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In Paint Shop Pro, a layer is a graphical element that you can superimpose over another element. You can think of layers as transparencies that, when stacked together, create the final image. Using layers enables you to manipulate one part of an image without affecting another, even if the layers have graphical elements that overlap.
The tools and commands discussed in this chapter are only the tip of the iceberg. As you work with Paint Shop Pro, you’ll discover a wealth of techniques for creating the perfect images for your custom browser. For more information on these techniques, please refer to the remaining chapters in this part of the book.
98 Part III: Creating Browser Graphics
Jazzing Up Your Browser with Borders
In This Chapter
^ Creating a blank border image ^ Filling an image with color ^ Changing a rectangle to 3-D ^ Adding details to the border image
ot every custom Web browser you build needs fancy border graphics, щ W but when you decide to use borders, you want them to be attractive. You may think that you need to be an artist to create attractive graphical elements for your browsers, but that’s not necessarily the case. Paint Shop Pro is readily suited for the task and can provide artistic help. In this chapter, you find out how to create borders, as well as discover a few handy graphical tips.
Understanding Border Requirements
Creating a custom border is a fairly easy task, but it does require several steps. A little artistic know-how doesn’t hurt either, but Paint Shop Pro’s powerful functions — once you know how to use them — can help even the most fumble-fingered artist turn out a decent border. (If you can use a little help with Paint Shop Pro, refer to Chapter 10.) If you don’t believe me, you’re in for a big surprise as you work through this chapter’s border project.
The most important things to know when creating graphics for a custom browser are the size and color depth measurements you need. The following list summarizes these attributes for a border:
100 Part III: Creating Browser Graphics
Width of 784 pixels ^ Height of 32 pixels ^ Resolution of 200 pixels per centimeter ^ Color depth of 16 million colors (24-bit color)
If you create your browser border with a different size or resolution, you may see some distortion when you load it into your browser. That’s because the browser automatically resizes the graphics to fit inside it. The color depth is most important when working with Paint Shop Pro. After finishing your graphic, you can save it with a different color depth.
Starting a New Border
To create a border, you must start with a blank image of the correct resolution. Here’s how:
1. Choose FileONew.
The New Image dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-1.
The New Image dialog box.
2. From the Units box, select Pixels.
This option may be already set to this value.
3. Using the scroll arrows, change the width to 784.
Chapter 11: Jazzing Up Your Browser with Borders
4. Change the height to 32.
5. Set the resolution to 200 Pixels/cm.
This option is probably already set to this value.
6. In the Image Characteristics area, select the Raster Background option.
7. In the Color Depth drop-down list, choose 16 Million Colors.
Again, this option is probably already set to this value.
8. Make sure that the Color box is set to white.
To set the color, if necessary, click the box and then choose the color from the dialog box that appears.
9. Make sure that the Transparent checkbox is not selected.
10. Click OK.
Paint Shop Pro creates a blank image for your new border, as shown in Figure 11-2.
11. Save this image under a name like BlankBorder.
You can then use this file as a template for starting new borders. Just load the template, choose FileOSave As, and save the template under a new name.
The new image’s window in Paint Shop Pro’s work area.
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102 Part III: Creating Browser Graphics
Eleven steps may seem like a lot just to get a blank image up on the screen, but once you get used to the settings, it takes only a couple of seconds to create a new image.
Filling the Background
After you have a new blank image to work with (see the preceding section), you’re ready to really dig into Paint Shop Pro. For this first border, you create a simple 3-D bar. But first you need a rectangle filled with a background color. Follow these steps to get the job done: