If you wish to download this tutorial to work off line click here for the zip file (580KB). Extract the files in the zip to the same folder and load index.html into your browser.
Open PhotoImpact, with no images loaded.
Throughout this tutorial you will need to be able to see the Easy Palette Layer Manager. Open the Easy Palette by clicking on its button on the top toolbar. On the row of buttons at the top of the Easy Palette, click on the one I have outlined in red on the right. The Layer Manager will open, but as yet it will contain nothing.
We are going to study the object merging modes, so first we need a couple of objects to merge. Go to your PhotoImpact materials folder and load the file Bwramp03.jpg. The file is 800 x 800 and is too big for this exercise, so first use Format/Dimensions and set the options on the resize dialogue box as shown on the left. Check Apply to Base Image at the top right, and then click on OK. Resizing always causes a certain amount of blurring, so use Effect/Blur and Sharpen/Sharpen and click the top left thumbnail. Finally, since this is a greyscale image use Format/Data Type. Check Create a New Image, then click on True Colour (24bit). A new copy of the image in 16million colours will be created. Close the original image, replying No to the question about saving the changes to it, because you do not want to change one of the bump files which came with PhotoImpact. You will now have the image seen on the right. Note that this is not an object, but a background image, so there is still nothing showing in the Layer Manager.
Now go to the PhotoImpact textures file and load the file rose2.jpg. Again, the file must be resized, but this time we need to make sure that it is at least as big as the ramp image we have, so its shortest side must be 200 - the height and width of the other image. Once again, after resizing, sharpen exactly as you did the ramp image.
The roses picture too is a background image, so there is still nothing in the Layer Manager, but this is where that changes. Click on the roses image frame to make sure that is the selected image. Now click on the copy button on the top toolbar, then on the frame of the ramp image to make that the current selection, and finally on the paste button. The roses picture will appear on top of the ramp one, completely hiding it. It will have a black marquee on three sides, showing that it is an object. The marquee on the fourth side is hidden because the roses are wider than the ramp. If you use the arrow tool and place the cursor inside the roses, you can move the roses around, uncovering part of the ramp picture underneath. You could, in fact, drag it right out of that frame and drop it into the workspace, and it would be put in a window of its own, because this copy of the roses picture is now an object.
Arrange the roses picture on top of the ramp picture, hiding it. The marquee should show top and bottom, but the sides do not matter so long as the ramp is covered. You can confirm that the roses are an object, because they have appeared in the Layer Manager. If your layer manager is bigger than mine is here, it is a good idea to click on the bottom of its frame and drag it upwards to make it smaller. There is no point in its hiding half the workspace as we can use its scroll bar if it fills up with objects.
The blue around the object thumbnail and around its name show that it is selected. If at any time you wish to select the ramp, you click on the area outside the object thumbnail, and that selects the background image.
Now that we have a background and an object, we are ready to begin finding out what object merging is all about.