Paint Shop Pro

CS 102

Oct. 25, 2006

Paint Shop Pro

Experiment with Paint Shop Pro 6. Grab a GIF or JPEG file and edit it. Try painting your own image. Try each of the following:

  1. Create an Images folder on your network drive and use it to store you images and to save your work today.

  2. Open a Web browser and save a few images into your Images folder.

  3. Start Paint Shop Pro 6 (PSP).

  4. In PSP, Open the image files you just saved from the Web.

  5. Changing foreground and background colors: Along the right edge of the PSP window you'll see a color spectrum with two rectangles below. The foreground rectangle shows the foreground color while the background rectangle shows the background color. Clicking the left mouse button within the spectrum changes the foreground color; use the right mouse button to change the background color.

    Use the dropper tool to change foreground and background colors by clicking within an open image.

  6. For most of the image manipulation functions, PSP must be working at a depth of 16-million colors. You can check the size of your image and the color depth by looking at the status information in the lower-right of the bottom of the PSP window. To increase the color depth, if necessary, open the Colors menu, choose Increase Color Depth, and choose 16 Million Colors.

  7. Using one of your images, experiment with the flip, mirror, and rotate choices under the Image menu.

  8. Next, experiment with the deformation effects, and filter browsers under the Images menu. Apply a few and see what happens. (You can return to your original by using the undo button.)

  9. Cropping: Often you'll only want part of an image. Use the selection tool (on the left hand side, sixth from the top) to mark the part of the image you want to cut out. Open the Edit menu and choose Copy. Open the Edit menu again, choose Paste, then choose As New Image. A cropped version of the original image should appear.

  10. Resizing an image: Try this with one of the images you downloaded from the Web.

    Under the Image menu, you'll find Resize. Resize your image so that it is 400% of its original size. (Hint: Enable Maintain aspect ratio. Use the zoom tool (on the left hand side, second from the top) to increase the image magnification to 1:1 so that you can see what happens to the image. Does it look blocky now?

    Use the Undo button to undo the resize. Next, resize the image so that it's 25% of its original size. It's much smaller now, but the quality is still just as good, right?

    This demonstrates that it's not a good idea to resize to a larger size, but it's fine to resize to a smaller size. So, remember, when scanning it's better to use too large a resolution because you can resize down later.

  11. Brightness and contrast adjustment: Try this with another of the images you downloaded from the Web. From the Colors menu, choose Adjust, then choose Brightness/Contrast. Preview the following settings of (brightness, contrast): (0, 0), (25, 0), (25, -25), (50, -25), (50, -50), (50, -90).

    Why might you want to do this? By suitably adjusting the brightness and contrast of an image, you can make it usable as a background image on a web page. Ideally, this should be a small (in bytes) image with a nice repeating geometric pattern, but any image will do.

  12. Painting and sign-making: This is a paint program. Click the new image button to get yourself a fresh canvas. Set the width and height large enough to give yourself some room to draw and be creative. Use a black background and 16.7 million colors with a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Experiment with the painting tools: paint brushes, air brush, flood fill, line, and shapes. You can always use the Undo button to clean up any messes you make. (Hints: When you choose a painting tool, enable the Tool Options window by clicking the Toggle Tool Options button on the toolbar -- it's the fifth toolbar button from the right. Experiment with different option values to see what they all do.) Add some text. (Hints: Once you've selected the Text tool and clicked on the point in your canvas where you want to place the text, a dialog box will open. This is where you type the text you want to appear, the font to use, point size, etc. After placing the text, there's a marquee around it to allow you to resize it and to position it precisely. Experiment with that. When you're finished fiddling with it, turn the marquee off by opening the Selections menu and choosing Select None.) Use several colors. Are you the next Van Gogh? Try different things. Go ahead, knock yourself out. After all, the paint is free.

    Important hints:

    1. When using the Text Tool, make sure you choose Create as Floating.

    2. When using the Shape Tool, make sure you disable Create as Vector.

  13. Creating a transparent GIF image: Click the new image button. again. Select the width and height you want and a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. This time, set the background color to Transparent. (The transparent areas will show as a checkerboard pattern).

    Why might I want to do this? A good question. Suppose you wanted to make a sign that floated over the background color or image on a Web page. Or, suppose you wanted to make a picture of a friend float over a Web page's background. A transparent GIF will let you achieve that effect.

  14. Saving an image file: For each of the following, open the File menu, choose Export, and then select Transparent GIF or JPEG File as appropriate.

    Notes for GIF files:

    1. A dialog box will open. Press the Use Wizard button.

    2. Step 1: Select No transparency or Use existing transparent areas as appropriate.

    3. Step 2: If you chose ``No transparency'' in the previous step, select your background color, otherwise move on to step 3.

    4. Step 3: Use web-safe colors.

    5. Step 4: Move the slider all the way to ``Better image quality.''

    6. Step 5: Observe how your image will appear and the file size. If you're not happy, you can return to previous steps and make adjustments. Click Finish when you're done.

    Notes for JPEG files:

    1. A dialog box will open. Press the Use Wizard button.

    2. Step 1: Move the slider toward ``Better image quality'' (but not all the way).

    3. Step 2: Observe how your image will appear and the file size. If you're not happy, you can return to the previous step and make adjustments. Click Finish when you're done.

  15. Using the browser to view results: This is much easier to do in Netscape Navigator, so don't try using Internet Explorer for this. From the File menu choose Open File and browse to your Images folder (set Files of Type to All Files if necessary). Open and observe each of the images. How does the image with a transparent background look? (Hint: You'll get a better idea of what a transparent GIF looks like by changing Netscape's default background color. Open the Edit menu, choose Preferences, and select Colors. Change your background color and now view the transparent image. Can you see why it's called a transparent image now?)

Thomas P. Kelliher 2006-10-23
Tom Kelliher