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

Title: Christmas Tree
Skill Level: Beginner

Description: This little tree is extremely simple to create and can easily be completed by a beginning user with a minimum amount of experience. Also included is a "A Little Extra" showing you how to make a pine stamp and then use it to create a lovely holiday wreath. Background not included in tutorial.

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.


Setting up the Shape

  1. Open a new image, 300x400 pixels, white background.

  2. Click on Path tool.

  3. Select Color = any light green, Mode = 2D, Shape = Custom Shape.
  1. Locate the PIE 02 Shape in the Custom Shape palette and click OK.
  1. Drag the cursor from upper left of canvas to lower right to draw a large pie shape. Your pie slice will be laying on its side but we'll fix that in the next step.
  1. Click the Transform Tool. This will activate the associated menu options. On the menu bar, enter 84 in the rotate by degree box and click on the left rotating arrow.

Coloring the Tree

  1. Click the Paint Brush Tool. Set the values on the menu attribute bar as shown below. Be sure and click the Mode box, This is the Paint As Object Mode button. When you are finished painting, your work will be an object instead of being blended into the background.

  2. Using the pie shape as a guide, paint short little lines as shown below in figure 1. The lines don't have to be perfect. In fact, it will look better if they're not. Repeat this step using a medium green, then white, and lastly, a dark green. Make sure you keep the Mode button depressed. (note: sample is 50% actual size)

    Your final tree should look like #4.

The Magic!

  1. When you are happy with your colors, click on the Pick tool . You will get a message saying you are leaving the Paint as Object mode. Click Okay

  2. Right-click on your image. This will activate a pop-up menu. Choose Select All Objects from the menu. This will add selection lines around each color layer.
  3. Click on the Easy Palette icon on the left side of the screen to open the palette.
  4. Click on the Material Gallery and locate the Painting Gallery and Scratch 5 painting effect (see below)

  5. With your tree still selected, double-click on the Scratch 5 paint effect. This may take a few seconds to apply depending on your machine. You still won't see the effects until the next step.

  6. Right-click on your tree again. On the pop-up menu, select Merge as Single Object. Now your image should look "scratchy" like the one below. If you want an even "scratchier" look, double-click on the Scratch 5 effect again.

  7. When you are happy with your tree, click WEB\Image Optimizer on the menu bar. This will bring up the Save menu. Click the GIF button and Save As.. and give your tree a name.

    Your tree is now ready to decorate or leave as it is. The key word is EXPERIMENT!!

A Little Extra (intermediate)

We're going to use the techniques we learned above to create a pine needle stamp, then use that stamp to make a wreath to go with our tree. Refer back to the first part if you need detailed instructions.

Making the Stamp

  1. Open a new canvas, 150x150, transparent background.
  2. Use path tool, draw a small 2d round circle, any light green color.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 under Coloring the Tree but this time, color the little green circle. Bring your strokes out from the center toward the edges. Go out over the edges a bit to make it look like needles. It should look something like this:

  4. Repeat The Magic (above) steps 1 through 6. The end result will be a little "clump" of green "pine". Duplicate the pine 3 times and arrange on your transparent background as shown below.

  5. Click on the second pine clump object to select it. Click on the Transform tool and rotate to the right 20 degree. Rotate the third one 40 degree and the 4th one 60 degree.
  6. Save as a .ufo file in your stamp folder. Name it pine.ufo. If you don't have a stamp folder, you can save it in the PhotoImpact stamps folder. Close the file.
  7. Click on the stamp tool. On the menu bar, click on the down arrow by the deer and select Add Stamp.

    Navigate to where you saved your pine stamp, click on the stamp and click Open. This will add your pine to the stamp palette.

Making the Stamp

Now that we have the stamp, we can use it for many things. In this tutorial, we'll use it to make a holiday wreath.

  1. Open a new image 300x300, white or transparent backgound.
  2. Draw an outline circle using the Path tool.

  3. Click on the Stamp tool and select your pine stamp. On the menu bar, leave the scale at 100 but change the spacing to 50.

  4. Click on the Effects menu, select Paint On Edges. Now watch as PhotoImpact uses your stamp to create a lovely green wreath. Right-click and select all objects, combine as a single object. Decorate to suit yourself.

    For a more "dense" wreath, lower the spacing or raise it to place the clumps farther apart. If your pine is too large, you can make it smaller by changing the Scale to a lower number.

    You can use this technique to create wreaths in fall colors and decorate with seasonal objects. Use your imagination to see what other things you can make using this tutorial.

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.