Creating Common Shapes
You can create any number of objects by starting with a common shape. To create a shape, you use the shapes tools flyout on the Tools toolbar. There are four shapes tools: Rectangle , Ellipse , Symmetric Shape , and Preset Shape . The first two—Rectangle and Ellipse—create objects which, on a vector layer, can be converted to paths and then morphed using the Pen tool. The Symmetric Shape and Preset Shape too
ls create paths whose shapes are immediately editable.
You can use the shapes tools to create both raster and vector shapes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that only vector shapes—created on a vector layer—are easily editable. If you plan to reshape the object, create it on a vector layer. To do so, make sure the Create On Vector checkbox is selected on the Tool Options palette before you use the tool. Paint Shop Pro will then automatically create a new vector layer if necessary.
To draw a common shape:
- From the Tools toolbar, select a shape from the shape tools flyout.
- Use the Materials palette to select a color and material for the foreground (line stroke) and background (fill).
- Use the Tool Options palette to define the shape:
a. Under Mode, choose the type of shape.
b. To create a vector shape, make sure the Create On Vector checkbox is selected.
c. For a symmetric shape, enter the number of sides.
d. Enter the radius values, if necessary.
e. Use the Line Style options to select a line style, stroke width, and other options:
Note: If all the options aren’t visible on the Tool Options palette, click the right arrow button at the end.
- With the tool options set, click and drag on the canvas to create the shape:
- On the Tool Options palette, click Apply. This completes and deselects the shape:
Using the Pen Tool
The Pen tool is one of the most useful and flexible tools in Paint Shop Pro. To start, you can use it to draw line segments and freehand shapes. When you’ve created a basic shape, you can use the Pen tool to edit the paths you created, altering the shape of the object by changing its contours.
To draw with the Pen tool:
- From the Tools toolbar, select the Pen tool.
- Use the Materials palette to select a color and material for the line stroke (the foreground). If you’re creating a shape from connected line segments, select the fill (background) color and material, as well.
- On the Tool Options palette, under Mode, click the Draw Lines and Polylines button.
To draw freehand curves, click the Draw Freehand button instead.
To draw Bezier curves, click the Draw Point To Point button. Bezier curves are curved lines defined by two endpoints and two destination points, which can be manipulated to change the curve of the line. To draw Bezier curves, you place points on the layer, and Paint Shop Pro connects them:
You can then use the points’ control handles to manipulate the curves:
Learning to work effectively with Bezier curves can take some time. For beginners, it’s much easier to stick to simple lines and freehand curves, which can be edited into the shapes you want.
- On the Tool Options palette, select the Connect Segments checkbox to connect multiple line segments and create a shape.
- Use the Line Style options to select a line style, stroke width, and other options:
- Select the Anti-alias checkbox to smooth the edges of the shape.
- Use the Join drop-down menu to select a join type for connected line segments: Miter, Round, or Beveled.
- If you selected a Miter Join, enter a miter limit. The higher the value you enter, the more pointed the join.
- Click and drag the line on the canvas. If you’re creating an object from connected lines, this will be the first side of the object.
Tip: Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard to keep the line straight.
- To create the remainder of the line segments for a shape, drag and release the mouse button for each side.
Each time you complete a side, Paint Shop completes and fills the resulting shape:
To quickly create a shape, you can click at each point where you want a segment to end:
Clicking just above the end of the last point of the triangle shown above creates the following:
Clicking again above and to the right of the last point creates the following:
- To complete the shape:
- Click the Close selected open contours button on the Tool Options palette to connect the last segment with the first segment and create a closed shape.
- Click the Start New Contour button on the Tool Options palette to create an open shape.
- On the Tool Options palette, click Apply.
Later in the tutorial, we’ll describe how to edit these shapes using the Pen tool.
You have completed the first of three Paint Shop Pro tutorials.
If you would like to continue on to Part 2 of our Paint Shop Pro tutorials, please find it on ou
r software applications page.