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

Title: Sparkle Fills
Skill Level: Intermediate

Description: This tutorial will teach you how to create a library full of tiles that can be used in animations to make things appear to sparkle. This will allow you to create your animations much quicker. You won't have to re-invent a sparkle each time you use it.

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.


  1. Open a new image, 100x100. Fill the square with a color of your choice. Press CTRL-D to duplicate two more times. Now you should have three identical tiles.

  2. Next, we'll apply the effects that make up the sparkle. From the menu, select Photo\Noise\Add Noise. This will display a sample screen with 9 samples. We won't be using these. Click on the Options button and the following screen will be displayed:

    Check the Monochromic box and change the variance to 25, click OK. Your first tile is done.

  3. Repeat the above for the second tile but change the variance to 35. Repeat again for the third tile and change the variance to 45. You should end up with three individual images that look similar to those below:

    Notice that each one has a slightly different pattern. This is what causes the sparkle effect when used in animation.

  4. Save each of the tiles in a folder on your hard drive. Give them a name like violet-a.jpg, violet-b.jpg, violet-c.jpg. This will make them easier to identify when adding to the library. Do not close the tiles after saving them because we're going to use them to create a set of tiles in a different color.

  5. Select the first tile. On the menu, select Photo\Color\Hue & Saturation. Move the slider bar on the hue until you get a different color. Remember the color value. In this example, it is -60.

    We just changed the violet tile to blue. Repeat using the other two tiles. Make sure you use the same color value for each tile. You should end up with three tiles like this:

    Save each of these tiles to the same folder as the ones above and give them a meaningful name such as blue-a.jpg, blue-b.jpg, and blue-c.jpg.

    Repeat step 5 to create yet another color. The possibilities are endless. You can also change the lightness and saturatioin but be sure to apply the same values to all three tiles so they will be the same color. You may also want to make a few without checking Monochromic on the Add Noise screen.


Now that all of our tiles are made, it's time to add them to the Easy Palette.

  1. Create a group in your Easy Pallet gallery for your sparkle tiles.
  2. Right-click on the group and select Add Fill Thumbnail. Navigate to the folder where you saved your tiles and select the first tile. When adding it to the EP, it's a good idea to name your tile so you know which one is which. Be sure you've selected the correct gallery as well.

    Continue adding until you've added all your tiles. Your Easy Palette should look something like the one below with 3 tiles of the same color but with different variations in the noise:


We'll create a very simple animation so you can see how to use these tiles and then you can apply them to your own work.

  1. Open a new image about 200x200 with transparent background. Draw a 2-d round circle, any color.
  2. Right-click and duplicate twice. You will now have three circles, one on top of the other.
  3. Open your layer manager. You will see three circles. Click on the first one in the layer manager. Then double-click on the first of your three fills. It will apply the fill to the circle. Repeat for the second circle and second fill, then the third circle and third fill.
  4. Save your image as ball.ufo or something similar.
  5. Switch to the .gif Animator program (or load it if you don't have a switch). You can also close PI at this point.
  6. Open the .gif Animator and select Open existing file. Navigate to the .ufo file you saved above and open it.
  7. Duplicate the frame twice. You should now see 3 balls in the objects window.
  8. Select frame #1. In the objects window, hide the second and third ball.
  9. Select frame #2. In the objects window, hide the 1st and third ball.
  10. Select frame #3. In the objects window, hide the first and second ball.

Click on the Preview tab and watch your ball sparkle. You can save it or not, it's up to you.

You can make many sparkle fill patterns. Try using gradient colors for even more variations. You can also try different values when creating the noise. Each little change will make a difference. Enjoy!

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.