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palette toolFor the first exploration of objects and layers in PhotoImpact 4, we are going to make the border tile for this page. If you are working with objects and layers, it is essential to have the Easy Palette open, so if yours is not open, click on the palette tool on the top bar. (right).

texturetexture tiledI used the Artist Texture tool to make the texture on the left. It is very pretty, but as you can see from the picture on the right, it does not tile. You can see the joins. So I am going to use PI's objects to make it tile.

You can work with this texture to follow the tutorial if you right click on it, and use Save Image As. It is a 100x100 pixel tile, and we are going to create four copies of it, manipulate them, and put them together to make another texture which will tile. But first we need to get the texture as an object on a larger canvas. Open a new image. I used the standard 640x480 size.

On the top of the Easy Palette is a row of buttons. Click on the third from the left, and the words Layer Manager - Easy Palette will appear at the top. Now click on your tile to make it the current image. The top of its frame will turn blue.

copy/paste Click once on the copy button (left of the pair shown on the left) and then on its neighbour, the paste button. A black selection marquee will appear around your texture, and a copy of it will appear in the Layer Manager, because when you copy something and then paste it into an image, it is pasted back as an object. In fact, this object copy is sitting on top of your original tile, and we can peel it off. Click on it, hold the mouse button down, drag it into the new image you just created, and let go the mouse button. There will still be a copy of the texture in the Layer Manager, but now your new image is the current one and the object copy is in that. If you make your original texture the current image again, it no longer has an object in the Layer Manager. But for now, keep the new image as the current one.

duplicateGo to the Layer Manager and click on the Options Button (with the stripes and the red tick on it). From the menu which drops down, click three times on Duplicate. Three more copies of the texture will appear in the Layer Manager, (right) and in your image, four copies will be stacked up like playing cards.

My Layer Manager probably looks much smaller than yours. I resize it by pulling its edges inwards, so it is just big enough for the images I have in it, and leaves as much space as possible on the working area.

distort toolSpread the four tiles out in your image. As you click and drag on one you will see it becomes the highlighted one in the Layer Manager. Arrange them roughly in a square, but not touching. Click on the top right one to make it current, and then click on the distort tool in the left toolbar. (left). A row of new buttons will appear on the top bar. Click on Rotate and Flip, and then select Flip Horizontally. Your selected tile will flip, and you can now slide it up to the top left tile and it will be a perfect match.

adjusting the tiles 


Repeat this with the bottom left tile, and slide it up to touch the top left one. You will see that the two you have reversed have also reversed in the Layer Manager. The final tile (right) does not need to be flipped, so just slide it into place. Zoom in to make sure that your tiles are perfectly in the right place and aligned.

Now hold down the shift key, and in the Layer Manager click on each of the thumbnails in turn so that all are selected. Your image will then look like the one on the left. If you move one of them now they will all move together. To make this permanent, click on the Layer Manager Options Button again, and from the drop down menu select Combine as a Single Object. One selection marquee will surround your block of four tiles which have now been merged into one. And in the Layer Manager, you have now only one object.

All that remains is to make this tile smaller, so use Format/Dimensions with the settings shown below, to reduce it to a 100x100 texture tile.


new texturetiledSo now we have our new texture, and as you can see, this one tiles properly. I made a second copy of it, and used it to make an embossed background tile for this page. To make a second copy, make a duplicate object using the Layer Manager as we did before. Then click on one of the copies and drag it onto the workspace outside any of your image windows. It will appear in a new window of its own.

I used Effect/Special/Emboss, and then Format/Brightness and Contrast. In the Brightness and Contrast window I clicked alternately on the top left and centre right thumbnails until I had the white embossed tile you see on this page, which I used to fill the background graphic.

To get the scalloped edge to the border, I used the paintbrush set at 1 pixel, Trans. and Soft Edge at 0, and, with the foreground colour set at white, carefully painted out the small dark green triangular area on the right of the tile. I then selected this triangle (now white) with the Magic Wand selection tool, inverted the selection, and copy/pasted this modified tile into the background graphic as the edge tile, and gave it a shadow.

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