PI5 Easy Custom Shape Lace
I've seen some terrific looking lace backgrounds lately, all of them made in other programs. So I started wondering if I could make a 3D-looking lace in PI. I found out it's easier than I thought -- Only a couple of steps and no confusing layers!
This tutorial shows how to make textured lace using 2D and 3D Pipe objects made from the Custom Shape Gallery. This technique could also be used with dingbat fonts that have a large surface area (and not much in the way of holes).
Start with a new, True Color image, 400 X 400 pixels, color=black. The background color will change later. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select white. Choose 2D from the Mode dropdown list. In the Attributes toolbar click on Shape and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape dialog box opens, select Rounded Edges 5 and click OK. Draw a shape like this one.
Right click on the image below and save it to your hard drive. Remember where you saved it for the next step.
In the Attributes toolbar, click on the Material button to open its dialog box. From the Color/Texture tab, select File. Doing so will open the Open box. Select the texture file you just saved to your hard drive and click OK to select the textured tile. You'll be returned to the Material dialog box.
Now click the Options button, which opens the Texture Options dialog box. For the Fill type, select "Tile the texture" and click OK.
From the Material dialog box, click OK to apply the tiled texture to the object. It should look like this.
Right click on the object and Duplicate. In the Attributes toolbar, select 3D Pipe from the Mode dropdown list. In the Attributes toolbar, drag the Border slider down to the left until the "pipe" is just a narrow outline of the object shape.
While the 3D Pipe object is active, click on the Material button again. Click on the Bump tab. Click on the File button and navigate to the Material folder. Select fabricgray.jpg and click OK. When you're returned to the Material dialog box, make sure that the Density is set to 50%, reducing the power of the effect. Click OK to close the dialog box and apply the bump map, creating texture similar to the texture of thread characteristically binding the edges of lace.
Select the Pick tool and drag the narrow outline object over on top of the 2D shape. While the 3D Pipe object is selected, hold down on the Shift key and select the 2D object, so that both objects are selected at the same time. Choose Object, Align, Center Both. Automatically the 3D Pipe object will be centered over the 2D object. Right click and choose Combine As Single Object.
Drag the object over to the left side of the image, so that only the right half of it is showing. This would be a good time to drag your lace object onto the EasyPalette. When the Add to EasyPalette dialog box opens, give the object a name and save it to My Library. That way if you want to use it again for buttons or another border, you can drag a fresh copy right from its thumbnail into the workspace.
Choose the Selection tool. Make a selection that cuts across the very top and bottom of the lace piece. If your selection isn't accurate, switch to the Transform tool, select the Resize option in the Attributes toolbar, and resize the selection to fit the lace piece.
Click the Crop button in the Attributes toolbar.
Now it's time to fill the with the color or texture you'd like for your background. First, choose Edit, Expand and enter 0 for the expansion. Click on the lock to unlock it. Expand by as many pixels as you need to, on the right only, to make your border 1200 pixels wide (or more). If you like the black background, expand in black canvas.
If you're going to fill with a solid color or texture, choose Edit, Fill and from the Fill dialog box, make your choices. Alternatively, fill from one of the EasyPalette Galleries. I've used BT041 from the Fill Gallery's Background Textures.
There's one last thing we can do to help the lace pop out from the background. With the Pick or Selection tool, click on the lace object to make it active. Right click and choose Shadow. When the Shadow dialog box opens, add a small black shadow, 50% transparency, around all edges. The settings are shown below:
Once you've added your shadow, right click, Merge All and your lace border background is done.
Click here to see the lace border tiled on a full page. I've added a couple of tiny 3D Pipe circle objects in between the eyelets on the edge of the lace, to add a little zip.
Now that you've got the basic technique, you can improvise a little. For example, after you make the lace object, select Continue Draw from the Mode dropdown list and add another path shape in the middle, creating a cutout and making the object a little fancier, or...
Use dingbat fonts to make lace. This one is by my fellow Pixelita, Leah of Web Elegance, who makes many beautiful dingbat fonts.
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