Ornate Backgrounds Tutorial

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    I made the original background by pure accident. Somehow I had the settings in my gradient palette (Material Properties) from the last tutorial I had done - however, I don't remember what that would have been nor do I know how the gradient with these settings were used. I did check the last tutorial I think I did, but these settings were not in that, so maybe I was just playing and didn't notice the neat detail in the lower corner!

    I have played some more with it and have come up with some more interesting results, which I will show a bit later.

    I did this in PSP version 9, but I am sure the technique will work just as well in the other versions. If anyone uses another version and gets varied results, I sure would love to see them.

    This looks like a long tutorial, but please believe me, it isn't!! There are only a couple of steps to do and the rest are just several screen shots of samples using various settings. This is a lot of fun to play with and see what you can come up with.

    1. Open a transparent 300x300 image, and flood fill with white.

    2. Add a new raster image and name it gradient. The white layer is in case we want to lower the opacity of the gradient layer.

    3. Pick a gradient from your gradient palette and use the settings in the following screen shot.

material properties

    4. Click ok and flood fill your image with the gradient. That is it - you are finished.

    Easy, fast and cool results, right? Yup, but we can do more!!! LOL

    Try adding an usharp mask - go to Adjust/Sharpen/Unsharp Mask and use the settings in the following screen shot.

unsharpen mask

    On some gradients this added sharpening makes it look cooler, on others, just kind of trashy.

blue gradient       blue gradient with unsharp mask

    To show some of the results with other gradients and other settings, I will display some examples.

    For this one, I used a pastel rainbow gradient with the same settings as above.

pastel rainbow gradient

    The next examples were all done with the basic gold gradient that comes with PSP.

    The first one is with the above settings.

gold gradient

    For these two, I changed the settings on the Material Properties for repeats to 999 - which is the highest it will go. On the second one, I also used the Unsharpen Mask with the above settings. Go to Adjust/Sharpen/Unsharpen Mask.

gold gradient 999 repeats       gold gradient 999 repeats and unsharp mask

    These next two, I used 500 repeats on the Material Properties with the other settings the same on the first one, and also used the Unsharpen Mask. For the second one, I used 450 repeats, and used Adjust/Sharpen/Sharpen More.

gold gradient 999 repeats       gold gradient 999 repeats and unsharp mask

    These next two use the Landscape Sunset gradient that also comes with PSP. The first one, I used the above settings on the Material Properties with 500 repeats. The second one is the same as the first, but I lowered the opacity of the gradient layer to 50.

landscape sunset       landscape sunset lowered opacity

    The next two were made with using Kathie's gradient of pink and white. I used the same settings as before - 100 repeats on the first one, but I also changed the horizontal setting on the Materials Properties to 100. This moved the ornate part to the opposite corner. For the second one, I changed the repeats to 999.

pkwht 100x3       pkwht gradient 999 repeats

    The Material Properties settings for the above second sample.

material properties 2 for pkwht gradient

    My next playing was more with the Horizontal and Vertical setting on the Materials Properties. The first sample uses the red, white and blue gradient, and the Horizontal at 50, Vertical at 100. The second one, I had both the Horizontal and Vertical at 50. The repeats were at 999 for both of them.

red white blue 50 and 100       red wht blue vh50 repeats 999

    The next sample is using the Metal Steel gradient, with the settings at V&H 50, 999 repeats. The last sample is using the gold gradient, with the settings of V&H at 75 and repeats 999.

metal steel 50, 50 and 999       gold gradient vh75repeats 999

    Thank you for trying this Ornate Backgrounds tutorial. I hope you had as much fun playing with these gradients as I did!

      This tutorial was written April 29, 2008.

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