Any resemblance to any other tutorial is purely by coincidence. The skills that you will learn in this tutorial will show you how to create and save a tube from any picture in Paint Shop Pro. This tutorial is writen for Paint Shop Pro Version 7.
A tube is a picture that can be used again and again in Paint Shop Pro, almost like a rubber stamp. You can create a tube from any image with a clear, transparent background, that consists of only one layer. If the tube is more than one layer, you need to merge/visible and make it one layer and one layer only.
There are many tubes that you can download from various sites over the internet, and they are of varying degrees of quality and clarity. Most of the time if I download a tube from web site, I open it up in PSP and take a look at it first. Sometimes they need to be cleaned up a bit, and as we learn how to create a tube, we will also see how to clean the ones that we download, too.
First of all, we need an image to tube. You can use this one, or use one of your own.
Open up your image in PSP, duplicate your original by going to Shift/D, and then close your original image. Now we will make this beautiful victorian lady into a tube for future use on our projects.
Go to your Freehand tool, the thing that looks like a rope. (It is also called the Lasso tool.) Click on that, and then go to the tool options pallet. You will want to select Smart Edge, Feather 0 and Antialias checked.
Now click all around the edge of your image until you make a full circle. Do not worry if the image doesn’t make a perfect line. We will fix that later. When you get all the way around, double click and you should see the marching ants aroung the image.
Now while it is still selected, copy and paste as a new image. Your new image will have a transparent background.
Add a new Raster Layer. Go to Layers/Arrange/Move Down so that this layer will be on the bottom. You can also go to the layers pallet, and drag your new layer to the bottom. Now flood fill this layer with a contrasting color. This image has a lot of black on it, and the old background was white, so I would not use those colors. I chose to flood fill this layer with blue.
You will see several white patches that we still need to remove from our picture. Now make the image layer active by clicking on it in the layer pallet.
Then using your eraser tool, set to round, size 2, hardness 100 opacity 100 step 25 and density 100 remove the white areas around your image. You may want to zoom in, and when you get close to the image, change the eraser size to 1. Go all around your image, and pixel by pixel remove the unwanted color from your image.
I like to do this “cleaning” with other tubes that I download too. I know the quality that I require in my images, but not everyone is as careful. Some tubes that you see have these extra pixels of color still on them, but you can clean them up and make a lot neater picture if you get rid the “extra”. All that I want to see when I apply a tube is the image itself.
Now when you are satisfied with the edges, I take a look at the image itself. If there are skin tones, and the image has been scanned and passed around for a while, it gets degraded, and the complexion doesn’t look as well as it might. I take the retouch tool, set to smudge and lightly go over the skin areas to give it a nice finish. Just use short little strokes, and follow the contour of the skin. I concentrate on the faces and the hands.
When you are happy with your image, delete the blue background. Just right click on layer 2 in the layer pallet, and choose delete. Your image should be ready to be saved as a tube.
* If you are working on an image with several layers, you must go to Layers/Merge Visible before you save as a tube.
Go to File/Export/Picture Tube. This picture is only one image, so the cells across and down are 1 and the total cells are 1. Give your picture tube a name, and click OK. When you want to use your tubes, your tube will be there ready to use.
I do not usually give these tubes a drop shadow when I save them. You can do that when you use them in your work, but that is a personal preference.
One other note. Sometimes you will see tubes with a number of different images all on one tube, and they are made that way, so that when you select that tube, you will get a random image from that tube every time that the tube is applied. When you save these tubes, you will have to count how many cells that they have across and down, and enter that in the cell placement, so that it will work correctly.
Have fun making your own tubes, but be aware of copyright issues, as well. If the image that you are using to make into a tube is copyrighted by a certain artist, then please make sure that you have their permission in writing to use the image before you make it into a tube. As far as I know the image used in this tutorial is in the public domain and may be used freely.