Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Animated Pixel Carolers

carolerani


The model for this pixel tutorial was black and white copyright-free image. I've revised it a bit, colored it, and then animated. To do this tutorial, I assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and Animation Shop; however, I also provide screenshots to help you along the way, so most folks should be able to do the tutorial without difficulty.


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.

Animation Shop. I used version 3.04, but you should be able to easily convert the tutorial using other versions.

My pixel outline. The outline is in PSP format. You may download it here.

My color charts. There are 5 color charts. Right click on them and save to your computer.

Lamp Post Color Chart
carolerscolors

Caroler #1 Color Chart
caroler1colors

Caroler #2 Color Chart
caroler2colors

Caroler #3 Color Chart
caroler3colors

Background Color Chart
backgroundcolors


You will be working with an outline of the graphic. Magnify it as many times as you need to in order to see clearly. Pixels are great, but they do weary the eyes looking as those teensy lines.

My image is just a guide. Feel free to change the colors, apply cutouts or not, or add other effects to your liking. I put everything on its own layer (and name each one). That way you can easily go back and change colors later and correct any mistakes you've made. It makes a lot of layers, but it also keeps things organized and will save you a lot of heartache.

Also, I'm providing you with screenshots, and will show as much detail as possible, but some of the shots may be too small to see all the detail. You may want to save them and magnify so you can see exactly where the colors go.

The basic procedure for each piece will be the same. You'll do the outline of the piece in a darker color and then paint the inside in a lighter color. I've applied a cutout to some pieces, usually using the darker outline color.

To apply the cutout, select and float the selection (selections>select all>selections>float). You'll see the marquee ("marching ants") around the selection. Apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cutout), using the settings in the screenshot (the shadow color will change for each selection). Hint: When you're going to add a cutout, set your foreground or background color to the shadow color you're going to use. Then, when you apply your cutout, just right click on the shadow color box and choose the color from the recent colors displayed there.

Note: for some sections, I also applied a second cutout changing the value of the horizontal and vertical to negative numbers instead of positive (e.g., apply the cutout with horizontal and vertical at +1 and then repeat it with horizontal and vertical at =1). Feel free to play around with the settings until you get something you like.

Ok, ready? Then let's get to pixeling.

Step 1. Open a new image 400 x 300, white background (your graphic won't be anywhere near this big, but you'll need some room for the color charts). Open up the color charts you saved and paste them as new layers onto your canvas (I put each on a separate layer to make it less confusing). Move the color charts to the top of your canvas, out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your eye dropper. To make it easier, when you're working with a color chart, turn the other ones off.

Step 2. Open up the pixel outline you downloaded. Copy and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas.


Lamp Post

Step 3. Make the lamp post color chart active. Add a new layer. Choose your paintbrush, size 1. Color #1. Paint the outline of the post. Paint one line inside the post with color #2 and finally, paint the very center with color #3 (I did this instead of a cutout to this section, but you could omit color #2 and just apply a cutout if you wanted to). [Note: If I don't remind you each time, just remember to put every change of color on its own layer].

Step 4. Add a new layer. Paint the outline of your light with color #4.

Add a new layer and paint the inside with color #5. Float. Apply cutout with color #4.

Add a new layer and paint with color #6 (I didn't apply a cutout to this one).

Add a new layer. Paint the outline with color #7. Add a new layer and paint the inside with color #8 (cutout applied with color #8).

And finally, do the flame. Add a new layer. Outline color is #9 and inside is color #10.

       

Turn your lamp post color chart off. If you're using my colors, your lamp post should look like this:


Caroler #1

Step 5. Ok, now to do the first caroler. Make the caroler #1 color chart active. I'm starting at the bottom and working to the top of the caroler. Add a new layer, and we'll do the shoes first. Outline color is black . Add a new layer and fill with color #1. Float the fill and apply a cutout (shadow color black).

Add a new layer and do the coat next. Outline color is #2. Add a new layer and fill with color #3. Float. Apply cutout using color #2 as shadow color.

Add a new layer. Use color #4 to outline the scarf, gloves, and hat. Add a new layer and fill with color #5. Float. Apply cutout using color # 4 as shadow color. Add a new layer and fill the two sections of the bottom of the scarf with color #3.

Add a new layer. Paint the book outline with color #6. Add a new layer and fill with color #7. Float. Apply cutout using color #6 as shadow.

Now to do the face. Add a new layer and paint the outline using color #8. Add a new layer and paint the inside with color #9. Float. Apply cutout using color #8.

Add a new layer. Instead of using a cutout on the hat, I painted a layer of darker color right next to the outline (use color #10). Add a new layer and paint the inside with color #11).

Now finally, do the facial features. Add a new layer. Use color #12 to draw the cheek outlines. Add a new layer and color the inside with color #13. Add a new layer and color the mouth with color #14. Finally, color the eyelids with color #15.

           

Turn off the caroler #1 color chart. Ok, done with caroler #1. If you're using my colors, he should look like this:


Caroler #2

Step 6. Ok, now to do caroler #2. Make your caroler#2 color chart active and move it to the top out of your way. Add a new layer. Shoe outline color is #1. Add a new layer. Inside is color #2. Float. Apply cutout using color #1 as shadow color.

Add a new layer. Coat outline color #3 (also, as you're painting, include the outline bits for the sleeves and collar). New layer. Fill color #4. Float. Apply cutout with color #3 as shadow color

Add a new layer. Paint sleeves and colllar with color #5. Float. Apply cutout using color #3 as shadow.

Add a new layer and paint the gloves with color #6.

Add a new layer. Paint the book outline with color #8. New layer, paint the fill with color #7. Float. Apply cutout using color #8 as shadow color.

Add a new layer. Paint earmuff outline with color #8. New layer. Fill with color #9. Float. Apply cutout, color #8 as shadow.

Add a new layer. Paint hair outline with color #10. New layer. Paint with color #11. Float. Apply cutout, using color #10 as shadow color.

Now to do the face. Add a new layer. Face color is color #12. Float. Apply cutout using color #10 as shadow. Add new layers for each and use the following colors for the facil features: eyebrows: color #10; cheeks outline: color #12; cheeks fills: color #13; mouth: color #14.

             

Turn your caroler #2 color chart off. This is what you should have:


Caroler #3

Step 7. Now to do the third caroler. Make your caroler#3 color chart active.

Add a new layer. Use color #1 for the shoes outline. New layer, use color #2 for the shoe insides. Float. Apply cutout using color #1 as shadow color.

Add a new layer. Use color #3 for outline of coat bottom, sleeve, and collar. New layer. Use color #4 as inside. Float. Apply cutout using color #3 as shadow.

Add a new layer. Outline the coat with color #5. New layer. Fill with color #6. Float, apply cutout using color #5 as shadow.

Add a new layer. Color #7 for glove and hat outline. New layer. Color #8 for inside. Float. Cutout with color #7 as shadow.

Add a new layer. Book outline is color #9. New layer. Book fill with color #10. Float. Apply cutout using color #9 as shadow color.

Add a new layer. Color #11 for outline of the little puff on the end of the hat. New layer, color #12 for fill. Float and apply cutout using color #11 as shadow.

And now the face. Add a new layer. Color #13 for outline. Add a new layer. Color #14 for fill. Float. Apply cutout using color #13 as shadow.

Add new layers for each and use the following colors for: cheek: outline=color #15; inside: color #16; mouth: color #17; eyelids: color #18.

           

Turn your caroler #3 color chart off. And he should look like this:


Background and Finishing Touches

Step 8. Ok, almost done! Make your background color chart active. Add a new layer and place it underneath all your other layers (but on top of the background and outline layers), and paint the outline of the snow with color #1. New layer. Paint the snow with color #2 (note: there's no bottom line on the outline for the snow, so you can paint it as large or small as you wish). Float. Apply cutout using color #1 as shadow.

Add a new layer and place it underneath the snow layers. Paint with color #3. (Note: you can paint the sky as large as you wish).

Step 9. You will note that there is only one snowflake on the outline. I did this on purpose. You can color the snowflake and then copy>paste it onto your graphic as many times as you wish, placing it where you like.

Color the snowflake using color #1 as the outline and color #2 as the inside (I put everything on one layer). Copy and paste the snowflake as a new image, then save as a psp file (you'll need this to do the animation).

If you are doing the still, non-animated version of the tutorial, all you need to do is copy and paste your snowflake as many times as you wish and arrange them on your graphic.

Now's the time to tweak anything you wish to change. I always save my images as a master psp file with all layers intact, so I can go back and change things later if I wish. Once you've done that, delete all the color charts, the outline layer, and the background. Merge visible layers. Crop if you need to.

carolersfront

And that's it, finished! If you want to animate your carolers, just continue to page 2.





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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on November 24, 2004.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012