Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Country Tree: Page 2

This is a continuation of the country tree tutorial. On page 1 you used vectors to draw a leaf and then exported it as a preset shape. Now, you'll draw the tree trunk and branches.

Draw the Tree Trunk and Branches

Step 1. On your layers palette, you should have a background layer and the leaf layer, which is turned off (you can actually delete it if you wish, since you won't be needing it again for this tutorial. I like to keep master copies of things so I can change things later if I wish, but that's just a personal preference).

First, you'll draw the trunk. Set your foreground color to black and your background to null. Choose your preset shapes tool, rectangle, same settings as before.

Draw a rectangular shape approximately 30 x 190 (watch the numbers in the bottom left of your screen. Screenshot is actual size.

15tree2  16tree2

Step 2. Choose your object selector tool>node edit. You'll see four clear boxes on the corners of your rectangle.


Step 3. Move your cursor to about the center of the top horizontal line. Hold down your Ctrl key - you'll see a "+" sign and "Add." Left click. You'll see a black box (you have just added a node).


Step 4. Pull the node down a bit, like this:


Step 4. Change the node type to symmetric. To do this, right click on the node and then choose node type>symmetric.


Your image will look like this:


Now grab the arrow end of the handles (you'll see two arrows that look like they're chasing each other n a circle). Pull down on the arrow a bit, similar to mine.


Step 5. Now click on the two top nodes while holding the shift key down - you're selecting them both. The boxes will turn black.


Change the node type to symmetric (right click>node type>symmetric).


If you click on one of the nodes, it will turn black and you'll see the handles appear. Pull on the handles to shape the tree top, similar to mine. You may have to play with it a bit to get something you like - just keep trying (and remember - save and undo are your best PSP friends!). When done, right cllick>quit node editing.

25tree2  26tree2

Ok, you've finished the top of the tree trunk, now on to the bottom. Hang in there!

Step 6. Ok, choose your object selector tool, click on your image and then click node edit.

Hold your Ctrl key down and add nodes (left click your mouse) in the places I've done in the screenshot. The added nodes are the black boxes.


Step 7. Move two of the boxes up, similar to mine (the ones marked by the red arrows).


Choose the 5 nodes at the bottom (hold down the Ctrl key while click on each of them), then change to symmetric (right click, then >node type>symmetric). (The 5 nodes are in red in the screenshot below - yours will not be red).


Now you'll just shape each of these nodes. To do so, click on it and move the handles. I'm showing you screen shots of how each of my nodes and handle positions look. Move yours in similar positions (they won't be exact, just get something that is relatively close).


Right click, then >quit node editing. You should have something similar to this. If you don't like what you have, you can go back and edit some more until the shape looks like you want it to.


Step 8. Choose your object selector tool again, click on the image, and choose node edit. I wanted to make the bottom of my trunk more shapely. To do that, select the node on the left side and move the handles into position similar to mine. Then choose the node on the right side and move the handles into position similar to mine.


Right click>quit node editing. Your image should look similar to this.


And finally, I wanted to make the sides of my tree trunk just a bit skinnier. To do this, choose your object selector tool and click on your image. Move the boxes (marked in red) inward a bit.

Right click>quit node edit. You should have something similar to mine below.

34tree2  35tree2

If you want to tweak anything, now's a good time to do it. Click on this layer in your layers palette and name it "trunk."

Ok, still with me?? Take a deep breath!!! Come on, we're gettin' there!

Step 9. Now you'll draw the branches for the tree. We're going to do a shortcut by drawing the branches on the left side of the tree first. Then, we'll copy them and move them to the right side - this will save you a lot of work).

Set your foreground color to black and your background to null. Add a new vector layer (go to layers>new vector layer). You're going to need to name your layers because by the time you're done, you'll have a lot of them, and naming will help keep things straight. So, name this layer "Left branches."

Choose your draw tool, freehand line, using the settings in the screenshot, and draw a line, similar to mine.

36tree2        37tree2

Now go to your layers palette and name the line you just drew "1." Your layer should look like this.


Step 10. Choose your object selector tool, click on the image, then click node edit. I'm showing you where my nodes are and the handle positions. Yours will probably look a little different than mine because your freehand line will be different. Play with the controls until you have a shape similar to my finished product below.

39tree2      40tree2

Step 11. Choose your draw tool again and draw another line (name it "2" on your layers palette). Shape it similarly to mine.

41tree2     42tree2

Step 12. Choose your draw tool and draw another line (name it "3"). Shape it similarly to mine.

43tree2      44tree2

Your layers should be named like this.


Step 13. Now hold down your shift key and click on each of the layers 1, 2, and 3 (they'll be in dark print), like this.


Right click on one of the layers and choose "Group." Your layers will now look like this.


Rename the "Group 1" to "Left Branches."

Click on the "Left Branches" layer. Go to edit>copy>edit>paste as new image (or you can click your edit and paste new image icons on your toolbar). Your new image will look like this.


Now mirror this image (go to image>mirror). Copy it (click the copy icon on your tool bar, or click edit>copy). You can now close this image. Return to your original image. Make the "Left Branches" layer active. Go to edit>paste as new vector selection.

Move this selection into place on the right side of your tree.


Go to your layers palette and name your layers like mine.


Ok, that part's done! The next step is putting your pieces together to make the tree. Sooooooooo, onward to page 3.

Continue to Page 3

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This tutorial was created on August 2, 2004.
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