Page 313
Quick Nav Bar
<<   Previous Contents
Op Index
Parent User Notes
Next   >>

Gel Button Tutorial


Keep this in mind...
This tutorial assumes you are familiar with the Palette controls. You can learn about them here.

This tutorial shows you how to quickly and easily create a beautiful translucent button suitable for use on web pages or simple as art. In the process you will use the linear fill operation, transparency with the solid fill operation, and many features of the software's layering capabilities.

Before beginning the tutorial, make sure that Antialias Area Selections is checked, and both Opaque Fills and Mask With Target Alpha in the Area menu are all unchecked.

Tutorial Steps

Step 1 - Create a blank white image

Using the menu command File / New Image, set the dialog as shown to create the image on the right, including the white backdrop color:

New Image Dialog

Resulting Atomic ("flat") Image

Step 2 - Create the layers for the main gel

With the new image as the active view (just click once on it's titlebar), press the "L" key or select Layers from the view's context menu, available at the left end of the image's title bar. First, you'll get a message that the image is flat, asking if you want to convert it to a layered image. Answer OK to this dialog. The layers dialog now opens.

The first thing to do here is press Rename Base and change the basename to Gel.

Next, press Rename Layer and change the layer name to backdrop.

Now press Create, then Rename and change the new layer's name to highlight.

Press Create again, then Rename and change the newest layer's name to lens.

Click on the backdrop layer, then press Deeper twice, which moves the backdrop layer to the "bottom" of the viewable stack of layers.

At this point, the layers dialog should look just like this, with the possible exception of the "NEW_2" in the titlebar:

Layers Dialog at completion of step 2

Now press Done to close the layers dialog. You will find you have a group of images that consist of a master view marked "", and three layers, marked [L-1], [L-2] and [L-3].

Step 3 - Set up the linear fill operation to create the lens colors

Locate the [L-3] (lens) image and move it so that it is not covered by any other image.

Now select the Pattern / Linear Fill operation in the toolbar using the left mouse button to hit Pattern, and the right mouse button to hit Linear Fill. The operation dialog will open. Change the angle parameter to 135, the cycle parameter to zero, and check Smooth. Now press the Set Palette button, and create the following color range using the palette tools (the palette reference is here... if you're not familiar with the palette, you need to learn about it before continuing with this tutorial):

Palette for lens

Just as a quick hint, the fastest way to make this palette is by creating the four colors shown below, then using Luma Spread to create three ranges between them as indicated by the red lines:

Key colors in palette for lens

Step 4 - Draw the lens

Set the tool palette for perfect circles as shown below, using the Ellipse area selection tool with the Hold Aspect Square modifier. Then pull out a small circle in the lens layer. You should get results similar to those shown below, on the right:

Tool Palette set for
perfect circles

Resulting areafill

Step 5 - Create the highlight

Select Transparency Controls from the Area menu. Press Conical Fade for the results shown below:

Setting the highlight transparency

Now select the Standard / Color Fill operation in the toolbar using the left mouse button to hit Standard, and the right mouse button to hit Color Fill. The operation dialog will open. Change the color to white using either the Set Color control, or by changing the RGB components in the dialog to 255.

Locate the "highlight" layer and arrange the windows so that you can work on the layer easily. Now pull out a small circle (the tool palette is still set for perfect circles) as shown here; the location isn't critical, but aim about for where the center of the position where you drew the gel lens in the lens layer. If you accidentally get the highlight located over the white backdrop, you won't be able to see it, and that might be confusing:

The highlight

Step 6 - Reposition the highlight (offset it)

Now locate the master image (the title bar says [M-gel]) and place it where you can see it. Also make sure that you can see the highlight layer at the same time. The highlight should be visible in the master, if you got it in the general area of the lens. If you didn't, undo the highlight and place it again so it shows in the master image over the lens somewhere.

The highlight is probably still not placed correctly as we show below at left, so click on the highlight's title bar to select that layer, and press the cursor keys while watching the master image until the highlight is positioned as shown at the right:

Initial position incorrect,
but visible

After offset with cursor keys

Step 7 - Create a shadow layer

With any layer or the master view selected, press the "L" key or select Layers from the view's context menu.

When the layer dialog opens, select the lens layer by left clicking on it, and then press the Shadow button.

The shadow dialog will open; set it as shown here:

Shadow Dialog

Press OK and the shadow layer will be generated. Now left click on the highlight layer in the layer list, and change it's mode to Add. This will result in the highlight desaturating the gel color, which is also what a bright reflection does. The image below shows how to do this:

Setting the highlight to Add mode

Close the Layers dialog by pressing Done, and you should see the following result in the master view:

Here it is with the shadow...

...and here after the highlight layer has been changed to Add.

Quick Nav Bar
<<   Previous Contents
Op Index
Parent User Notes
Next   >>
Page 313

WinImages F/x, WinImages Morph and all associated documentation
Copyright © 1992-2007 Black Belt Systems ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Under the Pan-American Conventions

WinImages F/x Manual Version 7, Revision 5, Level B

HTML Documentation Management System © 1992-2007 Black Belt Systems