 350 pixels and I reduced it to 345 x 345. To do this go to Image || Resize and set:
– Width = 345
– Height = 345 (if 'Lock aspect ratio' is checked then this will be
– Resize all layers = unchecked

Keep the wheel image in the background of your workspace or minimise it.

The framed photograph

To add a border go to Image || Add Borders. Make sure 'Symmetric' is checked. Now put in 50 (pixels) for any side and all 4 will change together. Here are 2 different ways you can choose a colour for your border:

  1. Left-click on the colour rectangle and the colour palette will appear. Select whatever colour you like.
  2. Click on any colour in the photo to make the border compliment it – avoid brown and other dark colours! You'll see why in a minute.

When you have chosen a colour you like click on OK and a border of your chosen colour will appear around the photo.


Now return to your wheel picture, we're going to make a tube from it: Go to File || Export || Picture Tube. In the Export Picture Tube dialog window, select these settings:
– Cell arrangement = all 1
– Placement mode = Continuous
– Step size = 400
– Selection mode = Incremental
– Tube name = Wheel (or your own choice of labelling)

Click on OK, it will save as a .PspTube file.


Picture Tube Tool

Select the Picture Tube tool. View your tube icons in the drop-down menu in the Tool Options palette and find your new tube. Click on it. The settings you gave your new tube should be repeated in the palette. You just need to change the Scale to the lowest setting of 10.

Corner with first wheel tube

Finished framed picture!

Click once in any corner of your new picture border, half-way between the two points of the border. This will give you one small wheel. Holding down the Shift key click in another corner (not the one diagonally opposite). This will give a line of wheels. If they don't quite reach the end, click again. Continue around the border until you get to where you started.

To finish off, put another border of 20 pixels round the outside. I used brown like the wheels. You can choose your own colour.

Now it's finished – Congratulations!

You can now resize your photo and save it as a .jpg if you want (Image || Resize. For a web page, the width can be whatever suits your web page up to about 700 pixels although a bit smaller is better.)

Wagon with flower wheels!

The wagon with ball wheels!

Here's where we can have some fun!

Let's change the wheels completely by replacing them with something else that's round. I used a flower and a ball. The flower tube I made myself from a photograph I took and the ball is from PSP Tubes. I am including them both in the downloads in case you wish to use them (photomanip1-dl2.pspimage is the flower image, and photomanip1-dl3.pspimage is the ball image). Save the downloads as tubes in the same way as you saved the wheels. When you use the tubes you may have to adjust the size to fit the wheels.

You can use any round objects, like coins, plates, or even dustbin lids! Use whatever you like to decorate or replace the wheels. Use your imagination and ingenuity. Do play around with the idea. Have FUN!

You don't have to make the rest of the photo out of focus for this.