PI5 Path Edit Tea Set
On a cold, blustery, snow-filled day, there's nothing like a soothing cup of hot tea to restore your circulation. So put the kettle on, get out the Earl Grey, fire up the computer and make your own tea set!
This tutorial shows you how to use the Path Edit Tool to reshape straight lines into curves. It's a useful technique that will help you to create almost any shape you need from PhotoImpact 5.0's Custom Shapes. First we'll make the tea pot, then the tea cup. If you have trouble making the shapes, you can download the UFO tea set ZIP kit.
I always say this, but I'll repeat it anyway. Save everything! This tutorial is not difficult, but there are lots of little objects making up the entire tea set. Each time you make an object, save it to your EasyPalette. It's simple to go back later, right click on its thumbnail, and Delete if you don't want to save it forever. But once it's in your EasyPalette, if you make a mistake or the power goes off, you won't have to start all over again.
Let's start by making a new 300 X 300 pixel file. If you need more room later, you can choose Edit, Expand to make the base image larger. However, try not to make the base image too big, or you'll be looking at the objects at less than 100% size. Not only will the objects look strange and raggedy, but you will have trouble editing them precisely unless you are viewing them at actual size.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose Ellipse and 3D Round.
For the tea pot body, draw a slightly elongated rounded shape like this one. Open the EasyPalette's Material Gallery. Click on Plastic, then double click on Remove Material. Your object will turn a pale, dull gray.
Choose the Transform tool and in the Attributes toolbar, select the Perspective option. Drag on a top control point, pulling in toward the middle to narrow the top part slightly. Drag on a bottom control point outward to widen the bottom slightly.
Return to the Path Drawing tool. Use the Border and Depth sliders in the Attributes toolbar, if necessary, to flatten any "peaks" in the center of the tea pot body.
In the Attributes toolbar, select Custom Shapes. When the Custom Shapes box opens, choose Wave 2. Draw a shape like this one for the tea pot spout.
Select the Transform tool, Resize option. Drag on the top center control point to make the spout a bit taller. Change to the Perspective option. Drag downward on the lower right control point to widen the spout where it will join the tea pot body. Drag upward slightly on the lower left control point to narrow the tip of the spout slightly.
You may need to switch back and forth between the Resize and Perspective options, reshaping the spout until it looks right. When you like the shape, use the Rotate by Degrees options in the Attributes toolbar to rotate the spout 25-30 degrees clockwise.
Use the Pick tool to position the spout so it overlaps the left side of the pot slightly (see above). Then use the "Send to Back" Order option in the Attributes toolbar to position the spout behind the tea pot body.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose the Ellipse shape. Draw a flat, widened oval for the tea pot lid and position it as shown.
In the Attributes toolbar, select the Circle shape. Draw a small circle object for the handle or knob on top of the lid. Position it in the center of the lid.
In the Attributes toolbar, select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, choose Placque 5 to make the base for the bottom of the tea pot. Draw the shape about an inch wide. Select Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically.
If you need to, switch to the Transform tool, Resize option, and stretch the tea pot base so that it's the right size for the bottom of the tea pot.
Click on the Pick tool. In the Attributes toolbar's Order options, select "Send to Back" to move the base behind the tea pot body.
Choose the Path Drawing tool and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, select Circular 1 and draw a shape like this one for the tea pot handle.
Select the Transform tool, Resize option. Drag the center bottom control point upward to make the shape less tall. Adjust as needed until you have a good rounded shape for the handle.
Use the "Rotate by Degree" option in the Attributes toolbar to rotate the tea pot handle 50 degrees clockwise.
Switch to the Pick tool. Drag the handle over to the rest of the tea pot and position it on the right side. In the Attributes toolbar Order options, choose Send to Back, so that only the curved handle shows.
This would be a good time to save the objects making up the tea pot. Click on any object, then hold down on the Shift key while clicking the rest of the objects, until all of them are selected. Right click and choose Group. Another way to do this (if you're afraid you'll miss one of the objects while Grouping) is to open the EasyPalette's Layer Manager, click on a layer thumbnail, then hold down on the Shift key while selecting all of the other thumbnails. Right click anywhere in the Layer Manager and choose Group.
Now drag the grouped objects making up the tea pot over to the EasyPalette. First you'll see a dialog box asking if you want to save these multiple objects as a single thumbnail. Click on Yes. Doing so opens the Add to EasyPalette box.
Name the object and save it to a Library and Tab group. Click OK. From now on, whenever you want to use the tea pot again, all you have to do is drag its thumbnail out into the work space, and a fresh copy of the tea pot will open in its own window. Right click on it, choose Ungroup, and you'll be able to color the individual objects.
Return to Path Drawing tool so we can make our tea cup. In the Attributes toolbar, click Custom Shapes to open the Custom Shapes box. Select (yep!) the teacup shape.
Draw a tea cup like this one, which is kind of primitive. What we're going to do is ignore the little half circle underneath it for now and make our own saucer, then we'll use Mask Mode to get rid of the little curved piece. After that we'll edit the top of the cup into a curved shape and add an oval to represent the inside of the cup, for a more realistic looking tea cup and saucer.
In the Attributes toolbar, select the Ellipse shape and draw a flattened oval like this one for the main part of the saucer.
Switch to the Transform tool and drag upward slightly on the center bottom control point, making the oval less tall.
Choose the Pick tool and drag the saucer under the tea cup. While the saucer is active, use the Order options to "Send to Back." As you can see, the little half circle at the bottom of the tea cup (arrow) is now on top of the saucer.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, choose Placque 5. Draw a shape like this one, about 1/2 inch wide, for the tea cup base.
Choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically. Use the Pick tool to drag the tea cup base under the bottom of the tea cup. Use the Attributes toolbar's Order options to "Send Backwards" so that the base goes behind the tea cup, but remains on top of the saucer.
Use the Path Drawing tool to make another Placque 5 object, the same width as the saucer, as shown under the tea cup at left. This new piece will form the rim of the saucer.
Choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically.
Use the Pick tool to drag the new object up. Use the Attribute toolbar's Order options to "Send to Back," so the edge of the saucer rim just peeps out from underneath the main part of the saucer. Notice that the top edges of the object are sticking out (arrows). Don't worry about these, we will get rid of them shortly.
This would be a good time to save all of the objects making up the tea cup. Click on an object, then hold down on the Shift key while clicking on the other objects, until all are selected at the same time. Right click and choose Group. Drag the tea cup to the EasyPalette. When asked if you want to save multiple objects as a single thumbnail, click Yes. When the Add to EasyPalette box opens, give it a name (e.g., "teacup") and save to a Library and Tab group.
Now right click on the tea cup objects again and choose Ungroup, so we can edit the top of the tea cup. We want it to curve gently, instead of going straight across at the top. Drag the tea cup away from the other objects to give yourself some room to work. Select the Path Edit tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click on the Toggle button, which turns the 3D tea cup into a path. Then click anywhere on the path to display its control points.
Now click on Edit point mode and select "Free edit mode" from the Attributes toolbar options.
Click once on the top line and it will turn red, as shown here at left.
In the Attributes toolbar, from the Convert line option, select "Convert path to curve segment."
Doing so adds two small red squares to the straight line running across the top of the tea cup.
Drag these smaller red squares one at a time down slightly to reshape the straight line into a shallow curve, as shown here. Try to keep these squares on the same horizontal plane and the same distance out from the center bottom control point, keeping the top symmetrical.
Click on the Toggle button again to return to 3D Mode. If necessary, toggle back and forth until the curved top is shaped to your liking.
Return to the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select Ellipse. Draw a flattened ellipse just big enough to fit into the top of the tea cup. Use the Pick tool to drag the flattened ellipse to the top of the tea cup, as shown here. Use the Order options to "Send to Front."
Drag the tea cup and its top back to the rest of the tea cup objects. Use the same Shift-click technique to select all the objects making up the tea cup and then right click, Group. Drag the group to the EasyPalette and save them to a Library and Tab group.
Now you've got two grouped sets of objects, the tea pot and the tea cup.Yours should look something like these.
Now we're ready to have some fun adding color and texture to the tea set. After that, we'll use Mask Mode to get rid of the excess object parts in the tea cup. It may seem peculiar to do that part last, but there's a good reason to do so. If you use Mask Mode now to paint out the parts of the tea cup that you don't want, you won't be able to apply Materials to it or otherwise edit the bevel depth, etc. Once you use Mask Mode on an object, it becomes an image object and will remain one even if you do Object, Convert Object Type, From Image to Path Object.
With the Path Drawing tool, right click on the Grouped tea pot objects and choose Ungroup. Now select just the tea pot body, as shown here at left. It should be the only object with an animated broken line running around it.
Open the EasyPalette's Material Gallery and click Color. Scroll down and double click on White-Blue to apply that color to the tea pot body.
Minimize the EasyPalette and in the Attributes toolbar, click on the Material button to open the Material dialog box. Click on the Bump tab to apply a bump map, which will add texture to the pale blue tea pot. I'm using the hibiscus photo I used a few weeks ago in the Painting With Textures tutorial. You can use it, or another bump map if you prefer.
Browse your hard drive to the image you want to use for a bump map, 100% Density. Before you apply the bump map to the object, save yourself some work and add this combination of color and texture preset to your other custom presets. Click on the Material box Add button to open the Add to EasyPalette dialog box.
Give the preset a name (e.g., "blueflower") and save it to a Gallery and Tab group. Now you can apply this preset to every part of the tea pot and tea cup by selecting an object, then double clicking on the preset's thumbnail in the EasyPalette. Do this for each object. Some of the smaller objects (the tea pot base, tea cup base, tea pot handle, tea pot lid, saucer parts) will look too dark after the preset is applied. To lighten them, use the Border and Depth sliders (go left 5 or 6 little notches) to flatten the surface of the objects slightly and making them lighter.
For some of the objects, you may decide to remove the bump map. For example, I didn't like the bump map applied to the tea pot handle or the oval top of the tea cup. I tried the little round tea pot lid knob both with and without the bump map. To remove the bump map, select an object, then right clicked on the preset thumbnail and chose "Modify Properties and Apply." When the Material box opens, click on the Bump tab and deselect (uncheck) Bump map. For the oval top of the tea cup, I removed the bump map and then clicked the Bevel tab, deselecting 3D Round and selecting 3D Trim instead.
Here are all of the objects with the preset applied.
Shift-click all of the objects making up the tea cup. Right click and Group.
Drag the tea cup objects away from the tea pot to give yourself some room
Right click on the grouped tea cup objects and choose Ungroup. Click on the tea cup to make it active. We're going to get rid of that little half circle under the tea cup. While the tea cup is active, choose Edit, Mask Mode, or click on the little Mask icon on the lower right side of the Task Bar.
A transparent red mask will cover everything in the image except the tea
cup object. Use the Zoom tool to click in the image and bring it up to 200%.
Select the Paint Brush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose a round brush, size 5, soft edge=2. Click in the Color box and choose black paint (not dark gray). Paint out only the little half circle just beneath the tea cup (arrow). If you make a mistake, paint the mask back in with white paint (not light gray).
Choose Edit and deselect Mask Mode. Return to the Path Drawing tool and click on the Placque 5 shape used for the saucer rim (it has "horns" sticking up behind the tea cup). While it's active, choose Edit, Mask Mode. This time the transparent red mask will cover everything except the object you want to edit.
Select the Paint Brush tool, and leave the same settings you used with the other object. Carefully paint out the parts of the saucer rim that you don't want to show (arrow). If you make a mistake, paint the mask back in with white paint (not light gray).
Choose Edit and deselect Mask Mode. Select View, Actual View to see how the edited saucer rim looks. If necessary go back to Edit, Mask Mode to continue editing the saucer rim. Here is the tea set after Mask Mode editing is complete.
Now we have to Shift-click to select all the tea cup objects again, right click, and Group. You should have two sets of grouped objects, the tea cup and the tea pot. We're going to position them on a photograph, to add a little realism to the tea set. You can use this one (I cloned some foreground objects out to make room for the tea set) or another image of your choosing.
Use the selection tool to drag the tea pot and tea cup onto the image you want to use for a background. Position them as desired. Make sure you like the layout and leave enough room for a large perspective shadow on the right.
Here comes a big step now. Click on the tea cup objects and then hold down on the Shift key and click on the tea pot objects, so that everything is selected. Now right click and choose Combine as Single Object. This is a permanent command (unlike the Group command, which can be Ungrouped), and it is necessary in order to be able to add a shadow to the combined objects.
Choose Object, Shadow to open the Shadow dialog box. We're going to edit the Perspective shadow with these values:
Click OK to apply the shadow. Right click and Merge All.
To add a little extra drama and depth, choose Effect, Magic, Light. When the Light dialog box opens, disregard the thumbnails and click on the Options button to open a secondary Light dialog box. Since the default Light Brightness color is pale yellow, which doesn't look very good with the tea set, we need to change the color. Click in the Light Brightness color box and mix up a custom pale light blue color, RGB=220, 220, 237. Edit the other Light effect values as shown below and click OK.
If you want to add a little flower or leaf to the table beside the tea set, now's the time to do it. I added a fall leaf from the Image Library. And now the tea set image is finished!
You can apply different presets and different bump maps to your tea set, too.
You can even make a border background set from your tea set!
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