One of my favorite innovations in PI is the new Stamp tool, which replaces the old Object Clone tool from previous versions. Even better, now you can make your own stamps by creating UFO objects and adding them to your Stamp collection with a single click!
This tutorial shows you how to make your own stamp objects and how to save and use them in PI6. You can follow along to make your own stamps, but I've also made the stamps for you and you can get all 8 of them here if you have trouble or don't have the time to make them yourself. I've also made some bumble bee babies stamps that you can download.
To start with, I've used a teddy bear which I drew, painstakingly, a gazillion brush strokes at a time, with the Pencil Paint tool in Paint as Object mode.
Begin by creating a file on your hard drive and call it "teddystamps." Open up teddybearobject.ufo in the PI6 work space. Choose File, Save As and save the teddy bear as teddy1.ufo. Alternatively, drag the teddy bear to your EasyPalette to open the Add to EasyPalette dialog box, then save it to My Library as teddy1.
Now all you have to do is make several variations of the plain teddy bear by adding hats, flowers, bows, etc.
I made this simple path object bow by making a triangle, fitting an oval at the top for the fold of the bow, and made a small rounded rectangle for the knot. Select all the objects and right click, Merge as Single Object.
Rotate the bow about 20-30 degrees clockwise with the Transform tool and put it on the teddy's head. Instant girl teddy bear! While the bow is selected, right click and Select All Objects (Ctrl+Shift+A), then right click again and Merge as Single Object. Save this as teddy2.ufo, or drag it to your EasyPalette to open the Save to EasyPalette dialog box. If you save to the EasyPalette, call the object teddy2 and save it to My Library.
Choose Edit, Undo Before up to the point where you selected all objects. Click on the bow and hit Delete to get rid of it. Now you're ready to make the next teddy bear stamp.
To make a little boy teddy, make a simple half circle custom path shape baseball cap that fits on his head backwards, like this. I made little running stitches with the Paintbrush tool, set for straight lines, to make the hat look like denim. Select all the hat objects in the EasyPalette, right click and Merge as Single Object.
From the EasyPalette's Image Library, drag the baseball object out into the work space. Right click, Properties to open the Object Properties box. From the Position & Size tab, resize to 15% of its original size. Drag the ball onto the teddy's paw.
Right click and Select All Objects, then right click and Merge as Single Object. Save this teddy bear as teddy3.ufo or save as teddy3 to your EasyPalette.
Again, choose Edit, Undo Before up to the point where you selected all objects. Click on the hat and hit Delete to get rid of it, then Delete the baseball and hit Delete. Now you're ready to make the fourth teddy bear stamp.
From the EasyPalette's Image Library, drag the Sunflower into the work space. Right click and Properties to open the Object Properties dialog box. From the Position & Size tab, resize to 12% of its original size.
Drag the sunflower just above the teddy's paw, like he's holding it. If you want to, add a stem for the flower with the Paintbrush tool, dark green, in Paint as Object mode. Shift click all the objects making up the flower and right click, Merge as Single Object. Right click and Select All Objects, then right click Merge as Single Object. Save this sunflower teddy as teddy4.ufo or save as teddy4 to your EasyPalette.
For the rest of the teddy bear stamps I've used Hemera's wonderful PhotoObjects to add hats to the teddies, to give them each a different personality. If you have the PhotoObjects CD's, check out the "Eyewear & Headware" category.
Here's how I use PhotoObjects. Have the PhotoObjects program and PI open at the same time. In PhotoObjects, find a thumbnail you like and double click on it to open the PhotoObjects "Save" dialog box. Click the Next button 2X, then drag directly from the PhotoObjects "Save" dialog box into an empty area in the PI work space. It will be huge! Right click and Convert to Object, then right click Properties to open the Object Properties box. From the Position & Size tab, resize to 10 to 15% of the object's original size.Drag the resized hat object onto the teddy bear's head. The chances are that the hat will still be a little too large for the bear's head, or will cover its ears too much.
While the hat object is active, Zoom in with the Zoom tool to 200% and select the Object Eraser. Carefully erase bits of the hat that are covering the ears. As you can see here, I've started erasing the part of the hat that covers the left ear.
This Object Eraser is another much welcomed addition to PI6 -- no more having to paint out objects in Mask Mode!
Erase judiciously when adding hats or other accessories to your teddy bear stamps. Here I've erased a good bit of the hat, then duplicated the hat and erased everything but the rose, adding it just under the teddy bear's chin.
Each time you finish a teddy bear, select all of the objects and right click, Merge as Single Object, then save the teddy bear as teddy5.ufo or to your EasyPalette as teddy5.
Now that you've got the idea, here are the other 3 teddy bears included in the teddy bear stamp zip kit I've made for you.
OK, now for the fun part -- You're not going to believe how easy it is to turn your 8 teddy bear objects into a stamp! Open up the last teddy bear object you made, or drag from its EasyPalette thumbnail into the work space, where it will open in its own window. Open all of the other teddy bear ufo files and pile them on top of one another in the same image. You might want to consider flipping every other bear horizontally, as I've done, so they aren't all facing the same direction. The one you add last (the plain, undecorated teddy bear) will be the first teddy bear stamp to appear when you start stamping.
Now that you have all 8 teddy bears in one base image, do not merge them! Choose File, Save and save them as teddystamps.ufo (or whatever name makes sense to you) to your teddystamps folder. Close out all of the images in the PI6 work space.
Open a new 400 X 400 pixel image, just to give yourself some canvas to play around with. Click on the Stamp tool.
From the Attributes toolbar, click on the down arrow and choose "Add Stamp."
When the Open dialog box appears, browse to your teddystamps folder, select teddystamps.ufo. You'll see all of the teddies piled up in the thumbnail in the dialog box. Click Open.
Bingo! All 8 of the teddy bears have been added to your stamp tool. To prove it to yourself, click the down arrow in the Attributes toolbar and choose "Select Stamp." You should see a teddy bear thumbnail at the bottom of the thumbnails. Select it and its icon will appear in the Attributes toolbar. Click the View icon (arrow) next to the thumbnail and all of the variations on the stamp will be displayed.
Now you can start stamping! If you look at the screen shot above, you'll see that there are a number of options available for editing the appearance of the stamps, including their Transparency, Scale, Spacing, Order, Placement, Freehand vs. Straight lines, and so on.
Note also that you can edit the appearance of stamps from the Brush Panel.
Experiment with the Color tab Hue Shift settings to change the effect of your stamps, too.
Finally, a few words about fine-tuning and tweaking image object stamps like these teddy bears. Image objects resize smaller much better than they resize larger. As a rule, if you enlarge an image object stamp significantly, it's not going to look very good. Resizing smaller is liable to be more effective, but you may lose some detail.
The way to solve that problem is to click on the object to make it active, then choose Effect, Focus or (my favorite) Effect, Blur & Focus, Unsharp Mask. By editing the Sharpen Factor and the Aperture radius via the Options button, you can sharpen the details in a stamp which has been reduced in size. Below left is an example of a teddy bear stamp reduced to 75% of its actual size, and below right shows the same stamp after Unsharp Mask was applied.
Another trick is to keep in mind is that the white highlights in the bear's eyes may need to be painted out with black paint (you'll need to Paint as Object), then the white highlights repainted on the correct side of the eyes, if you have a groups of bears together, so the light is coming from the same direction for all of them. That's what I had to do in the image of grouped teddies at the top of this page.
If you enjoy these stamps, you might like these new ones I've made. I call these Bumble Bee Babies, for obvious reasons. Look out for the stingers! Here are 3 of them shown below. You can download the ZIP file for all 8 here.
Have fun and happy stamping!
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