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

Title: Metallic Clipart

Skill Level: Intermediate

Additional Files:

Victorian Lady, Victorian Roses, or Victorian Cat

Description: Turn any clipart, either black and white or color, into a beautiful metallic image with just a few mouse clicks. The idea for this tutorial is based on a German tutorial by Werner Jakob.

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.


Three images have been provided for you to use while doing this tutorial. Click on the link to the image of your choice, right-click and save it to your hard drive. Remember where you saved it because you will need it again. Once you have learned the technique, try it out on an image of your own choosing.
  1. Open the image in PhotoImpact. Make sure the format is RGB 24 bit color.

  2. Select File\New Image. For image size, click Active Image. Select white as the background color. You may close the original image. We only opened it so we would get the correct size for our new image but we will use it later as a bump map.

  3. Right-click on the white image, select Copy. Right-click again, select Paste. This will place a white layer over the original. Once again, Right-click, select Convert Object to Path. We need to make it a path object so we can apply materials from the Easy Palette in a later step.

  4. While the pasted object is still active, click the Path tool, select 3D from the dropdown menu, and on the path panel, set the Border to 1. Your white background will turn a greyish color.

  5. In the Path Tool panel, click the More button to bring up the Material attributes window. Click the Bump tab, click File and navigate to the original image. Select the image, click OK. Set Density to 100% and checked Invert bump map (try it without inverting on another image for a different effect).

  6. Click the Shade tab, select Metallic, accept the defaults, Click OK. Your image will look like the one below.

  7. Open the Easy Palette. In the Material Attribute Gallery, pick a reflection to apply to the image. R16 and R30 work nicely. Your image should now be similar to the first image below with a lovely metallic look.

    Now it's time to experiment. Apply different colors from the Material Attribute Gallery. Another good technique is to start your original image with a color other than white.

This technique works best on clipart with a solid background but works very well with photographs too.

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.