title image

Burning Candle Animation



This tutorial was created July 21st 2008 © Artwork by EssexGirl
Updated for PSP X8 25th April 2016
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
Animation Shop

Materials :-
(If you are doing the 'Keep a Candle Burning' tutorial these items are included
in the materials zip on that page, so you don't need to download them here.)
My candle and flower arrangement tubes and the flame tube Here

some images have been made smaller to shorten file size

Step 1.
Open the 'candlestick' tube that is in my supplies.
Duplicate and close the original, so that you can re-use it .
There are 4 layers in this tube, the candle-holder in a choice of
silver, gold, or wood and the candle. Decide which colour you want
your candle holder to be and delete the other candle holder layers.
If you want to change the colour of the candle, click on that
layer in the layers palette and go to
Adjust...Hue and Saturation...Hue/Saturation/Lightness...
Move the Hue slider to change the colour. The candle will still be a light
colour, but you can increase the Saturation to make it a richer colour if
you wish, (alternatively you can Adjust...Hue and Saturation... Colorize...
and adjust the levels to your liking)

(If you are doing the 'Keep A Candle Burning' tutorial the Hue
setting I used was minus 166 (-166), I left the saturation at 0)

When you are happy with the colour of your candle
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...
Minimise this image for now, we will need it again later

Open the 'candle-flame-single' tube from my supplies
Go to Layers...Duplicate...3 times, so that you have 4 layers.

It will be easier to know which layer I'm talking about if the layers are renamed,
So starting from the bottom (Raster 1) and working upwards, rename
the layers, flame 1, flame 2, flame 3 and flame 4.
Hide the flame 1, 2 and 3 layers by clicking the eye for each of
those layers on the layers palette.

Flame 4 (at the top) should be the only visible layer,
that's the one we will work on first, so if you are not already on
that layer, click on it in the layers palette to active the layer.


Zoom in on the image, it will make working on the next steps easier.


Activate the Mesh Warp Tool


Use these settings:-
Mesh horizontal=9
Mesh vertical=8
Show mesh=ticked
Edge mode=fixed
Draft quality=High
Final Apply=Best quality

Drag the nodes on the mesh into similar positions as my screenshot.
I have zoomed in on the image to make the positions easier to see.
I know it's difficult to keep jumping back and forth from psp to
the tutorial while you are trying to do this, so feel free to right
click on these screenshots, copy and paste them into psp, so you
can see them while you are working.
Yours don't have to be in exactly the same positions as
mine, just use them as a rough guide.


When you are happy with the shape, click
the 'Apply' tick on the toolbar.

step 2.
Hide the Flame 4 layer, activate the Flame 3 layer and make it visible
This is the position I moved the nodes for this layer
Again, just use this as a rough guide.


When you are happy with the shape, click
the 'Apply' tick on the toolbar.

Step 3.
Hide the Flame 3 layer, go to Flame 2 and make that visible
This is the position I moved the nodes for Flame 2
Again, just use this as a rough guide.


When you are happy with the shape, click
the 'Apply' tick on the toolbar.

Step 4.
You don't need to use the Mesh Warp Tool on
Flame 1, that can be left as it is.
Click on any other tool to get rid of the mesh

Make the top layer active (flame 4) and go to Layers...View... Current Only
The top layer will now be the only one that's visible

Next we will enlarge the canvas to make room for the candle and decorations
Go to Image...Canvas Size....
In the Placement section choose the top centre box


Open the candlestick image that you minimised earlier
Go to Edit...Copy... this image can now be closed.
Go to Edit... Paste as New Layer....
Use the Mover Tool to move the candlestick downwards, so that
it is just below the flame (and it's wick).


Go to Effects...3D Effects...Drop Shadow...
Vertical = -3 (minus 3)
#Horizontal = 7
Opacity = 47
Blur = 10
Color = Black

Step 5.
Duplicate the layer 3 times, so that you have 4 layers with candlesticks on.
The drop shadow will look darker at the moment, because the
shadow on the lower layers shows through the semi-tranparent pixels.

Rename the layers Candlestick 1, Candlestick 2, Candlestick 3 and Candlestick 4

Hide the candlestick 1, 2 and 3 layers by clicking on the eyes in the
layers palette. You should have only flame 4 and Candlestick 4 visible
Make sure one of these is the active layer
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...

Hide the 'Merged' layer and open the 'Flame 3' and Candlestick 3 layers
Make one of them the active layer and
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...

Hide the 'Merged' layer and open the 'Flame 2' and Candlestick 2 layers
Make one of them the active layer and
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...

Hide the 'Merged' layer and open the 'Flame 1' and Candlestick 1 layers
Make one of them the active layer and
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...
Go to Layers... View... All
Starting from the bottom layer and working up rename
the layers 'Candle 1, 2, 3 and 4'

If you don't want to decorate your candle with flowers, or other
decorations, you can skip the next step and go straight to Step 8.

Step 6.
Make the top layer (Candle 4) active and visible. The other
layers can be hidden for now. (It doesn't really matter, but I
find seeing the shadow from the lower layers distracting).

In the materials zip file I have included a few different flower arrangements.
For this tutorial I used sg_flower-arrangement1 and for the
'Keep a Candle Burning' tutorial, which is linked to this one
I used sg_flower arrangement4.

You are welcome to use my arrangements, or you can use your own
flowers, or decorative items to decorate your candle.

Open your flower, or decoration tube, copy and paste as a new layer
If you are using one of my flower arrangements they need resizing, so
Go to Image...Resize... make sure the 'Resize all layers' box is unticked.
Resample using: Bicubic. I resized my flowers by 70% you may need to adjust
the amount of resizing if you are using a different size tube.
Move into position with the Mover Tool.

If you are making your own decoration using several tubes, add each
on as a new layer, then when you have them positioned as you want hide
all the layers except your flowers and Merge Visible,
then make the Candle 4 layer visible again.

Add a drop shadow to your flowers using the same settings used on
the candle (in step 5). This is my decorated candle.


Step 7.
Next we will duplicate the layer of flowers and merge them with the candle layers
All the layers can now be made visible, so go to Layers...View...All

Duplicate the flower layer 3 times, so that you have 4 flower layers.
Rename them Flowers 1, Flowers 2, Flowers 3 and Flowers 4, then on the layers
palette drag your flower layers, so that each one is above it's Candle layer.
The layers palette looks like this


Next we will merge each flower layer with a candle layer.
Make the top layer (Flowers 4) the active layer
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Down...

Make Flowers 3 the active layer
Go to Layers...Merge...Down...

Make Flowers 2 the active layer
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Down...

Make Flowers 1 the active layer
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Down...
You should now have 4 layers.

Step 8.
The image needs to be saved as a psp7 compatable file
Go to File...Save As...
To make sure Animation Shop will be able to open the file
click on the 'Options' button and in the 'Versions' section
of the dialog box choose PSP 7 Compatable file


If you are just making the candle animation go on to step 8,
but if you are doing the 'Keep A Candle Burning' tutorial,
keep the image open and go back to This Page

Step 9.
Open Animation Shop
First check the preferences you have
Go to File...Preferences...General Program Preferences...
Look at the Layered files tab and if necessary change to these settings


Go to File...Browse...(you can use 'open', but I prefer 'browse')
Navigate to the folder that you saved your candle
image in and open the image. Your animation should have 4 frames

Because of the semi-transparent area around the flame and the
drop shadow that we added, the candle will not save very well as
a transparent image, so it's best to add a background colour.
Go to Edit...Select All...
Animation...Animation Properties....Opaque...
Click on the colour box and choose the background colour that you want.
I chose white because my animation will be placed on a white background

Go to View...Animation... to see what your animated candle will look like

Step 10.
Your candle is ready for saving.
Go to File...Save as...
In the 'Save in' box at the top navigate to the folder that
you want to save your animation in.
Give it a name and click 'Save'
On the next dialog box click on the 'Customize' button


Create palette by Optimized Median Cut, or by Optimized Octree
Then just keep clicking Next until your animation is finished

To see my other tutorials click Here

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Thankyou to my great testers

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