is the second in a series of tutorials on how to make
animated sparkles. The first is called "Sparkles
# 1" and several of the steps in this tutorial
are the same as in that one. If you did follow # 1 you
should have no problem following this tutorial as you
have already learned many of the steps.
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 PSP plug-in filter. 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 and using a plug-in filter.
- Getting a doll on a transparent background.
- Modifying a selection made with the magic wand.
- Saving a selection to alpha-channel.
- 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 the sparkles filter that we are going to
use to make the animated sparkles. Just download it
right to your desktop. The file is called 'VMNaturalSparkles.zip'.
I am redistributing this filter with the permission
of the creator Mario
Klingemann. The filter was originally part of a
package but I have permission to distribute it as a
single file in this tutorial (if you get error messages
when attempting to use the filter, don't dispair, it's
probably just because your windows is missing some necessary
files. Click here
to read about it and to download the files).
2. The filter
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
file right to your desktop so as to make it easy to
find. It contains two files, one called 'sparkle.8bf'.
Move that file into the 'plugins' folder under your
PaintShopPro folder. It should now show up in the list
of available filters when you pull the list down in
PSP. You might want to take the time to read the information
inside the 'readme.txt' file that also came in the zip.
It holds informaton on the creator of the file etc.
4. Open PSP
and open the doll that you want to sparkle. :o) 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
9. 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
5. 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:
6. Now you'll
want to get your doll onto a transparent background
(to go from the first image to the second):
7. First choose
the magic wand
and use these settings:
8. 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.
9. Now you
will want to select the part of the doll that you want
to have sparkles. I want the dress on my doll to be
sparkly. I will want to use the magic wand again to
select the dress. Notice that on my doll the dress isn't
one signle shade so I have to play around with the settings
in the magic wand in order to be able to select as much
of the dress as possible at one time. The setting that
is to be changed is 'tolerance'.
10. I set the
tolerance to 20 and click right in the center of the
dress. The marching ants appear and almost the entire
dress is selected as you can see in the first image
below. But I want to select the entire dress, so I hold
down the shift key and using the magic wand I click
on a part of the dress that hasn't been selected. That
becomes part of the selection as well. Just a few clicks
and the entire dress is selected as in the second image
11. Now I don't
like to get sparkles right on the outline of the dress
so I will try to contract the selection. Selections>modify>contract.
On this particular image is set the number to 2, but
if you have a heavily shaded area that you want to make
sparkle you might want to set it to 3. Hit ok. My selection
now looks like the third image above.
to layer. Your selection is now on a layer by itself
(this is somehow necessary to make the filter work as
it's supposed to). Selection>save 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).
Filters>VM Natural>Sparkle. A box that looks something
like this will appear (this image has been shrunken,
if you would like to see the full image just click on
it and a new window will open):
14. It is a
lot of fun to play around with this filter. You can
change the size of the sparkles on the top slide, and
the colour on the 'red', 'green' and 'blue' slides.
The second last slide also has to do with colour and
the last slide determines the placement of the sparkles.
You can play around with the settings to make the sparkles
that you like or you can do as I do and keep it totally
simple for this tutorial. Important: keep a piece of
paper so that you remember the settings that you use,
write them down, because the next time we open the filter
the settings will have gone back to default. The only
slide I will move in this tutorial is the 'random seed'
one which determines the placement of the sparkles.
15. I slide
it up to 23 and then hit ok. The filter window is closed
and the sparkles appear within the selection on the
as. Name the file 1.psp and save it right to the desktop.
18. Hit the
undo button twice .
19. Use the
filter again (effects>sparkle), all the same settings
as before except for the 'random seed' which you move
to another position. I move it to 90 and hit ok.
as. Name the file 2.psp and save it right to the desktop.
22. I want
to make four different files like this. It is necessary
to repeat the same step over again until you have the
four files named 1.psp, 2.psp, 3.psp and 4.psp. The
only real different is the placement of the sparkles
which you have varied by moving the 'random seed' slide
to a new position each time you used the filter. You
can now close down PSP.
23. Open AS
and choose the animatin wizard .
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 would like to see the
full image just click on it and a new window will open):
24. 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 27. 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).
25. On your
keyboard hit the ctrl + a keys simultaneously. All the
frames in the animation should now be highlighted (
= they have blue edges).
26. Right click
somewhere on one of the frames and choose 'frame properties'.
Set the time that you want. I set mine to 20, 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.
27. 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.
28. 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 would like to
see the full image just click on it and a new window
30. 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:
31. 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.
32. This window
33. Slide the
handle all the way up to 'better image quality' and
then hit the 'customize' button.
34. On the
colors tab choose these settings:
35. On the
'optimizations' tab choose these settings:
36. And on
the 'partial transparency' choose these settings:
37. Then just
click ok and next until your animation has been saved.
That is all!
entire tutorial © June 18th, 2002 by Guðrun