is the first in a series of tutorials on how to make
is for Paint Shopt Pro 7 and Animation Shop 3 from Jasc.com.
It is pretty basic, so most users should be able to
will teach you how to make animated sparkles by using
a tube file. It is assumed that you know where to get
or make cartoon dolls and that you know how to make
them into a gif, bmp or psp file. Some of the functions
that you will learn:
- Installing/exporting a picture tube.
- Getting a doll on a transparent background.
- Saving a selection to alpha-channel.
- Using the tube tool.
- Assembling an animation.
- Changing the display properties on multiple frames.
- Cropping multiple frames at once.
- Saving a transparent animation at best quality possible.
1. First you
need to click here
to download a sparkle in tub format. The sparkle is
Hood and is distributed with permission. Just download
it right to your desktop.
2. The sparkle
is in a zip file that needs to be unzipped. You use
the program Winzip for this. If you don't have Winzip
already you can download it at http://www.winzip.com
3. Unzip the
sparkle right to your desktop so as to make it easy
4. Open Paint
Shop Pro (PSP) and open the sparkle tub like any normal
image in PSP.
5. Click file>export>picture
tube. Name the sparkle and click 'ok'. The sparkle tube
has now been exported and is ready to use like a normal
tube in PSP (note for experienced users: you may feel
inclined to just unzip the sparkle into your tub folder
but that might not be a good idea. If the tube isn't
made for the version of PSP that you are using it may
not work properly. Thus it's a good idea to export it
yourself in the manner that I have explained above).
6. Now locate
and open your doll in PSP. She may be in any format,
but gif, bmp and psp are the best to work with. If your
doll is in psp format just hit layers>merge>merge
visible and then go to step 11. If your doll is in gif
or bmp format it's a good idea to get her on a transparent
background first. In that case you need to follow all
the steps. First of all your doll can not be on a complex
background in order for these steps to work. It has
to be a one colour background.
7. Choose colors>increase
color depth>16 million colors. In the layer palette
double click on the background layer that you doll is
on and then choose ok (if these functions don't show
up then don't worry, it's because your doll already
has the image quality that is needed.
should go from looking like this:
8. Now you'll
want to get your doll onto a transparent background
(to go from the first image to the second):
9. First choose
the magic wand
and use these settings:
10. Click on
the background of your doll image (white on mine) so
that you get marching ants around the doll itself and
around the edge of the image. Hit delete. You should
now see the checkered background in PSP which indicates
that your doll is on a transparent background, just
like the image above. If your doll has her arms on her
hips there might be some room left on the inside space
between the arm and the side. Just click that space
again and hit delete. Keep doing this until you have
deleted the entire coloured background.
11. Now use
the magic wand again .
Keep the settings as before and click once on the checkered
background (while holding down the shif key click on
any space that is left, between arm and side etc.).
You should now have marching ants all the way around
the doll and the edge of the image again.
The marching ants should now be only around the doll
itself (changed from the first image to the second):
to alpha channel. Just keep the default names and choose
ok. We have now saved the selection so that even if
we do something wrong and loose it or the marching ants
disappear by accident the selection will be easy to
retrieve (in case you will need to retrieve it during
this tutorial just choose selections>load from alpha
channel and then choose the selection that you want).
14. Now choose
the picture tube tool .
In the tool palette locate the white sparkle tube that
you exported earlier and use approximately these settings:
15. Using the
tube tool start placing random sparkles on the doll
where you want them to be. It's totally up to you how
many you want. If you like you can vary the size of
the sparkles by changing the scale in the tool palette.
Don't worry about getting any sparkles on the background,
the selection will keep them only on the doll (you might
wonder why I want it to be like this, but there is an
explanation that is quite long, all you need to know
now is that it will make the doll look nicer when it
16. When you
are satisfied with the sparkles choose the magic wand
and then right click somewhere inside the selection.
This should remove the marching ants.
as. Name your file 1.psp and save it right to the desktop
to make it easy to locate.
18. Now click
on the undo button
repeatedly until you have the marching ants back in
place and have removed all the sparkles. Place sparkles
ramdomly on the doll again and save as 2.psp. You may
repeat this as many times as you like. I like to have
at least 3 images, preferrably 4. There is no need for
more. Just make more than two because a sparkles animation
with only two frames doesn't look very nice.
19. These are
the four images that I have now (this image has been
shrunken, if you want to see the full size image just
click on it and a new window will open):
20. Now for
the animation part. Open Animation Shop (AS). Click
the animation wizard
and when prompted enter the following settings 'same
size as first image', 'transparent', 'upper left corner
of the frame' and 'with the canvas color', 'yes, repeat
the animation indefinitely' and set the display time
to 15, and then 'add image' locate the images named
1.psp thru 4.psp and choose 'open'. You should now have
a row of images that looks something like this (this
image has been shrunken, if you want to see the full
size image just click on it and a new window will open):
21. Click the
view animation button
to see if you like the timing on the sparkle animation.
If you like it you can jump to step 24. If you think
it's a bit too fast or slow you can change it. First
close down the small sample animation that you're viewing
by clicking the x in the upper right corner just like
you do with any other window (DON'T shut down AS though).
22. On your
keyboard hit the ctrl + a keys simultaneously. All the
frames in the animation should now be highlighted (
= they have blue edges).
23. Right click
somewhere on one of the frames and choose 'frame properties'.
Set the time that you want. I set mine to 25, a little
longer display time than the 15 from before, which means
that the animation will be a little slower than before.
You can experiment to get the speed that you like.
24. If you're
like me you're likely to have your doll on a canvas
that is too large for the doll (look at the image above
to see the excess space on each side of the doll). This
is great when you're working on the doll, but if you
don't remove this excess space you'll get larger image
files and there'll always be some annoying space around
your doll when you place it on the web.
25. To remove
this space first make sure that all the frames are highlighted
(hit ctrl+a again).
the crop tool
and the 'options' button (right above the crop tool).
Choose 'surround the opaque area' and then 'ok'. A small
rectangle will now appear around each doll like this
(this image has been shrunken, if you want to see the
full size image just click on it and a new window will
27. You may
notice that the line goes very close to the doll. I
like to pull it out a little bit just to ensure that
no part of the doll is chopped off when saving. Let
the cursor hover over each line until you see a small
arrow just like when you want to drag a window larger.
Hold the left mouse button down and drag the line just
a couple of pixels away from the doll. Do this to each
of the sides of the rectangle. You only need to do it
in one of the frames though because the other frames
will accomodate. Keep a steady hand so as not to make
a mistake and when you are satisfied with the result
double click inside the rectangle and the excess space
will be cut off. My image now looks like this:
28. If you
are satisfied with the result you are now ready to save
the animation. File>save as. Name the animation and
make sure to choose the gif option in the file type.
Then hit save.
29. This window
30. Slide the
handle all the way up to 'better image quality' and
then hit the 'customize' button.
31. On the
colors tab choose these settings:
32. On the
'optimizations' tab choose these settings:
33. And on
the 'partial transparency' choose these settings:
34. Then just
click ok and next until your animation has been saved.
That is all!
tutorials describes one way of making animated
sparkles in PSP and AS. There are several other
ways of making sparkles depending on the effect
that you want.
tutorial © May 13th, 2002 by Guðrun Jacobsen)