How to Contact Us
Our main office
(UK, Europe):
The Software Centre
PO Box 2000, Nottingham,
NG11 7GW, UK
(0115) 914 2000
Registration (UK only):
(0800) 376 1989
Sales (UK only):
(0800) 376 7070
Customer Service/
Technical Support:
General Fax:
(0115) 914 2020
North American office
(USA, Canada):
The Software Center
13 Columbia Drive, Suite 5, Amherst
NH 03031, USA
(603) 889-8650
(800) 794-6876
(800) 55-SERIF or 557-3743
Customer Service/
Technical Support:
General Fax:
(603) 889-1127
Visit us on the web at:
Please contact your local distributor/dealer. For further details, please contact us
at one of our phone numbers above.
This User Guide, and the software described in it, is furnished under an end user
License Agreement, which is included with the product. The agreement specifies
the permitted and prohibited uses.
©2009 Serif (Europe) Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this User Guide may be
reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Serif (Europe)
All Serif product names are trademarks of Serif (Europe) Ltd.
Microsoft, Windows and the Windows logo are registered trademarks of
Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks acknowledged.
Adobe Photoshop is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in
the United States and/or other countries.
Serif PhotoPlus X3 ©2009 Serif (Europe) Ltd.
Companies and names used in samples are fictitious.
Digital Images © 2008 Hemera Technologies Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Digital Images © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation, All Rights Reserved.
Digital Images © 2008 Jupiterimages France SAS, All Rights Reserved.
Portions Images ©1997-2002 Nova Development Corporation; ©1995
Expressions Computer Software; ©1996-98 CreatiCom, Inc.; ©1996-99
Cliptoart; ©1996-99 Hemera; ©1997 Multimedia Agency Corporation; ©199798 Seattle Support Group. Rights of all parties reserved.
Portions graphics import/export technology LEADTOOLS © LEAD
Technologies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Radiance Software License, Version 1.0
Copyright (c) 1990 - 2002 The Regents of the University of California, through
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. All rights reserved.
This product includes Radiance software ( developed by
the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (
This User Guide contains screenshots taken in the UK version of PhotoPlus X3.
1. Welcome .......................................................... 1
New features ........................................................................................................... 3
Existing features .................................................................................................... 5
Installation ............................................................................................................. 12
2. Getting Started ............................................... 15
Startup Wizard ..................................................................................................... 17
Starting from scratch ......................................................................................... 18
Opening an existing file ................................................................................... 19
Opening a raw image ........................................................................................ 21
Acquiring a TWAIN image................................................................................ 24
Saving a file ........................................................................................................... 25
Closing files and exiting ................................................................................... 27
Color modes.......................................................................................................... 27
3. Manipulating Images ...................................... 29
Making a selection .............................................................................................. 31
Modifying a selection ........................................................................................ 39
Manipulating a selection.................................................................................. 43
Changing image and canvas size .................................................................. 46
Flipping and rotating ........................................................................................ 51
Straightening a photo ....................................................................................... 52
Deforming ............................................................................................................. 54
Mesh warping....................................................................................................... 56
Extracting part of an image ............................................................................. 61
Using channels..................................................................................................... 61
Interpreting histograms ................................................................................... 63
4. Painting and Drawing ..................................... 65
Choosing colors .................................................................................................. 67
Painting .................................................................................................................. 71
Stamping and spraying pictures ................................................................... 73
Erasing .................................................................................................................... 75
Using patterns ..................................................................................................... 78
Filling a region ..................................................................................................... 79
Cloning a region ................................................................................................. 84
Creating and editing text ................................................................................ 86
Drawing and editing lines and shapes ....................................................... 88
Creating outlines ................................................................................................ 96
Using paths ........................................................................................................... 98
5. Image Adjustments and Effects ................... 103
Introduction to image adjustments .......................................................... 105
Overview: Adjusting image colors ............................................................. 106
Using QuickFix Studio ..................................................................................... 108
Retouching ......................................................................................................... 111
Overview: Applying special effects ............................................................ 113
Instant Artist effects......................................................................................... 113
Warp tool effects............................................................................................... 115
Applying 2D layer effects .............................................................................. 116
Applying 3D layer effects .............................................................................. 118
Using the Filter Gallery ................................................................................... 123
Using plug-ins .................................................................................................... 126
Merging bracketed photos ........................................................................... 127
6. Layers and Masks ........................................ 133
Basics of using layers .......................................................................................135
Using layer groups............................................................................................141
Using adjustment layers .................................................................................143
Using filter layers...............................................................................................146
Using blend modes ..........................................................................................147
Using blend ranges ..........................................................................................149
Adjusting opacity/transparency ..................................................................150
Using depth maps ............................................................................................152
Using masks ........................................................................................................154
7. Creating Animations ..................................... 159
Getting started with animation ...................................................................161
Working with animation frames ..................................................................164
Applying animation effects ...........................................................................167
8. Making Images for the web .......................... 171
Slicing images ....................................................................................................173
Creating image maps ......................................................................................174
9. Macros and Batch Processing ...................... 177
Understanding macros ...................................................................................179
Batch processing ...............................................................................................185
10. Printing and Exporting .................................. 189
Printing ................................................................................................................. 191
Publishing a PDF file ........................................................................................ 197
Exporting to another file format ................................................................. 199
Sharing documents by email ....................................................................... 203
11. Index ............................................................ 205
2 Welcome
Welcome to PhotoPlus X3 from Serif—more than ever, the best value in
image creation and editing software for any home, school, organization, or
growing business. PhotoPlus is the number one choice for working with
photographs and paint-type images, whether for the Web, multimedia, or the
printed page.
PhotoPlus has the features you’ll need... from importing or creating pictures,
through manipulating colors, making image adjustments, applying filter effects
and so much more, all the way to final export. Built-in support for the most
modern digital cameras makes it easy to open your very own digital photos,
either as JPG or as unprocessed raw images.
PhotoPlus also offers on-computer post-shoot development, using Raw Studio,
where you're in full control of your raw image's white balance, exposure, and
more.. as well as perform "blown" highlight recovery. Raw Studio complements
other studios, such as QuickFix Studio, Filter Gallery, and Instant Artist for
respective image correction, filter effects, and stunning artistic effects.
For an overview of PhotoPlus, see Existing features and New features (specific to
PhotoPlus X3).
Don’t forget to register your new copy, using the Registration Wizard on the
Help menu. That way, we can keep you informed of new developments and
future upgrades!
New features
16- bit Color Depth/Detail (p. 27)
Work to high levels of detail (16-bits/channel) in both RGB and
grayscale modes. Each mode can be adopted from scratch or after
raw/HD photo import and when outputting HDR merge results.
Post-shoot Raw "Development" with Raw Studio (p. 21)
Open raw files in Raw Studio and fine tune your work with white
balance, exposure, noise reduction, and chromatic aberration
adjustments. Recover "blown" image highlights with the fantastic
Highlight recovery feature. A supporting multi-color histogram aids
exposure and recovery control.
4 Welcome
Effects and Adjustments
New Effect Filters! (p. 123)
Make a creative difference to your project with Shear and
Kaleidoscope effects. Simulate traditional film with the Film Grain
effect. Alternatively, simulate an elegant Page Curl, or whip up a
storm with the cloud-like Plasma filter.
Merge Bracketed Photos (p. 127)
Use HDR (High Dynamic Range) Merge to bring together same-shot
photos, each taken at different exposure settings. The composite
photo, of wider dynamic range, would otherwise be impossible to
capture in one shot. Optionally save intermediate HDR images for
future use.
New Stunning 3D Layer Effects (p. 118)
3D effects are boosted with Reflection Maps—use bitmaps of
indoor/outdoor environments to map onto your layer objects.
PhotoPlus also now offers transparency control to create realistic
glass-like reflective surfaces. Multiple separately colored lights can also
be added for dramatic lighting effects.
Noise Reduction (p. 123)
Photos showing speckles and blotches? Avoid noise from low-light
conditions or when using high ISO settings with Noise Reduction as a
separate effect or within QuickFix Studio.
Black and White Studio
Create stunning black and white compositions through a series of
automated commands in the How To tab. Simply click on the images
and tools and the effect is applied automatically to your image.
Import and Export HD Photos (p. 199)
Import Microsoft's new high-definition image file format. Export
Optimizer will now export to HD photo and TIF from any PhotoPlus
Picture; even to 48- and 64-bit RGB (or 16-bit Grayscale).
Print Studio (p. 191)
PhotoPlus's new unified Print Studio allows you to print single
images, artistic and paper-saving layouts as well as contact sheets. Use
the large range of built in layouts or quickly and easily create your
Enhanced QuickFix Studio (p. 108)
Enjoy the new Noise Reduction and HSL
(Hue/Saturation/Lightness) adjustments; Exposure control and
Black and White Film adjustments are new improvements. A
Histogram pane shows your color channels—really useful when
adjusting white balance and brightness/contrast!
..and some other enhancements you've requested
More QuickShapes and equivalent selection tools—now use triangle,
cross, and speech callout shapes. The Color tab now hosts an HSL
color wheel and HSL color box. Read IPTC metadata and unlimited
EXIF information from any photo.
Existing features
Document power
Professional Input and Output Options
Import an impressive selection of graphic files, including raw images
from all the major manufacturers' cameras (and many more...).
Support for Photoshop® (.PSD) and Corel Paint Shop Pro® import!
Export to an equally extensive choice of graphic file formats!
Preset Canvas Sizes
If you're creating a new picture, adopt a preset canvas size selected
from Photo, Video, Web, Animation or International/US Paper
categories. Alternatively, create your own categories and canvas sizes
which can be saved for future use!
6 Welcome
Histogram Support
The Histogram tab dynamically responds to show the values for the
currently active selection within your document. See how curves and
level adjustments affect your image as they happen!
Versatile Layer Management
Create standard layers of varying opacity over your Background
layer. Select, link, merge, arrange, hide, duplicate one or multiple
layers all at the same time. Grouping of layers offers easier "bulk"
manipulation and better organization. Blend Modes can be applied
between layers. Shape and Text layers can be edited at any time;
Adjustment and Filter layers offer non-destructive image correction
and effects. Masking is supported on all layer types.
Essential Tools
Unique Selection Options
PhotoPlus goes well beyond the basic rectangle, ellipse, freehand, and
polygon lasso tools, adding more than a dozen completely
customizable selection shapes like polygons, spirals, and stars. Use
Magnetic Selection to find edges as you trace them. Or define a
selection shaped like text! Paint to Select mode lets you literally "brush
on" selectedness. Store and load selections between any open file. Use
combination buttons (as for shapes) to define cutout selection regions.
Convert selections into paths.
Crop to Common Print Sizes
Use the Crop Tool for easy cropping to different portrait and
landscape preset and custom print sizes—print resolution will autoadjust to honour any print size.
Special Erase Options
Need to remove that blue sky and leave the clouds? Use the Flood
Eraser to fill the blue regions with transparency. Want to isolate a
shape from a flat color background? The Background Eraser samples
pixels under the brush, so only unwanted colors drop out.
Image cutouts
The Extract feature make short work of intelligently cutting out a
subject from its background (or vice versa).
Use PhotoPlus's Channels tab to edit the Red, Green and Blue
channels independently.
Custom and preset color selection
The Color tab operates in RGB, CMYK, HSL, and Grayscale models
for selecting foreground and background colors when painting,
creating lines or filling shapes. Use the Swatches tab for themed
galleries of preset color swatches. Use a Web-browser safe category
when outputting to the web.
Gradient Fills
Take your pick of radial, linear, conical, or square fills—perfect for
masking, to hide or reveal parts of your photo using smooth graduated
blends to transparency. One master dialog allows editing of five
gradient fill types combining both color and transparency. Choose
from a built-in gallery of presets, add your own categories and fills. (Of
course, there's standard flood fill as well.)
Professional Color Management
ICC color profiling means you'll achieve more accurate colors with
specific monitors and printers—for printed output that more closely
matches on-screen colors.
8 Welcome
Brushes, lines and shapes
The Paintbrush Tool lets you apply brush strokes using preset brush
tips.. choose a tip from basic, calligraphic, and various media
categories (watercolor, charcoal, paint, etc.). Stamp and Spray Picture
Brush effects and stamps . PhotoPlus lets you create your own category
and brush tips! Apply different colors, levels of transparency, blend
modes, to any brush, all at varying flow rates. Built-in support for
most pressure-sensitive graphics tablets.
Freehand and Bézier Curve and Shape Drawing
Powerful vector-drawing tools let you produce any shape under the
sun with controllable, connectable, editable line segments.
Editable QuickShapes
Easy to create, easy to change! Simply drag sliders to morph chevrons,
hearts, badges, teardrops, moons, zigzags, and many more... apply
layer effects and gradient fills... and edit any shape at any time. Create
multiple shapes on a single layer—add, subtract, intersect, or exclude
with previous shapes for frames, cutouts and custom contours. Draw
directly as a Shape layer, path or as a filled bitmap on a raster layer.
Use the full range of line- and shape-drawing tools to create editable
outlines via the Paths tab. Convert paths to or from selections on any
layer. "Stroke" paths using any brush to create bordered shapes!
Editable Text
Add formatted color text directly onto your image, reposition and
scale it by dragging. Text layers keep the contents separate so you can
go back and edit selected areas of text or adjust formatting (color,
transparency, etc.) at any time!
Filter Gallery
The distort, blur, edge, sharpen, render and distortion effects can be
applied singularly or in combination within a Filter Gallery...
guaranteed to keep you up late!
Filter Layers
Convert to Filter Layer creates a non-destructive layer for powerful
control of applied filter effects—switch filter effects on/ off, modify or
add to an existing set of filter effects at a later date. Apply to standard
or Background layers. For either, your layer content now remains
Special Effects
A wild and whimsical assortment for instant creativity! Instant Artist
effects turn your photos into works of art. PhotoPlus supports thirdparty Photoshop® plug-ins, and even lets you design your own custom
Layer Effects
Add 2D Layer Effects such as Shadow, Glow, Bevel, Outline and
Emboss for a sophisticated look on text or other image elements.
Apply multiple effects onto a layer's existing effects for stunning
design output. Move into the realm of astounding 3D Lighting and
Surface Effects—advanced algorithms bring flat shapes to life! Vary
surface and source light properties. Start with a pattern or a function,
adjust parameters for incredible surface contours, textures, fills. Try
3D Painting using Depth Maps to add instant dimensionality to your
artwork. Painting or erasing on a layer's depth map appears as raised
or lowered strokes on the image! Use with 3D layer effects to achieve
"carved" side-view textures.
Versatile Deform and Warp Tools
The "Swiss Army Knife" of image tools, the Deform Tool lets you
rotate, resize, skew, reshape, or add perspective to any selection or
layer. Warp tools pull, stretch, and distort image details, or shrink and
enlarge. Pixels turn to putty with the Mesh Warp Tool!
10 Welcome
Image Adjustments
Apply professional, darkroom-style color and histogram adjustments
to your images—giving you fingertip control over tones and colors.
Adjust Shadow/Highlight/Midtone to calm down overexposed skies in
one single operation without having to resort to manipulating curves
and levels. Employ the Blur and Sharpen tools to enhance or reduce
local detail... blend multiple layers more cleanly. There's even a
dedicated tool for removing "red eye" from flash photos.
Editable Adjustment Layers
Not only apply color corrections and special effects, but store each
change on a separate layer or group. To fine-tune any adjustment
later, just click its layer and change the settings! The Instant Effects
gallery puts 3D technology and layer effects at your disposal.
QuickFix Studio
Use for cumulative image adjustments to White Balance,
Brightness&Contrast, as well as Straighten and Crop your images.
Equally, apply a Black and White Film effect, Sharpen, and fix Red
Eye and various lens-related problems amongst many others. A fullscreen dual-image preview display lets you compare and fix your
images in an instant.
Clone, Smudge, and Erase tools are included as essential retouch tools.
Use the QuickFix Studio’s Blemish Remover to subtly remove skin
blemishes and unwanted light reflections—all via blending. For more
heavy-duty retouch work, use the Patch Tool which is especially good
for blending out irregularly-shaped regions!
Always-at-Hand Tools
A Context toolbar improves your efficiency by allowing the viewing
and editing of a tool's properties in context with the tool currently
selected; save and retrieve your favorite tool settings via a Tool Presets
Macros let you automate your actions by using a huge number of
categorized macro presets—alternatively, record and apply your own
macro to any number of photos—give all your photos the same frame,
age them or make a color enhancement all at the same time!
Batch Processing
Use batch processing to repeat your tasks, e.g. changing file types, all at
the same time without user intervention. When used in conjunction
with macros the possibilities are endless.
Web and Animation
Image Slicing and Image Maps
Now it's not just the pros who can use these techniques to add links to
Web graphics! Simply click to divide images into segments—each with
its own hyperlink and popup text—or add hotspots to specific regions.
PhotoPlus outputs the HTML code and lets you preview the results
directly in your Web browser.
Animation Tools
It's easy and fun to create or edit animations for the Web. You can
import and export animated GIFs, apply special effects (including 2D
and 3D), tweening, even let PhotoPlus create entire animations for you
automatically. Or export to the .AVI format for movies and
multimedia! Convert to Animation makes the process of taking any
image into animation mode a breeze!
Print and Share
Easy Printing
Print your project with powerful scaling and tiling options.
Publish to PDF
Export your documents to PDF, with powerful options for
professional printing (PDF/X-1 compatibility and prepress marks).
12 Welcome
Powerful Image Export Optimizer
The Export Optimizer lets you see how your image will look (and how
much space it will take up) before you save it! Its multi-window display
provides side-by-side WYSIWYG previews of image quality at various
output settings, so you can make the best choice every time.
If you need help installing Windows, or setting up peripherals, see Windows
documentation and help.
System Requirements
Pentium PC with DVD/CD drive and mouse
Microsoft Windows® XP or Vista operating system
328MB (recommended install) free hard disk space
SVGA display (800x600 resolution, 16-bit color or higher)
Additional disk resources and memory are required when editing large and/or
complex images.
Windows-compatible printer
TWAIN-compatible scanner and/or digital camera
Stylus or other input device, including pressure-sensitive pen
Internet account and connection required for accessing online
First-time install
To install Serif PhotoPlus X3, simply insert your Program CD into your
DVD/CD drive. If AutoPlay is enabled on the drive, this automatically starts the
Setup Wizard. If you are installing PhotoPlus on Microsoft Windows® Vista, you
may need to click on Run autorun.exe from within the Autoplay dialog. If
AutoPlay is not enabled (or doesn't start the install automatically), use the
Manual install method described below.
From the initial screen, you'll be prompted to install PhotoPlus X3.
The Setup Wizard begins with a Welcome dialog, click Next>.
To add customer information, enter your User Name, Organization
(if applicable), and your software Product Key.
For product key information, click
. Click Next>.
Please read through the scrollable license agreement, then if you agree
to the terms, enable the I Accept... button. Click Next>.
Choose a US or UK language for your install. Click Next>.
(Optional) Check file types you would like to be associated with
PhotoPlus. Click Next>.
Choose Setup Options using the tree menu to control which features
are installed. Pick Change... for a different install location if needed.
Choose Shortcut Options for Start Menu program group, Desktop,
and Quick Launch. Click Next>.
From the Ready to Install screen, click Install.
10. The dialog will display a progress bar as the program installs.
Installation is completed after you click the Finish button.
Your installation is now complete and you can begin using Serif PhotoPlus X3!
14 Welcome
Manual install
For manual installation, use My Computer (Windows® XP), or Computer
(Windows® Vista), to navigate to the DVD/CD drive in which your PhotoPlus
Program CD is located. Double-click the CD's icon and then double-click
setup.exe in the displayed folder. Choose Serif PhotoPlus X3 from the dialog,
then follow the on-screen installation instructions as described above.
16 Getting Started
Getting Started
Startup Wizard
Once PhotoPlus has been installed, you're ready to start!
The Setup routine during install adds a Serif PhotoPlus X3 entry to
the Windows Start menu. Use the Windows Start button to pop up
the Start Menu, click on All Programs and then click the PhotoPlus
On program launch, the Startup Wizard is displayed which offers different
routes into PhotoPlus:
If you don’t want to use the Startup Wizard again, check the “Don't show this
wizard again” box. However, we suggest you leave it unchecked until you’re
familiar with the equivalent PhotoPlus commands. Switch the wizard back on
again by checking Use Startup Wizard via Preferences... (General men u
option) on the File menu.
18 Getting Started
Starting from scratch
PhotoPlus deals with two basic kinds of image files. We'll differentiate them as
pictures (still images) and animations (moving images). The two types are
closely related, and creating either from scratch in PhotoPlus involves the same
series of steps.
PhotoPlus lets you create an image based on a pre-defined canvas size (e.g., 10 x
8 in). Different canvas size options are available from a range of categories
(International/US Paper, Photo, Video, Web, or Animation). Alternatively, you
can create your own custom canvas sizes, and even store them for future use. For
either preset or custom sizes, the resolution can be set independently of canvas
When you create a new picture, you can choose to work in different color
modes, i.e. RGB or Grayscale, in either 8- or 16-bits/channel. Use a Bit Depth of
16 bit for higher levels of image detail modes.
To create a new picture or animation (using Startup Wizard):
The first time you launch PhotoPlus, you'll see the Startup Wizard,
with a menu of choices. Click Create>New Image or Create>New
In the New Image dialog, you can either:
1. For a preset canvas size, select a suitable Category from the dropdown list. Categories are named according to how your image or
animation is intended to be used, e.g. pick a Photo category for
photo-sized canvases.
2. Pick a canvas Size from the drop-down list.
For a custom canvas size, enter your own Width and Height. If the
dimensions are non-standard, the Size drop-down list will be
shown as "Custom." For future use, save the custom size with Add
Size... (from the button) if necessary.
Although you can resize the image canvas size (width x height) later,
it's usually best to allow some extra canvas area at first.
Getting Started
Add a Resolution for the new image file. Leave the resolution at 96.00
pixels/inch unless you're sure a different value is required.
Select a Color Mode, choosing to operate in RGB or Grayscale mode.
(Optional) Select a Bit Depth of 16 bits per channel for projects which
require higher levels of color detail. Otherwise a bit depth of 8
bits/channel is used as default.
Select a background type in the Background drop-down list.
• When painting a picture from scratch, you'll normally choose
• You can also choose Background Color, to use the current
background color shown on the Color tab.
• When creating an animation, Transparent is often called for.
When you've made your selections, click OK.
To create a new picture or animation (during your session):
New on the Standard
If the Startup Wizard is disabled, click
In the New Image dialog, set your canvas size (see above) and then
check Animation to create an animation or leave unchecked for a
Click OK. The new image or animation opens in a separate untitled
Opening an existing file
You can use the Startup Wizard to access image files recently viewed in
PhotoPlus or open any image file. PhotoPlus opens all the standard image
formats for print and web graphics, in addition to its native .SPP format and
Adobe Photoshop .PSD files.
Raw files open in a Raw Studio environment, which offers image adjustment on
the "undeveloped" image before opening. See Opening a raw image on p. 21.
Similarly, intermediate HDR images (OpenEXR and Radiance) can be opened
in a dialog at any time for readjusting your HDR merge results.
20 Getting Started
To open a saved image file (via Startup Wizard):
From the Startup Wizard (at startup time or via File>New...), click
Open>Saved Work. You'll see a list of recently opened files. To see a
preview of any file, click its name in the list.
To open a selected file, click Finish.
1. Click Browse to locate other saved files. To narrow or expand the
list of file types shown in the Open dialog, select from the lowerright drop-down list.
2. Select the folder and file name and click the Open button.
PhotoPlus opens the image as a maximized currently active document; the
document appears in the Documents tab.
Recently viewed files also appear at the bottom of the File menu.
Simply select the file name to open it.
To open any image file:
From the Startup Wizard (at startup time or via File>New...), click
Open>Image Browser.
Click the
Open button on the Standard toolbar.
In the Open dialog, select the folder and file name. To open multiple
files, press the Ctrl or Shift key when selecting their names.
Click the Open button to open the desired image as a maximized
To open images by drag-and-drop:
Drag and drop an image file or preview thumbnail into PhotoPlus
from Windows Explorer either:
into the current workspace (to create a new layer).
onto the Documents tab (to create a new image window).
Getting Started
Opening a raw image
High-specification SLR digital cameras give the option of saving your photos as
JPG, and more recently, as raw files. On some cameras, you may have the best of
both worlds, by saving as both simultaneously.
Quite why you would choose one format over the other depends on a host of
factors, such as the type of workflow and the level of detail you want to work to.
This is best summarized in the following table.
Basic level of color or grayscale
detail, inherently 8-bit images.
Highest level of color or
grayscale detail, inherently 16bit images.
Smaller file sizes (so more files
per memory card with a faster
write-to-card time)
Larger file sizes (so less files
per memory card and a longer
write time)
JPG files are automatically
processed by camera
raw files are unprocessed by
Limited adjustment control
Absolute adjustment control
There is a healthy debate in the photographic industry about which format to
choose. Professionally, the old idiom "horses for courses" applies. For example,
the need for fast shoot-to-print time (using JPGs) is essential for sports
photographers where post-shoot adjustment is not practical. Conversely, a
wedding photographer may wish to work with the maximum amount of color
information (using raw images) and then typically make post-shoot adjustments,
maintaining flexibility and a high detail throughout.
For the amateur or semi-professional photographer, the same factors apply, but
format choice may be governed more by quality expectations or cost, rather than
"workflow" issues.
22 Getting Started
Workflow refers to the shoot-to-print progress when working with JPG or raw
files. A JPG workflow is destructive, in that your JPG file is "developed" in your
camera without user intervention. Conversely, a raw workflow is nondestructive because your raw file is "undeveloped"—you can control your
image's development within your photo-editing program (PhotoPlus).
PhotoPlus's Raw Studio offers post-shoot adjustments to any raw file without
affecting the original file. White balance, exposure, highlight recovery, noise
reduction, and the removal of chromatic aberration are all possible. With an
in-built histogram, it's easy to firstly check exposure levels and to spot any
highlight clipping (suggesting image overexposure), and to secondly make
adjustments using the human eye and the histogram in combination.
Once you click OK you won't be able to undo your adjustments—it's
therefore recommended to spend time "developing" your image
correctly before exiting Raw Studio.
Once you've exited Raw Studio you'll enter the usual PhotoPlus user interface.
As for any other file format you can then optionally add text, lines, shapes, and
apply some creative filter effects (not all effects are available in 16 bits/channel
mode). On saving (File>Save or File>Save As...), you'll be prompted to save
your work as a PhotoPlus picture (.SPP) only. Typically most users would then
export to a 16-bit file format such as .TIF or .HDP.
Getting Started
To adjust a raw image:
Open on the Standard toolbar. (see
Open a raw file by using
Starting from scratch on p. 18). If opening multiple raw files, once
you've adjusted an image, Raw Studio will load the next image
automatically until all files are loaded.
Open raw images previously copied to your computer, rather than
directly from your camera's memory card (e.g., SD).
From Raw Studio, adopt the program's, camera's or a custom white
Auto: White balance calculated automatically by PhotoPlus. The
camera's white balance setting is ignored.
Camera: The camera's manual or automatic white balance setting is
used. PhotoPlus is not used to set white balance.
Color Selector then hover over a neutral color on
Custom: Click
the screen to calculate the white balance manually. Typically, a
subject's white shirt or blue sky can be clicked on as the neutral
Drag the Exposure slider left or right to make the image darker or
lighter. The values are equivalent to your camera's f-stop settings, i.e. a
value of 1 = 1 f-stop.
When increasing the Exposure value, use the histogram to check
that your highlights aren't clipped (i.e., when the graph disappears
abruptly off the right-hand edge of the histogram).
Drag the Black Point slider right to set the darkest parts of the image
to black (by shifting the histogram's left-most edge, making all
"clipped" pixels in the shadow region turn black).
For recovery of blown highlights, from the Mode drop-down menu
choose Recovery, and if needed, increase the Strength slider until you
get ideal results. The Clip option, as default, means that highlights
remain blown (no recovery is attempted). The Neutral option also
recovers highlights if you're experiencing color casting.
24 Getting Started
For Noise reduction set a Strength. Noise may be evident on images
captured in low light or with a high ISO camera setting. The greater
the value, the more smoothing occurs to remove speckling. Too much
noise reduction may produce an unwanted blurring effect.
Remove unwanted Chromatic Aberration (color fringing on object
edges on high-contrast photos) by adjusting Red/Cyan or Blue/Yellow
sliders. Each slider adjusts one color channel relative to the other
To reduce the color information down to "8 Bits/Channel", select from
the Bit Depth option. By default, optimum raw color information is
preserved (i.e., 16 Bits/Channel). (See Color modes for more details).
From the Color Space drop-down menu, assign a color space to your
image which matches your intended color workspace. For professional
work, AdobeRGB, ProPhoto, or WideGamut offer larger color spaces
(i.e more colors) than the standard RGB (sRGB) space (this is
acceptable for most users), but you'll need to enable color management
and pick the same color space as your chosen workspace. (See online
10. Click OK (or Reset to discard applied adjustments). The raw image
becomes your PhotoPlus document.
Acquiring a TWAIN image
If your digital camera or scanner supports the industry-wide TWAIN standard,
you can bring pictures from these devices directly into PhotoPlus.
To set up your TWAIN device for importing:
See the documentation supplied with the device for operating
Getting Started
To import a TWAIN image:
(via Startup Wizard) Choose Import From Twain.
(During your PhotoPlus session) Choose Import from the File menu,
then select Acquire.
Complete the procedure using the acquisition dialog associated with
the selected TWAIN source.
If you have more than one TWAIN-compatible device installed, you may need
to select which source you wish to scan with.
To select a different TWAIN source for scanning:
Choose Import from the File menu, then choose Select Source from
the submenu.
See PhotoPlus help for some useful tips about scanning.
Saving a file
The process of saving differs depending on the type of file you are working on,
the file's current saved state and the file type you want to save.
PhotoPlus lets you work on (and save) one of several file types:
An open PhotoPlus Picture (.SPP) file is project-based and so
preserves 'project' information (e.g., layers, masks, paths) when saving
the file.
For a currently open image file you can edit and save the image back
to its original format. However, if you've added layers, masks, or paths
to your image you'll be prompted to optionally create a .SPP file to
preserve 'project' information (otherwise it will be lost). If you choose
not to create a .SPP file, the additional content is included in the now
flattened image.
An intermediate HDR image can be saved, which stores the results of
an HDR Photo Merge in a .HDR file for future use. See Merging
bracketed photos for more information.
26 Getting Started
To save your PhotoPlus Picture:
Click the
Save button on the Standard toolbar.
To save under a different path or base name, choose Save As... from
the File menu. The window title bar is updated accordingly.
If the current window is untitled or non-native, the Save As dialog
opens, and prompts for a .SPP file name based on the base name
shown in the title bar.
The procedure for an altered image is slightly more complicated as PhotoPlus
will assist you in deciding if you want to save or lose any added "project
information" added to the original image.
To save your currently open image:
If you've altered the background layer only and no layers, paths, or
masks have been added, you can save (without prompt) the altered
image to its current base name (shown in the window title bar) by
choosing Save... from the File menu. Changes are included in the
If you've added layers, paths, or masks to your image, when you click
Save... (File menu) you'll be asked if you want to preserve the 'project'
In the dialog, click Yes to save your project information (as an .SPP
click No to save as a flattened image (i.e., without layers).
To revert an image file:
Click Revert from the File menu. The last saved version of your image
is displayed.
Getting Started
Closing files and exiting
To close a single image window (file):
Choose Close from the File menu.
Click the Close button on the window's title bar.
You'll be prompted to save changes made since the last save.
To close all image windows (files):
Choose Close All from the File menu.
You'll be prompted to save changes made to any open image since the last save.
To close PhotoPlus:
Choose Exit from the File menu.
For each open file, you'll be prompted to save changes made since the last save.
Color modes
PhotoPlus operates in several color modes to let you work in standard and
higher levels of color or tonal detail—these are 8-bits/channel RGB (or 8bits/channel Grayscale) and the more detailed 16-bits/channel RGB (or 16bits/channel Grayscale). Editing in 8 bits/channel mode will use 256 levels per
color channel, as opposed to 16-bits/channel, which uses 65,536 levels per
As a rule of thumb, use 16-bit working for "as-your-eyes-see-it" image accuracy.
If you work with 16-bit images, you'll probably want to benefit from the
optimum color or tonal information throughout your project. In fact, 16bits/channel color mode is invoked automatically when:
importing a raw image from PhotoPlus's Raw Studio.
opening a 16-bit Microsoft HD photo.
28 Getting Started
PhotoPlus also lets you manually choose modes:
Then pick...
when creating
a new image
Start New
Wizard) or
Color Mode: RGB or Grayscale
Bit Depth: 8 or 16 bits per
at any time
Color 8-Bits/channel mode
Color 16-Bits/channel mode
Grayscale 8-Bits/channel mode
Grayscale 16-Bits/channel mode
outputting the
results of an
HDR Merge
Output 16-bits per channel
At some point, you may have no need to work at a high level of detail (16
bits/channel). In converting to 8-bit mode, you may want to opt for smaller file
sizes or take advantage of a greater selection of filter effects.
To switch from 16-bits/channel to 8-bits/channel working:
From the Image menu, select Color Mode, and pick an 8-bits/channel
option from the submenu.
Like most 16-bit photo editing programs, the choice of filter effects
available is limited while in a 16-bits/channel mode.
To check which mode is currently set, the Title bar shows the mode
after the file name, e.g. CRW_4832.CRW @ 20%,3088 x 2056, RGB 16
30 Manipulating Images
Manipulating Images
Making a selection
In any photo editing program, the selection
tools and techniques are as significant as any of
the basic brush tools or commands. The basic
principle is simple: quite often you'll want to
perform an operation on just a portion of the
image. To do this you must define an active
selection area.
The wide range of selection options in PhotoPlus lets you:
Define just about any selection shape
Modify the extent or properties of the selection (see p. 39)
Carry out various manipulations on the selected pixels, including cut,
copy, paste, rotate, adjust colors, apply special effects, etc. (see p. 43)
Selection basics
Although the techniques for using the various selection methods differ, the end
result is always the same: a portion of the active layer has been "roped off" from
the rest of the image. The boundary is visible as a broken line or marquee
around the selected region.
Whenever there's a selection, certain tools and commands operate only on the
pixels inside the selection—as opposed to a condition where nothing is selected,
in which case those functions generally affect the entire active layer.
32 Manipulating Images
For example, when there's a selection, the brush
tools only work inside the selection; the color
simply doesn't affect outside pixels.
The example opposite uses a freehand selection
under the eye to keep the brush stroke within
the selection area.
You can also apply an adjustment or special
effect, affecting only the selected region.
You may occasionally (especially if the marquee is hidden) find yourself using a
tool or command that seems to have no effect... it's probably because there's still
a selection somewhere, and you're trying to work outside the selection. In this
case, just cancel the selection.
To cancel the selection (select nothing), right-click and choose
Deselect, use the Select menu or press Ctrl+D.
The opposite of selecting nothing is selecting everything:
To select the entire active layer, press Ctrl+A, or choose Select All
from the Select menu.
For partial selection of opaque pixels, you can Ctrl-click the layer thumbnail (in
Layers tab).
If your image has multiple layers, and you switch to another layer,
the selection doesn't stay on the previous layer—it follows you to
the new active layer. This makes sense when you realize that the
selection doesn't actually include image content—like an outline
map, it just describes a region with boundaries.
Manipulating Images
Selection tool options
PhotoPlus offers a very wide range of other selection methods, and a variety of
commands for modifying the extent or properties of the selected pixels—all
available from the Tools toolbar. Note that the selection tools work on
Background and standard layers, but not on text layers or shape layers.
Standard Selection Tools flyout includes various tools which can be
used to drag on the image to define a selection region.
Rectangle Selection Tool—drag out a rectangular selection area
of your chosen size (use the Ctrl key to constrain to a Square area).
Ellipse Selection Tool—drag out an ellipse selection area (use
Ctrl key to constrain to a circle).
Freehand Selection Tool—lets you draw a freehand (irregular)
line which is closed automatically to create an irregularly shaped
selection area.
Polygon Selection Tool—lets you draw a series of straight-line
segments (double-click to close the polygon).
Magnetic Selection Tool—lets you trace around an object edge
creating a selection line that snaps to the edge as you drag.
Adjustable Selection Tools flyout provides different variable
shapes, including pie, star, arrow, heart, spiral, wave, and so on. Choose a tool,
drag out a shape on the image, then adjust the handles to fine-tune the shape.
Double-click within the shape to select the region.
34 Manipulating Images
Here’s how the adjustable
selection tools work. We’ll
use the regular polygon
selection shape as an
example. Choose a tool
from the flyout and drag
out a shape on the image.
You can hold down the
Ctrl key to constrain the
The regular polygon appears as an outline with two slider tracks
bounding it. Each of the slider tracks has a square handle, and when
you move the cursor on to the handle it will change to a + sign. As you
drag a slider (circled above), the shape’s properties change. In the case
of the polygon, one slider varies the number of sides, while the other
rotates the shape. Once you’re satisfied with the selection, doubleclick in the center (just as with the Crop Tool or Magnetic Selection
Tool) to complete the marquee. The shape will then possess a dashed
outline, becoming a selection.
Color Selection Tool lets you select a region based on the color
similarity of adjacent pixels—simply click a starting pixel then set a Tolerance
from the context toolbar. It works much like the fill tool, but the result is a
selected region rather than a region flooded with a color.
For any selection tool, the Context toolbar includes combination buttons (New,
Add, Subtract, and Intersect) that determine the effect of each new selection
operation. For example, starting with a square selection (created with the New
button), here's what a second partly overlaid square (shown with a solid line)
might produce with each setting:
Manipulating Images
For Rectangle and Ellipse Selection tools, the Context toolbar additionally lets
you set a Fixed Size or Fixed Aspect, or number of Rows or Columns (Rectangle
Selection Tool only) in advance of creating your selection—great if you have a
clear idea of the selection area required!
The Text Selection Tool lets you create a selection in the form of text.
Click with the tool to display the Text cursor. Type your text, format as needed,
and click OK.
36 Manipulating Images
Using the Magnetic Selection Tool
Magnetic Selection Tool makes it easy to
isolate part of an image where there's already a bit of
an edge showing. You simply trace around the edge,
and PhotoPlus snaps the selection marquee to the
nearest dramatic color change.
To use the Magnetic Selection tool:
Click once on the image to place a starting node along an edge.
With the mouse button, trace along the edge; the marquee line follows
the nearest edge. At regular distances, nodes automatically appear
along the line. Only the portion of the line beyond the last node
remains adjustable.
On the Context toolbar, you can adjust the tool's Frequency (distance between
automatic nodes) and Contrast (edge sensitivity) for best results. As a shortcut,
press the up and down arrow keys (or use your mouse's spinwheel) to adjust the
contrast setting on the fly.
To add a node manually (for example, at a corner), click once.
To back up, press Delete to undo recent nodes one at a time; repeat as
needed. To clear the marquee and start over, press Esc.
To temporarily switch to the Polygon selection tool, hold down the
Ctrl key.
To close the selection region, double-click or click again on the
starting node.
Manipulating Images
Color Range
As an intelligent color selection method, i.e. where selection is based on
“tagging” a specific range of colors or tones in the image, choose the Color
Range command.
To select a color range:
Choose Color Range... from the Select menu. The Color Range dialog
appears, with the image visible in the Preview window.
To make an initial selection:
To tag a particular color or tone group, such as "Reds" or "Midtones,"
choose the group’s name from the Select drop-down list.
Click the
Color Picker button to reset the adjustment and then
drag across a section of the image in the Preview window to tag a color
range. With this method, the Tolerance slider lets you include a wider
or narrower range of colors in the selection.
Once you’ve made an initial selection, you can use the Add Color
and Subtract Color buttons and drag to tweak the tagged range.
38 Manipulating Images
Meanwhile, the dialog provides visual feedback.
If Show Selection is checked, the grayscale Selection window on the
right shows tagged values as brighter, with untagged pixels darker. To
customize what’s displayed in the Preview window on the left, choose
an option from the Preview list: "None" shows the original image,
"White Matte" shows tagged pixels through a white background, and
so on.
Click OK to confirm the selection, or Cancel to abandon changes.
To create a selection based on the active layer's alpha (opacity) channel:
Ctrl-click on the layer’s image thumbnail.
Choose Create from Layer Alpha from the Select menu.
This selects opaque portions of the image. Relatively more transparent areas
become relatively less selected than opaque areas, i.e. more protected from
Storing selections
Finally, you can store selections (i.e., just the marqueed region and per-pixel
selectedness data) as part of either the current image or any open image file, and
load a stored selection at any time. It's often useful to be able to "grab" the same
region of an image at different phases of working on it. And, for repetitive tasks
(preparing Web buttons, for example) on different but graphically similar files,
by storing a selection you can reuse it rather than having to recreate it for each
Both Store Selection... and Load Selection... options are hosted on the rightclick pop-up menu or Select menu (you can also delete any stored selection).
Manipulating Images
Modifying a selection
Once you've used a selection tool to select a region on the active layer, you can
carry out a number of additional steps to fine-tune the selection before you
actually apply an effect or manipulation to the selected pixels. Paint to Select
mode even lets you use standard painting or editing tools as selection tools!
Transforming the selection
Selection Deform Tool on the
Tools toolbar's Deform Tools flyout lets
you transform, scale or rotate any already
drawn selection area. With the tool
enabled, square nodes on the mid-points
and corners of any selected area can be
dragged (opposite).
Look for the cursor changing between
resize and rotate modes when hovering
over a corner node.
Use in conjunction with the Ctrl key to transform the selection area without
constraint, creating a skewed transform (drag nodes as appropriate). The Alt
key resizes the area about its center, while the Shift key maintains the area’s
aspect ratio. It’s also possible to move the small center of rotation “handle” in
the center of the transform to produce an arc rotational movement rather than
rotating around the area’s center (by default).
Holding down the Shift key whilst rotating will cause a movement in
15 degree intervals.
Making the selection larger or smaller
If the selection you've made isn't quite the right shape, or doesn't quite include
all the necessary pixels (or perhaps includes a few too many), you can continue
to use the selection tools to add to, or subtract from, the selected region.
40 Manipulating Images
To add or subtract to/from the existing selection with a selection tool:
Select the tool and drag while holding down the Shift or Alt key,
respectively. The newly selected pixels don't have to adjoin the current
selection—it's possible to select two or more separate regions on the
active layer.
Modifying the selection
If you right-click (or choose the Select menu) while you have a selection on your
page, a series of selection-related commands can be used:
The Invert command selects the portion of the active layer outside the
current selection. Unselected pixels become selected, and vice versa.
The Modify item provides a submenu with several functions that can
save you the trouble of hand-drawing to change the selection
Choose Contract... to shrink the borders of the selection, or Expand...
to extend its borders. Each command displays a dialog that lets you
enter a specific pixel value.
Choose Border... to create a new selection as a "frame" of a specified
pixel width around the current selection.
Grow and Similar both expand the selection by seeking out pixels
close (in color terms) to those in the current selection. Grow only adds
pixels adjacent to the current selection, while Similar extends the
selection to any similar pixels in the active layer.
Both commands use the tolerance setting entered for the Color
Selection Tool on the Context toolbar. As the tolerance increases, a
larger region is selected. Typically when using these tools, you'll start
by selecting a very small region (the particular color you want to "find"
in the rest of the image).
If the selected region has ragged edges or discontinuous regions (for
example, if you've just used the Color Selection Tool), use the
Smooth... command to even them out. The Radius setting determines
the extent of smoothing.
Manipulating Images
Soft-edged and hard-edged selections
Antialiasing and feathering are different ways of controlling what happens at
the edges of a selection. Both produce softer edges that result in smoother
blending of elements that are being combined in the image. You can control
either option for the Standard and Adjustable Selection tools, using the Feather
input box (or slider) and Antialias check box on the Context toolbar.
Antialiasing produces visibly smooth edges by making the selection's
edge pixels semi-transparent. (As a layer option, it's not available on
the Background layer, which doesn't support transparency.)
If an antialiased selection (for example, one pasted from another
image) includes partially opaque white or black edge pixels, you can
use the Matting command on the Layers menu to remove these pixels
from the edge region, yielding a smoother blend between the selection
and the image content below. (Fully opaque edge pixels are not
Feathering reduces the sharpness of a selection's edges, not by varying
transparency, but by partially selecting edge pixels. If you lay down
paint on a feathered selection, the paint will actually be less intense
around the edges. You can apply feathering "after the fact" to an
existing selection (but before applying any editing changes) using the
Select menu's Modify>Feather... command. In the dialog, enter the
width (in pixels) of the transition area. A higher value produces a
wider, more gradual fade-out.
Threshold converts a feathered, soft-edged selection into a hard-edged
selection (use Modify>Threshold). As with feathering, you won't see
an immediate effect on the image, but painting and other editing
operations will work differently inside the selection.
42 Manipulating Images
Paint to Select mode
You can use Paint to Select mode (Select menu) to create a selection from
scratch, or to modify an existing selection using standard painting and editing
tools. In concept, it's similar to masking but in this case you're only adjusting
what is selected on the layer, rather than the layer's bitmap (image) content.
In the illustration below, (A) depicts the incomplete selection on a white flower
when using the Color Selection Tool. In Paint to Select mode (B) the selected
regions appear as a red color mask (gray here). To make a selection of the entire
flower, the remaining unselected regions are painted with a brush (with white as
foreground color), making a completely filled-in flower (C); switching off Paint
to Select reveals the fully selected flower (D).
Manipulating Images
Manipulating a selection
Moving the selection marquee
Sometimes, you need to adjust the
position of the marquee without affecting
the underlying pixels. Any time you're
using one of the selection tools, the
cursor over a selected region changes to
the Move Marquee cursor, which lets
you drag the marquee outline to
reposition it.
You can also use the keyboard arrows to "nudge" the selection marquee. In this
case you’re only moving the selection outline—not the image content inside it.
Once you have selected your chosen pixels, the operations which can be
performed include moving, cutting, copying, duplicating, pasting and deleting.
You use the Move Tool to drag the selection plus its image content. (See
Modifying a selection on p. 40).
Using the Move Tool
Move Tool is for pushing
actual pixels around. With it, you can
drag the content of a selection from one
place to another, rather than just moving
the selection outline. To use it, simply
click on the selection and drag to the new
location. The selected part of the image
moves also.
44 Manipulating Images
If nothing is selected, dragging with the Move Tool moves the entire
active layer. (Or, if the Move Tool's Automatically select layer
property is selected on its context toolbar, the tool moves the first
visible item's layer beneath the move cursor when you click to move.)
When the Move Tool is chosen, you can also use the keyboard arrows
to "nudge" the selection or active layer.
The "hole" left behind when the image content is moved exposes the
current background color (on the Background layer), or transparency
(see above; on standard layers), shown with a "checkerboard" pattern.
To duplicate the contents of the selection on the active layer, press the
Alt key and click, then drag with the Move Tool.
As a shortcut if you're working with any one of the selection tools, you
can press the Ctrl key to switch temporarily to the Move Tool. Press
Ctrl+Alt to duplicate. Release the key(s) to revert to the selection tool.
Cut and copy operations on selections involving the Clipboard work just as in
other Windows programs.
To copy pixels in the selected region, press Ctrl-C or click the
Copy button on the Standard toolbar. (You can also choose Copy
from the Edit menu.)
To cut the selected pixels, press Ctrl-X or choose Cut from the Edit
To delete the selected pixels, press the Delete key or choose Clear
from the Edit menu.
Cut or deleted pixels expose the current background color (on the
Background layer) or transparency (on standard layers). If you want
to create transparency on the Background layer, first "promote" it to
a standard layer by right-clicking its name on the Layers tab and
choosing Promote to Layer.
Manipulating Images
If nothing is selected, a cut or copy operation affects the whole active
layer, as if Select All were in effect.
When pasting from the Clipboard, PhotoPlus offers several options.
To paste as a new image in an untitled window, press Ctrl+V or
click the Paste as New image button on the Standard toolbar. (Or
select from the Edit>Paste menu.)
To paste as a new layer above the active layer, press Ctrl+L or choose
Paste> As New Layer from the Edit menu.
To paste into the current selection, press Shift+Ctrl+L or choose
Paste> Into Selection from the Edit menu. The Clipboard contents
appear centered in the currently selected region. (This choice is grayed
out if there's no selection, or if the active layer is a text layer.) This
option is useful if you’re pasting from one layer to another. Because
the selection marquee “follows” you to the new layer, you can use it to
keep the pasted contents in registration with the previous layer.
To duplicate part of the active layer on the same layer, press the Alt
key and click, then drag with the Move Tool. (Or if you're working
with a selection tool, press Ctrl+Alt and drag to duplicate.)
46 Manipulating Images
Changing image and canvas size
You probably know that image dimensions are given in pixels (think of pixels as
the "dots of paint" that comprise a screen image)—say, 1024 wide by 768 high. If
you want to change these dimensions, there are two ways to go about it, and
that's where image and canvas come into play.
Changing the image size (top example
opposite) means scaling the whole image (or
just a selected region) up or down. Resizing is
actually a kind of distortion because the image
content is being stretched or squashed.
Changing the canvas size (bottom example)
just involves adding or taking away pixels
around the edges of the image. It's like adding
to the neutral border around a mounted
photo, or taking a pair of scissors and
cropping the photo to a smaller size. In either
case, the remaining image pixels are
undisturbed so there's no distortion.
Note that once you've changed either the image size or the canvas size, the image
and canvas are exactly the same size again!
Changing image size
The Image Size dialog lets you specify a new size for the whole image, in terms
of its screen dimensions and/or printed dimensions.
To resize the whole image:
Choose Image Size... from the Image menu.
To specify just the printed dimensions, uncheck Resize layers. Check
the box to link the Pixel Size (screen) settings to the Print Size or
Resolution settings.
To retain the current image proportions, check Maintain aspect ratio.
Uncheck the box to alter the dimensions independently.
If adjusting screen dimensions:
Manipulating Images
Select a preferred scale (either "Pixels" or "Percent") in the dropdown list.
Select a resampling method. As a rule, use Nearest Pixel for hardedge images, Bilinear Interpolation when shrinking photos,
Bicubic Interpolation when enlarging photos, and Lanczos3
Window when best quality results are expected.
If adjusting printed dimensions, select your preferred units of
measurement and resolution. The pixel size will automatically alter
with print size adjustment.
Enter the new values and click OK.
Changing canvas size
PhotoPlus provides several ways of changing the canvas size that was originally
chosen when creating a new image (see p. 18). If you just want to reduce the
canvas area, you can use the Crop Tool (see Cropping an image on p. 48) or the
Image>Crop to Selection command. To either enlarge or reduce the canvas, the
Image>Canvas Size... command provides a dialog that lets you specify where
pixels should be added or subtracted.
To change canvas size:
Choose Canvas Size... from the Image menu.
Enter New Width and/or New Height values (the current values are
also shown for comparison). Alternatively, select the Relative check
box to enter the number of units you want to add or subtract from the
existing width and height values—for example, 5 pixels, 1 cm, 100
points, 10 percent, and so on.
In the Anchor box, click to position the image
thumbnail with respect to edges where pixels
should be added or subtracted. For example, if you
want to extend the canvas from all sides of the
image, click the center anchor point.
Click OK.
48 Manipulating Images
If the canvas size is increased, the new canvas area is filled (on the
Background layer) with the current background color and (on
standard layers) with transparency.
Cropping an image
Cropping is the electronic equivalent of taking a pair of scissors to a photograph,
except of course with a pair of scissors there is no second chance! Cropping
deletes all of the pixels outside the crop selection area, and then resizes the image
canvas so that only the area inside the crop selection remains. Use it to focus on
an area of interest—either for practical reasons or to improve photo
(Rectangular Crop)
PhotoPlus allows you to crop unconstrained, or to a standard or custom print
To crop unconstrained:
Crop Tool from the Tools toolbar's Crop Tools flyout.
Select the
Ensure the Unconstrained option is set in the Context toolbar's first
drop-down list.
Drag out a rectangle to create an unconstrained rectangle, then finetune the areas dimensions if needed by dragging the edges. Note that
you can also constrain the crop area to be a square, by holding down
the Ctrl key while dragging.
Manipulating Images
To crop to the designated size, double-click inside the crop area.
The Shading check box and Opacity option on the Context toolbar sets the
shade color and transparency of the unwanted region outside the rectangle,
respectively. Uncheck Shading to view only the rectangle, with no shading and
full transparency.
Cropping with the Crop Tool affects all image layers. Everything
outside the designated region is eliminated. If there's a marqueebased selection, it is ignored and deselected during cropping.
To crop to a specific print size or resolution:
Select the
Then either:
Crop Tool from the Tools toolbar.
• For print sizes, choose a pre-defined print size (expressed in
inches) from the first drop-down menu in the Context toolbar.
Both portrait and landscape crop regions can be selected—e.g., 4 x
6 in for portrait, 6 x 4 in for landscape).
• If you need to set a custom size, enter values into the height and
width drop-down menus, choosing inches or centimeters as
measurement units in advance—note that the print size changes to
"Custom" after entering new values. The Print Size resolution
alters automatically while honouring your print Width and Height.
Drag out your crop area to create your constrained rectangle or square
(if Custom).
Double-click the crop area to crop to the designated size.
Use the Thirds grid check box on the Context toolbar for improving photo
composition. A 3 x 3 rectangular grid with equally spaced lines (two vertically,
two horizontally) is superimposed on top of your photo when the check box is
50 Manipulating Images
Moving and resizing the grid allows the main subject of your photo (in this case
a big wheel) to be offset and balanced against a foreground or background
feature within the photo (e.g., the sky as background). Position a main item of
interest in the photo where any two lines intersect within the crop grid (four
intersections are possible). This is known as the "rule of thirds" which will help
you find the most balanced composition where your eyes are drawn to the main
subject. Double-click to crop the photo to the outer grid dimensions.
You can also crop an image to any selection region, no matter what shape, as
defined with one of the selection tools. For example, here’s cropping applied to a
selection created with the Magnetic Selection Tool:
(Crop to Selection)
Manipulating Images
To crop the image to the selection:
Choose Crop to Selection from the Image menu.
If the selection region is non-rectangular, the left-over surrounding region will
be either transparent (on a standard layer) or the current background color (e.g.,
Cropping to the selection affects all image layers. Everything
outside the selected region is eliminated.
Flipping and rotating
Flipping and rotating are standard manipulations that you can carry out on the
whole image, the active layer, a path, or just on a selection. Flips are used to
change the direction of a subject's gaze, fix composition, and so on, whereas
rotation is an orientation tool for general purpose use.
Flip Horizontal
Flip Vertical
15° counter-clockwise
10° clockwise
52 Manipulating Images
To flip:
Choose either Flip Horizontally or Flip Vertically from the Image
menu, then select Image, Layer, Selection or Path from the submenu.
To rotate:
Choose Rotate from the Image menu.
From the flyout menu, select an option based on the object (Image,
Layer, or Selection), rotation angle (90º or 180º), and the direction
(Clockwise or Counter-clockwise) required.
You can also select Custom..., to display a Rotate dialog, from which
you can do all of the above but instead set your own custom angle,
even down to fractional degrees.
Straightening a photo
As an image adjustment, the Straighten Tool can be used to align a crooked
image back to horizontal (e.g., restoring proper horizontal alignment in a
scanned image that wasn't aligned correctly on the scanner). Use the tool to trace
a new horizon line against a line in the image—the image automatically orients
itself to the drawn horizon line.
(horizon line drawn by
Manipulating Images
To straighten:
Choose the
Straighten Tool from the Crop Tools flyout on the
Tools Toolbar.
On the Context toolbar, choose an option from the Canvas dropdown list. This lets you decide how your straightened image will be
Crop - Crops and adjusts the straightened image so that it displays on
the largest possible canvas size, without displaying any border.
Expand to Fit - Increases the canvas size to display the entire
straightened image. The border area is filled with the current
background color.
Original Size - Displays the straightened image within the original
canvas dimensions. The border area is filled with the current
background color.
On the image that needs straightening, look for a straight line on
the image to which you can set the new horizon (e.g., the divide
between the mountain and sand above).
Using the Straighten cursor, drag a horizon line from one end of the
image's line to the other (the length of the horizon line is not
important) then release. The image orients itself to the new line.
54 Manipulating Images
Deform Tool is a "Jack of all
trades" that lets you move, scale,
rotate, or skew a selection or layer.
Start by making a selection if desired,
then choose the Deform Tool. A
rectangle appears with handles at its
corners and edges, and a fixed point
(initially in the center of the region). If
there's no selection, the rectangle
includes the whole active layer.
The image opposite has been skewed
from a rectangular selection.
The tool's action depends on the exact position of the mouse pointer. As you
move the pointer around the enclosed region, the cursor changes as shown
below to indicate which action is possible.
Manipulating Images
To move the region without any deformation, drag from its neutral
midsection. This action works just like the Move Tool.
To reshape the region, drag from an edge or corner handle. A variety
of options are available (watch the Hintline for tips).
Over a corner handle:
• Drag to scale region in two dimensions (height and width).
• To maintain constant proportions, drag with the Shift key down.
• To scale the region relative to the fixed point, drag with the Alt
key down. Pixels further from the fixed point will move further
than those close to it.
• To freely distort the region from one corner, drag with the Ctrl
key down.
• To scale relative to the fixed point with constant proportions,
drag while pressing Shift+Alt.
• To distort relative to the fixed point, drag while pressing
Ctrl+Alt. The opposite corner mirrors the dragged corner's
• To distort the region along either adjacent edge, drag while
pressing Shift+Ctrl.
• For a perspective effect, drag while pressing Shift+Ctrl+Alt. The
adjacent corner mirrors the dragged corner's movement.
Over an edge handle:
• Drag to move the edge in or out, for a squash/stretch effect.
• For a squash/stretch effect relative to the fixed point, drag with
the Alt key down. Pixels further from the fixed point will move
further than those close to it.
• To move the edge freely, for a skew effect, drag with the Ctrl key
• For a skew effect relative to the fixed point, drag while pressing
Ctrl+Alt. The opposite edge mirrors the dragged edge's movement.
• For a constrained skew effect, press Shift+Ctrl and drag the edge
along its line.
• For constrained skew relative to the fixed point, press
Shift+Ctrl+Alt and drag the edge along its line.
56 Manipulating Images
To rotate the region about the fixed point, drag from just outside a
corner. To constrain rotation in 15-degree steps, press the Shift key
after you've begun rotation, and hold it down until after you release the
mouse button. You can change the location of the fixed point (see
To reposition the fixed point, move the cursor to the exact center until
a small target appears, then drag. The fixed point can be moved
anywhere—even outside the deformation region. Great for arced
Mesh warping
Mesh Warp Tool works like the Deform Tool outfitted with complex
curves. It lets you define a flexible grid of points and lines that you can drag to
distort an image, or part of an image (or layer). You can edit the mesh to vary its
curvature, and even custom-design a mesh to match a particular image's
geometry—for example, curves that follow facial contours—for more precise
control of the warp effect.
The Mesh Warp Tool works on Background and standard layers, but
not on text layers or shape layers.
When you first select the tool, a simple
rectangular mesh appears over the
image, with nine nodes: one at each
corner, one at the center, and one at the
midpoint of each edge. Straight lines
connect adjacent nodes. A context
toolbar also appears to support the
Mesh Warp Tool.
Manipulating Images
The straight line segments are actually
bendable curves. When you alter the
contours of the mesh and distort the
initial rectangular grid, the underlying
image deforms accordingly. To change
the mesh, you simply move nodes, node
attractor handles, or connecting lines;
add or subtract nodes as needed; and/or
edit nodes to change the curvature of
adjoining lines.
To select a mesh node:
Click it. (Shift-click or drag a marquee to select multiple nodes.)
One or more attractor handles appear on the selected node(s) and on any
adjacent nodes. The number of handles per node will vary depending on the
number of adjacent nodes.
To warp the mesh:
Drag a mesh node to move it.
Drag a line segment to reshape it.
Drag a node's attractor handles.
Unless you're working in Setup mode, the image responds immediately as the
mesh is warped. The bendability of line segments depends on the type of nodes
at either end. (Both Setup mode and node types are detailed below.)
The Deform Mesh option makes it easy to move, scale, skew, or rotate a portion
of the mesh about a fixed point. It works just like the standard Deform tool
(described above) on multiple nodes.
58 Manipulating Images
To deform the mesh systematically:
Shift-click or drag a marquee to select multiple nodes.
Deform Mesh button on the Mesh Warp Tool's
Click the
Context toolbar. A selection rectangle appears around the designated
nodes (you may need to zoom out to see this), with a fixed point in the
center and handles at its corners, sides, and center.
Click to use the Deform Mesh Tool to move, scale, or rotate a portion
of the region (as defined by nodes) about a fixed point.
• To deform the mesh region, drag from any corner or midpoint
• To rotate the mesh region, drag from just outside any corner
• To move the fixed point, move the cursor over the fixed point
symbol until the cursor changes, then drag (this then lets you
perform arc rotations). To move the entire region, drag from
elsewhere within the region.
• Watch the HintLine for details on many key-assisted options such
as skew, squash/stretch, and perspective effects. In this respect, the
tool works almost exactly like the regular Deform Tool (see p. 54).
4. Click the button again to return to standard mode.
To add a new node:
Double-click on a line segment.
Click on a line segment then select the
displayed Context toolbar.
Add Node button on the
The new node appears, along with extra nodes where the new connecting lines
intersect existing lines. Adding a new node further subdivides the mesh.
Manipulating Images
To delete one or more nodes:
Select the node(s).
Press Delete.
Click the
Delete node(s) button on the displayed Context
Deleting a node also deletes lines and nodes connected to it. If you delete a
corner or edge node, the overall mesh area will decrease. To delete a specific grid
line and its nodes, click to place a marker on the line, then press Delete.
The bendability of line segments depends on the type of nodes at either end. You
can change a node from one type to another simply by selecting it and using the
Context toolbar buttons:
Mesh nodes can be sharp, smooth, or symmetric (see illustrations below).
Changing a node's type lets you control how much the curved segments bend on
either side of the node. To determine a node's current type, select it and check to
see which Mesh Node button on the toolbar is also selected.
To change a node to a different type:
Select it and click one of the other node buttons.
Experiment, and you'll begin to appreciate the fine control that these settings
afford. For example, using a light-blue Quick Grill shape, it's easy to appreciate
the difference between node types.
60 Manipulating Images
Sharp means that the slope and depth of the
curves on either side of the node are completely
independent of each other. The contours can be
adjusted separately, and the intersection can be pointed.
Smooth means that the slope of the curve is the
same on both sides of the node, but the depth of the
contours on either side can differ.
Symmetric nodes join curves with the same slope
and depth on both sides of the node.
To reset the mesh to full-frame and rectangular:
Click the
Reset Mesh button on the Mesh Context toolbar.
To hide the mesh for a better preview of the image:
Click the
Hide/Show Mesh button on the Mesh Context toolbar.
Click again to reveal the mesh for editing.
Manipulating Images
Extracting part of an image
button on the Photo Studio toolbar makes light work of
isolating a subject from its background (or vice versa).
You simply brush an outline around the edges of a region you want to extract
from the rest of the image, then mark a "foreground" area to be retained—
usually inside the outline. PhotoPlus applies sophisticated edge detection within
the marked edge band, decides which pixels to keep, and turns the rest
transparent, with variable blending along the edge. In preview mode, you can
fine-tune and reapply the extraction settings, and manually touch up the image
until the result is just right.
Instead of marking a foreground region, you can designate a specific "key" color
to which edge pixels can be compared. Similar pixels will be kept, and dissimilar
pixels discarded. (See PhotoPlus help for details).
Using channels
Every color photo that you use in PhotoPlus will have channels associated with
it. For the color mode RGB, the individual channels Red (R), Green (G) and Blue
(B) make up a composite RGB channel. Alternatively, channels can also be
separate, i.e. as their individual colors—Red, Green and Blue. Each channel
stores that particular color’s information which, when combined with the other
channels, brings about the full color image.
Within PhotoPlus, channels are treated as a color sub-set of the
active selected layer, whether this is a background, standard, shape
or text layer.
62 Manipulating Images
PhotoPlus lets you show, hide, and
select composite or specific
channels of any photo from a
single point, called the Channels
tab. This tab lists the composite
RGB and each individual Red,
Green and Blue channel in turn.
By default, all channels are selected
and visible (see opposite).
Why do we want to select channels anyway? This is because you can apply an
edit to an individual channel in isolation. Typically, you could:
Apply a filter effect
Make an image adjustment
Paint onto a channel
Paste selections
Apply a color fill
To hide/show channels:
Select the Channels tab.
Decide which channel you want to hide in isolation.
Click the eye icon next to the channel (it doesn't have to be
selected) to make it hidden. When the icon is clicked again, the
channel is made visible.
To view selected channels in color rather than grayscale, check the
Show Channels in Color option (click the
button on the tab).
The composite RGB channel is shown only when all the other
channels are shown. When only a single or pair of single channels is
shown the composite channel will never be shown.
Manipulating Images
To select specific channels for edit:
Select the Channels tab. All channels are switched on and are shown
by default.
Click on the channel you want to select—the other channels will be
deselected and hidden automatically. Use Shift-click to include
additional channels if necessary.
Apply the adjustment, special effect, painting operation, etc. to the
selected channel(s).
When you switch on a channel it is made visible in isolation by
Interpreting histograms
The Histogram tab is used to view the distribution of colors and tones spread
throughout your current selection, selected layer or entire photo (by default).
This gives an opportunity to view and interpret a complete snapshot of the range
of colors and, most importantly, the distribution of pixels that adopt those
The histogram doesn't carry out any adjustments by itself, but it is useful for
evaluating the kinds of image adjustments that may be needed. This decision is
up to the photographer and his/her own personal judgment.
For any channel, the horizontal
X axis represents the range of
tones, each tone is at a specific
level. Think of the histogram as
being split into three portions—
Shadows, Midtones, and
The vertical Y axis is the relative pixel count at each of the levels on the X axis
described above. The higher the graph is at any level, the more pixels reside at
that particular level. Remember that this histogram could refer to a Red, Green,
Blue, RGB or luminance channel.
64 Manipulating Images
A crosshair cursor lets you move around the histogram, displaying the pixel
count for the color level that your cursor is currently placed at. For example, the
tab above shows the cursor at color level 18 (see the first peak), which has a
count of 829 pixels.
You can choose to view the histogram for an individual Red, Green or Blue
channel, or the composite of the three, the RGB channel. Luminance (or
lightness) can also be shown.
To view a specific channel:
Click the
Tab Menu button at the top right of the tab to reveal a
flyout. To change to a different channel, pick a channel from the list or
display statistics (as shown above) by checking Show Statistics.
Painting and
Painting and Drawing
Painting and Drawing
Choosing colors
Foreground and background colors
At any given time, PhotoPlus
allows you to work with just
two colors—a foreground
color and a background
color. These are always
visible as two swatches on
the Color tab indicated
opposite (ringed).
The foreground color is set
to green (RGB 63:173:73)
and the background color to
Now, a few things to remember about how these colors are used:
When you paint with one of the brush tools, add text, or draw a line or
shape, left-dragging (that is, dragging with the left mouse button
down) applies the foreground color. For example, for a company logo:
The additional darker areas of the photo can be added after swapping
foreground and background colors over using the tab's
When you cut, delete, or erase an area on the Background layer, the
area exposes the background color—as if that color were there
"behind" the portion of the image being removed. (By the way, layers
other than the Background behave differently: on these, a removed
area exposes transparency.)
Painting and Drawing
Electronic artists expend much of their creative energy deciding which of the
millions of available colors should fill those two slots. The actual steps involved,
however, can be quite simple.
To define foreground and background color:
Color Pickup Tool on the Tools toolbar.
Select the
Left-click with the tool anywhere on an image to "pick up" the color at
that point as the new foreground color. Right-click to define a new
background color.
(Optional) On the Context toolbar, set the Sample Size (pickup
region) as a single "Point Sample" or a "3 x 3 Average" or "5 x 5
Average" area.
To switch temporarily to the Color Pickup Tool from a paint, line,
shape, fill, or text tool, hold down the Alt key, then click to define
the foreground color.
On the Color tab, move the mouse pointer (dropper cursor) around
the Color Spectrum. As you move the dropper cursor around the
spectrum, the preview swatch to the upper left of the spectrum shows
the color at the cursor position.
Left-click in the spectrum to set a new foreground color, and rightclick to set a new background color.
You can change this RGB spectrum to display in Grayscale, or show
the colors spread between the Foreground/Background colors (click
button on the tab).
Painting and Drawing
On the Color tab, click either the foreground or the background
Use the slider(s) or enter numeric values in the boxes to define a
specific color. The selected swatch updates instantly.
To swap foreground and background colors, click the
arrow button next to the swatches. To reset the colors to black and
white, click the black and white mini-swatch at the bottom left of
the swatch.
Clicking an active swatch will also let you apply a chosen color from
the Adjust Color dialog's color wheel, and will let you define and
store that color in a set of custom colors.
The Color tab makes it possible to set the working color model: RGB (Red,
Green, Blue); CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black); HSL sliders (Hue,
Saturation, Lightness); HSL Color Wheel; HSL Color Box; or Grayscale. models
To set the mode:
Choose an option from the
drop-down list.
Storing colors
If you want to save colors
that you want to work with
frequently, you can store
them in the Swatches tab as
thumbnails (this avoids
continually defining colors in
the Color tab). The Swatches
tab hosts galleries of
categorized color
You can store your own frequently used colors to the Default category (or any
currently selected category, e.g. Colour_Gall_53) by using the Color tab or Color
Pickup Tool; you can also create categories yourself into which you can add your
own thumbnails.
Painting and Drawing
The Swatches tab also lets you choose pre-defined colors from a range of
“themed” categories (e.g., Earth, Fruits, Pastel, and Web browser safe).
To add, edit or delete a Gallery category:
Click Add Category... from the Swatches tab's
Tab Menu button
and enter a name in the dialog. You can also Edit Category... or
Delete Category from the same location.
To choose a Gallery category:
Select a category name from the drop-down list. The gallery will
refresh to display thumbnails for that category.
To add a color to the Swatches tab:
Choose a color from the Color tab's color spectrum.
Select the Color Pickup Tool and hover over then click on a chosen
You’ll notice the Color tab’s foreground color swatch change.
From the Swatches tab, pick the correct category to store the color.
New Swatch button to add the foreground color to the
Click the
current gallery.
To apply a color from the Swatches tab:
Select any gallery thumbnail then paint, draw, fill, etc. Note that a
thumbnail click will change the Color tab's foreground color.
Painting and Drawing
Paintbrush Tool and
Tool on the Tools toolbar are the basic tools
for painting and drawing freehand lines on
the active layer. They work on Background
and standard layers, but not on text layers or
shape layers. The tools work by changing
pixels on the layer's bitmap plane.
Successful freehand drawing requires practice and a steady hand!
You might find it easier if you use a graphics tablet if available,
rather than a mouse.
The Paintbrush Tool will always apply antialiasing to its brush strokes without
exception. For the most part this is ideal as brush edges will appear very
smooth—irrespective of the Hardness setting of your current brush. However,
how can a hard-edged brush effect be achieved? This is possible with the Pencil
Tool, a hard-edged brush tool which is used just like the Paintbrush Tool but
always with the hard-edging.
Painting and Drawing
The Brush Tip tab hosts a comprehensive
collection of brush presets grouped into
various categories; each category can be
switched to via a drop-down list (the
“Basic” category is shown opposite) and
displays a gallery. Note that each sample
clearly shows the brush tip and stroke; the
number indicates the brush diameter. The
brush tip determines the thickness and
many other properties of the painted line.
If you scroll down the gallery, you’ll note that some brushes have hard edges,
while others appear fuzzy, with soft edges. The hardness of a brush is expressed
as a percentage of its full diameter. If less than 100%, the brush has a soft edge
region within which the opacity of applied color falls off gradually.
Brush attributes (blend mode, opacity, size, and flow) can be modified via a
context toolbar (along with more advanced Brush Options) and, if necessary,
saved for future use with the Tool Presets tab.
If a more bespoke brush tip is required, you can also customize your own brush
tip and save it in its own user-defined category. (See PhotoPlus help for details.)
An important factor when applying brush strokes is the level of opacity applied
to the brush. This attribute affects brush strokes significantly when the stroke is
applied onto already transparent standard layers. The greater the opacity the
more opaque the brush stroke, and vice versa. Experiment to achieve the right
combination of opacity and color for your brush strokes.
Painting and Drawing
To use the Paintbrush or Pencil tool:
Paintbrush Tool or
Pencil Tool from the Tools
Select the
toolbar's Brush flyout. When you move the tool over the image the
cursor will change.
Choose a brush tip preset on the Brush Tip tab. If you've picked a
Basic brush, set a brush color (i.e. the foreground color) from the
Color tab before painting. You can also create your own brush from
within the tab.
Change brush tip's attributes, if necessary, on the Context toolbar.
These changes do not affect the brush presets present in the Brush Tip
tab. Click the Brush option to reveal the Brush Options dialog, which
lets you set more advanced brush characteristics.
Drag the cursor on the active layer, holding the left mouse button
down to paint in the foreground color.
Stamping and spraying pictures
Picture Brush Tool works like a custom brush
that sprays a series of pre-defined or custom images at
regular intervals as you drag. Used in conjunction with
the Brush Tip tab you can select from a variety of picture
brushes in different categories, and you can import Paint
Shop Pro "picture tubes."
You can use the tool either to "stamp" single images at
specific points or lay out a continuous stream of
repeating pictures as in the letter "S" on the left.
The Picture Brush tool works on Background and standard layers, but not on
text layers or shape layers.
Painting and Drawing
To draw with the Picture Brush:
Picture Brush Tool and (on the Brush Tip tab) pick a
Choose the
brush tip from one of the categories.
To "stamp" single images at specific points, click in various places on
your canvas. To spray a continuous line of images, drag a path across
the page.
You can scale the size of the image elements produced by the tool, and control
the spacing and sequencing of elements for individual brush tips via the Context
toolbar, set the image Diameter to be higher or lower as needed.
Note that this isn't an absolute setting, but a relative one. Each picture brush
stores its own pre-defined elements, and this scaling determines how the tool
scales elements up or down when drawing. The actual size of stored elements
varies between brushes, so you may need to adjust the image diameter when
switching between different brushes.
To control image elements, right-click a brush sample from any Brush Tip tab
category, and choose Brush Options.... Adjust Spacing to determine how
closely elements are packed together, or set the Order to present elements
Randomly, Sequentially (as per the preset thumbnail) or By direction (according
to stroke).
To import a Paint Shop Pro picture tube file:
On the Brush Tip tab, right-click any brush tip from any category and
choose Import....
Use the dialog to browse for and select the picture tube (.TUB) file to
If you right-click on any gallery sample, you can manage categories, and access
brush options. With a bit of forethought, it’s not difficult to lay out your own
master images and from them create your own custom Picture Brush tips. (For
details, see online help.)
Painting and Drawing
Sometimes the rubber end of the pencil can be just as important to an artist as
the pointed one. The Eraser Tools flyout on the Tools toolbar provides ways of
enhancing an image by "painting" with transparency rather than with color:
The Standard Eraser Tool for replacing
colors in an image either with the background
color or with transparency (on Background or
other standard layers, respectively).
The Background Eraser Tool for erasing
pixels similar to a sampled reference color
underlying the cursor crosshair—great for
painting out unwanted background colors, e.g.
when isolating objects or people photographed
against a studio backdrop.
The Flood Eraser Tool for filling a region
with transparency, erasing pixels similar to the
color under the cursor when you first click.
In general, you can set tool properties for each tool including brush
characteristics, opacity, tolerance, flow, and choose a brush tip. The Eraser tools
work on Background and standard layers, but not on text layers or shape layers.
Painting and Drawing
To erase with the Standard Eraser:
Standard Eraser Tool from the Tools toolbar's Eraser
Select the
Tools flyout.
(Optional) Change properties, especially brush Size and Opacity, on
the Context toolbar.
For erasing with an airbrush effect or hard-edged brush, check the
Airbrush or Hard Edge option.
Drag with the tool on the active layer. On the Background layer, erased
pixels expose the current background color. On other layers, they
expose transparency.
To erase with the Background Eraser:
Background Eraser Tool from the Tools toolbar's
Select the
Eraser Tools flyout.
(Optional) Change properties on the Context toolbar.
Drag with the tool on the active layer to erase pixels similar to a
sampled reference color.
With "Contiguous" limits (default), the tool erases only withintolerance pixels adjacent to each other and within the brush width;
this tends to restrict erasure to one side of an edge or line. When
you set "Discontiguous" limits, all matching pixels are erased under
the brush even if they are non-adjacent (great for removing
uniform background like sky). The "Edge Detected" setting can
improve erasure along one side of a contrasting edge or line.
Painting and Drawing
With "Continual" sampling (the default), the reference color is
repeatedly updated as you move the cursor. Sampling "Once"
means erasure is based on the color under the crosshair when you
first click. Use the "Background Swatch" setting to use the current
background color (Color tab) as the reference.
You also have the option of protecting the current foreground color
from erasure (Protect foreground).
If you use the tool on the Background layer, it's promoted to a
standard layer.
To erase with the Flood Eraser:
Flood Eraser Tool from the Tools toolbar's Eraser
Select the
Tools flyout.
(Optional) Change properties on the Context toolbar.
Drag with the tool on the active layer to erase pixels close in color
(based on the Tolerance range) to the color under the cursor when you
first click. If you use the tool on the Background layer, it's promoted to
a standard layer.
• The Tolerance setting determines the breadth of the color range to
be erased.
• The Opacity setting will alter the erased areas level of
• Check Contiguous to erase only within-tolerance pixels connected
to each other; when unchecked, all in-range pixels are erased.
• Check Use All Layers to take color boundaries on other layers into
account, although erasure happens only on the current layer.
• Antialias smoothes the boundary between the erased area and the
remaining area.
Painting and Drawing
Using patterns
Pattern Tool lets you paint a pattern directly onto your canvas. In
effect, it "clones" any pattern bitmap you’ve selected while providing the
flexibility to paint wherever you wish, and control opacity, blend mode, and so
on. Like the Clone Tool, the Pattern brush picks up pixels from a source—in this
case, the bitmap pattern—and deposits them where you’re drawing. You can
choose a pre-defined, tiled bitmap pattern from the Patterns dialog, or define
your own patterns.
As an example, patterns can be used effectively as a painted background when
creating web graphics.
To paint with a pattern:
Pattern Tool from the Tools toolbar's Clone flyout.
Select the
On the Context toolbar, choose your brush attributes (see p. 65) and
click the Pattern thumbnail to display the Patterns dialog. To select
from various pattern categories, right-click any of the thumbnails and
choose a different category from the bottom of the flyout menu.
Simply click a pattern to select it. Other right-click options let you edit
the pattern categories or add new patterns from stored bitmap files.
To paint, drag with the tool on the active layer (or in the current
The Aligned check box in the Context toolbar determines what
happens each time you begin brushing in a new place. If checked,
the pattern extends itself seamlessly with each new brush stroke; if
unchecked, it begins again each time you click the mouse.
Painting and Drawing
Creating your own patterns
The built-in selection of patterns in the Patterns dialog provides a useful starting
point, but you can also create your own patterns from any selection, or even the
whole image. And take a look at the Tile Maker effect if you have a relatively
small sample region (like a patch of grass) and want to produce a pattern from it
that can be tiled seamlessly over a broader area.
To create a new pattern:
Define a selection if you wish, and choose Create Pattern... from the
Edit menu.
To store the pattern, select a user-defined category from the dialog's
Category drop-down menu (or keep with the default My Patterns
Click OK.
A thumbnail appears in the category gallery, ready to brush on (or use as a brush
tip texture or fill) at any time. Right-clicking any pattern lets you rename the
pattern categories or add new patterns from stored bitmap files.
Filling a region
Filling regions or layers is an alternative to brushing on colors or patterns.
Making a selection prior to applying a fill, and setting appropriate options, can
spell the difference between a humdrum effect and a spectacular one.
The Fill Tools flyout on the Tools toolbar includes two tools for filling
regions with color and/or transparency: Flood Fill and Gradient Fill. In
addition, you can use the Edit>Fill... command to apply either a color or
pattern fill. As with paint tools, if there is a selection, the Fill tools only affect
pixels within the selected region. If you’re operating on a shape or text layer, a
single fill affects the interior of the object(s) on the layer.
Painting and Drawing
Flood and pattern fills
Flood Fill Tool works on Background and standard layers, replacing
an existing color region with the foreground color. How large a region is
"flooded" with the fill color depends on the difference between the color of the
pixel you initially click and the color of surrounding pixels.
You can use the Context toolbar to set a tolerance value—how much of a color
difference the tool looks for. With a low tolerance setting, the tool "gives up
easily" and only fills pixels very close in color to the one you click (a setting of 0
would fill only pixels of the same color; 255 would fill all pixels). As the tolerance
increases, so does the tool's effect on pixels further in color from the original
pixel, so a larger region is flooded.
When Antialias is checked, the boundary of a color fill is smoothed; uncheck to
produce a hard edge to the fill boundary.
When checked, Contiguous affects only pixels connected to the clicked pixel;
uncheck to affect in-range pixels throughout the region.
The Context toolbar includes an All Layers option. If checked, the Flood Fill
tool samples pixels on all layers (both shown and hidden) underlying the click
point, as if the layers were merged into one. If unchecked, it only samples pixels
on the active layer. In either case, it only fills pixels on the active layer.
A pattern can be applied as a fill from the Context toolbar by picking a Pattern
(click the thumbnail) from the gallery, then choosing the Fill drop down list to
be "Pattern".
To use the Flood Fill Tool:
Flood Fill Tool from the Tools toolbar's Fill Tools
Select the
Set tolerance and layer fill options (see above) on the Context toolbar.
Click with the tool where you want to start the fill.
The Edit>Fill... command lets you flood-fill a region on a standard layer using
any color, not just the foreground color. On the other hand, it’s strictly a solid
color flood without the subtleties of the Flood Fill Tool’s properties. Simply
choose the command to display the Fill dialog.
Painting and Drawing
To use the Fill command:
Choose Fill... from the Edit menu. The Fill dialog appears.
For a flood fill, set the Type to Color.
Choose whether the fill color is to be the current Foreground color,
Background color or a Custom color.
Specify the blend mode and opacity of the fill.
If you check Preserve Transparency, transparent areas will resist the
flood color; otherwise, everything in the selection or layer will be
equally washed with the fill.
For a Pattern fill, set the Type to Pattern.
The blend options are the same, but in this mode instead of choosing a
color you can fill a region with any pattern stored in the Patterns
dialog. Click the pattern sample to bring up the gallery of pattern
thumbnails, then right-click any thumbnail to choose a category from
the bottom of the list. (See Using patterns on p. 78.)
Painting and Drawing
Gradient Fill Tool
Whereas solid fills use a single color, all gradient fills in PhotoPlus utilize at least
two "key" colors, with a spread of hues in between each key color, creating a
"spectrum" effect. You can fine-tune the actual spread of color between pairs of
key colors. Likewise, a gradient fill in PhotoPlus can have either solid
transparency—one level of opacity, like 50% or 100%, across its entire range—
or variable transparency, with at least two "key" opacity levels and a spread of
values in between. (Remember that opacity is simply an inverse way of
expressing transparency.)
Gradient Fill Tool lets you apply variable color and/or transparency
fills directly to a layer. Five types of fill (Solid, Linear, Radial, Conical, and
Square) are available. Technically, a Solid fill is different (it uses just one color)
but in practice you can also achieve a unicolor effect using a gradient fill.
Applying a gradient fill on any kind of layer entails selecting one of the fill types,
editing the fill colors and/or transparency in a Gradient dialog, then applying the
fill. However, gradient fills behave differently depending on the kind of layer
you're working on.
On standard and Background layers, the tool creates a
"spectrum" effect, filling the active layer or selection
with colors spreading between the key colors in the
selected gradient fill. The fill is applied rather like a coat
of spray paint over existing pixels on the layer; color
and transparency properties in the fill gradient interact
with the existing pixels to produce new values. In other
words, once you've applied the fill, you can't go back
and edit it (except by undoing it and trying again).
Painting and Drawing
Transparency works in a comparable way, affecting how much the paint you
apply is "thinned." At full opacity, the fill completely obscures pixels underneath.
On text and shape layers, the Gradient
Fill Tool is even more powerful—the fill’s
color and transparency properties remain
editable. Technically, the fill is a property
of the layer, and the shape(s) act as a
"window" enabling you to see the fill.
Thus a single fill applies to all the shapes
on a particular layer—note the gradient
fill opposite which is applied across three
QuickShapes present on the same layer.
Transparency gradients determines which portions of the object you can see
through. Note that the Flood Fill Tool doesn't work with text or shapes. When
first drawn, a shape takes a Solid fill using the foreground color. You can change
the fill type as described below.
To apply a gradient fill:
Gradient Fill Tool from the Tools toolbar's Fill flyout.
Select a fill type from the Context toolbar. Choose Linear, Radial,
Conical or Square.
To choose a preset or to edit the fill's colors and/or transparency
values, click the color sample on the Context toolbar. The Gradient
dialog appears, which either offers a range of selectable presets in the
upper gallery (right-click to pick a different themed gallery from the
drop-down list) or a lower fill spectrum for creating custom fills (from
a preset or from scratch). See PhotoPlus help for details on how to edit
gradient fills.
Once you've defined the fill, click with the tool where you want to start
the fill and drag to the point where you want it to end.
To change a text or shape layer’s fill type, or edit its color(s):
Double-click the shape layer (or right-click and choose Edit Fill...).
Choose the Gradient Fill Tool and use the Context toolbar.
Painting and Drawing
Either option lets you choose a fill type, and/or click the color (or gradient)
sample to edit the fill.
On text or shape layers, the fill path (the line in the illustration above) remains
visible even after you’ve applied the fill, and you can adjust the fill’s placement
after the fact by dragging the fill path’s end nodes with the Gradient Fill Tool.
Cloning a region
Clone Tool is like two magic
brushes locked together. While you trace or
"pick up" an original drawing with one brush,
the other draws ("puts down") an exact
duplicate somewhere else—even in another
When retouching, for example, you can
remove an unwanted object from an image by
extending another area of the image over it
(note the pickup area is positioned over the sea
rather than the original boat).
The tool acts on the active Background or standard layer, and can even clone all
layers (including Text layers or Shape layers).
Painting and Drawing
To clone a region:
Clone Tool on the Tools toolbar's Clone flyout.
Select the
Change properties, if necessary, on the Context toolbar. For example:
• Reducing the tool's Opacity setting results in a "ghosted" copy of
the original pixels.
• For additional brush strokes, to always reuse the original pickup
point, keep Aligned unchecked. Check Aligned to have your
pickup point change to be offset in relation to your brush tip's
position—great for removing unwanted regions that follow a
natural path (e.g., a tree branch).
Aligned unchecked
Aligned checked
• (Optional) For multiple layers, the context toolbar hosts a Use all
layers option which, when checked, will clone all layers (including
Background, standard, Text and Shape layers together). When
unchecked, only the active (selected) layer is cloned.
3. To define the pickup origin, Shift-click with the tool.
4. Click again where you want to start the copy, then drag to paint the
copy onto the new location. Repeat as needed. A crosshair marks the
pickup point, which moves relative to your brush movements.
Painting and Drawing
Creating and editing text
PhotoPlus makes use of two text tools, i.e.
Text Selection Tool, for creating a selection in the shape of
text (for filling with unusual fills).
Text Tool, for entering solid, colorful text on a new layer.
symbol. Like shapes, solid text
The Layers tab designates text layers with a
in PhotoPlus is editable: as long as it remains on a separate text layer, you can
retype it or change its properties at a later date.
To create new solid text:
Text Tools (Tools toolbar), then the
Text Tool.
Click on your image with the text cursor to set where you want to
insert text. The text attributes (font, point size, bold/italic/underline,
alignment, antialias and color) set on the Text Context toolbar prior to
clicking will be applied.
Drag across the page to size your text according to requirements.
Release the mouse button to set the point size.
Type your text, which is applied directly on your page. The text
appears on a new transparent layer in the image. You can now use the
Move Tool or other tools and commands to manipulate it, just like the
contents of any layer.
To edit text:
Select all or part of any text.
On the Text Context toolbar, set new text attributes (font, point size,
bold/italic/underline, alignment, antialias, or color) to be adopted by
the selected text area. The Character tab also lets you adjust selected
text's Point Size, letter Spacing, Leading, Advance, or Width.
Painting and Drawing
To change text's solid color:
Select all or part of any text.
Click the color swatch on the Context toolbar and use the Adjust
Color dialog. (See Choosing colors on p. 67) .
Select your new color and click OK.
To swap to a gradient color:
On the Layers tab, right-click the Text layer and choose Edit Fill....
Change the Fill Type from Solid to one of Linear, Radial, Conical, or
Click on the Fill gradient swatch and select a preset gradient fill or
create your own gradient from the dialog (see Filling a region on
p. 79). The gradient fill is immediately applied to your text.
This applies a gradient fill to all of your text on the layer and not to
selected text.
To convert any text layer to a standard layer:
Right-click on the layer name and choose Rasterize from the menu.
To edit existing text:
With the text layer to be edited as the active layer, choose the standard
Text Tool and move the mouse pointer over the text until it changes
to the (I-beam) cursor.
Click on or drag to select areas of text—this lets you insert or
overwrite selected text, respectively. Equally, you can select areas of
text to change font, point size, antialias, and bold/italic/underline
attributes—all made from the Text Context toolbar.
Fine-tune your character size and positioning by using the
Character tab.
Painting and Drawing
To create a text selection:
Click the Text Tools flyout (Tools toolbar) and choose the
Selection Tool.
Click at the location on the image where you want to begin the
Drag across the page to size your text selection according to
requirements. Release the mouse button to set the point size.
(Optional) On the Text Context toolbar, set the selection text
attributes to be adopted by the new selection (e.g., the font and point
Type your text directly onto the page.
When you're done, click the
OK button on the Context toolbar.
A selection marquee appears around the text's outline.
You can now cut, copy, move, modify, and of course fill the selection.
Unlike solid text, the text selection doesn't occupy a separate layer.
Drawing and editing lines and shapes
For drawing and editing lines and shapes, the Tools toolbar includes the
following drawing tool flyouts:
The QuickShape Tools flyout featuring an assortment of tools for
creating rectangles, ellipses, polygons, and other shapes.
The Outline Tools flyout features various outlines—straight lines,
plus freehand and curved outlines for variety.
Painting and Drawing
Each of the drawing tools has its own creation and editing rules, as detailed
below. Before continuing, let's cover some things that all shape objects have in
Shapes have outlines known as paths. In a nutshell, shapes as
discussed here are filled outlines (i.e., they’re closed, with color
inside). Later, we’ll cover unfilled outlines (paths) separately, and
consider their special properties. The various drawing tools are all
path-drawing tools, applicable to both the filled and unfilled kind of
Unlike painted regions you create on raster (bitmap) layers, both
QuickShapes and outline shapes are vector objects that occupy
special shape layers, marked with an symbol on the Layers tab.
Each shape layer includes a path thumbnail representing the shape(s)
on that layer.
A QuickShape or straight outline can be drawn directly as a shape
layer, path or as a filled bitmap. The Context toolbar hosts buttons
which allow you to decide how your lines and shapes are to be drawn,
Shape Layer—create your QuickShape or outline on a new
shape layer or add to an existing shape layer.
Paths—add your shape or outline directly as a path rather
than as a new/existing shape layer. (See Using paths on p. 98).
Fill Bitmaps—creates a filled bitmap of the shape or straight
outline on a raster layer (e.g., the Background layer).
Curved and freehand outlines cannot be drawn as filled bitmaps.
Assuming you’re working on a non-shape layer when you create a shape, the
new shape appears on a new shape layer. But what about the next shape you
create? Shape layers can store more than one shape, and it’s up to you where the
next one will go.
This decision is made easy by use of the Context toolbar when the QuickShape
Painting and Drawing
or outline tool is selected. The toolbar displays a series of combination buttons
which determine the layer on which the shape will be placed and the relationship
the new shape will have on any existing shapes on the same layer.
New—Adds the shape to a new shape layer.
Add—Adds the shape to the currently selected layer.
Subtract—removes overlap region when a new shape is added
over existing shapes on the currently selected layer. The new shape
itself is not included.
Intersect—includes the intersection area only when a new shape
is added onto existing selected shapes on the currently selected layer.
Exclude—excludes the intersection area when a new shape is
added onto existing selected shapes on the currently selected layer.
To change the fill type, or edit its color(s):
Double-click the shape layer.
Choose the Gradient Fill Tool and use the Context toolbar.
Either approach lets you add a spectrum fill, a solid color fill, and/or a
transparency gradient to a shape or text object. For details on
changing fills, see the subtopic Gradient Fill Tool.
A single fill is shared by all the shapes on a particular layer.
(Technically the fill is a property of the layer, and the shape(s) act like
a "window" that lets you see the fill.) So if you want to draw a red box
and a yellow box, for example, you'll need two shape layers.
You can also alter a shape layer's Opacity using the Layers tab.
Painting and Drawing
Creating and editing QuickShapes
QuickShapes in PhotoPlus are pre-designed, filled contours that let you instantly
add all kinds of shapes to your page, then adjust and vary them using control
handles—for innumerable possibilities!
The QuickShape Tools flyout lets you choose from a
wide variety of commonly used shapes, including
boxes, ovals, arrows, polygons, stars, and more. Each
shape has its own built-in “intelligent” properties,
which you can use to customize the basic shape.
QuickShapes can also be drawn as paths as described
elsewhere in Using paths (see p. 98).
To create a QuickShape :
Click the
QuickShape Tools flyout on the Tools Toolbar and
select a shape from the flyout menu. (To choose the most recently used
shape, just click the toolbar button directly.)
Ensure the
If creating the shape on a new layer, make sure the
New button
on the Context toolbar is selected. If creating multiple shapes on the
same layer, select one of the other combination buttons on the Context
Bar (see above) to specify how the multiple shapes will interact (see
Select a foreground color, and any other characteristics for the
Drag out the shape on the image. It displays as an outline; hold down
the Ctrl key while drawing to constrain the aspect ratio. Once drawn,
the shape takes a Solid fill using the Color tab's foreground color.
Shape Layers button is selected on the Context
Painting and Drawing
To create a filled bitmap from your QuickShape instead,
choose the Fill Bitmaps button instead of the Shape Layers button.
Each QuickShape is adjustable, so you can experiment before committing to a
particular figure and edit it later—with innumerable possibilities!
If you switch to the Node Edit Tool, you can adjust the shape. The number of
displayed "edit" control handles varies according to the shape; for example, the
rectangle has just one control, the polygon has two, and the star has four.
As an example, dragging the side control handle on the middle Quick Pentagon
shape downwards will morph the shape to a hexagon, heptagon, octagon, and so
on. Dragging the top control handle to the right will rotate the shape in an
counter-clockwise direction.
To edit a QuickShape:
Click its layer or path name in the Layers or Paths tab, respectively, to
select it. If on a Shape layer, make sure the layer's path thumbnail is
selected to allow the path to be edited with the Node Edit Tool or
Shape Edit Tool, i.e.
Painting and Drawing
Use either:
• The
Node Edit Tool (Tools toolbar) to click on the shape and
readjust any of the shape's handles.
• The
Shape Edit Tool (see below for editing outline shapes)
to select, move, resize, and deform individual shapes.
(If you only have one shape on a layer, you can use the Move Tool and
Deform Tool.) To resize without constraint, you can drag any shape's
handle; to constrain the shape's proportions, hold down the Shift key while
dragging. To deform the shape, drag a node while the Ctrl key is pressed.
Creating and editing outline shapes
Outline shapes are shapes you draw yourself with Outline tools from the Tools
toolbar's Outline Tool flyout.
The Straight Outline Tool produces an antialiased straight
line in PhotoPlus, which is just a very thin shape. The line can
be of varying Weight (thickness) and can be constrained to 15degree increments, by holding down the Shift key as you drag.
The Freehand Outline Tool, as its name implies, lets you draw
a squiggly line made up of consecutive line segments and nodes
(each new segment starting from another’s end node), which
can be attached back to itself to create a closed shape. Use the
Smoothness setting on the Context toolbar to even out ragged
contours automatically.
The Curved Outline Tool can produce complex combination
curves and shapes in a highly controlled way.
Each tool's supporting context toolbar lets you create the
outline shape on a shape layer, as a path or directly as a filled bitmap.
Additionally, combination buttons let you add the shape to its own layer (or
Painting and Drawing
path), and can also be used to control how the new shape interacts with existing
shapes on the layer.
Besides being useful with QuickShapes, the Node Edit and Shape Edit tools
really come into their own to edit outline shapes.
To edit an outline shape:
Click its layer name to select the layer.
To move, resize, scale, skew, or rotate the outline, choose the
Shape Edit Tool . This deform tool works by manipulation of the
bounding box around the shape—drag on a corner or edge. (For
details on its use, see Deforming on p. 54.)
Node Edit Tool. The outline
To reshape the outline, choose the
consists of line segments and nodes (points where the line segments
meet). You can drag one or more individual nodes, or click and drag
directly on a line segment.
When you select a node, control handles for the adjacent outline segments
appear; each segment in the line has a control handle at either end. The selected
node is drawn with a red center, with the control handle(s) attached to the nodes
by blue lines.
Any node can be one of several node types: sharp, smooth, or symmetric.
Depending on node type, the node's control handles behave a bit differently, as
you can tell with a bit of experimentation. Essentially, the node type determines
the slope and curvature of each adjoining segment, and can be chosen from the
Context toolbar, i.e.
Painting and Drawing
Sharp Corner means that the segments either
side of the node are completely independent so that
the corner can be quite pointed.
Smooth Corner means that the slope of the
outline is the same on both sides of the node, but
the depth of the two joined segments can be
Symmetric Corner nodes join outline
segments with the same slope and depth on both
sides of the node.
To edit a node:
Select it with the Node Edit Tool.
Drag its control handle(s) to fine-tune the curve.
You can also use the context toolbar to define a line segment as either straight or
To add a node, double-click on a line segment. To remove a selected node, press
the Delete key.
Use the
Straighten Line button to make an outline segment
Painting and Drawing
Creating outlines
Two approaches to creating outlines are available within PhotoPlus—creating an
outline from any current selection and creating outlines around layer objects,
especially text and shapes (as a layer effect). You'll primarily create outlines
around text and other objects so the latter method is predominantly used (but
we'll cover both!).
(before and after)
(before and after)
For any outline, you can set the outline width, solid color, opacity, and choose a
blend mode. The outline can also sit inside, outside, or be centered on the
selection or object edge.
An outline layer effect can also take a gradient fill, a pattern fill, or a unique
contour fill (fill runs from the inner to outer edge of the outline width); another
advantage over outlines made from selections is the ability to switch the layer
object outline off/on, and complement the outline with other layer effects such
as Drop Shadow, Glow, Bevel, etc. at the same time.
To create an outline from a selection:
Create a selection on a standard or background layer ((but not on Text
or Shape layers). (See Making a selection on p. 31).
• Right-click and select Outline....
• Pick the same option from the Edit menu.
From the dialog, choose a Width for the outline.
Painting and Drawing
Select an outline color from the drop-down list. The Foreground
option sets the currently set foreground color; Background sets the
current background color. (See Choosing colors on p. 67). For a
Custom color, click the Color swatch, and select a color from the
displayed Adjust Color dialog.
(Optional) From the Mode drop-down menu, pick a blend mode,
which controls how the outline color and underlying pixels blend to
make a combined resulting color. Select the percentage Opacity for
the outline when blending, and check Preserve Transparency to make
transparent areas resist the flood color; otherwise, everything in the
selection or layer will be equally washed with the fill.
Click OK. The outline appears around the selection area.
Once applied, selection outlines no longer remain editable, although if you're
not happy with your outline you can still Undo.
To create outlines on a layer (as a layer effect):
From the Layers tab, select a layer to which outlines will be applied.
Note that all objects (Shapes, Text, or lines) on the layer will be
Click the
Layer Effects button on the Layers tab and check
Outline in the Layer Effects dialog.
(Optional) From the Blend Mode drop-down menu, pick a blend
mode, which controls how the outline color and underlying pixels
blend to make a combined resulting color. Select the percentage
Opacity for the outline when blending.
Choose a Width for the outline, and whether the outline Alignment is
"Outside" or "Inside" the object's edge (or placed in the "Center").
To set a fill for your outline, pick from the Fill type drop-down menu,
one of: Solid, Linear, Radial, Conical, Square, Contour, or Pattern.
Choosing Solid will display a color swatch which, when clicked, shows
the Adjust Color dialog. For other fills, click the gradient fill swatch
and apply/edit your gradient fill accordingly (see Editing a gradient fill
in PhotoPlus help for details). Pattern fills can be applied via a
clickable Pattern swatch (see Using patterns on p. 78 for details).
Painting and Drawing
Click OK. The outline appears around any layer object.
You may notice the
icon appear next to the layer with your outline applied.
Remember that you'll be able to apply a combination of 2D layer effects along
with your outline, by checking other options in the Layer Effects dialog. See
Overview:Applying special effects on p. 113 for more details.
To switch off the layer effect:
With the layer selected, click the
Layer Effects button and
uncheck Outline in the Layer Effects dialog.
Using paths
Paths are basically outlines. As such, every filled shape you draw has a path—
namely the outline that defines it. In fact, each shape layer has its own path
thumbnail next to the layer name, representing the shape(s) that reside on that
layer. But more significantly, the concept of a path extends to independent
paths: unfilled outlines that don't reside on any particular layer, but which are
created separately and can be applied in various ways to any layer.
What are paths good for? Consider the precision and editability of vector-based
drawing and apply it to the concept of a selection. Now think of all the ways that
selections can be used (and reused). In PhotoPlus, selections and paths are
In much the same way as layers
in the Layers tab, independent
paths are listed in the Paths tab,
depicted with their own name
and the path outline shown in
the path's thumbnail.
Painting and Drawing
There are two methods for creating a path. You can create:
a path outline directly from drawn QuickShapes (see Path 2's Quick
Star above) or outlines.
a selection on your image from which the path outline can be created
(see Path 3).
Either way, once you've got a path outline, you can reshape it (using the Outline
tools), convert it to a selection, create a filled bitmap, or stroke a path—that is,
draw the path onto a bitmap layer using the current brush. Paths are saved along
with the image when you use the .SPP format.
To create a path outline from a QuickShape/outline or selection:
Select a QuickShape and/or Outline tool, then ensure
Paths is
selected on the Context toolbar. (For details on using these tools, see
Drawing and editing lines and shapes on p. 88).
Drag across the page to create your path.
To create a path outline whose shape matches any selection area, first
create the selection on a layer.
In the dialog, choose a Smoothness setting (to even out jagged
selections) and click OK. The new path outline appears on a new path
with a default name (which you can change, as described below).
Selection to Path on the Paths tab.
To duplicate the selected path and its outline:
Right-click its name and choose Duplicate Path.
To delete the selected path:
Click the Path tab's
Delete Path button.
To rename the selected path:
Double-click its name.
In the dialog, type a new name for the path.
Painting and Drawing
To edit a path outline:
Use the Node Edit Tool to modify a path's shape by moving nodes or
adjust outline curves by moving node handles.
Use the Shape Edit Tool to move, resize, reshape, rotate, and skew the
path by dragging the displayed bounding box handles in any direction.
For both methods, see Creating and editing outline shapes on p. 93 for more
You can also flip a path outline either horizontally or vertically. Use the Flip
Horizontally>Path or Flip Vertically>Path option from the Image menu,
To create a selection from a path:
Select the Background or standard layer where you want to create the
On the Paths tab, select the path from which you want to create the
Click the
In the dialog, set options for the selection:
• The Feather value blurs the selection's edges by making edge pixels
• Check Antialias to produce smooth edges by softening the color
transition between edge pixels and background pixels.
• Select New Selection, Add to Selection, Subtract from Selection, or
Intersect with Selection to determine how the path-based selection
should interact with an existing selection, if any.
Click OK. The selection marquee appears on the target layer.
Path to Selection button (or right-click the path
Painting and Drawing
To draw (stroke) a path onto a bitmap layer:
Select the Background or standard layer where you want to add the
Choose a brush tool (such as the Paintbrush or Picture Brush) and set
Color, Brush Tip, and other properties from the Context toolbar.
On the Paths tab, select the path you want to stroke. Make sure the
path is positioned where you want it.
Click the
Stroke Path button.
To create a filled bitmap from a path:
Select the Background or standard layer where you want to create the
filled bitmap.
Set a foreground color.
On the Paths tab, select the path you want to fill. Make sure the path is
positioned where you want it.
Click the
Fill Path).
Fill Path button (or right-click the path and choose
Painting and Drawing
Image Adjustments
and Effects
Image Adjustments and Effects
Image Adjustments and Effects
Introduction to image adjustments
A major part of photo-editing is making corrections (i.e., adjustments) to your
own near-perfect images. Whether you’ve been snapping with your digital
camera or you've just scanned a photograph, at some point you may need to call
on PhotoPlus’s powerful photo-correction tools to fix some unforeseen
For photo-correction, several methods can be adopted. You can use a
combination of:
Image color adjustments: For applying color adjustments to a
selection or layers.
QuickFix Studio: For making cumulative corrective adjustments from
within a studio environment.
Retouch brush-based tools: Red Eye, Smudge, Blur, Sharpen,
Dodge/Burn (for exposure control), Sponge (for saturation control),
Scratch Remover.
If you work with raw images you can make image adjustments on your
unprocessed raw file (before interpolation). Adjustments include white balance,
exposure, highlight recovery, noise reduction, and chromatic aberration
removal. See Opening a raw image on p. 21.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Overview: Adjusting image colors
PhotoPlus provides a number of different adjustment filters that you can apply
to a selection or to an active standard layer. Typically, these adjustments are used
to correct deficiencies in the original image. You can apply them either directly,
via the Image>Adjust menu, or as an adjustment layer (see p. 143).
Each of the adjustment options works in a similar way. Alter the values by
dragging on a slider, moving it to the left to decrease the value, or the right to
increase the value, or enter a value in the field at the right of the slider.
Instead of dragging the slider with the mouse, you can click on it
and then jog it with the left or right keyboard arrow keys.
Here’s a summary of the available PhotoPlus image adjustments (see PhotoPlus
help for in-depth instructions).
AutoLevels and AutoContrast redistribute the lightness (luminance)
values in the image, making the darkest image pixel black and the
lightest one white, and adjusting the spread in between. AutoLevels
performs this adjustment separately for each of the Red, Green, and
Blue channels, while AutoContrast operates on the image as a whole.
Levels pops up a dialog that affords more precise levels control, along
with AutoLevels and AutoContrast. While viewing a histogram plot of
lightness values in the image, you can adjust the tonal range by shifting
dark, light, and gamma values.
Curves displays lightness values in the image using a line graph, and
lets you adjust points along the curve to fine-tune the tonal range.
AutoLevels and AutoContrast are also provided.
Color Balance lets you adjust color and tonal balance for general
color correction in the image.
Brightness/Contrast: Brightness refers to overall lightness or
darkness, while contrast describes the tonal range, or spread between
lightest and darkest values.
Shadow/Highlight/Midtone controls the extent of shadows,
highlights, and contrast within the image.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Hue/Saturation/Lightness: Hue refers to the color’s tint—what most
of us think of as rainbow or spectrum colors with name associations,
like “blue” or “magenta.” Saturation describes the color’s purity—a
totally unsaturated image has only grays. Lightness is what we
intuitively understand as relative darkness or lightness—ranging from
full black at one end to full white at the other.
Replace Color lets you “tag” one or more ranges of the full color
spectrum that require adjustment in the image, then apply variations
in hue, saturation, and/or brightness to just those color regions (not to
be confused with the simpler Replace Color Tool).
Selective Color lets you add or subtract a certain percentage of cyan,
magenta, yellow, and/or black ink for creating effects.
Channel Mixer lets you modify a color channel using a mix of the
current color channels.
Gradient Map lets you remap grayscale (lightness) information in the
image to a selected gradient. The function replaces pixels of a given
lightness in the original image with the corresponding color value
from the gradient spectrum.
Lens Filter adjusts the color balance for warming or cooling down
your photos. It digitally mimics the placement of a filter on the front of
your camera lens.
Threshold creates a monochromatic (black and white) rendering. You
can set the threshold, i.e. the lightness or gray value above which
colors are inverted.
Equalize evenly distributes the lightness levels between existing
bottom (darkest) and top (lightest) values.
Negative Image inverts the colors, giving the effect of a photographic
Black and White Film is used for grayscale conversion with
controllable source channel input.
Posterize produces a special effect by reducing the image to a limited
number of colors.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Besides the Brightness/Contrast adjustment, the PhotoPlus Image menu affords
a number of functions you can apply to correct shadow/highlight values in an
image. Adjust>AutoLevels or Adjust>AutoContrast may do the job in one go;
if not, you can use Adjust>Levels... or Adjust>Shadow/Highlight/Midtone....
Use the Histogram tab to display statistics and image color values,
helping you to evaluate the kinds of image adjustments that may be
Using QuickFix Studio
The purpose of the QuickFix Studio is to provide an image adjustment
environment within PhotoPlus which simplifies the often complicated process of
image correction. You can consider QuickFix Studio as the image adjustment
equivalent of PhotoPlus's Filter Gallery, which instead concentrates on applying
and managing special effects.
An important feature is the ability to cumulatively apply adjustments (like
applying filter gallery effects).
Let's get familiar with the QuickFix Studio's interface. The example used is of a
wide-angle photo of an interesting building (the unwanted barrel distortion
effect is being removed)—the non-default landscape dual-screen view is
Image Adjustments and Effects
Adjustments are made available to the right of the main window (Lens
Distortion is currently selected).
To launch QuickFix Studio:
on the Photo Studio toolbar.
Adjustments overview
Here's a quick overview of all the adjustments hosted in QuickFix Studio:
White Balance
"Cool down" or "warm up" your photo by adjusting white balance
either by selecting presets or customizing temperature/tint
Brightness and Contrast
Simple adjustments to a photo's exposure, brightness, contrast,
shadows, and highlights.
Adjust the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness of your image
Black and White Film
Intelligently apply grayscale by varying the gray tones of red, green or
blue colors in your original image. Also apply color tints.
Re-aligns slightly or wildly crooked photos by resetting the image's
horizon, then applying an auto-crop.
Retains a print-size portion of your image while discarding the
remainder. Great for home printing, then framing. Optionally, size an
unconstrained selection area to crop.
Red Eye
Removes the dreaded red eye effect from subject's eyes—commonly
encountered with flash photography.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Blemish Removal
Removes simple skin blemishes and other flaws.
Lens Distortion
Fixes barrelling and pincushion distortion encountered when
photographing straight-edged objects at close range.
Chromatic Aberration
Reduces red/cyan or blue/yellow fringing on object edges.
Lens Vignette
Removes darkening in photo corners.
Noise Reduction
Removes unwanted speckling in your photo.
Makes your image sharper at image edges—great for improving image
quality after other adjustments have been made.
Some adjustments can also be applied independently from the
Effects menu.
To apply an adjustment:
Click on the
From the expanded adjustment options a selection of sliders, check
boxes, and drop-down menus can be modified (you can also enter
absolute values into available input boxes). Whatever settings are
changed, the image will be adjusted automatically to reflect the new
settings in the preview window.
button adjacent to the chosen adjustment.
button to collapse the adjustment options once
Click on the
finished with (leaving space for further adjustments).
An adjustment is applied if a
button appears at the end of the adjustment
entry (click the button to remove the adjustment completely). If you want to
temporarily hide an adjustment, click on the Show/Hide button at the start of
the adjustment entry; your settings will be remembered when you switch the
adjustment back on.
Image Adjustments and Effects
When increasing the Exposure value, use the histogram to check
that your highlights aren't clipped (i.e., when the graph disappears
abruptly off the right-hand edge of the histogram).
The Tools toolbar includes an assortment of comparatively simple brush-based
tools that come in handy at various stages of photo editing. For the most part the
tools are hosted on the Retouch Tools flyout, but the blemish, scratch and patch
removal tools exist on the Repair Tools flyout.
Retouching tools work on Background and standard layers, but not on text
layers or shape layers.
On the Retouch Tools flyout:
Red Eye Tool - for correcting the "red eye" phenomenon common in
color snapshots
Smudge Tool - for picking up color from the click point and
"pushing" it in the brush stroke direction
Blur Tool - for reducing contrast under the brush, softening edges
without smearing colors
Sharpen Tool - for increasing contrast under the brush, enhancing
apparent sharpness
Image Adjustments and Effects
Dodge Tool - for lightening an area
Burn Tool - for darkening an area
Sponge Tool- - for increasing or decreasing the color saturation
under the brush
Replace Color Tool - for swapping one color for another
On the Repair Tool flyout:
Blemish Remover - for intelligently painting out skin blemishes
Scratch Remover - for filling in small gaps or dropouts in an image
Patch Tool - for painting out selected areas
Image Adjustments and Effects
Overview: Applying special effects
Creative effects are grouped into different categories, i.e. distortion, blur,
sharpen, edge, noise, render, and stylistic. Individual effects can be applied to
the active layer or selection either individually or cumulatively via a Filter
Gallery. As with image adjustments (see Overview: adjusting image colors on
p. 106), you can use filter effects to improve the image, for example by
sharpening, but more often the emphasis here is on the "creative" possibilities
when effects are applied.
Equally dramatic artistic effects can be applied by using the studio-based Instant
Artist, warp tools via the Tools toolbar's flyout, or 2D/3D layer effects via the
Layers tab.
Instant Artist effects
Instant Artist will bring your artistic side out—creating your own masterpieces
by picking from a variety of classic painting styles (with no paint splashes!). The
tool will transform your image in a single-click. Classic styles include
Expressionist, Impressionist, Oil, Old Master, and many others. More abstract
styles are available such as Munchist and Van Gogh.
Whichever style you choose, you can take advantage of Instant Artist's powerful
studio environment. This provides a resizable dialog with large scale preview
window, a thumbnail gallery showing each effect (for visual clues), and a
comprehensive range of context-sensitive effect settings. Instant Artist's
interruptible redraw also means that you can make changes to your settings
without waiting for your image to refresh; the effect will be redrawn
Image Adjustments and Effects
To launch Instant Artist:
Click the
button on the Photo Studio toolbar (or
select the option from the Effects menu).
Select an effect's thumbnail from the thumbnail pane. You'll see your
image update to reflect the new effect.
To see a different part of the image, drag it with the hand cursor. Click
the Zoom buttons to zoom in or out.
Adjust the sliders (or enter specific values) to vary the effect. If
necessary, click the Default button to revert to the standard settings
for this effect.
To save the current settings as a custom style you can use
later, click the Add Style button and provide a name for the new style.
The new style appears in the thumbnail pane. (To delete a style you've
added, select its thumbnail and click the Delete Style button.)
Click OK to apply the effect, or Cancel to abandon changes.
For more details, search for Instant Artist in the PhotoPlus Help index.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Warp tool effects
The entries on the Warp Tools flyout work as a group. Most of them shift pixels
that the brush passes over, while the last one undoes the cumulative effects of the
others. The actual amount of pixel displacement depends on the direction of
brush movement, the brush tip, and the Context toolbar's Opacity, Brush Size,
and Quality settings.
The Elastic Warp Tool shifts pixels in the direction of
brush motion, hence the appearance of pulling or
The Pinch and Punch Tools apply, respectively, a concave
or convex spherical distortion under the brush. To apply
this effect to a selection or layer, use
The Twirl Tools produce a “spin art” effect—liquid paint
on a surface revolving either clockwise or counterclockwise around a central point. As with Pinch and
Punch, you can apply either effect to a selection or layer
using the Effects>Distort>Twirl.
The Thick/Thin Warp Tool shifts pixels 90º to the right of
the brush direction, which has the effect of spreading or
compressing edges along the stroke.
The Unwarp Tool reduces the strength of the current
warped effect under the brush.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Applying 2D layer effects
Layer effects can be applied to the contents of standard (transparent) layers, text
layers, or shape layers. Standard or "2D" layer effects like shadow, glow, bevel,
and emboss are particularly well adapted to text, while 3D layer effects (covered
elsewhere; p. 118) create the impression of a textured surface.
Unlike image adjustments and Effects menu manipulations, layer effects don’t
directly change image pixels—they work like mathematical “lenses” that
transform how a layer’s bitmap appears. Since the settings are independent, you
can adjust them ad infinitum until you get the result you want!
Here's an example of each effect applied to the letter "A".
Drop Shadow
Inner Shadow
Outer Glow
Inner Glow
Inner Bevel
Outer Bevel
Pillow Emboss
Color Fill
Drop Shadow adds a diffused shadow "behind" solid regions on a
Inner Shadow adds a diffused shadow effect inside the edge of an
Outer Glow adds a color border outside the edge of an object.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Inner Glow filter adds a color border inside the edge of an object.
Bevel and Emboss/Inner Bevel adds a rounded-edge effect inside an
Bevel and Emboss/Outer Bevel adds a rounded-edge effect
(resembling a drop shadow) outside an object.
Bevel and Emboss/Emboss adds a convex rounded edge and shadow
effect to an object.
Bevel and Emboss/Pillow Emboss adds a concave rounded edge and
shadow effect to an object.
Color Fill lets you apply a specific color to a layer.
Outline applies a border effect to the edge of an object. See Creating
outlines on p. 96.
To apply a shadow, glow, bevel, or emboss effect:
Add Layer Effects.
From the Layers tab, select a layer and click
In the dialog, apply an effect by checking its check box in the list at
left. You can apply multiple effects to the layer.
To adjust the properties of a specific effect, select its name and adjust
the dialog controls. Adjust the sliders, drop-down menu, or enter
specific values to vary each effect. Options differ from one effect to
Image Adjustments and Effects
Click OK to apply the effect or Cancel to abandon changes.
Applying 3D layer effects
3D layer effects are just as easy to apply, but they’re a bit more complex than
their 2D cousins (see p. 116). Actually, there’s an easy way to get started with
them: simply display the Instant Effects tab and preview its gallery thumbnails.
In the tab you’ll see a variety
of remarkable 3D surface
and texture presets grouped
into wide-ranging “themed”
categories (e.g., Glass Text,
Abstract, Wood, Metal, etc.).
Click any thumbnail to apply
it to the active layer.
Assuming the layer has some
color on it to start with,
you’ll see an instant result!
Image Adjustments and Effects
To apply an Instant Effects tab preset to the active layer: :
Display the Instant Effects tab and select a category, then click a
gallery thumbnail.
To make the effect appear smaller or larger in relation to the image,
drag the Scale slider or type a value in the tab.
You can apply an effect from the Instant Effects tab preset, edit it (using the
Layer Effects dialog) and then save it as a custom preset in a user-defined
category (you'll have to create and select the category first). To save the preset,
right-click in the tab and choose Add Item.... From the dialog, you can adjust
the Scale of the effect and have your thumbnail preview stored as a Rectangle or
as Text (using the letter "A"). For either type, the thumbnail will appear in the
If you want to have complete flexibility when creating 3D effects, you can
click the Add Layer Effects button on the Layers tab. The dialog is shared for
both 2D and 3D effects—simply check the 3D Effects box and experiment with
the settings (enable other 3D check boxes as appropriate).
3D effects overview
Suppose you’ve applied a 3D layer effect preset from
the Instant Effects tab, and then you bring up the
Layer Effects dialog. On inspecting the settings used
in the preset, the first thing you’ll notice is that
three boxes may be checked.
• 3D Effects is a master switch for this group, and
its settings of Blur and Depth make a great
difference; you can click the "+" button to unlink
them for independent adjustment.
• 3D Pattern Map allows for blend mode, opacity,
depth, displacement and softening adjustments,
along with a choice of gradient fills. This is checked
depending on the type of instant effect selected.
Image Adjustments and Effects
• 3D Lighting provides a "light source" without
which any depth information in the effect wouldn’t
be visible. The lighting settings let you illuminate
your 3D landscape and vary its reflective properties.
Another thing you’ll probably wonder about is that all the 3D effects seem to
have "map" in their name. The concept of a map is the key to understanding how
these effects work: it means a channel of information overlaid on the image,
storing values for each underlying image pixel. You can think of the layer as a
picture printed on a flexible sheet, which is flat to start with. Each 3D layer effect
employs a map that interacts with the underlying image on a layer to create the
visual impression of a textured surface.
Bump Maps superimpose depth information for a bumpy, peak-and-valley
effect. Using the flexible sheet metaphor, the bump map adds up-and-down
contours and the image "flexes" along with these bumps, like shrink-wrap, while
a light from off to one side accentuates the contours.
Pattern Maps contribute color variations using a choice of blend modes and
opacity, for realistic (or otherworldly!) depictions of wood grain, marbling, and
blotches or striations of all kinds.
You'll notice that Bump Maps and Pattern Maps come in two varieties: "2D" and
"3D." Don't confuse these with the "2D layer effects" (like Drop Shadow). The
map-based effects are all three-dimensional effects—the distinction in name has
to do with how each one achieves its result. Here’s the difference: With the "3D"
Bump Maps and Pattern Maps, you first pick a mathematical function. With the
"2D map" variants, you begin by selecting a bitmap from a gallery. The function-
Image Adjustments and Effects
based maps include data about the interior of the "space," while the bitmapbased maps describe only surface characteristics.
You’ll see this distinction more clearly if you experiment with depth maps, as
covered in Using depth maps (see p. 152). Depth maps create extra depth to your
image, by adding an extra channel (storing Z-axis or depth information). As a
result, contoured surfaces are possible which are exposed by applied 3D layer
The uniform transparency of a layer and its objects (with 3D layer effects
applied) can be controlled via the Layers tab with the Opacity option (see rear
heart shape in example below). However, for more sophisticated transparency
control, transparency settings can instead be set within the Layer Effects dialog.
The effect can be used to create more realistic transparency by independently
controlling transparency on reflective (edges) and non-reflective (flat) areas of
the object (see front heart shape below).
Use this effect in conjunction with reflection maps and multiple
directional light sources for ultra-realistic glass effects.
3D Lighting + Layer
Opacity 50%
3D Lighting +
Image Adjustments and Effects
3D Reflection Map
The 3D Reflection Map effect is used to simulate mirrored surfaces by selection
of a pattern (i.e., a bitmap which possesses a shiny surface) which "wraps
around" a selected object. Patterns which simulate various realistic indoor and
outdoor environments can be adopted, with optional use of 3D lighting to
further reflect off object edges.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Using the Filter Gallery
The Filter Gallery offers a one-stop shop for applying single or multiple filter
effects. The gallery hosts sets of filter thumbnails which are categorized into
different effect categories (e.g., Distort, Blur, Sharpen, Edge, Noise, Render, etc.)
. Thumbnails are shown in expandable categories (see Distort filter effects
below); each thumbnail is a sample of your currently active image with the
relevant filter effect applied.
It’s possible to apply several filter effects to the same image within the Filter
Gallery, and, depending on the order in which they are applied, to end up with a
different final result. In the above example, the Ripple and Unsharp Mask effects
are sequentially applied.
If you would like to manage your filter effects (swap, modify or delete any
previously applied effect) at a later date, you can apply filter effects on a special
Filter Layer (see p. 146). Otherwise the filter effect is permanently applied to the
To further extend creative possibilities, you can create your own custom filter
effects within the Filter Gallery (see PhotoPlus Help for more information) or
adopt third-party Photoshop plug-ins (see p. 126).
Image Adjustments and Effects
To view the Filter Gallery:
Click the
effect filter loaded.
To make a Filter Layer, right-click a standard or Background layer in
the Layers tab, and choose Convert to Filter Layer.... (See Using filter
layers on p. 146.)
button on the Photo Studio toolbar. No
You can add to any effect by creating a stack where additional effects can be
added and built up. Any effect can then be switched on/off, deleted or reordered
in this list. In addition, you can easily swap one effect for another, especially
useful if you want to preserve the order of other applied effects.
Selecting a filter effect directly from the Effects menu will
automatically launch the Filter Gallery with the effect already
To add a filter in the Filter Gallery:
Expand your chosen effect category by clicking the
button. You'll see effect thumbnails representing how your image will
look if the effect is applied.
Click on an effect thumbnail to apply it to your image (or right-click
and choose Add Filter).
Choose the
flyout menu.
button, selecting your filter effect from the
The applied filter is shown in a filter stack in the lower-right corner of
the Filter Gallery. The large preview window updates as you adjust any
filter properties' sliders or enter new values.
To add further filter effects, use the
button again, right-click
another effect thumbnail (choosing Add Filter), or just Alt-click on the
Image Adjustments and Effects
Clicking a thumbnail will replace any currently selected filter in your
filter stack.
To switch a filter on or off:
To switch a selected filter effect off, click the
icon next to its name
in the Filter Stack. The icon changes to a closed eye. Click again to
switch on.
As an example, a click on the Diffuse Glow filter (below) will hide the
effect, but clicking the Paper Cutout's closed eye icon will make the
filter visible.
The effect's properties are displayed by default but can be collapsed to make
more of your effects stack visible.
To collapse/expand filter properties:
To collapse, click the
expand again, click the
button preceding the filter effect name. To
The properties of any selected effect will be displayed in the expanded area
under the effect name—you can alter and experiment with these at any time.
To modify a filter:
Select the filter you wish to modify, expanding the filter entry to view
properties if needed (click the
Change properties by enabling/disabling radio buttons or check boxes,
and adjusting sliders. Alternatively, enter values into input boxes.
Use the Undo button to undo recent changes to the filter
(or the Redo button to re-apply the changes).
Image Adjustments and Effects
To replace a filter:
Select the filter you wish to replace by clicking its name.
Pick an effect gallery, then click a filter effect's thumbnail as a
replacement (or right-click then choose Replace Filter). Your selected
filter is replaced in the stack with no change made to the existing stack
The order in which effects appear in the effect list may produce very different
results. If you’re not happy with the current order, PhotoPlus lets you drag and
drop your effects into any position in the stack. Effects are applied in the same
way that layers are applied, i.e. the first effect applied always appears at the
bottom of the list and is applied to the photo first.
However, filters can be moved around the filter list to change the order in which
they are applied to the photo.
Alt-clicking on a thumbnail will add a new filter effect instead of
replacing your selected filter effect.
To reorder filters:
Select the filter you wish to reorder.
Drag the filter's name to another position in the list. A red line
indicates the new position in which the filter will be placed if the
mouse button is released.
Using plug-ins
PhotoPlus supports non-automated Adobe Photoshop-compatible plug-in
filters. Any such industry-standard filters located in your PhotoPlus Plugins
folder will appear on the Effects menu.
Due to the varying standard of third-party plug-ins, you may
experience problems when using this feature. This is beyond Serif's
control, so we recommend that you save your work before using
plug-ins, and then test your plug-ins before commencing.
To apply a plug-in filter:
Choose it from Effects>Plugin Filters. Either the effect will be applied
immediately, or the plug-in will display its own dialog.
Image Adjustments and Effects
To check or change the plug-in filter folder:
Choose Preferences... from the File menu and select the Plugins tab.
Initially the dialog shows the path you selected during installation.
To change the designated folder, click the Browse... button and use
the dialog to locate the correct folder.
Create Windows shortcuts within the folder, pointing to the plug-ins
stored outside the PhotoPlus Plugins folder.
Merging bracketed photos
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo merge, or tone mapping, is used to
combine bracketed photos or scanned images from film, each shot taken at
different exposure levels (typically one each for highlights, midtones, and
shadows) and within seconds apart. Your camera can't capture all exposure
levels in a single shot, so by bringing together multiple photos you can expand
your image's dynamic range which would otherwise be impossible in a single
Typically, scenes of high contrast such as landscapes, sunsets or indoor
environments (with strong lighting) are suited to HDR Merge.
Image Adjustments and Effects
For good results, it's important to bear the following points in mind:
Many modern cameras offer auto-bracketing which automatically takes
several shots at different exposure levels. A two-EV spacing is considered
to be optimum for most occasions. Alternatively, shoot with manual
exposure set.
Always shoot the same scene! Your output is based on a composite of the
same scene.
Take as many shots as is needed to cover your required dynamic range.
Use a tripod for optimum camera stability. Also avoid photographing
objects affected by windy conditions (e.g., moving tree branches).
Ensure Aperture priority is set on your camera (see your camera's
operating manual for more details).
The HDR merge is a two-stage process, firstly to select the source files (JPG or
raw) for merging, and then performing the merge itself after having adjusted
merge settings to optimize the output). The process can be carried out directly
on source files without loading them into your project in advance.
PhotoPlus lets you optionally save the merged HDR image to one of several
formats (namely OpenEXR, HDR and HD Photo), which can be opened at a
later date, saving you from having to align and merge your original images again
(see p. 19).
To select and merge bracketed photos:
From the Startup Wizard, click Create>HDR Photo Merge.
From the dialog, click
Browse to, then select multiple files from the chosen folder—use Ctrlclick or Shift-click for selecting non-adjacent or adjacent images. Click
Open. The files listed show image name and an exposure value
equivalent to your camera's exposure setting (the values are not for
just for show—they're crucial for successful HDR merging).
Image Adjustments and Effects
Click the Add button to add more photos or the Remove button to
exclude a selected photo.
For scanned images (from camera film) which won't possess EXIFderived Exposure values, you can click the Edit Exposure button to
add your own exposure values if you've kept a record (or you could
just add +2.0, 0, and -2 then experiment with the results).
(Optional) Uncheck Align images if you're sure your source images
are perfectly aligned (perhaps by a third-party application). Otherwise,
PhotoPlus will automatically attempt to align each photo's
corresponding pixel data.
(Optional) Check Infer film response curve to affect a tone curve
needed to accurately process scanned images (from camera film).
Otherwise, keep unchecked for digital camera use.
Click OK. The Merge HDR dialog is displayed, showing a preview of
your intermediate HDR image.
Don't worry if your initial results look less than desirable. You're only
half way towards your stunning image but you'll need to modify the
HDR image using a series of adjustments.
Image Adjustments and Effects
To adjust your intermediate image:
From the HDR Merge dialog, an image preview is displayed, along
with a merge file list and merge settings. Optionally, uncheck an image
from the upper-right list to exclude it from the merge.
Drag the Compression slider to a new value—use your eye to judge
the best merge results, but also the supporting Histogram to ensure
that the tonal range fits into the visible graph without clipping. The
option compresses or expands the dynamic range by dragging right or
left, respectively.
Set a Brightness level to make the image either lighter or darker.
Adjust the Black Point slider right to shift the histogram's left-most
edge making all affected pixels in the shadow region turn black.
Reduce Local Contrast Radius to alleviate image "flatness" when
compressing the dynamic range (see Compression above).
Set the Temperature to give a warmer "reddish" or cooler "blueish"
look; drag to the right or left, respectively.
Adjust the Saturation value to reduce or boost the color in your
Check Output 16-bits per channel if you're looking for the highest
level of detail in your merged output.
Click OK.
10. From the next dialog, you'll be asked if you want to save the
intermediate HDR Image or just continue as an untitled project.
Click Yes to preserve the HDR image. This saves having to select,
align, and merge images again, but you'll still need to reapply any
adjustments previously made. Select a file location, file format,
name for your file, then click Save. The file format (OpenEXR
.exr, Radiance .hdr, or HD Photo .hdp) can be chosen from the
drop-down menu.
Image Adjustments and Effects
Click No if you don't need to preserve the HDR image (you'll
have to select, align, and merge again). Your merge results will be
the basis for an Untitled project.
If you've created an intermediate HDR image, it can be opened as
for any other file (see p. 19).
Image Adjustments and Effects
Layers and Masks
134 Layers and Masks
Layers and Masks
Basics of using layers
If you're accustomed to thinking of pictures as flat illustrations in books, or as
photographic prints, the concept of image layers may take some getting used to.
In fact, layers are hardly unique to electronic images. The emulsion of
photographic film has separate layers, each sensitive to a different color—and
we've all noticed multiple-image depth effects like shop window reflections or
mirrored interiors. There is still something magical about being able to build up
an image in a series of planes, like sheets of electronic glass, each of which can
vary in transparency and interact with the layers below to produce exciting new
images and colors.
Kinds of layers
In a typical PhotoPlus image—for example, a photograph you've scanned in, a
new picture file you've just created, or a standard bitmap file you've opened—
there is one layer that behaves like a conventional "flat" image. This is called the
Background layer, and you can think of it as having paint overlaid on an
opaque, solid color surface.
136 Layers and Masks
You can create any number of new
layers in your image. Each new one
appears on top of the currently
active layer, comprising a stack that
you can view and manipulate with
the Layers tab. We call these
additional layers standard layers
to differentiate them from the
Background layer. Standard layers
such as "Surfer Girl" and "Beach"
opposite behave like transparent
sheets through which the
underlying layers are visible.
Other types of layers also exist in PhotoPlus:
Shape layers are specifically designed to keep drawn lines and shapes
(including QuickShapes) separate from the other layers so that they
remain editable. (See Drawing and editing lines and shapes; p. 88)
Text layers, work like Shape layers, but are intended exclusively for
Text. (See Creating and editing text; p. 86)
Adjustment layers apply corrective image adjustments to lower layers.
(See Using adjustment layers; p. 143)
Filter layers, are much like standard layers, but you can apply one or
more filter effects to the layer without permanently altering layer
content. You also have full control over effects in the future. (See
Using filter layers; p. 146)
For now though we're concerned mainly with the Background and standard
layers. .
Layers and Masks
A key distinction is that pixels on the Background layer are always opaque, while
those on standard layers can vary in opacity (or transparency—another way of
expressing the same property). That’s because standard layers have a “master”
Opacity setting that you can change at any time (with on-screen real-time
preview), while the Background layer does not. A couple of examples will show
how this rule is applied in PhotoPlus:
Suppose you are creating a new image. The New Image dialog
provides three choices for Background: White, Background Color, and
Transparent. If you pick White or Background Color, the Layers tab
shows a single layer in the new image named "Background." If you
pick Transparent, however, the single layer is named "Layer 1"—and in
this case, the image (typically an animation file) has no Background
If you cut, delete, or move a
selection on the Background
layer, the "hole" that's left exposes
the current background color (as
shown on the Color tab). The
same operations on a standard
layer expose a transparent hole.
Selections and layers
With few exceptions, you will work on just one layer at any given time, clicking
in the Layers tab to select the current or active layer. Selections and layers are
related concepts. Whenever there's a selection, certain tools and commands
operate only on the pixels inside the selection—as opposed to a condition where
nothing is selected, in which case those functions generally affect the entire
active layer.
If your image has multiple layers, and you switch to another layer, the selection
doesn't stay on the previous layer—it follows you to the new active layer. This
makes sense when you realize that the selection doesn't actually include image
content—it just describes a region with boundaries. And following the old advice
"Don't confuse the map with the territory," you can think of the selection as a
kind of outline map, and the active layer as the territory.
138 Layers and Masks
Operations involving layers
Many standard operations, such as painting, selecting and moving, Clipboard
actions, adjusting colors, applying effects, and so on, are possible on both the
Background layer and standard layers.
Others, such as rearranging the order of layers in the stack, setting up different
color interactions (blend modes and blend ranges) between layers, varying layer
opacity (transparency), applying 2D layer effects and 3D layer effects, using
depth maps, creating animation frames, or masking, only work with standard
Once an image has more than just a background layer, the layer information can
only be preserved by saving the image in the native PhotoPlus (.SPP) format.
Multiple layers are merged when you export an image to a standard “flat”
bitmap format (e.g., .PNG). It’s best to save your work-in-progress as .SPP files,
and only export to a different file format as the final step.
Some standard operations can be applied to all layers simultaneously by
checking the Use All Layers option from the Context toolbar.
To carry out basic layer operations:
To select a layer, click on its name in the Layers tab. The selected layer
is now the active layer. Note that each layer’s entry includes a preview
thumbnail, which is visible at all times and is especially useful when
identifying layer contents.
To select multiple layers together, use Ctrl-click or Shift-click to select
non-adjacent or adjacent layers in the tab's stack. Once selected,
multiple layers can be moved, linked, aligned, duplicated, grouped,
rearranged, hidden, merged and deleted. To select all layers, choose
Select All layers from the Layers menu, or for just linked layers,
choose Select Linked Layers.
To create a new standard layer above the active layer, click the
New Layer button on the Layers tab. Dragging a file icon and
dropping it onto the current window also creates a new layer from the
dragged image.
Layers and Masks
New Layer Group to create a group in which you can
store layers which have some relationship to each other—some layers
may only be related to a specific photo feature such that any changes
to those layers will be restricted to the group’s scope only. This gives
greater control to enable changes to opacity, blend modes and
hide/show layer settings for the group rather than for individual layers.
Click the
New Adjustment Layer button to apply an image
adjustment to a layer (See Using adjustment layers on p. 143).
Add Layer Mask button adds a mask to the currently
selected layer.
Add Layer Depth Map button creates a depth map for the
selected layer.
Add Layer Effects button creates a 2D or 3D effect on the
layer. Right-click to copy/paste, clear or hide effects.
To remove one or more selected layers, click the
Delete Layer
button on the Layers tab. Hidden layers can also be deleted without
prior selection by using Delete>Hidden Layers. (You can delete the
Background layer, as long as it's not the only layer.)
To make a layer's contents visible or invisible, click the
Hide/Show Layer button next to its name on the Layers tab. The icon
switches between an open and closed eye.
lock buttons on the Layers tab to prevent
accidental modification of opacity, pixel color, object positions or all
three on the active layer (or group), respectively.
To convert any shape or text layer to a standard layer, right-click on
the layer name and choose Rasterize from the menu.
140 Layers and Masks
Use different thumbnail sizes in the Layers tab by clicking the
Menu button, then choosing Small Thumbnails or Large
To convert the Background layer to a standard (transparent) layer,
right-click "Background" on the Layers tab and choose Promote to
Layer. The layer's name changes from "Background" to "Layer
<number>." To convert a standard layer to a Background layer, rightclick the layer and choose Layer to Background.
To access Layer Properties—including Name, Blend Mode, Opacity,
and Blend Ranges—right-click the layer name and choose
To control layer content:
To select all layer content use Select>Select All or Ctrl+A. To select
non-transparent regions on a layer, Ctrl-click on a layer thumbnail.
Use Invert to selection transparent regions.
To move layer content, select one or more layers containing the
content to be moved (from the Layers tab), then drag with the Move
Tool with no selection area present (press Ctrl+D to remove any
To align layer content, select one or more layers (as above), then
choose Align from the Layers menu, then select an option from the
To distribute layer content, select one or more layers (as above), then
choose Distribute from the Layers menu, then select an option from
the submenu.
To carry out advanced layer operations:
To create a new standard layer from a selection, choose New Layer
from Selection Copy or New Layer from Selection Cut from the
Layers menu. The former command leaves the original region intact;
the latter cuts the original region to the Clipboard.
Layers and Masks
To clone one or more active layers and their contents as new standard
layers, right-click the selected layers then choose Duplicate... (or Altdrag in the editing window with Move Tool selected) . The process
also lets you copy the layer to a new or currently opened image.
To link layers, select multiple layers and choose Link Layers from the
Layers menu (or right-click in the Layers tab).
To rearrange layers, select the layer(s) in the Layers tab and drag up or
down. A red line “drop target” appears between layers as you drag.
Drop the layer(s) on a target to relocate in the stack.
To merge layers together into one, right click and choose Merge
Down (merges into layer below), Merge Visible (merges only visible
layers), Merge Selected Layers (merges currently selected layers), or
Merge All (to flatten all layers into one).
Using layer groups
For greater management and
efficiency it is possible to place selected
layers into a pre-defined group, created
with the New Layer Group button in the
Layers tab.
In the example opposite, the highlighted
“Beach Only” group contains two
transparent standard layers called
“Beach” and “Surfer Girl”.
Alternatively, you can select multiple layers and add them to a new unnamed
group by selecting either New Layer Group from Selected Layers or Group
Layers on the Layers menu. There are many reasons why you might want to use
groups in addition to layers. Here are a few...
To create a self-contained group of layers which are all related, e.g. all
the Text Layers used in your photo.
To collect layers together which make up a specific photo feature, e.g.
the beach components of a seaside shot.
142 Layers and Masks
To make a mask or blend apply to only specific layers, i.e. those that
contained within a group.
To apply changes to a group that you would otherwise have to apply to
each layer in turn—thus improving efficiency.
In reality a group is really just another layer but one which can store layers
within itself. It’s not surprising then that a group can have its own blend mode,
opacity and blend ranges just like a layer. A group can also be merged and made
visible/invisible—or even grouped within another group.
To create a Layer Group:
Select a layer to set the position in the layer stack in which you want to
place the Layer Group.
Choose the
New Layer Group button (or select New Layer
Group... from the Layers menu).
In the dialog, enter group name, blend mode, opacity, and blend range
for the group.
Click OK.
To add one or more layers to a Layer Group:
Select the layer(s) you want to add to the group and drag onto the
group name. The layer(s) will then appear indented under the group.
To remove a layer:
To remove the layer(s), drag the layer away from the group and drop it
into an ungrouped area of the Layers tab (a red line indicate where the
layer is to be placed). You can also use Ungroup Layers from the
Layers menu if all layers are to be removed.
To merge a Layer Group:
To flatten the layer group, select the group and choose Merge>Merge
Layer Group from the Layers menu.
You cannot move the Background layer to a group.
Layers and Masks
Using adjustment layers
Adjustment layers let you insert any
number of image adjustments
experimentally. Unlike the other
layer types, adjustment layers don't
store content in the form of bitmap
images, text, or shapes. Rather, an
adjustment layer applies the
adjustment to content on all layers
below it (you can restrict the effects
of the adjustment to one underlying
layer by adding both to a group; see
p. 141).
Adjustment layers all have corresponding entries on the Image menu—but
instead of altering the image or layer directly as with the Image>Adjust
commands, adjustment layers let you revisit the settings for a given adjustment
as often as needed, while continuing to edit the image in other ways. If you later
decide you don't even need an adjustment, you can simply remove it!
The following adjustments are available as adjustment layers:
Levels: Adjust contrast and tonal range by shifting dark, light, and
mid-tone values.
Curves: Fine-tune lightness (luminance) values in the image or color
channel using a line graph.
Color Balance: Adjust color and tonal balance for general color
correction in the image.
Brightness/Contrast: Vary brightness and/or contrast.
Hue/Saturation/Lightness: Vary hue, saturation, and/or lightness
values, or colorize an image.
Selective Color: Add or subtract a certain percentage of cyan,
magenta, yellow, and/or black ink.
Channel Mixer: Modify a color channel using a mix of the current
color channels.
144 Layers and Masks
Gradient Map: Remap grayscale (lightness) information in the image
to a selected gradient.
Lens Filter: Apply a color filter to warm up (or cool down) your
Black & White Film: Convert your color image to black and white
Threshold: Create a monochromatic (black and white) representation.
Negative Image: Invert each color, replacing it with an "opposite"
Posterize: Apply the Posterize effect by limiting the number of
lightness levels.
For more in-depth details on each adjustment, view the PhotoPlus help, click the
Contents tab, and open the "Image Adjustments and Effects" book.
Layers and Masks
To create an adjustment layer:
New Adjustment Layer button on the Layers tab.
Click the
Select the name of the adjustment from the flyout menu.
Use the displayed dialog to pick the settings to be applied, then click
OK. A new adjustment layer, with adjustment name and identifying
thumbnail, is inserted above the active layer. The adjustment is applied
to all underlying layers.
To change the specific settings for an effect:
Double-click the adjustment layer's name in the list and then use the
dialog again.
To access layer properties for an adjustment layer:
Right-click the layer name and choose Properties....
146 Layers and Masks
As with other layers, you can change the adjustment layer’s name, hide the
adjustment, set its Opacity, Blend Mode and/or Blend Ranges. You can also drag
an adjustment layer up or down within the Layers tab to determine exactly
which other layers are below and therefore affected by it.
Using filter layers
If you apply a filter effect to a
standard or background layer,
the layer is permanently altered.
However, if you want the
flexibility of being able to edit
your filter effects at any point in
the future (and don't want to
destroy the layer contents) you
can create a Filter Layer (e.g.,
PaperCut12) directly over your
standard or background layer.
This non-destructive approach keeps layer content independent of your effects.
Otherwise without filter layers, you would have to repeatedly undo your
operations if you've had a rethink and no longer want to apply a specific layer's
filter effect.
When a Filter Layer is created, the Filter Gallery is launched which allows one or
more of your chosen filter effects to be added. At any point in the future, you can
control your effects from the Filter Gallery—add, modify, replace, or delete
effects equally!
Layers and Masks
To convert to a filter layer:
In the Layers tab, right-click a standard or Background layer and
choose Convert to Filter Layer....
From the displayed Filter Gallery, open a filter category (e.g. Distort,
Blur, etc.) by clicking the button, then choose a filter thumbnail
(showing a preview of your image with the filter applied).
See Using the Filter Gallery on p. 123 for more details.
Click OK to close the Filter Gallery. The layer now shows the letter “F”
indicating that one or more filter effects are now applied.
To edit the filter layer:
In the Layers tab, double-click the filter layer.
From the Filter Gallery, add, modify, or delete filter effects, then click
OK. The changes are stored in the modified Filter Layer.
Using blend modes
You can think of blend modes as different rules for putting pixels together to
create a resulting color. In PhotoPlus, you'll encounter blend modes in several
As a property of individual tools, the tool's
blend mode determines what happens if you
use the tool to apply a new color pixel on top
of an existing color pixel. Note that once
you've applied paint to a region, that's it—
you've changed the color of pixels there.
Subsequently changing a tool's blend mode
won't alter brush strokes you've already laid
Behind and Clear modes are only available
for tools and not for layers.
148 Layers and Masks
As a property of individual layers, a layer's
blend mode determines how each pixel on
that layer visibly combines with those on
layers below. (Because there are no layers
below the Background layer, it can't have a
blend mode.) Note that changing a layer's
blend mode property doesn't actually alter the
pixels on the layer—so you can create
different blend mode effects after creating the
image content, then merge layers when you've
achieved the result you want.
As a property of certain 3D layer effects,
where the blend mode is one of many settings
that determine a color change superimposed
on the layer's pixels. The effects themselves are
editable and don't alter the actual pixel
values—nor does the effect's blend mode alter
the layer's blend mode setting.
For an illustration of the individual blend modes, see “blend modes” in the
PhotoPlus Help’s index.
A tool or layer's Opacity setting interacts with its blend mode to produce
varying results. For details, see Adjusting opacity/transparency on p. 150.
To set a tool's blend mode:
Select the tool and use the drop-down list (displays Normal by default)
on the tool's Context toolbar.
To set a standard layer's blend mode:
Select the layer and choose the mode from the Blend Mode dropdown list.
Layers and Masks
Using blend ranges
A Blend Mode can be associated with a tool or layer to produce different color
effects when pixels from each layer are painted on top of each other. Blend
ranges, a more advanced blending feature, differ in that they specify the range of
colors on a current layer that is to be blended with the underlying layer—this is a
simple include or exclude of tones or colors in the blending process.
Just like blend modes, blend
ranges are created and
modified in the Layer
Properties dialog.
The blend range can be set for Red, Green, Blue or Gray channels. The upper
layer (This Layer) and its Underlying Layer can each be allocated a value from
0\0 to 255\255 each which represents the tonal or color value—value pairs (e.g.,
70\70 or 255\255) are set by moving the triangular sliders to the required value
on the range selector. In the example above, the gray tones of value less than 70
150 Layers and Masks
are not included in the blend. This means that the color of the underlying layers
pixels is used instead (as there is no blending taking place).
To apply a blend range:
Open an image that possesses more than one layer.
Go to the Layers tab. Decide which two layers you want to apply a
blend range between.
Double-click the upper layer.
In the Blend Ranges box, specify a channel to work on in the Channel
drop-down menu – choose Gray, Red, Green or Blue.
On the This Layer range selector, drag either the lower or upper
sliders right or left, respectively, to limit the blend range. You can drag
both sliders to reduce both the upper and lower ranges if you wish.
Do the same for the Underlying Layer.
Click OK to apply the blend range.
With the Alt key, smoothing is possible by splitting the triangular sliders into
two and moving one half to a new position on the range selector. The greater the
difference in values, the greater the smoothing applied.
Adjusting opacity/transparency
Opacity and transparency describe
essentially the same thing (like "half full"
and "half empty"). They both describe the
degree to which a particular pixel's color
contributes to the overall color at that
point in the image.
Layers and Masks
Varying opacity is rather like lighting a gauze backdrop in a theater: depending
on how light falls on it, it can be rendered either visible or invisible, or in
between. Fully opaque pixels contribute their full color value to the image. Fully
transparent pixels are invisible: they contribute nothing to the image. Inbetween pixels are called semi-transparent. You'll primarily encounter opacity in
one of these two contexts:
As a property of the pixels laid down by individual tools (Paintbrush,
Clone, Eraser, Fill, Smudge, QuickShape, and more) . When you paint
on-screen with one of these tools, you're applying pixels—pixels that
are more or less opaque, depending on the tool's opacity setting. Note
that once you've applied paint to a region, that's it—you've changed
the opacity of pixels there. Subsequently changing a tool's opacity
setting won't alter brush strokes you've already laid down!
As a property of individual standard layers (as in the example above).
The layer's opacity setting affects all the pixels on the layer, and is
cumulative with the opacity of individual pixels already there.
A tool or layer's blend mode interacts with its opacity setting to
produce varying results. For details, see Using blend modes on p. 147.
To set a tool's opacity:
Select the tool (e.g., Paintbrush Tool) and from the Context toolbar
either enter a percentage Opacity value directly or use the slider (click
the option's right arrow button).
To set a layer's opacity:
Select the layer in the Layers tab and adjust the Opacity setting at the
top of the tab—either enter a percentage Opacity value directly or use
the slider (click the option's right arrow button). The layer's opacity
will change on-screen as the slider is adjusted.
To read the opacity values of pixels on the active layer:
Select the
Color Pickup Tool from the Tools toolbar and move it
around the image.
152 Layers and Masks
Read the value shown for "O" (Opacity) on the HintLine (e.g., O:80%).
The readout updates constantly, showing the opacity value of each
pixel under the cursor.
For more useful hints and tips about using opacity, see PhotoPlus help.
Using depth maps
Depth maps let you add remarkable 3D realism to ordinary images. A standard
"flat" image, of course, has only two dimensions: X and Y, or width and height.
Adding a depth map to a layer gives you an extra channel that stores
information for a third (Z-axis or depth) dimension, in effect adding "volume" to
the image. It's as if the original image acquires a surface with peaks and valleys—
and you can play with the elevation of the landscape to achieve different visual
The example opposite was created simply by painting
in white (on a green background) with a fuzzy brush
on the depth map.
Changes on the "map" layer produce the effect of
highs and lows in the "surface"... it's like using a 3D
You can also combine depth maps with pre-defined 3D effects hosted in the
Instant Effects tab to create fascinating surfaces and textures—simply click on a
thumbnail from one of the tab's categorized galleries with your layer containing
the depth map selected, e.g.
Elements Fire Storm
Abstract Plasma
Stone Polished Stone
Layers and Masks
To create a depth map:
Add Layer
Select the layer (or group) in the Layers tab and click
Depth Map.
You'll see a thumbnail of the depth map appear to the right of the
bitmap thumbnail. The Depth Map is initially selected.
Paint directly on your page (you're actually painting or erasing directly
on the map). Your brush stroke on the depth map produces
interesting depressions and ridges on the image, which are exposed by
3D lighting effects automatically applied from the 3D Effects category.
While working on the layer, you can switch back and forth between the bitmap,
depth map, and (optional) mask by clicking the appropriate layer thumbnail.
You can also switch the depth map off and on to assess its contribution to the
image, or subtract it for creative reasons.
To switch the depth map off and on:
Shift-click its preview thumbnail, next to the layer name.
When the depth map is switched off a red ‘X’ appears
across the thumbnail.
To remove the depth map and cancel its effects on the layer:
Select the map thumbnail and click the layer tab's
(Don't press the Delete key!)
Delete button.
154 Layers and Masks
Importing a depth map
Another way of incorporating a depth map is to create a suitable bitmap image
separately (or borrow one from somewhere else) and then paste it via the
Clipboard to an existing PhotoPlus depth map.
Using masks
Masking in a program like PhotoPlus is a bit more complicated than applying
masking tape to the screen! But fundamentally the concept is the same: you can
hide certain parts of an image—in this case by rendering them transparent,
hence invisible. To do that, you create a mask on a non-Background layer (the
Background layer doesn't support transparency).
By changing the grayscale values on the mask (using the paint tools and other
devices), you can impose corresponding changes in the opacity of the
underlying layer's pixels (values stored as the layer's alpha channel) . For
example, by applying a gradient "blacking out" across the mask, you gradually
render the layer's underlying pixels transparent, and they disappear from the
image (see above).
Besides the creative possibilities, ranging from vignetting to multi-layer montage
to gradient-fill masking (see example above) and beyond, a great feature of
working on a mask is that it is "temporary." If you don't like the way things are
going, you can abandon your changes and start over without ever having
affected the actual pixels on the layer!
Each non-Background layer can have one mask at any given time. (The
Background layer can’t have one because it doesn’t support transparency.) Mask
Layers and Masks
information, like layer information, can only be preserved by saving the image in
the native PhotoPlus (.SPP) format.
Creating the mask
Before you can use a mask,
you have to create it on a
particular layer. The mask
can start out as transparent
(revealing the whole layer),
opaque (hiding the whole
layer), a transparency
gradient (opposite) or—if
you create it from a
selection—a bit of both
(with only the selected
region hidden or revealed).
The mask shows as a mask
The choice depends on how you want to work with the layer's contents. By
darkening portions of a clear mask, you can selectively fade underlying layer
pixels. By lightening an opaque mask, you selectively reveal layer pixels.
To create a mask:
Select a layer in the Layers tab. This is the layer where you want to create
the mask, and select specific region(s) if desired.
Then either:
Click the
Add Layer Mask button to create a Reveal All mask (or
Reveal Selection if there is one). Instead, Alt-click the button for a
Hide All Mask (or Hide Selection).
Choose Mask>Add Mask from the Layers menu and then one of the
following from the submenu:
156 Layers and Masks
• Reveal All for a transparent mask over the whole layer
• Hide All for an opaque mask over the whole layer
• Reveal Selection for an opaque mask with transparent "holes" over
the selected region(s)
• Hide Selection for a transparent mask with opaque "blocks" over the
selected region(s)
On the Layers tab, a mask preview thumbnail appears, confirming that a mask
Editing on the mask
When you create your mask you immediately enter Edit Mask mode, where you
can use the full range of painting tools, selection options, flood fills, gradient
fills, and effects to alter the mask's grayscale values. These manipulations cause
corresponding changes in opacity, which in turn changes the appearance of the
pixels on the layer itself.
The image window's titlebar shows "[MASK]," indicating that a mask is currently
being edited. The Color tab switches to Grayscale mode when you're editing a
mask, and reverts to the previous setting when you exit Edit Mask mode. This
means anything you paste from the Clipboard onto the mask will automatically
be converted to grayscale.
As long as you are editing the mask, you're only seeing a preview of
changes on the layer.
You can switch out of Edit Mask mode at any time to edit the active layer
directly (or any other part of the image), then switch back to resume work on the
To edit the active layer:
Click the layer thumbnail to the left of the Mask thumbnail. The
thumbnail is then bordered in white.
Layers and Masks
To edit the active layer's mask:
Click the mask thumbnail, or check Edit Mask on the Layers menu.
In Edit Mask mode, you're normally viewing not the mask, but rather the effects
of changes "as if" you were making them on the layer below. Adding a Reveal All
mask can be a bit confusing, because there's initially no evidence the mask is
there at all (i.e. the layer appears exactly the same as it did before you added the
It's sometimes helpful to switch on the View Mask setting, which hides the layer
and lets you see only the mask, in all its grayscale glory. For example, a Reveal
All mask appears pure white in View Mask mode—the white represents a clear
mask with no effect on the underlying layer pixels' opacity. View Mask can also
be useful in the latter stages of working on a mask, to locate any small regions
that may have escaped your attention.
To view the active layer's mask:
Alt-click the mask preview thumbnail. Alt-click again to stop viewing
the mask.
White or light portions of the mask reveal layer pixels (make them more
opaque). Black or dark portions hide layer pixels (making them more
You can disable the mask to see how the layer looks without the mask's effects.
Note that disabling the mask is not the same as canceling Edit Mask mode—it
only affects your view of the layer, not which plane (i.e. mask or layer) you're
working on.
To disable the active layer's mask:
Shift-click the mask preview thumbnail, or check Disable Mask on
the Layers menu. (Shift-click again or uncheck the menu item to
enable masking again.)
When the mask is disabled, a red "X" appears across its thumbnail.
158 Layers and Masks
If you want to fine-tune a mask or layer's position independently of each
other it’s possible to unlink them. You may have noticed a small link button
between the layer and mask thumbnails on the Layers tab, i.e.
A click on this button will unlink the layer and mask, changing the button to
display a red cross through it ( ). By selecting the layer or mask thumbnail, you
can then drag the layer or mask on the page, respectively. After fine-tuning, click
the button to relink the mask to the layer.
Masks and selections
Suffice it to say that a selection, which lets you isolate specific parts of the active
layer, often makes an ideal basis for a mask. Once you've created, modified, and
manipulated a selection, it's easy to turn it into a mask.
To create a mask from a selection:
Choose Mask>Add Mask from the Layers menu. Remember you can't
create a mask on a background layer!
To create a mask revealing the selected region, choose Reveal
Selection from the submenu. Pixels outside the selection will be 100%
To create a mask hiding the selected region, choose Hide Selection
from the submenu. Pixels outside the selection will be revealed.
You can also select part of an image to create a custom brush shape, for example
a textured brush or special shape.
Conversely, you can create a selection directly from the mask by Ctrl-clicking
on the layer’s mask thumbnail. Within the resulting selection, pixels that are
lighter on the mask (conferring more opacity) become relatively more selected.
This correlates with Paint to Select mode (see p. 42), where painting in lighter
tones also confers "selectedness."
160 Creating Animations
Creating Animations
Getting started with animation
Animation creates an illusion of motion or change by displaying a series of still
pictures, rapidly enough to fool the eye—or more accurately, the brain. With
PhotoPlus, it's easy to create and edit images with multiple frames, then export
them as animated GIFs that a Web browser can play back, or AVI movies for
multimedia applications. You use exactly the same tools and interface as for
creating standard, multi-layer PhotoPlus images, with an extra tab, the
Animation tab, that includes all the additional controls you need to set up
frames, add special effects, and preview the animation. Once you're satisfied, use
the Export Optimizer to output to Animated GIF or AVI movie.
PhotoPlus gives you the choice of creating your animations from scratch,
importing a .GIF or .AVI file to edit, or converting existing photos to an
animation by selecting Convert to Animation from the File menu. Either way,
once PhotoPlus detects an animation file, it switches on the Animation tab. If
the image file is new, you'll see a single, blank frame, labeled "Frame 1." If you've
imported an animation, the tab displays each frame separately. Animation files
can have one layer, or many (see below), but all their layers are standard
(transparent) layers; there's no Background layer. If a photo is used, the first
frame will be the photo image.
The Animation tab only displays when an animation is currently
Layers and frames
Animations are created in the Animation tab (docked next to the Documents
tab at the bottom of your workspace) which works in conjunction with the
Layers tab. The tab displays a sequence of frame thumbnails. Each frame is a
different state of the image, defined in terms of which layers are shown or
hidden, the position of content on each shown layer, and the opacity of each
shown layer.
162 Creating Animations
In this file (as in any imported .GIF animation) the individual frames can each
occupy one layer in the PhotoPlus image. This is controlled with the Add Layer
to Each New Frame check box, available by right-clicking the Animation tab.
Each new frame can therefore be edited independently as it occupies its own
On the Layers tab, the layer stack for this animation
corresponds with the frame sequence, with default
names—in this case, the default "Layer 1" through to
"Layer 5". You'll notice the thumbnails correlate
between frame and layer.
If you select Frame 1 on the Animation tab (above),
you'll see that on the Layers tab (left) only the "Layer
1" layer is marked as shown, with an open-eye
button; the other layers are all hidden, with closedeye buttons.
If you then select Frame 2, only the "Layer 2" layer
will be shown, and the rest will be hidden. And so on
with the other frames.
The above example, with its one-to-one correspondence between frames and
layers, is easy to grasp—but don't make the mistake of thinking that a "frame" is
just another name for a "layer." Frames in PhotoPlus are actually much more
Creating Animations
Key point: A so-called "frame" is really just a particular state or snapshot of the
various layers in the image, in terms of three layer properties:
Shown/Hidden: Which layers are shown and which are hidden
Position: The position of the contents of each "shown" layer
Opacity: The opacity setting of each "shown" layer
As you switch between frames, you switch between states. In the simple example
above, the six frames define six states in terms of Property 1—each of the six
frames defines a different layer as "shown." We could rearrange the stacking
order of the layers, or rename them—the animation itself wouldn't change.
When you create a new frame on the Animation tab, you're not adding a new
layer. The new frame merely enables you to define a new state of the layers that
already exist. Of course, you could go on and create an additional layer (using
the Layers tab), but then all your animation frames would need to take that layer
into account—in other words, hide it when it wasn't needed.
Single-layer animation
Let's look at a different example (below) which shows the Yin-Yang symbol as a
bouncing ball, and although it has four frames it only has one layer (Add Layer
to Each New Frame was unchecked). Three additional frames were cloned from
Frame 1 (using the New Frame button), and then, within each subsequent frame
the layer was dragged slightly (with the Move Tool) to reposition its contents in
the window.
164 Creating Animations
Working with animation frames
Let's cover the "nuts and bolts" of creating and arranging animation frames using
the Animation tab. You'll use the tab in conjunction with the Layers tab to
varying extents, but we'll focus on the Animation tab for the moment.
Here are some general guidelines to help you produce memorable animations:
Decide if you want layers to be created with each frame. Check or
uncheck the Add Layer to Each New Frame option (if needed) by
right-clicking on the Animation tab. This means that each new frame
can be edited independently as it occupies its own layer.
Create enough frames to define the separate states of the animation.
Step through the frames, adjusting layer content and state for each
frame. You can delete or reposition frames as needed, and preview the
animation at any time.
Save the animation as a regular PhotoPlus (.SPP) file, and export it to
the .GIF or .AVI format.
To create a new frame:
Click the
New Frame button (or right-click a thumbnail and
choose New Frame).
The previously selected frame is cloned as a new frame, immediately following it
in the sequence.
To select a single frame:
To select any one frame, click its thumbnail.
Click the
First Frame button to select the first frame of the
sequence (rewind).
Click the
Previous Frame button to select the previous frame of
the sequence.
If the first frame was selected, you'll cycle back to the last frame of the
Creating Animations
Click the
Next Frame button to select the next frame of the
If the last frame of the sequence was selected, you'll cycle forward to
the first frame.
Click the
Last Frame button to select the last frame of the
To select more than one frame:
To select multiple non-adjacent frames, hold down the Ctrl key when
selecting each one.
To select a range of adjacent frames, hold down the Shift key and click
the first and last thumbnail in the range.
To speed up the animation process:
Tweening, short for "in-betweening", automatically creates a
chosen number of frames between the currently selected frame and the
previous or next frame. This gives a smoother transition of your
animation during playback and saves you time.
• Set the number of new frames to be created between the next and
previous frames.
• Apply the tweening to just the currently selected layer or all layers.
• Set which frame attributes are to be tweened—choose Position,
Opacity and/or Effects. Position lets you distribute frame objects
evenly between next and previous frames (great for creating motion
To clone multiple frames, select (see above) then click the New Frame
button. To clone all frames, right-click the tab and choose Select All
then clone.
Use Reverse Frames on the right-click menu to reverse the order of a
series of selected frames. For example, for bouncing ball animations,
create the animated ball as if it were being dropped, use the above
"clone all frame" technique on all frames, then reverse the newly
166 Creating Animations
cloned frames while selected. You may need to remove the first of the
cloned frames because of duplication.
To mirror a frame layer's attributes:
To mirror the attributes of a frames' layers with respect to Position,
Opacity, Blend Mode, Visibility and Effects, select specific or all
frames (see above) ensuring that the "target" frame which possesses the
attribute(s) to be copied is selected first, then choose Unify Layer
Across Frames. All "destination" frames adopt the layer attributes of
the "target" frame.
To delete one or more frames:
Select the thumbnail(s) and click the
Delete Frame button. (To
delete a single frame, you can also right-click it and choose Delete.)
To reposition a frame in the sequence:
Drag its thumbnail and drop it before or after another frame. Note the
black vertical insertion cursor to indicate the proposed new position of
a frame.
To play (preview) the animation:
Click the
Play button.
The Animation tab includes two options—one global, the other local—that you
should consider before exporting the animation.
For .GIFs (not .AVIs), you can set a loop property for the animation as
a whole. (You can also set this property on the Animation tab of the
Export Optimizer.)
If you want the sequence to play through only once and end
displaying the first frame, click the Fixed Loop button and enter "1" in
the box. Enter a higher value to repeat the sequence a fixed number of
Click the
Endless Loop button to have the sequence repeat
Creating Animations
If the playback of certain frames (or all frames) seems too fast, you can
select any frame and enter a value greater than 0 in the Frame Delay
field. The frame's delay factor (in milliseconds) will be exported along
with the .GIF. Sometimes all frames may require a delay factor in
order to achieve proper pacing. You can select multiple (or all) frames
and enter a common value in the Frame Delay field.
To stop the animation:
Click the
Stop button.
To export the animation as a .GIF file:
Choose Export Optimizer... from the File menu. The animated GIF
format is selected as default.
For details on exporting, see Exporting to another file format on p. 199.
To preview the animation in your Web browser:
Choose Preview in Browser from the File menu. PhotoPlus exports
the image as a temporary file, then opens the file for preview in your
Web browser.
To flatten your frames:
For more complex animations, your animation project can be
simplified by flattening all frames (individual frames cannot be
flattened); right-click and choose Flatten Frames. Multiple layers
associated with frames are replaced by a single layer; layer objects are
no longer independent and are therefore no longer editable.
Applying animation effects
You can turn a variety of PhotoPlus effects (those found on the Effects menu)
into animated transition sequences. The process "in-betweens" or "morphs" a
layer from a designated starting frame into an end state over a specified number
of frames, creating one new layer per frame. You have the option of creating
brand new frames or spreading the sequence over existing frames. If you like,
you can select a "Ping Pong" option that builds in a reverse sequence so the end
state visually matches the starting point.
168 Creating Animations
You can either have PhotoPlus create a sequence of new frames for the effect
(check Create as new frames) or you can create some empty frames yourself and
then generate the effect with the Create as new frames option unchecked. This
will integrate the new layers into the existing blank frames, beginning with the
designated Start frame.
To use text or shapes with animation effects, first merge the text or
shape layer into a standard layer, or convert it to a standard layer by
right-clicking on the layer name and choosing Rasterize from the
flyout menu.
To apply a special effect:
Select the frame, and the specific layer on the frame, you want to use as
the starting point (we'll just call this the "Start frame").
Click the
Effects button on the Animation tab to display the
Animation Effects dialog. The dialog provides two preview windows
(for the Start and End frames) that initially display the contents of the
selected layer.
Click an effect name in the Effects list. The dialog changes to provide
custom controls for each effect (try clicking on different effects for a
Click the left-hand (Start Preview) window to set properties for the
starting frame (note the red border when selected), adjust the controls
or enter values, then click the right-hand (End Preview) window and
choose settings for the final frame, as the preview windows update.
To set the length of the sequence, enter a value in the Number of
Frames box. The process will create a series of new "shown" layers,
with one new layer per frame. In other words, a six-frame sequence
always adds six new layers to the image.
Check Create as new frames if you want to put the sequence into a
series of new frames, beginning immediately after the designated Start
frame. If you uncheck this option, the new layers will be integrated
into existing frames (which should be blank if you want to see the
results!), beginning with the Start frame.
Creating Animations
To set a delay factor (to be applied to each frame in the sequence),
enter a value in the Frame Delay box.
Check Ping Pong to build a "two-way" sequence that morphs to the
end state and back again. This works for .GIFs, but not .AVIs. (If you
choose this option, remember to increase the number of frames or cut
the frame delay to maintain visual pacing.)
Play and
Stop buttons.
To preview the animation, click the
The sequence appears in the End preview window. (Note that because
the effect filter must work "on the fly," timing in preview mode may
not be accurate.)
10. Click OK to apply the effect, or Cancel to abandon changes.
170 Creating Animations
Making Images
for the web
172 Making Images for the web
Making Images for the web
Slicing images
Image slicing and image maps are two convenient ways to create navbars
(navigation bars) and clickable graphics for Web pages. With image slicing, a
graphic is carved up into smaller graphics—each of which can have its own link,
like any Web graphic—and PhotoPlus saves the sections as separate files when
you export the image. The process also exports HTML tags describing a table
containing the separate graphics, allowing a Web browser to reassemble them
seamlessly. The result appears as a single larger graphic, but with different
regions linked to different targets.
For example, the menubar graphic (below top)... can be sliced into four separate
graphics (below bottom), each linked to a different Web page.
The Image Slice Tool lets you divide the image into sections which can be
exported to the .GIF or .JPG file format. You can specify alternate text and URL
links for each of the image sections individually.
To slice the image:
Choose the
To place a horizontal slice guide on the image, click on the image at
your chosen cursor position. Shift-click to place a vertical guide. A red
guide line appears with each click.
To move a guide, simply drag it.
To delete a guide, drag it out of the image window.
Image Slice Tool from the Standard toolbar.
174 Making Images for the web
To specify the alternate text and/or link:
Right-click an image slice (any area enclosed by horizontal and vertical
slice guides) and enter the alternate Text and URL (link) information
in the dialog.
Once you've sliced up your image you have to export it to make the image slices
understandable to a Web visitor's browser.
To export a sliced image:
When exporting with File>Export Optimizer, ensure the Create
Image Slices box is checked on the second Export dialog. Specify a
name and folder for the files as usual, and choose either .GIF or .JPG
as the export file type.
Since exporting slices creates multiple files, you may wish to create
a separate folder for them.
The export will create multiple files in the specified folder, depending on how
many slices you have defined. The output consists of a series of image files of the
format selected (for example, MYFILEH0V0.GIF, MYFILEH0V1.GIF, etc.) and
a single HTML file (for example, MYFILE.HTM). The HTML file contains the
tags for the set of image slices, ready to be pasted into the source code for the
Web page.
Creating image maps
Whereas image slicing subdivides an entire graphic into smaller graphics and
exports them separately, image maps consist of hotspots that you draw with
special tools over selected parts of an image. When a visitor passes their mouse
cursor over the hotspot, a small caption is displayed and the pointer will change
to a pointing hand. Clicking the mouse while the cursor is over the hotspot will
invoke a hyperlink to a specified URL.
Making Images for the web
You assign each hotspot its own target—for example, the URL of a Web page.
Hotspots aren't attached to a particular image, but become part of a larger "map"
that gets exported along with an image and turns into HTML code. It's then up
to the Web developer to embed the image map code properly into the Web page.
Image Map Tools flyout on the Standard toolbar displays a flyout
menu of tools for creating and editing image maps.
Image maps are useful if you want to define isolated and/or irregularly shaped
clickable regions on a Web graphic, as opposed to subdividing the entire graphic
into rectangular image slices.
To draw a hotspot:
Click the Image Map Tools flyout on the Standard toolbar and choose
one of the following tools:
Image Map Rectangle
Image Map Circle
Image Map Polygon
For rectangles and circles, use the tool to drag out a hotspot on the
active layer. To draw a polygon, drag and release the mouse button to
define each line segment; double-click to close the polygon. All
hotspots are shaded in turquoise.
When using the Image Map Rectangle, hold down the Ctrl key while
dragging out to constrain the hotspot's shape to a square.
176 Making Images for the web
To edit a hotspot:
Image Map
Click the Image Map Tools flyout and choose the
Selection tool.
To resize the hotspot, drag from an edge.
To move the hotspot, drag from the center.
Right-click the hotspot to set hotspot Properties.... Enter hover-over
Text and add an associated target URL. Previously used URLs are
saved and can be selected from the drop-down list by clicking on the
arrow at the end of the box. On export, entered text will pop up when
the cursor moves over the hotspot.
(Optional) The right-click menu also lets you order overlapping
hotspots and to Delete selected hotspots.
To export an image map:
When exporting via Export Optimizer, check the Create HTML for
Image Maps box on the second Export dialog.
The output consists of an image file and an HTML file with the same base name.
The HTML file contains the tags for the image map, ready to be pasted into the
source code for the Web page.
Macros and
Batch Processing
178 Macros and Batch Processing
Macros and Batch Processing
Understanding macros
If there are operations that you want to repeatedly perform in PhotoPlus, you
can apply a macro. Put simply, a macro is a saved sequence of commands that
can be stored and then recalled at a later date. Macros can be used for:
Applying effects
Image adjustments
There are hundreds, possibly
thousands, of macros that could be
recorded for PhotoPlus. The good
news is that PhotoPlus already offers
a wide range of pre-recorded macros
ready for your use. These macros are
available in the Macros tab, where
they are separated into various
categories including Black & White
Photography, Color, Commands,
Vignettes, Layout Blurs, and Frames
(shown) to name but a few.
You'll notice an
icon next to each
macro which, when clicked, displays
the commands that make up the
macro (click to collapse again). For
example, a macro that creates a wood
frame would have a series of recorded
commands listed chronologically.
They may be enabled, disabled,
reordered or made interactive “on the
180 Macros and Batch Processing
You can cut, copy, paste or even duplicate any macro. This allows you to modify
pre-defined macros once pasted into your own user-defined categories.
Recording Macros
Of course at some point you may want to record your own macro. It’s probably a
good idea to create a new category into which you can save your newly recorded
macros—this keeps them separate from the pre-recorded macros supplied with
PhotoPlus. This is because recorded macros will be indistinguishable from your
preset macros once recorded.
When recording macros, it can be a good idea to ensure that the Layout
Rulers/Grid units in File>Preferences are set to "percent". This approach
ensures that recorded macro commands such as document resizing or framing
are carried out in proportion to the original photo rather than by an absolute
value. Imagine adding an absolute frame size to a small photo that would
otherwise be acceptable on the larger photo. On some occasions you may want
to use absolute values—simply use absolute grid units.
Try to plan ahead before recording—If you jot down your intended
command sequence you'll make fewer mistakes!
To create a new category:
Display the Macros tab.
Click the
In the dialog, enter a new category name and click OK. The new
empty category is displayed automatically.
New Category button at the bottom of the Macros tab.
Any currently displayed category can be edited or deleted via the
Tab Menu button at the top right of the Macros tab.
To record a macro:
In the Macros tab, select a category from the drop-down list of
category names.
New Macro button at the bottom of the Macros tab to
Click the
provide a macro name in advance of recording your macro. The
Macros and Batch Processing
macro name appears at the bottom of the list of macros in the
currently displayed category.
Select the
Start Recording button. Any command that can be
saved in a macro will be stored while recording is in progress.
Carry out the command sequence you want to record, following the
instructions when necessary.
Stop recording your macro with the
Stop Recording button!
To view the macro, navigate to the correct category, then click on the
to expand the entry to show the command list recorded by the macro.
Playing Macros
To play a macro you need to choose a photo to which you want to apply your
recorded or pre-recorded macro. Any macro needs to be played to repeat the
recorded commands.
To play a macro:
Open the photo you wish to apply the macro to.
From the Macros tab, choose a category from the drop-down menu,
then select your macro.
Choose the
Play button in the Macros tab to play the macro.
Abort any macro playback at any time with the ESC key.
182 Macros and Batch Processing
Modifying Macros
Once you’ve recorded and
played back your macro it's
possible to modify the
macro’s saved sequence of
commands. These are listed
in the order they were
recorded and may be
enabled, disabled, reordered
or made interactive "on the
fly". Macro commands are
enabled by default.
It is also possible to perform a right-click to delete, rename or duplicate a
command from the flyout menu. In the command list, the command order can
be rearranged by simple drag and drop of any command into a new position.
Any changes made will be applied to the macro immediately such that no file
saving is required.
It is possible to copy and paste pre-defined macros to any userdefined category but not individual commands within each macro.
Warning: If you significantly modify your macro command list your
macro may become unusable, so it’s important to exercise some
restraint while editing—experimentation and testing is the rule of
Macros and Batch Processing
To switch a command off:
Go to the Macros tab.
Choose a category from the drop-down menu.
Decide which macro you want to modify.
icon next to the macro name to reveal the macro’s
Click the
command list in the drop-down menu.
Each list entry begins with a check box
which switches on or off
the relevant command. Uncheck the box to switch the command off.
Experimentation is required when switching commands on or off—
some commands are integral to the way a macro operates!
To enable command interactivity:
This allows you to intervene in the macro running process to alter some dialog
values, i.e. the next time a macro is played, the macro will pop-up the relevant
dialog associated with a command, pausing the macro temporarily. For example,
for a "Frames" macro, the Canvas Size dialog could be made to display during
macro playback to allow new canvas dimensions to be entered manually (try
some pre-defined Frames macros + options for examples of this).
Go to the Macros tab.
Choose a category from the drop-down menu.
Decide on a macro which is to be made interactive.
icon next to the chosen macro's name to reveal the
Click the
macro’s command list in the drop-down menu.
Click the empty box before a command name to display the
Enable\Disable Dialog icon.
Load a photo and play the modified macro. The macro pauses to
display a dialog associated with the above command name.
Modify any settings and press the OK button. The macro will
184 Macros and Batch Processing
To switch off command interactivity, simply click the
icon again.
Did you spot that some commands have no "interactive" boxes?
This is because some commands by their nature have no dialogs
associated with them!
To add manual instructions to your command list:
Another example of interactivity is the inclusion of a pause into your macro.
This allows you to pop up manual instructions (or important notes) in a dialog
at pre-defined points as your macro runs. There are a number of reasons for
doing this—your macro can’t record selections or operations that are particular
to each photo so manual selection is essential in some instances, or maybe you
want to add a helpful note (e.g., "perform a brush stroke") or warning in advance
of a required action or dialog.
Right-click on a command in a macro's command list and select Insert
Pause... from the flyout menu.
Add some relevant notes into the Stop Options dialog—check Allow
continue if you want to present a Continue button in your dialog as
the macro runs. Clicking the button will continue the macro process.
Click OK. The Stop command is added to the command list below the
command you performed a right-click on (you may want to drag it to
before the command).
Load a photo and play the modified macro (see Playing Macros
above). The macro pauses to display a dialog with your instructions—
remember these before the next step!
Click the Stop button.
Perform the task(s) as instructed in the dialog.
button to continue the macro from the next command
Press the
in the list after the Stop command.
If you don’t need to perform the manual operation, click Continue
to continue the macro without pausing.
Macros and Batch Processing
Copying, duplicating and deleting Macros
With the vast collection of macros and commands at your disposal, it’s useful to
know that you can copy preset or user-defined macros to any user-defined
category for modification—simply right-click on the macro to be copied and
select Copy. You can paste the macro by right-click then selecting Paste (the
macro will be added to the end of the category list). Additionally, commands can
be moved (as opposed to copied) between any user-defined macros by drag and
You can't copy macros or commands into any pre-defined category.
User-defined macros and their associated commands can also be duplicated (or
deleted) by right-click and selection of the Duplicate (or Delete) command.
Batch processing
The batch processing feature is especially useful if you want to repeat the same
operation again and again... Batch processing allows you to:
Use Macro: uses pre-recorded or user-defined macros as part of the
batch process.
Change File Type: to bulk convert images to a new file type (with
different file properties if needed).
Resize Images: to resample images to various widths, heights, or
resolutions (using different resampling methods).
Change File Name: to alter the file names of images in bulk.
For any of the above, you specify separate source and destination folders as your
input and output. There are several advantages to this, mainly that your original
photos are not overwritten.
186 Macros and Batch Processing
The Batch dialog, available from
the File menu, is used to perform
all of the above operations.
As a pre-requisite, you have to
define a specific Source Folder
for any batch processing
operation, whether using a macro
or not, or if converting photos to
a different file format.
A Destination folder can
optionally be defined, creating
new files in that new location
(otherwise the source folder is
used, overwriting original
To save you time, PhotoPlus will remember previously selected Source and
Destination folders while PhotoPlus is loaded.
You may be wondering how batch processing affects photos currently loaded in
PhotoPlus. PhotoPlus’s batch processing only operates on source folder contents
and not on the currently loaded photos themselves—so these remain unaffected.
However, as a visual check, you will see each photo temporarily being loaded
and converted one-by-one in the Photo window during batch processing.
Check the output folder via Windows Explorer to ensure the results
are as you expect.
Using macros
Macros (see p. 179) can be applied to a batch process easily. Click the Use Macro
check box and pick a category and macro name. PhotoPlus doesn’t differentiate
between pre-recorded and recorded macros. If available, they are selected from
the same Category and Macro drop-down menus equally.
Macros and Batch Processing
Changing file type
It is possible to convert your photos into one of many different file types
available in PhotoPlus. In addition, conversion options such as bit depth, palette,
dithering, compression/quality, and matte can be selected depending on the file
Changing image size
As well as changing file formats, PhotoPlus can use batch processing to alter
image sizes in bulk (using a choice of resampling methods). Typically, this is a
quick and easy way to make your images scale to a maximum image dimension
(height or width) with aspect ratio maintained, to absolute image dimensions
(with stretching/shrinking to fit), scale by percentage, and scale by resolution
(DPI). Use for sending your digital photos via email or perhaps to publish your
images online via a web site.
Check Maintain aspect ratio then enter
values for Max Width and Max Height
to scale to maximum intended
dimensions while preserving the image's
original aspect ratio.
With Maintain aspect ratio unchecked,
enter values for absolute Width and
Height to make images of a fixed size.
As aspect ratio is not maintained, images
may be stretched horizontally or
Change the units of measurement to
percent, then enter identical percentage
values to scale Width and Height in
proportion (maintain aspect ratio);
otherwise, different values will stretch
images horizontally or vertically.
188 Macros and Batch Processing
Enter a DPI value to alter the original
resolution of the images.
Pick a method from the drop-down list.
Use Nearest Pixel for hard-edge images,
Bilinear Interpolation when shrinking
photos, Bicubic Interpolation when
enlarging photos, and Lanczos3 Window
when best quality results are expected.
The list is ordered according to
processing times (fastest to slowest).
Changing file names
It is also possible to define a Destination File Name for the files to be processed
by selecting the dialog's Modify... button. In the File Name Format dialog you
can select new file names that can be built up using the current date/time,
document names, sequence number, or text string, individually or in
combination. Remember to use the sequence number to generate a separate file
for every file to be converted—otherwise your first converted file will be
overwritten continually.
Printing and
190 Printing and Exporting
Printing and Exporting
For basic printing primarily to desktop printers, PhotoPlus offers an exciting,
comprehensive, and versatile printing solution for your photos.
The easy-to-use Print Studio lets you easily jump between different
print modes, each mode designed for single- or multi-image printing of
differing print layouts. Multi-image printing in PhotoPlus lets you make the
most of expensive photo quality printing paper by "ganging" several images onto
a single output sheet using a print layout or contact sheet template (shown
192 Printing and Exporting
Single Image
Use for basic desktop printing of an individual image, with supporting
Layout options (image scaling, positioning, and tiling) and template
Print Layout
Adopt a pre-defined layout template for standard print sizes (in
portrait/landscape orientation), passport sizes, and mixed print sizes.
Contact Sheet
Use this mode for template-driven thumbnail prints—great for
creating labels!
For any mode, you can also create your own custom template from
an existing template.
Currently open documents will be used for printing, although you
can add more directly within Print Studio.
To print:
1. Click the
Print button on the Standard toolbar.
The Print Studio appears which shows your currently open images as
thumbnails in a scrolling gallery at the bottom of your workspace, a page
layout region in the centre, a selection of templates at the right, and a
print mode/options pane to the left.
2. From the Mode drop-down menu, select a mode from Single Image,
Print Layout, or Contact Sheets.
to set
3. Choose a Printer from the drop-down menu. Click
up the printer for the correct page size, portrait (tall), or landscape
(wide) orientation. The preview window may change according to your
printer setup.
4. From the right-hand template list, select a template specific to the mode
Printing and Exporting
• Choose a category which matches
your current print mode, e.g. in
Print Layout mode, pick a Print
Layout category.
• To insert a particular template into
the central page layout region,
simply click its gallery thumbnail.
A print layout’s cells need to
be manually populated;
other modes will autopopulate cells.
5. Depending on print mode, decide on which images are to be used for
printing, i.e.
To replace an image in Single Image mode, you can select a
different image from the lower image gallery.
To populate your layout in Print Layout mode, right-click a
gallery thumbnail and select Fill Layout with Image. All
occupied or empty cells in your layout are replaced. Alternatively,
to fill an individual cell, drag a replacement image from the lower
image gallery onto the "target" cell. A print layout’s cells need to
be manually populated; other modes will auto-populate cells.
To change the images shown in Contact Sheet mode, use the
Distribution option in Image Options to control image
6. (Optional) From the left-hand pane, click the
Options for sizing and rotating images in cells:
button beside Image
Enable Fit image to cell to make the image fit within the cell
Enable Fill cell with image to scale the image to fit all of the cell.
194 Printing and Exporting
Check Rotate for best fit to make portrait images fit cells of
landscape orientation (and vice versa) to make maximum use of
cell space.
7. (Optional) Check Border to add a border of a configurable width (use
input box) and Color (click the swatch to select color from a dialog).
8. (Optional) To caption your images, check Label to add a Date, image
Filename, or Sequence number under each image; select from the dropdown menu. For a combination of label formats, click Modify..., add
tokens to assemble a sample name, then click OK; the drop-down menu
changes to Custom. See Changing file names for more information.
9. Click
, or
to save settings (but not print).
To open additional images for printing, click
. Select
a photo for addition then click Open.... The image is added as a
thumbnail to the gallery.
Sizing and rotating images in cells
The Print dialog helps you size
or rotate your image(s) to fit a
cell(s) according to Image
Options settings.
When the dialog is opened, the default settings above will be adopted. It's likely
that some fine tuning might be needed, e.g. a portrait image may best be rotated
to fit a cell of landscape orientation.
If further images are added from the image gallery, they will also adopt these
settings. You can select an individual cell to affect the scaling or rotation on that
cell only at a later time. To again apply a setting to all cells, first deselect a cell by
clicking outside the grid.
Printing and Exporting
Here's a visual breakdown of the different options.
Fit image to cell/Fill cell with image
These options toggle respectively between fitting the image to cell
dimensions (it will scale the image width to cell width or image height to cell
height) or making the image completely fill the cell, losing portions of the
image from view.
Fit image to cell
Fill cell with image
Rotate for best fit
You can re-orient your image to fit cells using the Rotate for best fit check
box—great for fitting a portrait image into landscape-oriented cells (and vice
Rotate for best fit
Rotate for best fit
Cropping images in cells
If you're looking to be more specific about which areas of your image to print,
you can crop your image instead of using the above Image Options. PhotoPlus
supports some sophisticated cropping options, especially the ability to crop
using the image or the image's cell dimensions.
196 Printing and Exporting
To crop an image:
Select an image from the lower gallery and click
From the Crop Image dialog, choose an Aspect Ratio from the dropdown menu which dictates the proportions of your crop area grid:
Unconstrained creates a grid which can be proportioned in any way;
Cell matches to cell dimensions; Image maintains image dimensions;
Custom uses a custom constrained ratio (e.g., a square) that you
define yourself in the adjacent input boxes.
Printing and Exporting
(e.g., 1.00 x 1.00 in)
3. Drag a crop area's corner to size your crop according to requirements,
then move the grid around the image to choose the preferred image area
to be cropped. To revert, click Clear to reset your crop grid.
4. Click OK.
If your image is already present in your layout then it will update automatically
to reflect the new cropping applied. If it hasn't yet been used, the crop is still
applied to the image in the image gallery.
Cropping affects every instance of the image. Once applied, all
images are updated.
Printing using color separations
The Separations and Prepress options, shown for every mode, are used for
professional printing with CMYK color separations. This process is now a less
popular printing method compared to electronic PDF publishing (using PDF/X1
compliance). See PhotoPlus help for more details.
Publishing a PDF file
PDF (Portable Document Format) is a cross-platform file format developed by
Adobe. In a relatively short time, PDF has evolved into a worldwide standard for
document distribution which works equally well for electronic or paper
publishing. PDF documents are uniformly supported in the Windows,
Macintosh, and UNIX® environments. Anyone with the free Adobe Acrobat®
Reader can view or print out PDF files, either from within a Web browser
window or directly—for example, when delivered over a network or on CDROM. PDF documents are compact—one-fifth the size of comparable HTML
files—for faster transmission.
198 Printing and Exporting
PDF works well as a medium for distributing standalone files. By letting people
download an online PDF file, you can save yourself the trouble and expense of
printing multiple copies! PDF is also used extensively for delivering files to
professional printers. For the most part, print shops have adopted PDF artwork
using PDF/X formats—more reliable than PostScript and expressly targeted for
graphic arts and high quality reproduction. Several different "flavors" of PDF/X
exist; PhotoPlus supports PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a.
To export a PhotoPlus picture as a PDF:
Choose Publish as PDF... from the File menu to display the Publish
PDF dialog.
Set basic output options on the dialog’s General tab (shown).
• Checking Fit to complete page or Fit to page width to set the
default page view when the PDF is opened in Acrobat Reader.
• Checking Preview PDF file in Acrobat automatically opens the PDF
in Acrobat after it’s been created, so you can review it immediately. (If
anything looks amiss, you’ll need to fix the problems in the file and
regenerate the PDF.)
• If handing off a file to a professional printer, choose either "PDF X/1"
or "PDF X/1a" in the Compatibility list as advised by your print
partner (otherwise just use an Acrobat X.0 option, where X is the
version number).
Printing and Exporting
• In the Color Management section, the Output color space setting
should always be "CMYK" for professional printing; otherwise "RGB"
is fine. Select the Destination profile recommended by your print
• The Prepress Marks section lets you include printer marks in your
PDF output (check an option to switch on). Use for professional
Set security options (if any) on the Security tab.
• You can add password protection to keep the contents of your
document away from unintended eyes, and/or lock certain capabilities
to prevent unauthorized dissemination or changes. For example, you
can specify No document printing to prevent paper reproduction of
the publication’s contents, or No content copying to help ensure your
work can’t be easily duplicated somewhere else. You can even enter a
master password to give y`ou—and only you—the right to alter these
security settings. (Just be sure to remember your password!)
Click OK.
Exporting to another file format
In many situations, you’ll want to save a file to one of the standard graphics
formats. In PhotoPlus, this is known as exporting.
Exporting an image means converting
it to a specified graphic file format other
than the native PhotoPlus (.SPP)
format. This flattens the image,
removing layer information.
Only the .SPP and the Photoshop .PSD
format preserves image information,
such as multiple layers, masks, or image
map data that would be lost in
conversion to another format.
200 Printing and Exporting
The Export process itself can be carried out by using either a standard file dialog
where you can specify the path, name and format of the image file, or by using
an Export Optimizer where you can additionally compare export previews for
multiple file formats before export.
To export an image:
Choose Export... from the File menu.
The Export dialog appears, with the file's current base name shown.
Change the base name if desired.
To open the Export Optimizer to fine-tune export settings, click
Optimizer (see p. 201), then click OK.
Click Save in the Export dialog.
The Export dialog includes additional options for use with Web
images (see Slicing images and Creating image maps on p. 173 and
p. 174).
You can also open the Export Optimizer first and (at your discretion) proceed to
the exporting step after checking your settings. You can access the Export
Optimizer at any time—not just at export time—to compare image quality using
different settings (your settings are retained for each format).
The Export Optimizer consists of a left-hand preview display (single, dual, or
quad) and a right-hand settings region, with additional View and Zoom buttons
along the bottom of the dialog. Dual and quad previews let you test and compare
between different export formats in each pane—simply select a preview pane
and then test various quality settings, change format-specific options or resize
before going ahead with your optimized file's export—it even retains your
preferred settings for each format!
Printing and Exporting
To open the Export Optimizer:
Export Optimizer on the Standard toolbar.
From the Export Optimizer dialog, use the Options section to specify
the file Format, and format-specific options such as bit depth,
dithering, palette, and compression. The Size section lets you scale,
stretch, or squash the image, while setting an export Quality setting
(e.g., a resampling method such as Bicubic).
Review your optimized image, and click
happy with it.
when you're
button will instead abort the export but save any
format-specific option changes made in the dialog.
202 Printing and Exporting
From the Export dialog, enter a file name, and choose a file format
from the "Save as type" drop-down list. The export format and custom
settings will be remembered for future exports. Click OK.
To adjust the preview display:
To change the display scale, click the dialog's
Zoom Tool and
then left-click (to zoom in), right-click (to zoom out) on the preview,
or choose a zoom percentage in the lower left in the drop-down list.
You can also select a specific area by dragging a marquee around an
item of interest.
To display a different portion of the image, first select the dialog's
Pan Tool, then drag the image in the active preview pane.
Click one of the View buttons shown below the preview
pane to select Single, Double, or Quad display. The multi-pane
(Double and Quad) settings allow for before-and-after comparison of
export settings.
To compare export settings:
Set the preview display for either Double or Quad view (see above).
Click one of the preview display panes to select it as the active pane.
In the Options section, choose an export format and specific settings.
Each time you make a new choice, the active pane updates to show the
effect of filtering using the new settings, as well as the estimated file
To compare settings, select a different display pane and repeat the
process. The Export Optimizer lets you experiment freely and evaluate
the results.
To revert back to a single pane, click
Printing and Exporting
To proceed with exporting:
Make sure the active preview pane is using the settings you want to
apply to the image.
Click the dialog's Export or OK button to display the Export dialog.
The Export Optimizer saves settings for particular formats according
to the most recent update in the Options section. In other words, if
you have two or more preview panes displaying the same file
format, the settings for the last of them you click in will be those
associated with exporting in that format.
To preview an image in your web browser:
Choose Preview in Browser... from the File menu. PhotoPlus exports
the image as a temporary file, then opens the file for preview in your
web browser.
Sharing documents by email
The widespread availability of the Internet means that colleagues, family and
friends are now only a quick email away. Higher line speeds via Broadband
connections open up new opportunities for sharing documents in their native
file format (.SPP) or as converted JPGs.
PhotoPlus lets you send your currently selected document to your standard
email program (e.g., Outlook) for subsequent mailing. You can do this by
choosing Send... from the File menu to display a dialog which sets the file type
and image size restrictions.
After this, if the email program is not loaded, a Choose Profile dialog lets you
select your email program, then a new email message is displayed with
204 Printing and Exporting
document attached. If already loaded, your email program automatically
attaches your document to a new email message.
To complete the process, press the Send button (or equivalent) on your email
program as for any other email message.
Setting the file type
To take advantage of better file compression you may want to convert your
image to JPEG if not already in this format. The conversion would be suitable if
your original document was in TIF format or was a very complex multi-layered
SPP file.
From the above dialog, send the original SPP file by enabling the Keep Original
radio button. To convert to JPEG and send as such, enable Convert to JPEG.
Setting your image size
PhotoPlus allows you to send any photo directly by email with an added file size
limiter if necessary. This avoids sending excessively large files—this could affect
your popularity!
Click the Limit image dimensions to a maximum of check box and select a
suitable image resolution—this will be the new pixel height or width (the biggest
pixel dimension of the original photo will be reduced to the new image size).
Alternatively, keep original image dimensions by leaving the option unchecked.
An Internet connection is required to email pictures.
Printing and Exporting
.AVI format, 161
.HDR format, 127
.PSD format, 19
.SPP (PhotoPlus) format, 19, 25
16 bit images, 27
2D layer effects, 116
3D layer effects, 118
3D painting, 152
Add Layer Mask, 155
adjustable selection tools, 33
adjustment layers, 143
creating, 145
AutoContrast, 106
AutoLevels, 106
Black and White Film, 107
Brightness/Contrast, 106
Channel Mixer, 107
Color Balance, 106
Curves, 106
Equalize, 107
Gradient Map, 107
Hue/Saturation/Lightness, 107
Lens Filter, 107
Levels, 106
Negative Image, 107
Posterize, 107
Replace Color, 107
Selective Color, 107
Shadow/Highlight/Midtone, 106
Threshold, 107
alpha (opacity) channel, 38, 154
applying special effects, 167
creating new, 18
working with frames, 164
Animation tab, 161
antialiasing, 40, 86
drawing, 91
background color, 51, 67, 68, 82
Background Eraser Tool, 75
batch processing, 185
changing file names, 188
changing image sizes, 187
using macros, 186
bevel (layer effects), 116
Black and White Film
(adjustment), 109
Blemish Removal, 110
Blemish Remover Tool, 112
blend modes, 72, 147, 151
blend ranges, 149
Blur Tool, 111
bracketed photos, 127
Brightness/Contrast (adjustment),
web, 167, 203
previewing image in, 203
Brush Tip tab, 72
brushes, 71
defining custom, 72, 73
hard-edged, 71
bump maps (layer effects), 120
Burn Tool, 112
digital, 24
canvas size, 46
changing, 47
for new image, 18
channels, 61
Channels tab, 62
Character tab, 87
Chromatic Aberration Remover,
drawing, 91
placing hotspot, 175
selecting, 33
clipboard operations, 44, 138, 140
Clone Tool, 84
cloning, 84
closing files, 27
separations, 197
adjusting, 105, 106
choosing, 67
defining custom, 68
foreground and background, 68
modes, 27
changing, 28
replacing, 107, 112
saving, 69
selecting, 68
separations, 197
storing, 69
swatches, 69
Color Fill (layer effect), 116
Color Pickup Tool, 68, 151
Color Range, 37
Color Selection Tool, 34
Color tab, 67
combination buttons
for lines, 90
for selecting, 34
for shapes, 91
Compatibility (PDF), 198
Conical (gradient fill), 82
Contact Sheet mode (printing),
contact sheets (printing), 191
Convert to Animation, 161
Convert to Filter Layer, 147
correction (of images), 105, 108,
Crop to Selection, 51
Crop Tool, 47, 48
cropping, 48, 109
in printing, 195
Curved Outline Tool, 93
custom, 67
canvas sizes, 18
colors, 67
filters, 126
templates (printing), 192
Cut/Copy commands, 44
Deform Tool, 54
deforming, 54
meshes, 58
selections, 39
depth maps, 121, 152
Deselect, 32
digital cameras, 24
Disable Mask, 157
Documents tab, 20
Dodge Tool, 112
drawing and painting, 71, 88
Drop Shadow (layer effect), 116
Duplicate command (for layers),
effects, 113, 116
artistic, 113
blur, 123
distort, 123
edge, 123
filter, 113, 123
in animation, 167
Instant Artist, 113
layer (2D), 97, 116
layer (3D), 118
reflection maps in, 122
transparency in, 121
noise, 123
render, 123
sharpen, 123
special, 113
stylistic, 123
Warp tool, 115
effects lighting (3D), 119
Elastic Warp Tool, 115
drawing, 91
placing hotspot, 175
selecting, 33
Ellipse Selection Tool, 33
email (sharing via), 203
Emboss (layer effect), 116
Eraser tools, 75
erasing, 75
background, 76
flood, 77
standard, 76
Export Optimizer, 200
exporting an image, 199
Extract, 61
extracting, 61
feathering, 41
existing, 5
new, 3
file names
changing, by batch processing,
Fill, 81
filling, 79
contour, 96
flood, 80
gradient, 82
pattern, 80
solid, 67, 80
Filter Gallery, 123
modifying filters in, 125
replacing filters in, 126
filter layers, 146
filters, 105
adjustment, 105
plug-in, 126
special effects, 113
flattening an image, 26
flipping, 51
Flood Eraser Tool, 75
Flood Fill Tool, 80
fonts, 86
foreground color, 68
frames (animation), 161
Freehand Outline Tool, 93
Freehand Selection Tool, 33
GIFs (animated), 161
Gradient Fill Tool, 82
gradients, 82
Grayscale color mode, 27
layer, 141
HD Photo
color modes for, 27
HDR Photo Merge, 17, 127
opening intermediate images
from, 19
Histogram tab, 63
histograms, 63
hotspots (image maps), 174
HSL (adjustment), 109
for image maps, 174
for image slices, 173
for image maps, 174
for image slices, 173
acquiring TWAIN, 24
creating new, 18
exporting, 199
fixing, 108
opening, 19
saving, 25
sharing by email, 203
Image Browser, 17, 20
Image Map tools, 175
image size, 46
changing, 46
changing, by batch processing,
Image Slice Tool, 173
creating new, 18
Import from Twain, 17, 25
Inner Bevel (layer effect), 116
Inner Glow (layer effect), 116
Inner Shadow (layer effect), 116
installation, 13
Instant Artist (effects), 113
Instant Effects tab, 118
Invert (selection), 40
JPG vs raw, 21
layer effects, 98
layer groups
creating, 142
merging, 142
Layer to Background, 140
layers, 135
active, 119, 138
adjustment, 136, 143
creating, 145
and animation frames, 161
arranging, 138
Background, 44, 67, 82, 135,
136, 140
blend modes and, 147
clipboard operations, 44, 138,
creating, 138
effects, 139
filter, 136, 146
grouping, 141
hide/show, 139
Layer to Background, 140
linking/unlinking, 141
moving, 138
opacity, 137, 138, 140, 150
outlines on, 97
Promote to Layer, 44, 140
Select All, 32, 45, 138
selecting, 138
selecting linked, 138
shape, 83, 89, 91, 136
standard, 136
opacity on, 151
text, 83, 86, 136
using 2D effects, 116
using 3D effects, 118
using depth maps, 152
Lens Distortion, 110
lighting (3D) effects, 119
Linear (gradient fill), 82
drawing, 88
Load Selection, 38
locking (layer properties), 139
macros, 179
copying, duplicating and
deleting, 185
modifying, 182
playing, 181
recording, 180
Magnetic Selection Tool, 33, 36
masks, 154
creating, 155
editing, 156
from selections, 158
selections for, 158
Mesh Warp Tool, 56
mesh warping, 56
color, 27
changing, 28
montage, 154
Move Tool, 43
movies (AVI), 161
multi-image printing, 191
New Adjustment Layer, 145
New Animation, 17
New Image, 17
New Layer, 138
New Layer Group, 141
New Layer Group, 139
Node Edit Tool, 91, 92
nodes (Mesh Warp Tool), 57
Noise Reduction (adjustment), 110
opacity, 138, 150
selecting, 38
tool-based, 151
opening an image file, 19
optimizing an image, 200
Outer Bevel (layer effect), 116
Outer Glow (layer effect), 116
Outline (layer effect), 116
outlines, 96, 99
on layers, 97
on selection areas, 96
path, 98
editing, 100
Paint to Select mode, 42
Paintbrush Tool, 71
painting, 71
in 3D, 152
Paste, 44
Patch Tool, 112
bitmap from, 101
paths, 89, 98
Paths tab, 98
pattern maps (3D), 119
Pattern Tool, 78
patterns, 78
filling with, 80
PDF publishing, 197
Pencil Tool, 71
Photo Studio toolbar, 109, 114, 124
PhotoPlus Picture (.SPP), 25, 203
Photoshop (.PSD), 19, 199
Picture Brush Tool, 73
picture tubes (PaintShop Pro)
importing, 74
Pillow (layer effect), 116
Pinch/Punch Tools, 115
plug-in filters, 126
point size, 86
drawing, 91
placing hotspot, 175
selecting, 33
Polygon Selection Tool, 33
Prepress options (PDF), 199
Preview in Browser, 167, 203
Print Layout mode (printing), 192
print layouts (printing), 191
Print Studio, 191
printing, 191
as PDF, 197
cropping to print sizes, 48
professional, 197
with Print Studio, 191
Promote to Layer, 44, 140
Publish as PDF, 197
QuickFix Studio, 108
QuickShape tools, 88, 91
Radial (gradient fill), 82
raster layers, 89
Rasterize, 87, 139
raw images, 19, 21
adjustments, 23
color modes for, 27
vs JPG, 21
Raw Studio, 21
drawing, 91
placing hotspot, 175
selecting, 33
Rectangle Selection Tool, 33
red eye (removing), 109
Red Eye Tool, 111
reflection maps
in 3D layer effects, 122
registration, 3
Replace Color Tool, 112
images, 46
on export, 200
selection, 39
resolution, 47
Retouch tools, 111
Revert, 26
RGB color mode, 27
rotating, 51, 56
in printing, 194
Rule of thirds, 50
Saturate (Sponge tool), 111
Saturate (Sponge Tool), 112
saturation, 67
saved work
opening, 20
Saved Work, 17
saving an image, 25
image size, 46
in printing, 194
selections, 39
scanning, 24
Scratch Remover Tool, 112
Security options (PDF), 199
Select All, 32
Select Linked Layers, 138
converting to path, 99
cropping to, 48
defining region, 31
deforming, 39
duplicating a, 45
from paths, 100
making a, 31
manipulating, 43
modifying, 39
of non-transparent regions, 38
rotating, 39
storing, 38
text, 86
tools, 33
transforming, 39
Selection Deform Tool, 39
Send, 203
CMYK color, 197
Shape Edit Tool, 93, 94
shape layers, 89
rasterizing, 139
sharing documents (by email), 203
Sharpen (adjustment), 110
Sharpen Tool, 111
Single Image mode (printing), 192
single-image printing, 191
canvas, 18, 46
image, 46
image (at export), 201
skewing, 54
slicing images, 173
Smudge Tool, 111
Solid fill, 82
special effects, 113
in animation, 167
Sponge Tool, 112
drawing, 91
placing hotspot, 175
selecting, 33
Square (gradient fill), 82
stamping pictures, 73
Standard Eraser tool, 75
standard layers, 136
drawing, 91
Startup Wizard, 17, 18, 20
in histograms, 63
Store Selection, 38
Straight Outline Tool, 93
Straighten Tool, 53
straightening, 52, 109
stroking a path, 101
Swatches tab, 69
system requirements, 12
Animation, 161
Brush Tip, 72
Channels, 62
Character, 87
Color, 67
Documents, 20
Histogram, 63
Instant Effects, 118
Paths, 98
Swatches, 69
templates (printing), 191
text, 86
creating selection in shape of, 88
editing, 87
layers, 86
using layer effects on, 116
Text Selection Tool, 35, 86
Text Tool, 86
Thick/Thin Warp Tool, 115
Tolerance property, 34, 75
tone mapping, 127
Adjustable Selection, 33
Background Eraser, 75
Blemish Remover, 112
Blur, 111
Burn, 112
Clone, 84
Color Pickup, 68, 151
Color Selection, 34
Crop, 48
Curved Outline, 93
Deform, 54
Dodge, 112
Elastic Warp, 115
Flood Eraser, 75
Flood Fill, 80
Freehand Outline, 93
Gradient Fill, 82
Image Slice, 173
Magnetic Selection, 36
Mesh Warp, 56
Move, 43
Node Edit, 92
Paintbrush, 71
Patch, 112
Pattern, 78
Pencil, 71
Picture Brush, 73
Pinch/Punch, 115
QuickShape, 88, 91
Red Eye, 111
Replace Color, 112
Scratch Remover, 112
Selection Deform, 39
Shape Edit, 93, 94
Sharpen, 111
Smudge, 111
Sponge, 112
Standard Eraser, 75
Straight Outline, 93
Straighten, 53
Text, 86
Text Selection, 35, 86
Thick/Thin Warp, 115
Twirl, 115
Unwarp, 115
Photo Studio, 109, 114, 124
transparency, 137, 150
in 3D layer effects, 121
protecting on layer, 139
tool-based, 151
TWAIN image
acquiring, 24
tweening, 165
Twirl Tools, 115
Unwarp Tool, 115
for image maps, 174
for image slices, 173
Use all layers, 85, 111, 138
vector shapes, 89
fixing lens, 110
Warp tools, 115
warping, 56, 115
web images
creating animated GIFs, 161
image maps, 174
image slicing, 173
previewing in browser, 203
Welcome, 3
White Balance (adjustment), 109