Title: Techno Style Masks

Software: Corel PaintShop Pro X7 -- Current

Author: Merlene Guldager

Home Page: Gold Acres Designs

Skill Level: Beginner

Materials Needed:

  • Supplies bundle
  • Description:
    Learn to create a modernistic "techno" styled mask to apply to images for a unique effect. You will also save this one so it can be used over again.

    To make your mask look "Techno" you will be adding some Earth-like globes that will seem to float amongst the warped grids. The grids can be thought of as Space being warped. First you will make the globes, and then the warped grids background. Then put it all together.


    PaintShop Pro has multiple workspaces and modes. What you use will depend on your version of PSP. If you are using PSP 2018, you should select the Complete workspace and the Edit mode. For older versions, select the Edit mode.

    The Globes

    1. Open a new white Raster image, 100x100 pixels.

    2. Go to View Grid to turn on your Grid and repeat for Rulers. Double click anywhere on the rulers and make the following changes.
      In the lower half where it says "Current Image settings change all values to 25 pixels. Set the Snap Influence to 10. Then click OK. A grid will now cover your white background. This isn't part of your image, only an overlay that will be removed shortly.

    3. Select the Preset Shapes tool then choose the Ellipse shape from the Tool Options drop-list. Set the options to Create on Vector unchecked and Width of 0.

    4. Choose any color for your Background and make the foreground transparent.

    5. Add a new Raster layer.

    6. Working on the new layer, start in the upper left corner and draw a circle that nearly fills the whole image. The snap influence of the grid will help you draw a perfect circle shape.


    7. Go to View Grid to turn the grid off.

    8. Go to Effects Artistic Effects Balls and Bubbles. The option window for Balls and Bubbles will be displayed.

    9. If you do not see a Before and After preview window, click the Preview button on the upper left corner.

    10. Click the Reset button on the right side of the screen to return to the default values.

    11. Look at the Preview windows. In the Before window you see a square with four tiny handles, one on each corner. In the After window, there is a small bubble in the same location.

    12. The small squares are handles. Drag the lower right handle on the Before window to the lower right corner of the window and watch what happens in the After window. You can see a bubble starting to form.

    13. Pull each handle, as far as it will go, into a corner. You should have a nice bubble as shown below.

    14. Click on the Maps tab and put a check in Bump map to activate it. Use the drop-list and find "earth_02". Set the options as follows:
      Smoothness = 21
      Depth = 100
      Fit Bump map = Checked

    15. Click on the Illumination Tab and use the settings shown in the image below.

    16. You will need to click inside the image under Position (inside the area circled in red below) and move the light around to get it to show as much as in the image shown here and above. The light will move opposite to the way you drag it.

      When you get it right click OK. Now you have a 3 dimensional ball resembling an embossed earth.

    17. Delete the white background layer.

    18. Save this image as globe.PSPIMAGE and minimize.

    The Background

    1. Open the 'techno-layers.PSPIMAGE' file that you downloaded before beginning.

    2. Press SHIFT + D to duplicate it and close the original. Let's look at this image in the Layers palette. There are three layers.

      Notice that two of the layers are showing a Lock icon. Click on the top layer (white grid) to make it active then click the lock icon on the tool bar above it to unlock it.

      Do the same for the second layer (the black grid).

    3. On your Layers palette rename the top layer (the white grid) White.

    4. Rename the middle one Black, and the bottom one Grey.

    5. Toggle the visibility of the Grey and Black layers off and make the White layer active.

    6. Select the Pick tool and change the Mode to Shear.

    7. Grab the handle on the bottom left corner and move it to the center. (#1 in the example below.)

    8. Grab the handle on the top right and bring it down not quite to the center. (#2 in the example above.) Your image should look something like the one below.

    9. On the Layers palette, toggle the white layer off and the black one on. Make the black layer active.

    10. This time grab the right bottom corner and move it toward the center.

    11. Toggle the visibility of the other layers back to on. Use the Save as icon to save your image as mask.PSPIMAGE.

    Creating The Mask

    1. Maximize your Earth globe image.

    2. Edit Copy the globe image. Activate your mask image and Edit Paste as New Layer. If the new layer isn't on top, move it there now and rename it Globe.

    3. Right click the Globe layer and duplicate it twice.

    4. Using the Pick tool, place one of the globes in the lower left corner near where the two grids meet. Then drag the globe layer beneath the White layer. This will sort of tuck it underneath the White layer.

    5. Change the Mode for your Pick tool to Scale and make this globe a bit smaller.

    6. Move the other Copy of Globe up to the right hand corner. Change its size too if you want.

    7. Click on the first Globe and make this one bigger.

    8. Right click on any layer and Merge visible. Save again using the Save icon.

    9. Go to Layers New Mask Layer From image. Find mask.PSPIMAGE from the drop-list.

      Your image has changed to something like this and now has new layers as shown below.

    10. Go to Layers Load/Save Mask Save Mask to Disk.

    11. Name your mask and click the Save button.

    12. Close all your open images.

    Using The Mask

    1. Open a new transparent Raster image, 500x500 pixels.

    2. Select your Flood fill tool and set your Foreground color to a gradient of your choice. Flood Fill the canvas with your gradient.

    3. Go to Layers Load/Save Mask Load Mask from Disk.

    4. Choose your new mask from the drop-list. It will automatically be applied to your image when you click the Load button at the bottom.

      Notice that your mask layers were recreated when the mask was loaded.

    5. Right click any one of them and Merge Group.

    6. At this point your mask is partially transparent. It has the colors of your gradient and that's it. You could export it as PNG and preserve the transparency and it would allow any background to show through. If you choose to save this way, don't forget to add your watermark first.

    7. Add a new raster layer and drag it beneath your merged mask.

    8. Select the Flood Fill tool and choose a dark or light contrasting color and fill the new raster layer.

    9. Go to Image Add Borders and with Symmetric checked put in a number of 2 and choose Black for the color.

    10. Repeat Add Borders with a size of 10 and the darker color of your Gradient.

    11. Go to Image Resize and make the height 500 pixels.

    12. Go to Layers New Raster Layer and apply your watermark if you choose to.

    13. Go to File Export, select JPG Optimizer and save your image.

    An Alternative Way To Use The Mask

    1. Open a photo of your choice and resize if necessary so that it's no longer than 600 pixels on the longest side. Don't worry if your photo is a rectangular shape, the mask will stretch to fit, though there will be some distortion. You are likely the only one who would notice that.

    2. Follow the steps above and you get a unique image. Don't forget Step 7 or you will have white behind your masked image.
      Images without people work best. For example, a photo of flowers or vegetables, even a landscape.

    3. Go to Layers New Raster Layer and apply your watermark if you choose to.

    4. Go to File Export, select JPG Optimizer and save your image.

      Here are some examples

    This tutorial was based on a tutorial written by Debbie Hardisty for PhotoImpact, with permission.

    If you are looking for a great place to learn more about PaintShop Pro, please visit The Beginner's Workshop. We offer a different approach to learning. Upon acceptance you will be assigned a mentor to work with. She will be there to answer all your questions and help you get the most of each tutorial. And the best part is that it's completely FREE!

    Copyright © Merlene Guldager

         This document and the images contained therein may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated.