For this Paint Shop Pro 5 tutorial, you will need two resources:

Davys Dingbat Font, which can be downloaded from

This stone texture, which can be downloaded by right clicking on the image and using Save Image As.

In Paint Shop Pro, open a new image 200x200 pixels, resolution 72, background colour white, 16 million colours.

Load the stone texture into Paint Shop Pro.

Click on the new image to make it current, and select the flood fill tool. Use View/Toolbars/ and check Control Palette. On the control palette set Fill Style Pattern, Match Mode None, Opacity 100, Tolerance does not matter. Click on options and select from the drop down list the stone texture. Click OK and click in the new image to fill it with the stone texture.

Use View/Toolbars and check Layer Palette. On the layer palette click on the button at the bottom left corner, to create a new layer. When the properties box appears name this layer cutout1 and click OK. The layer will be shown on the layer palette, above the background layer.

Select the text tool and, with the cutout1 layer current, click in the centre of the image. When the text dialogue box appears, uncheck all text effects and floating, and check alignment centre. Set the text size as 160 and select Davys font. Click in the Enter Text Here box to place your cursor in the box. Hold down the ALT key, and at the same time type 0130 on the keypad - NOT on the numbers above QWERTY. Click OK and the owl marquee will appear in your image.

Click on the move tool, and with the right mouse button held down, move the marquee till the owl shape is in the centre of your image and looks like the illustration on the right.

Use Selections/Save to Alpha Channel and name the selection owl.

At this stage you should save your image so far as owl.psp so that if you have to leave the tutorial and return to it, your basic image and selection are ready for re-loading.

Make sure that cutout1 is still the current layer. Use Image/Effects/Cutout and set the following variables:

Fill interior with colour unchecked. Interior colour does not matter. Shadow colour black. Opacity 100. Blur 10.6. Vertical and horizontal offsets both at 4.

When you click OK your owl will look like this.

Do not release the selection, but on the layer palette click again on the bottom left button to create a new layer. Name this layer cutout2. Make sure that it is the current layer. Use Image/Effects/Drop Shadow, with the following settings

Colour white. Opacity 100. Blur and the two offsets all at 1. Click OK.

Now use Selections/Select None, and you will be able to see that the white drop shadow is too bright and does not appear natural. On the layer palette, move the cutout 2 layer slider until the figure reads 66. The white will soften and blend with the stone texture.

Your owl will look like this, and now is a good time to save it again, but we are not going to leave it there. Thanks to PSP's versatile layers, we can have more than one version of the owl in one file.

Begin by creating another layer using the layer palette as before, and name this one emboss1.

Now click on the small striped buttons beside the names of the cutout1 and cutout2 layers. They will be switched off and only the stone texture will be visible. Make sure that emboss1 is the current layer. Use Selections/Load from Alpha Channel, and reload the owl selection. Your image will once again look like the first owl illustration in this tutorial.

With emboss1 the current layer, Use Image/Effects/Cutout with the following settings:

Fill Interior with Colour unchecked. Interior colour does not matter. Shadow Colour white. Blur 4. Vertical and horizontal offsets at 6. Click OK.

Make another layer and name it emboss2. With this layer current, use Image/Effects/Drop Shadow. Change the colour to black and leave the other settings as they were. Click OK.

Now use Selections/Select none, and you will see that we now have an embossed owl, but it does not look very natural. The black and white are far too pronounced.

So lower the layer sliders on both emboss1 and emboss2 to 56, and we now have an owl which looks like this.

The beauty of the PSP layers is that you can save this owl.psp file and have both versions available. You simply switch on the layers of the version you want, and switch off the two layers for the other one. If you want a bitmap or jpg or gif of one of the versions, Save Copy As will save exactly what you see.

You don't have to leave it there. You can always switch off the layers for the versions you have done, add new layers and make new versions, using fills or filters for new effects. Always remember to label the layers so that you know what to switch on and off.

I am going to finish by switching off the emboss and cutout layers, and adding one more layer, to show you what can be done if you apply Blade Pro. I shall use the eydropper to set the foreground colour to the darkest shade I can find in the stone texture. I shall make the Blade Pro layer current, reload the owl selection from the Alpha channel, and use the fill tool set at solid colour to fill the dingbat. I shall then apply Blade Pro dark sparkle preset.

The three images below show you the Blade Pro layer with all the others switched off, and the other two versions of the owl, each with the Blade Pro layer switched on too, but its slider lowered till it is just adding a little texture. I now have at least 5 versions of this owl in the one file, and there is no end to the variations I could add.


All this is possible because of the versatility of Paint Shop Pro 5's layers, and we have only scratched the surface of what can be done here. I will leave you to see what happens if you play with the blend modes alongside each layer, which all read normal at the moment but which each have a drop down menu with other choices. In fact, our owl file already holds hundreds of different variations and combinations. Have fun with them.



Carol Brooksbank 2003
This tutorial may not be copied to any other website nor distributed in any way. It may be downloaded for personal use only. Links to my tutorials at are welcome.


tutsbut.gif - 4kb Return to tutorials


  Click button to visit the graphics page