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Friday, November 4, 2011

What you need:
Tube of choice. I'm using the work of Keith Garvey. You can find his work at PTE.
Penta-Color Dot
Eye Candy-Gradient Glow
Fonts of Choice-I used LHF Sofia Script. Carpenter script is a good FTU alternative to it as Sofia Script is PTU.

Open a new image with the dimensions of 650x250
Flood fill with a gradient of choice. Either one that is from colors matching your tube or one that compliments.
Above that layer paste your tube a few times changing the position and location. Alternate between the close up if you have that as well.
Here is my example:
Close off the gradient layer. Merge visible. Duplicate your tube layer. On the bottom layer, set the blend mode to Luminance.
On the top one, set it to screen. Drop the opacity to 80%. Apply a gaussian blur set to 2. Apply Penta-Color Dot on the default settings.

Now, take your star tool and draw a huge star with the following settings: Number of sides 4, Radius 3.00. Background Black, Forground transparent. Convert to raster layer. Repeat a couple of times changing the sizes of the star each time. Feel free to rotate them a bit as well. If you don't like the one you created just hit undo.
When you are done with that, close off the tube and gradient layers, merge visible. That way you now just have a layer with just your stars.
Apply a gradient glow on a setting you like using a light yellow. Now set the blend mode for that layer to overlay.

Now create a new raster layer and name it snow1. Apply Vanderlee-Snowflakes. Adjust the settings to something you like. Hit apply. Now create another raster layer named snow2 and repeat, just move the random seed bar a bit at the bottom.
Repeat this until you have 4 layers of snow. Once you have your 4 layers of snow, drop the opacity of each layer down to 60%. Close off all the layers except Snow1. When you do the naming make sure you have snow1, snow2, snow3, and snow4.

Above your top snow layer, paste your tube again. Now, crop merged opaque.
On your tube layer, select all, float, defloat, expand by 3. Create 4 new layers. Name each one TubeGlitter1, TubeGlitter2, TubeGlitter3, and TubeGlitter4.
Flood fill each of them with white. Deselect. Now move your tube layer to the top of each of them. On each TubeGlitter layer, apply noise set to random. Change the number on each layer. Close off all but TubeGlitter1.

Now, using your font tool, write out the word Merry in the top left corner using whatever font you wish. Then write out the word Christmas in the bottom right. When doing this, leave room for a border. You can use any color you want. Apply a gradient glow to it.

Above your tube layer, create a new layer named Border1. Repeat this 3 more times naming the other layers Border2, Border3, and Border4. (see a pattern here?)
On any of those border layers, select all, contract by 8, invert, flood fill with white. Flood fill all the other border layers as well. Deselect.
Now add noise like we did for the TubeGlitter layers. Remember to change the number for each layer.

At this point you can add your copyright info and your name. If you aren't going to animate, add some drop shadows and save. If you are, here we go! Don't add drop shadows if you plan on animating. They make it grainy. :(

Get ready to animate! (the animation part won't be so hard, I promise!)

Open animation shop.
In PSP, make sure your Snow1, TubeGlitter1, and Border1 layer are showing and the others like them are closed. Copy merged.
Paste in Animation shop as a new animation.
Back in PSP, close off Snow1/TubeGlitter1/Border1. Open Snow2/TubeGlitter2/Border2. Copy merged. Paste in animation shop after current frame.
Repeat this for the other set of layers.

Select all frames. Set the frame properties to 20.

Save as a .gif!


If you want a matching avatar, make an image that is 150x150 and fill with your gradient. Paste your close up tube over it and follow the same steps you did for the background tubes. Then paste your tube over that. Create your border layers and follow the same steps for animation. :)


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