PI7 Easter Egg

When my Annual Easter Egg Challenge was taking place, I realized I haven't done an egg tutorial since one I did for PI4.2. It was time for an updated tut. You can use these techniques to make any glass-covered object, like snowglobes and other "collectible" decorations.

You can make your own UFO egg object from a 3D Path object ellipse, or you can download this egg object, which was made from an AI shape created by Eleny several years ago.

You can use your own image to make the egg, or use mine (save it to your hard drive), which is made from one of my PI6 stamps.

If you're using the egg UFO object, open in up in PI and expand the canvas (Format, Expand Canvas) to about 50 pixels extra canvas on all sides of the object.

If you're making your own Path object egg, start with a new image about 400 X 400 pixels. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select the Ellipse, Mode=3D Round. The color of the egg really doesn't matter because it will be filled with an image. To make your own egg, draw a large ellipse Path shape. Switch to the Transform tool, Perspective option. Make the egg narrower at the top, and wider at the bottom, creating a truer egg shape.

perspective transform option

You'll most likely see a crease along the center of the egg, particularly on top. To get rid of it, select the Path Drawing tool again. Click Material in the Attributes toolbar to open the Material dialog box.  From the Border/Depth tab, select "Smooth Spine" (arrow).

smooth spine

Click Preview to see the option applied to your egg. You should see a noticeable improvement in the smoothness of the egg's surface.

While the Material dialog box is still open, let's fill the egg with an image. Click the Color/Texture tab and click File (arrow).

choose file, select image

When the Open dialog box appears, browse to and select the desired image, then click Open. Click Preview and you'll see the image fill your egg. If the fill doesn't look right in the Preview window on the right, click the Options button, make sure that "Fit the texture" is selected and click OK.

fit texture to egg shape

To add some texture, let's use the same image as a bump map. Click the Bump tab. Select "Bump map" and click File.

use same image for bump map

When the Open dialog box opens, browse to and select the same image used to fill the egg, and click Open. Set the Density to 100%, unless you want a more subdued effect.

If you want a metallic look, click the Shading tab and switch from the default of Phong to Metallic. Note that you can edit the Shininess and Strength of the Metallic effect too. I'm leaving my egg with a Phong finish.

If you want to edit the number of lights and light color, click the Light tab.

edit lights

I've edited to two lights, both Spot type, and I edited the Ambient value to 80, so the image in the egg will be very light and bright. Depending on your image fill, you may want a different Ambient value.  Click OK to close the Material dialog box.

To add some sparkle to the egg, make a glass overlay. Right click on the egg object and Duplicate. From the EasyPalette's Material Attributes or Material Gallery, select a Glass preset. There are many nice ones there. Remember, you can right click on an EasyPalette thumbnail and choose Modify Properties and Apply to edit the color, transparency and other attributes of a preset, if you wish to do so. My all-time favorite glass preset dates back to PI4.2. Here's the "recipe" for it:

Color/Texture tab: One Color, RGB=204, 255, 255
Bevel tab: 3D Round
Border/Depth tab: Border=11, Depth=24
Transparency tab: Transparency=97, Minimum transparency=0
Light=1 Direct light, Ambient=42

After creating your glass overlay, right click and Select All Objects. Right click, Align, Center Both. This will place the glass overlay exactly on top of the underlying egg. Right click, Group, to keep them together. Move the grouped objects up a little, so you have room underneath to add a "display stand." This can be a Custom Shape Path object, a dingbat font, or an image object to which you apply the Any Shape Button Designer. I decided to use a Custom Shape object colored the same blue as the background used to fill the egg.

make a custom shape display stand

I added one of my PI5 diamond objects to the stand to add a little more glitz. If you're going to fill the background with an image or texture, hit the space bar to deactivate all objects, then choose Edit, Fill to fill the base image. To add a shadow to your egg, right click on the Grouped egg and glass overlay objects and choose Merge as Single Object. Now you can right click and choose Shadow to add a shadow.

Don't forget to submit your egg to me as an email attachment. You can read all of the information about the challenge, including the deadline, size, prizes, etc. here. I hope to see lots of great Easter Eggs again this year! :o)

This tutorial uploaded 3/15/02

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