PI7 Slide Mounts

I saw slide mounts made with PhotoShop recently, and I thought I could probably make them just as easily in PI -- I was right! Slide mounts are a fun way to create an image map with links to full size photos, or to just show off a couple of photos in and interesting, small format.

slide mount photos

These slide mounts are made with simple  3D Path objects using the Continue Draw mode. The Border is taken way down to make them almost flat. A separate object in the middle of the slide mount holds the photo. For a little touch of realism, use a blocky monotype font to label the slide mounts. I've used Square 721BT, but you could also try Chica Mono, Silkscreen or another square font that looks good at a small size. If you have difficulty making the objects, you can download this UFO file.

Make a new file 300 X 300 pixels with a white canvas. Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Rectangle. Choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. Click in the Color box and select a very pale gray, RGB=226, 226, 226. In the Path Panel, Options tab,make sure "Even-Odd Fill" and "Anti-aliasing" are selected.

even-odd fill

Draw a rectangle object like this. In the Path Panel, 3D tab, drag the Border down to 1, so the object is barely 3D.

make a rectangle

In the Attributes toolbar, from Mode select Continue Draw. In the center of the rectangle, draw another rectangle. This will create an opening to display the slide.

continue draw

Leave yourself plenty of room on the sides, text will go there. After you draw the small, inner rectangle, move it so that it is centered. Position your cursor near one of the path lines until it looks like a pointing finger. Then you can drag the inner rectangle around as needed. Now choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list.

slide mount object

Hit the space bar to deactivate the object. Choose the Standard Selection tool. In the Attributes toolbar select the Rectangle Shape. Make sure Soft edge=0 and that the Anti-aliasing  and Move Selection Marquee Options are selected. Starting in the upper left corner of the opening, make a selection about the same size as the opening.

After you make the selection, you can resize it using the Transform tool and drag it around so that it sits squarely in the middle of the slide mount. Right click, Convert to Object.

center inner object

If you want to make multiple slide mounts, right click and Select All Objects. Drag the objects onto the EasyPalette. You'll see a little box that asks if you want to save multiple objects as a single thumbnail. Click Yes. Next you'll get the Add to EasyPalette dialog box. Give the objects a name (e.g., slide mount) and save to a Tab group in My Library. Now you'll have fresh slide mounts whenever you need them.

While the white inner object is active, let's fill it with a photo. Choose Edit, Fill. When the Fill dialog box opens, click the Image tab. Select to fill with a File. Click the Browse button and navigate to the folder and file you want to use. Under "How to fill" select "Fit the image." Doing so lets me fit a 1600 X 1200 pixel photo into this tiny rectangle object.

fit photo into object as a fill

Obviously you want your photo to be rectangular in shape. If you select "Fit the image" and your photo is square, it's going to look distorted when fitted into the rectangle object. So choose your photos carefully. Click OK to close the Fill dialog box. You'll see your photo right in the middle of the slide mount.

photo fills object in center

While this object is still active, let's add some shadow along the top and left edges. Select the Airbrush Paint tool. Leave the default settings with black paint, but in the Attributes toolbar click Lines and select Straight Lines. Click and drag a straight line along the top of the photo object. Drag your line right along the edge of the slide mount. You can see the cursor "trail" for the straight line below. You can do it twice if you want a stronger shadow.

Repeat along the left side of the photo Object. You'll end up with a nice defining shadow that lends depth. It will look like the photo is slightly recessed into the slide mount.

shadows airbrushed in

Now it's time to add some text, just like a slide straight from the drug store. Select the Text tool. Use a blocky, square monotype font around Size 8 or so for a realistic look. Click in the image to open the Text Entry Box. Type in text for the right side. I typed in THIS SIDE TOWARDS SCREEN, all in caps, and click OK.

text entry box

Select the Transform tool. From the "Rotate by degree" options in the Attributes toolbar, rotate the text 90 degrees clockwise. Use the Pick tool to drag the text over to the right side of the slide mount. Right click and Duplicate. Drag the duplicate over to the left side of the slide mount. Right click and choose Edit Text. When the Text Entry Box opens this time, select the text and in its place type something about the photo processor. I've typed in KODACHROME MADE IN USA. Here's how the slide mount looks with the text.

Right click, Select All Objects. Right click and Merge as Single Object. Now that it's all one object, let's add a shadow. Right click, Shadow. When the Shadow dialog box opens, select the default black shadow, edit the Transparency to 65 and click OK.

add shadow

Right click and Split Shadow. Hit the space bar to deactivate the objects. With the Pick tool, grab ahold of the shadow (use the Layer Manager to select it if you have trouble selecting it), and move the shadow upward and to the left, so that only a little bit of it sticks out from behind the slide mount object. Right click, Select All Objects, then right click, Merge as Single Object.

shadow added to slide mount

Continue making slide mounts, filling each one with a different photo. Use the Transform tool to rotate them 10 to 15 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise, so that look as though they are spread out on a desk or table.

Repeat for each slide mount, linking to the full size images from the Object Properties box's Image Map tab. When you've linked all of them, do not merge with the base image.

This tutorial uploaded 1/10/02

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