Everyone loves dreamcatchers, both for their symbolism and their beauty. My kids made their own dreamcatchers out of dried vines, craft beads and bird's feathers from the back yard. They say they haven't had a bad dream since then!
This tutorial is an adaptation of a PI 4.2 tutorial. It shows you how to use the Path and Transform tools to make your own dreamcatcher, complete with 3D beads and feather trim. My dreamcatcher is purple, but you can make yours any color you like. New tools in PI5 make this dreamcatcher a lot easier to make, but if you have trouble making the parts, download the UFO ZIP kit.
The example shown at left is only half size. You should see it full size to appreciate it in all its glory.
Start by making a new True Color image 300 X 300 pixels, canvas=black. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and choose Arch 2. Click in the color box and choose white. Draw a tall, long shape.
Switch to the Path Edit tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click on the Toggle button. Click anywhere on the path to display its control points.
In Pick point mode, click on the bottom right control point to select it. Maintaining a straight horizontal line, drag the control point in toward the center about 1/4 inch. Click on the bottom left control point and drag it toward the center. You want to narrow the bottom of the path without distorting the symmetry of the rest of the path.
Click on the Toggle button in the Attributes toolbar to get back into 3D Mode. Select the Path Drawing tool again.
In the Attributes toolbar, select 3D Pipe from the Mode dropdown list. Drag the Border slider way down to the left, creating a narrow shape for the dreamcatcher's webbing.
Switch to the Transform tool, Resize option. Drag one of the vertical control points toward the middle of the object, making it slightly less wide. If necessary, make the object a little taller, so that it's proportioned something like this one.
Right click and duplicate the object.
While the duplicate object is active, choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically. Use the Pick or the Selection tool to position the object below the other one, overlapping slightly at the ends.
Hold down on the Shift key while clicking the object on top, so that both objects are selected. Right click and Combine As Single Object.
Now we have to paint out the middle part, where the objects overlap. Click on the Zoom tool and click once in the image to magnify to 200%.
Choose Edit, Mask Mode. Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select black paint and a small brush, 5 pixels. Carefully paint out the middle of the object. Choose Edit, and deselect Mask Mode.
Choose View, Actual View, to return to normal viewing mode. Now the object looks kind of like a propeller.
Copy the object into the Clipboard, then paste it back into the image.
Choose the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar's "Rotate by Degree" section, rotate 90 degrees clockwise. Position the rotated object over the other one, so that they form a cross.
Hold down the Shift key while clicking on the other object, so that both are selected. In the Attributes toolbar, select Object, Align, Center both. While they're both active, right click and choose Combine As Single Object.
Copy the combined object into the Clipboard. Paste it back into the image. In the Attributes toolbar, rotate 15 degrees clockwise. Paste the object into the image again, and rotate this one 15 degrees counterclockwise.
Drag the objects on top of each other, but don't worry if they aren't exactly lined up. We'll center them after adding the rest of the webbing.
Paste two more of the objects into the image. In the Attributes toolbar, rotate one object 30 degrees clockwise, and the other one 30 degrees counterclockwise. Drag these two objects on top of the other ones.
Paste one more of the objects into the image. In the Attributes toolbar, rotate the object 45 degrees clockwise. Drag it over on top of the other objects.
Now we'll center all the webbing objects. Open the EasyPalette's Layer Manager. Click on the first thumbnail, then hold down on the Shift key while clicking all of the rest of the thumbnails. Doing so selects all of the objects at the same time.
Choose Object, Align, Center Both. Instantly, all of the objects will be centered exactly on top of one another. While they're all still selected, right click and Combine As Single Object. This turns the webbing into one object, so you don't have to worry anymore about the separate objects becoming misaligned.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Circle. Leave the Mode set to 3D Pipe.
Draw a circle path object large enough to go around the outer edges of the webbing. You'll be doing this by eye, so if you don't get it the right size, simply click on the Transform tool, Resize option, hold down on the Shift key, and resize from any control point. Drag the Border slider down to the left to make a rim around the webbing.
Click in the Attributes toolbar's Color box and select any color, or use a color from the EasyPalette's Material Gallery. I'm using Purple from the Material Gallery's Color tab, with Steel 1 Shading applied.
Choose Edit, Expand. When the Expand box opens, it is locked to adding equally to all four sides of the image by default. Enter a value of 0, then click on the lock to "unlock" it. Enter a value of 200 for "Bottom." Click in the color box and choose black, then click OK to close the box. This adds 200 pixels of black to the bottom of the image only. We'll use this space next for the really fun part -- adding beads and feathers.
Click in the base image to deselect the rim. With the Path Drawing tool selected, click Shape in the Attributes toolbar and select Rectangle. Choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. The color from the rim should still be active. Draw a long, narrow rectangle, about 3 inches long. This will be a "string" from which the beads and feathers will hang.
Right click on the string and Duplicate, then right click and Duplicate again. Use the Pick tool to position one string at the center bottom of the rim. Position the other two strings 3 "points" of webbing away from the middle one on each side. Use the Order options in the Attributes toolbar to "Send to Back" all three strings, so that their tops are hidden behind the rim.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Ellipse. Choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. Draw a long, narrow ellipse the size of the beads shown at left.
Open the EasyPalette, Realistic, and double click on Wood 1. From Shading, double click on Shiny 7. Hit Ctrl+C to copy the bead into the Clipboard, or hold down on the Shift key while dragging, to make a total of 6 ellipse beads.
In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Circle. Choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. Draw a small round wooden bead. Hit Ctrl+C to copy the bead into the Clipboard, or hold down on the Shift key while dragging, to make a total of 12 beads. Position as shown below.
To align beads on the same horizontal plane, select one, then hold down on the Shift key while clicking on the other bead, to select both. Choose Object, Align, Center Horizontally. When the beads are aligned correctly, right click and Merge All.
Next we'll add the "wrapping" that connects the points of the webbing to the dreamcatcher's purple rim. Select the Zoom tool and Zoom In to 200%. Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select a round brush, Size=2 pixels, Color=light gray, Transparency=25%, Soft edge=1. Click the Options button and choose Straight Lines.
Click on the outer edge of the rim, drag to the center of a point and click again. Don't move the brush! Click again, drag back to the outer edge of the rim and click again. You'll be making little V-shapes connecting the points of the webbing to the rim. If you make a mistake, right click, Undo, and try again.
Continue painting little V-shapes all the way around the rim of the dreamcatcher.
Your webbing and rim wrappings don't have to be perfect! Remember that dreamcatchers are one-of-a-kind, handmade items. If you're off by a pixel or two here or there, it just adds to its charm.
The last part of making your dreamcatcher is to make the feathers to decorate the ends of the strings. I have to credit my friend Carol Brooksbank for coming up with this great idea for making feathers. We'll use one of the Material folder's bump maps to to mimic the quills in the feather.
Choose File, Open and browse your hard drive for Program Files, Ulead Systems, Ulead PhotoImpact 5, Material. Select bump04c.jpg and click OK. You'll open up a huge image with diagonal lines. Copy the image into the Clipboard, and Edit, Paste, As A New Image. Right click and Merge All. Close out the original bump04c.jpg image. Paste another copy of the diagonal striped image back into itself. It will be an object "floating" above the base image. Choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Horizontally.
Use the Selection tool to position the flipped object so that you create a chevron effect down the middle of the image. Right click and Merge All. Now choose Format, Dimensions, and make the image 20% of its original size.
Choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically. Copy the image into the Clipboard, then paste it into itself again. Click on the Linear Gradient Fill tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select a Two-Color Gradient fill. Click in the beginning color box and select a purple similar to the rim. Click in the ending color box and select black. Choose Multiply from the Merge dropdown list. Drag the Linear Gradient downward from the center top to the center bottom of the image. Right click and Merge All.
The diagonal lines are a bit harsh looking, so we'll soften them. Choose Effect, Blur & Sharpen, Blur. When the Blur box opens, leave the default thumbnail in the center selected and click OK.
Choose Format, Dimensions and resize the red and black gradient image to 75% of its size.
Choose the Selection tool. In the Shape dropdown list, select Ellipse. Draw an elliptical selection for the feather. Right click on the selection and Soften by 4-5 pixels.
Click the Copy button or hit Ctrl+C to copy the feather selection into the Clipboard.
Click on the blue title bar of the dreamcatcher image to make it active. Hit Ctrl+V 3X to paste 3 feathers into the image. If you run out of room at the bottom of the image, choose Edit, Expand, deselect the lock, and expand 50-100 pixels with a black canvas. Use the Pick or the Selection tool to position the feathers at the end of the strings, just below the bottom beads. Right click, Merge All.
Add a couple more beads to decorate the webbing, right click, Merge All, and you're all set.
Congratulations, your dreamcatcher is done -- take a look at it full size!
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