title image


PSP9 version

This tutorial was created May 17th 2002©Copyright Artwork by EssexGirl
Updated for use with PSP9 20th March 2005
please do not copy it, or put it anywhere else without my written permission.

Sometimes the links for filters change, it's difficult (and a lot of work) to
keep changing them on individual pages, so I have created a page with
links to filters and programs that I have used in my tutorials.
That way it is easier for me, because when there are changes I will
only have one page to update and hopefully better for you, because I'm
less likely to miss a page out when doing the updates :)

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
VM Natural filter
Render 2D Hyperclouds, or Mura Meister's 'Cloud'
(if you have 'Filters Unlimited
the render filter comes with it)

Materials :-
There is a text file included in the zip, if you don't know where to place the items.
My selection file, gradients and SBP presets Here

I dedicate this tutorial to Philipp Spöth
the author of Dragonfly's Sinedots filter

some images have been made smaller to shorten file size

This tutorial was originally written for PSP7 and used the Sinedots filter
and PSP's Geometric Effect...Perspective...Horizontal, to create the wings for
the Dragonfly. Unfortunately the Perspective effect works differently in PSP9
and distorts the sinedots shape too much to use, so I have made a selection
file for creating the wings, which you can download in the section above.

Step 1.
Open a new Image 200 x 200 transparent. Flood fill with
a black, add a new layer and name it 'wing 1'
Go to Selections...Load/Save Selection...
Load Selection from Disk...
Choose the sg_dragonfly-wing selection


Step 2.
Click on foreground and stroke properties box and in the
dialogue box choose the gradient tab, then click on the dropdown
list of gradients and select the gradient that you want to use.
I used sg_pastels 1 with these settings
Linear gradient
invert gradient ticked

Flood Fill the selection with your gradient.


Step 3.
Go to Image...Canvas size...
In the placement section choose the centre square
and change the size of the canvas to 400 x 400.
Make the background the active layer and
flood fill with black.

Step 4.
Make 'wing 1' the active layer.
Click on the Deformation Tool. A box will surround your
sinedot wing. We are going to rotate the box in a clockwise
direction using the handle that I have arrowed.


The following screenshot will show you how far to turn it.
I have turned on the grid (found under view...grid...) and
changed the grid and guide properties (also found under
view...grid...) to 100 both vertical and horizontal, in my
screenshots the grid is red, but you can use any colour,
as long as it shows up. This is to make it easier for
you to judge the amount of rotation.


Select a different tool to get rid of the deformation box,
then Go to Adjust...Sharpness...and Sharpen.
You can turn off the grid now.

Step 5.
Go to Layers...Duplicate...Rename this layer 'wing 2'
Click the Deformation Tool again and move the handle that
I have arrowed inwards to make the sinedot a bit
narrower, like this screenshot
(don't remove the deformation box yet)


Step 6.
Now move this handle to rotate the sinedot
a little bit in a clockwise direction


You can either use the centre handle to reposition
this sinedot so that the pointed end touches that
of the one on the previous layer or remove the
deformation box first and the re-position
the wing with the Mover Tool
Go to Adjust...Sharpness...and Sharpen.


Step 7.
Move this layer below 'wing 1' by opening the
layers palette and dragging it down.
Go to Effects...3D Effects...Drop Shadow...
and apply a drop shadow using horizontal=2,
vertical=2, opacity=65, blur=10

Make the other wing (wing 1) the active layer and
repeat the drop shadow, then while the top layer
is active, Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Down.
Rename the layer 'wings'

Step 8.
Use the Mover Tool to move the wings
nearer to the top of the image.

Change the background of your materials palette to white,
the style should be colour. Change the foreground to transparent.

Make the Ellipse Tool active


and use these settings
Mode=Draw Ellipse
Show Nodes=Ticked
Create on Vector=Ticked
Line Style=Solid
Width=it doesn't matter

Make a long narrow cigar shape for the body
(as this is a vector PSP will automatically
make it on a vector layer).
Make the Object Selection Tool active.
Use the rotation handle (to the right of the
centre node) to rotate the ellipse so that it runs
diagonally, then use the centre node to move move
it into position on the dragonfly wings.


I made my ellipse a little too long, so I adjusted the
size by moving the top right corner handle inwards.
You can use any of these handles to adjust the elipse in
different directions, so if your dragonfly's body doesn't
quite fit try making adjustments with the handles

When you are happy with the position and size
go to Layers...Convert to Raster Layer.


Step 9.
Select all and Float (Ctrl+a and Ctrl+f), then go to
Effects...Plugins...SuperBladePro...and apply my
sg_ballbearings preset, or another of your choice.
Go to Selections...Defloat (Ctrl_Shift+f)
Selections...Modify...Contract...contract by 1 pixel
Selections...Invert...Click the delete key on the keyboard.
I found deleting 1 pixel around the edge this way gave
the body a smoother finish.


Step 10.
Add a new layer
Make a small elipse with the Preset Shapes Tool
for the head, convert to Raster Layer, select and
apply SuperBladePro and remove 1 pixel around the
edge, in the same way as you did for the body.


You can adjust the position with
the Mover Tool if necessary

Step 11.
Swap materials in the the materials palette,
by clicking the double ended arrow, so that the
foreground is white and the background transparent


Add a new layer
With the Pen Tool using these settings
Mode=Draw Freehand
Connect Segments=Unticked
Create on vector=Unticked
Show Nodes=Unticked
Line style=Solid

Draw an antenna something like this


Then with the paintb4rush and these settings
Blend mode=normal
Put a dot at the end of the antenna.

Go to Effects...Texture Effects...Sculpture...
From the list of presets, choose the default
setting, but change the pattern to 9473161
(the plain grey).


Go to Layers...Duplicate...
Click on the Deformation Tool rotate a little to the
right using rotation handle (in the same way you
did with the wing). Change to the Mover Tool and
move into position next to the first antenna
Then go to Adjust...Sharpness...and sharpen.
If the lines for the antenna have overlapped the
head just open the layers palette and drag the
antenna layers below the head layer.


Turn off the visibility of the wings and the
background, by opening the Layers palette and
clicking on the 'Eyes' for those layers.
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge Visible
Rename the layer body and turn visibility back on.

Step 12.
Add a new layer
The dragonfly needs six long spindly legs.
Use the Pen Tool
Mode=Draw Lines and Polylines
Connect segments=Tticked
Create as vector=Uunticked
Show nodes=Ticked
Line Style=Solid

Do a left mouse click on the body of
the dragonfly level with where the wing joins the body.
make a second click where you want to put the knee joint
and a third click for the ankle joint (I don't know if
dragonflies actually have knee and ankle joints LOL)
and one last click for the end of the foot.
You should have something similar to this


You need another two similar legs for this side of
the body. If you draw each leg on a seperate layer
they can be moved individually or if you don't mind
them being exactly alike you could duplicate the layer
twice and move them into position with the Mover Tool
This was my first three legs


Turn off the visibility of all the layers except the
three legs, go to layers...Merge...Merge Visible.
Rename the layer 'legs 1'. Right click the layer in
the layers palette and choose view...View All.

Step 13.
Now we want three legs for the other side of the body.
Make the background layer active and add a new layer.
Make three legs for this side in the same way as before,
the joints will go in the opposite direction.
This was my first one


Turn off the visibility of all the layers except these
three legs, Merge Visible and rename the layer 'legs 2'.
Turn visibility of 'legs 1' back on, but leave the other
layers hidden. Apply sculpture with the same settings that
you used on the antenna in step 11, to each of the legs layers.
Turn the visibility of the 'body' layer on again.
Layers...Merge...Merge Visible.

Step 14.
Go to Effect...3D Effect...Drop Shadow
using these settings

Turn on the visibility of the 'wings' layer.
Merge Visible and rename the layer 'dragonfly'.
Right click on the layer palette and View..All
This is my screenshot


Step 15.
Make the background layer active. For the sky I have used
the Render filter. If you have filters unlimited apply
If you don't have filters unlimited and are just using
Render, make the foreground colour white, background
colour #3886FE, then go to Effects...Plugins...Render...
and apply Clouds (fore-/background colour).
If you are using Mura Meister's Cloud, make the foreground
colour white, background colour #3886FE, then go to
Effects...Plugins...Mura Meister...Cloud...click the
Reset button and use the default setting.


Now go to Effects...Plugins...VM Natural...
Lakeside Reflection...Change the horizon to 200
and leave the other settings at default


Step 16.
You can minimise your image for now.
We will make some sinedot rushes next
Open a new image 100 x350 transparent
Go to Effects...Plugins...Sinedots...
Open the sg_dragonfly.cfg and open the 'ribbon2' preset
If you are new to sinedots and don't know how to open
the .cfg file click HERE for more information

Some presets use different 'blend' settings and it is
important for this tutorial to make sure that the blend
in the sinedots setting is set to 'screen' like this:-



Go to Image...Flip...
Make the foreground of your materials palette
gradient, with these settings
change the gradient to 'sg_rushes'.

We are going to flood fill the sinedot, but first open
layers palette click the x from the lock tranparency
padlock on the far right. This will protect the
transparent areas of the layer while we flood fill.

Flood fill the layer with gradient.
Click the padlock again to unlock the transparency.

Duplicate the layer and merge visible, then apply
the same drop shadow that you used on the dragonfly
Go to Edit...Copy...
this image is no longer needed

Step 17.
Open up your main image, Make sute the background
is the active layer. Go to
Edit...Paste...Paste as a new layer. Name the layer
'rushes 1' and use the Mover Tool to reposition the
sinedot rushes. Here is my screenshot.


Duplicate the layer and rename it 'rushes 2'.
Go to Image...Mirror...then Image...Resize...
Make sure that the all layers box is not
ticked and resize the layer to 60%,
using bicubic resample.
With the Mover Tool move this one so that it
slightly overlaps the larger rushes.


Step 18.
Make the background layer active and add a new layer, naming it
'mist'. Change the foreground gradient to 'sg_dragonfly mist'
leave the other settings the same as before. Flood fill the layer,
then in the layers palette lower the transparency to 40
Turn off the visibility of the background and the dragonfly
layers and Merge Visible. Turn visibility back on.

Apply the VM Natural...Lakeside reflection, I changed the
horizon to 236 but if your rushes are a little lower or
higher than mine you will have to adjust this. The
horizon, on this layer should come a little way above
the bottom of the rushes, so that they look as though
they are in the water.


Step 19.
Go to Layers...Merge...Merge All...
For the frame, we are going to make a border on
the bottom and right side in one colour, then the
top and left side in another colour, which we will
repeat with alternating colours. I have used the same
SuperBladePro preset for both as the colour of the
border underneath changes the effect.

Make the foreground colour #CEBBCB and
the background colour to #26D0CE

Go to Image...Add Borders...
Right click on the colour box and choose your
background colour. Untick the symmetric box
and put these figures in the border size boxes
top=0, bottom=10, left=0, right=10
You should have a border along the right side
and bottom of the image.


Activate the Magic Wand and use these settings
Match mode=RGB Value
Sample merges=it doesn't matter

Select the border with the Magic Wand,
go to Effects...Plugins...
Flaming Pear...SuperBladePro...
Apply the sg_misty rose preset
Don't de-select, we want to add a cut-out.

Go to Selections...Invert...
The selection will run along the
outside of your image, but inside
the bottom and right side border.


Go to Effects...3D Effects...Cutout...
Use these settings
shadow colour= #004040
fill interior with colour=unticked

Repeat the cutout, changing the horizontal and
vertical settings to minus 30 (-30)

Step 20.
Add another border, this time reversing the figures
(top=10, botton=0, left=10, right=0)
Right click on the colour box and swap to your
foregound colour. Select the border with the Magic Wand and apply
SuperBladePro using the sg_misty rose preset


Step 21.
Add another border reversing the figures back again.
(top=0, botton=10, left=0, right=10)
Don't change the colour this time.
Select the border and apply the SBP sg_misty rose preset.

Step 22.
Add another border, reversing the figures to
(top=10, botton=0, left=10, right=0)
Right click on the colour box and swap colours again
Select the border with the Magic Wand and apply
SuperBladePro using the sg_misty rose preset


Step 23.
repeat step 21

Step 24.
Repeat step 22

Then de-select
Resize if neccessary using Bicubic Resample

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
Thankyou to my very helpful testers
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