PI6 Puzzle Frame


This tutorial shows you a fun way to make use of an under-utilized Effect menu command, Puzzle. It breaks up a selected image into little square puzzle pieces. You'll use the puzzle pieces to make a unique frame that mirrors the colors in the image. Then add accent frames using the Eyedropper, Border and Expand canvas commands. This technique will work with PI4 and PI5 too.

Puzzle Frame

The image I'm using in this tutorial is a "watercolor" I made from a flower photo. You can use this image or just use one of your own.

Start by opening up your image in PI. Hit Ctrl+D to duplicate the image. Choose Effect, Special, Puzzle. When the Puzzle dialog box opens, select the thumbnail in the top row, upper left corner, then click the Options button to get a secondary dialog box.

Puzzle, secondary dialog box

If you look at the default Background color, which is black, it looks rather harsh against the colors in this image. To change the Background color, right click in the Background color square and choose Eyedropper. When the Eyedropper box opens, position your cursor over a nice green (arrow) and click to select that color.

click with Eyedropper to select a color

Click OK to close the dialog box. You'll see that the green you've selected has replaced black. If you want to rearrange the distribution of the puzzle blocks, click Random a few times. Click OK to close the Puzzle dialog box. You'll end up with something like this.

puzzle blocks

Hit Ctrl+C or the Copy button to copy the puzzle image into your Clipboard.

Click on the blue title bar of the original image to make it active. Choose Edit, Expand to open the Expand dialog box. Select "Expand sides equally" and expand by 20 pixels, canvas=white. Click OK.

Expand canvas

Choose the Magic Wand Selection tool, Similarity=10. Click in the white expanded canvas. Be careful to click only in the white part. Now hit Ctrl+F to open the Fill dialog box. Click the Image tab and fill the selection area with the Clipboard contents, "Tile the image."

Fill dialog box, fill with Clipboard contents

Switch back to the Standard selection tool. Right click on the selection area and choose Invert. Right click again and choose Border. When the Border dialog box opens, enter these values to make an inward border of 5 pixels. Click OK to close the box.

make a 5 pixel border

Hit Ctrl+F again to open the Fill dialog box. Click the Color tab. Right click in the Color box and choose Eyedropper. When the Eyedropper box opens, use the Eyedropper to select a bright yellow (or other accent color)  from the flower. Click OK to close the Eyedropper box, then click OK to close the Fill box. The border around the image will be filled with the selected color.

fill border with color

Right click on the active selection area and choose Convert to Object. Now the border is an object and you can add a shadow around it to help it pop out better from the background. Right click, Shadow to open the Shadow dialog box. Add a little black "glow" shadow around all edges with these attributes.

add shadow

Click OK to apply the shadow and close the dialog box. Right click and Merge All.

Now to add the outer frame. Choose Edit, Expand and expand the canvas 5 pixels on all sides, canvas=white. Select the Magic Wand Selection tool and click in the newly added white canvas to select it. Hit Ctrl+F to open the Fill dialog box. From the Color tab, right click in the Color box and choose Eyedropper. Select a red or maroon from the flower in the left corner of the image, then click OK. Click OK to close the Fill dialog box and fill the expanded canvas with the selected color.

Select the Standard Selection tool. Right click on the active selection and Convert to Object. Right click, Shadow, and add a black shadow with the same attributes used on the yellow frame, but change the Soft edge to 5. Click OK to close the Shadow dialog box.

You'll notice that you can't see the shadow on the outer edges of the newly added frame because there isn't any space there. To remedy this, choose Edit, Expand again and expand by 10 pixels on all sides, canvas=white. Now you can see the shadow around the entire framed image. Right click, Merge All.

This tutorial uploaded 3/23/01

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.



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