Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Christmas 2010:
A Retro Christmas Series (pixel)

Assembly (Putting it all together)

This is the final tutorial in my Retro Christmas series. In order to complete this tutorial you will need to have completed all the other items in the series. You'll find all the tutorials here.

This tutorial will show you how to put all the pieces together to make a retro Christmas neighborhood. This is where you get to be creative and put it all together to make it your own.


For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. This tutorial was written for versions 10 (PSP X) and 9. However, you should have no problems doing the tut in other versions as well. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

All of the items in this series, saved in PSP format.

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


NOTE: Put EVERYTHING in the following steps on its own layer. It makes a lot of layers, but it will also make it much easier to rearrange things until you have them the way you want!

Step 1. Open up a canvas, white background. My canvas is 1000 x 600, but you can make yours as large or small as you wish.

Step 2. Add a new layer. Choose your selection tool>rectangle. Draw a shape at the top of your canvas, approximately 1/5 of the canvas. Flood fill with color #1. Invert your selection and flood fill with color #2.

Step 7. Add a new layer and place it on top of your sky layer. Choose your airbrush, using the settings in the screeshot. Set your foreground color to white, and paint some snow.

Step 3. You can start by adding whatever items you want; however, I always add the larger ones first, to provide a sort of anchor, and then add others around those. I added all the houses first, and arranged them.

Step 4. I drew streets to separate the front from back houses. To do so, add a new layer. Choose your selection tool and draw a rectangle. Flood fill with color #3. Contract the selection by 1 (selections>Modify>contract). Flood fill with color #4. Place the street at the bottom front of your image.

Copy the street and place it on a new layer in a bout the middle of the image, in front of the other two houses.

I added drop shadows to give them a bit of definition. Use the settings in the screenshot. Note: I use these same settings for many of the other items in the scene and put all of the drop shadows on their own layer (see the checkmark in the screenshot). That way, you can adjust them more if you wish.

Step 5. Now you can begin adding and arranging items as you wish. I added my paths next, the fence, people, and all the outdoor items.

Note: Set your foreground color to color #5, paintbrush size 1, and paint some lines to attach your santa to the roof. I also painted lines to attach my antenna to a chimney. Finally, use color #4 and draw line to attach the boy behind the sled to the sled.

Next, I added wreaths, garlands, bows to various items.

Then, I added trees and bushes

I then added lights to some of my items. To do so, set your foreground color to #7, use your paintbrush, size 1, and paint lights.

Step 6. Finally, I wanted to give my items a bit more depth so they'd stand out against all that white snow, so I added drop shadows. Just use the settings I gave above in the screenshop and apply drop shadows to any items as you wish.

Step 7. Now spend some time arranging and looking at your image. Tweak it until you have it the way you want. Then save it as a master PSP file with all layers intact. That way, you can go back later and change things around if you wish.

Then, delete the color chart and merge all layers. Save in format of your choice (jpg, gif).

And that's all there is to it. If you've made it this far, congratulations! It's a lot of pixeling, but I just love the end result, and hope you will too. And I wish you all a happy and wondrous holiday season!


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This tutorial was created on October 31, 2010.
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ŠPracken, 2003-2012