How to create composition using STOIK PictureMan
Learn how to create composition of several pictures and how to apply various effects of STOIK PictureMan.
We hope that in this lesson you'll find some interesting ideas which will help you to create your own project.
Create new project
Create new document using File - New. Define dimensions and background color for you project using "New image" dialog.
For our project we created 550x277 pixels image size with black background color.
We will compose our graphics from 3 photos (a flower, a butterfly and a cup of coffee). Before pasting them into the project we will first prepare them using STOIK PictureMan tools.
Image processing - Magic Wand selection
We use Magic Wand selection tool from selection toolbar to select only cup and saucer from the original photo. We set following Magic Wand parameters in Selection Attributes dialog (make sure it is visible in menu View-Selection Attributes):
Tolerance - 50,
Matching - RGB,
Click somewhere outside the saucer to select background, then do Selection - Invert - Edit: Copy (or Ctrl + C).
New layer. Resize
Click on window of 'composition' picture to make it active and then click Edit - Paste (or Ctrl + V) to paste the cup on the new layer of composition picture. Let's name the new layer 'coffee_cup'.
The image of coffee cup is bigger than we need. To downsample it we use Layer - Free transform. To preserve the aspect ratio during resize keep the 'shift" key pressed.
The cup seems too dark. To make it brighter we use Image - Adjust - Curves. Click 'Preview' to see the changes while changing filter parameters. When the result is OK click 'Apply'.
Select with pen
Next image for composition was also copied using Magic Wand, but with tolerance of 25 for more precise selection. Additionally we used the unique ability of STOIK PictureMan to make selection with pen using Pen selection tool from Selection Toolbar.
You can change WIDTH of the selection pen using Selection Attributes dialog .
We paste the flower to our composition the same way we did with coffee cup. We named this layer as 'flower'.
Layer-Transform commands allow us to rotate layer, so go to Layer - Transform - Rotate and rotate the layer counter clockwise by 45 degrees.
Image processing - Gaussian Blur
To create an effect of short-focus lens we select the flower leaving front petals unselected using Polygon selection tool and then apply the Gaussian Blur filter to the selection (Tool - Processing - Gaussian Blur) with filter Size of 12.
To selection the butterfly from the original photo we cannot use Magic Wand since background is quite inhomogeneous. We use the 'Smart Selection' tool instead. With this tool you make selection manually, but smart select automatically snaps to image contours to help you make the precise selection.
We used the following parameters of Smart Select tool:
width - 1,
segment - 12,
contrast - 3%
Select by pen
Smart Select with right parameters yields quite accurate selection, but 1 - 2 pixels drift may occur anyway. So we correct selection with 'Select by pen' tool.
We corrected the selection using Select by Pen with parameters
size: Custom - 1 pix,
Style - round.
Now we can copy-paste the butterfly to our main composition document.
Pay attention to Edge/ Density in Selection Attributes panel used to define level of transparency of the selection edge. Compare difference between Transparent and Random types of selection edge ...
Note. General preferences.
Copy-Paste may work differently depending on settings in General Preferences dialog. If you want to cut or copy just one layer (or part of layer) check Options - Preferences - General Preferences - Copy/Cut active layer only. If you want to copy multiple layers under selection at once check Copy/Cut visible layers only.
Now we will apply some effects to the butterfly picture. For example, soften it. We go to Tool - Processing - Smoothing and apply filter with the following parameters:
Horizontal - 7
Vertical - 7
For more pronounced effect we set layer opacity on the Layer Palette bar at 87%
To add some shading to our collage we add a new layer called 'background_plus' and paint over it with Paintbrush tool from the toolbar. To soften the brush strokes we then apply Smoothing filter with Horizontal filter size - 100 and Vertical filter size - 12 to 'background_plus' layer.
The base of our project is ready. The only thing left is to add the text and some final touches. Choose 'TEXT' on the Tool panel. The dialog that appears allow you to select type, size and color of text font. We choose white color and check 'anti-aliasing' option. Type the word 'Inspiration' (and we'll name this text layer the same way - 'inspiration_layer').
Creating of shadow.
To create text shadow we duplicate 'inspiration layer' using Layer - Duplicate layer on the Tool bar or Layer - Duplicate on Layer palette.
Bring 'copy_of_inspiration layer' to the top of layers stack in Layer palette.
Convert the text on 'copy_of_inspiration layer' to bitmap image using Layer - Text - Render. This will allow application of image processing filters to this layer.
Deselect Lock Transparency on the Layer Palette.
To create dark shadow we apply Image - Adjust - Hue/Saturation with lightness set to -100%.
We then soften shadow edges with Tools - Processing - Gaussian Blur with filter size 3 Than drag 'copy_of_inspiration layer' a little to offset it from text on 'inspiration layer'.
We wanted to make you familiar with basic resources of STOIK PictureMan - but it's impossible to show all filters and resources in one lesson...