Paint Shop Pro 7 and any version of Splat! Or a later version of PSP and the current Splat! update.
If you have a later version of PSP and need to get the Splat! update, send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your name and your 12-digit serial number.
This time we'll look at a method for creating nicely tiling rectangular Splat! Frames from scratch. In later tutorials (still under construction), we'll see how to create elliptical Splat! Frames and how to convert PSP Picture Frames to Splat! Frames.
Remember that a Splat! Frame is a 3 x 3 PSP Picture Tube file whose extension has been changed to RFR. The corners of the frame each occupy a cell of their own, as do the two uprights and the two cross pieces, with the center cell completely empty.
Your frame should begin as a new 16.7 Million Color (24 bit) image with Background set to Transparent and Height and Width set to any dimensions evenly divisible by 3 (for example, 450 x 450 or 300 x 600). I'll refer to this file as your frame image.
To help you see where the cells of the tube will be, turn on PSP's Grid with View > Grid. Right-click your image's title bar and select Change Grid and Guide Properties. In the Gride and Guide Properties dialog, set Units to Pixels, set Horizontal spacing to one third your frame image's width, and set Vertical spacing to one third your frame file's height. (If you want, you can also change the color of the Grid lines by click the color swatch labled Line color and choosing a color with the Color Picker.)
The image below shows what you'll see at this point (with the color of the Grid lines set to maroon rather than the default gray):
You're now ready to begin creating your rectangular frame.
Now open a second 16.7 Million Color (24 bit) image - your tile image - being sure that its Height and Width equal the height and width of one of the cells (that is, one third the height and one third the width of the frame image), or that the Height and Width is a half or a quarter of the height and width of the cells.
Create a seamless tile in your tile image. Use whatever method you like for creating your seamless tile. For example, several of Alien Skin's Eye Candy 4000 and Xenofex filters have an option for creating seamless tiles. Or you might use one of Sandy Blair's Simple Filters or Plugin Galaxy's Instant Mirror to create an abstract seamless tile. Or you can use one of the handmade seamless tile methods I describe in the Backgrounds section here on my site.
Here's an example of a seamless tile that could be used for a frame whose cells are 200 x 180 pixels (the tile itself being 100 x 90):
When you're done creating your seamless tile, keep your tile image open. (You don't need to save the tile image, but you do need to have it open so you can use it as the pattern for the Flood Fill tool in just a bit.)
Make your frame image active by clicking its title bar. Now follow these steps:
Choose Selections > Select All. Then choose Selections > Modify> Contract, and set the Number of pixels to whatever you want for the width of your frame pieces. (If you have a large frame image, you might need to be patient while PSP performs the contraction of the selection.) When the contraction is completed, choose Selections > Invert. Your selection will then look something like this:
Keep this selection active for the next few steps.
Choose the Flood Fill tool. On the Color Palette, depress the left mouse button and hold on the Foreground swatch so that the flyout pops open. On the flyout, choose the Pattern icon.
Click the Foreground swatch on the Color Palette. This opens the Pattern Picker, shown here:
Click the pattern preview or the arrow to the right of the preview. In the resulting selection menu, scroll up using the menu's scrollbar until you can see your tile image displayed as one of the thumbnails. Select the thumbnail for your tile, then click OK.
Click inside the selection in the frame image. Flood Fill floods the selection with the seamless tile pattern, as shown below:
(Once you've filled the selection, you can close your tile image if you want to.)
Turn off the selection with Selections > None.
Add a bevel, if you like, with PSP's Inner Bevel, Eye Candy 4000's Bevel Boss, or a similar filter. The beveling normally will have no ill effects on your frame's tiling. You can also add a drop shadow to your frame - just be sure that the shadow doesn't intrude into the center cell of your frame image.
Save your frame as a Picture Tube with File > Export > Picture Tube. Be sure to set the Cells across and the Cells down to 3.
In PSP's Browser or in Windows Explorer, rename the tube file, changing its extension from TUB or PspTube to RFR. Then move your new RFR file to the folder where you store your Splat! Frames.
That should do the trick - a nicely tiling rectangular Splat! frame.
Copyright ©2002 Lori J. Davis
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