Flower Ball Tag

Difficulty Level ~ Intermediate

You will need:
PSP ~ I used v8, but I've supplied all the necessary files so that the tut can be adapted for use with other versions.  If you don't already have this program, a trial version (v9) is available.
Eyecandy 3 ~ A full version of EyeCandy 3 for Windows which ncludes a demo of EC4000.
Toadies Plain Mosaic 2 ~ Some people have had trouble getting this particular filter to work. A couple of working solutions are to install and import Toadies into Filters Unlimited, or to rename the file by adding a letter or number, as you might have a conflict of 2 filters with the same name.
Blade Pro or Super Blade Pro ~ This is an optional choice for the text effects.
Tutorial Supplies ~ This is a self-executible file.  All you need to do is tell it where you want to install the files.
The Lavander Daylily tube is kindly supplied by JCW. Thanks Jarah :o)
I've also included a glass ball template for those of you with earlier versions of PSP which don't have the Balls and Bubbles effect. It can be colourized to suit whatever tube you've chosen to use as your main image.
For those of you who are using Blade Pro or Super Blade Pro for the text effects, I've also included my clear glass preset zip.
This will need to be unzipped and placed in your Blade Pro's Environment and textures folder.  This preset will also work in Super Blade Pro.
I've been told that not all versions of PSPv9 has the concrete ball preset I used for the ball.  I've included that in the zip as well.

Don't forget to save often!

Let's Begin:
Open the tube in PSP, duplicate it by going to Window/Duplicate, or press Shift+D.
Go to Image/Canvas size and change the size to 600 x 600
Go to the Layer Palette, right click on the tube layer, and duplicate the layer twice
Turn the visibility on the top 2 layers off.
Making sure to select the bottom layer, go to Adjust/Blur/Gaussian Blur radius=5
Then go to Effects/Texture Effects/Mosaic-Antique - factory defaults
Using the layer palette, select the second tube layer, toggle the visibility on, and go to Adjust/Blur/Gaussian Blur radius=10
Next go to Effects/Toadies/Plain Mosaic 2 and use the following settings:

~ cell width 10
~ cell height 10
~ alfa threshold 57
~ edge hard\soft\off 22

Go to Selection/Selection all, then Selection/Float to select the individual tiles of the mosaic.
Then go to Effects/Eyecandy 3/Glass with these settings:

~ Bevel Width 30
~ Bevel Shape Mesa
~ Flaw Spacing 30
~ Flaw Thickness 30
~ Opacity 11
~ Refraction 12
~ Glass Color White
~ Highlight Brightness 50
~ Hightlight Sharpness 90
~ Lignting
     Direction 135
     Inclination 45

Go to Selections/Select None, then add a dropshadow to the layer by going to Effects/3D Effects/Dropshadow - Horizontal & Vertical 2, Opacity 100, Blur 3
For this tube I used #800080, but if you're using a different tube to mine, choose an appropriate colour to suit it.
Go to the layer palette and lower the opacity of the layer to 66.
Right click on the same layer and select Merge/Merge Visible.
Go to Effects/Geometric Effects/Circle - Edge Mode transparent.
Going to the layer palette, toggle the visibility of the top layer on.
Go to Image/Resize 75%, then Image/Mirror, and re-position the image to suit your taste.
Add a dropshadow with the Horizontal & Vertical set at 0, the Opacity on 40 and Blur 13.

If you're using an earlier version of PSP, now is the time to copy the glass ball tube I've provided to the working canvas. You can do this by opening the tube, going to the layer palette, and using the left mouse key to select and drag the layer onto your tag's working canvas.
For later versions of PSP, We are going to make a clear glass ball and add it to the tag, but we need to know how big to make it - this means we're going to make a practice ball first, so we get the right size...
Select the merged bkg layer, then go to Effects/Artistic Effects/Balls and Bubbles.
Follow these settings:

Preset - Concrete Ball
Under the Shape tab - 'Single ball or bubble' checked but 'maximum possible size' unchecked
Now please read carefully... PSP advises to 'Drag out a bounding box with the mouse in the left preview window...'  To see the bounding box we are going to click on the 'zoom out' button below the left frame... the bounding box will be more obvious and easier to grab...

Adjust the bounding box so that the ball fits snugly around the tag background - don't worry if there's a little of the background poking out, we can tidy that up later.
Go to the Surface tab - change the opacity to 20, shininess 0, gloss 0, color #800080 (the colour can be changed to suit your own tube)
Illumination tab - change the color to white.  OK
Now that the balls and bubbles effect in PSP has been primed, undo the glass ball we've just made by pressing the 'undo' button , or go to Edit/Undo.  We'll give the ball it's own layer.
Go to your tube layer, and add a new raster layer, then go to Effects/Artistic Effects/Balls and Bubbles again.  Don't change any of the settings, just click ok
You now have a glass ball on a seperate later to the background.

If you need to trim the background a little, grab the Magic Wand Selection Tool and select the area outside of the glass ball - Tolerance 20, Anti-alias checked, feather 0
Selection/modify/expand # of pixels 1
Now go to your background layer, and hit the delete key on your keyboard.  This will clean up any rough edges.

Go to Selections/Invert, then go to Layer/New Raster Layer.
With the new layer selected, grab the Paint Brush tool - size 20, with white as the foreground colour.
On the new layer, paint a couple of curved lines near the edge of the glass ball as demonstrated below:

Go to Adjust/Blur/Gaussian Blur 15.  Selections/Select none.
With the tube layer selected, get your Preset Shapes tool and select elipse shape.
My settings for this is:

~ 'create as vector' checked
~ 'anti-alias' checked
~ 'retain style' unchecked

Go to your materials palette, and null the foreground.  The background color I selected for this tube is #400040.
Draw an elongated shape from side to side, not top to bottom... place the shape so that it looks like it's sitting under the glass ball, and adjust the width until you're happy
Once this is done, go to Layers/Convert to raster layer. Go to the layer palette and adjust opacity of this layer to about 25 - 35, then go to Adjust/Blur/Gaussian Blur 10 - 15, whatever suits you best with these settings...

At this point we're ready to add the text.
Select your glass ball layer and get the Preset Shapes tool again - elipse and with the same settings as before, create a circle about 2/3's the size of your glass ball.
Then go to Objects/Align/Center in canvas
If you're planning on making more than one of these tags, this is where you'd duplicate the elipse layer, and toggle the visibility of the duplicate off - you text will always be perfectly placed with the spare elipse shape ready to go.
Select your Text tool, and your font (I used Bric A Brac BV)
I chose a foreground/background gradient with colours of my choice for the fill, but you can choose to use another type of fill.
Your Text tool settings are:

~ Create as Vector
~ Size will depend on the type of font you've chosen - mine was 70
~ stroke 1
~ 'anti-alias' checked
~ 'alignment' centered (middle choice)
~ bold on or off, depending on the thickness of your font

Place the cursor on the very edge of the circle you've just made, and an 'A' in a curved line will appear.  Click where you want your text to sit, and type out your message. ok
If you're unhappy with the placement, simply undo the move, and try again in a different spot.
Go to your layer palette, open the vector 1 layer and toggle the elipse layer to invisible.
Go to Selections/From Vector Object, then Layers/Convert to raster layer
The type of effect you use on the tag is up to you, but I chose Flaming Pear's Blade Pro with the clear glass preset.
Once you're happy with the result, go to Effects/3D Effects/Dropshadow - vertical and Horizontal 2, opacity 47, blur 4, and colour #800080
Resize if you've a mind to, and add your watermark if you have one, save...
and that's it
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial

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I have learned a lot of different techniques from many different sources on the web, and this particular tutorial is a culmination of those different ideas. I do not claim to have 'found' these original techniques, but I certainly claim the idea of putting them all together to create this tag.
If there is another tutorial similar to this one online, then it wasn't by intention, and is purely by co-incidence.
Please do not take this page and display it on another website. Or claim this tutorial as your own, or burn this tutorial to disk with the intention of selling it.
It remains my property.
Linking of the graphics here to another website is not permitted.
Please respect these conditions.

If you wish to contact me, my addy is spratty at yahoo dot com dot au
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Thank you
Susan aka Night Owl 2005
Written on the 26th April, 2005