The dingbat I have used in this tutorial is from Listemageren's Ornaments 4 font, which can be downloaded from Link to http://www.dingbatpages.com/. You will find the font on their ornaments page.
Open a new page, size 200x200 pixels, background white, resolution 72. Set the foreground colour to black and the background colour to red 238, green 194, blue 42 (hex #EEC22A), but do not colour the page at this stage.
Select the text tool and click on the centre of the page. When the font dialogue box appears set alignment centre, size 60, leave antialias and floating unchecked, font Ornaments 4, and type a lower case q in the box. Click OK.
The dingbat selection marquee will be in the centre of the page. Use Selections/Save to Alpha Channel and call it dingq.
Select the flood fill tool. Use View/Toolbars and check Control Palette. On the control palette tool controls set Solid Colour, Match Mode None, Opacity 100. Tolerance does not matter. Click OK, and then click on the dingbat within the selection marquee. You may have to try several times because only the outlines are selected, not the larger shapes. Zoom in if it helps to find the line. When you click in the correct place the outlines will change to black.
Use Image/Crop to Selection. The dingbat will be cropped to size and the background filled with the yellow background colour.
Use Selections/Load from Alpha Channel and reload the dingq selection.
Use Selections/Invert and Selections/Promote to layer. Use View/Toolbars and check Layer Palette. Make sure that the promoted selection is the active layer and open Blade Pro.
Use the basic glass preset (it is one of those which can be downloaded with Blade Pro). Set the light colours to a rich yellow like the one used for the background colour. It need not be exact but get as close as you can. Set texture and height to 36, but leave all the other settings as they are. Click OK.
We now have the basic element of our border. Save it as dingq.psp but keep it in the workspace - do not close it.
I am going to show you how to use it to make a border 4 dingbats wide, with two vertical ones down the sides, but you can use the same principle to make one any size.
FIrst check the dimensions of the dingbat using View/Image Information. Mine is 106 pixels wide by 52 deep. So the top of the border must be 4 dingbats wide, 424 pixels, x 1 deep 52 pixels. So create a new image 424x52 pixels.
Select the flood fill tool and on the controls palette set Fill Style pattern, Match Mode none, Opacity 100, Tolerance does not matter. Click options, and select dingq.psp from the list of images available. Click OK. Click in the new image you just created and the top of our border is made.
To make the bottom, use Edit/Copy, Edit/Paste/As New Image and Image/Flip.
To make the side borders we have to rotate dingq.psp. You have already saved it, but you must not save it again under the same name after this, because we are going now to merge the layers on the open copy. Use Layers/Merge/ Merge All (flatten). Then use Image/Rotate/90 degrees left.
We now have a vertical dingbat, and View/Image Information will show that the height and width are now reversed. To make a 2 dingbat side border we need twice the height x the width, so for my side I opened a new image 52pixels wide x 212 deep.
Select the fill tool. The parameters should be the same, but you need to reselect dingq.psp on the Options list because it is currently shown as horizontal. Click OK and click in the new vertical page to make the left side border. To make the right side, use Edit/Copy, Edit/Paste/As New Image, Image/Mirror.
We now have only to assemble these four parts as the border to a graphic. Give yourself plenty of room for this, so open a new page 500x500 pixels. Fill this with whatever colour or texture you wish to use as a background. I have used wood, but the choice is yours.
Click on the top border to make it current and use Edit/Copy. Click on the new graphic page to make it current and use Edit/Paste/As New Layer. With the movement tool selected and Layer 1 the operational layer, move the top border to the top left corner of the graphic.
Now, in exactly the same way, copy/paste the left side into the image as layer 2. If you have lost track of which side is which, the same side of the dingbat must point inwards on all sides. If you are using the one I am using, the side with the swathe is the inside edge. Move the left side block to the left edge and butt it exactly to the top. Repeat the procedure to add the right hand side and the bottom, lining everything up carefully. If you are in any doubt about the alignment of the right hand side, use the co-ordinates displayed at the bottom of the screen. Place your cursor at the right edge of the top border, the side and the bottom, and make sure that the x co-ordinate is always the same.
When you are satisfied that everything is lined up, use the rectangular selection tool and select the outside of the bordered area. Make sure that the marquee is exactly outlining the graphic, and then use Image/Crop to Selection. Although we are working in layers, the whole image will be cropped.
Still with the rectangular selection tool, select the centre of the graphic, right up to the border.
On the layer palette, click on the top layer in the list, which should be layer 4, so that it is current, and then create a new layer, which will be placed at the top as layer 5. With this layer current, use Image/Effects/Cutout, with Fill Interior With Colour unchecked, Shadow Colour black, Opacity 100, Blur 12, and both Offsets at 3. Click OK.
Now set as a foreground colour a shade which is a little lighter than the centre background of your graphic. With a texture like wood you can use the eye dropper to select the lightest shade in the texture. Still on layer 5, use Image/Effects/Drop Shadow with Colour set at foreground colour, Opacity at 100, blur and the two offsets all at 1. Click OK.
You can now use Selections/Select None, and your border is complete and ready for whatever you want to put in the centre. Save it as a .psp file so that the layers are preserved in case you want to change it in the future. I have finished my border off with a rather jolly dragon. He too is a dingbat - from Listemagerens Dingbats, keystroke upper case U - and he too has been treated with Blade Pro in much the same way as the border dingbat, except that he had no outlines to colour.
With Dingbats and Blade Pro you can very easily put together imaginative and attractive frames, any size from just one dingbat, or more if you want to mix shapes and/or colours. Below is the same dingbat, looking very different, but only the colour of the Blade Pro lights and the texture height have changed here. You can change presets to get even more variety into your borders. Have fun creating them.
© Carol Brooksbank 2003