Preparation & Modes
PaintShop Pro has three work modes. They are: Manage, Adjust and Edit.
You will be using the Edit
mode for this tutorial.
Download and unzip the supplies folder. This file contains two Scripts that create calendar grids. One for a single month, and one for a whole year. Place the two Script files in your PSP Trusted Scripts folder inside your Documents. Be sure to do this before you open PSP. If you don't the scripts won't run until you close the program and reopen it.
Take some care when you choose your image or photo. Small ones can't be made larger without distortion which would ruin your work. So check the size and don't choose one smaller than 500 pixels on its shortest side.
You are going to be working on images that will be used as desktop wallpaper. In addition, your creations will be placed on a webpage with other Calendar wallpapers used by a group with over 500 members. Please take a few moments now to go and visit the site here. Download a couple in different sizes to see how they look and how they work.
You will notice that there are three sizes offered, Regular, Large and Extra Large. In each of those categories there are two sizes. So you will be making a set of calendar wallpapers or six identical ones, one in each of all those sizes. That's six calendars in all that will be identical except for size. That sounds like a whole lot of work, but it really isn't.
Here are the sizes you will be making:
- Regular - 1024x768 pixels & 1366x768 pixels
- Large - 1280x1024 pixels & 1440x900 pixels
- Extra Large - 1680x1050 pixels & 1920x1080 pixels
The Image Behind the Grid
- Open your chosen photo in PSP and press the SHIFT key + D twice. Then close the original to preserve it. Minimize one of these copies.
- Go to Image Resize. Resize your image so that it's no longer than 600 pixels on the longest side.
- Go to Image Add Borders as follows:
Symmetric = Checked
Color = White
Size = 3
- Repeat Add Borders changing the size to 25 and pick a dark color from your image.
- Drag this image off to the side for a moment, you will be using it shortly.
To make the Grid, the part that makes this a Calendar, you will use one of the Scripts you placed in your Trusted Scripts folder. To use a Script you need to turn on another toolbar.
- Go to View Toolbars Script. The new toolbar may be floating and in the way unless you have used it before and docked it. If it's floating, drag it down to the bottom where the Organizer palette is. Keep going until it docks or sinks into the area.
- Now click the Drop-list and find Calendar-Month.
- Click on the Play button . You will have a series of pop-ups with questions to answer as follows below. Do not click anywhere but on the pop-ups until they all finish. If you do perhaps click on the canvas or the workspace you will have to cancel and start over.
- Choose the year. You can use the up/down arrows or type it in. Click OK to go to the next one.
- Choose the Month. You want the next calendar month from now. You are making them for use next month.
- Enter the Font Size (in these scripts it's by Points not Pixels which are smaller). By default it's 42. This makes a pretty good sized grid. It can be sized up or down later to fit your image, so just click OK.
- Now you choose your font. It can be any text type font. Some of the fancier ones have strange looking numbers. So do look at the preview window before you choose it. The examples shown will be using Comic Sans MS.
- If you want your Text filled or Solid say yes to this next question. Otherwise your grid's text will be outlined.
- The Materials properties box opens next so you can choose the color to use. You might want to use the same one you put around your image as a border in the last section of this tutorial. If you do hold down the CTRL Key and mouse over the frame then click to choose that color.
- If you want a border on your text chose a stroke size. The default is 0 which is none. If you do want a border increase the number to one or two. More would be too much. You will then choose a color for the border. Make it a contrasting one to the fill color.
- The next pop up will create a new image. Just accept the defaults and the new image will size itself to fit your font automatically.
- Accept the default selections on the next pop-up too.
- A new image will form and like magic the month numbers will begin to appear creating your calendar grid.
Customizing the Grid
- Have a good look at your Layers palette. Notice that next to the layer named Vector 1 there's a or + symbol. Click on that and you will see that each item in the grid is on its very own layer.
- Say that you are making a calendar for December. You can find the layer named 25 and double click on it. Now you can change the font, color any of the properties to make that special date stand out!
Find a special day in your grid for the upcoming month and customize it.
- Change the Font for the Month name and/or remove the year.
- Right click on the Vector 1 layer. This will make it possible for you to copy your grid to place on the image.
- Go to Image Resize and reduce the grid image to 400 pixels wide (may not be necessary if you used a smaller font size).
- Go to Edit Copy then close the grid image. Save as PSPIMAGE if you think you might want to make more calendars for that month.
- Drag the framed image back to center stage and go to Edit Paste as New Layer. Your grid will appear in the center of your framed image.
- If your grid looks good in the center, leave it there. If not use the Pick Tool to move and possibly resize it as necessary for your photo.
- Right click the top layer in your Layers palette and choose Merge Merge Down.
- Minimize this image.
- Restore your other duplicated image. (From Part 1 above.) Duplicate and minimize one copy to be used for the next sizes you make. (Remember you are actually making 6 of these.)
- Go to Adjust Blur Gaussian Blur. Set the amount to 50. This will completely blur your image leaving only colored shapes. This is going to be the base for your background. Now that it is blurred it can be resized to all those sizes shown above without degrading the image.
- Go to Image Resize. Uncheck Lock Aspect Ratio and resize this image to 1024x768.
- Go to Effects Texture Effects Texture.
- Choose one of the Paper Textures and set up as follows:
Size = 100%
Ambience = 0
Depth = 3
Smoothness = 0
Shininess = 0
Color = White
Angle = 315
Intensity = 50
Elevation = 30
- Be sure not to set the Depth higher than 3. You don't want the texture to be the main focus of your wallpaper. Remember this is going to be on someone's desktop. Heavy textures can become oppressive and tiresome quickly. They will also greatly increase the final file size of your image.
- Restore the Framed image with your grid and copy it.
- Paste as a new layer into your textured background.
- Use the Move tool to position this to the right and go to Objects Align Vert. in Canvas.
This will leave room on the right side for desktop icons to appear.
- Add a new Raster Layer and apply your watermark.
- Go to File Export as JPG and optimize your image. Be sure to look at the images on the top, especially the one on the right. You want a small file size, but you don't want to degrade your image in the process. Remember the higher the number you put in for the Compression Value the more you will be degrading your image. Adjust as necessary.
- Name your calendar with your initials followed by a hyphen, then the abbreviation of the month it's for, another hyphen and finally 1024, the first number in its size. It should look something like this... mg-sept-1024.
- Congratulations. You have completed your first Calendar.
- Repeat steps 1 - 12 above until you have exported and saved one in each of these sizes ...
- Don't forget to add your watermark.
- Finally email your calendar wallpapers to DCO Submissions. You will receive an email reply including an award for contributing to the next month's page.
- Close all images.
Many more types of Calendars can be made using different materials for the images or backgrounds including calendars with a full year of calendar grids. This is made using the second script provided. It works basically the same but does have a couple more pop-ups to respond to. Both kinds of calendars are accepted and made available to the DCO users.
Making calendars allows you to use your creativity and show off a little. But do remember to leave room for the Desktop Icons so that your images aren't covered by them. If you find you enjoy making calendars you are welcome to continue to do so each month. There's no limit on how many you can submit and I am sure our "usergroup" will be thrilled to have the extra choices.