WordArt in PSP
This tutorial was written for PSP 8 but may be compatible with other versions.
These notes below include some extra notes, in square brackets and with an asterisk in front [*] - you can skip those or read them if you want to know more. They are not part of the tutorial; just extra info.
I've attended a WordArt class by Tina, and do not claim that art as my own! However, in order to get to the WordArt bit, there are some basic things to be understood in PSP8. These screen grabs, hints and explanations can help you with that. It explains about layers, opacity, locking layers together, and finally exporting to PNG.
So - we are making a piece of WordArt, but the journey to get to that end, is really what is important here! :)
The quote we are using, is from a layout by Amanda: "If all the fathers in the world held out their hands in friendship, yours is the one I'd take."
We'll use the words Fathers and Friends in bigger text and as background to the quote.
Right - let's start at the beginning - please forgive me if I say something you already know! Just skip over those bits.
Step 1 - Opening a new document (size, dpi, etc)
Open a new document. (File > New > size 8 inches wide, 5 inches high)
Look at all the windows when you have the New popup open. Make sure you have 200 dpi, for instance. And a white or transparent background. You can toggle the down-arrows next to the different windows to play between inches and cm or pixels.
If it is set to white or some other colour, you can make it transparent - just for practice.
Under the Color box is a tick box, with the word Transparent next to it - click in that - then the color square will get the "no entry" sign in it and you know your new document is transparent.
Here is the first screen grab:
You'll see at the top of the window in the screen grab above is a Preset filled in, named WordArt. I've created it for myself, to make it easier to do WordArt images. [Extra note: You don't have to worry about it, but if you want to save these settings, click on the disk icon next to the preset window and save it with a name of your choice. ]
The only reason I wanted you to play with the colour settings in a new document now, is because it is a pretty basic setting - will help you with future things you might want to do in PSP8.
==> Remember to Save often - in pspimage format, so that you don't combine your layers.
Step 2: Changing a layer colour
I found it easier to change my basic layer to light grey, then you can see what you are doing on top.
Go to the right hand side, where you should see your Layer palette. If you don't see it, go to View > Toolbars > Palettes > Layers.
Choose a light grey in your materials setting and flood-fill that layer - click on the paint bucket in your tools ribbon, which is usually to the left of your screen but could be at the top, depending on how you arranged them.
Materials - where my red square is to the right, is where you set your background or stroke colour. When you click on that square to the right, the materials box pops up (screen grab below) and you can choose your background colour.
Tools ribbon - the paint bucket is towards the end of the list. It is selected, with a square around it, as you can see in the screen grab below:
Save your work.
Step 3: Adding a new Raster layer
Add a new layer - now we are going to play with the fonts and text.
Layers > New Raster Layer > name it something like Text1
[*Extra note: vectors are fun, but you need to understand the basics of layers first. Vectors can be used to resize items (text or drawings) without getting "jaggies". But we work mostly in Raster.]
Let's do the father and friendship in big, white text, and the quote in black.
In your tools ribbon (the one on the left of your screen) choose the Font Icon (the big letter A).
Then make both materials squares white - on the right - the stroke and fill boxes.
[* A hint: With PSP8 , you sometimes need to first choose your tool and then the materials. Some tools don't allow for foreground or background to be Null (invisible).]
Don't forget to save!
Step 4: Now we need to choose a font type. Use something big and bold - Castellar was used in the example.
You want to use it rather big. When you click on the size next to your chosen font, you'll see it only goes up to size 75 in the drop-down list. However, you can type in a size of your choice. In this case, choose size 150.
In the screen grab below, you can see a lot of information: Stroke width, Anti-alias is ticked, Alignment, Line style, etc - you can make them all the same as in the screen grab. Important: Make sure the left entry, below "create as" and in front of the Font type, is on Floating and not on Vector or Selection.
Type the letter F as in the example above. Hit "apply" in the Text entry box. Your "F" should now be on the new document you created, surrounded by "marching ants". You can move it around and then put it down somewhere by left-clicking.
Step 5: Create another new layer - you can call it anything you want or just leave it as is.
Go to your font size - leave it at Castellar - and change the size to 100. Leave all other settings as is.
Type athers (for Fathers) - and move the text to line up with the F you just made.
We'll play with the opacity of the layers in a minute - don't worry about that now.
Now you have Fathers, right - the f on one layer, and athers on the next? If you do, then we can go on to the next step - typing Friendship in the same way.
Step 6: New layer; set your font size back to 150, type F [*or duplicate your layer with the F if you wish, then just move it]
Important to save again, regularly. PSP has an endearing habit of crashing on us ...
Step 7: Another new layer, font size to 100, type riendship and line up with your second F (now you have Fathers and Friendship)
We now have four layers; or then 5, counting the grey layer. The reason why we have the letters and the rest of the words on different layers, is because we are using them in different font sizes.
Step 8: For the quote, choose a font you like - something sort of slanty, or kid-like. Comic Sans is one, for instance, I've used CK Cute in the sample - but you need to get that off a bought Becky Higgins CD.
If you don't like the fonts when you are done, you can change it by just deleting and adding layers, then going back to the step you deleted.
Change your materials to black on both squares (foreground and background). Font size - I made it 100, with stroke and alignment unchanged from before.
Step 9: New layer - type the first part of the quote; maybe the first four words or so -- If all the fathers
Step 10: Add more new layers, and type the rest of the quote out as we did before; about three or four words per layer so you can move them around.
This is what your layer bar should look like - don't worry about those blue or grey locks on the right yet; we'll get to them in a moment.
Now I'll show you two tricks - one is to join your layers and move them together, without merging the layers.
Save, please. LOL
Step 11 - Locking layers together without merging them.
Now we have to move things around, but you don't want to keep lining the letters and words up. There is a way to "lock" them together - you don't want to merge yet, in case you decide to make a change for some reason.
Look at the screen grab directly above.
In your layer palette, go over to the right, past the word "normal" - you'll see greyed-out locks there. Left-click once opposite one of the layers - it will change to 1. Left-click again, it will change to 2. If you make a mistake, right-click and it will go down one number or back to None.
We are working with number 1 for now - on your first two layers above the grey layer, change the lock to 1.
Now when you move either of those two layers (F and ather), they'll move together as one word and you won't have to line them up again.
Join the two layers for F and ather, and the two for F and riendship together.
Don't make them both number 1 - or they will all four move together! make one set number 1 and the other number 2, for instance.
Step 12: Now the opacity of the different layers.
You can change the opacity (visibility or darkness) of the layers as you wish, depending on your background.
You can change the opacity for the four layers of Fathers and Friendship to about 70% ; that is very much personal choice, depending on your final background.
You can rename your layers by right-clicking on them and then choosing rename, or just hold your mouse over the layer to see what is in that layer. If you click the Eye next to the layer, it "hides" that layer so you can work with others. Just play with it!
Very much personal choice and preference from now on - there is no "right" or "wrong" way, although you don't want your letters and words to overlap too much.
Remember to save!
Step 13: Move your text around the way it pleases you - the lines with the quote, the Fathers and Friendship layers - there is no right or wrong way.
You can also play with the opacity of the Quote layers - the black might be too harsh, and you might want a softer grey.
Sample is here, with a clipart (credit given) added for interest. Remember that the grey background layer is just so that you can see what you are doing - you are not going to leave that there. [Clipart from http://www.paintedlight.com/clipart_christian_06_hands01.asp ]
When you are happy with what it looks like, you can save it as a transparent image to use in your layout, and/ or add a background.
We'll export this one as a PNG file, which keeps transparency intact
Step 14: Exporting as PNG
Click on File > Export > PNG Optimizer. (See screen grab below)
The window that will drop down, has several tabs for you to choose from = I've described Colors and Transparency in the screen grab
On the first tab (color), choose the bottom one;
second tab - Transparency - choose the Alpha Channel (third in the list)
Hit OK, browse to where you want to save it on your Harddrive, and give it a name. It will not necessarily go to the same place where you have been saving the PSP file you are working on now.
Your original PSPimage file will still be intact - save that to make changes as you wish.
==> I hope something in these steps was of interest to you, or that you found out something new you didn't know before!