Pouring Sand Animation Tutorial



pouring sand

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    All the content on this Pouring Sand Animated 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.



    I did this tutorial in PSP version 9, but I am sure it would work in other versions as well. Needed supplies are sand pails and sand, as well as the Toadies Filter and the Almathera Filter.

    You can download my zip of images here. In the zip are several shades of sand seamless tiles made in version 9, as well as pail images in 7 colors, made both in version 8 and version 9. There is also a small image of sand to put in your pail. These are all on pspimages, and you are welcome to add them to your picture tubes folder, and patterns folders. Or you can use them from the pspimages with copying and pasting for the images and the patterns open on your PSP.

    You will also need a couple of plugins. Remember to install them before opening Paint Shop Pro (PSP), so that they will show up when you have them installed and open PSP. There are installation instructions on the pages for both of the downloads. Both of these programs are free to download and use. Be sure to read over the web pages for the programs. The page for the Toadies Plugins has other plugins also offered for free there - a good place to get some more plugins!! LOL

    Download the Almathera Plugin here.

    Download the Toadies 1 and 2 here.

    Download the Bell Bottom.Laser font, a freeware font here. . You can use any thick font of your choice. This is just one I have and have used a lot.

Tutorial

    Let's get started! Open a 300x300 transparent image. Flood fill it with white and name the layer white bg.

    Add another raster layer and name it pail 1. Choose the pail in the color of your choice from your pail tubes or copy and paste it from the pspimage. If you copy and paste it, resize it to 60%. If you are using it as a tube, scale it to 60 - you will have to kind of check and see if this is the proper size. Or you can just put it on the image and then resize it to 60%. (Sorry, I don't have this in my tubes, so I can't give you the proper scale size.)

    Add your sand4in_pail, by copying and pasting it as a new layer, making sure your pail layer is highlighted before you paste. Move it in place, and use the Raster Deform Tool to make it fit, if necessary. You will note a small blank area in the sand - this is the area for the pail handle to show through. If you want your sand to be darker, use the Lighten/Darken brush. You will want to use it with the following settings: Size-10; Hardness-50; Step-25; Density-100; Thickness-100; Rotation-0; Opacity-70-75. At the very end of that tool bar is a box labeled "Swap mouse buttons" - if you check this box, you can use the left button on the mouse to darken with. If you keep this box unchecked, you will have to use the right button.

    Once you have the sand in place, go to your layer palette, right click on the layer, go to Merge/Merge Down. To merge it this way, you won't have to change any names of your layers - and it is faster than hiding all the other layers and doing a merge visible and changing the name! As long as what you want to merge is above the layer, you can do this. I have even used this to merge a list of layers down, one at a time. This feature is also available in version 8 - according to one tutorial author, eight is the first version it was available.

    Duplicate the pail, naming the copy pail 2. Use the Mover Tool to move pail 2 to the lower right corner. Whether you leave it in this corner or move it to the lower left corner for your final image, will depend where you place your name, and also how long or large a space your name requires. For now it can just hide in one of the lower corners. I would also turn off the visibility to this pail by clicking on the eye icon in the layer palette. When a red x appears, the visibility is turned off.

    Highlight the pail 1 layer. Image/Rotate/Free Rotate - rotate the pail 1 45 degrees - Right. This should be the proper angle for lightly pouring the sand out. Using your Mover Tool, move the pail to the upper right corner of the image.

    Highlight the white bg layer, and add a vector layer, naming it name. I used a fat font - for this one I used Bell Bottom.Laser, size 40, stroke 1. Stroke - wet or a dark sand pattern. Fill - sand pattern, scale 50. The smaller scale makes the grains stand out a bit more. The size of the font will also depend on the size and/or length of your name.

    Type in your name, move it to below where you plan to have your sand pour. You can have the sand pour into the first letter of your name, or any one of the letters. Once you have it in place, convert to raster layer. Effects/3D effects/Inner Bevel - Use the settings as in the screen shot.

inner bevel for sand name

    Selections/Select All. Selections/Float. Selections/Defloat. While selected, duplicate the name layer 4 times. Rename your duplicate layers as name 2, name 3, name 4, name 5 - going up the layer palette. Leave it selected until I tell you to turn it off, please!

names in the layer palette

    Turn off the visibility to the layers name 2 through name 5, by clicking on the eye icon - a red x will appear.

visibility in the layer palette

    Highlight the layer name, rename it name 1. It should still have the marching ants around it. Go to your filters. Almathera/A Puddle. Follow the settings in the screen shots for each layer. You will follow this way for each of the layers. Actually, the only setting you will change in the following Puddles will be the Reflection setting - the rest stay the same!

name 1 puddle settings
Name 1

    Turn the visibility to this layer (name 1) off. Highlight layer labeled name 2, and turn the visibility back on - click on the red x, the eye should appear and the visibility is on!

name 2 puddle settings
Name 2

    Turn the visibility to this layer (name 2) off. Highlight layer labeled name 3, and turn the visibility back on - click on the red x, the eye should appear and the visibility is on!

name 3 puddle settings
Name 3

    Turn the visibility to this layer (name 3) off. Highlight layer labeled name 4, and turn the visibility back on - click on the red x, the eye should appear and the visibility is on!

name 4 puddle settings
Name 4

    We will leave name 5 as it is - it is full of sand!

    Now you can deselect! Either go to Selections/Select None or click on Ctrl D (both keys) and it will deselect!

    Highlight your top layer, which should be the pail layer. Add a new raster layer - name it sand 1. Now we are going to be drawing lines for our sand falling. You can do it free hand, or with the straight lines, or with the Bezier Curve. I prefer the Bezier Curve for you can adjust your curve, plus it gives a nice arch to the flow of the sand.

    Stroke/Foreground - sand pattern, scale 50. Background/Fill - null. Click on your Pen Tool, click on the Bezier Curve, or whichever drawing tool you want to use. I used a line width of 3 and drew 6 lines. Below are screen shots to show how each tool can look and how it would also look with the filter effects.

bez line 1       bez line results

    The above screen shots show how to use the Bezier Curve - click on the sand in the pail, then click down on where you want the end of the sand stream to be, and before you lift your finger from the mouse, drag the mouse/cursor to the right and you will see the red line appear and the longer you drag it out and the more you move it, the more your sand line will curve.

bez curve results

This is the Bezier Curve with 6 lines drawn, and the effects applied.

sand1 freehand       sand 1 freehand effects

This is the freehand - I can't draw them smooth, but as you can see, it doesn't make a difference once you apply the filter for the effects. The sand does look a bit clumpy in a couple of areas, but it is ok.

straight line       straight line effects

This is using the straight line and how it looks with the effects applied.

    Which ever drawing method you use, you can see that there is very little difference in the final results with the effects applied. So feel free to use what you are most comfortable with.

    Draw 6-8 lines, spacing them a little as you see on the above screen shots. Then you duplicate the layer 3 times, so that you will have 4 layers. Rename them to sand 1; sand 2; sand 3; and sand 4.

    Turn the visiblility off to the top 3 layers. Highlight sand 1. Toadies/Blast 'em... use the settings in the following screen shots and apply them twice to each layer:

sand 1 toadies settings

Layer Sand 1

sand 2 toadies settings

Layer Sand 2

sand 3 toadies settings

Layer Sand 3

sand 4 toadies settings

Layer Sand 4

    Now for our finishing touches to the image before we head for Animation Shop (AS)!

    The pail handle kind of pales against the white background, so lets give it a drop shadow. You could also apply this drop shadow to the name 5 image if you want.

drop shadow

    Open Animation Shop (AS) and minimize it. Go to your layer palette in PSP, and set it up the way my layer palette looks in the screen shot. Turn the visibility off to all the layers except the white background, name 5, and pail 2.

layer palette for AS

    Go to Edit/Copy Merged. Then go to AS, right click on the work space and a small window will open as in the screen shot. As you move your cursor over it, part of the window will turn blue, left click on it, and your image will appear.

paste new ani screen

    Go back to PSP, turn the visibility off to the name 5 and pail 2 layers. Turn the visibility on to sand 4, pail 1, name 4 and white bg should still be on.

layer palette for AS 2

    Edit/Copy Merged. Go to AS, right click in the upper right corner area of your image. A screen will appear, click on the Paste and another window opens, click on Before Current Image.

paste window

    Go back to PSP, turn the visibility off to the sand 4 and name 4 layers. Turn the visibility on to sand 3 and name 3, pail 1 and white bg should still be on.

layer palette for AS 3

    Edit/Copy Merged. Go to AS, right click in the upper right corner area of your image again. The screen will appear, with Paste, click on it as you did before and then click on Paste Before Current Image again.

    Go back to PSP, turn the visibility off to the sand 3 and name 3 layers. Turn the visibility on to sand 2 and name 2, pail 1 and white bg should still be on.

layer palette for AS 4

    Edit/Copy Merged. Go to AS, right click in the upper right corner area of your image again. The screen will appear, with Paste, click on it as you did before and then click on Paste Before Current Image again.

    Go back to PSP, turn the visibility off to the sand 2 and name 2 layers. Turn the visibility on to sand 1 and name 1, pail 1 and white bg should still be on.

layer palette for AS 5

    Edit/Copy Merged. Go to AS, right click in the upper right corner area of your image again. The screen will appear, with Paste, click on it as you did before and then click on Paste Before Current Image again.

    Now the rest of our "work", we will do in AS. Hang in there, we are almost finished!

    In the upper tool bar of AS, you will see Edit, click on Edit and then Select All This will select all the frames, and whatever you do to one of them, you will do to all of them.

select all in AS

    Next go to Animation, click on Resize Animation. Another window will appear for resizing.

resize selection

    We want to reduce the size of our image and the best way is to do it by percentage. You will note looking in the screen shot, that the area to resize by pixels is grayed out, but as you click on the numbers for the percent, you can see the numbers in the pixels change. This is how I tell what size I am reducing my image to.

resize scrn

    I want my image around 240-245, so I am using 80%, as that what the screen shows me will give me 240x240 pixels. You can pick the size you want.

    Go back to Animation, and this time click on Frame Properties. Another window will pop up, showing the numbers for the speed of your frames. The program automatically sets the frames at 10 when they are opened in AS, and we are going to change it to 35. Then click on ok.

frame properties 4 select all       frame property adjustment

    Go back to Edit, and this time click on Select None. This will unselect all the frames as one.

    Now go to your very last frame - it should say F:5 D:35 just below the little gray frame. Right click on the image, and another Frame Properties window will pop up. This time change the 35 to 175. Click on ok.

    Go to the top tool bar and near the end on the right is a small filmstrip icon, click on this to activate your frames.

ani starter in AS

    Sit back and enjoy your sand pouring from your pail! If the animation speed is not what you want, change the settings now. Once you have the settings for the speed as you want it, either click on the Animation icon again, or on the x in the red box in the upper right corner - this will stop the animation.

    File/Save As. Take note what folder you are saving it into - I am terrible about not paying attention to this is partly why I caution you! LOL - and type in the name for your image. Click on Save, and another window will pop up. This window and the following ones are for optimizing the animation - just click on next, and then finish! NOW you are truly finished with making the Pouring Sand image! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID WELL!


pouring sand

    Below are some other images I have done using this technique. I challenge you to see what else you can create using this technique! If you do, I would really love to see your creations, so please send me your site address or email me.


watering name       watering name


watering name


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



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