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If you are using PSP7, use this tutorial. If you are using PSP8, please click here.

This tutorial, like the Goose tutorial, uses a drawing technique that allows you to edit nodes or line segments as you draw. This technique can be used either when in Drawing Mode (only available when node editing), or any time you use the "Point-to-point" setting for the Draw tool.

If you've never worked with vectors before, you may find this tutorial somewhat complicated. I have, however, tried to be as thorough as possible so that with a little time and patience you can follow along.

Images have been resized for illustrative purposes, and have been optimized to decrease download time.



Before beginning, let me say that, even if you follow the instructions exactly, you will probably not get results that are identical to the image that I have created. This difference will be caused by a variety of factors, such as image size, placement, shape variations, etc. Because of the many variables that can create differences, use the settings as guides. If you find a gradient angle that you like better, or even colors, by all means use them! I write most of my tutorials to teach techniques and PSP capabilities, the resulting image is just a plus. : )

Open a new 600 X 300 pixel image with a white background.

Create Three Gradients

In this next step, we are going to create the main gradient for the body and for detailing, and then we will create two versions of this gradient with varying opacities for the fins and fin lines.Setting the opacity for individual objects as needed, instead of setting it for the entire layer, will make it possible to export the shape with the various opacities in the image intact.

  1. Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, set the stroke style to Null and the fill style to Gradient.

  2. Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, click on the button containing the gradient to open the Gradient dialog box.

  3. Click the the "Edit" button.


  4. Click the "New" button and name this first gradient "Goldfish 1".
  5. This gradient will be used for the body and detailing.

  6. You should now see a Gradient Editor dialog box. Under the Gradient section of the dialog box (illustrated below), click on the left marker and then click the Custom button.




  7. Click on the color swatch beside the Custom button and, in the color dialog box that appears, type #FEF7EC in the HTML code entry area.

  8. Click on the right marker to select it, click on the color swatch and use #F4A72E for the dark orange.


  9. Click the diamond above the color bar (midpoint) to select it, and then set the location to 50%—either by typing the percentage into the Location entry area or by dragging the midpoint.

  10. Click the "Copy" button, name this version of the gradient "Goldfish 2". This gradient will be used for the fins.

  11. Under the transparency section of the Gradient Editor dialog box, click on the left marker and change the opacity to 60, and then click on the right marker and change the opacity for this marker to 60 also.



  12. Click the Copy button again, and name this third gradient "Goldfish 3". For this gradient, click on the left marker and set the opacity to 70, and then click on the right marker and change the opacity to 80. This gradient will be used for the fin lines.

  13. Click "OK" to save the gradients and exit the Gradient Editor. The gradient settings dialog box should now be visible.

  14. In the Gradient dialog box, change the gradient back to "Goldfish 1," and use the following settings:
    Gradient Settings:
    Invert gradient: unchecked
    Angle: 180
    Repeat: 0
    Style: Linear Gradient

  15. Click "OK" to exit.

Create the Goldfish's Body

Activate the Draw Tool with the following settings. Use Figure 1 and the instructions below to create the body shape for the goldfish. Create the body shape toward the left side of the canvas so that you have plenty of room for the tail fin.

Draw - Tool Options
Type: Point to point
Width: 1
Line style: #1 Solid
Antialias: checked
Create as vector: checked
Close: checked

Figure 1

When adding nodes to create the contour, keep all clicks confined to the canvas. If you click outside the canvas, Node Edit mode will be deactivated and you will have to reset. Knowing this can save you a lot of time and frustration.

Tip: When adding nodes, if you make a mistake, don't start over. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard, select the last node added, and continue drawing.

  1. Click to create Node 1.

  2. When clicking to create Node 2, hold the mouse button in and drag to create a curve node.

  3. Repeat the click and drag process to create curve nodes for Nodes 3-7.

    As you create these curve nodes, you may need to right-click on the canvas and choose either Node Type > Symmetric or Node Type > Asymmetric to change the curve node type. Changing the node type allows the handles to be manipulated in different ways so that you can better control the depth and shape of the curves you create.

  4. Create a curve node for Node 8 and then, with Node 8 selected, right-click on the canvas and choose Node Type > Cusp from the vector editing menu.

  5. Adjust the handles on the node to create a small point with a curve on either side, as illustrated.

  6. Click to create Node 9.

  7. With Node 9 selected, right-click on the canvas and choose Node Type > Line After from the context menu.

  8. Click outside the canvas to complete the contour and exit Node Edit mode.


    A line segment will close the contour between Node 1 and Node 9 because we checked the "Close path" option in the Tool Options dialog box for the Draw Tool before we began creating the contour. The line segment will be straight because we changed the type of line following Node 9 in the previous step.

Once you have the body contour completed, right-click on the vector layer in the Layer Palette, choose "Rename" from the context menu, and then rename the layer "Body". We will be using several layers for this tutorial, so naming them is a good idea.

Fins and Tail

Right-click on the Create Layer button in the Layer Palette and choose "New Vector Layer..." from the context menu. Name this layer "Fins & Tail" in the resulting Layer Properties dialog box.

Click on the gradient button under the Styles section of the Color Palette to open the Gradient dialog box. Change to the "Goldfish 2" gradient, change the angle to 217, and then click "OK".

Figure 2

Ctrl + D to get rid of the bounding box surrounding the body. Activate the Draw Tool and uncheck the "Close path" option in the Tool Options palette—we are going to close this contour using a mouse/key combination. Start with Node 1 and, using Figure 2 as a guide, use the same cusp/curve node creation technique that was used for the body to add the other nodes in numerical order to create the top fin. As you go, you will need to change the node or line segment type by right clicking on the canvas and choosing one of the following commands:

Node Type > Symmetric, Asymmetric, or Cusp
Node Type > Line Before, Line After, Curve Before, or Curve After

Note: The fin doesn't have to be an exact replica of the fin in Figure 2, just as long as it looks like a fin.

When you have created all of the nodes, right-click on the canvas and choose "Edit Mode" from the context menu. While in edit mode, click Node 9 to select it, hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard, drag Node 9 and hover it over Node 1 until you see the word "Join" appear, then release the mouse button.

Expand the "Fins and Tail" vector layer in the Layer Palette, right-click on the drawing object on the layer and rename the object "Fin".

Click on the style Switcher arrows located beside the style buttons in the Color Palette. This will set the gradient as a stroke style and will set the fill style to "Null". Click on the gradient button. In the resulting Gradient dialog box, change the gradient to "Goldfish 3", set the angle to 354 and the repeats to 2, and then click "OK".

This next step involves quite a bit of repetition, but this method makes the number of objects that we need to work with more manageable. We are going to create all of the fin lines for this fin as one object.

Figure 3
Zoom in on the fin that we just created. Activate the Draw Tool (don't change any of the settings for this tool). Press Ctrl +D to get rid of the bounding box around the fin. Using Figure 3 as a guide, add Node 1. When you click to create Node 2, drag and adjust the handle so that the line follows the curve of the fin. Follow the instructions below to add the rest of the fin lines.


Figure 4

Add Contours to An Existing Object:

  1. Activate the Object Selector .

  2. Click on the "Drawing" object (the line we created) in the Layer Palette to select it.

  3. Right-click within the canvas and choose "Node Edit" from the vector context menu, or click the Node Edit button in the Tool Options palette.

  4. Right-click within the canvas, choose "Drawing Mode" from the vector context menu, and then draw another line beside the first.

  5. Right-click within the canvas again and choose "Quit Node Editing" from the context menu.

  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you have all of the fin lines created. See Figure 4.

  7. Rename the object "Fin Lines".
With the Object Selector activated, hold the Shift key on your keyboard and then click on the "Fin" and "Fin Lines" objects in the Layer Palette. Right-click on the image and choose "Group" from the context menu. Name this group "Top Fin". See screen shot on the right. This process of creating the fin shape as one object, the fin lines as another object, and then grouping will be used for each fin on the goldfish, including the tail fin.

 

On this same layer, use the process that was used for the top fin to create and group the fins and fin lines for fins 1,2,3, and the tail fin. Use Figure 5 as a guide for shape, placement, and the gradient angle settings for the fins—the fin lines are all set to a 354° angle and a repeat of 2. Use the screen shot of the Layer Palette as a guide for naming and arranging the objects and object groups. I've also included a Process Summary below Figure 5 to help you with the creation of the Fin 1 so that you will not have to go back through the detailed steps above, unless you need to.


Figure 5

Process Summary:

  • Change the gradient from a stroke to a fill style by clicking the style switcher arrows. Change to the "Goldfish 2" gradient, change the angle to 220 and the repeats to 0. Activate the Draw Tool and create Fin 1. Name the object for this shape "Fin" in the Layer Palette.

    When creating each contour, add an extra node on the end so that you can use the mouse/key combination to close the contour.

  • Switch the gradient to a stroke style and change to the "Goldfish 3" gradient. Set the angle to 354 and the repeats to 2. Create the fin line object for this fin by drawing a curved line, and then adding the other fin lines as contours. Rename this object "Fin Lines".

  • Group the objects, name the group "Bottom Fin 1," and then go on to the next fin.

After creating all of the fins, right-click on the "Fins and Tails" layer and choose "Duplicate" from the context menu. Drag this duplicate layer under the "Body" layer in the Layer Palette. Expand this layer, activate the Object Selector , click on the "Top Fin" group to select it, and then right-click on the canvas and select "Clear" from the context menu. Use this same process to clear the "Tail Fin" and "Bottom Fin 3" object groups from the duplicate layer.

Figure 6

The Object Selector should be the active tool, if not, activate it. In the Layer Palette, click the "Bottom Fin 1" group on the duplicate layer to select it. Go to the image, move this fin up and forward, and then rotate the fin slightly. Repeat this move/rotate procedure for "Bottom Fin 2". See Figure 6. Hold the Shift key and click on both of the object group buttons for this layer, right-click and choose "Properties" from the context menu, click the fill style gradient button in the Vector Properties dialog box, click the Edit button, and then lower the opacity for each marker to 40.

 

Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, click on the style switcher arrows to change the gradient from a stroke style to a fill style. Click on the gradient button, and change the gradient to "Gradient 1", the angle to 180 and the repeats to 0. Activate the Draw Tool and create the top portion of Fin 1. See Figure 7.

 

Figure 7

Details

Figure 8


Create a new vector layer and name the layer "Details". Use Figure 8 as a guide for drawing the gills. The gills need to fit closely together or they can overlap, as long as they maintain a layered look with the topmost layer on the left. You may wish to change the angle of the gradient for each gill to create contrast. After creating the gills, group them under the name "Gills".
Figure 9
Click the style switcher arrows to use the gradient as a stroke style, click on the gradient button and change the angle to 90, and then draw a line to accentuate the mouth. See Figure 9. You may want to increase the width of the line to around 2 or 3, depending on the size of your goldfish.

Use the completed image in the title for the page as a placement reference, and the instructions below, to create the eye. When complete, group the objects and name the group "Eye".

Activate the Preset Shapes tool, with the following settings, change the gradient angle to 180 (the “Invert” option should not be checked) and draw a circle for the outer area of the eye. To draw a perfect circle that is drawn from the center out, hold the Shift key and right click to draw. Click on the gradient button, check the Invert option, and draw another circle inside the first.

Preset Shape - Tool Options
Shape Type: Ellipse
Retain Style: unchecked
Antialias: checked
Create as vector: checked
Line Width: 1
Line Type: #1 solid

Now, change the gradient to solid color , right-click on the color button and choose black from the Recent Colors palette. Draw another circle for the eye.


Right-click on the color button and change the fill color to white. Zoom in and draw a small circle toward the upper-right of the eye. Now, draw a sliver of white that follows the curve along the bottom of the eye.

Activate the Draw Tool . Change the stroke color to one of the darker shades of orange used in the fish. To pick a color from within the existing image, hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard, hover your cursor (it should resemble and eyedropper) over the desired color in the image, and right-click. Draw a point-to-point line from the pupil to the outer edge and then continue to follow the curve of the eye. I've made the line red for illustrative purposes only.

We're going to add one more detail and then we'll group all of the layers and export the goldfish as a Preset Shape. If, however, you wish to add scales or anything else, feel free to do so.

Figure 10

Set the fill style to the "Goldfish 1" gradient. Verify that the angle of the gradient is set to 180 and that the repeat option is set to 0. Uncheck the "Invert" option. Use the drawing technique that has been used throughout this tutorial to draw a thin, elongated crescent shape along the back of the fish. See Figure 10. Name this object "Back Line".

Now, activate the Object Selector , right-click on the image and choose “Select All” from the vector context menu. The next step is very important! If you don't group before exporting, each group, or object not in a group, will export as a separate shape. Right-click again and choose "Group" from the vector context menu. Name the group "Goldfish". The name given to this group is the name that appears for the shape in the Preset Shape selection area of the Tool Options palette. Select the goldfish by clicking on the image, choose "Copy" from the Edit menu at the top of the workspace, and then right-click on an empty area of the workspace and choose "Paste as new image" from the context menu.

Right-click on the image and choose "Select None" from the vector context menu. Right-click on the image again and choose "Export Shape". Always test your shape before closing the source image.

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