The Wacky Blackbirds

blackbird 1       blackbird 2

blackbird 2 alt wings       blackbird 3

Terms of Use

    All the content on this Blackbirds Tutorial site is protected by International Copyright laws. If photos or graphics were created by anyone other than Susie, it will be noted and the copyright will remain with the creator. Please respect these copyrights. Any similarity to any other tutorial is coincidental. You may download my tutorials for personal use. You may share them within a group, if you write and ask my permission first. The image you create from this tutorial is yours to do with as you please.



Wacky Blackbird 1 Tutorial



    I did the work for this tutorial in PSP version 9, but I am sure the technique would work in other versions as well. These birds are an Alpha Channel Selections tutorial, and I hope it is clear enough for anyone trying it. Remember to save often.

    Supplies: Wacky Blackbirds Canvases etc.


    Download the Wacky Blackbirds Alpha Selection Canvas etc. and when unzipped, open the the canvas you want to work on in PSP. Click on Shift and D to duplicate the canvas and close the original. The canvas image will look blank, but if you look at your layer palette, you will see several layers labeled. For the birds 1 and 2, you will need the "eyes_nose_ssg.pspimage" and for bird 3, you will need the "eyes_ssg.pspimage". Open the one you will need in PSP and minimize it to bottom of your workspace for use later.

    For ease in directions, this page will give the instructions for the blackbird 1, with links to the pages with the other two birds near the bottom of this page.

    1. In the Layers Palette, activate the bottom layer that is named R wing. Go to Selections/Load_Save Selections/Load Selection from Alpha Channel. Click on the R wing selection and click OK.

    In the Materials Palette, have the Foreground black (#000000) and the Background orange - #F88F14 (which is a bright orange, you can use whatever shade of orange you would like, or even yellow.)

    Activate the Flood Fill tool and fill the R wing selection with black. Selections/Float. Effects/3D Effects/Cutout. Use the settings in the following screen shot for the cutout.

cutout wings

    Deselect by clicking on the Ctrl and the D keys.

    We will follow the same process for each of the layers, but I am not going to show screen shots for each cutout. I will just give the changes.

~~SAVE~~

    2. Activate the next layer - body, load the body selection from the Alpha Channel and flood fill it with black. Float and apply the same cutout, except change the blur to 35. Deselect.

~~SAVE~~

    3. Activate the L leg layer and load the L leg selection. Fill with black.

    4. Activate the R leg layer and load the R leg selection. Fill with black. These are so small, we are not going to use a cutout on them.

    NOTE: When just loading the selections from the Alpha Channel and not changing them to Float, you can just go to the next layer and the next selection.

~~SAVE~~

    5. Activate the L foot layer and load the L foot selection. Click on the little curved arrow on the Materials Palette between the Foreground and Background to invert the colors, so that the orange is now the Foreground color. Fill with the orange.

    Deselect. Effects/3D Effects/Inner Bevel and use the settings in the following screen shot to apply the Inner Bevel to the L foot.

inner bevel feet

    6. Activate the R foot layer and load the R foot selection. Fill with the orange. Deselect. Apply the same inner bevel you applied to the L foot.

    7. Activate the L wing layer and load the L wing selection. Invert the colors in the Materials Palette, so the Foreground is black again. Fill the wing with black and Float the selection. Apply the same cutout as before, but change the blur to 15. Deselect.

~~SAVE~~

    8. Activate the neck layer and load the neck selection. Fill with black.

    9. Activate the back brim layer and load the back brim selection. Fill with black. Float. Apply the same cutout, but change the blur to 25. Deselect.

~~SAVE~~

    10. Activate the head layer and load the head selection. Fill with black. Float. Apply the same cutout you just applied on the back brim. Deselect.

    11. Activate the lower bill layer and load the lower bill selection. Invert the colors in the Materials Palette again so that the orange is the Foreground. Fill the lower bill and deselect. Effects/3D Effects/Inner Bevel. The settings should still be the same as when used on the feet, but here they are to make sure. Pie shaped bevel; width 12; smoothness 48; depth 7; ambience 4; shininess 42; color white; angle 315; intensity 30 and elevation 56.

~~SAVE~~

    12. Activate the upper bill layer and load the upper bill selection. Fill with the orange and deselect. Apply the same inner bevel you just applied to the lower bill. Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow - use the settings in the following screen shot.

drop shadow upper beak

    13. Activate the hat layer and load the hat selection. Again invert the colors on the Materials Palette so that the black is now the Foreground. Fill the hat with black. Float. Apply the same cutout you last applied, with the blur at 25. Deselect.

~~SAVE~~

    14. Activate the brim layer and load the brim selection. Fill with black and float. Apply the same cutout you just applied to the hat. Deselect.

    15. Activate the hat layer and add a new raster layer, naming it hat band. Activate the Pen Tool and using either the Bezier Curve or the Freehand (whichever you are the most comfortable with, width 3, draw a hat band on the hat. I have shown mine with the Bezier Curver in the screen shot.

hatband       hatband 2

~~SAVE~~

    16. Activate the upper bill layer. Open the "eyes_nose_ssg.pspimage". Edit/Copy. Activate the bird image. Edit/Paste as New Layer. Use the Mover Tool to move the eyes and nose into place.

~~SAVE~~

    CONGRATULATIONS! You now have completed the first of the Wacky Blackbirds.

finished bird 1

      Thank you for trying this tutorial! If you would like to try the other two Wacky Bird tutorials in this series of three, just click on the name of the tutorial.

      Blackbird 2 Tutorial


      Blackbird 3 Tutorial

    Thank you for trying my Wacky Blackbirds tutorials. I hope you enjoyed them.





      This tutorial was written September 28, 2008.


      Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions. Send email to susie



Home