Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

KPT Gel Ornaments


I was playing around with the KPT gel filter recently, and the effect reminded me of a Christmas ornament, so I decided to make one. But of course, it was so much fun to play with that I made several ;o)

You will make this ornament from scratch, and will use vectors (don't panic, they're easy!!).

You'll make one ornament, and then you'll be equipped to make as many variations of it as you wish. I encourage you to experiment and play with the filter settings to create unique designs.

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.

Corel's KPT 6 Gel. This is a commercial filter (bundled with other filters), and you can download it here. [NOTE: You can do this tutorial without this filter. I give you a couple of options below about how to do that].

Eye Candy 4000 (glass). This is a commercial filter and you may download it here.

My Eye Candy glass preset. You may download it here. Place it in your EC4000 glass folder.


Step 1. Open a new image 200 x 200, white background.

Step 2. This step uses KPT Gel filter. If you don't have the filter, here are two alternatives for you:

  • You can get a very similar effect by doing Carla's beautiful candy tutorial. You'll find it here.
  • Another option, suggested by Sherri Wilson (thanks Sherri!) is to use PSP's twirl filter (go to effects>geometric effects>twirl - set the degrees to 720). You'll need to start with a circle to do this. Set your foreground and background colors to either a color, texture, or gradient of your choice. Choose your preset shapes tool, ellipse (hold the shift key down while drawing to make it perfectly round). Draw a circle. Then apply the twirl filter. You may want to do it several times until you get an effect you like.

If you have KPT Gel, open it up and continue on with this step. Adjust the Environment first. Set your opacity, refraction, and environment blend to the settings in the screenshot. Then click on the little arrow at the top right and you'll see "options." Then click on "Load Preset..."

Choose the "chrome" preset (it's the second one), then click the checkmark at the bottom right of your screen. [Note: when you make more ornaments later, you can use different presets and tint colors for entirely different looks.

Set the lighting as mine in the screenshot.

Choose your Wide Brush and use the settings in the screenshot.

Paint your entire canvas. It doesn't matter how you do this as each time you paint, you'll get a different look. Just make sure the whole canvas is covered with paint.

Step 3. Now choose your Twirl brush, and use the settings in the screenshot. Start in the center and twirl your color around until you have something you like. You don't have to worry about being perfect since you're going to select out the bits that you want. You basically want a sort of round shape. Experiment!


Step 4. Choose your selection tool, circle, antialias checked. Now draw out a circular shape from the image (you'll see marching ants around it).

Invert the selection (selections>invert), then hit the delete key on your keyboard. Deselect.


Step 5. Apply Eye Candy>glass, using the "pracken_ornament" preset you downloaded. I've applied it twice to mine. [Note: When you make more ornaments later, try making another selection in the center of your ornament and applying the glass filter to just that part. You could color this part a different color if you wish - see the orange and yellow ornament I made at the top of the page].

Delete your background and save as a psp file.

Ornament Top

Step 6. Open a new image 300 x 300. Copy and paste your ornament as a new layer onto the canvas.

Step 7. Now you'll make the top for your ornament. Set your foreground color to a gold gradient (one comes with PSP, or choose one of your choice), linear, angle 180, repeats 0. Set your background color to null.

Choose your preset shapes tool, triangle (retain style unchecked, antialias checked, create as vector checked, line width 6). Draw a small triangle shape at the top of your ornament (screenshot is actual size).

Step 8. Choose your object selector tool and your tool options will look like the screenshot.

Click "node edit" and your image will look like this:

Now you'll add a node at the center bottom of the triangle. Hold down your "ctrl" key while hovering your mouse over the line. You'll see an "add" appear. Then click. Your triangle will now look like this:

Pull the bottom box (the black one you just added) down a bit, like this:

Now click on one of the nodes on the side (the little box will turn black) and move it out just a bit. Do the same thing with the one on the other side. When done, it should look similar to this:

Right click and choose "quit node editing." Your image should look like this:

Step 9. Keep your foreground color as is and set your background color to the same gradient. Choose your preset shapes tool again, same settings as before except choose your rectangle shape and change the size to 1.

Draw a small rectangle at the bottom of the shape you just drew (you don't need to edit this one).

Step 10. Now you can save this as a preset shape to use again if you wish (if you don't want to save as a preset shape, just skip to step 11).

Click on your layers palette. For this layer, mine looks like this:

Right click on the rectangle and triangle layers (they'll now be in bold print). Right click and choose "Group." Your layers palette will now look like this:

Rename the "Group 1" to whatever you want your shape to be named. Mine is "pracken_ornament." Now click on File>Export>Shape. Type the name of your shape in the box and save.

Step 11. Make your triangle layer active. Right click on the triangle layer and choose "create raster selection." Add a new layer and flood fill with the gold gradient.

Apply KPT Gel, but use the "golf" environment.

Step 12. Repeat step 11 for the rectangle (put this layer on top of the last one). This is what you should have when done.

Step 13. Now you can change the color of your topper if you wish. I used the variations filter, but you could also use psp's color function (colors>adjust>hue/saturation/lightness).

Step 14. I added a string to the top of my ornament, but that's optional. to do so, add a new layer. Set your foreground color the the gold gradient and background color to null. Draw a string at the top of your graphic. Erase any overlapping bit on the top to make it look like it goes through it.

Save as a master psp file with all layers intact - that way you can go back later and change things around as you wish.

Delete the vector layers and the background. Hide the ornament and string, and merge the two topper layers. Save the top as a psp file so you can reuse with other ornaments. Now make the ornament and string layers visible again and merge all layers. Save as psp file.

And that's it! Feel free to experiment with the filters and create entirely different looks for your ornaments. You can also use different shapes. Also, try using a smaller wide brush size when you paint with KPT gel, and paint lines, to get an effect similar to the one in the heart I made at the top of the page. Use your imagination, and I'd love to see your creations!

I had a lot of fun creating these ornaments and hope you enjoy the tutorial. Please let me know if you experience any problems.

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This tutorial was created on November 25, 2004.
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