PI7 Dreamcatcher

Of all my tutorials, the most popular have been my Dreamcatchers.


I first wrote one for PI4.2, then updated it for PI5. Now that we have vastly improved Path and Transform tools in PI7, I figured it was time for an upgrade! You can see the full size version of the dreamcatcher here.

Start with a new image 400 X 600 pixels. You may have to expand the canvas later in your work. For now, hit Ctrl+1 to see the canvas at actual size.

To make the frame for the dreamcatcher, select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Circle. From Mode, select 3D Pipe. You can use any color you'd like. I'm using "coppershells" from my PI6 Material Gallery presets tutorial. Draw a large circle for the frame. In the Path Panel, edit the Border value to 4.

make the frame

Hit the space bar to deactivate the frame object. Now to make the webbing. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, select Arch 2 and click OK. Draw a 3D Pipe object like this, editing the Border to 1 in the Path Panel.

webbing shape

Click Editing in the Attributes toolbar to enter Path Edit mode. Click on to select the bottom right control point. Drag it toward the center.

edit control point

Click on to select the bottom left control point and drag it over to the center, so it's right next to the one you just edited.

Click Editing again to return to 3D Pipe mode. Your object will look like this.

edited object

While this object is active, right click and Duplicate. Choose Edit, Rotate & Flip, Flip Vertically. Drag the flipped object directly underneath the other one, so they join in the center. Shift+Click the other half, then right click, Merge as Single Object.

make one object

Select the Object Paint Eraser. Erase the little horizontal joining line in the middle.

Drag the webbing piece over to the frame. Select the Transform tool, Resize option. Stretch the webbing vertically to fit the frame. Resize it horizontally to make it narrower.

resize webbing to fit

While the webbing is active, Shift+Click the frame, so that both objects are selected. Right click and choose Align, Center Both. This will center the webbing on the frame. Hit the space bar to deactivate the objects, then click on the webbing object to make it active.

Now here comes the fun part -- duplicating and rotating the webbing to fill the frame. You won't believe how much easier this is to do in PI7. While the Transform tool is still selected, edit the "Rotate by degree" value to 15. Then click the down arrow where it says "Copy rotate" and select Clockwise.

copy and rotate

This nifty new command will automatically duplicate the active object and rotate it 15 degrees clockwise.

duplicated and rotated object

Repeat the "Copy rotate" command until the entire frame is filled with the rotated webbing. Right click, Select All Objects. Right click again, Merge as Single object.

webbing fills frame

Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, select the Fine Brush Preset. Click Lines and select Straight Lines. This will cause the Preset to revert to "None," but don't worry, the attributes will "stick." You can also change the Color to gray if the default of black is too dark for the dreamcatcher color you've chosen. While the object is active, Paint little "V" shapes to represent the bindings that secure the webbing to the frame. I like to do these individually because it looks more realistic to me. Repeat all the way around.

paint V's to represent binding

Choose the Path Drawing tool again. Click Shape and select the Rectangle. From Mode, select 3D Round. Make a long narrow rectangle strip of "leather" to dangle from the dreamcatcher.

make dangling rectangle

Click Shape and select Circle. Make a 3D round "bead." You can make the bead the same color as the dreamcatcher, or you can fancy and make it in another color. The idea is to make 4 round beads and two barrel (ellipse) shaped beads. Make one each of the round and barrel, then right click and Duplicate to make the others. Distribute them along the strip of leather. Shift+Click all of the dangling objects to select them all at the same time, then right click, Align, Center Horizontally. That will line them all up along the same vertical plane. Right click, Group.

add beads

Duplicate theGrouped dangling bead objects 2X, positioning one duplicate on each side of the one in the middle. Right click on each one, Arrange, Send to Back. That way the dangling objects will be behind the rest of the dreamcatcher. Right click and Ungroup each group of dangles, so you can move the bottom bead as needed.

three dangling objects

Now all you have to do is add some feathers to the ends of the beaded dangles. I'm using feathers from the Hemera PhotoObjects. There are also lots of great feather PSP tubes out there that you could add to your Stamps to finish the dreamcatcher. Alternatively, you can make your own feathers either on your own or from the instructions in my previous dreamcatcher tutorials. Don't forget to send the feather to the bottom of the stack of objects by selecting it, right clicking and choosing Arrange, Send to Back.

Add a few more beads to the webbing, and you're done. While any object is selected, right click and choose Select All Objects. Then right click, Merge as Single Object. If you want to help the dreamcatcher to pop out a bit more, add a shadow.

This tutorial uploaded 5/30/02

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



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