Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

A Box of Festive Ornaments

I remember getting wonderful boxes of Christmas ornaments and opening them to decorate the tree. There was always a moment of excitement when the box was opened, just seeing them arranged so pretty in the box. So I thought I'd make my own cyberbox. This is not a difficult tutorial, but I assume that you have a basic familiarity with PSP - I provide screenshots to help you along the way too.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. I used version 7.04 but if you are familiar with PSP, you should be able to convert the tutorial without problems. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My selections file.

My flood fill pattern.

Some ornaments.   I have not included all of the ornaments used in this tutorial, but I have given you a couple to use. You may download all of my materials here.

Step 1. Open up a new image 300 x 500, background color of your choice.  For the tutorial, I've used white.

Step 2. Add a new layer.  Load selection 1 (go to selections>load from disk and then navigate to your selections folder).  You'll see the marching ants around the selection.

Step 3. Open up the boxfill tile you downloaded and then find it in your style palette-textures. Set the size to 20% and flood fill the selection.

Step 4. Apply inner an inner bevel with the following settings.


Step 5. Keep the frame selected.  Add a new  layer and apply a drop shadow with these settings:  horizontal 2, vertical 2,  blur 3, opacity 60.

Step 6. Make the frame layer active again.  With your magic wand (mine's set on 10 with antialias not checked),
select all the areas inside the boxes.

Step 7. Add a new layer (name it  cutout)  Flood fill with  #802F38.  Move this layer  underneath your frame.

Step 8. Keep selected.  Apply a cutout (go to effects>3d effects>cutout),  and apply the settings as below.


Step 9. Deselect.  Now you'll add whatever ornaments you want. I've  included a couple to get  your started.  Arrange them  as you wish.

Hide all the  layers except the ornaments  and merge visible.  I  decided to leave one  ornament out of the box, and  if you decide to do that, be sure not to merge that one with the others.  Now make all your layers visible.

Use  your selection tool and draw  all around the merged ornament layer and  then gently click  inside to select them.   You'll see marching ants.    Expand the selection by 7  (go to selections>modify>expand).

[Note in the screenshot below, you'll notice that all of the ornaments are selected except the one in the lower left corner, which is the one I did not merge with the others.  If you merged them all, you will have marching ants around them all]

Step 10. Make your "cutout" layer active.  Apply an inner bevel (go to effects>3d effects>inner bevel), using the settings in the following screenshot.


Step 11. If you wish, you can add a  drop shadow to the ornament  layer.  I think it gives a nice bit of depth but that's a personal preference.  Use the following settings: horizontal 1, vertical 1, blur 1, opacity about 60.

Step 12. If you've left one of the  ornaments out of the box,  repeat steps 9 and 10 with that one too (don't apply a drop shadow though).

Step 13. You'll need to add a back to the box.  To do this, you'll draw a rectangle a few pixels (about 3-4 on each side) larger than your frame.  You can do this in a couple of ways.  I've done it with the preset shape tool set to rectangle and "create as vector" checked.  You can also do it using the selection tool set to rectangle.  Both methods will work, but I prefer the vector one so I can easily reshape if I need to.

Choose a darker red for the back - I chose #4F1F27.  If you're using the selection tool to make your back, you'll need to add a new layer.  If you're using the preset shape vector tool, it will automatically add a new layer for you.   Draw a rectangle all around the box, leaving a bit extra on the sides.  Flood fill your selection.

Move this layer to the bottom (it'll be on top of your background layer but underneath all the other layers.  If you've drawn as a vector, right click and convert to raster.

Step 14. Apply an inner bevel, same  settings as before.

Step 15. Your box is now complete.  If you left one of the ornaments free, you can remove it from the box now and place it as you wish.

Hope you enjoyed the tut and Happy Holidays to y'all!

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This tutorial was created on November 29, 2003.
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