Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Southwestern Series:
Spear (Vector Tutorial)


I am continuing with my southwestern series. You will find the other southwestern items here.

You will do everything in this tutorial from scratch using vectors (now don't panic!) and some drawing and shading. I've tried to simplify vectors for those of you who don't do them much (more experienced users should have no problem at all with this tut). I'm providing screenshots too, to guide you along the way.

So, take a deep breath and come on and do some vectoring with me!

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.

My seamless wood fill.

Optional: Eye Candy 4000>Marble filter and my preset - place it in your Eye Candy marble folder. If you don't have Eye Candy, you can still do the tutorial. I'm providing you with a seamless tile of the marble pattern. You'll also need Eye Candy 4000>Glass filter to make the beads; however, if you don't have Eye Candy, you can still do the tutorial - just substitute an inner bevel instead.

You may download my materials here.

My color chart. Right click on this and save it to your computer (or alternatively, just add a new layer on your canvas and drag the color chart to it).

Step 1. Open a new image 100 x 500, white background. Open up your color chart and paste it as a new layer. Move it to the top of your canvas out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with the eye dropper tool.

Step 2. Set your foreground and backgrounds to texture and choose the "spearwood" tile you downloaded (scale 100%, angle 0). Choose your preset shapes tool, rectangle (retain style unchecked, antialias checked, create as vector checked, line width 1, line style #1 solid).

Draw a rectangle in about the center of yoru paper, approximately 12 x 300 (watch the numbers at the bottom of your screen). (screenshot is reduced, yours will be larger).


Choose your object selector tool , then click on "Node Edit" on your Tool Options palette.

Your image will look like this. There are 4 little boxes (nodes), one on each corner.

You need to add two nodes to the top of your stick. Move your mouse over the line at the top and you'll see a "+ Add" appear. Click on the line and you'll see a node added - it'll be black. Add another one. You should have this.

Choose the node on the left corner and move it down, in a position similar to mine. Repeat for the node on the right corner. Now move the two nodes you added (the ones at the top) as close to each other as you can - they should be right side by side).

Right click and choose "quit node editing." The top should now look similar to this.


Now to do the bottom part of the spear. You could leave it square if you like, but I wanted mine to be a bit rounded.

Add a node to the bottom, in the center. Then move the node down a bit.


Right click and choose Node Type>Symmetric. Your image will now have a little line, with a pointed arrow on one end and a circle on the other end, like the screenshot.


Pulling on either of these handles will reshape your node. Choose the little arrow on the left and pull it out a bit, to give it a rounded shape. Just play with it until you get something you like. When done, right click>quit node editing. Here's how mine looked.


Choose your object selector tool>node edit. Check to make sure all your nodes are lined up so your lines are straight - this will insure that your graphic looks neat and not jagged or lopsided. Here's an example of how it should look and how it shouldn't look.


I decided to make mine a bit smaller width, but you could leave yours as is if you wish. To make it smaller, click on the object selector tool again. Your graphic will look like the image in the screenshot. Take one of the boxes on the side (I've circled one in red for you). You'll see an arrow with points on both ends appear - just move the side in a bit.

Go to your layers palette and right click on the layer. Choose "convert to raster layer."

I lightened mine just a tad. Go to Colors>adjust>brightness/contrast. Set the brightness to 20 and the contrast to -18.

I also applied a cutout to mine, but that's optional - you could leave it as is. If you're applying a cutout, select it (selections>select all), float it (selections>float), and apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cuout), using these settings: vertical 1, horizontal 1, opacity 30, blur 10, shadow color - black, fill with interior color unchecked. Repeat the cutout but change the vertical and horizontal to -1.

Step 3. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to color #1. Choose your preset shapes tool, rectangle (create as vector unchecked). Draw a small rectangular shape at the top of your stick.

Set your foreground (or background) color to color #2 (note: you're doing this so the color will show up in your list of recent colors). Select and float your stick (selections>select all>selections>float). Apply a cutout, using same settings as before, except change the shadow color to color #2 (right click on the shadow color box and choose it from the list of recent colors there).

Step 4. Set your foreground and background colors to color #3. Choose your preset shapes tool, triangle (create as vector checked). You're going to draw the arrow for your spear. You want this layer to be underneath your stick, so if you just go now and make your background layer active, it'll automatically be placed there when you draw it.

Draw a triangular shape similar to mine, approximately 66 x 195 (screenshot is actual size).

Add a node at the center bottom and move it up a bit.

Hold your shift key down and right click on all of your nodes (they'll turn black). Right click>node type>symmetric. Move the handles on each node until they resemble mine here. When you're satisfied with the way it looks, right click>quite node editing. Go to your layers palette>right click on the layer>convert to raster layer.


Apply Eye Candy>marble, using the "pracken_spear" preset you downloaded. [Note: If you don't have Eye Candy, you can use the "marblefill" tile you downloaded. Just select your arrow (selections>select all) and flood fill with the pattern].

Selections>select all>selectons>float. [Note: If you're using the flood fill instead of Eye Candy, just hit the "ctrl+F" keys on your keyboard.] Apply cutout, using same settings as before, except change the shadow color to color #4.

Step 5. Align your pieces to look similar to mine (note: the arrow layer should be underneath your other two).

Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to color #5 and your background to null. Choose your draw tool, freehand line, width 3, antialias checked, everything else unchecked. Draw some lines across the top of your stick, similar to mine.

Apply an inner bevel (effects>3d effects>inner bevel) using settings in the screenshot.


Step 6. Your spear is basically done. I added some feathers and beads to mine, but that's optional. If you'd like to do that, you'll find the tutorial for the feather here. You'll find the tutorial for the beads inside my canoe tutorial. Just go to Step 12. You'll find that tutorial here.

Once you make your feather and beads, you'll need to resize them and place where you'd like on your spear.

Step 7. You're done with the color chart so you can delete it now. And that's it, all done!

I hope you've enjoyed playing with vectors - they really are fun to play with. As always, if you run into any problems, just give me a holler.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on January 1, 2005.
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