Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Valenteenies: Charlie (Pixel)


I've made a series of cute little valenteenies. They're all pixels, and are very small. You will find all the other valenteenies here.

This one is animated, but you could choose to not do the animation if you wish.

The whole valenteenie series basically follow the same steps and are relatively easy to complete. I'm providing you with the outlines and the colors that I've used; however, please feel free to change these as you wish.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. I used version 9 but if you are familiar with PSP, you should be able to convert the tutorial to use with other versions without problems. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My pixel outline in PSP format. You may download it here.

You'll also need my color chart. Right click on this image and save it to your computer.


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.

It makes it easier if you enlarge your graphic (use your magnifier tool) so you can see the pixels clearly. Feel free to save my images in this tut too, and enlarge them as necessary to see.

The basic procedure for each piece will be the same. You'll add a new layer. Set your brush size to 1 and paint the outline of the piece in a darker color and then paint the inside in a lighter color (Hint: to do the inside coloring, make the outline layer active, choose your magic wand and click inside the section you want to color - then apply the color on your new layer).

I've applied a cutout to some pieces, usually using the same color as its 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). For some items, I repeated the cutout, changing the horizontal and vertical to -1 instead. Just play with the settings, it's a bit of a personal preference.

[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.]

Step 1. Open up a new image 150 x 150, white background. Copy>paste as new layer the color chart you saved. Move it to the top of your graphic out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your dropper tool

Open up the pixel outline you downloaded. Copy>paste it as a new layer onto your canvas.

Step 2. Here are the colors I've used for each section of the graphic. along with the color charts for each.

Legs, Arms, Face
Outline - 1
Inside - 2
Cutout - 3

Outline - black
Inside - 4

Outline - 5
Inside - 6

Ouline - 4
Inside - white
Cutout - 4

Ouline - 5
Inside - 6
Cutout - 5
Band - 7

Ouline - 8
Inside - 9
Cutout - 8

Eyes, Mouth, Moustache
Eyes outline - 1
Eyes inside - 10, black, white
Moustache - black
Mouth - 1

Step 3. If you're going to make the animation, add another layer and make the eyes look in the opposite direction, like this:

Step 4. Delete the outline layer, the color chart, and the background. Hide the second eyes layer you did. Merge visible layers (layers>merge visible). Copy and paste as a new layer. Export as a transparent gif file (file>export>gif optimizer). These are the settings I used.



Step 5. Open up Animation Shop. Click File>animation wizard. Follow the steps, accepting the default settings, except for screen #4. Enter 100 in the second box.

When it asks for the images, navigate to the location where you saved the two gif images you just saved and open them. Click "next" until you get to the end of the wizard. You'll see your two frames there. To preview the animation, just click on the "view animation" icon on your toolbard, or you can click View>animation. To save, click File>save as.

And that's it, all done! I loved making these lil guys and hope you've enjoyed them too - and I would love to see your results!

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on January 23, 2005.
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