Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Christmas Mailbox


Here's another in my 2005 Christmas series. This one's pretty quick - it uses selections and a little drawing.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. This tutorial was written for versions 10 (PSP X), 9 and 7.04 You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My canvas with alpha channels.

My seamless fill tiles.

You may download all of my materials here.

My color chart. Right click on this and save it to your computer.

Step 1. Open up the canvas with alpha selections you downloaded. The selections that you'll need for this tutorial are all saved to alpha channel and are in the order that you will load them. To load an item from alpha channel, go to Selections>Load/Save Selection>Load Selection from Alpha Channel . Make sure "Replace selection" is checked, and nothing else is checked. [Note: PSP 7 users: go to selections>load from alpha channel>.

To choose a selection, just click on the box to the left (it's circled in red in the screenshot) and navigate to the selection you want. It'll show up in the preview window on the right. Then just click "Load."

Step 2. Copy your color chart and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas. Move it to the top out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your eye dropper tool.

Step 3. Add a new layer. Load selection 01 from alpha channel. Flood fill with color #1. Float the selection (selections>float). Set foreground color to color #2. Apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cutout), using settings in the screenshot (click on the shadow color box and choose color #2 from the list of recent colors there). Then repeat the cutout but change the horizontal and vertical to -2.


Step 4. Add a new layer. Load selection 2. Flood fill with color #2.

Repeat for selection 3.

Step 5. Add a new layer. Load selection 4. Flood fill with color #3. Contract by 1 (selections>modify>contract). Flood fill with color #4.

Add a new layer. Load selection 5. Flood fill with black. Contract by 1. Flood fill with white.

Add a new layer. Load selection 6. Flood fill with color #3.

Add a new layer. Load selection 7. Flood fill with the 01mailboxtilefill you downloaded (scale 10).

Step 6. Add a new layer. Load selection 8. Flood fill with color #1. Float. Apply cutout, same as before.

Step 7. Add a new layer. Load selection 9. Set foreground to color #7, background to color #8. Change your fill style to gradient and choose #1 Foreground-background. (style-linear, angle-355, repeats-0. invert checked). Flood fill the box.

Repeat for selection 10.

Add a new layer and place it underneath your mailbox. Choose your paintbrush, size about 5 and paint color #8 on the inside of your box (to cover the white area inside).

Step 8. Add a new layer and place it on top of all the other layers. Load selection 11. Flood fill with black.

Step 9. Add a new layer. Load selection 12 Flood fill with color #5.

Step 10. Add a new layer. Load selection 13. Flood Fill with color #9. Float (selection>float). Apply cutout using same settings as before except change shadow color to #4.

Repeat for selections 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 (note: on selection #16 change the fill color to color #4 and don't apply a cutout).

Step 11. Now to add the greenery to your post. Add a new layer and place in underneath all the other layers except the background. Set foreground color to #6. Choose your pen tool>draw lines and polylines, width 2. [Note: PSP 7 users: choose your draw tool>draw freehand].

Draw some lines for branches.

Change your foreground color to color #3 and draw some pine sprigs.

Step 12. I decided to draw some boxes on the ground as well. Choose your preset shapes tool>rectangle. Set your foreground to null and background to the 01mailboxfill you downloaded (set angle to 0, scale to 10. Draw a box shape.

Float (selections>float). Apply a cutout using same settings as before (except change shadow color to color #1).

Change background color to color #3 and draw a rectangle for the ribbon.

Choose your pen tool>draw lines and polylines again, except change width to about 3. Draw a bow for your ribbon. Apply a cutout if you wish (just choose a slightly darker color for your shadow color).

Now just draw as many boxes as you wish. I've given you two other fills to use. Here are my finished boxes.

Step 13. And that's is, your mailbox is all ready for the season. When you're satisfied with it, delete the color chart, hide the background layer. Then merge visible layers. Save as a psp file.

If you want to add a background like mine, just flood fill your background with whatever color you want for your sky. Then choose your airbrush and spray on some snow. Finally, choose your airbrush and spray on little bits of snow. Then merge all layers and save as jpg or gif.

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial, and please let me know if you experience any problems with it.

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This tutorial was created on October 28, 2005.
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