Evelyn Chartres Author

Green with Envy

This is Part 8 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previousy we gave the Lady Lips to Die For.

Now it is time to add a bit of colour to her eyes. This process can be accomplished using the Brush tool from the Tools Bar. Select a colour you wish to use from the Materials Palette (in this case a bright green), then zoom-in on Lady Shade’s eyes.

Use the Brush tool to paint over the iris.  Cover them as best you can, we can fine-tune during the next step.

Note

There is no need to create a New Layer since one will be created automatically when you use the Brush tool.

Select the Eraser tool from the Tools Bar to adjust the iris fill as necessary. Using the Eraser tool will convert the layer to a Raster Layer; this feature is desirable since it enables setting Blend Mode to Hue.

Next in Part 9, we will Take a Bite out of the Lady.

Give the Lady a Flower

Digital Alchemy – Part 6

This is Part 6 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial where previously Lady Shade Awoke.

Lady Shade is washed out as she has no colour to make her stick out. In previous sections, we created layers for her lips and the flower. Now is the time to bring some colour back to the Lady, so let’s start with the flower adorning her dress.

Make sure the Rose Layer is visible prior to selecting it. From the Adjust menu, select Color followed by Red/Green/Blue. When the Red/Green/Blue window appears set the options as follows:

This above imbues the Rose Layer with a pink hue. If you are interested in having the Rose Layer take on more of a blood red colour, use the settings shown below instead. It is recommend you place these variants in separate layers so you can transition from one to the other.

Now that the colours have been changed, we will enhance the shadows within that layer. From the Adjust menu, select Brightness and Contrast then Highlight/Midtone/Shadow.

From the newly opened Highlight/Midtone/Shadow window; set the options as you see them below or select Intense color under Settings.

When done, click on OK to apply this effect to the layer. Now adjust the Blend Mode by selecting Soft Light. Note, you can experiment and see how the different filters apply.

Next in Part 7, Lady Shade will get Lips to Die For.

Lips to Die For

Digital Alchemy – Part 7

In Part 7 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previously we Gave the Lady a Flower.

Modifying the lips follows the same procedures used in Give the Lady a Flower. First adjust Red/Green/Blue then Highlight/Midtone/Shadow followed by setting Blend Mode to Soft Light.

In this case you will need to use the Eraser tool from the Tools Bar to clear out excess material. Once satisfied, your image should approximate the one below.

Next in Part 8, Lady Shade will be Green with Envy.

Lady Shade Awakens

Digital Alchemy – Part 5

This is part 5 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previously we embodied the phrase Let There be Night.

Lady Shade is a variant which has some effects normally associated with the undead. Duplicate Lady – Normal layer to switch back-and-forth as necessary. Select the Lady - Normal Layer, right mouse-click then select Duplicate.

Rename the layer by double-clicking on the layer then providing a new name such as Lady – Shade.

First, strip colour from the Lady Shade layer. From the Adjust menu, select Hue and Saturation then Hue/Saturation/Lightness.

When the Hue/Saturation/Lightness window will appear, set the Saturation level to about -50 to get the desired effect.

By adjusting saturation, we end up with the Lady not matching the background. She does not blend in with the night background and sticks out like a bad paste job. We can use the Blend mode option for a layer to smooth out transitions.

Double-click on the layer that opens the Layer Properties window. From here, adjust the Blend mode and set it using the Soft Light option.

Tip

When experimenting, you can set the Blend mode to the first option then cycle through using the arrow keys. This way you can preview differences in the Blend modes until you find the desired one.

Definition – Soft Light

Combines the Burn and Dodge blend modes.  If the color channel value of the selected layer is less than 128, the Burn blend mode is used.  If the color channel value is greater than or equal to 128, the Dodge blend mode is used.  You can use the Soft Light blend mode to add soft highlights or shadows.

Select Soft Light, click on OK and the following effect will be shown.

Next in Part 6, Lady Shade will be Given a Flower.

Let There be Night

Digital Alchemy – Part 4

This is part 4 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and where previousy we Isolated the Lady’s Lips.

A colourful painting with a sunny background will probably not evoke a sense of dread and horror. The best way to achieve that is to turn the background into the night and we can do that with some basic features of Corel PaintShop Pro and a gradient layer. Since we are dealing with the Background Layer for now, hide all other layers.

The first step is to transform the Background Layer into a Black and White image. While there are a myriad of ways to achieve this step; the easiest is by clicking on the Effects Menu, then Photo Effects and selecting Black and White Film.

Note

Converting the image to grayscale converts all layers to grayscale as well.

The Black and White Film window will appear and enables you to fine-tune the process. The BW Normal setting had the desired effect.

When satisfied with the settings, click on OK and you will have the following effect.

Now we have an image that has no colour whatsoever and lacks elements to make it appear as a night scene. Now its time to apply an Infrared Filter, from the Effects Menu, select Photo Effects then Infrared Film.

The Infrared Film window will appear and enable you to play with the pre-sets or select one that achieves the desired effect. In this situation, the Strong pre-set from Settings was used as seen below.

When satisfied, click on OK to get results similar to the image shown below. Now the shot has gotten darker with some elements emitting a silvery hue, a nice effect that provides a haunting look.

Now we need to create the effect of a night sky. Night skies are not uniformly black, especially when light sources like the moon are present. Gradients will add transitions along with varying transparency.

From the Layers Palette, click on New Layer and select New Raster Layer.

For moment we will not play with Opacity; provide a Name such as Night Gradient as like we find below.

The new layer may appear at the wrong level. Corel PaintShop Pro layers have precedence based on their level; layers nearer to the bottom are overridden by content from higher up.

Prior to this moment, all new layers were placed one atop the other. Now we want to make sure the Night Gradient does not affect layers other than the Background. We need to shift it down, select the Night Gradient Layer by clicking on it then move it just above the Background.

Now it is time to play with gradients, from the Materials Palette click on the Icon on the lower-left of the colour selector (either will do). Select the second option called Gradient, after which you need to hover over the Colour Selector (a dropper icon will appear) then click to select.

This brings up the Material Properties window. Setting up gradients can be daunting at first; to gain some insight, scroll through existing pre-sets available and see how their settings are applied. When you create a New Gradient, it will have no transitions at first.

To add colour transition, click below the bar and a new Transition Point will appear. You can add as many as you want and removed by sliding them off either edge.

New transition will come with two components, the first of which looks like a House and a Diamond. When one clicks on the House, select the colour it will transition to, whereas the Diamond dictates how gradual the transition will be. In our examples, we begin with Black to the middle then transitions to a Dark Blue towards the end.

The top of the bar adjusts transparency. Similarly the colour transitions, clicking above the bar to create a new transparency and in out situation we create one then set its Opacity to 75%. The transition will create an area unaffected by the gradient, which coincides with the background body of water and adjourning trees.

Note

If you create a gradient that is the inverse of what you want, click on Invert check-box to correct the alignment. Alternatively, modify the Angle to achieve the same.

From the Tools Bar, select the Flood Fill Tool and then left-mouse click (right-mouse if you used bottom selector) on the Night Gradient Layer. This will fill the layer with the gradient and cover over the Background.

Note

If you encounter a situation where the Flood Fill Tool only fills a portion of the layer, make sure the Use All Layers option is NOT selected.

To blend the Night Gradient layer with the Background, adjust transparency from the Layers Palette. Set the Transparency to 60% to get the desired results.

Tip

If you want fine-grained control over the transparency settings of a layer, double-click on the layer then adjust it from the Layer Properties Window.

With that the gradient is in place, the background looks more like a night scene. This forms the basis for the future modifications applied to higher layers.

Next in Part 5, Lady Shade will Awaken.