title image

Beaded Curtain Using
Custom Line Styles

PSP9 version

This tutorial was created 11th July 2003©Copyright Artwork by EssexGirl
Updated for use with PSP2018
please do not copy it, or put it anywhere else without my written permission.
You will find links to filters/programs used in this tutorial Here
the link will open in a new window

Filters and programs used in this tutorial :-
Paint Shop Pro
Super Blade Pro
Materials :-
My 'smooth gold' SBP preset which you can find Here

My presets are all in their own named folders, you can either empty the
contents of the folder into SBP's Environments and Textures, or
keep them in their own folder and navigate to them from SBP.

Some of the screenshots only show parts of the image.

Part One Creating Custom Lines

Step 1.
Open a new image (the size doesn't matter as we are not actually going to
be using it, but an image has to be open or the tools will be greyed out).

We will start by creating the custom line styles
that we will use to make the beaded curtain.

1st line
Activate the 'Pen' tool.
On the Tool Options Palette click the 'Line Style' window, to open up
the dropdown list. If it isn't already selected, select the '+Solid' line
(at the top of the list), then click on the 'Custom' button.
It is in the bottom right corner on the dropdown list.


We are going to edit this line. When we have finished editing, we will
save it as a new line by clicking the 'Save as New' button (don't click
the save button, because we don't want to overwrite the solid line).
OK, I know that's obvious, but I just want to make sure that no-one does
it by accident ;)

Step 2.
The length of the dashes and spaces and the caps mentioned in the following
steps were what I used to create the beaded curtain in this tutorial.
Feel free to experiment with them, I'm sure you can come up with lots
of variations of your own.

To make a dash for the first section of our line, click on the 'Add'
button. A slider will appear just under the ruler. When this slider is
active, it is highlighted in green. The position of the slider governs the
length of the dash, moving it to the left makes the dash shorter and to
the right makes it longer.

We will make the dash 14 pixels.
Put 14.00 in the 'Length' box (alternatively you can drag the slider to
the 14 pixels point using the ruler as a guide).


Click the 'Add' box again. A new slider will appear.
The new slider is now active and the previous one is grey.
This time the slider is highlighted in red (green for dashes, red for spaces).

Only one slider is active at a time, if you want to adjust the position
of a slider that is not active, click on it to make it active.

The position of this slider determines the length of the space.
We are going to make a space of 4 pixels.
Put 4.00 into the length box, the slider will automatically move along the
ruler by 4 pixels. (I have moved along the ruler for the screenshots, so
that you can see where the new sliders are).


(If you prefer, you can do it the other way around, add 4 (the length
we want the space to be), to 14 (the length of our first dash), making 18,
then move the slider to 18 on the ruler.
The number in the length box will change automatically).

Step 3.
Next we will add a shorter dash (7 pixels).
Click the 'add' button, then put 7.00 in the length box


We'll add another space of 4 pixels here, so click 'Add' and
put 4 in the length box


Step 4.
Now we will add caps to the segments of the line.

Put a tick in the 'Different segment caps' box, we can then put
different caps between the dashes than we use on either end of the line.

In the section for 'First cap' click on the dropdown window section
to open up the list of available caps.


Select the Fleur de lis, then click the 'Size' button.
Tick the 'Link Axes' box (unless you want to make the height different
to the width). Make the width 1.40


In the section for 'Last cap'choose the Fleur de is, but make
the size 2.00 The line in the preview window should now look like this.


Step 5.
Next we will put caps in between the segments.
For the 'Segment start' choose the 'Ball' size 2.00
and for the 'Segment end' choose the 'Ball' size 2.50

This is the line seen in the preview window.


Now click 'Save as New' and give it a name that is individual,
you don't want to overwrite any existingm lines.

This is the line we will use to make the strings of beads.
Now we will make a custom line to create the bar for hanging
our bead strings from, this one will be much simpler.

Step 6.
2nd line
Change the line style back to '+Solid line' and click on the 'Custom' button

We don't need to add lines or spaces this time.
For both the First cap and the Last cap choose the Footb4all and make the
size 5.00 (feel free to choose different ends and sizes if you want to).


Click 'Save as New' and give it a name. You can now close the image.

Well that part was nice and easy :) Now we can create our beaded curtain

Part Two The Beaded Curtain

Step 7.
Open a new Image, large enough for creating your curtain. I used 500 x 500
for this tutorial, but you can make it wider/narrower, or taller/shorter,
Depending on what size and shape you want your curtain to be

Flood fill with a dark colour (this makes it easier to see what you are
working on and can be changed later).

In the materials palette make the foreground style
'Color' and make the colour white with no texture.

Add a new Vector layer, naming it 'crossbar'.
Select the Pen Tool On the tool options use these settings
Mode = Draw Lines and Polylines
Show Nodes=Ticked
Connect Segments = Unticked
Create on vector = Ticked
Line style = choose the 2nd line that you created
(the straight line with a knob at each end)
Width = 5 (for a thicker bar make the number higher)
Antialias = Ticked
Hold down the shift key, to keep the line straight and draw a horizontal
line the width that you want your curtain to be, near the top of the image.
Go to Objects...Align...Horz. Center in Canvas


Go to Layers... Convert to Raster Layer
Go to Layers...Duplicate...Use the Mover tool to place the duplicate
bar just below the first one


Make sure the top layer is active and go to
Layers...Merge...Merge Down...

Step 8.
Add a new Vector Layer naming it 'centre string' Select the Pen Tool.

Change the Line style to the 1st line that you made
(the string of beads) and change the width to 4.00
(for a thicker string of beads make the number higher)
The other settings should be the same as in step 7.
Hold down the shift key and draw a vertical line from the top bar downwards
(the length is up to you, I drew mine right to the bottom of the image).
Go to Objects...Align...Horiz. Center in Canvas...


Step 9.
Go to Layers...Convert to Raster Layer.

That is our centre string of beads. We will now draw all of the
strings to the right of it, then duplicate and mirror them to make
the left side. It halves the work doesn't it? ;)
(Of course if you want to make your bead strings different lengths
on the left and right, just draw all of the strings and skip the
duplicating and mirroring the layer).

Add a new Vector layer, naming it 'right strings'.

If you want to place your lines very carefully the same distance apart
you can watch the co-ordinates on the status toolbar at the bottom of
the screen and move along by the same number of pixels each time,
before placing the next line. I didn't do that, I judged the distance by
eye, then made any adjustments needed after I'd finished placing my lines.

If you click on the 'Apply' tick (on the tools options) after placing
each line, they will be on seperate sub layers of the vector layer.
If you don't click Apply each time they will all be on the same sub layer.
I find it much easier to select each one indiviually for adjusting their
length and position when they are on seperate sub layers.

Draw a line from the lower bar downwards, making it a different length
to your centre string of beads. Click Apply.

Here's my screenshot after placing the first of my 'right side' lines.


Draw a new line from the top bar downwards. Click Apply.


Keep drawing new lines, alternate between starting at the the
top bar and the lower bar and make the lines different lengths.
Clicking Apply after each line.

Step 10.
I made my adjustments after completing the right side.
The position of most of my lines isn't too bad, but some need a little
bit of adjusting, there are a couple of gaps arrowed in this screenshot


To make any ajustments, activate the sub layer on the line that you want.
The bottom sub layer is the first one you placed and you can count up from there
(or down from the top) to get the right one. As long as you have your Pen Tool active
when you click on the sub layers you can see the nodes showing at the top and bottom
of the line. In these close up screenshots you can see one of the nodes, in the first
example the node is not selected (white), in the second one it is selected (black)
To select or, unselect a node, hold down the Shift key and left click on it with
the mouse. You can Zoom in to make it easier to see the line and nodes.

image image

If you want to move the line up, down, left, or right both the top and bottom nodes
of the line must be selected (black, see screenshot above), if they are you can use
the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the line in any direction.

If you want to make a line longer, or shorter top node should be unselected (white)
and the bottom one selected (black).

image image

Now you can drag the bottom node down, or up, to lengthen, or shorten your line.

Step 11.
Go to Layers...Convert to Raster Layer...
To make the strings of beads for left side go to Layers...Duplicate...then
Image... Mirror... Mirror Horizontal...


Now we want to merge all of the bead layers together.
Make sure you are on the top layer and go to
Layers...... Merge... Merge Down...
To merge this layer with the centre string layer.
Repeat the Merge down once.
You should now have a background layer, a layer with the
crossbar and a layer with all of the bead srings.
The layer with your bead strings should be the active layer.

Step 12.
You could apply a SuperBladePro preset to your strings of beads or you could colour
them with a plain colour, a gradient, or pattern and apply an inner bevel.
For this tutorial I have used a gradient and applied an inner bevel.
There are two ways of applying the colour that I am showing
in this tutorial but first lets get the palette ready

On the Foreground and Stroke properties pick Gradient fill and choose the
Rainbow Pastel gradient which is a Corel gradient (Corel_06_039), or you can
pick a gradient, or colour of your choice).
Use these settings
Style=Linear, angle=0, Repeats=0, Invert=Unticked, Texture=Unticked

The first method you can use for colouring the bead strings is very simple
Selections...Select all...(ctrl+A)
Flood fill the selection with gradient and de-select.

That's a very quick and easy method, but my favourite method is to lock the layer
transparency and flood fill, or paint the image. I think this gives better results

Lock the transparency of the layer on the layer palette by clicking the padlock.
Then either Flood fill, or paint over the image with a fairly large Paintbrush.
As my bead strings are far enough apart so that they don't touch each other, the
paintbrush worked better for colouring them all together, as the flood fill only
coloured them one at a time, but this did give the possibility for an interesting
variation, as it meant each string could be given a different colour. See in my
second example below, I coloured them alternately with gradient and plain turqoise

example 1

example 2

Don't forget to unlock the transparency by clicking the padlock when you have finished.

Go to Effects...3D Effects...Inner Bevel...
I used these settings

Bevel=7, Width=10, Smoothness=5, Depth=10, Ambience=15,
Shininess=19, Colour=white, Angle=315, Intensity=25, Elevation=50

Or experiment with the settings, you might come up with something that you like better


Step 13.
For the crossbar I applied a SuperBladePro gold preset.
You could colour it and add an inner bevel if you prefer.

Make the 'crossbar' layer active, then go to
Selections...Select all...(ctrl+A)
Effects...Plugins...Flaming Pear...SuperBladePro...
Apply the sg_smooth gold preset (or a preset your choice). This preset was made in
SBP 180, the result will be slightly different if you are using a later version e.g. 192


Step 14.
Go to Effects...3D Effects....Drop Shadow...
Use these settings, or settings of your choice
Vertical offset=3, Horizontal Offset=3,
Opacity=60, Blur=10
Shadow on New layer=Unticked

Make the layer containing your bead strings active
and apply a drop shadow with the same settings.
Next we will merge the bead strings and crossbar layers.
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge down....


I've made another screenshot on a white background, so that you can
see what the shadow is like against a lighter background


You can fill the background in any way you wish.
If you want to tube the beaded curtain delete the background
layer then go to File...Export...Picture Tube...
Give it a name and leave the other settings at the default values.

I added a window scene behind my beaded curtain for this example.


Have some fun experimenting, I'm sure you can
come up with some ideas of your own.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

To see my other tutorials click Here

I adapted the original version of this tutorial for the PSPUG it can be found in the PSP 8 section
under my screen name of cassandrablue.

If you wish to contact me you can find an
email address to use included on my Site Map