Candle Tutorial

PSP X9 version

This tutorial was created 15th Dec.2002©Copyright Artwork by EssexGirl
Updated for PSP X9 23rd July 2017
please do not copy it, or put it anywhere else without my written permission.
Filters and programs used in this tutorial :-

Paint Shop Pro7
Dragonfly's Sinedots II filter you can get
Fantastic Machine's Paint Engine
OPTIONAL: Super Blade Pro

Materials :-

The sg_candle-tutorial.cfg, candle flame selection file, gradients and golden smoothie SBP preset Here

some images have been made smaller to shorten file size

Step 1.
This tutorial was originally written for PSP7 and used the Sinedots filter
and PSP's Geometric Effect...Perspective...Vertical, to create the flame
for the candle. Unfortunately the Perspective effect works differently in from PSP9
onwards and distorts the sinedots shape too much to use, so I have made a selection
file for creating the candle flame, which you will find in my materials zip.

Open a new image 200 x 200 transparent
Flood fill with Black. Add a new layer naming it 'flame'.
Go to Selections...Load/Save Selection...
Load Selection From Disk...
load the candle-flame.sel

Step 2.
Make the foreground colour of your palette
#C00000 dark red and the background #FFFF40 yellow.
Change the foreground style to gradient fill,
click on the foreground styles box and in
the dialogue box choose these settings
style=linear gradient, angle=0,
repeats=0, invert gradient unticked


You can try different colour combinations if you prefer, or a plain colour
Flood fill the selection with the gradient.

Don't de-select yet
An optional step is to apply SuperBladePro

Go to...Selections...Float...(ctrl+F)
Go to Effects...Plugin Effects...
Flaming Pear...SuperBladePro...
Apply the sg_golden smoothie preset, or another of your choice.


Select None
The colour of my flood fill shows through the SBP preset.

Step 3.
Go to Image...Canvas size...
Change the canvas size to 400 x 600
In the placement area, choose the 'top centre' box


Change your foreground back to Black and the style back to Color.
Make the bottom layer active and re-fill with Black
Then add a new layer naming it 'candle'.

Step 4.
We need to open a new image to make the candle.
Open a new image 120 x 370 transparent.
You can flood fill then add a new layer if you want to, but it's not
necessary as we will be copying and pasting the the sinedots candle
on to the main image straight away, I have only done it here so that
the image is visible in the screenshot.

Go to Effects...Plugin Effects...Dragonfly...Sinedots...
Choose one of the candle presets that are in the sg_candle-tutorial.cfg
there are 2 to choose from for this tutorial I used candle1.
The sinedots image is quite fine, but we will thicken it later.


Step 5.
Go to Edit...Copy...(ctrl+C)
This image can be closed.
On your main image with the 'candle' layer active
Go to Edit...Paste...Paste as New layer...
Go to Effects... Image Effect... Offset...
Horizontal =2 Vertical = -98 (minus 98 Edge mode = Transparent



Step 6.
If you want the candle to be more solid you can duplicate the layer
once or twice (more if you want to). Make the 'candle' layer active,
go to Layers...Duplicate...repeat (ctrl+y) until you are happy with
the thickness, then turn off the visibility of the background and
flame layers by clicking the 'Eye' for these layers in the layer palette.
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible...
then re-name the merged layer 'candle'.
Turn the visibility of all the layers back on.

I duplicated my candle layer twice, then merged
the candle and duplicates together.


If you want to change the colour of your candle, you can do it by locking
the layer transparency on the layer palette, then flood filling the shape.
This will protect the transparent areas of the layer while you flood fill.
To do this click on the padlock arrowed in this screenshot


In my original PSP7 version of this tutorial I flood filled my candle with
a gradient called 'ribbon' which I got from a site called Nanson's Place.
Sadly the site doesn't seem to exist any more and I no longer have the gradient,
but I have created a similar one which I have used here, it is called sg_cristmas-ribbon
it is included in in my materials zip if you want to use the same one.
These are the settings I used for the gradient fill.
Angle=0, repeats=1 invert gradient ticked

Flood fill the shape with gradient, or colour. Alternatively you can use the Paint Brush,
in fact sometimes that is better, because if there are areas of the shape that don't touch
the rest the flood fill can miss them (the second sinedots candle shape is like that)
Don't forget to unlock the trasparency again when you have finished.


Depending on the colours you use and whether you want your candle to be on a
light or dark background, you may want to duplicate and merge the candle layer,
this is just personal taste. I duplicated my candle layer and felt that looked
better. Try it, if you don't like it you can always delete the duplicate layer.
If you like the look the double layer gives merge the two together.
Layers... Merge... Merge Down...


Step 7.
Make your bottom layer active and add a new layer, naming it 'wick'.
Make the foreground solid fill in a beige or fawn colour. I used #D7CAAF
Make the background palette style transparent

Use the Pen Tool with these settings
create on vector=unticked
Connect segments=unticked Show nodes=unticked Mode=Draw Freehand
Line style=Solid
Draw a line for the wick, I curved mine a little.


Go to Effects...3D Effects...Inner Bevel...
Use these settings

Bevel=1, Width=10, Smoothness=25, Depth=8, Ambience=-20,
Shininess=35, Color=white, Angle=315, Intensity=35, Elevation=60

Choose the Lighten/Darken Brush and use these settings
Shape=Round Size=15, Hardness=50, Step=10, Density=100,
Thickness=100, Rotation=0 Opacity=50
Using the right mouse button go over the top part of the wick a few times
to darken it, so that it looks like it the flame has burnt it. It looks
best if it's not too even and some parts are darker than others


Step 8.
Make the 'candle' layer active.
Choose the Selection Tool and click on the Custom Selection icon on the toolbar
In the dialogue box use these settings

top=214, left=144, right=262, bottom=582

Then go to Selections...Invert...
Press the delete key (but don't de-select yet)
This will neaten up any ragged edges around the candle.
Go back to Selections...Invert...

Add a new layer and go to
Effects...3D Effects...Cutout...use these settings

Vertical Offset=0, Horizontal Offset=5,
Opacity=65, Blur=33.00, colour=black

Add a new layer and repeat the Cutout changing the Horizontal Offset
to -5 (minus 5) the other settings stay the same. This puts a shadow
down the sides of the candle to make it appear more rounded.

Now we can merge the whole candle, hide the background layer first.
by clicking the eye on the layers palette, then go to
Layers... Merge... Merge Visible.
Turn visibility of the background layer back on.

Step 9.
When I originally wrote this tutorial for PSP7 I resized the candle layer
by 90% at this point, to make some space for giving it a drop shadow and
for adding some decorations, but screen sizes are larger now which makes
older images seem small, so instead I am going to add a bit more space around
the candle by enlarging the canvas size.
Go to Image... Canvas Size...
I added 100 pixels to the height and 50 pixels to the width


We will be changing the backround in the next step, so there didn't seem
much point in refilling it with black, so I deleted the background layer.

Go to Effects...3D Effects...Drop Shadow...
These are the settings that I used

Vertical Offset=0, Horizontal Offset=14,
Opacity=65, Blur=25, colour=black


Step 10.
Next we will change the background
Add a New Layer and drag it below the candle in the layers palette
Flood fill with a colour, or gradient of your choice.
I used an old gradient that came with PSP7 called Red-Dark Green
It still works in newer versions and I've included it in the materials file
Angle= 180 Repeats= 0 Invert= not ticked


Then Effects... Plugin I applied Fantastic Machine's Paint Engine,
using the Flakes preset.



I you want the background to be darker, or lighter duplicate the layer
and change the blend mode to Multiply, or Screen. You can vary
the shade by lowering the transparency of the duplicate layer


Step 10.
To finish off decorate your candle with tubes and accents of your choice.
I gave mine a Christmas theme and decorated with tinsel and Christmas tubes.
If you add your decorations on separate layers it makes it easy to move them
about and delete any that you decide not to use.
Add a small drop shadow to your tube layers when your decorating is complete.

Finish with a frameof your choice, I added a plain border, selected it and applied an SBP preset. When you have finished Merge all and resize if you wish

For this example I used the Sinedots 'candle2' preset and used different colours.


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
To see my other tutorials click Here

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