PI5 Matted and Framed Picture

This is an adaptation of a PI 4.2 tutorial. PI 5.0 techniques are somewhat different, but it's still easy to recreate the look of a matted and framed picture using Creative Painting, Creative Type for the matted look, and a 3D Pipe object for the frame. You can use this photo or any other image you choose.

Framed and Matted Picture

(View full size)

Start with a new True Color file 400 X 400 pixels. Right click and save the small tile at below.

background tile

Open it up in the work space. Copy it to the Clipboard, then choose Edit, Fill. When the Fill box opens, click Image and choose to fill with the Clipboard contents.

Click on the blue title bar for the image to be framed. Choose Effect, Creative, Painting. When the Painting box opens, choose Paint template #23.

Creative Paint Template

Leave the default Pattern (36) selected. If you click the Preview button, you'll see that the default values are too powerful for the small image. To tone down the effect so that detail isn't lost, you can edit the effect's attributes in the Fine control section of the dialog box. Change the Fineness value to 75 and leave all other default values as they are.

edit template attributes

Click OK to apply. Now this pretty pansy photo looks very much like a watercolor painting worthy of a fancy frame.

change image into a watercolor

Next we'll make a selection in the center of the large tile-filled image, in order to begin making the mats for the painting. Choose the standard selection tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select "Make a new selection," and choose Rectangle from the Shape dropdown list. Make sure Soft edge=0. Select "Fixed size." Since the image is 223 X 260 pixels, make the fixed size selection 223 X 260. Click in the middle of the image to make the selection.  Drag the selection so that it is centered in the image.

To begin making the first mat, choose Selection, Border. When the Border dialog box opens, enter these values to make a 10 pixel, outward, boxy border. Click OK.

add border to selection

Now you'll fill the border selection with a solid color, to keep the embossed mat from looking blotchy. Click on the Bucket fill tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and choose Eyedropper. Click on a pale purple (RGB=211, 197, 226) in the background tile to make it the selected color. Click inside the border with the bucket fill tool to fill with color.

Open the EasyPalette's Type Gallery, Emboss. Right click on Emboss 2 and choose Modify Properties and Apply.

EasyPalette's Type Gallery

When the Type dialog box opens, edit values as follows: Thickness=3, Amount=25, Plateau. Click OK to apply.  An embossed 3D rectangle appears in the image. You'll use this mat two more times, resizing it each time to make it slightly larger. Copy the embossed mat into the Clipboard and paste it back into the image.

Select the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose the Resize option. Position the newly pasted mat so that its top and left edges just barely cover the top and left edges of the first mat. Drag on the control points to resize the mat until it is large enough to frame the first mat.

resize second mat to frame first one

Paste the embossed mat into the image one more time. Just as you did before, resize it with the Transform tool so that it frames the second mat. They should appear to "nest," with each one framing the next. Now you have 3 slightly overlapping mats.

3 slightly overlapping mats

Click on the blue title bar of the painting image to make it active. Copy it into the Clipboard, then click on the blue title bar of the matted image. Paste the painting into the matted image. Select the Pick tool and position the painting in the middle of the mats. In the Attributes toolbar's Order options, select Send to Back to send the painting behind the mat. Position it as desired then right click, Merge All. It should look like this now.

painting pasted into image behind mat

Choose the standard selection tool again. Deselect (uncheck) "Fixed size." Carefully make a selection around the outer edge of the outermost mat. Choose Selection, Border. This time make the Border 15 pixels, and leave the other values as they were. Click OK to apply.

To fill the border, select the bucket fill tool again. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and choose Eyedropper. When the Eyedropper box opens, click in a darker purple (arrow) in one of the flowers (RGB=209, 194, 225). Click OK.

selecting darker purple for outer mat

Click inside the border to fill it with purple.

From the EasyPalette's Type Gallery, Emboss, double click on Emboss 3. Right click and Merge All.

merge all

You could probably leave the image as it is and it would look fine, but to gild the lily a little bit, select the Path Drawing tool to make a frame for the painting. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Rectangle. Select 3D Pipe from the Mode dropdown list. Draw a rectangle around the outer edges of the dark purple mat. Drag on the Border slider in the Attributes toolbar to make the 3D Pipe border fit exactly around the purple mat. If necessary, select the Transform tool, Resize option, to resize the frame so that it fits the painting.

From the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, Metallic, double click on Gold 5, a nice yellow gold that picks up the color in the center of the pansies. If you want to, click Object, Shadow (or right click, Shadow), to add a shadow to the frame. Right click and Merge All.

Here's the finished matted and framed painting, and you can see it here on a full page tiled with the background.

matted and framed painting

Now that you know how to mat and frame a painting in PI 5.0, you could use this technique to enhance almost any image, varying the colors to suit the painting.

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