. 7
( 11)


Gradient, or Pattern. Details follow!

Gradient paint
Figure 10-7:
Clicking the Plain paint
Style button
(pointed out
by the
gives you
these three

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Choosing gradients
Click the Foreground (or Background) Properties box on the Color palette.
The Material Properties dialog box appears. Click the Gradient (center) tab in
this dialog box and you see what™s shown in Figure 10-8.

Here™s what to do:

1. Choose a gradient style by clicking one of the buttons in the Style area
that appears on the right side of the Gradient dialog box (refer to
Figure 10-8).
Each button depicts a different kind of gradient: from side to side, from
center to edges in a rectangular or circular fashion, or proceeding radi-
ally around in a circle. The Preview box on the left then displays a gradi-
ent in your chosen style.
2. Click the down-arrow button to the right of the Preview box and
choose from the ultrafabulous gallery of gradients that appears.
The colors of all choices are prechosen, except for those that use the
terms foreground and background. Those choices make use of whatever
foreground or background colors are current at the time you paint with
this gradient. Click your choice.
3. Customize the angle or center of the gradient by dragging the control
in the Preview window.

Figure 10-8:
Making the
grade with
Click the
down arrow
the preview
box to open
a gallery of
you can use.

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Gradients in the linear style (Linear is the leftmost button in the Style
column) have an angle setting. In the preview window, drag the gadget
that looks like the hand on a clock to set the angle.
Gradients in other styles have a center point. In the Preview window,
drag the crosshairs to set the center point.
4. Make the gradient pattern repeat several times, if you want.
Increase the number in the Repeats value box.
5. Click OK.
Your chosen gradient appears in the Properties box that you originally
clicked (Foreground or Background) on the Materials palette.

Creating gradients in your choice of colors is easy, although not many pat-
terns are available for that purpose. Choose a foreground or background
color or both as the one or two colors for your gradient. In the gradient
gallery, choose any gradient you like that uses the term foreground or

Creating your own gradient patterns is possible, as is altering the existing
ones, but ” wow! It™s definitely not a Dummies kind of project. If you want to
fool around with the controls, click the Edit button on the Gradient tab in the
Material Properties dialog box to access the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Whoa! Have fun; try dragging the little pointers around, and good luck.

Painting with gradients
Gradients fill a painted area with a series of colors. When you paint with a
gradient by using the Text, Draw, or Preset Shapes tools, or fill with a selec-
tion by using the Flood Fill tool, Paint Shop Pro scales the gradient to fit
within the object you have created or area you have selected. For example,
to apply to the sky in your photo a sunset-like gradient from blue to orange,
select the sky and use the Flood Fill tool. Paint Shop Pro ensures that the full
range of colors (blue to orange) fills the sky area. Or, if you create text and
use a gradient style, the text displays the full range of colors.

If you paint with the Paint Brush or Air Brush tool, however, the gradient is
scaled to the entire image. If you paint with a sunset-like blue-to-orange gradi-
ent, anything painted near the top of the image is blue and anything near the
bottom is orange.

Choosing patterns
Patterns are interesting surface images, like brick or wood, or other more
exotic or creative patterns not found in nature. Their colors are fixed, like
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those in a photograph, and are unaffected by your choice of foreground or
background color. The patterns that come with Paint Shop Pro are seamless,
which means that they can maintain an unbroken pattern and fill any area
without appearing like tiles (with distinct edges). The process of choosing a
pattern is much like choosing a gradient.

Click the Foreground (or Background) Properties box on the Color palette,
and in the Material Properties dialog box that appears, select the Pattern tab.
The Pattern tab slightly resembles the Gradient tab, as shown in Figure 10-8,
but it™s not as complicated. A box on the Gradient tab shows a preview of the
selected pattern.

With the pattern tab of the Material Properties dialog box displayed, follow
these steps:

1. Click the down-arrow button to the right of the preview box and
choose from the boffo gallery of patterns that appears.
The preview box now shows your choice.
2. Customize the angle of the pattern by dragging the clock-hand Angle
control to point in any direction.
3. Click OK.
Your chosen pattern appears in the Material box.

To apply a pattern to an existing image, try the Sculpture effect and set its
Depth control to 1. We describe artistic effects and how to use them in
Chapter 13.

Applying a Texture
Textures give a result like rubbing chalk on concrete, or like spraying ink on
your body and rolling on the floor. (Let us know if you try this latter activity ”
and send us a copy.) Paint Shop Pro supplies a variety of textures, such as con-
crete, construction paper, and bricks. When you use one, anything you do with
the Paint Brush, Erase, Airbrush, Fill, Text, Draw, or Preset Shapes tools dis-
plays that texture. Textures don™t change your choice of color and they work
with any style: solid color, gradients, or patterns.

You can apply texture to either the foreground material, the background
material, or both; you can turn textures on or off by clicking the texture
button on the Materials palette (the middle of three tiny buttons under the
Foreground or Background Properties box.)

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Or, you can use the Material Properties dialog box that pops up whenever
you click the Foreground (or Background) Properties box. Texture is nor-
mally turned off (disabled). To use a texture, follow these steps:

1. On the Materials palette, click the Foreground (or Background)
Properties box.
Figure 10-9 shows the dialog box that appears. Regardless of whether
the Material Properties dialog box is asking for color, gradient, or pat-
tern, the texture information is always on the right side.

Figure 10-9:
The Texture
controls are
always on
the right
side of the
dialog box.

2. If the Texture check box isn™t checked, check it.
Or, alternatively, if you don™t want texture right now, uncheck it.
3. Click the down-arrow button to the right of the texture sample.
A gallery of textures appears, as shown in Figure 10-10. Scroll down the
gallery to find a texture you like.
4. Click the texture you want in the gallery.
The gallery disappears and the sample area of the Texture dialog box
shows your chosen texture.
5. Customize the angle or scale of the texture by dragging the controls in
the Preview window.
Textures have an angle setting that allows you to spin it around to point
in any direction you want them to face. In the Preview window, drag the
gadget that looks like the hand on a clock to set the angle.
You can also make the texture larger or smaller by typing different per-
centages in the Scale box; you can shrink the texture to a tiny 10 percent
of its normal size or swell it to a massive 250 percent.

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Figure 10-10:
A gallery of
textures to

6. Click OK in the Material Properties dialog box.
The Foreground or Background Properties box you originally clicked dis-
plays your chosen texture, laid over the top of any colors, gradients, or
patterns you have selected.

Now, anything you create or erase appears textured.

Paint Shop Pro remembers the last texture you used ” so even if you stop
using a texture, all you have to do click the appropriate Material box to bring
up this dialog box again and then click the check box to reenable it.

Texture thins your paint
When you use texture, paint goes on thin (with Texture option and, on the Tool Options palette,
low opacity) with each click or stroke. Make set the Opacity option to 100 to erase fully in a
repeated strokes or scribble with your paint tool single stroke.
to build up the thickness.
When you use texture with the Fill tool, make
Do likewise for the eraser: Only a thin layer of repeated clicks if you need to increase the
paint comes off with each pass. Disable the opacity.

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Storing Swatches to Use Again
After you have done all your texturing and gradienting and coloring, some-
times you don™t want to have to re-create it all again the next day. The
Swatches tab in the Materials box also provides a place to store swatches of
material to save the colors and patterns you want to use repeatedly.

To see these swatches, click the Swatch tab on the Materials palette. It™s the
third tab, with the checkerboard icon, and looks like Figure 10-11.

A swatch is a combination of a color and any effects, like textures or patterns,
that you have applied to them. It™s still a material even if you haven™t applied
any textures or patterns to the color.

To save a swatch, follow these steps:

1. Click the Properties box of the material you want to save ” fore-
ground or background.
The Material Properties dialog box appears.
2. Click the Add to Swatches button.
This step displays a dialog box in which you™re asked to name your col-
orful creation. Name it as you like, and then click OK.

Your material is now stored on the Swatches tab, ready to be accessed when-
ever you want. Click OK if you™re done using the Material Properties dialog box.

Alternatively, if you™re not as nearsighted as we are, you can click the tiny
Create New Swatch button instead. It™s the second button on the Swatches
tab of the Materials palette, just under all the swatches. We would reproduce
it here, but it would look just as blobby as it does in real life.

Figure 10-11:
tab ”
swatch this
space for

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Using a Stored Material
Using a stored material is so easy that you can do it in two clicks. Of course,
if you have a number of swatches, sorting through them all can be cumber-
some. Follow these steps:

1. Select the Swatches tab on the Materials palette, as shown in
Figure 10-11, in the preceding section.
2. If you need to narrow the number of available swatches in order to
find one, left-click the View button of the Swatches tab and hold the
button down.
A drop-down menu appears, where you can choose one of four options:
all swatches, colors only, gradients only, or patterns only. Choosing one
hides all others until you change the view.
To find out more about each swatch, hover the cursor over the swatch; a
small, informational pop-up message appears, giving you the name of
the swatch in question, the RGB numbers, the types of textures in the
swatch, and the names of the gradients and patterns used.
3. Click the swatch you want to use.
Left-click it if you want it to be in the Foreground Properties; right-click if
you want it to be in the Background Material box. Whatever tool you use
next is now loaded up with that swatch™s material.

Deleting a Stored Material
Deleting a swatch is so easy that it™s scandalous we™re getting paid to tell you
how to do it (don™t worry ” writing the rest of this chapter was darned hard

1. Select the swatch you want to delete.
Remember that you can sort through the swatches if you need to hunt
one down, as discussed in the preceding section.
2. Click the Delete button on the Swatches tab.

Using Pastiches of Pictures
Imagine a paint tube that, rather than contain paint, is crammed with images
that pour out as you squeeze the tube. You now have a good mental image of

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the Paint Shop Pro Picture Tube tool. Paint Shop Pro comes with a gallery of
tubes to use.

Each tube contains a set of images on a particular theme. For example, you
can squeeze out a set of airplanes, butterflies, billiard balls, or coins. Each
individual image in a tube is different. Figure 10-12 shows an illustration that
uses two tubes: various blades of grass and many raindrops.

Picture tubes have several purposes. They can serve as

A source of clip art on various themes
Brushes for interesting textures and shapes, such as grass, fire, or
3-dimensional tubes
Creative painting tools that are sensitive to your brush strokes

Basic tubing
Picture tubing is fundamentally easy. You choose what kind of pictures you
want and click or drag the picture tube across the image. Here are the details:

1. Click the Picture Tube tool (as shown in the margin) on the toolbar.
You may have to wait when you first choose this tool because Paint
Shop Pro loads its cache with pictures. A Cache Status box may briefly

Figure 10-12:
Grazing in a
marsh on a
foggy dawn.
It™s five
minutes of
thanks to
the Picture
Tube™s lawn,
grass, and

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192 Part III: Painting Pictures

2. Choose which picture set you want from the Tool Options palette.
A sample image from the selected picture tube appears next to the
Presets menu. Click the down arrow to the right of that sample to reveal
a gallery of picture tubes of different types. Some picture tube pictures
aren™t much to look at individually, like the 3-D items, but they create
cool effects when you drag your brush. Scroll through those images to
review them, and then click the one you want.
3. Click in the image window to deposit one picture at a time or drag to
paint a line of pictures.
As you click or drag, various pictures similar to the sample you chose
appear at intervals on the image. (If the image isn™t much bigger than an
individual picture, few pictures may appear. See the following section for
instructions on reducing the picture size.)

One common way to use picture tubes is as a sort of randomly chosen clip art
to ornament an illustration. Figure 10-12, for example, uses a single animal
from the Animals image set. Choose a tube and then click the illustration in
various places to drop in some art; press Ctrl+Z if you don™t like one and want
to try the next image. Other tubes are meant to be dragged to create a banner,
like Filmstrip, Rope, and Neon Pink. In Figure 10-12, we used the Lawn tube to
create the basic marsh and the Grass tube to create the tall vegetation.

Adjusting basic tube behavior
If the Picture Tube tool doesn™t deliver images in quite the way you want, you
can change its behavior. Behaviors you can modify include

Picture size: Reduce the number in the Scale value box if the pictures
are too large. Scale is initially set to 100 (percent), the largest setting.
Spacing between pictures: Pictures initially flow off the brush at a cer-
tain preset spacing. Increase the step value on the Tool Options palette
to separate pictures. To jam them together, decrease the value.
Regular or random spacing: The Picture Tube tool is initially set to ran-
domly vary the spacing between pictures as you drag. To make it deliver
an evenly spaced stream of pictures, choose Continuous from the
Placement Mode drop-down menu, on the Tool Options palette.
Picture sequence: The tool is initially set to choose pictures randomly
from its set of images. To have it select images in sequence, choose
Incremental from the Selection Mode drop-down menu, on the Tool
Options palette.
The artist who created the tube determined the sequence. For each
stroke you make, the sequence picks up where you last left off. The tube
doesn™t repeat the initial picture until it has delivered the last picture.

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Angling to follow your brush stroke: Some images, like butterflies, are
ordered so that they angle themselves to follow your brush stroke;
choose Angular under Selection Mode on the Tool Options palette.

Art Media: For Those
Who Miss Real Paint
Those of us who were born while the earth was still cooling remember a
primitive art medium involving suspensions of minerals in oil called paint
and surfaces made of plant fiber called canvas. If you™re nostalgic for the
smell of turpentine, well, go sniff a cleaning rag because Art Media can™t
help you there.

But, if you long to be able to create brush-like strokes, blend colors on a
palette or on your canvas, work with wet paint, brush over dried paint, and
still have all the digital whoop-te-doo of Paint Shop Pro™s digital features,
expose yourself to Art Media!

Art Media is really a separate world in Paint Shop Pro. Art Media uses a spe-
cial tool group on the Tools toolbar, as shown in Figure 10-13. You can use
Art Media tools only on Art Media layers or backgrounds (canvases). This
restriction is consistent: You can use only vector tools (like Rectangle) on
vector layers and only bitmap tools (like the regular paint brush) on bitmap
layers. If you try to use regular tools on an Art Media layer, Paint Shop Pro
asks permission to convert the layer to raster. The good news is that you can
add Art Media layers to an image with regular bitmap layers or vector layers.
To use layers, see Chapter 11.

Art Media would be a great stage name for a TV art instructor. We ask only
1 percent of your royalties. Thank you.

Creating an Art Media canvas or layer
To paint with Art Media, you need an Art Media layer. You can start a new
image by using an Art Media background layer or add an Art Media layer to
an existing image.

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Figure 10-13:
Where the
Art Media
tools live.

Starting a fresh Art Media canvas
To start a new image where Art Media is the background layer (that is, a new
Art Media canvas), follow these steps:

1. Choose File➪New or press Ctrl+N.
The New Image dialog box appears. Determine the settings for image
dimensions. For help, see the section “Starting a Fresh Canvas,” in
Chapter 9.
2. Choose Art Media Background in the Image Characteristics section of
the dialog box.
3. Click the sample square in the Select the Canvas Texture area.
A flyout panel displays different Art Media canvas textures.
4. Click whatever canvas you like.
If you want the canvas to have a color, click the Enable Fill Color check
box; then click the sample square under the check box to bring up the
Color dialog box. See the section “Precise color using the color wheel,”
earlier in this chapter, for help in using the color wheel in this dialog
5. Click OK.
Your new canvas appears.

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Chapter 10: Advanced Painting for the Artiste

Creating an Art Media layer
Art media layers can add “hand-painted” elements to raster and vector
layers. See Color Plate C-10 in the color section of this book for an example.

1. Choose Layers➪New Art Media Layer.
2. In the Art Media layer dialog box that appears, enter a name for your
layer in the Name field.
If you don™t see the Name field, click the General tab in this dialog box.
3. Click the Canvas Texture tab.
4. Click the sample square in the Select the Canvas Texture area.
A flyout panel displays different Art Media canvas textures.
5. Click whatever canvas texture you like.
If you want the layer to have a color, click the Enable Fill Color check
box; then click the sample square under the check box to bring up the
Color dialog box. See the section “Precise color using the color wheel,”
earlier in this chapter, for help in using the color wheel in this dialog
6. Click OK in the New Art Media Layer dialog box.
Your new layer appears.

Pretending that you have real media
Art Media tools, like computer book authors, live in their own, special world
that is as close to reality as technology can achieve. Figure 10-13 shows you
where Art Media hang out on the Tools toolbar. You get a nifty toolbox of oil-
paint brushes, chalk, crayons, pencils, markers, a palette knife, a smearing
tool to keep your fingers clean, and a special eraser that you cannot chew on.

What is it about real paint, chalk, crayon, canvas, and the like that make them
different from digital media? Here are a few characteristics:

Surfaces have texture.
Brushes run out of paint ” how fast depends on how heavily you “load”
the brush. They also can be cleaned between colors ” or not.
Brushes mix paint as you drag them through it.
Brushes have bristles of different firmness and bristle size.
Some tools (like brushes and markers) have thin tips that can give an
effect like a calligraphy tool, depending on how much you rotate the
head as you make a stroke.

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Some tools, like pencils, can mark more heavily on one side of the stroke
than the other if you tilt them. Others, like crayons, may mark more
heavily in the middle.

These are the effects that Art Media tools duplicate ” and pretty well, too.
You set these effects on the Tool Options palette, as you discover in the fol-
lowing sections.

Figure 10-14 shows a little of what you can achieve with Art Media. On the left
is Oil Paint, which shows the natural blending that takes place on wet paint.
The other marks are dry media: chalk, pastel, crayon, colored pencil, and
marker (from left to right).

Figure 10-14:
Some of the
Art Media

For the easiest adjustment of various controls on the Options palette and
elsewhere in Paint Shop Pro, use the slider control where it appears. To the
right of any numerical adjustment is a button with the downward-pointing V.
With your cursor on this V, hold down the left mouse button. A slider appears
with a visual representation of what you™re adjusting (brush size or color, for
example). Drag to the setting you want.

Setting up the basics of your Art Media tool
Before you make a stroke, you at least want to set the tool size on the Tool
Options palette. Press F4 to pop up the Tool Options palette, and adjust the
following settings to your liking:

Size: Adjust the size as you would for any tool: Adjust the Size value up
or down.

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Shape: Shape is also pretty obvious; choose round or square. When you
make a stroke, you don™t see much difference unless, for a square shape,
you choose fixed head tracking (see the bullet in the following section).
Trace: Enabling the Trace check box makes the tool pick up color from
the underlying layer.

If your Art Media tool seems to switch color as soon as you click the canvas,
you may have Trace accidentally selected. Click the check box to clear it and
deselect Trace.

Getting calligraphy-like strokes
If you want calligraphic strokes that get wider and narrower as you go verti-
cally or horizontally, set the following options on the Tool Options palette:

Thickness: Some tools don™t appear to let you set thickness (the control
is grayed out), but, if you set a tool™s head tracking to Fixed Angle, it
allows a thickness adjustment.
Rotation: This control sets the rotation of the tool™s head in degrees.
(Use the slider control to set rotation visually.)
Head tracking: Computer book authors often lose their heads and wish
for head tracking, but, we digress. Head tracking has to do with whether
the tool rotates to give you a constant width as you make a curving
stroke ” or not. For constant width, choose Track Path; for calligraphic-
style work, choose Fixed angle. If you choose Fixed Angle, set the angle
by using the Rotation control.

Controlling colored pencil strokes
Colored pencils make variable-weight strokes depending on how you hold
them. The Tool Options palette offers two styles to “hold” your brush:

Style: Choose Point for a line that is heavier in the center. Choose Tilt for
a line weighted to one side, and Edge for a similar effect, but broader.
Control which side of the line is weighted by stroking up versus down on
a vertical line and left versus right on a horizontal line.
Softness: A higher Softness value produces a line that is denser in the
center than a low Softness value does.

Controlling paint with the Oil Brush and Palette Knife
The Oil Brush (and, to some extent, the Palette Knife) have special controls
that you want to set up on the Tool Options palette:

Paint Loading: A high value means lots of paint on the brush; a low
value means that the brush runs out more quickly.
Viscosity: Viscosity measures how gooey the paint is (as opposed to
runny). High viscosity paint starts out dense but runs dry quickly. Low
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viscosity paint goes on thinner at first but lasts longer on the brush
Auto Clean: This option vacuums your automobile. No, sorry ” if this
check box is enabled, it means that your brush is cleaned of color
between strokes and then dipped in pure foreground color. If you clear
this check box, your brush retains a certain amount of color from the
last stroke.
Clean: Whenever you click Clean, Paint Shop Pro cleans existing color
from your brush and then dips the brush afresh into the foreground

Brush firmness doesn™t make much difference if you™re using a mouse. A
pressure-sensitive pad would allow it to make a difference. The bristle size is
also a bit too subtle for us to care about it. You may find a reason to care.

Erasing and smearing
To erase Art Media, use the Art Eraser. You need several strokes of the eraser
to totally erase Art Media.

The edge is somewhat indistinct. No controls exist to modify the sharpness
of the eraser™s edge or how fast it erases. But, if you click Presets on the Tool
Options palette, you can choose various shapes from the menu that appears.

Sometimes you just want to run your finger through the paint. Paint Shop Pro
gives you the digital finger you need, in the Smear tool. Unlike what you
could achieve with your fingertip, which is pretty round, you can do calli-
graphic smearing by choosing any of various tip shapes from the Presets
menu. See the section “Getting calligraphy-like strokes,” earlier in this chap-
ter, for other controls, like head tracking, that affect artistic use of the Art
Eraser or Smear tool.

Mixing colors on the mixer
Ha! Software vendors have been calling their color-selector thingies “palettes”
for so long that the folks at Jasc got stuck using the term mixer when technol-
ogy finally allowed them to provide a real palette. A real palette is a place
where you can mush colors together with a palette knife to get the color (or
band of colors) you want to use. The Paint Shop Pro version of this feature is
the Mixer.

You can use the mixer with any coloring tool in the art media tool group. To
use the mixer, follow these steps:

1. Choose View➪Palettes➪Mixer or press Shift+F6.
(F6 is the Materials palette, so Shift+F6 makes sense for the Mixer.) The
Mixer palette appears, as shown in Figure 10-15. Use the tube icon to

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Chapter 10: Advanced Painting for the Artiste

pick up and place colors on the Mixer, use the Mixer Knife to mix colors,
and then click the Mixer Dropper on the color you want.
The Mixer palette is misshapen and ugly if it appears docked to the top
of the window. Drag it by its title bar at the left end until it floats.
2. Click the tube icon in the upper-left corner of the Mixer to pick up
some color.

Mixer Tube

Mixer Knife

Mixer Dropper

Figure 10-15:
The Mixer.

3. To pick up color from the Materials palette (press F6 to see that
palette), click any of the colors displayed there.
If you™re in the middle of painting with an Art Media tool, you can pick
up color from the canvas by Ctrl+clicking that color.
4. Click the Mixer to place a spot of color there.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to place additional colors in the Mixer. You can
start smearing on the Mixer even while the tube tool is selected.
5. Click the Mixer Knife icon at the top of the Mixer.
6. Smear the paint samples together to create the blend you like.
If you want stripey paint, it™s okay not to thoroughly mix the colors. To
undo a mix, click the Unmix button, at the bottom of the Mixer. To start
with a clean Mixer page, click the New Page button, in the lower-left
7. Click the Mixer Dropper, at the top of the Mixer.
8. Click the Mixer where you like the paint blend.
Notice that the foreground material on the Materials palette reflects
whatever you click ” including stripes! When you use dry media, like
chalk, you can set the pixel size.

Now, you™re ready to paint with your own unique blend of paint.
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The Mixer is larger than you think. To get more room to work, drag the lower-
right corner of the Mixer palette to expand the palette. To see hidden areas of
the Mixer, click the cross-arrow Navigate icon, under the Mixer window and
on the large-scale view of the Mixer that pops up.

Drying and wetting paint
Paint that has been applied to a layer normally smears (very artistically)
when you drag your brush through it. If you don™t want that smearing, dry
the current layer:

Choose Layers➪Dry Art Media Layer. Now, your existing paint doesn™t smear.
New paint that you apply, however, is wet!

If you want to make old paint wet again, choose Layers➪Wet Art Media Layer.

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Chapter 11
Layering Images
In This Chapter
Making layers work for you
Creating layers
Controlling layers with the layer palette
Creating a fresh layer
Choosing the type of layer you need
Doing your work on layers
Making layers behave
Grouping layers together
Splitting or combining images using layers
Adjusting image qualities with adjustment layers
Vector layers of objects, not pixels
Merging layers together

T he old masters of oil painting used layers of paint to give their paintings
great depth and radiance. Now, artistic masters (who all work in Paint
Shop Pro, of course) use layers for another reason: It makes changing stuff
lots easier. It also lets you combine images more easily.

Layers are like transparent sheets of plastic that are laid over an opaque
(nontransparent) background. You can put stuff on the background layer or
on the other, transparent layers.

As simple as this basic idea is, Paint Shop Pro uses it to give you lots of flexi-
bility and power in creating stunning images. To see what using layers can do
for you, read on!

Putting Layers to Work for You
With layers, you can paint, erase, or move things around without worrying
about ruining the underlying image. You can erase a line, for example,
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without erasing the background. You can move an entire object or see how
something looks without permanently committing yourself to it. You can also
combine images in various clever ways.

Because Paint Shop Pro layers are electronic, not physical, they can make
your life easier in other ways, too. Here are just a few special tricks you can
do, besides simply painting, moving, combining, or erasing images:

Select an object painted on a layer without accidentally selecting other
areas of the same color or that underlie that object.
Make an image partly transparent, a sort of ghost on the background.
Switch image objects into or out of the picture, as needed, or quickly
change their stacking order.
Combine layers into one layer, if you™re certain that no more changes are
needed, or lock several layers together temporarily to form a moveable
group of objects.
Make vector layers, which enable you to create basic shapes, text, and
other objects in a special form that lets you easily change their shape.
Make an adjustment layer (a brightening layer, for example) that affects
only the underlying layers and which effect you can vary.
Create the frames of an animation by simply moving one or more layers.
Make layers interact, for special effects. For example, you can subtract
one layer from another ” a way to reveal changes between photographs.

Getting Layers
Your parents probably never explained where layers come from ” unless, of
course, you grew up on an egg ranch. Here™s the real story.

You always have at least one layer: the background layer. That™s the layer
where nearly everything happens until you add more layers. If you down-
load a digital photo from your camera, for example, the image is on the back-
ground layer. If you happily paint away, ignorant of all knowledge of layers,
all your painting is on the background layer.

You can get images with additional layers in a variety of ways:

Make a new, blank layer by using the various New commands on the
Layers menu (on the menu bar) or by using the Layer palette.
Turn a selection into a layer (promote it, in Paint Shop Pro terms).
Incidentally, make a new vector layer by drawing lines or shapes or by
adding text.
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Make a new raster layer by using a tool, like the Deformation tool, that
requires a layer to work on, and Paint Shop Pro creates one automati-
cally for you.
Paste an image from the Windows Clipboard by choosing Edit➪Paste➪
As New Layer.
Open an image file that already has multiple layers, such as many Paint
Shop Pro or Photoshop files have.
Add a picture frame with the Image➪Picture Frame command.

Calling a Pal for Help: The Layer Palette
The first thing you should do when you™re working with layers is to call a
friend for help. The Layer palette, as shown in Figure 11-1, is your best pal.
It™s a small pal; hence, the name palette. See how things make sense, after
they™re explained?

Figure 11-1:
Your pal,
the Layer
palette, is at
your side to
help you
with layer

If your little pal isn™t on your screen already, call it by pressing F8 on the key-
board or click the Toggle Layers button on the toolbar. Do the same thing to
hide the palette again.

One of the not-so-adorable Paint Shop Pro quirks is that sometimes it opens
the Layer palette so that the names of the layers (and, hence, the only way to
select a layer) are hidden. Your Layer palette should look like ours, with at
least the Background layer visible on the far left side; if it doesn™t, right-click
and drag the vertical bar immediately to the left of the Visibility toggle (the
little eye) and drag it rightward to reveal all.

Here are a few basic factoids to help you get along with your new and complex-
looking pal:

Each row of the palette represents a layer. Your view of the image
in the image window is down through the layers, from top to bottom
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(background). The layers™ names are on the left side of the palette. You
assign names when you create the layers, or else you allow Paint Shop
Pro to create a boring but adequate name, like Layer3. Paint Shop Pro
automatically calls the initial, background layer (the one that every
image starts with) Background.
To work on a layer, click its name. Clicking its name makes that layer
the active one. Nearly everything you can do to an image in Paint Shop
Pro, such as paint, erase, or fiddle with the colors, affects only the active
layer. The palette helps you remember which one is active.
The icon to the left of each row tells you what kind of layer that row
represents. Four kinds of layers exist: raster, vector, grouped, and
adjustment. You use raster layers most often. See the section after next,
“Choosing a Layer That™s Just Your Type,” for details. In Figure 11-1, the
row named Pasted Alex, Sky, and Snow show you a raster icon, the
Lettering and Pentagon layers show the vector icon, the
Brightness/Contrast layer displays an adjustment icon, and Alex™s
Background shows the group icon.

Don™t bother trying to understand the palette all at once. We tell you how to
use the rest of the palette™s features as we go along.

Creating a New, Blank Layer
To create a new, blank layer, follow these steps by using the Layer palette:

1. Choose where, in your stack of layers, you want the new layer to
(If this is the first layer you have added to an image, you can skip this
step. The new layer appears just above the background layer.)
Otherwise, on the Layer palette, click the layer that you want the new
layer to appear above. In Figure 11-1, for example, we have clicked the
layer labeled Sky, to make that layer the active one.
2. For a raster layer (the most commonly used type of layer), click the
New Raster Layer button or choose Layers➪New Raster Layer from
the menu bar.
The New Layer button is in the upper-left corner of the Layer palette, as
shown in Figure 11-1.
If you™re savvy about the various types of layer and know that you want
a specific type, you can choose other types of layers from the Layer
palette button bar or Paint Shop Pro menu bar. You can choose Raster,
Vector, Art Media, Mask, or Adjustment layer. For more information
about types of layer, see the next section.

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3. Type a name for the layer.
The Name field of the Layer Properties dialog box is already highlighted,
so you don™t have to click there before typing. Whatever you type
replaces the descriptive but rather boring name (like Raster1) that Paint
Shop Pro suggests. Enter a name in that field that describes what you
will put on this layer. If you™re not feeling creative, just skip this step and
Paint Shop Pro uses the boring name.
4. Click OK.
Get the heck out of this dialog box and get on with the fun!

Your image doesn™t look any different, so maybe you™re wondering “Just what
have I accomplished?” Fear not! You have indeed added a layer. The image
doesn™t look any different because your new layer is transparent and blank.
It™s just like a sheet of clear plastic placed over a painting.

Look at the Layer palette. You see your new layer, with the name you gave it,
highlighted. That means that it™s the active layer, and any painting, erasing,
selection, or color adjustment you perform now takes place on that layer.

When you float a selection, it appears on the Layer palette like a layer and is
named Floating Selection (in italics). It™s not really a full-fledged layer, but you
can use Layer menu commands on it, like moving it down in the stack. You
can turn a selection into its own layer, as we show you later in this chapter.

Choosing a Layer That™s Just Your Type
To make life a bit more complicated, Paint Shop Pro has four different types
of layers for different kinds of stuff. Four of those types of layers appear in
Figure 11-1, where you can see that they™re distinguished by special icons.
Here™s more about those layers:

Raster: You use this plain-vanilla type of layer most of the time. A raster layer
handles normal images ” the kind made of dots, called raster, or bitmap,
images. Raster layers are marked with the icon shown here.

Vector: This special type of layer comes into play mostly when you use the
Paint Shop Pro text, preset shapes, or line-drawing tools. Vector images are
made up of lines or curves connected in a connect-the-dot fashion. Paint
Shop Pro normally creates text, preset shapes, and lines as vector images,
although you can alternatively create them as raster images. Vector images
can™t appear on a raster layer, and raster images can™t appear on a vector
layer. Vector images are marked with the icon that appears here.

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Art Media: Art Media layers are for artwork made using the special Art Media
tools described in Chapter 10. These are paintings or drawings with an
appearance of being done with real paint, chalk, crayon, and so on. Be sure
to choose what type of texture you want when you create a new layer. Click
the Canvas Texture tab when the Layer Properties dialog box appears, and
then click the sample texture that™s shown to choose from a fly-out menu of

Adjustment: This special type of layer doesn™t contain any images! It™s like a
magical coating that imparts a particular image quality to the layers under it.
It works almost exactly like color adjustments. The advantage of adjustment
layers is that the enhancement is separated from the image, so changing your
mind is easier. Adjustment layers are named according to the kind of adjust-
ment they perform, and each of them has its own snazzy color icon; the one
shown next to this paragraph is Contrast.

Group: Many times, you want to apply an effect to the same two or three
layers while leaving the other layers untouched. You can group the layers so
that Paint Shop Pro treats them like a single layer, which is awfully handy; we
show you how to do this later in this chapter.

Mask: Masking is used to hide certain areas of an overlaying layer™s image
while letting other areas remain visible. It™s a little like masking tape except
that rather than cover parts of an image, like masking tape does, masking
makes areas transparent ” just as erasing on a layer does in Paint Shop Pro.
That allows the underlying image to show through. This handy trick for
advanced Paint Shop Pro users allows you to cut shapes out with little effort
or create transparent areas on the background layer.

Working on Layers
To work on a layer, click its name on the Layer palette to select it (make it
active). You can now paint, erase, adjust color, cut, copy, paste, and make
image transformations, such as flipping, filtering, or deforming, and the
results appear on only your selected layer. How tidy and organized!

As an artist who is using multiple layers, you™re like a doctor who is seeing
multiple patients. To avoid mistakes, you must know which one you™re oper-
ating on. You can™t tell what image is on which layer by simply looking at the
image. The transparency of layers prevents you. So, instead, keep an eye on
the Layer palette to see which layer is active. The active layer is highlighted
there. Pause your cursor over a layer™s name to see a tiny thumbnail image
of the layer™s contents. If a tool doesn™t seem to be working, you™re probably
trying to work on something that isn™t on the active layer. Try turning various
layers on and off to find the object you want.

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Here are a few peculiarities of working with layers:

Moving: You can use the Move tool (the four-headed arrow) to slide an
entire layer around (but not the background layer). Click the Move tool on
the Tool palette. Then, in the image window, drag the entire layer by drag-
ging any object on that layer. To move an individual object independently
of the others on that layer, select the object before you use the Move tool.
(If the object still doesn™t move independently, make sure that the object™s
layer is the active one, reselect the object, and try again.)
Selecting: When you make a selection on a layer, the selection marquee
penetrates to all layers. That means that you can select an object on one
layer, switch to another layer, and then, for example, fill that selected
area (within the selection marquee) with paint on that other layer.
Copying: When you copy, you copy only from the active layer ” unless
you choose Edit➪Copy Merged. A merged copy includes all the layers.
Erasing: When you erase or delete on a (nonbackground) layer, you
restore the layer™s transparency. (On the background layer, you leave
behind background color when you erase, or transparency if the image
was originally created with transparent background ” and for the
record, photos are not created with transparent backgrounds.)
Using raster, Art Media, and vector tools: Paint Shop Pro uses the three
distinct image types raster, vector, and Art Media, and has three distinct
sets of tools for these image types. (Refer to the section in Chapter 10
about Art Media and those who miss real Paint, and Chapter 12 for infor-
mation about vector objects, like text and shapes.) These tools work
only on layers of the same type (except that raster tools are also used
on mask layers). As a result, if you™re working on a raster layer, for exam-
ple, and try to apply a vector or Art Media tool, Paint Shop Pro offers to
create a new layer of the appropriate type.

Managing Layers
When you view a multilayer image, you look down through all the layers just
as you would look down through a stack of plastic sheets with stuff painted
on them. To control which layers you see and also adjust the order in which
they™re stacked, use these techniques:

To see just the active layer: Choose Layers➪View➪Current Only.
To see all layers: Choose Layers➪View➪All.
To see specific layers: On the Layer palette, click a layer™s Layer Visibility
toggle, known to its friends as the eyeglasses icon. Each layer has this
icon, to the right of the layer name. Click it once to turn the layer off
(make it invisible) and click again to turn it on. When a layer is off, an X
appears through the eyeglasses icon.
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To move a layer up or down in the stack: Drag it up or down in the left
column of the Layer palette. While you™re dragging, the layer itself doesn™t
move; instead, a black line follows your cursor to tell you where the layer
will go when you release the mouse button. An alternative to dragging is
to click a layer and then choose Layers➪Arrange➪Bring to Top, Move Up,
Move Down, Send to Bottom, Move Into Group, and Move Out of Group.
Renaming a layer: To change a layer™s name, double-click the layer™s
current name on the Layer palette. When the Layer Properties box
appears, type a new name in the Name field (already selected, for your
convenience) and click OK. Or, right-click the name once and choose
Rename from the context menu that appears, and you can edit the name
right on the Layer palette.
Removing a layer: To delete a layer on the Layer palette, click that
layer™s name and then click the Delete Layer button. Everything on that
layer goes away with the layer.

Pinning Layers Together: Grouping
After you have carefully positioned objects on different layers, it™s nice to
pin those layers together so they can™t reposition themselves. If you have
painstakingly put Uncle Tobias™s head on the neck of a giraffe, for example,
you want to keep them together while you get creative with other layers.

The first thing to do is to select the first layer you want to add to your group
and then click the New Layer Group button near the upper-right corner of
the palette. This action brings you to the ever-so-titillating New Layer Group
dialog box, which looks almost exactly like the New Layer dialog box, and
you should do the same thing you did there: Ignore all those options and just
type a friendly name for your group. Then click OK. (As with the New Layer
dialog box, if you leave it to Paint Shop Pro, it chooses something delightfully
nondescriptive, like Group 1.)

As you can see in the Alex™s Background group, as shown in Figure 11-1,
you now have a group on your Layers palette, complete with the layer you
selected neatly tucked under it. (You also should see a tiny box with a “ next
to it; if you don™t want to see all the layers contained in this group, click the “
to hide them. Click the + sign next to the group to reveal them again.) To add
another layer to your group, click the name of the layer, drag it back up to
just underneath the name of the layer (it turns into a small black bar), and let
go. Your layer is now a part of the group! (If only high school had been this
easy.) To remove a layer from a group, simply drag it above the group name.

Layers with the same group name behave as though they were pinned
together: When you move one layer with the Move tool (the 4-headed arrow
thingy), you move the entire group. Members of a group keep their indepen-
dence in other ways, though. If you change the appearance of a layer (make it
brighter, for example), its fellow group members don™t change.
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Gone but not forgotten: Layer links
In the old days of Paint Shop Pro, you didn™t because it has a small number next to the tiny
have the handy-dandy Layer Groups command; chain image.
instead, you used layer links, which were clum-
Honestly, the new Group Layer feature is so
sier and harder to remember, and you could
handy that we™re only letting you know about this
have only 12 of them. In a nod to older Paint
ratty ol™ layer link feature in case you open a Paint
Shop Pro .psp files that may not support layer
Shop Pro 7 (or earlier) file that uses it. You don™t
groups, Paint Shop Pro 9 allows you to use layer
want to know what happens if you start mixing
links in addition to groups.
layer links and layer groups. (It™s much like mixing
Click the layer link toggle to assign a layer link tequila and rum.)
number to your layer; layers that share the same
The upshot is that if you have a layer that you
layer link number act exactly like groups. Click the
could swear you have grouped properly but just
Layer Link toggle button to assign a given layer to
doesn™t seem to be affected by something that
Layer Link 1, and click it again to raise the number
changed the rest of the group, check to see that
by one each time, all the way up to the number of
it doesn™t have a layer link number. If it does, click
layers you have within your image ” at which
the toggle enough times to set the layer link to
point it goes back to having no layer link. You can
None and then group those layers. You can thank
tell whether a layer is assigned to a layer link
us in the morning.

Using Layers to Separate
or Combine Images
The main reasons for using layers are either to break an image apart into sev-
eral layers for more flexible editing or to combine multiple images into one.
This section describes how to do both.

Combining entire images
Do you have two entire images to combine? To combine an entire image file
with the image you™re working on, follow these steps:

1. On the Layer palette of the image you™re working on, click the name
of the layer above which you want to insert your new image.
If the image doesn™t have multiple layers, skip to Step 2.
2. Choose File➪Browse and open the image browser to the folder con-
taining the image file.

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Thumbnail pictures of the images in that folder appear. (For more infor-
mation about how to use the image browser, refer to the section in
Chapter 1 about opening, managing, and sorting files with the browser.)
3. Drag the thumbnail picture of the image file to the image you™re work-
ing on.
Paint Shop Pro inserts the new image as a layer, above the layer you
selected in Step 1. (If the image you™re dragging contains multiple layers,
all its layers are grouped together.) The cursor turns into a 4-headed
arrow to indicate that Paint Shop Pro has selected the Move tool for you.
4. Drag the new image to position it where you want it.

After dragging, we often click the Arrow tool (at the top of the Tool palette)
or some other tool to avoid accidentally dragging the selection when we
move the mouse again.

Separating image parts into layers
How do you get an object separated out and on its own layer? One answer is
that you can select the object and turn it into a new layer, called promoting a
selection. Take these steps:

1. Select the desired chunk of any existing layer (the background layer,
for example) by using any of the Paint Shop Pro selection tools.
We cover selection tools for normal (raster) images in Chapter 9. To
select an object on a vector layer, click the object with the Object
Selector tool (at the bottom of the Tools toolbar).
Is your selection tool not selecting on the object you want? Remember
that selection works within only one layer at a time. Your object may be
on a different layer than the active one. On the Layer palette, click the
layer where that object lives to make that layer active. Then try select-
ing again. If you™re not sure where that object lives, pause your cursor
over each layer™s name, one at a time, and look for your object in the
thumbnail image of the layer™s contents.
2. On the Layer palette, click the layer that you want the new layer to
appear above.
3. Choose Selections➪Promote to Layer from the Paint Shop Pro
menu bar.
A new layer, cleverly named Promoted Selection, appears on the Layer
palette. Although nothing appears to change in your image, your selec-
tion is now on that Promoted Selection layer.

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Your object is now on its own layer. A copy of that object remains on the orig-
inal layer. You can now deselect the object; press Ctrl+D or choose
Selections➪Select None.

If you would prefer that no copy be left behind when you promote a selec-
tion, drag the selection slightly after Step 1. On the background layer, this
action leaves behind an area filled with the background color. On other
layers, the area becomes transparent.

Another way to separate image chunks into layers is to select the chunks and
then cut and paste the chunk as a new layer (see the following section).

Copying, cutting, and pasting with layers
A good way to get an image or chunk of an image onto a layer is to copy (or
cut) it and then paste it as a new layer. This approach uses the same, familiar
Windows Clipboard system that other applications use, which is a great way
to combine multiple images, even if the additional images come from a pro-
gram other than Paint Shop Pro. In the following sections, we tell you how to
copy, cut, and paste a selected image as a new layer.

Copying or cutting an image
You can copy or cut images from a variety of sources. Here™s how to do it:

From a program other than Paint Shop Pro: First, open that program
and display the image you want. (You don™t need to close Paint Shop
Pro.) Exactly how to copy or cut an image from that program varies
somewhat from program to program. By copying from a Web page in
Internet Explorer, for example, you can right-click the image and then
choose Copy from the menu that appears. In many programs, click the
image to select it and choose Edit➪Copy to put a copy on the hidden
Windows Clipboard.
From another layer within your Paint Shop Pro image: On the Layer
palette, click the layer containing the object you want. Select the image
chunk you want with any of the Paint Shop Pro selection tools. (Refer to
Chapter 3 for help with selection tools. If the layer is a vector layer, use
the Object Selector tool at the bottom of the Tools palette.) Then choose
Edit➪Copy (or Edit➪Cut, if you want to remove the chunk from its cur-
rent layer).
From another image file: Open that file in Paint Shop Pro. A new
window appears and displays that image. Use any of the Paint Shop Pro
selection tools to select your chosen chunk. Choose Selections➪Select
All if you want to select the whole image. Choose Edit➪Copy to copy
from the active layer. To copy combined images from all layers, choose
Edit➪Copy Merged.

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Pasting the image as, or on, a new layer
After you have copied (or cut) an image to the Windows Clipboard, you can
paste it as a layer or on an existing layer. Here™s how to paste it as a layer:

1. Click the title bar of the window in Paint Shop Pro where you want to
This step makes sure that you paste it in the right place.
2. On the Layer palette, click the layer that you want the new layer to
appear above.
To put a layer above the background layer, for example, click
Background. If your image has only one layer, you can skip this step
because Background is already selected.
3. Choose Edit➪Paste➪As New Layer or press Ctrl+L.
Your image appears as a new layer, and the Paint Shop Pro cursor
appears as a 4-headed arrow. That cursor tells you that Paint Shop Pro
has automatically selected the Move tool for you.
(If you copy a vector object from outside Paint Shop Pro, such as a
Microsoft Draw object from Microsoft Word, Paint Shop Pro converts it
to a raster layer when you paste it. First, however, Paint Shop Pro dis-
plays a dialog box labeled Meta Picture Import. In that dialog box, set
Width in Pixels and Height in Pixels to the sizes you want for the pasted
image and click OK.)
4. Drag your newly pasted image where you want it.

When you™re done dragging, consider clicking the arrow tool (at the top of
the tool palette) or some other tool to avoid accidentally dragging the selec-
tion with subsequent mouse motions.

You can also paste an image on an existing layer rather than paste it as its
own new layer. After you have copied or cut the image to the Windows
Clipboard, click the existing layer™s name on the Layer palette and choose
Edit➪Paste As New Selection or press Ctrl+E. The image appears; drag it
where you want it and then click to make it a floating selection. Press Ctrl+D
to deselect the image.

Copying entire layers from
one image to another
When you start using layered images, you may find that a layer you created
in one image is useful in another image. To copy a layer (or layers) from one

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image to another, you drag the layer from the Layer palette of the source
image to the destination image. To do so, take these detailed steps:

1. Open both images in Paint Shop Pro.
Each image gets its own window. Arrange the windows so you can
see at least part of both images. (For example, choose Window➪Tile
2. Click the title bar of the destination image.
By destination image, we mean the one where you want the layer to go.
3. On the Layer palette, click the layer above which the new layer is
to go.
Clicking makes that layer the active one.
4. Click the title bar of the image containing the layer you want to copy.
5. On the Layer palette, click the name of the layer you want to copy and
drag it to the destination image.
Drag the layer directly into the middle of the destination image, and not
onto the title bar of its window. When you release the mouse button, the
copied layer appears.

Blending images by making
layers transparent
Double your pleasure, double your fun. One popular effect is a sort of double
exposure, which you do by making an overlaying layer on which the image is
partially transparent. For example, you may want to overlay a diagram on a
photograph or add a faint image of a logo to a picture.

Figure 11-2 shows a few tasty vegetables overlaid with the word Veggies, per-
haps to be used as a sign for a vegetarian buffet. (It looks much more appeal-
ing in color ” see color plate C-4 in the color section of this book.)

To make a layer transparent, you merely adjust one little setting, Layer
Opacity. Each layer has a Layer Opacity setting on the Layer palette (the
shaded bar shown in Figure 11-2). Until you change it, the setting for every
layer is 100 to indicate that the layer is 100 percent opaque (you can™t see
through the image on the layer).

At the far right end of each bar is a pair of pointers (triangles). Drag that pair
to the left to make the layer more transparent. Drag the pair to the right to
make the layer more opaque. The number on the bar changes as you drag,
between 100 and 0. In Figure 11-2, the layer containing the text Veggies! is set
to 52 percent (roughly half-transparent).

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Figure 11-2:
makes them
clearly a
good menu

Note that Layer2, which contains the
text Veggies!, is at 52 percent opacity.

Blending images in creative ways
Sometimes, simply overlaying one image on the other doesn™t give quite the
effect you want. For example, if you overlay colored text on an image that has
like-colored areas, you can™t read the text in those areas.

In that case, the result may be better if the layer could, for example, lighten
or darken the underlying image ” or perhaps change the underlying color,
no matter what color it is. With Paint Shop Pro, you can create those effects,
and more, using layer blending. Layer blending is determined by two settings:
layer blend mode and the layer blend levels.

To use blend modes with forethought and skill requires pondering all kinds
of technical stuff about computer graphics. Do like we do: Use blend modes
with reckless abandon rather than forethought and skill. Try one mode, and
if you don™t like the result, try another!

The right side of the Layer palette contains layer blend mode settings you
can change for each layer. Until you change a layer™s blend mode, it™s normal,
which means that the paint on that layer simply overlays the paint on lower
layers, like paint on transparent plastic (see Figure 11-3).

Click the Blend Mode control for your chosen layer and choose a blend mode
from the menu that appears. To restore the original appearance, choose
Normal from the list of modes.

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Figure 11-3:
To make
tastier, try
another way
of blending.
Here, Blend
mode is
which is
how some
kids prefer

Here are a few tips:

For maximum contrast between underlying and overlying images, try
Difference mode.
Try making the color of the overlying layer lighter or darker, if you can™t


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