is the third in a series of tutorials on how the make
animated sparkles. The previous two are simply called
"Sparkles # 1" and "Sparkles # 2".
If you did follow # 1 or # 2 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 tube file, not the ones flying around but the ones
that glow in one place. 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.
- Using the tube tool.
- Using coordinates to place tubes correctly.
- Assembling an animation.
- Changing the display properties on multiple frames
or single 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 which has now closed down but used to be one
of the best places to get sparkles in tube format. Just
save 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. You are
now ready to put the sparkle on the doll. But first
a few words of advice. Tubed sparkles like the ones
we use here contain some semitransparent pixels which
can not be saved as semitransparent in gif format (gif
format can only contain totally opaque or totally transparent
pixels). It makes the image look bad when you save it
if the semitransparent pixels are placed on the background
in stead of on the doll. So take care not to let the
sparkles hit the background when you use this method.
Make sure they only hit the doll. (For extra help look
in Sparkles # 1 for how you can make the doll into a
12. I have
chosen one of my old dolls who is wearing jewellry and
I want to apply the sparkles to her necklace.
13. Now choose
the picture tube tool .
In the tool palette locate the white sparkle tube that
you exported earlier and use approximately these settings:
14. I want
to start out with something very small and that is why
I have set the scale to 10. If you are working with
another sparkle you might want to experiment with the
size, as it doesn't necessarily have the same original
size as the sparkle used here.
15. Use the
tube tool to place one or two sparkles where you want
them to be. Mine will be placed on the necklace, just
one small sparkle. While doing this it is extremly important
that you notice the coordinates where you place the
sparkle. You find them by looking in the lower left
corner of your PSP screen. My coordinates are 71,51.
Write this number down or remember it because you will
want to place the second sparkle in the exact same place.
as. Name your file 1.psp and save it right to the desktop
to make it easy to locate.
The sparkles should disappear.
18. In the
tool palette set the scale of the sparkle slightly larger
than it was before. I set mine to 11. Then place a sparkle
in the exact same spot as before.
as. Name your file 2.psp and save it right to the desktop
to make it easy to locate.
The sparkles should disappear.
21. Once again
set the scale of the sparkle to slightly larger than
before. Mine is set to 12. Then place a sparkle in the
exact same spot again.
22. 19. File>save
as. Name your file 3.psp and save it right to the desktop
to make it easy to locate.
23. You now
have all the frames that you need to make the animation.
Close the image in psp being careful not to save over
the original and you can also close PSP itself.
24. 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 3.psp and choose 'open'. You should now have
a row of images that looks something like this (this
image has been shrunken down, if you would like to see
the full image click on it and a new window will open):
25. Now click
on the second frame so that it has the blue edge in
stead of the first one. Click on duplicate .
You will now have a copy of the second frame and it
is placed right next to the original. We will want to
move a copy of this frame to the end of the animation.
26. Click on
the second frame again so that the blue edge is only
around that one. Then click, hold down the mouse key,
and drag it to the end of the animation. Let go so that
it will place itself as the last frame. Your row of
images should now look something like this (this image
has been shrunken down, if you would like to see the
full image click on it and a new window will open):
26. 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 29. 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).
27. On your
keyboard hit the ctrl + a keys simultaneously. All the
frames in the animation should now be highlighted (
= they have blue edges).
28. 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. As
a little extra I want to delay the time on the first
frame only, to make a little pause between the twingling
of the sparkle. To do this I click only on the first
frame, then right click it and choose 'frame properties'.
I set the display time to 40.
29. 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.
30. 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 down, if you would like
to see the full image click on it and a new window will
32. 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:
33. 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.
34. This window
35. Slide the
handle all the way up to 'better image quality' and
then hit the 'customize' button.
36. On the
colors tab choose these settings:
37. On the
'optimizations' tab choose these settings:
38. And on
the 'partial transparency' choose these settings:
39. Then just
click ok and next until your animation has been saved.
That is all!
The sparkle on my
doll is very discrete, which is the way I like
it. If you want a more dramatic effect you can
make a bigger difference in the scale of the
sparkle in each frame, or you can set the dislapy
time faster or slower. You are the boss, you
decide which effect you want to create with
entire tutorial © August 5th, 2002 by Guðrun