Make A Preset Shape of a Tree - PSP 8 Vector Tutorial

Barb's Playground  06 /01 /04

This tutorial and all images [except the PSP box logo] are copyrighted and belong to Barb's Playground. You are free to provide a LINK to my tutorials if you would like to share them.

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This tutorial was done using PSP 8. It is intended to serve as a learning tool. It will help you will learn how to work with vector nodes to create a tree and how to export it as a psp preset shape. I encourage you to make it uniquely your own creation. The images on this page are reduced for space and on a white background for visibility. You will need:          
** Paint Shop Pro - download a trial version here   

** A good working knowledge of psp tools and vector nodes.

This tutorial was rated an 8 due to the vector work and amount of layers you will be dealing with.

Getting started

Open a new file 300 x 300 and save it as "treeshape". You may flood fill it with a color if you want to make it easier to see just make sure you keep it on a separate layer so you can delete it later.
Please make sure you save often.

Make the Tree Trunk
* Make a vector layer new and name it tree.
* Make your foreground color null and your background color #
* Select your preset shapes, rectangle, create as vector checked and Anti-alias checked, line style solid, width 1.
* Draw an verticle rectangle shape like the image below.

* Selecting your pen tool, grab one of the nodes and double left click. This should highlight all 4 nodes. Rightclick, node type, asymmetric.
* Select your edit mode arrow and then left click anywhere on the blank canvas.
* Select the bottom left node and pull the control handle down and to the left pulling away from the tree trunk.

* Zooming in will help you see the node handles and control arms better. Selecting the bottom right node, pull the control arm to the right and shape like you did the left node. Don't worry it will look skinny. We will fix that.
* Pull both bottom nodes away from the trunk to make it wider. See the images below.
                 It should now look like this ...

I know it still looks weird, but work with me! And by the way, are we save, save, saving this?
Follow the next few instructions and look at the images underneath them to guide you. I have numbered the image to match the instruction.

1 Now grab the top left node control arm and pull up and to the left.
2 Place your curser on the left edge in the middle of the trunk and holding your Ctl key down, when you see the word "Add" left click your mouse to add a node. Do the same on the right side.
3. Move the nodes in the middle and on the bottom in and out to shape the trunk the way you want it.
4. Add 2 nodes on the right where the trunk starts to bend.
5. On the lower node, pull the control arm up and to the right.
6. Now add a node to the tip of each top trunk and pull up to lengthen them. Then grab the control handle on each and turn it slightly to widen the tip of the branch and make it less pointy.
                                        It should look like this.

* Create The Branches.

* We are going to create different size branches all on the same vector layer, shape them and then group them for export.

* Select the pen tool, new shape, switch your foreground color to
3D0B0B and background color null, create as vector checked, drawing mode, freehand, new contour, line style, width 7, anti-alias checked.

* Draw a branch at the top of each split trunk. Now select new shape.
* Draw some branches selecting new shape each time you draw a new branch.

You can click on the plus sign next to the tree layer then click on each layer to highlight the nodes. Then you can adjust each branch if needed by moving the nodes or changing their type.When you are done your image should look something like this.

* Now select pen tool, new shape, new contour, change the line width to 5 and draw just a couple more branches next to the existing branches.

Keep repeating the above, changing the line width size and adding branches until you have the effect you want.
The more detail you put, the better it will look if you want to use it in a fall or winter scene. Also, when you put leaves on it, the branches sticking out here and there make the tree look better too. Me trying to "Vector" you to death? Lol ... naw ... just trying to help those who need vector practice.

* When you are satisfied with the shape of your tree, delete the raster layer. You should have one vector layer. Right click on the mouse and rename the vector layer to a unique name. For example I put my initials in front of the image and called it treeshape1. That way if you have other tree shapes, they will be named differently. If you make a new tree, call it the same but increment the number on the end.

* Now click on the plus sign next to the layer and right click on the name below and rename it to the same name.

* While holding down the shift key, click on each vector shape to highlight them. When all are selected, right click and select group. Now rename the group to the same name as you named the files above.

* Select file, export, shape, and give it the same name.

* To use the shape immediately, you must go out of PSP and come back in. Open up a new file, then select your preset shapes tool and look for your tree. Check the retain shape library style. Open a new file and draw your tree! There you have it!

I was in a hurry when I drew this tree for the tutorial but if you take your time, your image can look really good. Now if you are interested in making some leaves for your tree, I have a super easy leaf tutorial, just click here!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it stimulated your creative juices. If you have any questions or problems, don't hesitate to email me.




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