Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Pixel Country Tree


This is another pixel tutorial - it actually didn't start out that way, but these things have a mind of their own sometimes *g.* The tutorial uses a tree that I drew from scratch, made a preset shape from, and then made a pixel outline.

If you'd like to try your hand at making the tree yourself from scratch (and a preset shape), you may find that tutorial here.

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 pixel outline - it's in psp format.

My gradient. Place this in your PSP gradients folder.

You may download all of my materials here.

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



NOTE 1: I like to put all of my colors on separate layers so I can change them later if I wish. In this tutorial, it will help you to do this since we're going to be doing some time-saving techniques and you'll need layers to do so.

NOTE 2: Some of the screenshots in this tutorial are resized up or down. If you need better visibility of a particular item in a step, just right click on that graphic and save it to your computer. Then magnify it 3-4 times so you can see the pixels more clearly.

Step 1. Open a new image 150 x 150, white background.

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

Step 2. Open up the treeoutline you downloaded. Copy and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas (screenshot is actual size).


Step 3. Choose your selection tool and click inside the trunk area of your outline. Flood fill with color #1.


Step 4. I applied an inner bevel to the trunk. Use the settings in the screenshot below.

03tree      04tree

Step 5. Set your foreground color to color #2. Choose your paint brush, size 1, and paint in the outline of the tree trunk. If you wish, you can right click on the screenshot, save it to your computer, and then magnify it 3-4 times to see the pixels clearly.


Step 6. Now you'll paint in the branches of your tree. TIP: Since I drew this tree symmetrical (i.e., both sides are identical), we can use a shortcut with the coloring. You can just do one half of the tree and then use that for the other side. So, let's do just the left side of the tree branches first - it'll save you a lot of time and wrist action *g*.

Right click on the screenshot below and save it to your computer. Magnify by about 3-4 times so you can see the pixels clearly.

I've lowered the opacity of the outline layer so you can see which ones to color, and if you do the same to yours, it'll make it easier to see (just slide the lever on your layers palette down to about 40).

Add a new layer. Choose your paintbrush, size 1, color #2, and paint in the pixels as I've done in the screenshot.


Step 7. Now copy and paste this as a new selection (you can use the icons on your toolbar, or click edit>copy>paste as a new selection.

Mirror the selection (go to Image>mirror). Then move it into place on the right side of your tree. Note: the outline layer opacity is still lowered so you can see the branches more clearly. Make sure you line up the pixels correctly.


Step 8. Now you'll do the leaves, and we'll do the same thing as you did with the branches, i.e., do one half of the tree and then copy it to the other side.

Choose your magic wand (tolerance about 10, feather 0), and click inside each of the leaves. Hold your shift key down while clicking to get them all.

Step 9. Add a new layer. You can flood fill with a color of your choice. I used a gradient, and if you wish to use it, just navigate to the "pracken_pixeltree2" gradient you downloaded (style - linear, angle 90, repeats 0). Flood fill the leaves.


Step 10. Now copy and paste as a new selection. Mirror it and place it on the right side of your tree. Be sure to line the pixels up correctly.


Step 11. Now you'll color the leaves outline. Add a new layer.

Choose your paintbrush and use color #3. Paint in the areas around the leaves on the left side of your tree. I've hidden the leaf color layer so you can see the pixels to color in the screenshot (save it to your computer and enlarge if you need to).


When you've done the left half of the tree, copy and paste it as a new selection. Mirror it and move into positon on the right side of your tree.

If you wish, you could apply an inner bevel, same as before. I decided not to apply one to my leaves as I was going to add a drop shadow instead.

Step 12. Add a drop shadow (go to effects>3d effects>drop shadow), and use the settings in the screenshot.


And that's it, all done! I always save my files as masters, with all layers intact - it makes it easy to go back and change things later, or mke other variations if I wish.

When you're satisfied with your creation, delete the background layer, the color chart layer, and the outline layer. Merge all visible layers and save in whatever format you wish (I use PSP).


Flood filling with different gradients, colors, or textures will give you more interesting looks for your tree. Experiment and have fun!

treefront2         treefront3

As always, I'd love to have your feedback, and of course, feel free to contact me if you have any difficulty with this tutorial.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on August 2, 2004.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012