Proud to Be an American

In this tutorial, you will be creating the image above, using alpha channels to create the flag, and elements of Paint Shop Pro, like creating text on a curve.  This tutorial was inspired by the times that we live in, which are dangerous times.  I wanted to create something to show my love for America, and something that could proudly be displayed.  The techniques that you will learn could be used for any image, and in a variety of ways.


You will need my zip file containing the flag psp file, which has my alpha channel selections, my Rushmore faces psp image, and the Patriotic font which I have included with this zip.  You may, of course, use your own font, but this one you might want to add to your collection.  Download my zip file now, and open the images up in PSP.  You could install the font to your windows folder, but it is not necessary.  You can just open it up, and keep it open while your are working on the image, and it will show up in your list of fonts, and be available for you to use.

I will not remind you between each step, but please save your image often, so that you will not lose all of your hard work.

  1. Duplicate the flag.psp image, by Shift/D and close out the original.  Always work on the duplicate, and save the original for future use.
  2. Flood Fill the background layer with #FFFFFF (white).
  3. Add a New Raster Layer, and call it “red stripes”.  The canvas looks blank, but the alpha channels are there, just waiting for you to use.  Go to Selections and choose “Load from Alpha Channel from the list.  Open the red stripes selection, and flood fill with #C00000 (red).
  4. New Raster Layer and call it “white stripes”.  Now go to Selections/Load from Alpha Channel and choose white stripes from the list.  Flood fill with #FFFFFF (white).
  5. New Raster Layer and call it “blue field”.  Selections/Load from Alpha Channel the blue field selection, and flood fill it with #000080 (dark blue).
  6. New Raster Layer and call it “stars”.  Selections/Load from Alpha Channel the stars selection, and flood fill it with white, and deselect.
  7. Hide the background layer by clicking on the eyeglasses on the layer palette, highlight one of the other layers, and Merge Visible all of the flag layers.  Right click on the merged layer and rename it Flag.  Reduce the opacity of this layer to 50% on the layer palette.
  8. Go to the background layer, unhide it by clicking on the eyeglasses on the layer palette.  Increase the Canvas size by going to Image/Canvas Size and enter in 500 x 500, centered on canvas.
  9. Click on the flag layer on the layer palette to make it active, and resize it, by going to Image/Resize and inter in 70% and make sure resize all layers is unchecked.  Effects/Sharpen/Sharpen.
  10. Set your foreground at #000000 (black, but it does not really matter.  This will be deleted later.) and your background to null.  Using your Preset Shapes – Ellipse, Antialias and vector checked, line width 5, and starting at the top left corner, draw a large circle.
  11. Center your circle on the canvas by going to Object/Align/Center in Canvas.
  12. Click on your text tool (the big “T” button) and hover your mouse over the line, until you see the big “A”.  Click on your image, and the text box should pop up.
  13. You can use your favorite texture or color, or a preset for your text.  I used a gold texture, in the foreground, and the background was null.  Find your Patriot font, and I am using size 26, Bold selected, Antialias and Vector checked, type in Proud to be An American, and click OK.  Your text should now be curved around the line.
  14. Using the Object Selector tool, click outside of the vector lines.  They should disappear.  Now click on just the text, and go to Object/Convert Text to Curves/As Single Shape.
  15. Version 7:  Click on an outside area again, and then select only the curved line.  Hit the delete key on your keyboard, and the curved line will disappear, leaving only the letters.For PSP9, on the layer pallet, hide the circle.
  16. Right click on this layer on the layer palette, and Convert to Raster Layer.
  17. Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow with V & H set at 1, Opacity at 100, and Blur at 1.  Sharpen.
  18. You should have the rushmorefaces.psp open on your workspace.  Make it your active image, and Edit/Copy.
  19. Now make your flag image active, highlight the background layer, and Edit/Paste as New Layer.  The Rushmore faces should be behind the flag layer, and the text.
  20. *Optional*  Add a New Raster Layer.  Now, if you want to add some more text, your name or organization, go ahead and do it now, and add the same drop shadow that you used before.  Then Merge All Layers, resize and you are done!

Thank you for doing my tutorial!

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