In this tutorial I am using the art of one of my favourite artists
You require a license to use Suzanne’s tubes
which you can get here.
The scrap kit I am using is called “Cool Skullz” by
It really is a cool kit!
I have used two masks,
Monti’s Circle mask here
and Gems mask 11 which is in Set 1 here.
The font I have used is DK Porcupine Pickle which is a free font.
If you want to do the animation, you will need Animation Shop.
If you have been following my tutorials, you will know that I put a lot of emphasis on shadows and sharpening. As this tutorial is animated and deep shadows do not work well on a gif image, I am using a tight shadow of vertical and horizontal 2, opacity 70, blur 5 on all the elements. So when I say apply the drop shadow, that is the shadow I mean lol. Regarding sharpening, most elements in this tutorial will require sharpening as we are resizing them very small and of course, anything that is rotated needs sharpening as both cause blurriness. To sharpen its – adjust – sharpen – unsharp mask, settings I used are radius and clipping 5, strength 50. I will not tell you every time to do this, it needs to come automatic to you.
Open a new transparent canvas 650 x 600 pixels and flood fill with white.
Open frame02_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Open
Paper12_BAC_CoolSkulls. Click inside your frame with your magic wand, expand the selection by 10, make a new layer below your frame and paste the paper into the selection. Go back to your frame layer and apply the drop shadow.
Open Path_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 70% and apply the drop shadow. Position your path so its coming out of the frame. Check out my Pirouette tutorial for a neat way to do this.
Open String_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 95% and drag down below your frame and paper layers. Place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Card_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 55%, rotate 15 degrees to the right. Place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Flower05_BAC_Coolskullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 40%, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Wings_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 85% and rotate 10 degrees to the left. Place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Cat_BAC_CoolSkullz, click on top path layer and paste as a new layer. Resize 30% and mirror. If you are doing the animation, do not unsharp mask on the cat (this is simply because it makes his eyes too bright white and then they don’t colour well). Position him walking along the path, apply the drop shadow and erase part of his tail so it looks like he is walking out from the frame.
Open Crown_BAC_CoolSkullz, click on your top frame layer and paste as a new layer. Resize 50% and rotate to the left 15 degrees. Place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open your tube and paste as a new layer. Resize as required, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Now open some of the other elements, resize them and position them around your frame below the tube. There are plenty of cool things to choose from!
Tape_BAC_CoolSkullz – resized 40%
Skull02_BAC_CoolSkullz – resized 25%
ZippedLips_BAC_CoolSkullz – resized 25%
Button01_BAC_CoolSkullz – resized 20%
Don’t forget to unsharpen and apply the shadow!
Open Bag_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Bring the layer to top, resize 50% and place in position at the front of the path. Apply the drop shadow.
Open SkullChain02_BAC_CoolSkulls and paste as a new layer. Resize 20%, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Hat_BAC_CoolSkullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 30%, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Bottle_BAC_Coolskullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 30%, place in position below your tube and apply the drop shadow.
Open TeddyBear_BAC_Coolskullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 25%, rotate to the right 10 degrees, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Open Candle01_BAC_Coolskullz and paste as a new layer. Resize 35%, place in position and apply the drop shadow.
Click on your bottom white background layer and make a new layer. Flood fill with colour #eddcd3 and apply Monti’s circle mask. Resize the mask 90% and move over slightly to the left.
Open Paper02_BAC_CoolSkullz. Resize to 550 x 550 pixels and apply Gem’s mask. Copy and paste as a new layer and place in position on the right.
Crop your tag and resize if required. Apply your copyright information and text. Export as a jpeg with compression set to 5 if you do not wish to continue with the animation.
Go back to your cat layer and duplicate it, hide the original copy for now and we will work on the duplicate.
Zoom in on the tag, make it really large so you can see the pixels, I zoomed in 300%. Make your foreground colour #edb01d or whatever colour you would like your cat’s eyes to flash.
We are going to use the “change to target” brush to colour in the cats eyes. I have done a screen shot below to show you where the brush is in case you can’t find it. I am using PSP X3, in the old Jasc versions it will be in a different place.
Your brush needs to be on the following settings:
Shape – round
Size – 3
Hardness – 50
Step – 10
Density – 100
Thickness – 100
Rotation – 0
Opacity – 70
Mode – colour.
Now take the brush and very carefully paint in the cat’s eyes with the new colour. There is no need to worry about going over the black pupils as black will not re-colour. Do it in little clicks around the edges so that if you go over, you can just hit the back arrow to remove that part. It should look like this:
Once you are happy with your colouring, zoom back out. Right click on the tag, copy merged and paste it as a new animation in Animation Shop. Back in Paintshop, close out the cat with the painted eyes and open the original one. Right click again, copy merged and paste in Animation Shop “before current frame”. On the unpainted eyes frame, change the frame properties to 60 (animation – frame properties), on the painted eyes frame, change the frame properties to 20.
Run your tag through the optimization wizard and save as a gif.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, if you have any questions, please email me here.