Software: Ulead PhotoImpact 12
Author: MaryLou White
Home Page: Wishing Well Tutorials

Title: Body Painting
Skill Level: Intermediate

Additional Files:
A photo from of your choice
or the photo used in the tutorial

Description: Add a bit of pizzazz to your photos using the tools in PhotoImpact. This is a very simple technique that produces some incredible results. You'll use this one many times over to create a variety of effects. The idea for this tutorial is based on techniques that evolved on the PIRC Bulletin Board's Outside the Box forum.

PhotoImpact 12 has several preset work modes. For this tutorial, we will be using the Full Edit mode so all of the tools in PhotoImpact will be available to you.

As you work, use your mouse to drag this along with you to mark your place.


Open a photograph of your choice. Make sure it has a lot of skin showing such as the one used for this tutorial. If needed, resize the photo (Adjust\Resize) so you can see 100% of the image in your PhotoImpact workspace.

  1. Make sure your image is RGB 24bit color (Adjust\Convert Data Type\RGB 24bit Color).

  2. Click on the Lasso tool. Set soft edge on the menu bar to 0.

  3. Lasso the skin area of the image (Image 01). Don't worry about the dress straps for now, just create your selection so all of the skin and hair is included. Small clicks will make a better selection. When you get back to where you started, click once to join the ends. Adjust the nodes if you make a mistake once you have completed the selection. Double-click to change the nodes to a selection line.

  4. Right-click and copy, then Edit\Paste\as object. Right-click - select None to turn selection lines off. You now have an image with an object on top. Take care not to move the object. You may want to lock it in place via the layer manager.

  5. With the object selected, click on a fill pattern of your choice (image 02). A floral tile was used for this one but you can get some very interesting effects with other patterns.

  6. Right-click and select Properties. In the Merge box, select Soft Light. Adjust the transparency until you're happy with the effect (image 03).

    Try different fill patterns from the Easy Palette. The Artistic Textures produce some interesting results. Re-adjust the transparency as needed. When you're happy with your image, go to the next step but don't merge the image - we have more to do.

LAST MINUTE CLEANUP A little bit of tweaking will make a big difference in the finished results. While the object is still selected, do the following steps.

  1. Working in a magnified mode, use the eraser (adjust size as needed) to remove the pattern from the eyes, the teeth and around the mouth. Erase the pattern from the dress straps. Set the transparency to about 50 and erase the pattern on the hair.

  2. Depending on the photo, you may need to click the brightness and contrast controls either up or down. Experiment here. When you're satisfied with the results, merge all.

  3. If the eyes look a bit dull, use the Dodge tool - one click on each eye.
  4. Use the blur tool, low level, and click (don't drag) around the left edge of the face to blend it with the background. Add a frame and you have a new masterpiece!

You're invited to join the PIRC Fourm! This is an active PhotoImpact Forum where you'll find a wonderful group of warm, friendly, talented, and knowledgeable people who are ready and willing to share their expertise with you. There are creative activities for all levels of PhotoImpact users. This forum is 100% free and everyone is welcome.

Copyright© MaryLou White.
This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated without permission.