Let's Make A Gem

 In PhotoImpact 5


Okay, let's learn how to create a beautiful gem in this wonderful program.  If you have used another graphic program, PI takes a little getting used-to but once you become comfortable with it, the sky really is the limit!

Let's begin!  Open a new file, 200 x 200 pixels.  Now, Click on the Path Drawing Tool, Click Shape, Select Ellipse and we'll start with 3D round.  Okay...your image should now look like this:

tut-01.jpg (10797 bytes) (Click on picture for full size view)

Now we want to change this from 3D round to 3D Pipe but DON'T PANIC! It will look quite large but that is okay.  It will look like a big mound of dough but now we will use the Border lever and push is back until it goes from this to this: To do this, select The Path Drawing Tool first then change from 3d Round to 3d Pipe.

tut-02.jpg (11281 bytes)  before tut-03.jpg (13792 bytes) 




tut-04.jpg (18464 bytes) Now, go to the Easy Pallette and Select the Galleries Icon (it looks like a house) and highlight Materials then double-click on Materials to open it up so you can see all the Materials.
tut-05.jpg (22093 bytes) Let's choose Metallic and for this demo, I have selected Copper 2 by double-clicking it and then my gray 3d pipe image is now copper!

Okay, looks pretty good so far right?  The Undo Option under Edit is very good!  You can try other metallic colours here right now if you like, after each one, just right click on the image and select undo...this will help you in discovering which one you want to use.  Also you could test out Reflections, Bumps, Shadings, Textures and even Colours...if you don't like it, just undo OR create a duplicate just for experimenting on by pressing Control and D and take a few moments and live dangerously (giggle!)  When you're ready, let's move on.

Now it's time to create our gem and we are going to use what we already have by Copying it to the Clipboard and then Pasting it back into our image as an Object then, using the Pick Tool (the arrow), we will move the new object on top of the original one.  Now select The Path Drawing Tool again, and Select 3D Chisel....move the Border Lever up.  Go to the Easy Pallette and Select Plastic and go to the top and select Remove to change the image to grey from copper.

Let's now give our gem some colour!  Select Colour on the Easy Pallette and choose one that you like.  I chose Indigo by double-clicking.  Then, we are going to copy this to the clipboard and paste it back into our image as an object.  Now, we are going to make it transparent so select Path Drawing Tool, then look over to the right for the Material Icon, like this:

Select Material Icon and a drop-down box appears.  Look for Transparency Tab and select it. Check Transparency and make it 75% then press OK.

Now go to the Easy Pallette and Select Reflection under Materials - I chose Artistic.  If you wish to use something else, test it by using the undo feature until you get what you want.  You can leave it at this or we could also add a texture but for now, let's leave it.  You can change the lighting on it too which affects how it will look.  To test that out, go back to the Materials Icon at the top (remember to select Path Drawing Mode!) and select Light.  Here, I have added another light so there is 2, both direct.  If you change it to Spotlight, the image will darken and you can also play with the Ambient...be daring!

When you have achieved the look you want, move the transparent image directly over the original ellipse then select your Pick Tool (the arrow) and under this, you will see up and down arrows.  We want to send the ellipses 'under' the copper piping so select the down arrow and press it twice which will send the images to the back.

Okay!  Here's my finished image which I deselected by clicking on the white background and then I used the paint tool to add a coloured background. 

If you wish to have a transparent gem, then go to the Layer Option in the Easy Pallete and while pressing Shift Key, also press each image in layer mode until you have selected all of them.

 Now right click on the image and choose Combine As Single Object.  Crop the image now to remove most of the outer part then:

Go to Web/Image Optimizer/Selected Objects Only and save file as a gif.  When it is opened, it will be transparent.  How'd we do?

Here, using the same image, I have created 3 different gems.  The red one, by changing the gem into 3D Round then changing the colour to red and adding a Reflection.  I then changed to Glass Material and chose green and used Texture for the metallic pipe.  The blue one is Indigo with a 3D Chisel plus a Reflection.  These are fun to experiment with so go for it!


That's a wrap and I hope you've enjoyed it! Any comments or omissions, please feel free to write me