Using Layers and Masks in Animation

Using Layers and Masks in Animation

Using Paint Shop Pro and Animation Shop together enables you to create amazingly complex animations.

You can create an image in Paint Shop Pro, using layers, masks, and any of the effects you'd like. Then you can import the resulting file into Animation Shop as a multiframed animation.

The following section shows you how to build a spinning globe animation.

Putting Your Own Spin on the World

You'll need to find an image of the world that has been flattened. Many clip art sites and CD-ROMs have maps of the world and globes, so you should be able to find one similar to the one I'm using.

If you're handy with the Paint Brush tools, you might even create your own. Figure 45.1 shows the image I'm using.

Figure 45.1. The (pre-Columbus) world.


This map shows the world flattened out. Actually, the map shows two copies of the world so that you can wrap the entire image around a sphere and not miss any parts or have any unruly seams.

The world image I'm using is 524x150. To leave some space around the edges of the new image that I'll be creating, I'll open a new 200x200 image. What I'll be doing is cutting and pasting 150x150 portions of the flattened globe into different layers of the new image. Here are the general steps:

  1. Open a new 200x200 image. Name the image "Globe."

  2. In the Background layer, create a centered, blue circle that's 150 pixels in diameter (see Figure 45.2).

    Figure 45.2. This circle will become the oceans.


  3. Make copies of the blue circle for each layer onto which you will be pasting a portion of the globe.

    You can make the copy by clicking and dragging the Background layer onto the Create Layer icon each time you want to create a new layer.

  4. Then copy and paste a portion of the globe to a new image, resize the canvas to 150x150, and apply the Circle Deformation filter (choose Image, Deformations, Circle) to the new image. This deformed portion of the globe will be copied again and pasted onto the new blue circle layer.

  5. Repeat this process until you've copied the entire globe into new layers of the new file.

I'll walk through creating the first few layers:

  1. I've opened the World image and created the blue ball (Globe) 200x200 image (see Figure 45.3).

    Figure 45.3. The World and Globe files in Paint Shop Pro.


  2. To start, select the Selection tool, set the selection type to Square and the Feather value to 0, and turn off anti-aliasing.

  3. Place the mouse pointer at 0,0 in the World image and make a 150x150pixel selection.

  4. Choose Edit, Copy, or click the Copy button to copy the selection to the Clipboard.

  5. Then choose Edit, Paste, As New Image.

  6. Expand the image size with Image, Resize because only the portion of the image that has information gets pasted.

    Therefore, because of the transparent background, the image comes in smaller than 150x150.

  7. To resize the new image, choose Image, Canvas Size and enter 150 for both New Width and New Height.

  8. To make a sphere of the new area that you've copied from the flattened world, apply the Circle effect with Effects, Geometric Effects, Circle.

    Doing so wraps the image around a sphere, giving it back its shape (remember that you are using a flattened image of Earth).

  9. Choose Selections, Select All and Edit, Copy to copy this portion of the world to the Clipboard.

  10. Add a layer to the Globe image (the one that you created and added a blue baller, oceans to) by clicking and dragging the Background layer onto the Add New Layer icon.

  11. Name this layer World01 by double-clicking the layer in the Layer palette and giving the layer a name in the dialog box that appears.

  12. Paste the portion of the world you just created directly onto this layer by choosing Edit, Paste, As New Selection.

That's how each layer is created.

To create the second layer, follow these steps:

  1. Start the selection on the World image at 20,0 (for each new layer, move 20 pixels to the right) and copy and paste this selection.

  2. Resize it and add the circle effect, and then select it and paste it onto a new blue circle.

Create each new layer the same way until you have 15 World layers. You'll need all 15 to get the entire globe into the animation.

Creating the Animation

To save the image so that it can be opened in Animation Shop, I turned on all the layers except the Background layer. (I turned off most of them as I created each layer to avoid confusion.)

Animation Shop adds each visible layer as a frame when it opens a PSP file.

With the file saved, it's time to open it in Animation Shop. Before doing so, though, you must change the preferences in Animation Shop. In Animation Shop, choose File, Preferences, General Program Preferences and click the Layered Files tab (see Figure 45.4).

Figure 45.4. Setting the Layered Files preferences in Animation Shop.


Select the Keep Layers as Separate Frames option and click OK. This feature causes Animation Shop to open a multilayered file and keep each layer as a separate frame. It's a very powerful feature.

With the preferences set up properly, it's time to open the image. Choose File, Open and browse to the file you saved in Paint Shop Pro. In my case, it's the Globe file (the final image I saved in Paint Shop Pro).

To view the animation, click the View Animation button. If the image checks out, you can save it as a Web-ready animated GIF.

Spreading Your Wings

If you'd like to practice some of the techniques I've described in this chapter, you can open the bttrfly.psp file that comes with Paint Shop Pro.

Open it in Paint Shop Pro and examine each layer; you can open the file in Animation Shop as well to see how the final animation turned out.

I suggest you create a few animations using images created in Paint Shop Pro. Start with a few layers and see how the process works; then attack a more ambitious project. Remember to have some fun and try different things as you work with both of these amazing programs.

Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Internet and Web Basics All in One
ISBN: 0672325330
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 350
Authors: Ned Snell © 2008-2017.
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