Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Heart Mobile Sigtag


[NOTE: This tutorial has been graciously translated into Dutch by Marjoleine. Thanks Marjoleine!!!! You may find the Dutch translation here.]

This is an easy sigtag to make. I've made mine animated, but you could also make it static if you choose. It's not a difficult tutorial, but I do assume you have familiarity with basic PSP functions, layers, and basic knowledge of Animation Shop. I've also provided you with screenshots along the way, and if you run into any difficulty, you can always email me and I'll be glad to assist. {Note: For some reason, some browsers distort the animation above a bit - the finished product really does animate smoothly}.


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 (which comes with PSP).

My selection files. Place these in your PSP selections folder (or any location of your choice).

My seamless pattern fills.

You can download all of my materials in one zip file here.


Step 1. Open a new image 200 x 250, background color of your choice.

Step 2. Add a new layer. Name this layer "bluetop." Load selection 1 (go to selections>load from disk - then navigate to the location you placed my selection files). Flood fill the selection with the blue pattern ("mobilefabric2"), at 100%. Keep selected.


Step 3. Float the selection by clicking "Ctrl + F". Apply a cutout (go to effects>3d effects>cutout), with the settings in the screenshot below.

NOTE: Each time in the following instructions I tell you to apply a cutout, you'll use these same settings.

02mobile 03mobile

Step 4. Add a new layer. Name this layer "pinktop." Load selection 2. Flood fill with the pink pattern ("mobilefabric1"). Keep selected. Float. Apply cutout.


Step 5. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to #F40A49. Choose your preset shape tool, heart, and draw a heart on top. OR, If you don't have a heart preset shape, you can use my selection (it's "03") - just load it from disk, flood fill with #F40A49, keep selected. Float. Apply cutout.


Step 6. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to #F1539D. Chose your preset shape tool, heart, and draw a small heart. OR, If you don't have a heart preset shape, you can use my selection (it's "04") - just load it from disk, flood fill with #F1539D, keep selected. Float. Apply cutout. Place this layer underneath the "pinktop" layer.


Step 7. Now you'll duplicate this layer 10 times (all of them should be underneath the "pinktop" layer). Place the little hearts all along the top. When done, it should look like this.


Step 8. Now to make the stars. If you wish, you can draw your own stars (just choose the preset shape tools, star), or you can use my selections. There is a selection for each star, starting at the bottom and working up to the top. The selection numbers you will use are 05 - 15 (11 total stars).

For each star, you will follow the same procedure:

Add a new layer

Load the selection (starting with 05). This will be the bottom star.

Flood fill with the color I give you below. Keep it selected.

Float the selection.

Apply a cutout.

The selection numbers and colors for each are as follows:

05 = #C8006C
06 = #BB6AB6
07 = #B2D7E6
08 = #4688D5
09 = #0065B6
10 = #00808C
11 = #2E7B07
12 = #A0B223
13 = #E79000
14 = #E85900
15 = #DE6061

To make things easier, name each of the layers. The layer with selection 15 on it (the top star) should be named "one". The layer with selection 05 on it (the bottom star) should be named "eleven." When done, you should have this.


Step 9. Add a new layer. Place this layer on top of your background layer but underneath all the other layers. You'll draw some lines down to your stars. Choose your draw tool, single line, width 3, antialias checked. Draw a line to each of the stars, changing colors for each star (use the same colors as you used for the stars themselves). If you wish to apply a cutout, you could do so - I opted not to. If you need to adjust your little pink hearts, do so now to make sure they align properly with your strings and stars.


Your mobile is now done. If you wish it to remain static, just save it now. Or if you wish, you could make a sigtag of it this way. Save as a master PSP file now, with all layers intact. That way you can go back and change things as you wish. If you want to animate yours, move on to Step 10 below.

Animating the Mobile

Animating the mobile isn't difficult, but there are quite a few steps. If you carefully follow each step, you should not run into difficulty (but if you do, feel free to let me know).

Step 10. The first step is to add the text to your stars. You'll probably want to start your text at the top and work down. If you've named your layers, the star at the top should be layer "one" and the star at the bottom should be layer "eleven."

I wanted a "P" on my first star (layer "one"). To do that, I made layer "one" active. Duplicate the layer (go to your layers palette, right click on the layer, and choose "duplicate."). You'll now have two stars ("one" and "copy of one"). Add your first letter (mine is "P") to the "copy of one" layer.

Now just add the rest of your text as you wish, always adding it on a duplicated layer (I also added sparkles on the stars that didn't have text on them, but you could leave these blank if you wish as well).

When done, this is how your layers should look:

11mobile     12mobile

Step 11. Hide the background layer and keep it hidden throughout all the remaining steps. Hide all the duplicated layers you made with text or sparkles on them. Then merge visible layers (go to layers>merge visible). Name this layer "bottom" You will have a background layer, the layer named "bottom," and all the layers that have letters/sparkles on them. Your layers will look like this:

14mobile   15mobile

Step 12. Now you're ready to make separate frames for your animation, and you will follow the same step for each frame. The steps are:

Make the "bottom" layer active.

Duplicate it.

Hide the "bottom" layer.

Make the layer with your letter active (start at the top). My first layer was the one with the "P" on it (layer name is "copy of one"). You will have only two layers showing ("copy of bottom" and "copy of one").

Merge the visible layers.

Name it sequentially, starting with "01."

Hide the layer you just merged.

Repeat this process for each letter/sparkle you made.

16mobile    15mobile     17mobile

When finished, this is how your layer palette should look.


Step 13. Now you just need to save each layer as a separate graphic so you can open them all up in Animation Shop. Start with layer 01 and copy>paste as new image. Save the new image as a gif file. Keep the same numbers for each, i.e., the first one will be "01xxxx.gif" The background will be transparent, but that's what we want.

Step 14. Almost done! Open up Animation Shop. Go to file>open - then navigate to where you stored your frames. Open up your last frame (mine is 11).

Go to Animation>insert frames>from file>add file. Navigate to your frames again and click on each of them (start at the bottom and work up, but don't reload the one you already opened). In my case, this means I would start with #10 (see screenshot). Use the settings in the screenshot below for your animation.


Step 15. All of your frames should be inserted, in order now, into your animation. Play your animation to see how you like it (go to view>animation). If you're satisifeid with it, then save it (go to file>save as - then follow the steps on the screen, choosing the default settings for all. You can resize if you wish. And that's it, all done!


I hope you'e enjoyed this tutorial, and as always, please let me know if you experience any problems.

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This tutorial was created on January 24, 2004.
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