To do this tutorial, I assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and its tools.
My pixel outline. The outline is in PSP format. You may download it here.
My color charts. Right click on them and save to your computer.
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.
I've magnified screenshots of each section as much as I can without using tons of bandwidth. Feel free to save them and magnify them as much as you need to 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 200 x 200, white background. 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.
I started working with the tree and worked my way over to the right side of the graphic, doing the igloo and background last; however, you can do the pieces in any order you wish - each section of the graphic is labeled below, so if you want to do them in a different order than I've done, just go to that section.
Step 3. Make the tree color chart active. Choose your paintbrush, size 1.
For each section of the tree, use the following colors:
Step 4. Open up the presents color chart. Use the following colors to paint the presents. Start with the one on the left and work your way to the right.
Step 5. Open up the penguin1 color chart. Here are the colors for the first penguin (the female one on the left). I've started at the top of her head and worked down.
Step 6. Open up your penguin2 color chart. Start at the top of his head. Here are the colors to use:
Step 7. Open up your penguin3 color chart. Here are the colors to use (start at the top).
Step 8. . Open up your igloo colors. Now you'll make the igloo, the snowflakes, snow, and sky. For the snow, just color the entire bottom of the graphic, starting at the line that divides the snow from the sky. For the sky, just paint above that line, filling your canvas. Here are the colors to use.
Step 9. Now you just need to add your text. Just add a new layer, choose a font and color of your choice, and add whatever words you wish. I also applied a drop shadow to mine (horizontal 1, vertical 1, opacity 23, blur 1).
Step 10. And that's it, you're finished (how are your eyes? lol). I always save my graphics as master psp files with all layers intact - just makes it easier to go back later and change things if I wish to do so.
Then, delete all your color charts and the outline layer. Merge visible layers.
I hope you've enjoyed this tut, and as always, please let me know if you experience any difficulties.
Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on November 27, 2004.
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